Break­ing up is hard to do

The Hamilton Spectator - - GO - DEAR EL­LIE el­liead­

Q. I re­cently broke up with my boyfriend of four years. Our fam­ily and friends never ac­cepted our re­la­tion­ship.

He wasn’t the type to date, set­tle down, or be loyal to one girl. Ev­ery­one told me I was set­ting my­self up for fail­ure.

I caught him talk­ing with other women, in­clud­ing my best friend.

I felt con­fused and aban­doned. Why was he in­ten­tion­ally ig­nor­ing and avoid­ing me for weeks? And if he was, why hadn’t he left? I felt I had no other choice, so I broke up with him.

His tex­ting to my best friend was not in a harm­less “friend” way. I can’t pull my­self out of bed most days. A. Get a grip on who you are — strong, de­ter­mined, con­fi­dent, and loyal.

You were wise to break up. It hurts now, but would’ve been far more dev­as­tat­ing the longer you kept try­ing.

Get out of bed. Take care of your body by mov­ing it and of your mind by know­ing you did the right thing.

Em­bar­rass­ment is a waste of en­ergy. In­stead, re­think your “best friend” choice, too.

Q. My younger brother re­cently got mar­ried. We al­ways got along well but weren’t re­ally close (i.e. no deep dis­cus­sions).

Through­out their wed­ding plan­ning, my brother and his fi­ancée never will­ingly told us (in­clud­ing my mother) any de­tails, though I’d ask at fam­ily gath­er­ings or through ca­sual texts.

A week be­fore the wed­ding, my husband and I with our four kids, vis­ited my brother’s house to give our gift (a fair amount of cash). We didn’t want to risk it get­ting lost or mis­placed at the wed­ding.

At his wed­ding, my brother seemed dis­tant and cold, even a lit­tle rude and de­mand­ing.

Af­ter we con­grat­u­lated him and took a photo, he couldn’t spare us a few sec­onds, barely looked at us, mum­bled about be­ing busy and left us abruptly.

I want to con­front him about his at­ti­tude that day but how should I ap­proach him with­out it hurt­ing our re­la­tion­ship?

A. This is likely about ex­pec­ta­tions and lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Es­pe­cially if your brother and his new wife felt any dis­ap­point­ment in the gift amount, or any as­pect about your par­tic­i­pa­tion in their en­gage­ment and wed­ding (e.g. re­lated to a shower or lack of one, any help you did or didn’t of­fer, etc.).

Noth­ing you’ve writ­ten sug­gests you did any­thing wrong. But you couldn’t know what they ex­pected, given their si­lence.

Best to say you’ve won­dered and re­gret if there’s any­thing you did or didn’t do that caused him to be so abrupt and dis­tant.

He may say he was just too busy. Or, he may say some­thing hurt­ful.

If the re­la­tion­ship is your most im­por­tant con­cern, re­spond with fur­ther re­grets. Say that in fu­ture you hope that both of you can be more open from the start.

Feed­back re­gard­ing the di­vorced woman who’s 50s, lonely, and seek­ing new, sin­gle friends ( June 24):

Reader: “Your sug­ges­tion of join­ing “meet up” groups is good. Here are some more ideas from my ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I live in a re­tire­ment area of Mex­ico and a very pop­u­lar ac­tiv­ity here is groups who play cards or games.

“I wanted to play Hearts, a game for four, and I’m a sin­gle. Play­ing on­line was not sat­is­fac­tory. I asked around, found three, and two who are our spares, and now we play once a week.

“We also do other things to­gether as well, some so­cial, some sim­ply to help one an­other.

“We spent a week trav­el­ling a year ago and have an­other trip planned.”

El­lie: If you’re open to new ac­tiv­i­ties, you’ll find like-minded peo­ple.

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