D ear Amy: I was dating someone on and off for five years. He broke up with me suddenly last summer but we have hooked up (sexually) since then.
I found out three weeks ago that he had been seeing someone else that entire time and that they became engaged just after he broke it off with me, which makes me a wholly blindsided “other woman.”
So he cheated on his girlfriend with me almost the entire time they were together and continued to cheat on her after they became engaged. He always maintained that he was single and that she was “just a friend.”
Needless to say, I am devastated. It has come to my attention that even though his parents know the truth, he has not told his fiancee about me.
I feel sick over the whole thing and I think it’s very important that she know the truth about whom she is marrying, as the wedding is fast approaching.
Is there some way for me to let her know what’s going on without looking like I’m some vindictive, crazy ex-girlfriend just looking for revenge?
If I were in her position I would want to know. I don’t know what to do. I bet I feel guiltier about it than he does!
Also, how do I get past this? I still can’t believe it has happened, and I can’t believe someone I cared about so much and trusted completely could have acted this way and kept it up for so long.
– Bewildered in Baltimore
Dear Bewildered: If you genuinely want to confront this, then you should give up on any notion of how you will be perceived. Assume your motives will be questioned and your character attacked, certainly by your ex and very possibly by everybody else. But really – do you care what this guy says about you? He’s certainly in no position to judge.
Keep it simple. Tell his fiancee, “I don’t know if you know me but your fiance and I dated on and off for the last several years. We have been together subsequent to your engagement. I am so sorry at the part I played in this infidelity but he always claimed to be single. I had no idea he was in a relationship with you. If I were about to marry him, I would want to know – and that’s why I’m telling you.”
In terms of your own healing, do what you can to reflect, take responsibility and learn from your actions. Don’t make the next person pay for what this man did – otherwise he will be preventing you from having a healthy relationship, and this is power he should not have.
Dear Amy: I have been with my husband for 15 years. His mother helps his siblings (the youngest is 36) to the point of hurting them. Two of their adult children live with her, along with their kids. They totally take advantage of their mother. The less they do the more the mother gives. There is little time, attention or money left for our two young children. The more I see this behavior, the more I pull away from the whole group. Am I being petty?
My husband says, “At least we’re not bums, and when she passes away we can splinter away from the family.” I feel she should be made aware that she is making us resent each other. What do you think?
Dear Weary: By all means, tell your mother-in-law how her enabling behavior toward other family members affects you and your family. And then follow your husband’s wise observation and realize that not being “bums” means that you have done everything right. Longer term you win, big time.
Dear Amy: The letter from “Lady with Baby Blues” brought me a smile. In your answer, you advised a mom against asking her toddler if he wanted a baby brother or sister.
When I posed this question to my 2-year-old, he answered, “Yes. I want a twin!”
– Lesson Learned
Dear Learned: No one manages a hypothetical quite like a toddler.