I broke up with my boyfriend this week. I’d thought he was “the one” and tried to make it work.
Two weeks ago, my best friend (male) died. Then I discovered my boyfriend has feelings for his widow.
Worse, he’d been secretly sleeping (supposedly on the couch) in her home for several nights.
I’ve ceased all communication with him.
I feel like my best friend was betrayed by his wife who could’ve asked any of her gal pals, people in the church, or family to stay with her.
And I feel betrayed by both of them - her for asking my boyfriend, him for not telling me until I questioned him.
My boyfriend is one of the widow's ex's and was invited over weekly for board games.
I was hurt by this, because I’d never been invited into my best friend's new home.
Also, the widow had sent me a Christmas card from them last year, but she put the wrong return address so that my card would never reach them.
My friend died thinking I’d forgotten him. I'm having a hard time getting over all of this.
Mourning My Friend
Your grief’s compounded – loss of a close friend, your relationship, feelings of betrayal.
Add to that, what appears to be deliberate isolation from your boyfriend.
Take time to heal these wounds, and for much-needed reflection. As you said, you’d tried to make this boyfriend be “the one.”
Now you’ve learned that certainty about a life partner develops from someone’s caring and openness being equal to your own. Your boyfriend didn’t measure up.
Move on with new resolve to value yourself before you over-value someone else.
If you feel held back by loss, talk to a grief counsellor.
I’m 27, married for two years. My parents never liked my husband, nor his family, as my mother-in-law’s difficult and the two families do things very differently.
On the night before our wedding, my mom and mother-in-law had a heated quarrel, which almost led to a break-up.
But I love my husband and I get along fine with his family.
I try hard to hold the two families together. But there’s very limited interaction between them.
Even I don't visit my parents very often any more, maybe once a month.
I’d thought everyone could get past this… until today when I called my mom. She started lashing out at me again (she feels she’s been hurt and just can't keep it in).
She and my dad still want me to get a divorce though she says, I won’t be worth much as a "divorced woman.”
I love my parents despite this. What can I do to help them see that I’m a grown up, in a happy marriage? That I can make my own choices?
And that constant lashing out is only pushing me further away?
It feels like they’re blaming their own unsuccessful life on me. They think I put shame on them for having chosen such a "difficult and different" family.
Caught Between Families
If you love your husband, your life and loyalty is now more attached to him than your parents.
Tell them you love them and want them in your life, but they must stop promoting a divorce, and stop berating you.
They don’t have to be close to your in-laws, but you won’t accept their bad-mouthing them.
Keep contact but show firmness as to how you’ll conduct your married life.
It’s possible that if they have future grandchildren, they’ll soften their resistance.
My close friend will suddenly talk to me in a meek, childish tone. We’re both early 30s.
Her eyes widen, her demeanour changes. She becomes like a kid again.
A second later, she speaks normally.
I’ve never heard her speak to her boyfriend or anyone else that way.
She’s not being abused by her partner. But she was abused growing up.
I feel increasingly like her parent in these daily situations - even answering in the same voice, or speaking to her the way some adults do to children!
How To Handle?
Confront the situation, NOT her as a person. Gently say that her child-like tone with you, may be her cry for help to someone she trusts and respects.
It may well have to do with her past abuse. Or, some current anxiety.
Urge her to see a therapist, even if she feels she’s over the past. Something in her is seeking guidance.
Tip of the day:
Grief can spark healthy reflection on what you value in yourself and others.