DEAR KELLY: Recently my boyfriend broke up with me, and it devastated me. I didn’t know why or have any clue he felt that way. We had been together for 11 months and I didn’t see the “communication problems” he did. The night we broke up my friend was supposed to have a kickback that kind of turned into a massive party until the cops broke it up. I ended up getting crazy wasted (bad idea, I know) and was a hot mess. One of the guys who is on my boyfriend’s baseball team offered to take care of me. I just thought of him as a friend and that he was being nice. I swear there has never been anything between us. When he took me home, things got out of hand and we ended up having sex in his car.
The next morning, as I was getting ready to text the other guy to ask him not to tell anyone what happened, I looked at my phone. In my drunken state I had tweeted, “I know I’m going to regret this tomorrow.” When my friends texted me about what happened, I said that things got out of hand with so and so and that I didn’t plan to have sex but that it just happened. I sent that same text to like four different people, one being my ex-boyfriend’s best friend’s girlfriend. She showed it to her boyfriend, who then took a screen shot of it and sent it to my ex.
I immediately texted my ex and he replied by calling me a slut and saying he wanted nothing to do with me. I apologized, asked to meet him to talk, begged him to forgive me, cried, texted his cousin to help me, but nothing worked. After a week, he finally started talking to me and he said he wanted to forgive me but it was going to take along time and I need to be patient. The guy I made the mistake with apologized to my boyfriend and told him he thought we were broken up and they worked it out. The problem is that now when I go watch my boyfriend play baseball I have to see the other guy, then my boyfriend shoots me texts after, asking things like, “Who were you here to watch. Me or him?” I tell him every time it is him and I have no feelings for the other guy. Or if the other guy has a better game, my boyfriend says things like, “You want him now, huh?” or always makes comments that remind me of what I did and how he’s still so mad and hurt.
We aren’t officially back together but there are times when I know he wants to be but he just can’t say it yet because he’s still mad. How do you get someone to forgive you and how can we move past this and forget about it when he has to see the other guy every day at practice and I have to see him if I want to go watch my boyfriend play? Please don’t suggest not going to the games because then my boyfriend would probably think I didn’t care about him or have time for him, and things could get even worse. I know I was wrong, but please help me with this relationship I so badly want to fix.
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DEAR ABI: You are focused on the wrong issue. You want help with your relationship, but that’s not the biggest problem. Instead of concentrating on fixing things with your ex-boyfriend, you need to work at fixing your self and the impulsive choices you are making that are affecting your life.
Start by examining your decision to go get stupid drunk in response to having your feelings hurt. If this is your go-to coping skill, you need to step back and do a gut check. Alcohol, drugs, smoking, gambling or food are unhealthy things to turn to when you are upset. They are the last things you should turn to. It might feel good in the moment, but nothing good comes from it and the problem is not solved nor is it better. The fact that you had sex unexpectedly in his car makes me wonder if you protected yourself from things like pregnancy or STDs? When you drink, clear thoughts go out the window and you don’t make rational or wise decisions regarding your personal safety. All of these issues need to be examined, chewed on, processed and honestly looked at before you can learn or grow from this and it is difficult to do this when your focus is on someone else.
Stop chasing your boyfriend and refocus your energy on making better and healthier decisions. Life is going to hand you hurts and pains. You need to be able to handle them without alcohol if you are to better yourself. Drinking to the point of having regrets means you are not a responsible drinker and you can’t monitor your alcohol intake. The best way to solve this: Stop drinking.
Don’t litter your life with regrets because you use alcohol as a self-medication for feelings. Find other ways like talking, writing, drawing or exercising to share your feelings or disappointments. Use this as a powerful learning lesson to reach out not to the bottle next time but rather to people who love and support you when you are down or confused. Side note: People who love and care about you do not call you a slut. You can’t force your ex to forgive you or move on, but you can forgive yourself, commit to not making the same choices next time and take care of you and who you surround yourself with. It shouldn’t be hard to make good life decisions if you know who you are, what your values are and make choices with a clear mind.