Home Australia DEAR JANE: I had a mortifying accident while on vacation with my boyfriend’s parents. Now I’m afraid he’ll leave me because of it.

DEAR JANE: I had a mortifying accident while on vacation with my boyfriend’s parents. Now I’m afraid he’ll leave me because of it.

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Dear Jane, I had a mortifying accident on my first holiday with my boyfriend and his parents and now I'm afraid he'll end our relationship because of it.

Dear Jane,

Last week I went on vacation for the first time with my boyfriend…and his entire family. We’ve been together for three years, but for one reason or another we’ve never traveled together, so when his parents asked me if I’d like to join them on a trip to ItalyI jumped when I had the chance.

I’ve always had the feeling that I didn’t really like their parents, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to win them over. I studied Italian at university and (perhaps foolishly) thought they would be dazzled by my language skills and knowledge of the local culture.

At first, everything went swimmingly. We met my boyfriend’s mother, father, and sister (and her husband too) in Rome and spent several days checking out all the classic hot spots while eating delicious food.

We then headed to Capri for a few days by the sea. It was there that everything began to fall apart.

Dear Jane, I had a mortifying accident on my first holiday with my boyfriend and his parents and now I’m afraid he’ll end our relationship because of it.

On our first day in Capri I spent too much time in the sun without drinking enough water and felt pretty sick by dinner time, so my boyfriend suggested I skip it and go straight to bed, which I did.

Her parents made some snide (or at least what I thought was snide) comments about how it was “a shame I didn’t feel strong enough” to go out, but I tried to forget about it and just passed out.

Anyway, long story short, the next day I still felt bad, but I was willing to keep going and I made it to dinner. But when I was coming back from the restaurant, I started to feel really, really bad. You know that feeling you get when you realize you have about 10 seconds left before disaster strikes? Well, that was my experience.

And you know, moments later I was vomiting profusely in the street. It looked like something out of a horror movie.

I was absolutely mortified.

At the time, everyone was very nice and got me back to the hotel safely. But later I heard my boyfriend’s mother comment on how much wine I had drunk at dinner and that it was a shame I couldn’t control myself in public.

On the last night of our trip, my boyfriend asked me to “stop drinking,” which makes me think he really believes his mother’s suggestion that he was throwing up from the alcohol.

International bestselling author Jane Green offers sage advice on DailyMail.com readers' hottest issues in her Dear Jane column, the agony aunt

International bestselling author Jane Green offers sage advice on DailyMail.com readers’ hottest issues in her Dear Jane column, the agony aunt

Ever since we got home, he’s been distant, and I can’t help but feel like this stupid stomach bug or food poisoning or whatever is going to cause him to break up with me.

Am I being paranoid or is this a mess I can’t fix?


Stomach ache

Dear Upset Stomach,

It’s hard to tell if there’s information missing from your letter, because you didn’t mention anything about alcohol until your boyfriend and his mother brought it up.

And it’s hard to analyze because I’m not sure why they would even think to mention alcohol, unless alcohol was part of the story.

The fact that you overheard your boyfriend’s mother comment on how much wine you drank at dinner suggests to me that perhaps the wine was part of the problem.

Which isn’t to say you didn’t also catch a stomach bug, but I wonder if you’re being completely honest with yourself about what happened.

Let’s assume that alcohol had nothing to do with it and that you contracted a terrible disease. If everyone came to the wrong conclusion and your boyfriend told you to stop drinking when you hadn’t been drinking, I would urge you to think carefully about your relationship.

Disbelieving and even belittling yourself is not a sign of a healthy relationship.

Communication is everything. You may need to talk honestly with your boyfriend, ask him why he assumed it was alcohol, and offer him proof that alcohol is not a problem.

If they’re about to break up with you, there’s nothing that can change that, and I’m sorry. It’s heartbreaking to watch someone stop loving you, especially when you think it’s because of something so insignificant, except it’s rarely because of a small thing.

As far as you know, this is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but know that what we expect and deserve from those we love is not only to be loved, but also valued, comforted when we are sick, and believed in.

Dear Jane,

I recently underwent a couples counseling session with my partner to address the issues we have around communication and arguments.

Halfway through the session, a very sensitive topic came up and my partner responded very badly. He became defensive, nervous and rude.

In the midst of her meltdown, the counselor began apologizing to me, telling me she was sorry I was experiencing domestic violence and emotional abuse at the hands of my partner, and asked if I would like to see her in a one-on-one session.

I understand that his actions were not okay, and so did he. He immediately signed up for a series of one-on-one sessions with another therapist in an attempt to try to better understand his behavior and mitigate it in the future.

However, I am now completely baffled because someone who spoke to us for 25 minutes said that I am being abused and honestly, I am really confused by her statements.

Am I so naive that I can’t see it? Or is it true that someone can have bad habits and display horrible behavior, but still be a good partner and a good person?

I am now questioning my entire relationship with my son’s father and I am having a hard time not constantly thinking about what this means for our future. Should I allow the relationship to continue if I am questioning every action he takes or every thing he says?

Dear Jane’s Sunday Service

The hardest thing in the world for us is to look at our part in things, our own bad behavior, the pain we have caused others.

Part of human nature is to often become defensive, but when we can step back and own up to our part, what we’ve done wrong, and then take steps to fix it, we are guaranteed to have happier, more peaceful relationships with everyone around us.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Reality hurts

Dear Reality Bites,

It seems to me that a counselor who barely knows the two of you, who doesn’t know your history or the ins and outs of your relationship (and, in fact, who can know unless they live behind the closed doors of your relationship?), has no right to call something domestic violence or abuse.

They certainly have a right to express their concerns, but this is very extreme language and I understand why you find it so upsetting.

We live in times when labels become increasingly convenient and people, even well-meaning therapists, are placing labels on situations they are not entirely familiar with.

I understand why this has made you so nervous, however you need to take a step back and look at the evidence.

Your partner did all the right things immediately after the blowup: he booked more therapy for himself and took the appropriate steps to fix the problem. This tells me that he is indeed a good partner and a good person, and that he loves you enough to do the job.

Good people can do bad things. The mark of a truly good person is that they immediately take responsibility for the things they have done and then do what is necessary to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

There are a lot of bad therapists out there. I suggest you ignore this therapist and focus on the work your partner is doing and strengthening the relationship. I wish you the best.

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