Welcome to Friday Feedback, our weekly investigation of the fuzzy, stinky cheese-like substance that oozes forth from the belly button of the blog. No hate mail this week – I must be doing something wrong.
(From the man whose girlfriend has a very disturbing personal history)
Read the blog and advice. I’m shocked and impressed at the insight, to tell you the truth. I have definitely been attracted to broken people, and have reveled in the admiration I get from them for being a nice guy. The consequences have not been good for my life, overall, and I’m trying to change.
I just want to stress that we aren’t living together or anything like that. I have a life I very much enjoy and most of it is spent away from Jenny. We are just dating at this point.
Anyway, thanks, Robin. If you’d like, maybe I could contact you in a year or so and update you?
Your letter was very difficult for me to answer and I am glad I got it right when I wrote Girlfriend has a Past.
I appreciate all the emails you shared with me while I quizzed you on various details about this relationship. While I am glad to hear you two aren’t living together, your conversations are going in that direction and it concerns me. I suggest if you continue with this relationship against my admonitions (fool!), you wait at least one year before you consider sharing a home.
No, I do not want you to check in with me in a year. I would like you to check in with me at least twice a month for a while. Mommy is worried about you…
Arghhh. I knew you were going to say that.
Thank you for providing the material for Co-Parenting with Jerk Ex and his New Girlfriend?
I should point out that I understand this is difficult for you given your tortured history with Mr. Wonderful. While I appreciate your words about the post-divorce dynamic in my family, I realize not everyone is lucky enough to have the same set of circumstances that I do: my ex is a hell of nice guy, his wife is awesome and a great stepmom who never forced her way into my son’s life like your ex’s new gal seems to be doing, and Mr. Patience and Understanding is thrilled with the Bruce/Demi (pre-Ashton divorce) vibe.
It hasn’t always been perfect, but the four of us make the effort not only for the kid, but also for ourselves. I’ve got enough people out there sending me hate mail – no need to add to the list.
How we (I’m using the royal “we” here) handle our major life disturbances is indicative of what kind of character we possess. Yes, divorce sucks, and sometimes it can be very ugly and emotionally battering. Case in point: you. However, getting past the anger and finding the upside in a bad situation makes you a strong, creative and resilient person.
I know plenty of men and women who marinate in anger, pain and misery long past the date the divorce decree was stamped. They refuse to co-parent their kids or communicate with their ex-spouse at all, even when olive branches are offered.
The children, whether young or adult, are the true victims of this behavior. I can’t tell you enough how happy I am that my ex (also known as the Canary in a Coal Mine) and I will celebrate our son’s future major life events together and in joy: graduation from high school, parole from the Gray Bar Hotel, etc.
In all honesty, I feel bad for those who get divorced and then immediately remarry a spouse named “bitterness.” Of all the folks I know who loathe their ex, only one of them is remarried and she still, 15 years after her divorce, rants about her ex-husband whenever the opportunity arises. I think it really bothers her husband, because hatred is often just the flip side of the love coin. Indifference is where it’s at, baby.
Follow my advice and you will be better for it. And stop fucking your ex.
I’m glad you did the re-run yesterday. I am a happily married woman who wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s, but I know I am still in love with an ex-boyfriend, at least to some degree. We had an instant connection like nothing I’ve ever experienced before and even though he lives on the other side of the country and I haven’t seen him in years, I still think about him often. I hear from him once in a while and he says the same.
The relationship didn’t work out because he is Jewish and was dead-set on marrying a Jewish woman, and I wasn’t going to convert because I don’t really have any religious feelings at all. I didn’t want to be a lying convert and a hypocrite, not even for the man I loved.
Anyway, I can relate. Good work!
-New York Gal
Thank you for reading and responding to Stuck on You. I think it’s pretty normal to carry a torch for an old love, but you have to be careful you don’t mishandle the torch and burn your happy house down by trying to relive what you once had with someone when you are partnered with another.
As for why you two broke up? That sucks.
I commend you for sticking to your principles and not “converting” to a religion for which you had no passion. If he gave you up because you wouldn’t feign belief and convert, you are better off without him.
That’s it for today, children. Now go forth and enjoy the weekend. Please email me your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m running low and I need double the amount now since I am writing for the new Portland online magazine (launching next month) and my book.