April 10, 2012
Asking the wrong question on October 5, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
How do I know if I’m being irrational about an issue? My boyfriend never calls in advance to make plans for the weekend … he’ll call a couple hours before to ask me if I want to hang out. He’s 25, I’m 21, and we have been together for 6 months. When is it time to drop him and move on or continue putting in the effort?
Okay, that’s really annoying. Here’s the question: when he calls, are you still there?
I mean, it’s possible that he’s one of those people who sucks at making plans. It’s also possible that he’s using you as Plan B, waiting to see what else might materialize before he calls his steady. Well, don’t be so goddamn steady. Make your own plans, with or without him. I’m not saying some fake girlpower thing like, “Teach that boy a lesson, girlfriend!” But I am saying that if you are always available at the last minute, you’re doing what people with and without psychological credentials call “enabling.”
‘Cause the other question is this: when you do go out, is he really there with you?
April 6, 2012
Getting over it on October 5, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Here’s a tough one. I can’t believe I’m writing, but I’m looking for some sort of outlet here, for a problem that no one seems to want to acknowledge or address: how to get over the end of an affair so I can move on with my life.
You see, I’ve been in a virtually sexless marriage for almost 7 years. We got married very young (23/22), and even though we were sexually active, and enjoyably so, before we got married, my attraction to him started to wane before we got married. Trying to be mature and patient, I attributed this to the new responsibilities we faced as adults and believed that we would get back on track once we were living together and got our lives moving. Unfortunately, we never ending up addressing the problem, and basically avoided sex and never really developed a sexual relationship in our marriage. In the meantime, we continued to build a good marriage in many other ways, and have been loving, compatible companions.
Anyway, here’s the real crisis (or the additional one): several months ago I had a very brief affair. I had felt so lost for so many years, had doubted my basically ability to feel desire, and once I did, and had the opportunity, I took it. I never thought I was the kind of person who would be unfaithful in a relationship, but now I’ve learned that it’s not really a “kind of person” kind of thing. The other guy was going through a divorce, and we had been friends at work for several years, and suddenly things started happening, and we both let it happen, fully conscious (I do take full responsibility and won’t fall back on the “it just happened” excuse). Anyway, he ended things, saying it was too hard for him that I wasn’t fully available to him, and that he knew I needed to work things through with my husband and find out where all that was going, and he wanted us to continue our friendship and put up some boundaries between us. I agreed in theory, but felt so lost and confused and rejected in a way, knowing all the while it didn’t make any sense, but feeling hurt all the same. Well, I couldn’t handle any of it — the deception, the doubts I was feeling about my attraction to my husband, the confusion, and when my husband asked me, I told him the truth. He was devastated, shocked beyond belief, and actually became violent and smashed things in our apartment and went to my office to dig around and find out who the guy was, and went to his house and punched him. He is not usually a violent person, though he has always been very jealous, but I must say that this was out of character for him (and me, as well, or so I thought).
April 5, 2012
Too much judging on October 5, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’m 16 years old. My boyfriend and I have been together for about 6 months…the first 3 were really challenging and hard, the last 3 have seemed to be smooth sailing. I believe I have found the guy of my dreams (I’m only 16, I know). But he is perfect for me and I love him more than anything in the world.
But there are two problems. For one thing, he is two years older than me and in college…before we got together he was a virgin, and I wasn’t. I constantly receive guilt from him for my poor decision to start having sex when I was 14. I do regret this decision a lot, but there is nothing I can do about it now. I feel like a dirty and irresponsible person with low morals compared to him. I constantly have the complex that I’m not good enough for him. I am not a jealous or controlling girlfriend but I still have my worries.
The other problem is that we don’t tell each other that we love each other. I said it once before I was ready and it caused a lot of problems. The thing is, now I really feel like I do love him, but I’m afraid to tell him because he has told me that although he cares for me a lot, he couldn’t say “I love you” yet. I’m worried that if he doesn’t love me yet, he never will. Please help BG!!
We’ve taken your feelings of “dirty, irresponsible, low-morality” and replaced them with slightly righteous indignation. Can you tell the difference? Let’s watch.
“Hey, boyfriend! The personal decisions I made two years before I met you are not yours to judge. “
April 4, 2012
Breaking the cycle on October 5, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Love your column, long-time listener, first-time caller, etc., etc., posture, pose, whine, wheedle.
I have the perfect relationship. I’m engaged to my high school sweetheart, who is intelligent, witty, well-read, and fun to be with. And, of course, as an added bonus: she’s gorgeous. Sorta like moving into a cool, inexpensive apartment and finding out that it has a dishwasher.
It may sound as if Ms. Perfect is just that, but she’s got an annoying flaw. She has absolutely no self-esteem whatsoever. She’s constantly belittling her appearance and her intelligence.
I’m fairly certain that it’s not a “fishing for compliments” thing. If she is looking for compliments, then she’s got a *really* high quota: this trend reared its ugly head well into the relationship…she’d had over a year of “gosh, you look nice today,” “you’ve got really pretty eyes, dear,” “hey beautiful,” and other such compliments. (We’ve been dating for nearly five years, and it didn’t really start until midway through the second year.)
At first, she stumbled awkwardly over them, and I could tell that she just wasn’t sure how to react…then she started deflecting them with either self-hateful remarks, the ever-popular “oh you’re just saying that,” or simply a scathing “whatever.”
Telling her that her rebuttals to my compliments are causing me angst causes her to lapse into a depressed self-flagellation, where she berates herself for being an “awful bitch” and offers to break up so that I can find someone better.
She’s 5′2″ and 120 pounds, and she calls herself fat. She’s got a 3.8 GPA and considers herself dumb. She’s the most wonderful human being on the planet and she thinks she’s Leona Helmsley.
April 3, 2012
Growing impatient on October 5, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I dated a guy for six months and he kept telling me that “He thought I was settling” which I know is code for “I want to sleep with other people.” Which was fine with me. So the calls started to dwindle, which I expected, but when it came time to get my personal belongings back he kept stalling. Now he is involved with someone else, and will not return my calls, won’t answer the phone, and won’t even put my stuff in a box and leave it outside for me or mail it. So I have kind of decided to forget about it, but since a couple of the things mean something to me I’m a little pissed at his reluctance.
Why is he basically refusing to give my things back? And when should I go by and bang on his door at 4 AM to get my stuff?? Thanks in advance.
Are all his boxes and stamps at your house? That could be one thing. Other than that, hmm. Possible motivations for his lack of motivation:
1. He accidentally sold your cardigan at a yard sale and, now that you’re on his trail, is stalling while his aunt knits a facsimile.
April 2, 2012
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The Predicament of the Week from October 5, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Sorry for my verbosity, but after I wrote this litany of patheticness I felt like deleting any part of it would be like cutting off a limb. Please feel free to skip over any drivel you feel unnecessary.
I used to be pretty good at handling my romantic entanglements when I was younger, but now everything seems to be a big mess. I am really at a point where I am so confused and no longer trust my gut instincts. I have been on this manic roller coaster for almost a year and a half and I just don’t know what to do. I should be happy — I have a very successful career on Wall Street, am intelligent, creative, and have the means to do or go wherever I want. I have a wonderful family, supportive and caring friends, and I know that I am loved.
But my life is not perfect. I was divorced earlier this year after 4 years of marriage preceded by 5 years of dating. It wasn’t one of those messy-throw-all-the-china-at-each-other type breakups. We just got married too young (we got engaged when I was 21 — I am 28 now) and realized that we both changed and wanted different things. We tried to work out our differences, but it just wasn’t meant to be. So we cried, separated, cried, got divorced and cried some more.
People, you have no idea how much more there is after the jump