The Hamilton Spectator

Health issues aside, boyfriend free to go


Q I’ve been dating my girlfriend for 18 months. When we first met, she was full of energy, vibrant and so much fun to be around. After about three months, she had an episode of cluster migraines. I have never had a headache like that, so I didn’t know how to help. We don’t live together, so she had support from her parents.

A few months later, she ended up in hospital with appendicit­is. It was quickly resolved, but she lost her part-time job because she couldn’t make any of her shifts. A few months later, she slipped on the ice and twisted her knee. She’s been in and out of mobility for the past six months.

I like my girlfriend a lot, but this isn’t what I thought our relationsh­ip would be. I’m an active guy, love to travel, do a lot of sports and like to be out all the time. During our past 18 months together, she’s only had a few healthy months where we can do stuff together.

I’m not madly in love with her, though I like her a lot. I just feel I’m too young and healthy to be someone’s caregiver at this stage. Should I break up with her? Would it be better for both of us?

Confused Guy

A Your responsibi­lity is to be a good person, kind and considerat­e. You’re not married, having made vows through sickness and health. And you don’t have children or property to share and divide.

More importantl­y, you said you’re not in love. After 18 months, you’ve made a very decent go of your relationsh­ip, her health issues aside. You don’t owe each other anything — other than respect and kindness.

You haven’t mentioned how you believe she feels. If she feels the same, this won’t be devastatin­g or a shock. If she’s in love with you, this could hurt, so you must be sensitive and caring when you have “the conversati­on.”

Q My son-in-law is the most impatient person I’ve ever met. Not with his children, but with my wife and me. Our son, his husband, just laughs it off.

My wife and I have no idea how to respond because we don’t want to ruffle any feathers. We get the strong impression he thinks we don’t like him.

We’re in trouble before we even speak, which leads to his impatience with us. We tried to talk to our son about it, but he definitely defers to his husband, who obviously has a strong personalit­y.

The unfortunat­e result is that he is pushing us to dislike him when we really don’t. Other than this strange imbalance, he’s a smart, caring, friendly person.

How do we get over this hump so we can have a fulfilling life together as family?

Unwelcome In-laws

A It sounds as though your son-in-law has a chip on his shoulder. And he’s put you in a position where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

I’m all about communicat­ion, so I strongly believe you need to have a conversati­on with him and your son. But if he’s that threatened by you, or has his back up toward you, you may have to get a third party to help.

I’m worried that without it, everything you say will get misconstru­ed and the result will be worse. Try talking to your son first, explaining that all you two want is a loving relationsh­ip with his husband. Go from there.

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