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July 26, 1999   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Am I destined to be an untrusting, snooping woman forever?

Dear Breakup Girl,.

I've been reading a lot of you lately, having lately become an ex for the first time in a long time. Long story short-- boy and I were having problems. He decided to speed up the breakup by cheating on me.

How do I know this? Well, not because he told me. I acted on a gut instinct about a weekend he was away, snooped, called the girl myself, got her to fess up, and fed him the results. Now, he insists it confirmed for him how much he loved me and wanted to work it out, he's calling and crying all the time and I'm just trying to work a lot, drink a lot and smoke a lot.

But my point, am I destined to be an untrusting, snooping woman forever? I didn't trust this guy much in our relationship (although I feel totally justified now) and now I wonder if I'm destined to a life of driving myself crazy with jealousy and untrust. My take is that it was equal parts of him never making me feel I could trust him, me having one of the worst, from a self esteem standpoint, years of my life last year, and my own inability to trust.

But I'm worried, is it possible that the total self confidence and non-jealousy I held in all of my past serious relationships gone forever. I do feel I may be able to trust again, but my ex thinks this is just who I am and that it's my personality not to trust. I don't want to turn into one of those vengeful women who had their heart broken once and walk around yelling all men are jerks. But yeah, being cheated on hurts, it's not great for the self esteem and it doesn't make me feel like trusting anyone. What to do?

-- Jodi

Dear Jodi,

Wait a sec. Yes, being cheated on hurrrrrrrrrrts, and it's not the world's biggest trust-booster. But you had an instinct; you acted*; hey, that's better than willfully missing/excusing obvious philandering (or worse, indifference). This is not a pattern/personality for you, Jodi; hey, that's just what your ex flung at you in self-defense. Rather, now you know that you can trust your gut instincts. Which is not to say that you may now turn into "one of those" women who had their heart broken once and walk around dating cheaters just so they can sniff/kick them out and be right/lonely about the whole thing. It is to say that you can/should trust yourself over Defensive Red-Handed guy, don't you think? And that gut instincts work not only for evil, but also for good, you know. Next time, let your gut root out the good guy.

Breakup Girl

* Calling the girlie was high drama, by the way, but for me to deduct points for snooping/calling would be beside the point.



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