Tell Me About It: Take care of yourself while grieving
Recently, I have been trying to date and mingle due to my son's worry I will be alone. I'm 30 and feel as though I'm doing something wrong. When I took my vows, I meant them, so I feel like I'm cheating or being unfaithful to my husband. He chose to do what he did, so should I be feeling this guilt when on a date?
Answer: I am so sorry. That is such a heavy thing to carry with you.
Those vows, presumably, were "till death do us part," so they don't impose guilt, they absolve you of it. But also please free yourself of any pressure to date. I realize you want to ease your son's mind. I fear you could unwittingly hurt him later, though, by reinforcing his idea that "alone" equals "bad."
And it's OK to address your son's worries with a gentle, firm, loving, and consistent adherence to this message. It's a message of inner strength and stability for two people no doubt still staggered by a devastating blow.
Please model for him an adult who is whole. Grieving, for sure, but complete.
Question: My fiancé cheated on me. I was heartbroken and broke things off.
Five months after we split, he dated one of my friends, writing to say that since he'd "been dishonest in the past, he now wanted to be a better communicator" (while breaking my heart all over again).
I broke off all contact with both parties.
My question: This was awful, and I did the right thing, right? I'm still reeling.
Answer: Dating a friend's cheating ex-fiancé just months after he torpedoed the engagement seems awful to me, yes. As does cheating on one's fiancée, counting to 10, and then dating her friend. (Telling you this himself . . . well, that was the best of some bad options.)
But you don't need any of that, or me, to justify taking care of yourself. You're in pain; these two people are a direct and ongoing source of this pain; and you have no obligations to them beyond your (former) fondness for them.