The importance of setting standards

Ask L.K. – Because life can get a little messy.

By L.K. ELLIOTT, Connect Columnist

Dear L.K. – My boyfriend of three years just broke up with me, but said he wants to remain friends. I’m heart-broken and although I feel this is the only way not to “lose” him completely, I don’t know if I can be just his friend. Do you think it’s possible to be friends with an ex?
– The Ex

Dear The Ex: I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think it’s possible in this phase of your relationship, with the split up being so fresh. When you lose someone in your life, you need to allow yourself time to grieve and heal. If your ex is still partially in your life, it’s the equivalent to picking an old scab that’s trying to heal. It’s going to delay the healing process. It will be a complicated relationship at best.

Give yourself some distance; allow your heart, mind, and soul to heal. Take this time to focus on yourself and your well-being. Maybe one day in the future, when all emotional ties are gone completely, a friendship may be possible. But I bet – by then – this relationship won’t be as appealing, because you’ll be onto bigger and better things by that time.

Dear L.K. – My wife of 15 years hates that I have female friends. I’ve always been a “people person”, and although I’m totally satisfied in my marriage, I love developing new friendships. If I stopped being so friendly, I feel that I would be denying a part of who I am, which I refuse to do. I’m looking for some trust and genuine love from my wife, and she’s looking for me to change my ways. What should I do?
– Friendly Not Flirty

Dear Friendly Not Flirty: At the end of the day, you have needs and so does your wife. She feels threatened by these friendships, and you need to decide what is most important to you. There’s no right or wrong answer here, but this seems to be a serious conflict in your marriage.

Would you say you are loving your spouse to her standards, or your own? It appears you both have very different rules and boundaries for your relationship, and it would be good to have a healthy discussion about your “relationship rules”. Often all we need is a little clarity in our relationships to improve them.

I can see both sides of the story here, but I feel you need to do what is best for your relationship, if that is your top priority. Could you find any other ways to feel you’re honouring your authentic self, but in a way that doesn’t create discomfort for your wife? If you love to be social, perhaps you could create a social group of some kind? Maybe you could collaborate with your wife on this project, which could bring you two even closer and you could create mutual friendships together, which may make her feel more comfortable with you having female friends.

L.K. Elliott is a local fitness guru turned self-help author, who sees the potential for personal growth in everyone, and brings that relentless optimism into the lives of Wood Buffalo residents. Have a question, direct them to L.K. on social media at Instagram: @lk.elliott and Twitter: @lkelliott_

– Connect Weekly –