Dear Amy: I ended my engagement to my partner of just over four years right before the pandemic.
Hearing what he's doing to himself and with his life disturbed me on a level I hadn't anticipated.
During our relationship, he and I talked extensively about our dreams of being husbands and fathers.
When we broke up, I tried remaining friends with him, but every new lie and insult just reopened the wound I was trying to heal in my heart.
This new information has me hurting all over again in a new and sickening way.
I understand that heartbreak isn't something that follows a guaranteed pattern to recovery, but I was shocked at how much this hurt me.
I went home that night and sat up in bed until 5 a.m., racked with grief over his decisions — when I knew I shouldn't care.
What advice would you offer to help me come to terms with the fact that he has abandoned his goals and instead seems to be resigning himself to be a product anybody with enough money can procure for a night?
— Somehow Still Hurt
Somehow Still Hurt: You say you shouldn’t care, but of course you should care — and you do care! You care because this was someone you loved and, I assume, still do love.
Your caring and concern are evidence of your abundant compassion and humanity. Your grief is evidence of your powerlessness over a situation you don’t like but cannot control.
I hope you won’t judge your former partner harshly. That won’t help either of you.
Love him from a distance through this tough time, and hope that he is taking care of his own health and well-being.
Unfortunately, you cannot make his choices for him — but you already know that, which is one reason you are no longer together.
Dear Amy: I am a woman who wants to be that 17-year-old girl who graduated from high school weighing 92 pounds (soaking wet).
This older woman has gained 20 pounds since then, simply due to aging — and if that isn't bad enough, along comes the coronavirus, in which an additional 10 pounds has magically appeared.
Now I have no idea what size I am. I have been living in yoga pants for quite a while, which truly says that: "All is not well in the kingdom."
I am having a torrid love affair with carbohydrates. To complicate matters, during the pandemic I have learned to hone my cooking and baking skills, which are now almost restaurant quality.
My new modus operandi has become "carpe diem."
I am spinning out of control.
Do you have any wisdom for me?
— Desperate in Darien
Desperate in Darien: The number on the scale doesn’t matter as much as that feeling you report of “spinning out of control.”
You are at something of a disadvantage, because you’ve obviously never worried about your eating habits — until recently.
Various studies are reporting that a high percentage of Americans have gained weight during the pandemic, so you are definitely not alone.
I can tell you from experience that 10 pounds doesn’t “magically appear.” Nor will it magically disappear.
My advice is to accept the impact of your choices. Understand that each day offers a clean slate, and a clean plate. Small changes can lead to healthier habits.
A dietitian could offer you a realistic strategy for getting healthier (there’s room for chocolate in your life!).
Importantly, go easy on yourself. Self-loathing might kick-start a diet, but self-love opens the pathway to health.
Dear Amy: "Too Controlling?" wanted to bribe his granddaughters not to get tattoos.
Certainly, you are correct that the girls will see bribes as an opportunity to extract more money from Grandpa by being paid NOT to engage in risky behavior.
The better solution is known as the "opposite bribe" in which he "offers" to REDUCE their eventual inheritance for every tattoo that the girls get: Say for each tattoo inked, $10,000 is removed from their inheritance.
Grandpa would probably find his granddaughters losing interest in tattoos very quickly when a financial consequence is attached.
— The Better "Bribe"
Better “Bribe”: Grandpa does not need to police his granddaughter’s skin at all, in my opinion. Therefore, financial coercion would not be necessary.
2021 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency