Do you think one person (male or female) can “steal/take” someone away from a relationship if that person’s happy and content in their present situation?
My friend blames the “other woman” 100% for “stealing” her husband over 20 years ago.
She’s still bitter and angry over what happened to her and hasn’t been able to move on.
Adults choose their reactions, unless trauma takes hold till they’re unable or unwilling to handle reality.
Your friend’s belief that her husband was content and happy until a love-thief stole him away is her way of closing down and guaranteeing it won’t happen to her again.
Of course it won’t! She uses her anger at the other woman to stay away from the perceived risk of another relationship.
She avoids seeing her own possible contribution to anything that went wrong in her marriage.
Was she critical of him or complaining, or consumed with the children’s needs to the exclusion of his? Maybe not.
But if he was not “content” as she assumes, her blaming a predator who whisked him away guarantees that she doesn’t have to change anything in herself.
About those predatory women… sure there are some out there (and male ones, too) and they’re good at sniffing out a willing target.
They’re not always younger and sexier either. But they’re canny. They pick up the hints that the target is bored, dissatisfied, restless for an excuse to get lost in a new life.
Adults choose. Her husband chose another woman. It’s nasty, painful, devastating, humiliating. But to let it eat away at your chances for a better future, is a self-defeating choice.
She’s still stealing from herself, 20 years later.
I recently poured my heart out via text to a friend, about a recent breakup with my “friend with benefits” (off and on for five years).
My friends and family thought it was for the best. So I didn’t tell anyone when we started up again briefly. I was then devastated when he ended it forever.
My friend tried to console me but I didn't hear from her for several days.
I texted again and apologized for dumping all my stuff on her. She replied that she was upset that I’d lied to her, by telling her I was doing something else when we’d hooked up.
I was hurt by her offensive accusation. I then realized there was a miscommunication about which weekend we were talking about.
I apologized for that, but said I was still hurt at her accusation. She didn't say she was wrong to call me a liar.
We stopped communicating. Now I'm hurt at losing the friendship.
Do I reach out or let her cool off and wait for her?
How to Resolve?
What a tempest in a text!
Let’s distil the wordy exchange down to its basics. Your benefits-guy dumped you and that’s very hurtful. Understandably. You go back for more, he ends it again, and you feel worse.
Your friend gets confused because your own information hasn’t been clear.
But why does she call you a liar? Maybe it’s because she’s heard this story before over your “five years off and on.” She lost track.
Text is easy and quick. But it’s also invasive when it goes on and on.
Call her in person. Invite her out to a movie together. That leaves some time for talking face-to-face, for exchanging your sorrow, her compassion.
Save text use for arrangements, not as your diary.
FEEDBACK Regarding the adult son whose parents are toxic (March 24):
Reader - “I respectfully disagree with your comment "If he remains dis-connected, there’s no chance for resolution, no way to see them as people who were damaged themselves in their upbringing."
“In my experience, there’s a better chance of resolution by staying disconnected. Nothing’s going to change or be resolved with or by them.
“He can forgive them for who they are without ever seeing them again. Counselling is one way of doing this.
“If he doesn’t see them again before they die, that’s his choice and should be respected.
“It’s the choice I'm making with my own parents and I’ll have no regrets when they pass because I did the best I could with them.
“They’ve continued their toxic behaviour and have never come to respect me. They’ve estranged two of their three children, and that’s their choice.”
Tip of the day:
Living with bitterness and anger at the person who “stole” your partner is self-destructive.