Give girl­friend time to get over ex

Cape Breton Post - - Advice / Lifestyles / Games - El­lie Tesher Read El­lie Mon­day to Satur­day. Email el­lie@thes­tar.ca. Fol­low @el­liead­vice. Copy­right 2017: El­lie Tesh­erDistributed by: Torstar Syn­di­ca­tion Ser­vices

Q : I’m 31, see­ing some­one for a cou­ple of months. It’s mov­ing fast, we’ve al­ready met each other’s families, and have been very close. I love her and think she could be my life­long com­pan­ion.

She’s very close with her exboyfriend, talk­ing to him daily. I’ve had trou­ble ac­cept­ing this.

I learned that she had sex with him, fol­low­ing one of our ear­li­est dates.

She’d shared a cou­ple of cal­en­dars with him (un­til I told her to re­move it, which she did).

I’ve just dis­cov­ered that she sends pho­tos of her­self try­ing on clothes in change-rooms (not sala­cious pho­tos but she’s send­ing the same ones to both of us).

I’ve asked her to stop talk­ing to and see­ing him, so I could feel bet­ter about things.

She re­fuses, say­ing he’s a close friend.

I’ve tried to com­pro­mise. I sug­gested they chat on­line but not see each other in per­son. She wouldn’t agree.

She made me prom­ise to not tell any­one about her hav­ing sex with him right after hav­ing a date with me.

Am I over­re­act­ing? What should I do?

— Heart­sick

A: She’s not ready for an­other re­la­tion­ship.

She may think she is, but she’s not got both her feet and full heart into it.

She still thinks her ex is very im­por­tant in her life.

Hav­ing sex with him right after you started dat­ing is up­set­ting – but not that sur­pris­ing.

She was cling­ing to the past. She’s right to be ashamed and want it kept se­cret.

But you can’t go for­ward un­til she agrees that your re­la­tion­ship must now take prece­dence.

Since she re­fuses, I be­lieve you need to call a break. Things moved too fast, she hasn’t dis­con­nected from her ex.

To get back to­gether, she must treat him as an old friend to whom she’s no longer at­tached, doesn’t seek his opin­ion/flat­tery for her cloth­ing, and makes sure he ac­knowl­edges that you’re her only boyfriend.

Be clear about these bound­aries, or you’ll still be wor­ry­ing about him in the fu­ture.

Q

: My friend was see­ing a ter­ri­ble per­son: a ly­ing, con­trol­ling, jeal­ous fool.

She’s been telling me and her par­ents that she’s blocked his num­ber and wants to stop see­ing him.

Her mother and I be­lieve it’s all lies. I don’t be­lieve she wants to ac­cept the re­al­ity of break­ing up with him.

I be­lieve it’s be­cause she’s “desperate” to be in a re­la­tion­ship!

Re­cently, she’s been deal­ing with some men­tal health is­sues (shak­ing/anx­i­ety, cry­ing for no rea­son).

She’s been reach­ing out to me and I’m just not hav­ing it.

I asked her to be a mem­ber of my bridal party and now I’m un­sure if she’s go­ing to be okay (I don’t want to have to call 911 on my big day!)

I feel like I can no longer trust her be­cause of all the past lies!

Am I crazy for feel­ing like this? I just don’t want to fall for every­thing she says.

Got any tips on trust is­sues with friends?

— Doubt­ing Her

A: When your only re­ac­tion is to be crit­i­cal and judg­men­tal, you’re not able to be a true friend.

Her “des­per­a­tion” about this guy is sad and wor­ri­some, but you only fo­cus on the lies. She reaches out to you, but you’re “not hav­ing it.”

Dis­miss­ing her from your bridal party be­cause she’s in a toxic re­la­tion­ship seems heart­less.

Urge her to see a coun­sel­lor, for her sake (not yours).

Tips on trust is­sues with friends? Lis­ten. Ask lead­ing, help­ful ques­tions. Don’t be cruel.

Q

: My father-in-law only feels “loved” when he’s drink­ing. His kids and grand­kids grew up with­out him, as he was too busy with his drink­ing friends.

He wastes his money on drink­ing which is also dam­ag­ing his health.

His wife raised their two kids and a grand­daugh­ter. He couldn’t pick the girl up from school due to be­ing drunk.

I warned my hus­band about al­co­hol ad­dic­tion, which runs in his fam­ily.

His father doesn’t want to fight his ad­dic­tion. How can we help him?

— Up­set

A:Help your­selves first, through the les­sons learned from his wasted years of drunken dis­tance from those who would’ve loved him.

Stay close and sup­port­ive to your hus­band and any chil­dren, and also your long-suf­fer­ing mother-in-law.

Many families of al­co­holics know too well the de­struc­tive re­sults of ex­cess drink­ing.

Your father-in-law’s poor health may be the one fac­tor that can change his ad­dic­tion, if he gets scared enough. In­sist he gets a med­i­cal checkup.

TIP OF THE DAY

A rush to a re­la­tion­ship ro­mance may not al­low for a real break from a past lover.

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