Home Breakup Girl To The Rescue! - Super-Advice from Lynn Harris




Big To Do
About Us

April 24, 2000 e-mail e-mail to a friend in need




Dear Breakup Girl,

Like many of your other fans, I can't believe I'm actually writing to you. Actually, what I can't believe is why I'm writing to you. This is silly! But it's becoming an issue, so here goes.

About a year ago, I met The Extrovert. He and I began a long slow get-to-know-ya phase that eventually became a good friendship, and then about two months ago, we started to ... well, we became involved. I am a 26-year old, confident, well-employed, happy woman, with two nice cats, and I'd been single for about two years (dated, but nothing remotely serious). TE is a 31-year-old, confident, self-employed, feisty guy, no pets, with a hideous ex in his past about a year back. Said ex not only moved in with him and cheated on him ten days later, he says she also valued her cat more than him, and that he let her disrespect and abuse him and their relationship for too long before kicking her out.

So the silly problem is that he seems jealous of my cats! Everything's fine until we go to bed and a cat comes to me to cuddle. (They know not to go to him, as he'll put them on the floor.) He'll start to toss and turn and finally goes home. Or he'll stay and be grumpy until I consider kicking him out! He claims that he simply just does not like cats -- fine, he's entitled to that, though he generally acts like he likes them fine, pets them and is amused by them -- until it's night and we're in bed and then they annoy him by existing. If one is on the bed and purring, he says it wakes him up and acts like they're trying to annoy and be rude to him. Hello ... they're CATS! They have no intent other than to be warm and sleepy and content.

The problem is that he's usually quite communicative, but we cannot talk about this rationally, and it is becoming an issue between us. I won't deal with his being grumpy and snappy about them; they're my friends, and while I don't go overboard with them, they do sleep on the bed if they choose. And he won't talk about it other than to express his anger at their "rudeness." (I don't treat my cats or him at all the way his ex did. And he seems to have dealt with his "issues" from that relationship and moved on.)

Is this an "ex-remnant" or something else? Is this petty insanity really happening? Is this about the cats or about his communication? Oh, I really can't believe I've just typed this.


Dear Disbelieving,

Well, girlie, you've got yourself a coupla kitties named Trigger. He could even be as over his ex as he's going to get, and still: the cats could remind him not only of that crappy time ("she valued her cat more than him"), but also of how long he let it go on without putting his foot down. So my guess is that he's making a symbolic retro-gesture and putting it down now. Which is why you can't say this is nothing more than felines.

That said, the net effect is that he's being a bit of a bonehead ("rudeness!?"). If you guys want to be/stay together, he doesn't have to like cats, but he has to like you more than he hates them. And act (at least discuss) accordingly.

Which means what? What to actually do? You said you "can't talk about this rationally." Okay, so try to set the tone with the practical rather than the emotional. Don't ask, "Why are the cats such a weird big deal to you?" Ask, "Would it make a difference if we shut the bedroom door?" or "How about we sleep at your place most of the time, and when we sleep here, you just deal?" Yes, ma'am, you need to give a little here, too. After all, (says BG in her weariest/preachiest voice, making little quote signs with her fingers), "Relationships Are About Compromise." Skip the psychology (at least for now) and find a practical one that works before this becomes an even bigger furball than it should.

Breakup Girl



blog | advice | comics | animation | goodies | to do | archive | about us

Breakup Girl created by Lynn Harris & Chris Kalb
© 2008 Just Friends Productions, Inc.
| privacy policy
Cool Aid!

Important Breakup Girl Maxim:
Breakup Girl Sez

Advice Archive
BG Glossary
Breakups 101

Web BG.net

Hey Kids! Buy The Book!
Available at Amazon