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February 8, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

How do you know it's time to end a relationship? I've been in a relationship for almost two years which has been a good one. When we get along it's great, but when we butt heads it's awful. We get defensive and nothing gets resolved. And we fight about the same things repeatedly.

I feel like I have done everything I could and sacrificed to try to make this work. She won't try couples counseling. This relationship is beginning to have negative effects on my work and health despite my best efforts to stay together.

My first instinct is to end it. I'm not happy now, nothing I do seems to be good enough and I can't continue this way.

I have tried to work things out but we can't come up with a solution. Whenever I mention breaking up she insists its not an option, even though she can't make any other suggestions.

I'm prepared to break up. I don't want to, but I'm prepared to.

-- Dan

Dear Dan,

Quick thing, about "fighting about the same things." Normal, normal, normal. Ask any couple what they fight about, and I promise you there won't be a whole lot of variety. ("You are always making it seem as if our relationship has no variety!" "Well, you are always accusing me of always making things seem a certain way!" etc. etc. )

And this is going to sound harsh, but breaking up, um, isn't necessarily an option .... for the dumpee. That's not how breakups tend to work.

Finally. Ending it is not your "first instinct." Sounds more like your last resort. And you do sound prepared.

Breakup Girl



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