Apologize to ex for lack of support
Q. I moved in with my now-ex after six months of dating. The day after I moved in, his brother died. His mom came to stay with us. After a week, she went home, and then came back in May.
Since then, our relationship was strained. And I fell short on being supportive.
When his mom returned, I went home to my parents to give them quality time together. Soon after, he broke up with me. He stated that I should’ve stayed when his mom was there, to support him (he never asked me to stay).
He complained that I was three days late paying a bill, which I didn’t know was due (he never reminded me). And that I too often tell him what to do. I believe he’s My One. How can I get him back?
A. Proceed very gently. Realize that his grief had a major impact on him, and it takes time to get past those feelings. Unfortunately, being “short on support” was a huge mistake. And you still, wrongly, make excuses for it.
The minor matter of a slightly late bill payment is an example of how much he needed you to take care of things while he and his mom were in mourning.
Send him a written note of apology — not an email — that says you recognize now how you let him down. Don’t ask to get back together. Wait a month, and this time email is OK as you want to make it casual, as in suggesting you meet for coffee.
If and when you get together, say you’ve learned a lot about the importance of support through difficult times. There’s no guarantee that he’ll respond the way you want, but you’ll have made a good try and said what he needs to hear from you.
Not interested in dating
Q. I was widowed six years ago, in my late 40s, after 26 years of marriage to a wonderful man. On his deathbed, he urged me to find someone else and move on.
Two years after he died I tried online dating. It seemed more like a chore than an enjoyable experience. Any of the men my age who interested me appeared to want younger women.
Now, I’ve given up and am totally OK with it. I have a great group of friends and family’s important to me. Although I miss not having a best friend/lover, it only surfaces the odd time. However, my married friends are always asking about my dating life. I tried to let everyone know I’m not interested in dating and now they say, “You’ll meet someone when you’re not looking.” What comeback will stop these people from bringing it up again?
Well-meaning friends need to be cut some slack because you know they want you to be in a happy relationship again. Also, you need close friends for companionship and shared interests. So your “comeback” shouldn’t be too harsh or irritable. Keep it light, with a laugh, “You’ll be the first to know if I meet someone interesting.” Then change the topic.
Feedback regarding the woman who asked, after her husband cheated, how can she get over this, stay married to him, make love with him:
Reader: “Can a couple bond together again after an affair? My comment is no, because you cannot ever get that affair out of your head. What’s now missing in the relationship is trust. You can pretend all you want, but in your mind the other woman is always there between you. Yet you need to rebuild a life with him, without that constant worry about whether he’ll cheat again.
“You might not leave now (especially if your kids are small). You’ll question: Are you better with or without him? But I can tell you that leaving, even moving away to start a life again, is the best thing for you. It saved my life!”