Dear Amy: I am not pretending to be a saint, but was I wrong to end my “on again/off again” involvement with a married man in the way I did?
After suspecting that he wasn't being very truthful to me, I dug up some information about him online, which was basically glaring evidence just sitting there for online sleuths like myself to uncover.
We had always been friends and for the most part he took care of me in ways I didn’t demand. I knew this was an affair, and not a partnership, and I was OK with that.
After finally discovering his lies, I sent him screenshots of what I uncovered. He immediately began sending me angry texts and calling, but I didn't answer until hours later because there was nothing he could do to disprove what I had long suspected.
I essentially told him in a text that he was lucky that I didn't let his family, friends, and colleagues know what a two-faced liar he really was.
I blocked him right after that, so I have no idea if he tried contacting me again, and I don't care.
I did not really appreciate how in the weeks leading up to our split, he was demanding to know who I was with and what I was doing.
I began to feel like a toy.
I have been wanting to end this for good but could never find the emotional strength to do so.
After a few therapy sessions, I felt empowered, and so I ended things and haven't looked back.
So, was I wrong for ending things the way I did?
– Finally Free
Dear Free: My reaction to your story is basically this:
Cheaters are going to cheat, liars are going to lie, and vengeful girlfriends are going to venge.
When you finally decided to leave this relationship, you armed yourself with virtual grenades, followed by veiled threats and intimidation.
I assume your guy probably deserved this treatment (he chose you, after all), but if you truly felt good about the way you had handled things at the end, you wouldn’t feel compelled to ask.
Dear Amy: I have a friend with whom I often socialize. He's 65 years old and stubborn.
This friend uses the term 'gender confused' when referring to people whom he perceives as not representing their assigned gender.
I used to find this annoying but would try to let it roll off my shoulders, chalking this up to his own ignorance about the gender spectrum.
Now I feel upset and angry when he uses this term because he's now referring to my own (gender transitioning) child when using this slur.
I’ve told him (more than once) that I find “gender confused” a slur against people who understand they are more comfortable expressing themselves as a gender other than their birth-assigned-gender, and he responded (loudly and angrily), "So you're saying I'm not entitled to my opinion?"
I believe he's entitled to his opinion, but I want to tell him that I don't want to continue our friendship if he feels a need to express his opinion in a way that makes me feel so sad and angry.
How do I do this when he isn't willing to listen or change his choice of words?
– Lonesome Single
Dear Lonesome: You’ve already called out this person, and he has loudly responded that his opinion means more to him than respecting your stated wishes.
I’m not sure why you two end up discussing gender so often, but you don’t seem to have supplied him with a term you would prefer him to use. “Confusion” does not describe your transitioning child, but “Non-conforming” might.
It seems likely, however, that you do not have the power to inspire him to change either his opinion or the language he uses to express it.
Threatening to end the friendship over this will likely bring on another round of his opinions.
It’s possible that this friendship has run its course, and if that’s the case, it’s not necessary to issue a warning.
Dear Amy: The letter signed “Just Like Mom” was from a woman whose perfectionism seemed to rule her life.
This was my life story, until my therapist suggested medication. It has damped down the extremes, allowing me to cope with the normal. It changed my life.
– No Longer Perfect
Dear No Longer: “Just Like Mom” is currently seeing a therapist; I hope her counselor is as competent as yours was.
Reach the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org.