Partner’s online play leads to more


Dear Amy: My significant other (20) had what I consider an emotional affair with a girl he met online a few months ago, playing an online spaceship game.

He swears it’s nothing, and I say things out of proportion, and she is “just a friend.”

I happened to use his phone as a flashlight one night recently, and it was left open, revealing a “chat” session between them.

He lied to her about buying things for me (despite being currently unemployed) and told her he loved her.

These words bother me a lot and he keeps saying it’s nothing.

He broke up plans with me to play other (exclusive) games with her, and if I join his group of friends to play, he shares internal jokes with her while I’m there and he me. ignore.

I’m trying to decide if that should be a deciding factor, as he refuses to see my side, or if it pains me to hear that “I love you” is seemingly a meaningless phrase to him.

How can I approach this, or should I just finish things off now and cut my losses?

– Confused and hurt

Dear confused: At the risk of being obvious, I’m wondering if playing “spaceship” games online is the best use of your (unemployed) guy’s time.

I don’t think his online friendship is necessarily a deciding factor in your incredibly long relationship, but it could be another symptom of a bigger issue between you. If your guy is depressed and floundering, he is vulnerable and is looking for other ports in his personal storm.

It’s about being too immature or too involved to recognize how your behavior affects and hurts your partner’s feelings.

You’ve defined your positions, but for your relationship to survive you both need to come together and discuss ways to get together.

Dear Amy: My brother’s daughter decided to marry an ex-convict who spent almost half of his life in prison for rape, assault, destruction of property and other crimes.

She is a mature woman in her forties and has never been married. My brother and sister-in-law haven’t talked much about it and I’m not sure what their feelings are.

In the meantime, my son and his fiance are planning their wedding and have categorically stated that they will not invite him to the wedding – and that they will not attend any family reunions he is present at.

I don’t know how to handle this. This will most certainly affect our relationship with my brother and will likely end our holiday dinners.

On the one hand, I believe my wife and I could probably at least tolerate it, but on the other hand, I will not go against my son’s wishes.

Your feedback would be appreciated.

– Terribly troubled

Dear Troubled: Your son is an adult. He makes adult-sized decisions about who he wants to have relationships with and who he would like to avoid. It is not only his right, but his responsibility.

“I will not go against my son’s wishes” implies that he might have a say in the choices you and your wife make.

Your son’s choice will only have a major impact on your own life if you give him the power to control your relationships, as well as his.

I can absolutely understand anyone’s choice to avoid spending time with a criminal convicted of violent crimes.

I can also imagine people who are perhaps a little more seasoned (you and your wife), deciding to wait and see before passing a quick judgment on someone they have never met.

In the future, when it comes to family reunions, your son will have to find out if this man will be present and then make his own choice.

He and his fiancé have the right to control the guest list for their wedding, however, and you should not interfere.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter askamy or Facebook.

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