I was deeply in love with a nice girl and introduced her to my best friend. Unknown to me, she was carried away by my pal.
She started acting coldly to me and they started dating behind my back. I learned this later from her friends.
Her explanation to me was, “It’s love, and you won’t understand it.”
Since then, I don’t feel like I’m a man enough.
You’ve been badly treated by your friend and the girl/woman you loved.
This has nothing to do with your manhood. Someone who’d secretly date his best friend’s girlfriend is the one not acting like a man.
The manly and decent thing to do is for a friend to confess he has feelings for this woman but will suppress them if you and she have made a commitment. OR, he’ll back away entirely from her even if she’s free.
He acted sneakily instead.
Your then-girlfriend also behaved without respect for you or herself.
She should’ve told you that she didn’t love you and ended whatever relationship you had together.
Then, after a period of being single to not hurt you, she could’ve started dating him, though he should’ve asked your permission first.
None of this is your fault, so stop demeaning yourself as a man.
Move on when you can, and date others when you’re ready.
My husband's older sister, single, without children, lives out of town. She can be difficult but she’s been close to my kids.
For over 20 years, I’ve invited her for every big holiday, the kids’ birthdays, her birthday and more.
Her mother lived near us. They’d had a strained relationship. My husband mostly cared for their mom, but my SIL would visit to briefly “help” her mom, twice monthly, then visit us for hours.
When mom died last year, she worried that she’d never see us anymore. She told my husband that she needed him to "invite" her over. He’s never invited anyone. I do the inviting.
I’ve since continued to invite her for big celebrations, but we were very busy during the summer and didn't get to see her.
Recently, she attended a party for my son, arriving hours late, miserable and coldly abrupt/rude when I spoke to her.
I had a houseful of guests so just let her stew.
I later learned from my husband that she’s upset with him because he "doesn’t invite her over," or text her.
I’m angry because she made a public display at my home. She didn't even talk to my kids.
I try to keep our relationship with her but she’s demanding that my husband does it.
Is this his problem? Do I say something to her? I'm worried that I might say something I’ll regret. Do I invite her for Christmas like nothing’s wrong?
Unappreciated and Angry
You’ve been a good sister-in-law to her. However, with her mother gone, it’s unsurprising that she needs her brother to personally validate their sibling connection.
It’s important that he invites her for Christmas.
It doesn’t require much effort – except recognition that his wife doesn’t have to always carry this relationship for him.
Once he invites her, he could also talk to her more when your family gets together. She needs the support.
People who’ve had strained relationships with parents often have difficulty handling their loss.
It’s wrong that she was rude at the party. However, have empathy that she’s grieving by feeling sorry for herself and wanting her brother to acknowledge her.
FEEDBACK Regarding the boyfriend who signs himself, “Damaged Trust and Respect” (Oct. 18):
Reader – “He snooped on her phone. He betrayed trust.
“Why would he just assume they were “exclusive” before it was discussed?
“He calls her “unworthy” - disturbing language. If you’re not mature enough to have respectful communication to determine your dating status, I don’t think you’re ready for a relationship. He’s not.”
Reader # 2 – “The couple hadn’t discussed exclusivity during the time she was seeing someone else.
“He doesn't respect her, and resents her choice in partner when they were NOT exclusive, which was none of his business then.
“She now feels remorseful but he's not seeing how he erred, by making an assumption without opening discussion.
“He needs to let her go so she can find someone who’ll be honest and upfront about their wants and needs in a relationship.
“He isn’t capable of treating her respectfully after this.”
Tip of the day:
“Manly” men are decent and honest in relationships.