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Dear Breakup Girl,
I seem to be suffering long-term effects from a breakup that occurred in May
of this year. We started dating in January, he was very warm, caring, called
every day, brought flowers and wine whenever he came to see me. Told me
everyday that he was thinking about me. We were very hot together.
I knew he was going through a divorce shortly after we started dating. I
know that's the big #1 no-no in dating. I just waited for 2 years after my
divorce for a man just like him to come into my life. I was ready to fall for
Several problems happened during the early part of our relationship: one of
his parents died unexpectedly and he was suffering massive guilt after that.
His divorce took a very nasty turn for the worse. My life was making great
improvements all the way around.
In April, he started to tell me that he needed time to think. I let go for a
couple of weeks and then he wanted to see me again. I saw him once and told
myself that this was the last time I would ever see him again and I used it as
a way to say goodbye to him inside myself. We never said goodbye.
I didn't speak to him again until August. I had sent him a funny card just
to say I was thinking about him. He called when he got the card and begged me
to see him. He was sorry about all the time that had gone by and that his
divorce was almost over.
I agreed to see him that night. We had a wonderful time together. We did not
have sex that night; I didn't feel right about it since we had not been
together in all that time.
Anyway, he left for a month-long training right after we saw each other. He
called me in the middle of the night before he left and promised to call. He
didn't call. He called a day after he got back in town.
That was the end of September. In October, his divorce was final and he
called me on that day to tell me. I told him that I was happy for him, and that
if he wanted to talk about it he could. I told him not to be surprised about
some feelings he might encounter. He said "OK, well, I have to go to work
now, I'll call you tonight....". It's now December. He never called
From the end of September through the end of October, I was a complete mess.
I was barely functioning. I did recognize this; I did get counseling. I was
just destroyed. When he called to say he was now divorced I guess I expected
him to come back.
I have tried to date new people in the last month or two, but I haven't
clicked with anyone. I wonder if I ever will. I feel like there's unfinished
business here. I don't know if he's dating anyone else or if he's finishing up
loose ends of his divorce or what.
I'm afraid if I call him, I will start waiting again for something that
I guess I'm wondering when I will shake myself out of this. Will I ever be
over him? I don't cry about him anymore, but I do stupid things like check my
voice mail, my mailbox at home, expecting something from him. Is this happening
because we didn't say goodbye to each other?
Is he sitting somewhere trying to put his life together so we can get back
on track again?
You're doing better than you think. You are. Your
heart and brain each seem to be behaving normally; it's just that they're not
always in sync. You were totally on the right and strong track when you did
that zen one-voice goodbye...or at least tried, anyway. Also good call on the
counseling, if you thought you needed it. Finally, yeah, the mail madness may
indeed be related to the fact that you guys never did overtly seal the envelope
and toss it in the dead letter file.
But more important, you're right in that calling him
again may actually set you back, not firm things up. Why didn't he call? What's
he doing now? Who knows. And I betcha he kind of doesn't either. You know from
experience how whacked your feelings and actions can be after a divorce, for a
good long while. So guess what: you're going to have to decide for him. Give
yourself the answers. Make it all up. Invent your own plausible, non-insulting,
non-blaming explanation for his vanishing act, and stick to it. Leave yourself
a message if you need reminding. And be patient with yourself. You may not get
the mail you want right now, but you will get that click again.
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