Dear Maura: How can I get over break-up?

Solve your life dilemmas with expert advice from Maura O’Neill

Ending an engagement can be especially hard

Dear Maura: How do you get past a cancelled wedding that was meant to make my life the happiest it could be? My ex and I were together since fifth year in school — that’s 10 years of our lives. We had it all planned and then something happened one evening a few weeks before the big day and there was this total realisation that we shouldn’t get married. I know it was the right decision. But it’s so sad as for all those years we believed we were going to live happily ever after. We don’t know what changed or how we came to this. We seemed to be happy; there was never a sense that either of us was getting fed up of the relationship. Maybe there were some issues but that was something we believed all couples, and friends for that matter, deal with. I feel it’s difficult to move on having had so many expectations with one person for so long. Now, I second guess myself if I meet someone, picturing us in a few years’ time or else thinking this is going nowhere. After everything that’s happened to me, I feel that no matter what I or anyone does, there are no guarantees. Answer: Give yourself time to work through the loss and disappointment of your relationship and wedding day. Your journey to where you are now has been so fast, the ending so abrupt that you are trying in the most basic sense to work out what exactly has happened. Be kind to yourself, talk to family, friends, people you feel will really listen and support you as you work through everything. You both made the right decision but it is still a shock. Sometimes we settle into a routine and get on with life.

Therapy’s made my wife fierce selfish

Dear Maura: My wife had counselling for stuff that happened to her when she was a child, tough upbringing and she’s always carried a lot of hurt as a result. I was delighted for her when she made the decision to see someone. I’m happy that she is way more contented. But she’s also gone fierce selfish or maybe that should be self-centred.

Anyway, everything is about her. If we’ve planned something she can refuse to go because she’s not feeling it, regardless of the fact that I was looking forward to the trip. I’m doing most of the housework with our teenage kids helping because she doesn’t want to get too tired. And lots more like that. I know I’m going to sound off but any help on how to balance things a bit more around our house?

Answer: I’m glad that you wrote out your frustration because bottling that annoyance up is doing you no good. You haven’t said when your wife stopped seeing her therapist. If there’s a decent time gap you could talk to her about how you feel, dilute it down a bit. Say you would appreciate her help around the house or going on an outing. These words are positive. They put her in a role of support. She doesn’t want to undo any of the progress she’s achieved. Communication with love is the key.

Email your problems to Dr Angela Brokmann Maura O’Neill All pictures are posed by models

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