Seeking rejections, again, unhealthy
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I’m 41. Seventyfour men have broken my heart over the 24 years I’ve been dating, starting on my 15th birthday — a beautiful guy, a guitar player in a band in Winnipeg. He was my true love, but he dumped me. He’s No. 1. That list, which I keep in a drawer by my bed says how they dumped me, and their excuse. It includes my guitar player husband of three years who was “nasty, brutish and short.” (Yes, I am well-read and educated, so don’t sell me short.) Last weekend my son finally got me on Facebook. I looked up my whole list on Facebook over the long weekend. Amazing! A lot of them are still musicians (OK, I’ll admit I was a groupie) and most of them report their status to be “in a relationship” which means they aren’t actually married anymore, right? I figured they were fair game, so I sent messages saying, ‘Remember me? What are you up to these days?” About a dozen wrote back with a few short lines wishing me well, but seven of them wrote back saying they were sorry, but they didn’t remember who I was. Most just ignored me. That really hurt. My best friend says this project is “sick” and I am a masochist. Do you think I’m sick? — Hurt Again, Winnipeg
Dear Hurt Again: What you’re doing, inviting a second list of rejections from the same men, is definitely unhealthy. Cataloguing past hurts is a sure way to keep them alive and hurtful and contacting the list of people who dumped you was doomed to failure. Why do that to yourself? Most people have no idea how many people snubbed them, or hurt and disappointed them in their dating days. Even major breakups are a dim memory after a while. That’s a good thing. You say these people “broke your heart,” but if it was a groupie situation, you’re talking about a few longer-term relationships and a lot of shortterm liaisons, like if a guy went home with you a few times after a gig. Think about this: How would you feel if some guy had you on a list of people who had wronged him long ago and he kept looking at it by his bed? Creepy, isn’t it? Do everybody a favour (including yourself): Tear up that list and invest your energy in working out long-held anger and hurt, by seeing a psychologist. When you’re ready, work out a healthy plan to find you a future relationship that will make you happy, and will last. And, also consider doing something about the underlying attraction — music and bands. Maybe it’s time to start your own band with some friends. You’re in your 40s now, and that’s not too late to learn an instrument.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My wife and I packed up at the lake early this year because I can’t stand her out there. It’s 24/7 togetherness, and I didn’t marry her to be stuck like glue to her. She’s an outgoing gabby woman who never shuts up. When we were out at the lake, I told her to “STFU” (shut the eff up, for your innocent readers) and she said in an angry, sarcastic voice she’d be glad to do that. She has barely talked to me since. The kids went with us to pack up, but we rarely spoke directly. I don’t know how to end this stalemate. I love her in my own way, but I don’t want to listen to her constant blah-blah-blah and she needs to accept that and respect that. I get enough of that at work. — Getting the Silent Treatment, Tuxedo
Dear Treatment: Would you tell anyone at work to STFU? Why should they get less vulgar treatment than your wife — the chatty person you vowed to love and cherish? The reason she isn’t speaking is that you stepped over a serious line. Perhaps you could have asked her to let you “pack in quiet for awhile” but the rudeness of what you said cut her deeply. If you want her to stay, you had better start apologizing with no “buts” to try to justify what you said to her at the lake. When “chatters” go dead silent for days, you are in big trouble. This is not something that will just blow over.