Hey Dr. Darcy. I’m in a low, low place and hoping you can help. My girl and I were together for almost 3 years (1 ½ of them good) and just before the summer she ended it. It’s taken me 2 months of being alone to realize how much I love her and that it’s not as easy as finding a replacement. I also went into therapy and talked to my sister a lot about my part in the demise of our relationship. My therapist and my sister have been very clear that I bore at least 50% of the responsibility for our problems. Anyway, so I’ve spent my entire summer wishing I had a second chance with her. It seems cruel for me to realize my part in our problems if it’s too late to show her what I learned. The thing is, I’m really sensitive to rejection and the thought of asking for another chance and her saying no is almost too much to bear…
‘Almost,’ being the operative word. You can be sensitive to rejection ~ most of us are, but it’s your choice to respond to the fear of rejection by avoiding it or by developing a capacity to withstand it by facing it. It’s really just your ego coming between you and your needs. Judging by the way our egos defend against rejection, you’d think our lives were contingent upon avoiding it. I’ve never known anyone who died from it, though I’ve counseled many whose spirits were broken because they avoided it and took what they thought was an easier way though life.
You don’t strike me as a quitter. You could have used the summer to play the field. Instead, you went into what sounds like effective therapy. By the way, I judge effective therapy by the extent to which a client walks out the door taking responsibility for where he/she is in his/her life as opposed to feeling victimized. Sorry for the regression. Anyway, in just 2 short months, you’ve gained important insights and have come to realize that you’re at least 50% responsible for the problems you had. Taking ownership of your role is like having a magic wand and magically removing 50% of the problems in your relationship. If you caused it, guess what? You can fix it. But only if you grab your ovaries and risk rejection.
I’m trying to imagine what I’d do if my wife and I were either broken up or on the brink of breakup. I’ll tell you what: If I had to, I’d put an ad in the Times, declaring my love for her and begging her to give me another chance. I’d want to know that I did everything within my power to fix my part. Sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcome is not correcting the mistakes that you made in the relationship, but overcoming the pride that can get in the way of the relationship.
Writer’s Stats: Female, lesbian.