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August 17, 1998   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I have dated this younger guy (W) on and off for 2 years now. I'm 25. He treats me much better now but there are still some major issues to be resolved. So I asked for some "space" to think about the relationship. Meanwhile I met this nice guy friend M and he asked me out for dinner. When W found out what happened he just flipped and threatened me. He paged me 5 times during that dinner. He said I'm a slut and I cheated on him. (But M and I are really just friends having a nice conversation, no flirting or any of that sort.) W said I'm not allowed to have guy friends unless he meet them first (to make sure they're just friends). I know I should have called W to let him know I was going out for dinner ahead of time first, but I just want to have some friends. So after a lengthy late night confrontational call I promised W not to have any guy friends and not to meet M until we sort out the relationship. Am I wrong here?

W has always been a very emotional guy. I'm seriously considering ending this relationship but he said he wouldn't. I know he loves me a lot and can be very caring. He said I'm "the one." But sometimes he scares me. I loved him a lot too and have given up a lot of opportunities for him. I feel very bad to end this relationship because we have gone through a lot of things together. He said I 'm taking advantage of him because he wants the relationship more than I do now. He said he cannot end this relationship in a normal way. What is his cannot be someone else. I want to end this relationship in a peaceful way but he won't. How should I handle this?

I really need some help BG. Please advise.

-- Scared and Confused

Dear S/C,

Please listen to BG carefully. NO, you needn't have called W about the dinner with M. NO, you needn't promise W anything of the sort.

And even more important, listen to yourself. You said W "scares" you. That is never, ever, ever okay with Breakup Girl. The level of possessiveness and jealousy that you accurately sense here is not normal, and -- thought I totally get that you've been through a lot together -- it's *not love.* Try not to freak out when you hear this, okay? ... but PLEASE call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE and describe the situation to them. I know it doesn't sound like this big scary grownup thing called Domestic Violence ... but just trust Breakup Girl on this one, okay? The nice people over there will talk to you about how you can be safe and get on with your life. You won't have to give your name or put yourself at risk in any way. You've reached out to Breakup Girl already, so I know you have it in you to check in with someone even more qualified to talk you through this, and you're doing the right thing. Please, please, please call these folks as soon as you can. Be strong.

Breakup Girl



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