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April 19, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Chica Fabulosa,

in some ways he's just a messed-up guy with Issues to work out. in other ways, he's a genuine piece of bad luck and i deserve better. the problem is that, despite having broken up with him 1 and 1/2 months ago, i still love him. and i mean i really, truly, and surprisingly love him.

we'd been together for just over a year, spending a lot of time together but not 24/7 and not living together. then we decided to move to a new city. in the ensuing six months, his tendency to Space Out and Detach Emotionally grew and grew. slowly but surely our sex life went to hell and i was doing most the initiating of sex. he was still being sweet and loving in the ways that he could -- lots of cuddling, comfortable hanging-out, presents, helping me with my chaotic life. but he was, in retrospect, drifting away.

i did the stupid wifey-type thing where you just act more and more concerned and loving, but i was tired of feeling that *i* was Making the Relationship Happen. i was the seducer in bed; i was also the person dragging our Issues out so that we could actually talk about them and possibly work things through. again in retrospect, i should've just ignored him and let him stew around in Outer Space or wherever his head was living half the time.

shortly after The Breakup, he said he still loved me, and i said i would be up for trying again if we were both committed to really making it work. he thought about it, then said "No, when you broke up with me, you were right. I *do* have a lot to work out, a lot of things I've never dealt with." these Issues include bad childhood stuff, a marriage that ended when he had an affair, and the inevitable divorce.

we were in communication via email for several weeks after breaking up, and he seemed to be in a serious epiphany mode, and actually working through a lot of his stuff! it was surprising and sort of beautiful. i definitely feel that, whether i am around to see it or not, there is lots of hope for my ex-boyfriend. he's becoming much more human and connected.

on the other hand, he refused to really say "Yes, let's make this breakup for good" or to let me go. i try to do it on my own, but i want to be with him. his emailing that he thinks i'm wonderful, and loves me so much, and misses me, and fantasizes about us getting back together, was not exactly helping me out. (i had a complete breakdown after the breakup -- i have never, ever been this traumatized by a breakup).

we finally stopped communicating, had one very civilized and nice coffee date, and agreed to stop emailing each other until May. then we're supposed to Talk About It (as in, decide with more finality whether to Really Move On, or try again, or be friends, or not speak to each other).

if he comes crawling back to me on his hands & knees, and agrees to couples counseling in addition to just plain flattering the hell out of me, etc., should i take him back?

and should i sit around assuming that he isn't going to do this and i just have to get on with my life? how do i make that happen? i have many friends, interests, and i'm certainly not sitting on my ass. however, i can't possibly date yet, and i can't figure out how to turn off that little voice in my head that says "Maybe we'll get back together and make it work." i'm no longer hysterical 12 hours out of each day, but i'm still unable to stop obsessing over him. you know the story -- every song reminds me of him, half my wardrobe is composed of gifts from him, etc.

if it matters -- he's 36, i'm 29, i've never had all those weird expeiences like marriage & divorce & living together. until this year, i was a commitment-phobic type who never wanted those things. now i realise that i want them at some point, if not right now.

okay, there's my whole life! please fix it! hee hee.

thank you & may the goddess of good advice smile upon you.

-- Missing Him

Dear Missing Him,

take him back in may, if all above is agreed to and promised? sure. sounds on the one hand like your life is pretty balanced, but on the other, at this point, it's not like you're likely to magically move on before then, anyway. but if the relationship starts to look and feel really really moldily familiar, then may the goddess of Able to Walk Away This Time smile upon you.

Breakup Chica



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