My partner of several years left me eight months ago. I quickly discovered another side to her: I inherited the dog because she moved back home (no pets allowed). But being a single pet-owner was beyond my means.
I made the difficult decision to give him up. I involved her in the initial process - a mistake – so stopped. A rescue organization found him a great home. I was recently told he’s doing very well.
My ex made no effort to see him or assist me with his needs. After our final conversation that forced me to cut her out of our lives she harassed my younger siblings and my mom about him.
I asked that they respect my decision to not divulge any information. My ex pressured my sister into finally telling her he’d been adopted. My sister was terribly upset and felt she’d betrayed me. I’m upset that my ex still contacts my family and that they respond.
The communications have tapered off so I’m simply saying, "Don't talk to me about her. If she upsets you, she’s your problem. You chose to keep her in your lives.”
Now, I want to share the news of my dog’s excellent adjustment with my family, but I’m afraid this will give them an excuse to continue their contact with my ex.What should I do?
- Lost in Transition
Be happy for your dog - and keep it to yourself. The pooch has become an ongoing link between you and your ex, with each of you diverting your simmering anger at each other through this channel of information and its consequences.
Let your family off the hook; it’s hard for decent people to not respond at all to someone they knew for several years. End the dog’s role in keeping you all tied into a domestic quagmire of blaming, pressure and upset feelings, by YOU going mum on the topic.
You haven’t moved on from your ex, until you move on from this symbol of your mutual disappointment.
My friends say there’s nothing wrong with me, but my last relationship was 10 years ago. I want to give and receive love. But the men I meet don't want me.
Is it because I’m a college drop-out? My face isn’t perfect, I’m overweight, and I have no interesting stories to tell. I wouldn't want me, either. I’ve tried Internet dating websites and get passed up for the prettier model before or after me. I want to have a family but there’s increasingly less chance.
- Feeling Hopeless
You’ve erected a wall of insecurity around yourself that signals, “Don’t Bother.” It’s sad that you see yourself so negatively, based on superficial elements. If only “perfect-featured,” slim, college grads were marriageable, there’d be a whole lot more single men as well as women out there!
Look in a different mirror – the one that reflects that you’re a loving person with caring friends. You’d benefit from individual counselling (affordable access can be found through community agencies, your faith community, or possibly through your doctor’s referral).
It can bring insight into what’s caused your low self-esteem and how to boost it.
Meanwhile, instead of blaming yourself for presumed “flaws,” some exercise and better nutrition are better for your health and self-image (excluding extreme dieting); taking courses in something that interests you, and starting a new activity/hobby or volunteering, all provide talking points.
When people eventually see a smiling, confident you, the goal you want will come naturally.
In your Nov. 26 column, a girl’s concerned friends were upset by the time she spent with her new boyfriend, instead of them. I have a similar group of friends. When I got more involved in my career, they became very jealous.
The reality is that some people grow up faster than others. As I matured, I devoted less time to socializing and more time to a successful career I love, just as their friend is devoting more time to serious relationships.
I don't see those friends every day anymore, only once or twice a week. These people should get used to the changes in their friend, because they probably aren’t temporary.
If they need someone to socialize with more frequently, they need a new best friend.
It’s always useful for readers to hear the personal experiences of how others have handled similar problems they’ve read in my columns. Thank you.
Tip of the day:
When exes keep battling long after they’ve parted, both their emotions are still raw.