Dear Annie: Haunted by the ghost of my ex past
Dear Annie: My first serious boyfriend was rude, was crude and lacked compassion. My family members were very unhappy the entire time we were together, but they held their tongues out of respect for my judgment.
The three-year relationship ended, and I admitted to my family members that I had hidden all of the emotional abuse, infidelity and cruelty that he put me through, and they helped me get over it and grow and recover.
Fast-forward two years later, and I finally am in a happy, healthy relationship, so different from the one before. The only problem is that my family members are constantly comparing him to my ex and looking into my behavior for signs that could show that this one is like the one before.
It’s as if they are obsessed with my ex. My mom and sister still stalk his social media accounts and bring him into the conversation. They talk about my old boyfriend more than they do my new one, and I don’t know how to tell them that I’d like them to give my judgment another chance and stop looking into my past. I want them to love this new fella as much as I do, and it’s hard for me to convince my family members that I’m over my ex when they’re not over him themselves. How do I persuade them to move forward with me? — Once Bitten
Dear Once Bitten: Tell your family members exactly that. Their protectiveness served an important purpose when you were vulnerable two years ago, but now it’s become restrictive of growth — like a cast left on after a fracture has healed. Thank them for their support, and reassure them that you will reach out if there is trouble like that again. (And do reach out if there’s trouble.) Lastly, have your boyfriend spend more time with your parents, your sister and you. If he truly cares for you with all his heart, your family members will be able to tell better than anyone. And they can finally supplant that bad gut feeling with a good one.
Dear Annie: I keep getting conflicting information, so I’m wondering whether you could direct me to someone who could give me truthful answers. I’ve read articles in the paper lately about record-fast care for a heart attack. One article stated that restoring blood flow quickly is linked to a lower chance of permanent damage.
Last month, I had a heart attack. As soon as I started having chest pains, I went to an emergency room at a local hospital that advertised fast care for heart attack victims. The people there took blood every three hours. They scheduled me for a heart catheter and put a stent in 13 1/2 hours later. I was also prescribed several medications with no explanation given. Is this normal treatment? Could you give me the names of heart organizations or renowned heart doctors who could look at my case and advise me as to whether I have gotten proper treatment? Right now, I don’t have a lot of trust in my local hospital or doctors. — First-Time Heart Patient
Dear Heart Patient: I’m so glad you’re OK. It would be reckless of me to give specific medical counsel, but here are two broad pieces of advice I can offer: 1) Always get a second opinion. 2) Make sure your cardiologist is board-certified. The websites for the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Board of Family Medicine allow anyone to check credentials.
My readers are always eager to help people, so I have a feeling I’ll hear from some cardiologists. If so, I’ll let you know.
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