Monday, September 10, 2007

An email from a female reader with boyfriend problems

It's been a while since I had a 'Dear GB' email from a straight female reader, so I was happy when I realised that it was a woman who'd sent me the following email:

Dear GB,

Last year my boyfriend and I decided to embark on a "trial separation". We originally planned to do this for only 2 months, however the months kept going by, and it now has become a year. I think neither of us had the courage to make a final decision.

We have remained friends all this time, however we do not live together anymore, and I know I am no longer aware of everything that goes on in his life. I believed we had an unspoken rule about not dating anyone else. And I've kept that promise; recently I've come to suspect he is seeing someone. While I know I don't own him anymore, I do feel hurt as if this new relationship of his is cheating on me. I really want to get married and have children, and I feel that he would be the perfect father. I am not sure how to approach him and let him know that I still am madly in love with him. I want to confront his new girlfriend and explain to her what she is trying to wreck, but I'm afraid it will drive him away from me forever when he finds out. I'm really at a loss on what to do!

Having thought a bit about this now, I wonder why they embarked on the trial separation in the first place. Who was the main mover behind that? If it was him, perhaps he was just trying to her down gently. Presumably there were some problems in their relationship, so getting back together might not be a good idea if they haven't been fixed. To me, "an unspoken rule" about not dating anyone else sounds more like that's what she was hoping for than reality.

In terms of trying to get back together, if she's sure he's already seeing someone else then I'm afraid it may already be too late. I'd have thought that it would have been a joint responsibility to discuss getting back together after the initial two months if either of them wanted it. Since neither of them raised it at the time, it seems reasonable to me that he's moved on now that it's 1 year later.

But perhaps he's not seeing anyone else yet. So does she have any mutual friends that she can trust to "test the water" about a reconciliation on her behalf? Alternatively, perhaps she knows where he hangs out, in which case maybe she could just bump into him when he's on his own, tell him that she misses him, and see what the reaction is?

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

1 comment:

Superchilled said...

Communication communication communication. She needs to talk to him - openly, calmly and objectively - easier said than done - about all the issues going through her head. Things unspoken are so open to interpretation that they're worthless. After a year of separation if you don't know what's happening in his life - there's a reason for it - talk to him - expect the worst, but don't let anything go unspoken. You can't read someone's mind - but you can read their lips.