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February 23

Now is not the time for healing

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:11 am

You say you want a resolution on September 21, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

It’s been just shy of two months since my ex-fiance and I broke up. He’d been cheating on me with some girl from the Internet as a way of avoiding the fact that we weren’t getting along as well as we used to. The relationship was troubled way before Ms. Naughty Chat came along: she was just the catalyst for what I didn’t want to believe was the inevitable. He’d given up on me long before I’d given up on him… he calls it “being further along in the grieving process” which frankly makes me want to puke from all the pop-psychological flavor of the statement.

Despite all that both of us did to f**k things up between us, both of us (really, truly) do want to be friends, because we were actually really good friends before everything fell apart and it would be a waste to not try to get some of that back, even though the romance will never be there again. (I miss him like that, too, but I don’t trust him in that department anymore.)

Part of the problem with this is that I feel that a lot of stuff between us is unresolved… there’s a lot of unanswered questions about why and when and how that he hasn’t answered yet. He says that it’s as answered as it’s going to be (i.e. hardly at all) and that we should try to move on. This reminds me of that ugly-ass statement that floated around in the political world a few years ago: “Now is a time for healing.” Except that politicians only said it after things like the Rodney King verdict and after bombing some country. The implied thing here is “Okay, I know I’ve just punched you in the gut, and you really either want to know why, or punch back, but NOW IS A TIME FOR HEALING, meaning you’ll just have to be a good sport and get over it.”

What’s the difference between wanting to let bygones be bygones, and avoiding a subject because you don’t want to be held accountable for being an asshole? How do I heal from something like this? I want desperately to be his friend again, but how do I stop being angry at him for the breach of trust?

Oh, to make matters worse, I’m one of those types that find it extremely hard to just leave a subject alone, or to give people space, especially when something feels unresolved. It just burns in my head like a hot coal until I can’t stand it anymore. I’ve tried Ben & Jerry’s, I’ve tried cable t.v., prayer, writing, going out with other friends… nothing works. Thanks in advance for your help.

— Medusa


Dear Medusa,

Blech. I am so totally to hear about this breakup. But let’s not throw the baby out with the babble. Let’s face it, when someone cheats on you and then dumps you,¬†everything they say makes you want to puke. His “grieving process” thing is annoying, yes, but also probably accurate. Same goes for “as answered as it’s going to be.” (You’re the one who added the “healing” thing. Which is unfortunate.) From what I can tell, you do know what messed things up between you. And from what I can tell, he may not have answers for you. Answers that — be honest — you want to hear, anyway. Or, for that matter, answers that you actually¬†need.. I know it’s driving you batty, but can you tell me, really, that there’s something he could have said that would actually have preempted the Ben & Jerry’s, cable, prayer, etc.? Sometimes, letting things go is not about being a “good sport” or granting a jerk license — it’s something you do for you. So I’m pretty sure, Medusa, that that hot coal in your head is burning right on schedule. In terms of all of your butterfat-based healing projects, what do you mean by “work?” Did you expect to wake up and feel fine already? The last two months — which is not very long! especially for a broken engagement — were, and should have been, all wallowing, all the time. And when you’re ready — which doesn’t mean the anger and unresolved questions will totally vanish — it’ll be a time for dealing.¬†Then talk about being friends.

Love,
Breakup Girl

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