Make Things Right
Q: I had been dating a guy in the military off and on for about 2 years. He was stationed several states away and came back home over Christmas for two weeks, when I saw him for a total of 20 minutes. And I hadn't seen him for such a very long time. Well, the day after Christmas I, my girl friend, and my boyfriend's brother were all hanging out, which is pretty normal since we've all been buds for a long time. Except that his brother told me that my boyfriend was leaving the next morning. I got very upset and freaked out. I told my boyfriend it was over and I ended up sleeping with his brother. Mind you I was extremely drunk. I know, not really an excuse, but it does impair judgment. Since then, I've tried talking to my ex-bf, and he won't talk to me and seems to not want anything to do with me. I can certainly understand why. I would be angry at me too. But I've tried apologizing and I just wanted to talk to him. It's something I think and cry about on a daily basis and I wish I could just make things right with him. I know he will probably never want to be with me again, but to just be on ok terms with him. Any idea how I can accomplish this? -- Roxanne, 18
Dr. Susan: Face it, Roxanne: You're 18 and you'll just learned your first big lesson about love. Sometimes all it takes is one major screw-up and nothing will ever go back to the way it was. So quit your daily weeping and be realistic: Your ex is wiser than you are, at least in this matter. He knows you're untrustworthy. He knows you're the type of person who gets extremely drunk and then betrays him with his very own brother. He can't disown his brother, or won't, but he can shut you out completely and pretend it never happened. His boundaries are as clear as possible: Good-bye means good-bye. Quit trying to be okay with him. It's a waste of effort and tears. Your energy now should go toward making sure you have your head on straight and that you never drink so much again. Otherwise you're likely to do something stupid and irreparable again, with someone else, something that no apology can truly repair.
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Advice for Her
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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.