Our expert says:
Sorry to hear about this, Ben. Alcohol abuse and dagga abuse is likely to have contruibuted significantly to the embarrassing social behaviour you describe.
I understand your reluctance to embark on couples or marriage counselling with her, but it would probably still be a good idea. I think such counselling should not be seen as superglue, aimed entirely at sticking a relationship back together. It can be valuable in enabling BOTH of you to understand better what went wrong, how and why, and how to avoid it in future, whether in this relationship or any other ( there's a high risk of both of you repeating this pattern, otherwise ). And it can enable a peaceful and more friendly breaking up of the relationship, with less bitterness and recriminations.
If the friend you mention simply provides a good colleague and a model of the sort of relationship you would like to form in the future with someone else, that's useful. A relationship directly with her of course, especially on the rebound from your present elationship going sour, could provide the opposite of that.
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