Dear Amy: Several years ago, I loaned $4,000 to a woman. She and I were in a romantic relationship, which had just ended. Our relationship was a positive one, but I blame myself for not becoming more involved in the lives of her children. The money was used to fund a lawsuit against her former husband. The suit was ultimately unsuccessful.
Over the years, I have occasionally reached out with a nice note. I haven’t heard back in a few years — maybe because she has remarried.
I was reminded of the loan when I rediscovered a notarized letter we both signed. The letter stipulated no terms for repayment, except when she is in a position to do so. I basically forgot about the money once the lawsuit failed. I’ve never brought it up.
Is it wrong to bring it up now? She is now on solid financial ground and I could certainly use the money. I wouldn’t want her to think I was pressuring her or implying that I had been brooding all this time. Actually, I hoped for a better post-relationship relationship with her, in part to feel better about myself.
I also had another idea: My aging mother and I take care of my bedridden father. The woman who owes me is a social worker. Should I make an offhand comment that she could pay off the debt by providing some social work advice/help when needed?
Should I bring up the debt and feel like a worm in order to possibly be repaid?
Dear Wondering: I have an idea: You should ask that this debt be repaid, and NOT feel like a worm but like a worthy and deserving human being.
You and your former partner behaved responsibly to the extent that after she talked you out of $4,000, you had the agreement notarized.
Why you wanted to fund this chase after her former husband is beyond me, but, from the tone of your question, you seem to be someone who is easily manipulated because of your own feelings of inadequacy.
Advocating for yourself is good for your self-esteem; you deserve to be repaid for your generosity and thanked for your kindness. You don’t seem to have any ongoing relationship with this woman (she never responds to your nice notes), and so you should not care one way or the other what she thinks of you now.
I realize I’m telling you how to feel, but I’m really trying to coach you into behaving reasonably and responsibly.
Under no circumstances should you ask this person to perform professional work for your family. I fear that if she were active in your household, she would somehow end up with your house.
Dear Amy: Next month is the one-year anniversary for my boyfriend and me. Right before Thanksgiving I discovered he was contacting other women, through emails, photos and profiles, for dating and hooking up.
He said he was reaching out to other women because he wanted to do things he didn’t think I’d be into, so rather than talk to me about it he outsourced his intimacy. I decided to stay and try to work it out.
The last few weeks have been raw and intense. I can see he is trying and feels remorseful, but we are far from out of the woods. I still find myself very sensitive and easily triggered.
I don’t feel like celebrating an anniversary because it feels tainted by his cheating and dishonesty and I am very disappointed we couldn’t even have our honeymoon phase. Am I being petty not wanting to celebrate a one-year?
— Finding My Way
Dear Finding: Not every relationship must somehow hue to a predictable path. I hope you will detach more from these phony benchmarks and pay closer attention to the matter currently before you: the daily effort to communicate honestly — about everything. Your guy’s choice to “outsource” intimacy is worrying.
Learning to talk about things that are hard to talk about is a true cause for celebration. Postpone the Champagne until you feel true trust and intimacy.
Dear Amy: I can’t believe your hysteria over pot smoking. Marijuana is not the source of all evil, Amy. “Parents in Despair” were worried about their teen’s behavior. You blamed the pot. I blame the teen.
Shame on you.
— Responsible Adult
Dear Adult: These parents reported that their 17-year-old is high every day. Yes, I’d say his marijuana use is a major factor that should not be ignored.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Readers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook.)
Copyright 2018 by Amy Dickinson
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency
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