Now, what is the right thing to root for? Having blown up our lives, do we fight through our disagreements and do the hard work of being together? Or are we better people if we try to salvage the one marriage that’s still intact (my SO’s)?
Anonymous: Don’t “root for” anything. That’s what I suspect got you into this mess, to some degree: treating life like relationship Frogger. Jumping from coupling to coupling as if that’s the object of the game.
You’re getting a clear internal emotional message to spend some time on your own, to work on the relationship with yourself. What you’re proposing — to “fight through” and do “hard work” for something that isn’t working, or to “salvage” the remaining intact marriage — is more Frogger.
I will say this as emphatically as I can without arm-flapping and spittle: There is no “we” in how the still-married couple decide to move forward from here. How your SO handles your decision to step back is up to your SO, then possibly your SO’s spouse.
So admit you’ve moved too quickly, admit you need to step back, then step back — and accept whatever consequences you get for the nothing-“inevitable”-about-it.
Hi, Carolyn: For my father’s 70th birthday, my siblings and I planned a family vacation. We bought the airfare and developed an itinerary, and my aunt graciously agreed to let our family stay in a condo she owns on the water, which she normally rents out when not staying there herself. We are not particularly close with her, so this was a lovely gift on her part.
Now, there is talk of rescheduling the vacation over a sick pet. Everything I’ve purchased can be rescheduled or refunded, but my sister probably will not be able to refund her flight.
She’s now saying she’ll go anyway, invite some friends and have a girls’ weekend. This makes me feel weird: It’s our aunt’s home and a source of income for her. I told my sister she should offer to pay our aunt, and she got mad at me. Am I overthinking this whole scenario?
Feeling Weird: You’re right, Sister owes Aunt an offer to pay for the use of the home, given that Aunt gave it for a specific purpose. But I have as much influence here as you do.
Your sister presumably will have to deal with your aunt directly to make her alternate arrangements? So that absolves you of any further responsibility for your sister’s choices. You said what you had to say, now let it play out.
· Better yet — tell Sister you have to let Aunt know the family trip is being rescheduled and then choose a different weekend, so she’ll need to contact Aunt herself to make arrangements if she wants to use the condo. Leave any question of paying or not out of it. Sis shouldn’t assume Aunt won’t immediately try to rent it out for that time.