Ask Amy: I’m not in love with my partner but I don’t want to break his heart

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dear Amy: I was in a 20 year relationship with a wonderful man who was there for me — through thick and thin. We raised my children together and now enjoy our grandchildren.

I have been very unhappy in the relationship for the past few years because I fell in love with him.

I don’t want the grandchildren to lose a wonderful grandfather because he will leave the country if we separate, but I also want to be happy.

I’ve always loved women, but I didn’t want my mom to take my kids away from me if I was living on my own, so when I met him and we decided to get together, I honestly wanted to grow old with him .

Now my children are grown up and I feel like I deserve to be happy. I don’t want to break a good man’s heart.

How can I have the two things I want?

Lost: You may not be able to have everything you want.

Because of your life experience, you already know this, but the only way to find out what you can have is to start living your truth by being honest with your partner.

You will then have to deal with his reaction to your revelation (he may already suspect that you are attracted to women).

I know of many cases where, relatively late in life, people choose to reconfigure their family system to accommodate less traditional structures and circumstances.

Your partner doesn’t have to leave your family system unless they want to.

I hope you find a way to sincerely convey your desire to remain in a romantic relationship with him so that he can remain an important member of the family he has been a part of for two decades.

dear Amy: I’ve planned a big party for my husband’s historic birthday in two months.

It will be a seated dinner. We invited 80 family members and close friends. About half of the guest list is family. The others are friends.

I had at least four people informing me that they would be bringing additional people, which they thought we would like to see.

My husband also asked two friends if they could bring one of their adult children and possibly their children’s spouses.

He told them he would talk to me and get back to them.

We are so lucky to have so many friends who want to share this celebration with us, but we had to draw a line, as we are not rich and the venue also has an 85 limit. We will pay for this event.

None of us want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but isn’t it rude and presumptuous to invite people to someone else’s party?

What should we do? Should we just accept and hope that we can accommodate everyone?

A person who wants to bring their adult son (because he really loves my husband) made a sarcastic remark about paying for their dinners.

Advise me, please. I really do not know what to do.

lose sleep:The last time this happened to me (and it happens to all hosts) I also lost sleep over the question of how to respond to people who wanted to bring extra guests – some of whom were people I had never met.

And then one day I woke up and decided it wasn’t a day.

I told people, “I’m so sorry, but you won’t be able to bring an extra guest, but I hope you can still come. Let me know.

Each person responded with some version of this: “Okay, no problem. Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask!

What people don’t realize is that when they ask, they shift the burden onto an already distressed host.

Deliver your response quickly and cheerfully. Also understand that some people will give up at the last minute, and others will bring extras anyway.

dear Amy: “At a loss in Colorado” shared some biographical essays, then got angry when her friend did not comment on her writings.

Although I agree with your answer, I think you missed something: this friend may not have read the writer’s work at all.

Hesitant: The risk of forcing your writing on someone is that they won’t like it – or even read it.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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