My close friend moved into my apartment building a year ago after her (separated) husband’s death.
Three months ago, she started talking to her neighbour in our building – he’s a handsome man, professional, 15 years her junior.
She fell for his smooth-talking charm, especially when their texting became sexualized. She hasn’t had a “relationship” for a very long time.
He was honest with her that he was going on trips with friends, including a woman. When he seemed to break off that relationship, my friend “gave” herself to him thinking he was free.
However, he’d suddenly halt communication with her and leave for weeks, not texting her. I suggested she consider their relationship as casual but she wouldn’t.
Soon after she started sleeping with him, she discovered that he was helping a woman “friend” financially and that he’d moved her and her son in with him. My friend was devastated.
He continued to cover up the meaning of that live-in relationship but was eventually caught in his lie.
My friend is now obsessing over him, even checking whether his girlfriend’s car is parked here at 3:00am in the morning!
I’m left dealing with the aftermath effect on her.
My friend is like a sister to me but this constant talk about “him” is driving me crazy. The relationship is over and he lied to her.
She was put on medication but refuses to take it. I don’t want to lose her friendship but I also can’t take much more of this. Any suggestions?
Devastated by a Liar
Countless women and men alike, have, like your friend, endured brief or much longer devastating relationships with people who were liars/cheats/opportunists/controllers etc.
Lucky for this woman, she has a wonderfully caring friend in you.
Don’t give up on her yet. Distract her… insist on going together to an upbeat movie or musical show, a community barbeque, and any gatherings of people for the purpose of enjoyable entertainment.
Insist that the man’s name is off-limits because she needs some time that’s just about her.
When she’s low, surprise her by suggesting “grief” counselling. Here’s why: Instead of her likely resisting other counselling, this is about grieving the death of a husband she once loved, and the separation that changed her lifestyle.
Recognizing that she surmounted greater life losses before she met this jerk may help her summon the strength to move on now with better judgement about starting new relationships.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman turning the “big 30” with no partner or kids (June 26):
“She has some serious issues to deal with, and you gently coached her on the new ones surrounding having a child through a donor.
“But the concern I raise is this, What about the baby?
“Is she/he going to be thrilled with having a parent who thinks her own generation “sucks” (as she wrote) and is dependant on this child to make up for what’s missing in her life?
“I think for any adult to impose that role on their baby is a form of child-abuse.
“I’ve personally seen what families look like with a single parent who is not prepared to be one, and it’s not pretty.”
Ellie – Anyone who chooses to be a sole parent would benefit from a parenting course in advance, learning what’s crucial to child-rearing far beyond the parent’s own motivation:
Besides physical protection in safe surroundings, children need encouragement, confidence-building, emotional support, security, healthy nutrition/habits, exercise, and unstinting love.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who’s discovered a latent spring of desire in her early-60's (June 29):
Reader – “Why is it her problem if her sex partner’s married and cheating on his wife? He's the cheater, not her.
“There was a note of you shaming her in your reply.
“Frankly, I applaud any woman that age who’s juicing it up with a willing partner for no-strings-attached sex.
“He’s the one who needs to deal, instead of making the woman the custodian of the moral and social-implications of his infidelity.”
Ellie – She wouldn’t have written a relationship-advice columnist if she felt no concern over what she was doing.
Proof: She wrote, “I don’t want him to leave his wife. I see no future together other than sex.”
Then she asked, “What do I do?” (her own note of guilt).
I stand by my answer that she should date and enjoy sex with unattached men.
Tip of the day:
When a friend’s devastated by a lost relationship, give support through distraction and/or suggest professional help.