I’ve recently become very seriously involved with a man whom I genuinely love. My problem: I previously tried to commit suicide (before we met, but less than three years ago), and he recently asked me directly about the scars on my wrist.
We’d been at home and were a bit tipsy at the time, too. I was completely candid, we both cried a little, and he expressed some real dismay that it made him feel like he could lose me.
I was reassuring, but I think I want to talk some more about this.
He’s such a sensitive guy, I’m afraid to upset him again. But I just want to reassure him that I was in a dark place that I’ve never experienced before (or since).
What I’d responded was that, at the time I was in a bad place, but with therapy and some time to reflect, I’m now in such an amazing place in my life that I even attracted the most wonderful man I could imagine.
So that told him a lot about how I feel about my life now. I’m in my early 40s (so is he).
What you already told him was reassuring about his own place in your life. If he has further questions, you should be as forthright but maintain that positive tone about your current emotional well-being.
But he may want to know more about the “dark place” that affected you so negatively. You don’t want to frighten him, but he may question whether there are triggers that could occur again, under particular stresses.
If so, consider discussing this with the therapist who helped you, and asking whether it’s wise to bring him into that discussion, to help him get over any fears or hesitancy.
My wife and I were invited to Florida to spend a week with my brother and his wife at their vacation condo. When we arrived they were so happy to see us!
They took us to their favorite bars and restaurants, and drove us to scenic places. They gave us a light breakfast every morning, and we had dinner in the condo a few times.
I bought three meals for us all, as well as the odd beverage. We thanked them immensely for their hospitality.
When I phoned to thank them again, the response was, “Did you leave us any money under the pillow?” My brother was not joking. He said how cheap we were and noted the money we spent. He complained about picking us up and driving us back to the airport.
My wife and I were devastated and very hurt! Also, we’d paid for airfare down and back from Canada.
Shocked and Hurt
Your brother’s approach was crude and his judgment harsh.
Yet something must’ve caused offence. Most people bring a “hostess gift” or buy one there. Did you? Or maybe they felt there was too much focus on keeping you entertained.
While you paid for three meals, your brother and his wife apparently spent more of their time and money hosting you.
However, perhaps your finances are less than theirs, and the airfare isn’t cheap.
Condos in Florida command a high weekly rental, so your brother may have a skewed image of the “value” of hosting you for a week.
Still, he was rude. Something else may’ve tweaked this outburst that you weren’t told.
To try and re-set the relationship, you could still send a gift with a note of thanks.
FEEDBACK I’m the “Nervous Chicken” girl who’d cheated on my boyfriend and you responded (May26):
“Just wanted to say thank you for the advice. Your reply gave me the inner confidence and I fessed up to my boyfriend.
“It hurt him a lot and I spent the whole week crying. When I thought it was over he surprised me with a bouquet of flowers yesterday, with a note saying, “I forgive you, and we will work through this.” It also said, “I am blessed to have an honest girlfriend.”
“I got so emotional and sorry. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your feedback.”
Ellie – I always appreciate hearing back from the actual person who sought my advice, besides receiving others’ comments on it.
In this case, some people were against my telling you to confess, but it was specific to how miserable you felt and your own expressed desire to tell him.
Tip of the day:
A previous suicide attempt warrants strong reassurances for a prospective partner.