Dear Miss Emily:

I asked my girlfriend if she was ever unfaithful during our relationship and she said calmly NO. We were at my apartment the other day, made love, were relaxed.  I thought I would ask her why she hasn't had me over to her house since a two month breakup, because her daughter of 25 years old really hates me. I also know that she had been beaten physically and emotionally by her x husband. I have this feeling that her daughter said it was either her or me, and  that is why we always met at my apartment, once a week. I said I thought her daughter’s behavior was out of line. I was shocked when she told me to shut my mouth, and she walked out of my apartment and said she wasn't to come over anymore.  I said, “Let me at least walk you to the car,” and “Remember I love you.”  Two days later, she called to tell me to please don't contact her anymore. I responded by saying, “OK” and she said, “Thank you.” I've been trying to get  a straight answer of why she broke it off. Was it another man or was it that her daughter was putting pressure on her?  She has been under so much stress because she had to go back to Russia, to bury her mother, and her only blood is her daughter who can be very selfish and abusive herself towards her mom. I've tried to contact her, but there has been no contact on her part and complete silence. I'm a Greek/Sicilian male, and I have always believed a man of strength and honor should always be good to a woman, but at the same time be fair and firm when attacked.  Lately, she was verbally critical and very defensive with me before the breakup. What is your take on the  breakup? Thank you so much. I hope you realize how important it is for me to get a woman’s opinion of what might have happened. Was I the easiest stressor to get rid of? Was there another man? Please advise.
Second Fiddle

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Dear Second:

I believe, in that one moment, your ex-girlfriend decided she had reached her limit.  There is a  troubled history with you and her, and the daughter does play a role in that.  She is caught in the middle, the stresses in her life are too great, and it’s better to release you than try to change the reality of her circumstances. But that doesn’t let you off the hook in terms of responsibility.  Your strong personality made it easier to cut you out of her life because, as she sees it, there’s one less controlling person in her life.  She’s made her choice, and she probably feels relieved.  For whatever the reason her daughter hates you, fair or not, the fissure seems too great and too raw to heal.  There is no other man.  Only one man, you, and your relationship has capsized, once again.  Don’t search for any other reason but accept the fact that being with her, now, is not an option.  The problems seem almost insurmountable, but your only hope of reconciliation is to back off completely.  Sometimes you just have stop the madness and move on with your life; especially when a shaky relationship has no where to go but south.