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April 20, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I lived with a guy for 6 years--in December he FINALLY asked me to marry him. In January, I had a biopsy to confirm whether or not I had cancer, and then he got REALLY weird. A week after the biopsy, and three days before the results, he dumped me. (The old "I love, but am no longer IN LOVE with you" speech!) I think that he just couldn't deal with the fact that I'm sick, but I can't really reconcile this, as several years ago he had helped me nurse my grandfather, who was dying of cancer. I can't quite deal with this. I feel like if he couldn't love and support me through this, how can I expect someone else to?

We have had little contact with each other since the breakup. He called me several times after he found out about my diagnosis, and was totally sweet--even hinted around about us getting back together. But when I came back to town a few days later to see doctors and talk to him, he acted like he never even said we should talk about getting back together, which he had. After that, I refused to speak to him, and we have divided property and settled everything via e-mail only.

The thing is, he's obviously a jerk, but I still love him. Any advice?

-- Heartbroken

Dear Heartbroken,

Everyone here at BG HQ wishes you strength and health, and I know all our visitors do too.

And as far as advice, here's Breakup Psychotherapist Belleruth Naparstek to call it as she sees it. "This must be terribly sad and difficult, but I think your focus is off. You're attributing his behavior to your diagnosis. I would suggest that it has more to do with their decision to finally get married. Lots of folks bolt then. It's confusing, 'cause they both happened at the same time.

"You shouldn't decide you are an unacceptable pariah and that no one will now want you. Even if you lose your hair, a breast, etc. ... my experience is that this is not true. There are good guys out there who are okay about this, who even have a knight in shining armor thing going on.

"But first things first. You need to get rid of the cancer. Take very good care of yourself. Attend to your diet. Get some good body work. Meditate. Do some yoga. Listen to healing tapes. Get all the help and support you can find. Yell and scream and cry to a therapist or a friend. Do the chemo thing. Drink lots of water. Breathe.

"And ultimately you may even see being shed of this guy as a blessing -- if he ain't the one. Grieve but don't linger there. Work on your health. Be aggressive. Kill the cancer. Live."

Belleruth and BG



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