Getting unstuck on October 26, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Right before I started seeing my girlfriend she had just broken up with her boyfriend. Her previous relationship was totally dysfunctional and she had so many problems with the a**hole. They shared an apartment for five months, which probably sped up the end of their relationship.
She’s very happy with our relationship and it’s dynamite. It just keeps getting better and better. The only problem is that she keeps brinigng up her ex. Every once in a while she gets all weepy like she’s miserable, and says that if he would come back to her then the pain she has will go away. Isn’t that completely messed up?!
I’m going totallly insane. I keep telling her that time is the answer, there are no other solutions. What should I do? I can’t leave her. Will this end? Her obsession with the breakup aftermath is becoming mine. Help!
You are right about many things, wrong about one big one. Is her aftermath now yours? Yep. Is this completely messed up? You betcha. Is “time” the only solution? Hell, no. You guys are going to need something way stronger.
If you have indeed quoted your girlfriend accurately, what she has is not Basic Breakup Blues — which time does muffle — but rather: Major Unresolved Issues. Not surprising, if her previous relationship was as lousy as you describe it. The aftermath of a really twisted relationship — though you’d think it would be the easiest kind to leave — might as well be AP Calculus. And the thing that worries me most about Her Weepiness is this: her use of the dreaded fantasyland “if … then” function that turns humans into saints and relationships into rescue missions.
Is she still hooked on him, or hooked on a feeling? Probably the latter, but I can’t be sure. Anyway, either it’s about her ex, or it isn’t. And either way — brace yourself — you’re hosed. I’m not saying you’re just a rebound — but you should recognize that you did start dating her during Rebound Savings Time. So now, whatever Issue was still lodged in her life at the time is — yes — now lodged in yours too. And as I said, it’s going to take more than Time to loosen it. (Hint: another T-word, seven letters, ends in Y.) I know you say you’re going insane, buddy, but I think you’re also dodging big stuff in the process. A dynamite relationship? Perhaps. But there’s also a landmine buried around here somewhere. Replace the blinders with protective goggles and do what you need to do to defuse it.