I recently travelled to England to visit friends. A very good guy friend offered to host me in his house.
I trusted him. However, when I arrived, he tried to get me to sleep in his bed, told me not to lock the bathroom door when I shower, and made passes to kiss me (I had to give in three times).
He even groped my breast and when I firmly told him to stop, he did, but laughed about it.
I left after two nights. I told friends in the city what had happened and they were all so supportive and accommodating.
I haven’t been in contact with him since, and won’t be. He’s also not been in touch to apologize. The friendship is over.
But how can I get over the feeling of betrayal from a friend I had trusted?
The guy was a jerk – taking advantage of your friendship, even after he could see that you weren’t interested.
Having just arrived and shocked at his behaviour, you were vulnerable until you pulled yourself out of his reach.
In time you will see this as stupidity on his part, and his loss.
However, while some experiences are life lessons from which you move on, others can feel like a trauma, based on past situations and fears.
So, if you can’t get past this on your own, talk it out with a counsellor.
You did nothing wrong. You have the support of good friends. Put this incident in perspective with professional help and free up your mind.
A 40-year family friend, age 80, is becoming a pain in the neck.
Last year, she lost her husband and her sister. She had no other relatives here. She has lots of money and lives alone in a big house.
With no direct beneficiaries, she spends all her money in a casino where she’s a platinum cardholder.
Their friends were just three families, including us. The other two families - the husband’s original friends - didn’t want to be associated with her anymore.
She’s very stingy, very conservative, and highly opinionated and doesn’t trust anybody. I was the one who arranged everything for the funeral of her husband and sister.
She wants to go to the casino at least twice a month, normally for three days and two nights.
She wants me to drive her (two and a half hours one way) to the casino and pick her up again. And insists my wife who hates gambling, comes along.
Because I also take care of my family, including two grandchildren who go to school, I suggested that she takes a taxi to the bus station, not far from her house.
She’s scared that the taxi driver or a stranger could rob her.
I got suckered into this situation, but she doesn’t give me anything for gas and use of my car, thinking that the free meal at the casino is enough compensation.
How should I handle this?
Fed Up “Driver”
Be direct, truthful, and kind.
Tell her that your family commitments prevent your driving to a distant casino twice a month.
Say you understand that she’s lonely, and out of respect for long friendship, your family would be happy to host her for dinner and an outing twice a month.
She clearly likes having people around her, and some action going on, so suggest a local Bingo where you can drop her off and pick her up after a family meal.
I’m mid-30s, happily married to my husband who’s mid-50s, with adult children who are slightly younger than me and have young children.
Everyone’s very accepting of me and our age difference. However, what do I call the grandchildren?
I love them, yet I know for his daughters that it’s weird calling me Grandma (which is what their Mom’s called).
I'm okay with the kids using my first name. However, in conversations with others, it seems too lengthy to call them “my husband’s grandchildren.”
But if I say, “my grandchildren,” I get funny looks and comments about how it’s not possible.
I want to be respectful, take pride in my family, and enjoy my time with the little ones.
How lucky to have such a gentle issue! Refer to the children as “our grandchildren.” People get it, or ask, and you do reflect your family pride. Also, the kids can call you Grandma “Sue.”
Tip of the day:
When a bad experience lingers as a disturbing trauma, see a professional counsellor for help getting past it.