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February 15, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I have a strange situation. About a year ago I ran into my ex-boyfriend whom I had been totally in love with. I had broken up with him about a year before that because he had been cheating on me for nearly a year. I found out that after I broke up with him he had proposed to this girl, and that they were living together. I was an emotional wreck. I eventually got on with my life... then he shows up again. He sent me a dozen roses and asked if we could talk. When we did I found out that he and his fiance were on the verge of breaking up, and that he had gone on anti-depressants to get over losing me. It took him several more months to finally break things off with the other girl, and in the meantime he kept me on a string. We have since decided to stay together and are even planning a wedding, but I can't get over the fact that he cheated on me, and that it took him so long to leave her. She was a bit psycho and threatening, but I think he should have left sooner. Anyway, we have been to a couple of counseling sessions together and the counselor thinks that we should really try to work through this. He and I have a connection and a love for one another that you don't find every day. Here's the real problem...his low self-esteem and past family problems are what caused him to cheat in the first place. I am now on the hunt to find professional books to help us work through this complex problem until we can afford a counselor together. We really want to work this out, but we are at a loss. Can you help?

-- Katie R.

Dear Katie,

Well, most such titles are for already-married people, but I'm sure there's some good info for you in books like this, this, or this. But if you're sure you want to work this out, then I am sure you need a real live counselor. Self-help books can certainly be self-helpful. But in a situation that involves lots of did-not-did-too-way conflict, I'd strongly recommend that you get someone (someone professional) to serve as a disinterested third party/referee. I get that you're not rolling in dough, but I bet that with a little derring-do (starting with the Yellow Pages, the Web, the bulletin board at the health food store, etc. ) you can find someone first-rate who works on a sliding scale. You'll need to muster the moxie at least for that kind of project if you're going to muster the moxie for this marriage. Good luck, you two.

Breakup Girl



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