I’m a woman, 40, divorced, with one daughter. Years back, I was working in a large organization, eventually dated and started a relationship with one of the company managers (not mine).
He was divorced but had been involved with someone else who worked in another department when he and I met.
I felt awkward about the situation, which initially caused office gossip. But our relationship won out.
I fell hard. He met my daughter, then age eight, and was very sweet and kind to her. I honestly thought we all had a future together.
Then one day, he didn’t respond to my texts. For seven months we’d never missed seeing each other at some time every day. We’d never not connected online.
I feared something terrible had happened to him. I even asked his previous “girlfriend” from our workplace if she knew whether anything had happened to him.
She just said, “This is what he does.”
He ghosted me. It’s six years ago, I work from home for another company, and I never discovered why he suddenly was finished with me.
When he returned to work from a two-week absence, he still didn’t contact me. One day, from my home, I called and screamed at him, then hung up and sobbed uncontrollably while my daughter tried to comfort me.
I never spoke to him again. I heard that he moved away with another woman a few years later.
I’m over it now. But he stole layers of my self-confidence as a woman, for which I’ll never forgive him. I feel stronger for carrying that anger instead of giving it up.
Being “ghosted” feels so cruel that any reasons for it never take away the sting.
But it’s cowardice that’s evident on the offender’s part, not a statement about you.
The common, hurtful effect of being ghosted is to feel rejected, as if you were disposable. But six years later, you know that’s wrong. The action was on his part, and it was about him... he’s a serial betrayer.
His former girlfriend had learned about it: “That’s what he does.”
You’ve written now because, due to his abrupt disappearance from your life, you still carry a painful wound.
It needs your attention.
I urge you, for the sake of your two most important relationships - one with yourself, the other with your daughter - to heal that wound. Now.
Be the model for her that she needs: Live proud and confident. You did nothing to deserve this. Nor will she ever deserve or allow someone trifling with her emotions.
If you can’t get past this on your own, seek a therapist’s help, available online.
FEEDBACK Regarding the successful businesswoman who thinks that her siblings are jealous of her and her equally successful husband’s financial success (October 17):
Reader – “I’ve been there as the sibling. What the woman perceives as jealousy could simply be the siblings showing they’re tired of hearing about the money the couple is spending.
“Their relatives are likely "up to here" with the couple being tone deaf and flaunting their success, while others are struggling.
“You don't want digs from your family, but she should have some empathy and not talk about the vacations and other luxuries!
“I found it especially telling that the woman complains about she and her husband being expected to eventually pay more for their parents' retirement home.
“That's what they should do when it’s needed! It's not all about money, folks...”
We have two children who love their grandparents and wanted to help prevent their catching COVID-19.
My parents are 70-plus but not suffering any severe health issues.
I set up some ways we could still have “contacts” with my parents who live a short drive away.
Besides FaceTime on phones, we have weekly “dinner together” on Zoom when the kids tell their grandparents about their school subjects, their friends, and what’s interesting to them.
During self-isolation, we parked on their driveway, they watched from a window, and the kids phoned/waved/held up signs and drawings.
When restrictions eased and nicer weather arrived, we met for distanced walks in large parks, each masked child with a grandparent, us parents trailing behind.
In summer, there were outdoor “family bubble-only” BBQ’s, with my parents sitting further from us and our kids.
Cold weather now requires innovation. I’m considering a $20 hot plate for serving soup outdoors. An hour’s connection is worth it!
Tip of the day:
A person who “ghosts” others is a coward. Period.