I recently initiated a break with my boyfriend of 18 months.
Although it was extremely painful because I love him and knew I was killing him, I felt it was the right decision.
We dated from high school into part of second-year university.
He’s the kindest, sweetest, most genuine guy who’s never done anything to harm me or make me unhappy, and I can see a future with him.
But he’s the only guy I’ve ever been with, and I’ve never truly been “single” and on my own.
I told him I wanted to find myself, mature, and see if I can survive on my own without him.
Also, we go to two different universities, three hours apart.
It’s a tough/expensive commute, as we both don’t have cars.
He completely understood and said he’s had these thoughts too.
We didn’t put a time limit on the break. I gave him permission to date other people if he feels it’s right.
But I’ve been racked with sadness, depression, and guilt ever since.
I’ve worried that he may find someone else, or may’ve been with someone else, and I’m unsure how I’d handle that.
Everyone says the break’s a good idea because we’re both young, but now I’m unsure.
I’ve held back from projecting our relationship onto social media outlets because I have a large male following on social media, and it boosts my self-esteem to hear compliments that only come with my having posted pictures as though I’m single.
I have a hard time admitting to myself that I do this —however, now that we’ve broken up, thinking about being with another guy revolts me.
What should I do?
You now want it both ways: to hold onto your guy so he doesn’t find someone else, but continue seeking compliments (a step to flirting) on social media.
You’ve outgrown being in a protective but limiting relationship. But you don’t want to accept that the same thing can happen to your “ex.”
Your instincts about needing time to mature and gain some independence are appropriate.
But fear, jealousy, and some past deceit about the relationship are blowing holes in your logic.
Limit the break. Tell him you want to re-connect in a few months and see how each of you feels.
But remember, you both can date and that’s part of being single, which is what you wanted.
My wife of 10 years developed early health issues that interfered with our sex life, then she distanced from me emotionally, too.
We haven’t had sex in four years.
I admit that I work long hours, but I earn very well and she’s enjoyed buying a bigger house, having expensive vacations, etc.
She’d often go out alone at night if I said I’d be home late. When she returned, she smelled of alcohol and cigarette smoke.
Was she cheating? I assumed not, since she seemed so turned off sex.
Now she’s home more but we hardly communicate except for when our son’s around.
I think the marriage is over.
Writing’s on the Wall
Start a conversation. Leave aside blame.
She stepped out a lot; you weren’t home. Also, blaming her health will only arouse deeper resentment.
Agree to counselling together. Remember that you once loved each other, and see if anything’s workable between you for the future.
If you agree it’s hopeless, that’s when legal and financial advice will become necessary for both of you.
Then, respect the family you created together by working out an amicable split.
We’re invited to a distant relative’s wedding (my husband's cousin's daughter) who lives far away.
We have no relationship with this cousin, her daughter (nor his aunt and uncle).
We last saw or spoke with any of them over five years ago at a family reunion.
We’re unable to attend the wedding.
Do we have to send something even though we’ll likely never have a relationship with this relative? If so, what’s an appropriate amount?
There’s no rule, just goodwill.
You attended a family reunion, acknowledging these relatives as part of your family whom you may see again one day.
They included you and would’ve paid for your portion of guest costs, e.g. food and flowers.
A gift acknowledges the happy occasion and good wishes for the couple’s future.
If you can afford it, $100 is a decent amount (or $50 if it’s truly too high).
Tip of the day:
Instead of waiting for a death blow, start discussing your marriage’s unhealthy state.