My good friend is funny, intelligent, and attractive.
We met when both going through breakups. I’ve moved on from my ex, but she’s repeatedly taken hers back, over four years.
He has some positive attributes. I just don't care to know him.
Between breakups, she claims independence and looking forward to new horizons.
But any new relationships fizzle out because she can’t commit. Then the ex reappears.
She'd rather be treated poorly by him.
When he’s invited to outings, I’m supposed to just be nice about it.
I’m losing my energy to care. I also don't want to be dubbed a Debbie Downer.
They’re “dating” again, and constantly held hands and made googly eyes at each other, among a group.
I’m naturally concerned for her well-being, but also worried that I may say something offensive or just get passive aggressive when I see them together.
I'd hate to lose her friendship because I can't stand him.
Should I just get over it and let her live her life?
Come What May?
You did a lot of venting here, but came to your own best conclusion: Let her live her life.
She knows how you feel. Still, you owe her one solid hug-and-truth-telling when you say, without nastiness, what worries you for her sake, about how this guy treats her.
Remember, this is about her feelings, not yours.
Tell her that you fear she’s building false hopes only to be hurt and disappointed again, but that you respect her right to choose as she pleases.
So you’ll have to spend your time and chats together on other topics.
If you can’t or don’t do that, you accept the Debbie Downer role, which you’ll both come to resent.
I've been having breakdowns, and my parents decided to home-school me, but it's not helping me come out of my shell.
Being stuck in a house all day is taking its toll. I've lost my friends because they've moved on now.
My confidence is gone. I'm constantly body-shaming myself, because my dad says I'm anorexic, but I'm really not.
It's not that I'm skinny that's bothering me, it's that I'm not skinny enough.
At first when I moved, I said I wanted to be home-schooled. I told them later that I didn't anymore, but they didn't like the school because of some misunderstandings that happened to my sisters in the high-school building.
They won't let me go back, but don't see what it's doing to me. I can't go to the other school in my town either.
How can I convince them to let me go back to school?
In My Shell
I’m very worried about you. I’m sure your parents are far more worried, too. School and friends are important, but not as important as you, personally.
I’m referring to your self-image and your well being through physical and mental health.
Body shaming is destructive in so many ways, whether others or yourself do it, too.
If you truly suffer from the eating disorder anorexia nervosa, there needs to be a professional treatment plan in place to help you avoid a very dangerous weight loss.
Your father is surely afraid of the effects of your self-criticism and your belief that you need to be “skinnier.”
Most crucial to your life right now is to re-gain self-confidence, energy, and optimism. Ask your parents for that help.
Eating disorder clinics have support groups for young people. You’ll find that you’re not alone.
FEEDBACK Regarding “Desperately Yearning” whose husband, 72 and 30 years her senior, doesn’t want another child (January 9):
Reader – “As an older man, I know that men sometimes don't want to have additional children because, as in this case, the gentleman would be 90 before the child finishes high school.
“As a father, I’d want to be around for my kids and see them become young adults so that I could help teach them the ways of life.
“With the fact that his children would probably lose the father while teenagers, they’d be missing a huge role-model in their life when they need it most.
“Also, any older person may want to enjoy their final years doing the things that retirement brings.
“Being 72 and changing diapers is not everyone's idea of retirement. In my case, it’s no more kids for me.”
Ellie – They need to resolve this, not have a win-lose decision.
Tip of the day:
A good friend expresses concerns over the other’s bad relationship… then backs off if it continues.