Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition
Woman wants to warn off ex’s new partner
Dear Amy: I’m a woman previously in a relationship with a man for more than 10 years that ended badly.
He was married and divorced twice before and had three adult children, all of whom I loved and who loved me.
Toward the end of the relationship, I kept catching him in lies. He finally confessed to having been addicted to serious drugs. He was in a 12-step recovery program, which I wholeheartedly supported.
I asked how he’d gotten started, and he gave me answers that rang false, but I felt I had to accept his answers because talking about it made him angry.
I discovered that he’d been sleeping with men without my knowledge, putting my sexual health in jeopardy. He also acknowledged that he is genderfluid, which I accepted.
Nonetheless, we broke up, as I felt I could not trust him to give me honest answers about our future. He had alienated me and his entire family. By the end of our relationship, we were barely speaking.
Fast-forward three years, and he has become involved with a woman over 40 years younger than himself who lives in Indonesia. He has said “it feels so right” to be with her.
Is it my business to tell her of his past? I doubt he will tell her he sleeps with men, as he lied to his wives, just as he lied to me.
If it’s none of my business, I’ll step aside and perhaps watch this trusting young woman’s heart get broken. What do you think?
— Learned too Late Dear Learned too Late:
Yes, this is none of your business. But yes, you should tell this woman of your former partner’s sexual history.
My caveat is that the presumption here is that the much younger woman is vulnerable, but who knows? Maybe he’s the vulnerable one. Have these two met in person? Maybe he’s being catfished by a guy named Stan who lives in Milwaukee.
If you have contact with her, privately pass along your concerns about her sexual health. And then leave it — and him — alone.
Dear Amy: I would love to get your perspective on a dilemma I will soon be facing.
My niece is planning to have her wedding in Europe. I feel like this may be a bridge too far for me.
I am a divorced retiree in my 60s and prefer not to travel outside of the country for a wedding, which will require a long flight, adjusting to a significant time change, costly arrangements and other challenges. This is creating a lot of anxiety for me.
I am very close with my niece and would certainly attend her wedding if it were held pretty much anywhere in the country (we live on opposite coasts).
When I express my concerns to my sister (my niece’s mom) about not wanting to attend such a faraway wedding, she says things like, “You have to go.” I anticipate that my niece will similarly try to guilt me into going.
Is it unreasonable for me to say no? If not, how do I say no without hurting her feelings? Or do you think I should go just to keep the peace, despite my discomfort with making such a trip?
— Anxious Aunt
Dear Anxious: You have to take care of yourself. That’s your primary job.
Now that you have raised this issue with your sister and have received her brusk response, you should deal with the bride directly. Write an affectionate and loving note to her. Tell her, “I’m so sorry to miss your wedding, but making the trip is simply too much for me right now. I know this will be a beautiful beginning to your marriage, and I look forward to seeing photos and hearing all about it in detail when you return.”
Dear Amy: “Strange Invite” was written by a woman whose friend invited her to an out-of-state baby shower for the friend’s daughter. The writer thought this was “strange” because she did not know the pregnant honoree.
Thank you for your response that this prospective first-time grandmother probably wanted to “share her joy.”
“Strange” should honor her with a “Grandma gift.”
— Enthusiastic Grandmother
Although I think most grandparents already have everything they need — namely love and patience in abundance — I think this is a great idea!