Abby: Guilt mingles with grief after boyfriend’s death
Dear Abby: My boyfriend died unexpectedly a few months ago, and it has been a struggle to get through my sadness. We had been through a lot in the year and a half we were dating, including some infidelities on my part.
Aside from my sadness and guilt, I’m struggling with the fear that I’ll never live down my infidelities or be able to make it up to him. It is clouding the positive memories I have of him. I don’t know how to stop my thoughts from going all over the place.
Sad in Sacramento
Dear Sad: Much as we might wish to, none of us can change the past. I assume that you have now learned that it’s best to remain faithful in your romantic relationships. That’s a step in the right direction.
The next step is to resolve that in future relationships you won’t stray, and if you are tempted to, you will discuss with your boyfriend what you feel is missing in your relationship.
As to how to disrupt the intrusive memories that keep flooding back, a technique many people use is to REMIND themselves to stay in the moment each time an unwanted memory pops up. The technique is called “mindfulness,” and it works.
Dear Abby: I fell in love with “Alex” during my last year of college. We had known each other for 18 months. One month before our wedding, he broke up with me. He says I was verbally abusive.
I admit I had anger issues. I had to plan most of the wedding alone because we were four hours apart. When we argued, he would say one thing and then something different later. He would also tell his mom stuff about me and our relationship that I considered private. After the breakup, I found out he had lied to me about his religion.
I had a hard time with the breakup. I tried hard to reconcile or find solutions, but he rejected all of them. Now he’s blaming me and throwing things in my face.
I am heartbroken and depressed. I don’t know if I should be mad at him for the lies and the heartache he has caused me, or mad at myself for messing up. I have lost my confidence and self-esteem. What do I do?
Still In Love
Dear Still In Love: Take off the rose-colored glasses for a moment and consider what the reality of a marriage to Alex would have been like. You would have had a mama’s boy for a husband, one you couldn’t count on to tell the truth and who blamed you for anything that went wrong.
Don’t you realize you dodged a bullet? If things had turned out differently, you’d be writing me as an unhappy wife, probably with children to support.
Let it go, get help for your anger issues and don’t waste more time brooding. There are times it is better that we don’t get the things we wish for, and this may be one of them.
Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.