Ask Amy: Should I forgive him for his behavior because he is dying?

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dear amy: I recently reconnected with someone I loved many years ago.

Our previous relationship ended because a misunderstanding caused him to become violent towards me. Fast forward many, many years and he’s just as angry, but now he has a terminal illness.

I fell in love with him again and tried to support him because I knew he didn’t have long to live.

After six months of constant love bombing, narcissism, suicidal threats, uncontrolled crying and extreme anger from him, I decided to call it quits.

Now I feel guilty because he’s nearing the end of his life.

My question is: should I put his behavior on hold because of his illness, or have I done the healthier thing by breaking up with him?

Grief: A “misunderstanding” should not cause anyone to become violent. You excused this man’s behavior many years ago with a “misunderstanding” and you now excuse his behavior with his illness.

Reading your question carefully, I assume that – apart from this man’s unfortunate prognosis – she have an ongoing problem.

Apologizing for his violence and then diving into another relationship with him might indicate that on some level you believe you have the power to fix people.

Outwardly, this looks friendly and generous.

In fact, it’s a function of your own ego and fears, and it’s something you need to work on in order to move forward.

When you recognize with some humility that you do not have the power to repair, only to forgive, then you should break both that man and yourself out of this dysfunctional cycle.

Getting involved with someone who causes so much turmoil for both of you is not good for either of you. Yes, you should break up with him.

Take responsibility for your own actions, but not his.

dear amy: My husband and I have been married for 18 years.

He had a (female) colleague who left the area and moved to another state about five years ago. I wasn’t aware of this, but I found out recently that he calls her quite often to talk about his problems. I worry that he shares his problems with her and not with me. She is also married.

He and this woman even sent gifts back and forth without my knowledge. I found this out when I wrote down her mailing address which was listed on my Amazon account.

I’m wondering if this is normal behavior or if I should be concerned. He seems to think there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m furious.

Concerned: My opinion on this depends somewhat on what kind of problems your husband shares with his former colleague and what kind of gifts they exchange.

If he calls her to discuss the Peterson account or share ideas on how to navigate a thorny company issue, that’s one thing.

When he’s divulging intimate and private details about his — or her — life, that’s another.

If he sends her bottles of Shalimar or a Victoria’s Secret gift box, I’d say that was a definite tell. (You can check the order history through your (or his) Amazon account.)

Partners can certainly have friendships outside of marriage—but it’s important that those friendships don’t interfere with the marriage.

I hope you and your husband can really talk about this. It should be transparent and reassuring, not dismissive or defensive.

dear amy: I was absolutely shocked by your reaction to “Protective Fiancé‘ whose guy was molested by a woman in a bar.

You’re usually so anti-male – I was surprised when you denounced the double standard of women sexually harassing men.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson, distributed by Tribune Content Agency

https://www.washingtonpost.com/advice/2022/07/15/ask-amy-behavior-abusive-dying/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=wp_lifestyle Ask Amy: Should I forgive him for his behavior because he is dying?

Chris Estrada

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