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ASK AMY: Friends behave differently while on a break


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Dear Amy: I’ve always told my fiancee “Stacy” to stay in touch with her old friends from before we met.

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I knew of her male friends and had met most of them, or so I thought.

Stacy and I recently had a break in our relationship, lasting for about two months, during which she moved out and was staying with her brother.

When we finally reconciled, I had a gut feeling that something wasn’t right.

I asked her if something happened while we were apart that would affect our relationship, and she said no.

My gut told me otherwise.

I was persistent. Finally, she revealed that she went out to dinner with an old friend, a male, who came to her brother’s house.

She has continued to lie about several things regarding this situation. I think this was more than just dinner, but she denies any physical interaction with this person.

She also stated that she felt guilty about going out with him. She deleted all communication between them before telling me about this.

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I cannot understand all of the lying, hiding, and secrecy.

She gets so upset with me whenever I bring it up. But things don’t feel right.

I asked her if I could meet this guy.

Am I overreacting?

I’m not sure what to do. I do love her and want to be with her, but I can’t shake the feeling that there is still something that she is not telling me.

I don’t want my actions to ruin our relationship, but also realize that her actions put us here in the first place.

What do you think?

– Forlorn Fiance

Dear Forlorn: Borrowing from a famous episode of “Friends” – “You were on a break!”

You don’t say how you and “Stacy” defined the break, but when a couple cohabit and then one party moves out, it seems a distinct possibility that one – or both – will explore having a relationship (or at least go out to dinner) with someone else.

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Your take on this seems to be that “Stacy” needs your permission to meet with people or have friendships. She doesn’t.

She has admitted to feeling guilty about this, and so you could ask her why she feels guilty. She might say that she knew that this would hurt your feelings – and she is right.

Overall, you should always follow your gut, but you should also give this some time to resolve without pressuring her.

If you don’t push, Stacy may be less defensive and feel compelled to open up more.

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Dear Amy: I met someone on a dating app.

She was in my city for work. She even asked me over for a booty call, but I didn’t go.

We kept talking, and so I asked to meet in-person in her town. She ghosted me.

Three months later, she texted me saying she accidentally ghosted me because she broke her leg and was on pain medicine and bed rest, but now was doing better.

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Her explanation seemed plausible. We started texting nonstop and spent hours on the phone.

I fell for her hard.

I suggested meeting again in her town and she didn’t respond for three weeks. She then said her leg got worse and it wasn’t a good time.

I confronted her in an email and told her the behaviour wasn’t acceptable.

She didn’t respond to my email. I followed up three more times.

I don’t want to burn this bridge because I still really like her. I want to forgive, but she treated me terribly. What should I do?

– Heartbroken and Angry

Dear Heartbroken: Here are the signs you seem to have missed: She would only see you when she was in your town (not in hers).

She always controlled the contact with you and claimed to have ghosted you “by accident.” (That just doesn’t happen.)

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My theory is that she is already in a relationship. But even if she isn’t, she is a jerk. You deserve better.

Next time, pay very close attention to the other person’s physical availability before communicating extensively.

Dear Amy: “Overwhelmed in Georgia” reported that her child’s caregiver constantly brings gifts to the family.

I am a pet sitter. I leave a small, innocuous gift (a plant, flowers, a homemade loaf of bread) for clients, as a token of my gratitude for their business.

I try to be mindful of their tastes, and never give anything that would “invade” their lives or make them feel uncomfortable.

– Grateful Pet Sitter

Dear Grateful: That is very thoughtful.

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