Breaking up is hard to do
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.