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Boyfriend texts female friend back but not me

Dear Annie: A few months ago, I found out that my boyfriend was messaging a girl. He says she is just a friend. I’ve asked where he knows her from, but he brushes it off and says it was just a friendly text. I believe him that she’s just a friend, but what bothers me is that the whole time this was happening, he would tell me that he was too busy to reply to me. He does work a lot so I’ve tried not to be understanding when there’s limited communication.

However, it hurts me that he took the time to reply to her messages during his workday while saying that he didn’t have time to reply to mine. It has been two months since I discovered this, and I am still very upset. I’ve brought it up again a couple of times, and he listens to a point, but then he just shuts down the conversation, saying she’s just a friend and I shouldn’t worry about it. — Not Over It

Dear Not Over It: His texting a female friend is not the core issue, as you seem to acknowledge. The core issue is your feeling devalued by his lack of communication. Put the emphasis squarely on that. Let him know your needs — for instance, “I would feel loved and important if you could respond within a few hours of my texting you, even if it’s just to say that you’re too busy to respond.” Without good communication, even the smallest of things can fester and infect the relationship. With good communication, couples can heal the most painful wounds. So, get talking.

Dear Annie: I am the mother of three incredible adult children. About a year and a half ago, my only daughter just cut me off without any explanation. My youngest son then moved in next door to her and hasn’t spoken to me in almost a year. They both refuse to talk to me.

So much has happened since then. My daughter got engaged and since then has gotten married she did not tell me of either the engagement or the wedding. I had to, unfortunately, find out on Facebook.

She did not invite anyone from my side of the family. She did invite her dad (my ex-husband) and his new wife. She also invited her new mother-in-law, father-in-law and brother-in-law and his girlfriend. I have been so hurt I’m at a loss for words. — Mom Cast Aside

Dear Mom Cast Aside: One of the hard parts of this job is trying to discern what a letter leaves out. I’m struggling with that here. It would be strange indeed for a son and daughter to both abruptly cut off contact with their mother for no reason. I wonder what their perspectives might be.

No matter what happened between you all, though, I’m sure it’s very painful for you to not have contact with them and to miss your daughter’s wedding. It’s natural to be feeling some resentment right now. Counseling could help you work through these emotions and find peace, and I strongly encourage you to give it a try. Your primary care doctor can refer you to therapists, or you can also call the national helpline SAMHSA (1-800-662-4357) to be connected with resources in your area.

Dear Annie: If “Disheartened” wants to marry her boyfriend of 10 years and he’s not proposing, then why doesn’t SHE propose? At least she’ll get an answer one way or another. — Stephanie

Dear Stephanie: I appreciate the straightforwardness of this advice — wish I’d thought of it myself!

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