Dear Amy: I was in a monogamous relationship with a man for eight months and, unfortunately, I kept catching him using dating apps, even after I had drawn a hard boundary about it.
He also lied to me about substance abuse. He would go dark, and then he would turn on me when I asked what was wrong. So finally, after him being particularly inconsiderate and insensitive, I broke off our relationship.
Now he wants to go in for couples counseling, even though when I was with him, he refused to listen to me about even the simplest thing, like deleting his dating apps. I don't know why he wants to go to counseling now that he has completely repelled me. A part of me still loves him, but a part of me doesn't trust the relationship because he kept a separate list of rules for himself than he did for me. I'd really like your take on this.
Amy says: Based on what you say about this person, you obviously don't trust or respect him. You were feeling good about how you ended things, but if you allow him to draw you back in, you won't even have that.
Counseling is a great idea, especially for him. If he wants to enter therapy to figure out how and why he sabotaged the relationship with you, then he should do so. Perhaps at some point, he will be inspired to try to prove to you that he has changed. I hope that by that point, you will have moved on.
Lost touch with father
Dear Amy: I became estranged from my family after my mother's death. My father started dating my brother's mother-in-law (his wife's mom), whom my mother hated. Everything shattered after that.
My father turned 60 this year, and I will soon be 33. It's been about five years since I've heard anything from him. I worry about something happening to him before we can at least talk, and that would destroy me.
I know my brother and sister-in-law still hate me, yet I'm confused and hurt as to why my father hasn't tried to contact me.
I definitely enjoy my life better when they aren't around, and yet I worry and miss them. Should I try again?
Amy says: Losing your mother at a relatively young age must have been devastating. Surely it was deeply upsetting to witness your father engaging in a new relationship with someone you claim your mother disliked.
However, this is your burden to bear. Your father has the right to find a new partner. It is not your brother or his wife's fault or responsibility that your father took up with this woman.
If you want to talk to your father, call him. If he doesn't pick up, leave a warmly worded message and ask him to call back. If he doesn't, call a second time. State your desire to be in touch, and leave the door open to a reconciliation.
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