Ex-Boyfriend’s Dad

16 Apr

Dear LetterBalm: Almost a year ago, my ex-boyfriend’s mother died. I went to the funeral because my ex and I had dated for a long time, and I was a friend of the family. After the services, the mourners went back to the family home. My ex and I talked and hung out and eventually we got back together. I realized I still loved him, and his dad and sister were happy we were a couple again. Well, it didn’t take long before my boyfriend fell into old selfish patterns – ignoring me for his buddies, playing endless rounds of golf on Sundays, grudging holidays and my birthday, showing up for me to cook dinner for him every night. I asked him if he still loved me. He said he wasn’t in love with me, but he wasn’t interested in dating anyone else, either. So, I broke up with him again, this time for good. His father has called me twice, begging me to get back together with his son. I’m adamant I don’t want to get roped in again. How can I let this man down easy? He’s a lovely person and I feel bad about hurting him.

–Won’t Get Fooled Again

Ms. L.B. feels for the dad in this case. He’s still mourning the loss of his wife, and his lazy, selfish son has screwed things up again. You finally got the truth out of your boyfriend; now you know he’ll never be partner material. Presumably, you’ve moved on, older and wiser. Why don’t you write your ex’s dad a handwritten note? Don’t dissect your relationship with his son, but do make it clear that it’s over for good. Acknowledge your affection and respect for him and his family. (Depending on how you feel in the future, you might be in occasional touch with them, but don’t give them false hope.) Say something like this:

Dear Lloyd,

It was good to hear your voice on the phone. I’m sorry it was under such unfortunate circumstances. The truth is, Ryan and I have broken up for good, and there’s no chance we’ll ever be reunited in the future.

This doesn’t take away my affection and respect for you and Sarah – and Esther, even though she’s no longer with you. Please know that your family has always meant a lot to me, and I’ll continue to keep all of you close to my heart.

I wish you well always.

Affectionately/Sincerely/Fondly,

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