Ask Amy: Final break-up does not require details
Dear Amy: I've been in an on-and-off relationship with a man whose handsy, flirtatious style of interacting with women he finds attractive has always bothered me. I've broken up with him over this and have explained in detail several times how humiliating it feels to me when he acts this way.
The times we've started up again, he always says he's a "new man" who understands my feelings. He even thanks me for helping him to be a more-respectful person. Then, months later, things begin to slide.
This time, the slide was accompanied by a health scare for me when I had some symptoms that are commonly associated with an STD.
I tested negative for this STD (he's positive for the STD, and we use condoms), but his behavior toward one woman in our group became so flirtatious that my mind started interpreting threats everywhere regarding our relationship.
I decided to look at his text messages with this woman, whom he once described as someone he feels “fatherly” toward.
Sure enough, they had engaged in a sexual relationship during one of the periods where he and I had separated.
At this point I just want to make a clean break from him romantically, but I'm worried about all our mutual friends.
I'm struggling with how to talk to him about learning that he's lied to me for years about his relationship with this much-younger woman.
He will erupt into a nuclear reaction at hearing that I looked at his phone, despite anything I might say about feeling worried about the connection between my health, our sexually intimate relationship, and his behavior.
Any suggestions for conducting this ending of the romantic relationship that won't ignite a reaction that could include losing friends in our circle?