I met my boyfriend at my workplace nine months ago. He was already dating his now-ex, but we soon realized our incredible compatibility.
We started dating about a month after he broke up with his girlfriend.
We’ve tried to be discreet, to protect his ex from finding out. Six blissful months later I learned that the new girl at work is a close friend to his ex.
She soon mentioned that she knows we're together. She's still friendly to me, but I'm not sure how to handle the situation or any potential questions she might have.
Most of my co-workers know we’ve been dating for some time, but I'm not sure I want his ex to know it was so quick!
A Timing Issue
Reality check – Things are what they seem.
You both short-circuited his time between girlfriends, it’s six months later, and you’re happy together.
Your co-worker has likely already reported to his ex that you’re a cozy couple.
His ex may even believe that you two started something before the actual break-up.
There’s nothing to be gained by you protesting. It’ll only fuel more speculation.
If there are children or legal matters between him and his ex, he’ll have to try to reassure her that he didn’t cheat, that their relationship was already strained, whatever she’ll accept.
Your own best strategy is to be pleasant with this co-worker but not get close enough to be asked very personal questions.
I’m 22 and last summer suffered a severe illness which caused brain swelling. I almost died, have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, severe chronic spinal pain, and brain trauma.
I also lost much of my short-term memory. It's slowly coming back (never all) but it’s hard to explain to others why I get upset when they try to bring up some 2014 memories.
I'm exhausted by their urgings and often hide tears.
How do I tell my family of my concerns without them thinking I'm dramatic, and without giving myself an anxiety attack?
My boyfriend’s supportive and loving, but gets uncomfortable about my trauma.
Why is it easier for everyone to pretend that I'm okay and ignore my pleas for understanding?
The Short Answer – Your family tries to encourage you to feel “okay” because they love you and are worried.
They may even have been told by doctors and therapists that this is the way to stimulate your efforts to remember, and help you move past the trauma.
Longer Answer – Talk to your doctor and a therapist about your progress. It’s already evident that your memory’s slowly returning.
Your fear of not remembering may be causing you to feel so frustrated by your family.
Explain to them that you can’t handle their pressure to remember, despite knowing that they mean the best for you.
Ask them to talk to you instead about what’s happening in the present and future. And, to let your recovery take its natural course. As more memory returns you’ll all be less worried.
FEEDBACK Regarding a dog’s “bad behaviour” (March 28):
Reader – “There’s interesting control and manipulation attitude evident from the dog-owner. He showed total lack of consideration towards his girlfriend, who then enabled this situation to evolve!
“My friend allowed this same thing to endure for 20 years. When she finally told him to leave, it became a hostile break-up costing her lots of money to get him out of her life. It's not the dog's fault but the owner of this behaviour.”
FEEDBACK Regarding the bride who doesn’t want kids/babies at her wedding (March 24):
Reader – “It's her day. Also, her brother, his wife, and the family, seem to have little interest in her or her wedding.
“I'd be concerned about the family taking attention away from the bride, to the baby.
“Maybe the mother of the bride should skip the wedding and head for a bar, thereby avoiding getting drunk and ruining her daughter's wedding.”
Ellie – A strong view on this frequent issue of a bride’s vs. her family’s wishes.
Of course, the bride has priority rights.
My own view is to be realistic about the family dynamic: If they’re already divided and difficult, the bride should go with what she wants.
BUT if she has hopes for family peace, she should offer options, like having someone acceptable babysit the baby during the ceremony and speeches, so its parents can attend.
Tip of the day:
Sometimes Shakespeare’s quote from Hamlet applies to relationships: “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”