Obsessing on November 23, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
I’m a very lucky 35 year old guy. Married six months to a wonderful woman (she’s 33). M and I are compatible in all ways, and enjoy each other’s company immensely. We’re from the same small town, went through school together, pleasant friendship, both left town to go to different universities, different lives, different cities, no contact.
M called me out of the blue four years ago. She’s in promotions, I’m in TV, she had a pitch. Pitch failed, met for dinner. I was happily married (I thought) with two kids. Pleasant dinner, promised to keep in touch. Neither did. Two years ago, another call, another pitch. Pitch failed, met for dinner. I was six months single, with two kids living with me Monday to Friday, and weekends with their Mom. M and I agreed to keep in touch. This time, both did. Rapidly progressed to constant companions. Joined at the mind, hip, and soul. Dated eight months, she moved in, assumed and accepted stepmother role, got married six months after that. Very happy.
So what’s the problem? Her past lovers. When we went through that (normal?) stage of discussing/revealing our sexual pasts, she lied about a couple of partners. We discussed it again. And she lied again. We talked about it again, and she lied again. And then again. It complicates matters further that four of her old flames (two serious, two flings) are still in her circle of friends. (A terrific row, by the way, over inviting Mr. Significantly Serious to our wedding. I gave in.) Anyway, this whole issue bothers me to the point of obsessing. (I should say that we have each had 20 + partners, which strikes me as a lot. Is it?)
We have talked and talked and talked about this issue, sometimes heatedly, but always with the intention of understanding each other, and trying to deal with it. Yes, I know that the past cannot be changed. And that I have no right whatsoever to question or criticize decisions she made years and years ago, and I also understand that I have made her feel persecuted at times, and resentful of an attitude that has been, yes, at times, judgmental. It would be easy to explain my feelings as 1) inadequacies (Were they bigger than me? More stamina? More satisfying?) or 2) chauvinistic (good girls don’t - except with me). I suppose there is some truth to both.