Ask Amy: I want to break up, but I don’t want to lose our friends

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dear amy: I’ve been in a volatile relationship with a man whose handy, flirty ways with women he finds attractive have always bothered me. I broke up with him because of this and explained at length how humiliating it is for me when he behaves like this.

When we start again, he always says he’s a “new man” who understands my feelings. He even thanks me for helping him be a more respectful person. Then, months later, things start to slip.

This time the slide was accompanied by a health scare for me as I experienced some symptoms commonly associated with an STD.

I tested negative for this STD (he is positive for STD and we use condoms) but his behavior towards a woman in our group became so flirtatious that my mind started interpreting threats related to our relationship everywhere.

I decided to look into his text messages with this woman, whom he once described as someone he feels “paternal” to. In fact, during one of the periods when he and I broke up, they had engaged in a sexual relationship.

At this point, I just want to break up with him romantically, but I’m concerned for all of our mutual friends. I struggle with how to speak to him about learning he lied to me about his relationship with this much younger woman for years.

He’ll have a nuclear reaction when he hears that I checked his phone, despite what I might say, that I’m concerned about the connection between my health, our sexually intimate relationship, and his behavior.

Any suggestions for carrying out this ending of the romantic relationship that doesn’t provoke a reaction that might include the loss of friends in our circle?

— No more suspicions

Finished: I would start with this rhetorical question: why do you owe your boyfriend a detailed and transparent explanation as to why you are breaking up with him (again)?

It seems to me that a breakup is a time when you don’t have to fully explain yourself if you don’t want to.

He may think he’s being caught off guard, but many people really don’t want a chapter-and-verse recitation of their own mistakes and omissions when their partner is already leaving.

I suggest you say, “I’m tired of not trusting you. I’m tired of worrying about your health and mine. This relationship is too much work for me. This roller coaster is not good for me. I need to take a clean break and be on my own.”

Every separation jeopardizes mutual relationships. Your discretion about private conversations and your refusal to engage in emotionally charged accusations could be a welcome relief to the people in your shared group.

I suspect any true friends who have witnessed your unstable relationship over the years will find a way to say, “It’s about time!”

dear amy: My wife and I are seniors. We’ve recently started a casual friendship with another couple. We have shared two restaurant meals with them in the past three months.

They are heavy drinkers and big eaters. Neither of us are – with the result that their share of the bill is much larger than ours.

They don’t offer to cover additional costs – or pick up the tip.

Our last meal together resulted in them eating (and mostly drinking) $80 more than us, with the two couples splitting the bill evenly.

My wife indicated that she would like to put together another dinner and I said I would ask for separate checks. She sees it as “cheap”.

I feel like we are being taken advantage of and this will continue as long as we allow it.

Renminbi: I’m with you. Getting separate checks isn’t “cheap.”

All you have to do is set this once and then that’s exactly what you do.

You can say (to these people and then directly to the server) “We’re going to do separate exams tonight.”

I would consider this a good way to move forward in a relationship with people you don’t know very well.

dear amy: “Angry Husband‘ was a self-made guy who didn’t want to accept a generous gift of money from his in-laws.

My parents gave us money for a house, which we gratefully accepted. Then they wanted to check what we were doing with the house.

This gift cost us a lot in the end.

Was there: That was my reading on this particular letter.

©2022 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by the Tribune Content Agency. Ask Amy: I want to break up, but I don’t want to lose our friends

Chris Estrada

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