Dear Amy: I’ve been dating a married woman for seven months.
She told me many times that she and her husband are trying to split amicably, but they have two children, so leaving was not an option. She said she is in an open marriage.
Recently she told me that a guy at our workplace told her friend that he likes her. I asked her not to talk to him outside of work because it is disrespectful to me.
She then got mad at me and told me that we need to take a break!
A few days later a group of us went out socializing.
She sat next to me, telling me how much she loves me, but I glanced over and saw she was trying to hide her phone.
Well, low and behold I see she’s sending provocative photos and texting the man in question — the guy I already asked her not to speak to.
I gave her a few choice words and left.
Now we’re at the point she has blocked my number, won’t talk to me, and has told everyone in the office that I went psycho on her. So now, of course, I’m the bad guy, because she is very well liked by our co-workers.
I don’t really care what they think of me. I’m just dumbfounded as to why she would treat me this way.
Was she using this as an excuse to be with other people?
I have told her countless times if she wanted to see other people, she was free to do so, but I would not be a part of that. She denied that she wanted to be with other people. She said she loved me and only wanted to be with me.
I’m struggling to get over her.
Did she ever love me? Why would she act like this? Any advice for me?
— Wronged Man
Dear Wronged: First, an observation: Your workplace sounds like a middle-school whirlpool. With all of the romantic and sexual intrigue swirling around you, it’s a wonder that you employees get any work done.
Your former girlfriend is a player. And … players gonna play.
Did she love you? It depends on how you define “love.” If love is a longstanding monogamous and compassionate commitment to another person, then — no. She may not be capable of that.
If “love” is hooking up with one person until another person notices her in the cafeteria, then — yes, she loved you for a while.
You obviously expect monogamy, but you don’t get that kind of commitment with someone who doesn’t do monogamy. And she obviously doesn’t do monogamy (for proof — just look to her marriage).
My advice is for you to put your head down, get your work done, and — when you’re emotionally ready — use the lessons learned here to move on with a wiser, hearty, and healthy vengeance.
Dear Amy: Over the last two years, my mother-in-law has made it a habit of coming over every weekend and staying a night or two.
Originally, my husband and I were fine with this, as she was newly widowed and with the pandemic, we didn’t want her isolated at home.
She was also helpful with our son.
During this period, we also took her along with us on two vacations.
However, two years later, we’d like a little more space.
How do we break the weekly sleepovers and expectation to vacation with us without hurting her feelings?
— Extended Stay
Dear Extended: The way to discuss this with your mother-in-law is calmly, respectfully, and with the expectation that her feelings might be hurt, but that you’ll help her to handle it. You and your husband should work this out in advance (rehearsing would help) and speak to her as a team.
You start by thanking her for keeping you company and being helpful with your child. Tell her, “Now that the world seems to be opening up, we’re going to want to have some weekends on our own. Can you work with us to come up with a new plan?”
Dear Amy: “Young Colleague” expressed concern over developing a platonic friendship with a much-older colleague.
I say, go for it! When I went to graduate school, I formed a social circle with my classmates, including our much-older professor. My friendship with this professor lasted for 30 years. I delivered the eulogy at her funeral. I am so grateful that I leapt over the generational divide.
— Missing my Teacher
Dear Missing: I assume the gratitude flowed both ways.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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