Dear Amy: I was in an exclusive 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 was in AA for years but kept falling off the wagon).
He told me he was a social drinker and was just taking a break from alcohol for health and fitness reasons.
He would go dark and fall out of communication and then deflect onto me when I would ask him why.
So finally, after a week of him being particularly inconsiderate and insensitive, I broke off our relationship.
I did so with honor and said goodbye to his friends and family and spoke not one unkind word about him to anybody.
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.
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I don't know why he wants to go to counseling now that he has completely repelled me.
I don't even know how I feel about this anymore.
A part of me really loves him still, but a part of me doesn't trust the relationship (or our “situationship”), since he kept a whole separate list of rules for himself than he did for me.
I’d really like your take on this. – Curious
Dear Curious: I agree with you that deleting needs to happen. You need to do the deleting and what you need to lose – is him.
Based on what you say about this person, you obviously don’t like, 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 in order to figure out how and why he sabotaged the relationship with you, then let him do so and perhaps at some point in the future, 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.
Dear Amy: Unfortunately, I became estranged from my family after my mother's death.
My father decided to start 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 seen or heard anything from him.
When the pandemic began, I texted him to check in and make sure he was OK and received nothing back.
I honestly worry about something happening to him before we can at least talk.
It would destroy me if anything happened to him.
I definitely enjoy my life better when they aren't around, and yet I worry and miss them.
I know my brother and sister-in-law still hate me (no surprise there), yet I'm honestly so confused and hurt as to why my father hasn't even tried to contact me in any way.
Should I try again? – Estranged Daughter
Dear Daughter: Sending one text at the beginning of a global pandemic does not qualify as making an effort to heal a breach that you seem to have initiated.
Losing your mother at a relatively young age must have been truly devastating to you. 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 you back. If he doesn’t call you back, call a second time.
State your desire to be in touch, and leave the door open to a reconciliation.
Dear Amy: I am a regular reader and wonder if you have ever – even once – admitted that you were wrong about anything?
When people criticize you, you only double down and defend your position. – Sick and Tired
Dear Sick: I do admit when I’m wrong, and I am happy to let readers correct me.
However, I won’t claim an error just because someone disagrees with me.
You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: email@example.com. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter
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