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November 20

Trying to disconnect

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 9:59 am

Unlimited calling on March 9, 1998

Dear Breakup Girl,

I am turning to you to get another viewpoint — hopefully one from someone not so closely involved in this mess.

My friends and family all say “just hang up on the sucka!” Yes, you’ve guessed it, I’m getting divorced from my husband of 5 years…and he will not leave me alone. He calls me at work, at home, when I’m in the shower, outside, in meetings — I’ve repeatedly asked, told, begged, pleaded with him not to do this, but it continues.

At home, I’ve got Caller ID and can screen calls through the answering machine, and unless he actually has some valid reason he needs to speak with me, I let him leave a message and do not talk to him. At work, however, I have to pick up my phone when it rings (unique concept, huh?!) and at least once a day it’s him. “Hi, whadda ya doin?” He has never grasped that I work in a furiously fast-paced computer software company, and I have neither the time or inclination (especially now!) to sit and talk to him about nothing…that kind of behavior is for lovers, which we certainly aren’t now and probably never were (yes, it was a horrible marriage and involved every kind of abuse you can think of from him towards me). I just want him out of my life.

I’m much happier, so is my 9 yr. old son, and we’re doing great — except for this. I try very hard not to get sucked back into old patterns, and just be cool, calm and collected and not go off on tangents or talk about the “why?” anymore — it just is. In other words, I’m not in any way enabling him but he still won’t get the message and I’m at my wits end. Any suggestions?

— Deb

Dear Deb,

Here’s another viewpoint: that of the phone company. Call the one in your area and ask to be connected to their Annoyance Call Bureau. Explain the situation and see what the legalities are. See, he’s the one who needs to hear from someone “not so closely involved.” I know you’re not deliberately “enabling” him, but in his “Hi, whadda ya doin?” state (i.e., of Denial), just hearing your voice perpetuates his connection to you. Getting a call from a third party (i.e., the Annoyance Call Police) just might break the connection.

Breakup Girl

P.S. Depending on where you live, you might also look into call blocking.


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