Emotional housecleaning could get messy
DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: I had too much time to think at the cottage this year and have decided to do some emotional housecleaning back in Winnipeg. I realize I want out of my relationship with my female lover. I do have a husband as well. We have grown much closer at the lake — the loneliness and the distant feeling between us that drove me into my lover’s arms in the first place is gone. This is going to break her heart. Unfortunately, she is also a neighbour and our kids play together. How do I handle this without it getting messy? — Hate Scenes, Lake of the Woods
Dear Hate Scenes: Breakups don’t come in the non-messy variety unless both people are bored stiff. One or both people usually get hurt. So, as you are the one who wants to call it quits, handle it the way any other messy breakup gets handled best. You speak your truth — all of it, without excuses — and with deep apology. Explain to her you can’t continue your relationship and the real reason why: You have grown closer to your husband again. She may be angry and disappointed and feel betrayed, but at least she will not be trying to refute excuses that were made up to make her feel better and get you off the hook.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m going away to university this fall and my live-in girlfriend is going to pieces. Finally, last night, she addressed the elephant in the room. She said, “You could have asked me to move with you, but you didn’t.” I said, “Yes, I could have, but for some reason I just wanted to go out on my own, on my own adventure.” She said, “You want to be free to see other women, don’t you? Well, you’re free!” Then she took all of her stuff out of the apartment with some of her friends and a truck, and now there is an empty apartment to sublet within days. I’m in major shock. I thought I’d go away and just see how things went on my own, and if I realized she was the one for me, I’d ask her to join me next year. When I told her that, she yelled: “I was going to be on trial for a year?” What should I do now? — Ratcheted Up, River Heights
Dear Ratcheted: You may have to live with the after-effects of this battle for a short time, or for good. There’s a chance you’ll find yourself lonely at university in the beginning unless you’re in residence with built-in friendship possibilities, or you join some campus clubs or associations. You may miss her terribly, struggle to make up and then find it’s too hard to be long-distance lovers. How can you know until you make the move and try? At this point, just throw up your hands, pack your bags, go to university totally free and give it your best. Once you arrive you may feel a weight has lifted and you were really pushing for a breakup without realizing it. Or, you may ask her to move there with you even before Christmas break. Maybe she just needs to yell at you now, and cry on her friends’ shoulders as you fly off.