DEAR AMY: I have been with my fiance for five years — dating for three, engaged for two. For the first few years it was fine. I was in love until we moved in with each other. Once we were living together, he would snap at me often and repeatedly. He disparaged and was not supportive of me when I was sick, and I found out he was addicted to porn. I moved out for two months as we tried to work things out. But every hurt, disparaging remark etc., remained as a wound, even after I moved back in. I've faced the conclusion that I don't and won't love someone who isn't supportive, kind, and caring consistently. He's told me he didn't like me rubbing his back or his hand, he doesn't want me to initiate sex (we were last intimate four months ago), and he gets upset with me after I ask him to clean up after his dog. How do I end this relationship without anger and bitterness? I cannot marry him.
Hurt and Unloved
DEAR HURT: Here's how to end a relationship without anger or bitterness: You stay in the relationship until you are so depleted that you no longer have access to your feelings. Please, don't do this.
My overall point is that you cannot control how your fiance will receive the news that you are leaving him, but the sooner you do this, the stronger you will be — and your strength will help to inoculate you against the emotions which you seek to avoid.
You have already separated once. Your partner knows that you are unhappy — and he sounds quite unhappy, too. You should anticipate a similar response when you separate again.
Have a plan in place, return any engagement ring he might have given you, acknowledge the good times you shared, and walk out the door. Stay calm, behave respectfully, and dial down your contact, including over social media. Handle your choice and your reasons for it with discretion.
DEAR AMY: I am writing in hopes that I can help people in cancer treatment to deal with a strange phenomenon involving how others react to this disease. I have been in treatment for close to a year for an incurable cancer. Often, when people hear of my diagnosis, a large percentage of people, whether I know them well or not (ranging from dental assistants to close friends), will muse out loud about someone else in their lives who struggled with this same cancer — and died from it. Very often, they want to tell the details about the suffering leading up to death. Just this morning I was out walking in my neighborhood when a neighbor joined me to let me know she had heard of my diagnosis and shared that her best friend's father died of the same condition and how hard it had been on the family. Amy, I don't think people mean to be hurtful or insensitive, but they are not thinking before they speak. Many of their stories are extremely frightening and I'm dealing with my own fears of death. I have come up with my own "line," which involves interrupting them as they are getting going with details to say: "That sounds very painful. As you can imagine, this is a difficult time and it's very hard for me to absorb those stories." Every time I say it, the person speaking wakes up as if from a trance and says something like, "Oh, of course, I'm so sorry," and we end with me hoping they won't do that to others with cancer. I'm hoping if you publish this it will help people to be more thoughtful.
Trying to Stay Positive
DEAR TRYING: Thank you so much for outlining a common response to illness or grief, which seems to flow from an impulse to fill the silent, awkward or painful spaces with a relatable episode or anecdote.
Your response to this is perfect, and you are helping many others to avoid similarly painful situations by sharing your own story.
Thank you. I wish you the very best.
DEAR AMY: The question from "Worried" detailed how upset she was because a guy she had gone on 10 dates with wouldn't have sex with her! What about waiting? What about morals? Some people still have them, and I'm disappointed with you for agreeing with her.
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Morals are still important, and when it comes to sex, talking about morals is vital.