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Arts & Culture

Savage Love: Tragedies Come in Threes

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My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and we live together. Recently, his ex was killed in a car accident. They were not on good terms, and he often made scathing statements about her. I made the mistake of saying the following several days after her death (after offering him my sympathy on numerous occasions): “I don’t know how to help you grieve in this situation because you didn’t like her.” Obviously, that was a stupid, careless thing to say. I apologized numerous times, and he said that he forgave me. Fast-forward two weeks. We were out having drinks with friends. He disappeared from the bar and wouldn’t answer my calls. I ended up calling a cab and heading home by myself. When I got home, he was there drinking with our roommate and some of his friends who were crashing at our house, including his friend’s wife. I was angry and went to bed. I awoke at 8 a.m. alone and went downstairs, where I found him making out with his friend’s wife on our porch. They were both incredibly drunk. Later, he told me he was still angry about my comment, accused me of hating his ex, and informed me that he spent the entire night venting about me to his friends. I am totally capable of getting over one drunken kiss—everybody makes mistakes. However, I feel like the whole context was incredibly toxic and hurtful, especially him airing our dirty laundry to his friends. I’m not sure if I’m interested in staying with someone who can’t speak to me like an adult when he has an issue, and instead gets scary drunk and makes out with people. I told him that this chick owes me an apology before I can ever even consider getting over it. I asked him to consider quitting drinking. And I asked him to make it clear to his friends what really happened when it came to our interactions over his ex’s passing, so I don’t have to be treated like the bad guy in this situation. Am I being too demanding? Does it seem like our relationship is worth salvaging? We’ve had our ups and downs, but I hope we love each other enough to get past this.
—Confused And Concerned About Situation

Let’s review your boyfriend’s behavior: gets drunk, ditches girlfriend, gets completely shitfaced back at shared home, bitches about girlfriend to drunk friends, makes out with another woman—who happens to be married to another friend—while his girlfriend sleeps in the next room, gets caught, blames girlfriend.

To me, that looks like someone slamming his hand down on the eject button, i.e., he wants out of this relationship. Which means your willingness to stay in this relationship—if “this chick” comes through with the apology you feel she owes you, if your boyfriend corrects the record and quits boozing—may be irrelevant. Because if your boyfriend wants to dump you but lacks the decency, balls or self-awareness to end it himself (it’s possible that he may not be consciously aware that he wants out), CACAS, he’ll keep pulling stunts like this until you’ve had enough and you dump him.

I could be wrong, of course, and I’ve been wrong in the past—see “clitoris, location” and “male bisexuality, existence of”—and this is advice not binding arbitration blah blah blah. Maybe his behavior can be attributed to a crazy meltdown reaction to his ex-girlfriend’s death. Clearly, his feelings for his ex were more complicated than he let on. I’m thinking he still had feelings for her, CACAS, and I’m betting that she dumped him. He may have said only shitty things to you about his ex because he thought that’s what you wanted to hear. Reminding him about all of the shit he talked about his ex may have made him angry with himself, and he projected that anger onto you, and now, in the cold/sober light of day, he’ll be able to see that and he’ll apologize and you can rebuild your relationship.

Or, you know, not.

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