Dear Readers - Following are leftover questions from my live chat Breaking Up: When and How (March 26):
The florist and the caterer have their deposit money, but I don’t think I can go through with the wedding. My fiancée pushed for this wedding date – in two months – though I said it was too soon.
Her plans are all too grand, and I’m increasingly anxious about her expectations for our future. I’m a modest guy, and don’t like excess. She’s gone overboard with both wedding and honeymoon plans and is already talking about a house.
Do I cancel everyone we hired and swallow the deposit losses myself, to end this? She doesn’t even listen when I try to cut back on things.
If you cancel the wedding, the relationship may end right there. So be sure this isn’t about wedding jitters.
BUT you shouldn’t be held hostage to plans you can’t afford and don’t like.
She’ll listen, when you tell her you will NOT marry in two months, or in this grandiose fashion.
But if you love her, say so first, and that you’ll happily marry her on another date, in a wedding that suits both of you.
I have no idea how to break up a relationship. I’ve been in six of them since age 16, and always let them drag on when things went bad, until the guy broke up with me. I’m too insecure about being single.
I need that closeness with someone and hang on even when it goes missing. I usually end up looking for it with someone else, and then the guy I’m supposed to be with drops me.
My parents divorced when I was six; they both remarried people with other kids, and I always felt I was left out in the cold, even though they said they still loved me as much. How do I deal with my problem?
You’re carrying the emotional abandonment of your childhood into all your relationships. Yet closeness can’t come with someone who walks all over you.
You already recognize that you cling to failed relationships, so stop abandoning your own self-esteem.
Don’t rush into relationships before you know the person better. Change the pattern of choosing guys also in a hurry, for their own emotionally unhealthy reasons.
My wife’s a wonderful woman, but totally uninterested in sex. We have two school-age kids.
How could I ever tell them I left home because their mother didn’t like sex? We get along okay, but like roommates. It looks good on the surface because we divide all chores equitably and are both active with our kids.
But I feel empty inside, and I know the frustration will cause me to look for sex elsewhere, and then I’ll be the bad guy. It’s so unfair!
You need more explanation than “not interested in sex.” Has she seen a doctor, tried to increase her libido, become physically active for energy and self-confidence? Or told you specifics of what she doesn’t enjoy sexually with you?
If she’s done nothing about it but hand down her arbitrary rejection, then, she’s not a partner. That IS something children can eventually hear, when they’re much older.
You’re not trapped. If you decide to separate, you can both continue to be good parents while living apart, by raising them through shared custody.
Setting yourself up to get sex elsewhere as “the bad guy” - which will be what your kids are told - is NOT a better plan for them or for you.
FEEDBACK Regarding the college student, 19, whose friend is a prodigy attending college at 15, but socially behind the mainstream and being verbally abused by male students (March 24):
Reader – “The concerned friend should go ahead and report the campus abuse to the appropriate officials at the college. And she should also talk to the younger student about what’s going on,
“That way, there’ll be a record of the bullying and college authorities can't later say they knew nothing about it, if the abusers' behavior gets worse. Especially if this student doesn’t report it herself before it gets worse.”
Ellie – Agreed. People who turn away because they don’t want to get “involved” unfortunately aid bullying.
This concerned friend can help the younger student realize that she doesn’t have to put up with verbal (which is also emotional) abuse because she’s “different,” or in order to fit in and not make waves.
Tip of the day:
Breaking up? Speak up with confidence and conviction.