Dear Amy: I was with my boyfriend for four years.
We lived together the entire time.
He was my soul mate and stepped in to be the dad in my kids’ lives (I have three children from my previous marriage).
I thought everything was amazing and that he was my partner in life.
He died two weeks ago. Because we weren’t married, I couldn’t be the person to make the arrangements. His mother’s family immediately started blocking me from any involvement in the funeral.
He was always protective of his phone and kept it locked.
He stated that this was because of a past experience he’d had with personal information that was spread online.
Well, after his death I had to access his phone in hopes of locating a will, wishes or anything to support getting him put to rest.
I didn’t find any of that, but I did find intimate conversations he’d had with multiple women that were very sexual in nature.
I’m talking about pictures, Facebook Messenger, and phone calls spanning the ENTIRE time we were together.
I now feel devastated and disrespected.
How do I grieve the man I was in love with when he was living a double life?
I don’t know if he actually had sex with these women, or if it was entirely virtual in nature, but I’m not sure if it even matters.
I know he loved me, but he wasn’t the man I thought he was.
How can I mourn and move on when I am hit with this whirlwind?
— Shock of Reality
Dear Shock: The famous five stages of grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. You might find yourself moving straight into the “anger” stage and staying there for a while.
Given the way this man’s family rejected and prevented you from participating in the funeral, as well as the evidence you’ve uncovered, you quite naturally feel betrayed.
My instinct is that even though you say you were looking for a will on his phone, you might have (subliminally) been looking for pretty much what you found.
And now, you must deal with your children in the very best way you can — allowing them to love and mourn this man without focusing on your own anger or his betrayal.
Keep busy tying up the loose ends of this loss, find housing if you need to, and re-establish yourself with friends and family.
Understand that if you are stuck in “anger,” it will affect your life and future relationships.
Writing down a daily account of your progress and attending a grief group or individual counseling will help.
Dear Amy: My stepson and his spouse were engaged in Paris.
They intend to go to Paris in March to celebrate their fifth anniversary, and have invited both sets of parents to join them there.
My wife wants to go. I don’t.
Primary reasons I don’t want to go are: 1) we don’t drink, the others do; 2) our interests don’t coincide (for example, they want to tour wineries); 3) the other parents are considerably more “free spending” than we are; 4) the weather in Paris in March is iffy at best; and 5) our financial resources are not unlimited, and my selfish self would prefer spending our travel monies on something different.
Am I rationalizing, being a spoiled sport, and if I suggest that my spouse should go without me, am I being rude?
I certainly don’t want to create problems, but I am not remotely interested in going. Suggestions?
Dear Reluctant: You don’t mention how your wife feels about the prospect of you missing this trip. Given your many reasons for not going and the crafty way you are setting yourself up for having — and possibly giving others — a terrible time, she might be relieved by the prospect of you staying home.
However — this is your stepson. One way to be part of a happy-ish blended family is to be a good sport and occasionally do things you don’t want to do.
But if you can’t have a good time in Paris, even in March, then you don’t really deserve to go.
Dear Amy: Wow — that question from the “Momzilla” signed “MOB” really got to me.
It sounded as if this MOB had conditioned her daughter to be with a controlling person. Now that the daughter was about to marry someone as controlling as her mother is, it was a huge problem.
Dear Upset: Your insight is spot-on. I completely agree.
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