Written by Sasha

I was engaged about 5 years ago to a guy I’ll call ‘’Douchebag T”. He was conservative, secure, a solid government lifer and boring as hell. We broke up a few months before our wedding, as I was offered my dream job. Unfortunately it was a big salary cut and risky and DT was pissed off that I would even consider it because we would have to put off buying a house and have a smaller wedding. He said and did some really nasty, demeaning and hurtful things to try and stop me. I broke off the engagement when I realized that I did not want to spend my life with someone who thought I was stupid for wanting to pursue my dreams and could be so emotionally and verbally abusive.

Luckily I was supported through this by my girlfriends. There has been a group of six of us since high school and we have supported each other through the ups and downs of school, careers, marriages, break-ups, sicknesses, babies and loss of parents.

Fast forward 5 years to 2011…the job did turn into everything (+more) that I thought it would be. Until last week… when I found out that one of the members of the girl-group, C, just got engaged… to Douchebag T. Apparently they started secretly dating a few months ago and suddenly were engaged. None of the other girls knew either and we found out when we received save-the-date cards for their wedding this December.

Needless to say, I am stunned and angry at her over this severe breach of Girl Code. I wouldn’t want him if he was the last man on Earth, but I can’t believe that C would do this and I feel so betrayed. I confided in all of them everything that he put me through and she still dated and agreed to marry him?! C has not had the guts to speak to me alone since the announcement, but the other girls confronted her and she said that since I dumped him and that 5 years have passed, she thought it would be OK especially as his side of the story is so different from mine.

What do you think Sasha – should I go?

Signed AB

Damn AB…that’s some serious Shania Twain action right there. (A quick aside: who’s watching her new show? I have a soft spot for Shania and she seems so happy now, but can someone give her the heads up that the way she styles her hair SUCKS- it’s borderline Sister Wives). Anyway…back to you AB.

I’ve got to say that this is up there on my ‘fear’ list. I’d FReeeaak if one of my best buds did this to me. So AB, you are totally entitled to feel angry and betrayed, because this is one giant serving of diarrhea pie.

But as sucky as this situation is, you need to be the bigger person right now. Let me put this into perspective for you:

It would be one thing if DT was ‘the one’ who got away, or if he was even the one who remotely came close to being that person, but the fact is, he was a dud. If you read my post last week then you’ll know I think it's great that you were smart enough to get rid of someone who didn’t support you. You NEED someone who not only sees your dream but is willing to help you build it. You dreamed a bigger dream and he wasn’t part of it, so I think we can all agree that he can eat a big fat dick. No loss there.

So with that out of the way, let’s get to the root of all this HURT: C.

Did she break the one golden rule of girl code? Hellz yeah. And while that’s unfortunate, it’s time for you to start operating on ‘woman code’. That means handling this situation with a level of maturity, and the first step is: LETTING GO.

You’d think that C would have had the brain capacity to give you the heads up that she was a) interested in your ex-fiancé in the first place, and b) going marry the dude, but she didn’t, and that blunder rests on her shoulders not yours. I’m not asking you to excuse her behaviour but rather, rise above it.

The reality is that from here on out things between you two are going to be weird - for a while, if not forever - but, you do need to wish those two the best. They were probably being 'secretive' because they didn't want to hurt you and because they knew they were being totally shady. It wasn't cool, but you have no control over what they choose to do with their lives, so if that’s what makes them happy, so be it. Now, when it comes to whether or not you should attend the wedding. I say, yes. There’s nothing better than some good ol’ fashioned shock therapy and once you see them together exchanging vows, you will easily be able to handle anything else they throw your way. And sh-t, why not eat, drink and party your face off on their dime.

Here’s the real deal. A lot of us default to emotions like hatred and anger when things get tough, because it seems easier to function on that level. But the fact is it takes so much more energy to feel and act that way. And once that hatred seeps into your veins it’s hard to get it out. So AB, always take the kind route. It works every time.

And the most important thing to remember here is that you are HAPPY in your life right now. You have everything you dreamed of and more so don’t lose sight of that.

So it's been a year and a half since my last relationship, and honestly it was a terrible abusive, controlling relationship that took me a long time and a lot of effort to get out of. Well a few months ago I met a guy in my class. Really great guy, gets along great with my family/friends. We went on a group outing to a baseball game with my BFF, dad, his girlfriend, her two sons and (one is gay) and his partner. My "stepbrothers" have been there for me through some pretty rough shit and are pretty protective of me. Well, the gays, the other "stepbrother", me and my BFF are drinkers, my new bf is not so much. He was kinda sulky at the game and I was trying to have fun and include everyone, including him but he really wasn't trying to hard (he even admits this) but i was not going to not have a good time or focus all my time/attention on new bf because I did that with my last bf and don't really want to fall into old, bad patterns. Well we went out to the bars after and new bf wanted to have a heart to heart and I said this wasn't the time or place for it and could we wait til we were home. He kept persisting and my stepbrothers could sense the tension and tried to help keep the peace. New bf later opened up that his grandma is an alcoholic and he is scared that it will happen to him or someone else he cares about. I'm not an alcoholic and I like to occasionally go out with my friends and responsibly drink. Since this happened he has been distant and keeps bringing this night up even though we have talked about this ad nauseum. He has even said he is questioning his feelings, (not second guessing but questioning but honestly is there a difference?) and has pulled back. I know you can't help how you feel but I just feel like I'm being punished for someone else's (i.e. Grandma) actions. Is this normal/healthy/understandable? I just feel that i have more questions now than answers, I'm also afraid he might just be dragging out a breakup as opposed to ripping of the band-aid? I don't know, please help!

First, kudos for getting out of that abusive relationship; it takes a very strong person to step out of a mess like that, so big props to you.

But here’s the tricky thing...

Sometimes when people come out of a really toxic relationship they come out of that sh-t still swinging. You know what I mean? Like, they almost forget to put their gloves down when they enter a new relationship. And while I’m all for standing one's ground, sometimes that can be taken to an extreme. It's like, if they even get the slightest sense that someone is ‘telling’ them what to do, their backs go up and fight/flight sets in. And S, my sense is that you’re doing a bit of that right now.

The thing is, trauma is trauma no matter how you slice it; and just like you were emotionally traumatized by your ex, it seems as though your boyfriend was equally traumatized by his grandma’s drinking. So S, it’s not really about the act of you drinking as it is about how much his past experiences are affecting him.

His fears are just as real as yours, and when he feels like he’s about to get hurt, he starts building up emotional walls. I'm guessing that's why he’s saying he’s questioning his feelings for you. So before the wall gets too big to climb, I think you need to have another talk....Yes, another one.

If you could apply a bit more sensitivity to the issue, then that would be a really good starting point, because one thing you both have in common is that you're both operating from fear. Neither of you want to get burned or hurt, and both of you are ready to jump ship if you see trouble on the horizon. Do you get what I mean?

So I think you both need to find a way to feel safe in this relationship. If you can, then you can move past this. Hope this helps and keep me posted!

Hi Sasha, 4 years ago I dropped everything and moved to the West Coast to follow a life long dream of living in this beautiful city (Vancouver). I came out here with no friends or family and as I'm sure you've heard (and for all you Vancouverites, this is VERY true), it's hard to break into a group of friends here. I was lucky enough to meet a really great guy and quickly became friends with his group of friends.

Here is where I get whiny. Last summer I was fortunate to meet someone outside of this circle of friends and it was great to feel like I had someone that I could rely on. Within the first few days of meeting this new friend I introduced her to "the group"; although she denied and denied, I saw a connection with her and another friend (who had a girlfriend). For the remainder of the summer and into the fall my new friend and I spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other and she confided in me that she never connected well with females and that I was one of her only good female friends. Fast forward to the fall when my female friend finally tells me that she has feelings for my other friend in the group. Within days he had broken up with his current girlfriend and the two were inseparable; it was great to see them together and so happy. Things started getting weird when I would hang out with them and the male friend would constantly ask if I was jealous of their relationship and he would inform me that he would steal her away from me (????). From that moment on my female friend took a backseat to our friendship. The only time we see each other now is with the group and when it's just the two of us in a room the conversation is incredibly awkward. I miss our chats, but I'm starting to wonder if I was just used to get close to this other friend of mine. Thoughts? C

I totally know how hard it is being a newbie but girl, I’ve gotta say, I think you’re being a tad too sensitive. Look, I get how important it is to finally find a true friend when its feels like you’ve been treading water for a while to fit in. And of course, there’s nothing more grounding than having a friend who is always there; so it must be frustrating that she’s kind of checked out, but I can’t help but think your acting territorial.

Hear me out. Let’s take the comments that her boyfriend made…you know, the ones about you ‘being jealous’ and stuff. He’s obviously trying to get a rise out of you, but what’s more glaring to me is that he’s using these ‘jokes’ to convey some truth, because seriously, why else would he say that to you? So you might have to ask yourself if you've been acting a bit jealous or demanding. Have you been copping some ‘tude? Can you own up to any of that?

The fact is, everyone knows the "I've-got-a-new-boy/girlfriend-and-am-about-to-abandon-your-ass" rule: When a friend starts a new relationship they drop off the face of the earth for at least 6 months. Sure, it sucks but it’s just the reality - and all good friends understand.

Now C, I don’t want to completely dog you out because I know that this all stems from a good place, and trust me, I know that loneliness can make people act in ways they normally wouldn’t. So if I were you I’d just peel back the pressure and expectations from her for right now. When you see her, have fun with her again, get the goods on what life is like with her new man, and just catch up.

Keep me posted! xx