Meg’s favorite alter ego!

Dear Amy: I was in an exclusive monogamous relationship with a man for eight months and, unfortunately, I kept catching him using dating apps, even after I had drawn a hard boundary about it.

He also lied to me about substance abuse (he was in Alcoholics Anonymous for years but kept falling off the wagon).

He told me he was a social drinker and was just taking a break from alcohol for health and fitness reasons.

He would go dark and fall out of communication and then deflect onto me when I would ask him why.

So finally, after a week of him being particularly inconsiderate and insensitive, I broke off our relationship.

I did so with honor and said goodbye to his friends and family and spoke not one unkind word about him to anybody.

Now he wants to go in for couples counseling, even though when I was with him, he refused to listen to me about even the simplest thing, such as deleting his dating apps.

I don’t know why he wants to go to counseling now that he has completely repelled me.

I don’t even know how I feel about this.

A part of me loves him still, but a part of me doesn’t trust the relationship (or our “situationship”), since he kept a separate list of rules for himself than he did for me.

I’d really like your take on this.

— Curious

Curious: I agree with you that deleting needs to happen. You need to do the deleting and what you need to lose is him.

Based on what you say about this person, you obviously don’t like, trust or respect him.

You were feeling good about how you ended things, but if you allow him to draw you back in, you won’t even have that.

Counseling is a great idea, especially for him. If he wants to enter therapy to figure out how and why he sabotaged the relationship with you, then let him do so and perhaps at some point in the future, he will be inspired to try to prove to you that he has changed. I hope that by that point, you will have moved on. (c) Ask Amy

Oh my. Why is this woman even considering this? Run! Run!

I’m not sure why, but both of my past boyfriends (total losers, the lot of them) also tried to find new love interests via online dating, even after we were committed to each other. My thinking at this point is that if that’s happening, the relationship is dead. Hard stop.

I don’t know why he wants to go to counseling now that he has completely repelled me.

It’s a no-brainer. He wants to have his cake and eat it, too. Don’t give him any more cake!

I think the letter writer must be convinced that this guy’s trying to do the right thing. No, no, no. He’s just making a last-ditch effort at keeping her around so that he can play her for a fool.

My first boyfriend was a guy who had a massively overblown ego. Picture Oprah Winfrey in male form. I think he dumped me because I refused to accept his beliefs that he was the smartest man alive. He was smart. I can’t sit here and type otherwise. He was a genius thrice over: artistically, musically, and intellectually. But his energy was so muddied and icky. He used his talents to worship himself instead of making any effort to do good in the world.

Interestingly, he was visited in his dreams by the shadow people. From what he told me, the shadow people were astral beings who arrived to scare people with huge egos. He didn’t put it that way. “They show up to scare those of us who are so much better than everyone else,” he said.

“Why would they do that?” I asked.

“To hold us back.”

Hmm. My theory was that it was more of an ego check. I decided not to share that theory, though. He fell asleep once, and I saw him toss and turn before waking, scared. He pointed to the door. They’d been over there, he said. I asked myself if he was faking, but I think he was being legit. Go figure. The shadow people.

My second boyfriend was mentally challenged. He was deprived of oxygen at birth. Since he was nine and ten years younger than his two older brothers, respectively, his dysfunctional mother used his birth disorder as an excuse to baby him and keep him close to her forever. Thus, she hated me.

So imagine my disgust when I saw that he was still on the dating site where we’d met. Like I said, we were committed to each other. So, being Meg (or, rather, not being Meg), I created a fake account and messaged him. Hey, hot stuff. A hot guy like you must surely have a girlfriend, right? And I signed it Sexy Lexi. Sexy Lexi was awesome.

And his response was, No, I don’t have a girlfriend. 

In a move that still tickles me to this day, I said, Well, guess what? This is your girlfriend, Meg! I tricked you! What do you have to say for yourself? 

Our online conversation went quiet. Deathly quiet.

The funny thing is that… actually, there are two funny things. The first is that he never answered anyone else online. He was afraid it was me again. Over the following years (but not recently), I sent him a few simple signs of interest from different fake profiles, and he never answered. There’s no way he could know it was me. I think I scared the dickens out of him. Well, he can enjoy his singledom, and God bless.

The other funny thing is that he had a foot fetish… until he saw my feet. That scared him straight. Bye-bye, foot fetish. In my defense, I’ve gotten much better at maintaining optimum foot health since then. But still, my feet. [Shaking my head.]

Yeah, so his mother disliked me, and it was mutual, although at least I made an effort. After he and I broke up, which was circa 2010, his mother kept calling my dad every few years. My dad held the phone away from his ear and whispered, “Do you want to get back together with [his name]?” And I just raised an eyebrow and rolled my eyes. Eventually she quit calling.

One thing that upsets me about this letter is that people like the letter writer’s ex manage to get away with this level of mistreatment all the time because people like the letter writer tolerate it. (That sentence was meant to be shorter, but it took on a life of its own.) We need less tolerance! Although tolerance sounds like a virtue, and it can be, it needs to be tempered with discernment and clarity of perception. This guy does not deserve a second chance.

I [broke up with him] with honor and said goodbye to his friends and family and spoke not one unkind word about him to anybody.

Oh my. I would’ve trash-talked the daylights out of him. Being a class act is overrated. In good news, it’s never too late to trash-talk your ex. Gee, Meg, it’s a good thing you don’t still work with kids. That’s a beautiful sentiment. [Facepalm.]

I don’t know why he wants to go to counseling now that he has completely repelled me.

Therein appears to be the problem. She must not be repelled enough if she’s considering his offer. One thing I sense is that we’re sometimes socialized to override our repulsion. This gives bad boyfriends like this one the opportunity to keep being bad boyfriends. If there were more justice in this world, the bad boyfriend would have to do extreme soul-searching and/or see a therapist to find out why he’s so horrid. But we have this letter writer reconsidering him instead of writing him off. If someone repels you, then that repulsion should only be overriden if that person is genuinely remorseful, which clearly isn’t the case here, nor is it applicable. This guy’s not capable of remorse.

So, I turned over the idea of going out with the guy who bought my car. But in the end, I wasn’t enamored of how he was acting that day. While it’s great and miraculous that he found me sexy, that alone wasn’t enough for me to be interested. I’ve reached a point of having high standards for anyone I get involved with, which is a miracle because I used to just throw myself at everyone. Life is weird like that. But, hey, Sexy Lexi will ride again.

8 thoughts on “Meg’s favorite alter ego!

  1. Dear Curious,
    You write …. ‘I was in an exclusive monogamous relationship with a man for eight months and, unfortunately, I kept catching him using dating apps’ …. meaning that 1. you were not, in fact, in an exclusive monogamous relationship and 2. you are an idiot.
    So I understand your dilemma. The dating scene can be a difficult ocean to navigate for an idiot and whilst you may have initially imagined that you were washed ashore on an idyllic island inhabited only by a single handsome man, it turns out that there are a tribe of native women living just over the other side of the lagoon who are all ravenous for sex. And, now that you think about it, he’s not really that handsome anyway. The little island you are stranded in is called ‘the real world’

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ouch! 😀 Someone’s a grumpypants, but I won’t name names. 😀 I wish you had your own advice column!! That would be quite a sight!! Too bad you’re too cantankerous and grumpy! 😀

      Like

      1. Really? Huh, I can’t relate to that! It’s deep, though! Thinking… well, in this instance, it’s not her fault, but it IS her responsibility to keep this bad influence out of her life. Your commentary makes more sense now!! I think I see where you’re coming from!!

        Like

      2. Oh, come on! When ever anyone complains about anything all they want to hear is, “oh, you poor dear, that must have been so dreadful for you! Can’t life be so cruel to nice people like yourself?”
        What they don’t want to hear is, “Oh, for fucks sake! The world is in the throws of a pandemic, the Chinese economy is in danger of collapsing, there are lunatics at large with nuclear weapons, the Taliban are terrorising their own people …. nobody cares less about your pissy little problems which, by the way, are entirely your own fault.”

        Liked by 1 person

      3. H AH AHA! Oh my. Fair warning. I too am grumpy today. I just had a dreadful walk with my dad and the dog. Both were at fault. Do you want to go head to head with a fellow grump? 😀

        It’s throes, not throws. (Oh my gosh, I’m a smartypants to your grumpypants.)

        Also, I disagree. I think I see what you’re postulating, but I think most people need one of two things:

        1) To vent, like I’m venting about the bad walk I took just now. Or,

        2) To process a bigger situation (like a relationship) and figure out how much of the blame was actually self-done. I can totally blame the other person when I get into a relationship-gone-wrong. Oh, boy, can I ever! Yes, I can! But at the same time, I figure out what to do differently to (ideally) prevent a recurrence, you know?

        But you raise a good point. I didn’t see it, but it’s possible that this letter writer wanted to be told, “Oh, you poor dear, he’s treated you so terribly, so don’t give him another chance with the couple’s counseling.” But instead she got told (quite rightly) that it was on HER to avoid the guy. And I agree with that. Outside of blood family members (and other exceptions), everyone needs to be responsible for whom they allow into their life and their influence and their world. Because anyone who’s mistreated by someone who wasn’t trustworthy to start with, it’s on them! Like, “Screw me once, shame on you! Screw me twice, shame on me!” <— I totally follow that creed.

        The Taliban crap is seriously scary. I can totally understand preferring low-level drama to picturing what horrors they're inflicting on people! 😮

        Like

    1. Good point!! Yeah, I was wondering about that myself, or almost if she was trying to override her repulsion…? Like, “Being repulsed is wrong, so I’m going to ignore it!” or something! Huh!

      Liked by 1 person

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