I just came out of a five-year relationship, which ended badly. He was abusive, was arrested, and now has a peace bond. I'm moving happily on.
My issue lies with the fact that I worked with this person for over 23 years. We have many friends in common.
I have been invited to a reunion of ex co-workers. I worked in a different department from him, so he isn't included.
Everyone will ask at this function what the situation is with me and the ex.
Do I tell them that he beat me? Do I cover up for him and say nothing?
He should not have done what he did, but I don't know how to properly address the situation... from my standpoint, not his.
After an abusive situation, to which you responded with strength and self-protection, you want to preserve your self-confidence going forward, and your safety.
So keep it simple, when people ask what happened.
Say, “It ended badly.” Smile, and change the topic.
Most people who see you socializing at the reunion, will realize that you’ve survived whatever happened, and respect your positive attitude.
Within your employment field, where you and this man both worked, you don’t need people guessing, or digging for gossip.
However, word of his arrest may’ve gotten around on its own.
If someone asks directly if it was abuse, repeat that it ended badly and required intervention. Then change the topic.
It’s a subtle alert to anyone else. But your own safety’s still a concern, should a convicted abuser think he’s being maligned publicly.
We’re invited to a close friend’s cottage for a four-night getaway, but the couple has a set of friends who drink a lot, and are also invited.
They’re all good people at heart, but when they’re drinking – it starts at lunchtime – any interesting conversations are replaced with silly, boring, repeated stories of their past drinking bouts and hilarious drunken antics.
We’re all parents of teenagers and young-20s. I understand that it’s a chance to let our hair down away from our responsible lives as role models with our children.
But for me, it’s not a relaxing, or even enjoyable atmosphere.
I drink minimally as I don’t tolerate alcohol well – I get severe headaches. I usually end up going to bed early, while the revelers carry on past midnight. And I feel somewhat resentful that my husband stays up with them.
He can tolerate the drinking and finds it all good fun. He wants me to just not drink, and handle the scene the best I can until I need to go to sleep.
Is it selfish of me to want to skip the whole thing?
Same Old Scene
It’s not selfish, but it’s also not the same fun break for you as for your husband.
If you have other weekend plans that you both enjoy, then agree to this one but possibly cut the amount of time down a little, e.g. leave a day early or arrive a day late.
If you do attend, bring some books, movies, and magazines, to distract you for some breaks from the gang. Some may even join you watching a film.
Take walks outdoors and enjoy nature, the lake, etc. (But avoid boating if everyone’s had a few drinks).
However, if this is your only summer getaway from raising teenagers, ask your husband to compromise with you and take a break from this gathering to do something different and mutually agreeable.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who can’t stop her “crush” on her doctor (May 6):
Reader – “We health professionals are taught that it’s absolutely NOT okay to engage in romantic behaviours with patients.
“I was also taught to avoid developing friendships or hiring the patient.
“This doctor, even if he did enjoy her company, absolutely CANNOT reciprocate her interests.
“He cannot be friends, go out for drinks, watch movies together. He should not be Instagram friends, and that’s probably why his account is private.
“Their relationship has to be exclusively doctor-patient, and anything more than that could potentially result in disciplinary action from his governing body.
“This is because there’s a power imbalance between the clinician and the patient, and that makes the patient vulnerable.
“It can cause a patient to associate artificial loving feelings with a practitioner, which become harmful as she recognizes reality.
“Their relationship starts and ends at the door to his office.”
Tip of the day:
After an abusive relationship ends, make protecting your self-confidence and your safety, your priorities.