Q. My girlfriend and I just broke up. Seems she was spending more time at her ex’s house than with me. This was all under the guise of “I am helping him move in.” I was left alone to fend for myself while she would stay up there with him. The last straw came on Christmas, when she came home from his house, set out dinner for me, and went right back to his place. I was angry to say the least. The next day she said I needed to find an apartment, and I moved out later that day.
Although she complained that I do not trust her, she’s been gone since he bought a house two blocks away from where we lived. I am hurt, angry, and devastated. We have a history together, and like a fool, I left her for another woman nine years ago, but we got back together. Most people tell me I should feel relieved that this is over, but I am still in love with her. Although I am not with her, I pay the bill for her cellphone hoping she’ll realize what she did. How can I get over this and move on?
A. I’m reasonably sure she realizes what she did, so you may want to let her know the phone bills are now hers.
I have to say, you get the Good Schnook Award for 2013 — though the year is young yet. It might be payback, but nine years is a pretty long time to wait to get even. To hear she’s “helping him move in,” then staying up there, then sitting you down to Christmas dinner alone tells me you have given this woman license to walk all over you by tolerating extremely shabby treatment. If you thought nothing was going on while she “helped him move in,” I have to trot out my favorite saying on the matter: That would be like imagining that a dinosaur died, in a standing position, at the museum of natural history. The way you move on is by concentrating on her callous behavior and being grateful that you are no longer being used.
Q. Growing up in a family of four girls and one boy, we girls had to “learn” how to make our brother’s life easier, and everything was all about him.
Fast-forward to the present. Now this brother is very self-centered, and he married a woman just like him. Many times they have been invited to a sister’s home for family events and agreed to show up with a dish, and then they didn’t even bother calling when they decided not to come. We are so tired of this self-centeredness from both of them that they’re no longer invited. I am already on their “do not talk to” list.
Now we hear from our parents: Why do you leave your brother out? They do not understand that for years and years he and his wife have been invited, yet they never show. Their world revolves around the brother and his family. Any suggestions as to how we sisters should deal with this mess?
A. Yes, I do. Pick the best writer of the sisters to explain to Mom and Dad, in a letter, why the invitations have stopped. The self-centeredness on the part of the couple from the planet “I” should be emphasized. I hope the favoritism toward the only son in a family of girls will be mentioned, seeing no reason your parents should be spared having to think about this. All the sisters should sign the letter. Regular readers will be aware of my choosing the written form for communicating tough stuff. And I hope none of you feels any guilt about this, because it is not you who misstepped.