DEAR AMY: I reconnected with my college boyfriend after finding him on our school’s website. We had gone our separate ways many years ago. After months of talking on the phone, we decided we wanted to be together and to marry in the near future. We divorced our spouses. He rented us a condo, and I moved out of state to be with him. We were together for three months when he decided that it wasn’t working out. He felt that I should go home and give him time to figure out if he wants a relationship with me. I loaned him a lot of money to buy a new car, which he says he feels he doesn’t have to pay back. He has decided to seek therapy. He told me that he wants no communication from me for three or four months, so he can make a decision. Amy, I am devastated. He will not accept my texts or calls. He said his therapist told him that he is not capable of a relationship right now. He tells me that he thinks maybe he is just in love with the memory of what we had. Meanwhile, my life is a mess. I cry all the time. Should I just sit and wait for him to decide if he wants a relationship with me, or do I just tell him goodbye for good? It would be so easy if I didn’t love him.
Sleepless in New York City
DEAR SLEEPLESS: This man is doing what is best for him. His actions seem selfish — and self-centered. And now you must do what is best for you. Is it best for you to sit and wait to be told what will happen next? I don’t think so, even if your heart and your body seem stuck in that tough limbo state.
It is terrible to be left. You upended and uprooted your life to be in this other relationship. You also initiated an abandonment when you left your marriage.
(I suspect that you both might have used the promise of this relationship to leave your marriages.)
From where I sit, a guy who encourages you to leave a spouse, and who then dumps you (and takes money from you in the process), isn’t worth waiting for.
Yes, you should say goodbye. When you release him from this relationship, you will also release yourself. For now, focus on whatever lessons this episode can teach you. I also think you should explore legal remedies to get your money back. Tell him you need it to pay for your own therapy.
DEAR AMY: I am 33 years old. When I got married seven years ago, my parents invited their friends, “Bob and Anne” to the wedding. Bob and Anne have two children, who were in college at that time. We didn’t know their children very well, so my parents addressed the invitation to just Bob and Anne. They RSVP’d for four and ended up bringing their adult children anyway. My parents did not want to cause a friendship rift, so they let it happen. Now, Bob and Anne’s oldest child, “Mary,” is getting married and has invited my parents, me and my adult brother. I don’t know Mary, and it would be expensive for me to attend, so I declined. My brother plans to decline for the same reasons. My mother called and said she wanted me to go because she and my dad wouldn’t know anyone, and these people came to my wedding. I declined, and now my mom isn’t speaking to me! Should I have accepted the invitation? I didn’t know it would be such a big deal.
DEAR GUILTY: It’s possible that your mother might want to exact a little “plus one” payback. Regardless of her motivations, or yours, you have the right not to attend a wedding for people you hardly know.
They being uninvited guests at your wedding does not create a social contract requiring you to reciprocate.
DEAR AMY: I so identify with “Tired Friend,” the woman who had become a sounding board to her friends who complained incessantly about their abusive husbands. As an abuse survivor myself, I realize why some of my friends exited from our friendships. I was a one-note friend, unable to help myself, or be a good friend to them. When I was finally ready to leave my marriage, I understood this and apologized to them.
DEAR SURVIVOR: Congratulations to you — and well done.