Seek­ing re­jec­tions, again, un­healthy

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ARTS & LIFE - MAUREEN SCURFIELD

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.

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