He Can't Let Go
Q: I'm 28 and my girlfriend of four-plus years left me a few months back. We were so happy that I didn't see it coming. She told me that I was depressed, and that I wasn't giving her enough attention and that she was high maintenance. She left me with a home in both our names and only calls when she needs something or on a holiday. She now tells me that we are incompatible although she loves me as a person. I just can't get this whole thing out of my head without some sort of real answers or closure. I am driving myself insane and just wish I knew if I should be her friend and change her mind, or just say "you got what you wanted and now just leave me alone." -- Jack
Dr. Susan: I can hear how frustrated and obsessed you are with your former girlfriend, but you will have to obtain closure for yourself by not having contact with her anymore. Forget about getting "real answers." She's told you all she is able to, that she wanted a different kind of relationship. Either you missed the signs of her discontent (easy to do if you were depressed), or she was a good liar until she was ready to call it quits. Any woman who leaves you because you're depressed and thus not able to cater to her needs enough, without giving you a fair chance to work on the relationship, is probably not worth going insane over. You're not going to "change her mind" by being "her friend." Sometimes it's simply impossible to remain friends with someone you've loved. She's not the same person she was. If I were you, I'd stop taking this "high maintenance" person's calls "when she needs something." Sell the house and split the proceeds, quick, because the longer you stay entangled with her, the harder it will be to regain your balance. Time for a fresh start.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.