My friend’s been dating this guy on/off for a year. Whenever she's tried to breakup, he "wins her back."
Her friends, family, and I are concerned – he’s jealous, can't take "no" for an answer, and seems controlling.
During their recent split, he was still contacting her, hounding her with calls, texts, voice mails.
I’m hoping my friend will realize this so-called relationship is ruining friendships and her relationship with her parents, who’ve begged me to help her.
The Wrong Guy
Everyone’s concerned but her… there must be a reason but you give no clues.
She’s broken off with him in the past, so she did recognize problems.
Friends and parents can only do so much. She has to acknowledge the unhealthy pattern between them, and then find the strength in herself, to demand better.
She’d benefit from talking to a therapist about why she repeatedly takes him back, and that rather than him “winning” her, she may be “losing” herself with the wrong guy.
The therapist can help her find the best strategy and determination to make the next break-up she wants, be the one that sticks.
Dear Readers – The many responses to one father’s complaints about his adult son’s and daughter-in-law’s distance were so consistently negative, that I’ve given him the opportunity he’s sought, for further explanation:
Reader’s Commentary – “Looks like I got crucified today in your column, (June 27 re: my May 24 letter):
“I now realize that providing too much detail poses a risk of people holding on to minor points of the story, thereby distorting the real issue at hand.
“My desire to have "alone time" with my son is interpreted out of proportion.
“When the couple come over for dinner, they stay on average four to five hours.
“Yes, when we sit in the living room, my fiancée and her daughter entertain my granddaughter as do I and my son.
“But in between, he and I do chat about his job, politics, finances, etc., but only intermittently, as the priority is his daughter when she wants his or my attention.
“I’ve since delved into the real issue some more with my son.
“As the readers said, his loyalty is with his wife, as I take a background seat or so I should.
“Yesterday he came with his daughter for a belated Father's Day. All these years I’ve been second fiddle - Thanksgiving, Christmas etc., but I’m used to it.
“I can live with this as daughters-in-law have priority with their immediate family most times.
“Yesterday, I told him that his priority is his wife and his two small children.
“For two years now, his wife wouldn’t accept my invitations for lunch/dinner (though he comes with his children).
“Meanwhile, he told me there’s a re-union planned on my ex-wife's side – 50 people, uncles, aunts, cousins from the United States.
“His wife refuses to go and is giving him a hard time if he goes, as it’ll spoil her long week-end. This reunion happens only every 15 years or so.”
Ellie – It seems you’re saying that the issue of any divide between you and your son, stems from his wife’s insistence on their time as a couple, her own parents’ priority for major holidays, and her own private time (whenever that’s possible with two young children).
Instead of feeling “crucified,” enjoy the relationship you DO have with your son, since he visits willingly, be respectful to his wife, and understanding of her personal needs.
And stop complaining.
I was with an employer and a position that I disliked. I took a leave of absence, returned to school, and pursued my dream career.
Three years later, I haven't yet established roots in the field, but have developed anxiety issues due to the demand and stress of the job.
I’ve been laid off twice in one year, and lost confidence in myself as a professional in this field.
Currently unemployed, I’m considering my former job, but feel I failed, and am settling, having wasted three years because the skills and schooling I gained won’t apply.
No experience goes “wasted.”
Be pro-active instead of allowing anxiety and depression to block you.
Talk to a career counsellor about the field and what other approaches are needed.
If income’s immediately paramount, use the old job to your advantage, while you seek other ways to be in your preferred field, even doing part-time work related to it.
Tip of the day:
Changing or ending an unhealthy relationship requires understanding why you’ve accepted it.