Today's Relationship Advice Question:
My fiance's assistant professed her love for him and when he told her he didn't feel the same she began to hyperventilate and landed in the hospital. They're in a different country and work with classified and highly confidential materials in their work. He knows she can't do the job and would like to send her home. How do I support him and to help her? We both feel stumped with this. I fear it could get uglier before it gets better.
First congratulations on your wedding! I'm glad you found someone you want to commit time and energy to for a long time- that is something very special.
Second, I want to commend your empathy for this woman. Often when someone has feelings for our partner we can get caught up in jealousy, insecurity, and defensiveness. What this woman needs is empathy (and mental health support) and I am so glad you and your fiance want to give that to her.
She is heartbroken and losing her job after all.
That said, y'all can give her referrals, recommendations, and plane tickets if you choose, but she's the only one who can take advantage of the supports out there. Encourage her to take care of her emotional well-being and tell her honestly how concerned you both are. You can refer to either of these sites (GoodTherapy or Psychology Today) to find great therapists anywhere in the US.
As much as I recommend being very clear about your concerns for her well-being and safety, I also think it's important to set and keep clear boundaries about how much support you can realistically provide both from afar and in the workplace.
It can be really easy to overcommit yourself to taking care of another person's emotional well-being in cases like this. Neither of you are mental health professionals (I assume) and she's going to need to care for her heart with the support of people who aren't directly related to her hurt.
I hope you can find a way to offer her compassionate boundaries and re-focus your attention on your long-distance connection to one another and planning your celebration.
Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationships, jealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.
She can help you:
- rediscover passion in long-term relationships
- repair trust after infidelity or dishonesty
- move past jealousy, insecurity or codependent patterns
- open your relationship or practice polyamory with care
- resolve sexual dysfunction and disconnect
- break unhealthy communication patterns in your relationship
Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.