Apol­o­gize to ex for lack of sup­port

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - DEAR EL­LIE A. el­liead­vice.com

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!”

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