I’m 21, recently out of a five and a half-year relationship.
I’m still madly in love with my ex, but it’s impossible to get back with him, as he continuously lied to me.
He thought he did this to protect me, but he hurt me more.
We’re in a very close-knit group of friends with whom we did everything together. But my ex brought our friends into his lies.
Since our break-up, I’ve learned about their part in the lies and am very upset.
However, one of my very close male friends and I slept together a few days after I’d split up. I do have feelings for him, but nothing like what I feel for my ex.
This friend feels very strongly towards me and has asked about a future together. But I feel so guilty that I can’t determine what’s best to do.
We’re all attempting to re-establish our friendship group. My ex and I are trying to slowly view each other as platonic friends, and my friend whom I slept with is also attempting to be there for my ex.
He doesn’t know about our having gone to bed together, and when we’re all in a group, it’s very awkward.
I regret having sex with my friend. I cannot eat or sleep since. But it’s not an option to split our group up.
What you would do if you were in a similar situation?
I’d learn very quickly – just as I’m advising you to do now - to stop sharing very personal details with a whole group of people, no matter how closely connected.
What happened is not that surprising. You ended a long relationship, since age 16, because of lies (and likely distrust, too).
You reacted by having a fling - an unsurprising response given your emotions.
Your “friend” actually took advantage of your vulnerable state, but he also has emotions about it.
Your friendship group is all caught up in the ongoing saga, but that must stop.
The next steps - mature silence and honesty - must come from you. If you believe your ex will still lie to you, it no longer matters what he finds out.
It’d be a mistake to suddenly switch to your fling pal.
Take a break from feeling hurt, and turning to others for stroking.
Tell your friends you care for them all, but let them turn to other gossip instead.
I became estranged from my mother several years ago for good reasons.
In my childhood, she was physically and emotionally abusive to me. My older brother would go unpunished for serious rule breaking (e.g. caught drinking when age 12), while I would get whacked on my backside for not finishing my breakfast. (A terrible send-off to school!)
She was furious with me when, as an adult married to a man who was also abusive, I divorced.
She refused to attend my wedding to my second husband, with whom I’ve had a good relationship, and stopped speaking to both of us.
Whenever I think of her, I’m seized with anger, and have trouble sleeping. I don’t want to ever reconnect, but why does she still affect me so deeply?
Let go of your mother. She let go of you long ago.
You may never fully understand her behaviour, but you know it was wrong, and that it wasn’t your fault.
Dwelling on sorrowful memories holds you back, despite reasons for happiness.
Close the door on that past. Counselling will help.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose husband sometimes “turns inward” and goes silent (July 21):
Reader – “She says how busy they are and have almost no time for themselves. But going to a kids' sports practice is time together, if they talk to and look at each other!!!
“Is she paying attention to the phone instead? I don't like when I’m sharing an event with someone and it’s all about their being on the phone.
“Her husband likely feels hurt, neglected, and devalued.
“If a “close” friend needed her, they could meet for coffee. It’d give the wife a break, the friend gets full attention and later, her husband and family get full attention.”
Ellie – Mobile phones have become a third party in many couple’s lives.
People feel shut out from attention as their partners constantly scan messages, emails, and send responses, while together.
Phone boundaries aren’t just for children. It helps to agree on what’s “together time.”
Tip of the day:
Too much personal gossip adds to personal confusion.