Ex-love, new love, & the friend cheat
Written by Sasha
Hey Sasha, I met J when I was twenty. We were crazy about each other; like any typical young couple we thought we’d invented “love” and that nobody before or after us could feel as deeply as we did about one another. I loved J so much that I overlooked a few things, like his propensity to drink (his dad is a “functioning alcoholic” and he was starting to show similar traits) and his mom issues (he let her rule his life). We dated for three volatile years (I won’t even get into some of the screaming matches we had). One night, while driving home from dinner, we got into a spectacular fight. I said some horrible things, and he shouted that he didn’t love me anymore. Before I slammed the car door in his face, he said that he wouldn’t waste any time missing me. As I watched his car speed away, I vowed that I wouldn’t waste any time missing him either. I didn’t cry after our break up, not once. I convinced myself that he wasn’t worth the effort. Two weeks later, I met Dan. I thought he’d make a great “rebound fling” but he turned out to be much more than that. Dan is the kindest, smartest, most wonderful man I’ve ever met. I love him dearly. Last week, we celebrated five years together. Over the years, I’ve thought about J from time to time - but not in a longing, “I want you back” kind of way. We had some great times, but all of that is in the past. Or so I thought. Last week my mom ran into J, and he told her that he’s getting married in June. When I heard the news, I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. All week I’ve been lying in bed listening to depressing music, spacing out at work … and crying. For the first time in five years, I miss J - terribly. The break up feels so fresh to me right now; it’s like it happened yesterday. The kicker is that I’d never go back to J - I love Dan way too much. I guess part of my sadness is due to ego (I’d convinced myself that J could never replace me), but still. All week I’ve been walking around in a haze (and I feel like a self-indulgent idiot for allowing myself to become this depressed).Sasha – can you shed some light on this situation for me? What the hell is wrong with me? Thanks, M
M, there’s nothing wrong with you so don’t start talking yourself into crazy mode. From what I can tell, it just sounds like you never allowed yourself the time to grieve and work through the breakup. Although you scored another dude right away (nicely done) you really didn’t give yourself the time to process what sounds like a pretty fire-y split. Because you didn’t deal with the pain the first time around, you’re dealing with it now. It’s interesting though, I always find that the hardest breakups for people to get over are the ones with hurt and betrayal….essentially the most dysfunctional ones. Those, for some reason are the most difficult to let go of, even though they’re the ones you most want to forget. For whatever tweaked reason it’s these relationships that bring up unresolved issues of regret, a need for forgiveness or maybe even a sense of approval. So when you hear the person’s name, in whatever capacity, you get transported back to that time of insecurity. y’know? It’s f-cked, but I think as long as you recognize it for what it is, you can put a finger on it …or give it the finger and move on.
Listen M, grieve a little bit longer – like, maybe until Wednesday but after that it’s time to check yourself and get a grip. Concentrate on the guy you’re with now – he sounds like a winner. Wallowing in the past, an ugly past at that, is frankly a waste of time. Don’t bother re-punishing yourself for something you don’t want anyway.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there but M, I hope I’ve given some perspective on your current state.
Dear Sasha, It has recently come to my attention that my friend's boyfriend is cheating on her. I want to tell her, there is only one catch, I am very good friends with both her and the boyfriend. In fact I became friends with her through him. I don't know what to do, I feel like she deserves to know, but if I tell her, my friendship with both could be over. In this case I am willing to loose him as a friend, because he has put me in this awful situation to begin with, but with her, I feel he may try to deny it, and then isolate her from all her friends. Help! E
I know my answer….but before I tell you I just want to express empathy, because no doubt, this is a sh-t situation for you. It’s tricky, because while you’re trying to do the right thing here, lord knows the possibility of you getting the sh-t end of the stick is quite plausible. So let’s break it down - there are a few ways this could unfold. First: she leaves this dick face and appreciates your honesty and you all live happily ever after. Two: she somehow twists this information and blames you - a la Sammy from the Jersey Shore, don’t pretend like you don’t watch the show. (Lainey: actually, Sash, I don’t watch the show. Why are you throwing down Jersey Shore references?!?) Three: she goes back to him and he no longer wants you guys to be friends - that will suck nards. And finally four: she gets back together with him and neither of them holds a grudge and you all remain friends. So there you have it.
Okay let’s get down to the dirt. How did you uncover the cheating? Are you 100% positive? Please read this past post and make sure there’s no doubt that he’s been creeping. Now, how bad was the cheating – are we talking some tongue here and there or are we talking deep dickin’? If it’s the latter then you for sure have to say something. It would be horrible to keep that from her and as a friend I think it’s totally your duty to tell her what’s up. My best friend told me when I was being cheated on and while I did give the dude a second go, I was so grateful that she told me. And if your home-girl is a reasonable normal human being, I’ll bet she’ll feel the same way as I did.
So E, find a good time when it’s just the two of you and dish it.
I hope this has helped –seriously, don’t back out of this, you have to tell her, okay?
Hi Sasha, 2010 was a pretty crappy year for me to put it mildly. My partner died in an accident in Jan, and I spent the entire year figuring out what the hell to do next. Our life was good together and it was meant to stay that way forever. I had been with him for seven years, I'm 27 now. December was horribly depressing so I took a month off work and went to 'find myself' in South America. I just got back and I feel so much clearer in my mind about moving areas and travelling again for much longer next year. The thing is I met a guy while I was in SA and I can't stop thinking about him. We became instant friends and travelled together for a short while, nothing sexual happened but I miss him. For the first time I felt a real want to be near someone of the opposite sex again, we flirted a lot and I was so comfortable around him, touching him, looking in his eyes. While I've been with other men recently it was purely a need for sex and needing to be intimate, but this was the opposite - no sex, but passion and familiarity, a connection, not afraid or scared of being close, talking and spending time with an attractive guy. It's weird but this 'non relationship' has changed me, in a place where the men are falling over themselves to bang European girls he was looking out for me, not trying to get in my knickers. We plan to meet in June when he visits Europe and I plan to go back next Jan. My question is this: should I tell him how he makes me feel over email, or leave it to fate to decide if our paths really will cross again? Maybe my loss and heartbreak over the past year is clouding my judgment. What is your opinion? RG
RG, I’m sorry to hear that your partner passed away last year – that is so heartbreakingly sad but I’m really happy that you’re working through it and finding your way again. I’m not going to lie; I’m a bit scared to tell you what to do because you’ve been through so much already but if you’re going to get back in the game then you have to be ready for whatever comes your way – good and bad.
I’m a strong believer of being honest when it comes to how you feel about someone but at the same time I don’t think it’s good to lay it ALL out there. Let’s face it, there’s always some element of game playing in the start, it’s just the reality. It’s all about self-preservation so having some element of strategy before you dive on in is something I think we all do. For me, it’s all about having game rather than actually playing games – you get what I’m saying here?
Now what I don’t get from your email is the level of communication you have with this guy. Are you emailing on the regular? If you are, then I think you should play it exactly the way you did while you were travelling with him. Allow yourself to open up over the next few months before you see him again and in the meantime try to figure out if your feelings are legitimate. Do I think you should confess to really liking him and missing him RIGHT NOW? – not so much. But I DO think you should express that you’re excited to see him and loved your time together in SA. See the difference? On the flipside, if communication between the two of you is zero and you’re just debating a shot-gun email, then sh-t, I say go for gold and lay it on the line. Again, don’t make this a big emotional confession but just tell him how he makes you feel, oh and I’d also go ahead and ask if he feels the same way –go big or go home. And to make myself double clear: DO NOT write some big ass long love letter. Keep that sh-t to one or two paragraphs, tops. In essence I’d write him what you wrote me (sans the stories about f-cking other dudes). Make sense?
RG, fingers crossed this turns into something, if not no biggie, someone else better suited will show up when the time is right.
File photo from Wenn.com