He has twin daughters who just turned 13. I did my part, went to their Bat Mitvah and participated in all their events. I have three children, aged 20, 18, and 15. My 18-year-old daughter just graduated high school, and the night before the graduation my boyfriend told me he couldn’t come to the ceremony because he had a CrossFit party to attend. I, of course, am livid, hurt, and disgusted with him. He told me I didn’t invite him and that he thought the graduation was in the morning when it was, in fact, in the afternoon.
I don’t think I can forgive him for this. My daughter only graduates from high school once. I was never formally invited to his kids’ Bat Mitzvah, but I was smart enough to know I had to be there because I love his girls and wanted to support them and him. His actions, however, say it all. It was a slap in my and my daughter’s faces. What do you think? — Fit To Be Crossed
I think, if you want to look at one’s actions and what they say about one’s feelings, it’s just as telling that neither of you actually invited the other to your children’s big events as it is that your boyfriend chose a CrossFit party over your daughter’s high school graduation. I guess I don’t understand why, after five years together, you wouldn’t make sure your partner knew he was not only invited to your daughter’s graduation, but also was expected to come. Why wasn’t he included in the plans? Wouldn’t he, after five years in your lives and as your partner, warrant an invite to the post-graduation festivities — lunch or dinner or a family party? Wouldn’t you, at some point in the days leading up to the graduation ceremony, check in with him and make sure he knew where and when to go? And similarly, why didn’t he extend an invitation to you to his daughters’ Bat Mitzvah? Beyond your boyfriend’s obsession with CrossFit and your strange wording regarding your respective religions — as if his being Jewish has anything to do with his behavior — what strikes me as the most curious aspect of your question is simply your equal disregard for each other.
Perhaps after five years, things have simply run their course. Maybe with young children, neither of you was able to invest the needed time and energy into making this relationship a success, and now it seems neither of you can be bothered to actually end it either. But if that isn’t the case, and you believe there is too much between you to just throw away, then summon whatever fight you’ve got in you and make an effort to save your relationship. That means sitting down with your boyfriend and telling him you need him to make you — and your family — a priority in his life. You need to come above CrossFit.
Frankly, there’s an alarming lack of communication between you. I don’t know if that’s a symptom of a bigger problem or simply the cause of every other problem. But I do know that you won’t figure it out and you won’t move forward — whether it’s with him or not — unless you open your mouth and start communicating some of your needs. And when you do that, be sure to discuss what each of you wants in your future. Do you fit into one another’s grand plan? Is there space in each other’s respective futures? Do you even want the same thing? After five years, those are questions you are long overdue asking (and answering).
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.