Q: I believe I am in love with my former supervisor who was a senior partner at a law firm, and I do not know what to do about it. He was the most fascinating man I have ever personally known--smart and successful with a delightful sense of humor. I was charmed by his special attention and treatment, even though others at the firm feared his intimidating personality. Unfortunately, however, I had been employed as an attorney for six months when I reported to my office one day and he fired me on the spot. He provided no explanation that made any sense. I had performed my duties well; however, a couple of months prior I had filed a lawsuit against a former employer, which was a major client of this firm. I believe this was the reason the firm fired me. The worst part was that the firing was carried out by him and I trusted him. We did good work together and I have missed seeing him. It has been four months since I left the firm, and I think about him more as time passes. What do you suggest to help me get through this? - Mindy, 42
Dr. Susan: If the worst part of all this for you was that you trusted your supervisor and he was the one who carried out the firing, it might be helpful to try to see it from his (and the firm's) side. Sure, you trusted him, but he trusted you as well, and then you went and sued one of their major clients. I can't help but believe that this action on your part was seen as disloyalty by the firm, however justified in your eyes and even perhaps legally and ethically. So they chose to lose you to help show their commitment to their big client. I'm only guessing of course, and you can't prove a thing like that, nor should you try, in my opinion.
You haven't been able to get over this because you haven't let yourself move on. You had built up some hopes that your relationship with your supervisor was leading somewhere and were utterly shocked when it ended up less than nowhere. Perhaps you shouldn't have been so surprised. He was charming and funny and attentive, and he knew how to project power. Yet I suspect that your feelings were never more than infatuation. What you need to do is get busy, finding something more compelling to get involved in, and let this one go.
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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.