Try discussion before unexpected break up
Q: I think I want to break up with my partner of six years, but unsure whether it’s the right decision. I don’t even know how to break up (I’ve always been the one that gets dumped) without hurting his feelings.
He might know it’s coming, as we haven’t been the same for a while. We just don’t have that same connection anymore.
We’ve owned a house together (though it’s all in his name) for a year, but we’re not living in it, as it’s more of a project.
He’s an amazing man and has always treated me well. He’s good looking, earns a really good wage, is thoughtful and caring, which is why I’m so scared to leave.
What if I never find anyone as amazing again? Also, the thought of someone else having what I could have with him terrifies me.
I still want to be a part of his life - his family is like mine too, but I’m worried that everyone will disown me and the breakup will be final.
My sister and a close friend just think I’m being silly. Yet I’m just not happy right now, feeling sick, and worried daily. — Very Confused Lady A: Sounds like you’re talking yourself into a break-up.
Since your guy is so ‘amazing,’ you’re likely pretty terrific yourself; but I don’t hear any confidence in being able to talk to him about why you feel the connection isn’t still there.
Relationships do normally move from passionate phases through busy, more independent periods.
Perhaps your house ‘project’ is a symbol of both of you having become more distracted by work, projects, ambitions, etc.
Time to discuss this together, rather than canvas your sister and others, and definitely not to just run.
Tell him what you feel, without blame. Ask what he feels, and listen.
Relationship work isn’t all romance, or all dissection either. If the emotions are still there, it’s worth giving it another chance and seeing what each of you can do to feel closer again.
Q: My sister and her husband (late 60’s), are struggling with their selfish adult sons (both 40’s).
My sister’s always helped them out financially, with babysitting, household chores, etc.
My brother-in-law helped them with serious renovations.
I’m now concerned about their health - he’s had bypass surgeries and progressive dementia, and she has hypertension.
One son’s an alcoholic. His wife left him, and they share the children. She recently informed the grandparents that their son fell off the wagon and was on a drinking binge.
When they finally located him, they got into an argument and haven’t spoken since.
My sister’s using tough love in hopes that he’ll get his life in order before something really bad happens.
Also, her teenage grandson had treated her poorly in public. She wanted to discuss this with his father.
When he finally came over, he berated her, and said she was stupid.
This isn’t the first huge family feud. But it’s the first time they’re trying to put themselves first, knowing their health is vulnerable.
My sister’s my best friend. What can I do to help, besides listen and empathize?
A: Not even a sister/best friend can lessen the disappointment and hurt parents feel if their adult children are selfish and uncaring.
Your listening, empathizing, and watching their state of health, are important supports.
Unless you have strong reason to believe that speaking to your nephews would be helpful, do not risk stirring this mess.
FEEDBACK Regarding the young woman whose friend groped her (Jan. 21):
Reader - ‘She was sexually assaulted. What this man did was criminal.
‘Sexual assault victims are one of the most vulnerable victim’s groups out there. They can easily be villainizedand assumed they lied about the attack, did something to encourage it, or were just sloppy.
‘Most sexual assaults are done by people we know, and victims need to know that it’s not their fault and that there are resources to help survivorsmentally, emotionally, and legally.
‘Among websites for sexual assault survivors to get help:http://www.sexualassaultsupport.ca/support
Reader #2 - ‘This man took advantage of a woman who was visiting from another country and unlikely to make a complaint to the police.’
Ellie - These readers are correct, and the woman’s letter called for me to be more clear that she did nothing wrong.
This was no friend. He did betray her and assaulted her till she fled. TIP OF THE DAY Don’t rush towards a breakup; discuss ways to a closer connection.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ellie Tesher Advice