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“Saving Love Lives The World Over!” e-mail e-mail to a friend in need

October 2, 2012

Now that he’s sober, should I try and get him back?

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 8:51 am

This Is Your Relationship on DrugsThe Predicament of the Week from November 9, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

At the risk of sounding redundant, I really like what you’re doing here. Your advice is sound and thoughtful and you have a warmth and humor that really translates. I also appreciate that a lot of the letters are really really long and you print them, because in matters of the heart, these things are complicated. But enough about you.

I met my (currently) ex-boyfriend Nick four years ago. We had the HUGE love thing, that instantaneous, dramatic, mind-meld, soulmate thing. We ended up moving in together almost immediately. The problem was that he was The Ultimate Party Boy. He could not walk by a drug without taking it, stayed out all night, left me alone when I was sick in favor of a party, drank ungodly amounts of alcohol, that sort of thing. At the same time, he was this amazing guy. Big blue eyes, long dark lashes, brimming with sincerity, said all the right things, was committed to me and always said he wanted to settle down and be the kind of man his father was. His father was a rock, pretty much John Wayne. He’s been dead for 15 years and people still talk about him in hushed, awed terms.

Nick spun ever deeper into the hole of drugs and alcohol (I don’t drink at all, just don’t like the taste). In the meantime we got two amazing beagle puppies (because I thought we would be together forever) and bought a house in the suburbs. I am originally from NYC, so this was a novel, completely unexpected thing, a little ironic but also very pleasant. His family came up with the money for the down payment and we paid the mortgage together, though I wasn’t on the papers because his stepfather was already co-signing. But I digress.

(more…)

September 13, 2012

A Very Special Shout Out

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:06 am

Last week, Feeling Adolescent wondered how many steps to take with a flirty fellow recoverer. BG and BR basically said, “Who-hoo!” But a reader named Christine stepped in to say, “Whoa!”

There most certainly is a “rule” about dating in the first year of recovery in 12-Step programs, and for a good reason. It leads to big emotional upheavals that dramatically increase the chances of “relapse,” or the return to the use of drugs and alcohol. The suggestion that a woman with only two months of clean time from drugs should get involved or pursue a romantic relationship is seriously in error.

I’ve been sober a modest eight years, but in that time I have known a number of people to drink or use drugs over “relationship” issues. The consequences of that happening are much greater than most people realize. A number of people close to me have died from heroin overdoses or having shot themselves while in a blackout. I will see that again, I’m sure. Recovery for an alcoholic/addict is really life or death, not a romantic puzzle. A relapse for an alcoholic or addict has greater consequences than is often portrayed on TV. It isn’t just “falling off of the horse and getting back in the saddle again,” a characterization I saw on that show “JAG” about military lawyers. Many never come back to recovery, or they try and never get more than a short period of sobriety again. I have seen this time and again.

I’ve known people who, after years in AA, froze to death on the streets of DC, across the street from the White House! Make no mistake, it could happen to your reader. And her sobriety is not the only one at risk. Many times, the person with longer sobriety who has a relationship with a newcomer also drinks.

There is a mechanism in 12 step programs called “sponsorship.” People can get help and emotional support from someone with more recovery experience and emotional stability. It has been my observation that newcomers (people with less than a year of continuous sobriety) are especially needy and vulnerable. The reaction/temptation is to attach to someone else as a distraction. Often it is a sadrepetition of previous poor relationship patterns. I seem to recall something you wrote about a new insight into oneself does not necessarily mean everything will be better with the next one. [See Duderino Rides Again.] You can double that for early recovery.

It never seems that way, though. I remember what it was like. Suddenly I didn’t have a hangover every day and I started to notice flowers and sunny days. Why not the sunny days of my heart? Can’t that awaken now, too? Yes. Just not yet. A little more time. It’s tough to see now, but severe damage has been done mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. We keep ourselves from really seeing how bad it got for a couple of years. So waiting a year is the least she can do. Thank you.

BG responds: Thank YOU, Christine. Our bad. So many people have trouble finding a natural buzz with someone in the first place, you see, we just get a little excited when someone actually does. So, FA, you may not be able to shut down your feelings entirely (nor he his). But yes, looks like you should discuss them with a sponsor to find out where to put them — if anywhere — ’til, oh, November 1999 at least. And let’s hope that the promise of “reawakening the sunny days of your hearts,” clean and sober, with him or whomever, helps all of you stay strong and well.

This comment originally appeared November 9, 1998.

July 18, 2012

I can’t believe it’s not breakup

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 10:38 am

Staying for no reason on October 26, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have been dating the same man for about 9 months now. We have dated off and on in the past, and he was my boyfriend when I was a naive 16 years old (so needless to say we have some history). I am now 21, and he just recently asked me to be his girlfriend.

Problem is, I have realized that in my family there is a cycle that we females seem to get hooked into regarding men. My mom married my dad who was totally wrong for her and divorced him, and married an alcoholic. My older sister has married an inconsiderate buffoon, and it just starting to realize her mistake.

Back to me, while I realize I am not in love with this man, and I can see all the ways we are not compatible (he’s unreliable, selfish) I am reluctant to break the relationship off. He is 28 and feels his biological clock ticking and talks constantly about wanting children before he is 30. I am only 21, I’m a starting digital artist trying to make a name for myself, art is my passion, and I am not ready for children. He seems to be unpleased with my independance and wants to change who I am. So maybe asking me to be his girlfriend again might seem not to be a big deal to most, from the way he is talking about wanting a family when he can’t even take care of himself tells me what kind of commitment he is really wanting.

Anyway, to draw this letter to a close, I know this is break up material right here in my head, and I don’t love him. But why am I so reluctant to get out of this unhealthy relationship?

– Rachel

BG’s answer after the jump!

January 31, 2012

True Confessions: I Was Unfaithful to My Ex, Who Was Not-So-Much My Ex Anymore!

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:43 am

truecircleDear Breakup Girl,

Your column is great!! I’ve read and learned so much from your advice given to others, and now I need your help. Here’s the scoop: I’m 26, and 4 years ago I met a special guy who was my first. We dated for 3 years, moved in, and after 10 months I broke up with him. I realized that after living together, he was not the man to spend the rest of my life with…a lot of it was the little things, but there were some other issues as well. We moved out (apart) last Sept. I dated a few people after that, but nothing serious. Come march, my ex sent me an email (it was approaching our anniversary).

We ended up meeting, and well, I’m sure you know the rest. Also at that time I was feeling very lonely and was ecstatic to be with him again (although still unsure about the future thing). We started going out again. As exes, he had changed, for the better. After a while though, it just got too comfortable. He was settling in nicely into my 1 bedroom apartment. It was all too familiar. A couple weeks ago though, I met someone, we hit it off. After one night, we fooled around and I ended up spending the night. So, I was unfaithful to my ex, who had become not-so-much my ex anymore. I told him, of course, and now I feel like crap. He was extremely angry with me, called me every name under the sun, and also sent his friend an email with horrible things written about me, and copied me on it. (This is not like him at all!) Yes, I am sorry, he was a great guy…he loved me so much. Now I’ve thrown it away. The question is, I don’t know why! Was I afraid of commitment, or did I just need to have fun? I don’t know, but I wish I hadn’t now. I’ve wrecked my ex’s life twice, why? This new guy doesn’t even mean anything to me!!! What do you think is wrong with me??

– Sorry


Dear Sorry,

Nothing is wrong with you. You’re allowed (vs. recommended) one rebound; you’re allowed (vs. recommended) one relapse. It’s just in your case, these two incidents happened to, um, overlap. Tell your ex you’re truly sorry (let’s hope he apologizes for the little e-mail incident), and give yourself some serious space. Also, a break.

Love,
Breakup Girl

This advice was originally published September 14, 1998.

March 18, 2011

He took my hair’s youth

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 7:53 am

Still stressed on June 1, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I have a serious problem, BG. Have you ever heard of a person’s entire head of hair going gray due to a particularly crappy breakup? There was fully an inch of it coming out of my head before I took the matter (the bottle) into my own hands. I am young! I swear it! Could it be possible that a good, solid rebound might somehow reverse this procedure? Please say it’s so…

– The Silver Queen

P.S. I tried the “relapse” first, and although it seemed to help somehow, it didn’t really work on my hair.

Dear Silver Queen,

I prescribe Grecian Formula. As in: 1 round trip ticket to Crete + 1 great little dress = 1 man out of hair.

Love,
Breakup Girl

March 2, 2011

How to be happy, volume II

Filed under: Treats — posted by Breakup Girl @ 3:12 pm

Did you know that the simple act of making your bed in the morning can make you happier? True! (Except for the part where now you have to lie in it.) Speaking of which, BoingBoing reminds us that the new, expanded paperback version of Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project
is just out. Oh, happy day! Why not join The Year of Happiness Challenge now? It’s already March, so you only have to be happy for, like, 9 months.)

Or, at least, follow Rubin’s advice on finding happiness after a breakup: Get off the couch and connect with others. (Tip: Not your ex.)

January 29, 2010

Reunion v. Relapse

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:55 am

Old habits die hard on March 16, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I recently parted ways with my boyfriend of five months, over (as far as I can tell) a spaghetti dinner. In any case, shortly after splitting, we met again and promptly hopped into bed. I unwittingly believed that this encounter would mean something to both of us. Apparently I was wrong. I called him up to talk about the situation, and he was completely nonchalant, and became irritated with my repeated question of “is that all you have to talk about?” Anyway, the conversation ended with me being fairly hurt and confused, and him being generally clueless. Was it wrong for me to expect more? Please help me out.

- Tory

Dear Tory,

What you have here is Classic Relapse. See, breakups can be right up there with oysters, figs, and The Red Shoe Diaries in terms of their aphrodisiac qualities. It’s like, “Wow, you look great without … commitment.”

So, a Relapse and a Reunion are two entirely different animals. People: safeguard your feelings — and don’t toy with those of others. Either break up or don’t; act accordingly. But if you are going to break up, you might as well be eating spaghetti at the time

Love,
Breakup Girl

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Breakup Girl
is the superhero whose domain is LOVE or the lack thereof! Her blog combines new comics, observations and dating news with classic advice letters--now blogified for reader feedback!
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