I'm 21, female, and things have been rocky for several months between me and my boyfriend of five years, due to his depression.
So I’d put more time and effort into my friendships.
My best friend and I got even closer. I could tell her everything.
Recently, however, she’s joined my boyfriend’s group of friends because her new boyfriend’s among them.
She and my guy have gotten so close that I can't talk to her about him.
When his depression causes him to lash out at me, she defends him and tells me to get over it.
When he had a screaming fit at me before our friends, she still defended him.
I've been avoiding their hangouts - he gets too drunk and always gets mad at me - but I'm so lonely.
She doesn't understand why I'm "isolating” myself.
They don’t understand that I feel slightly abandoned.
He’s getting treatment for his depression, but I feel his illness still prevents him from understanding how I feel.
I don't want to tell my friend about this. She was bullied a lot as a kid and she seems to finally have found a group of friends where she belongs.
On My Own
Your boyfriend’s the problem, not your friend. His getting drunk regularly and lashing out at you is NOT excusable because of depression.
While alcohol may briefly improve mood, it actually increases symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Also, mixing antidepressant treatment with alcohol can be dangerous in some cases.
Your understanding of your friend is generous. But it doesn’t make it easier to be left feeling alone.
Get out where there are new people to meet – perhaps through a meet-up.com group or a special interest of yours.
Add to that a fitness regime – even regular long walks – as your boyfriend’s moods, plus your own “isolation,” are becoming depressing for you.
Then, take a hard look at this relationship, as it’s not now a healthy situation for you, no matter your other friendships.
My partner of ten years and I have three children together.
For the past five years, we’ve been experiencing financial hardship, but have managed with the help of both our families.
Last Christmas, one gift to a family was a cruise vacation, starting this New Year.
But it’s become clear that every member of my husband's family are going too!
We were never told this or asked if we’d like to join.
I understand that it’s simply not affordable for us. But it would’ve been nice to be asked and we’re both hurt.
This isn’t the first time we’ve felt "purposely" left out.
But because of my in-law’s financial support, I feel I can't say anything, or I'm biting the hand that feeds!
Am I wrong to feel the sting of not being included?
Biting My Tongue
Not wrong to be hurt, unwise to be resentful, and his family’s unfair to deceive you.
They likely felt that it’d embarrass you both to be informed when you can’t afford the trip.
Yet they were wrong not to realize you’d find out and that the exclusion would hurt more than deciding yourselves that it’s not possible at this time.
It’s up to your husband to, after the trip, gently tell his parents that you both understand your financial realities and are grateful for their help.
BUT, there’s no need to hide things from you. They mean to protect you, but in fact it hurts.
You can only hope they get it.
FEEDBACK Regarding the sister whose once-close brother refused her request to visit him at Christmas because of his wife’s attitude towards her (December 7)):
Reader – “In response to the writer’s feelings, “I find Christmas extremely depressing as a result,” please let her know that most, if not all, brothers are like hers.
“No matter what the ethnicity or other background, they’re usually on the side with their wives.
“So the brother-sister relationship has to take a break.
“She should know that this isn’t about anything she did or did not do.”
Ellie – The key to her sister-in-law’s behaviour was in the writer’s story: “They refuse to host family at their house, citing ((her)) family-related craziness.”
So yes, this is not about the writer’s personality. Her brother’s trying to keep peace in his marriage, especially now that they have a young child.
Time may ease the tensions so she and her brother can connect.
Tip of the day:
Consider any relationship involving regular angry outbursts in public, as unhealthy.