Relationship Advice


woman with arms folded on chest

I just read an email from a close cousin. She said, "What you did was too harsh." She was referring to me leaving my husband, a close friend of her family.

I don't know how to respond, but I'm thinking how do people decide when someone's hurt enough to do something about it? How do we measure pain when it's not ours?

After a year and a half I left. He was shocked. I hugged him, kissed him, held his hand and told him to take good care of himself, then got on a plane back home to the place I left.

I didn't leave for another man. Our marriage was strained from the outset, and we couldn't seem to get a grip. He's angry; he doesn't think he hurt me "enough to warrant leaving."

He cried when I left; those who saw are sorry for this man who has been "abandoned." These are the same people I begged for a year and a half to intervene and help us find a way.

I don't know if I should scream or go under a rock.


Claudia, you can admire someone who tries to intervene when they see another in pain, but your cousin is reacting to his pain, not yours. Your cousin's solution for his pain is to put you in pain.

When kids are playing and wrestle or fight, they understand they must respect the word "uncle." When one says "uncle," the other one is supposed to stop.

There has always been that give-way word. In The Game of Thrones the expression is "I yield." In the military it's the white flag.

You said uncle. You did the hard thing, packed up and left. That has to be respected. You don't have to be hurt enough that you hate him. You don't have to allow him to hurt you more before uncle is respected.

Mistakes get made. People marry the wrong person.

It doesn't matter what your cousin's motives are. She can feel as she feels. You don't have to respond.

Wayne & Tamara