My boyfriend and I recently decided to go our separate ways. There was nothing dramatic about the breakup, we just grew apart. We have different interests and different friends and really, it's the perfect break-up.
My problem is that I want a clean slate but am having a hard time cutting the ties. We are still Facebook friends and he sent me a Happy Thanksgiving text. I wonder if it was easier in the old days when you broke up and that was the end of it? When I look at his FB pics and status updates, I feel all the angst and jealousy I never felt when we were together. I want him to be happy and have an amazing life. But when he posts evidence of it, I feel like my absence is no more than a blip on his screen. Which leads to me posting happy pretty pictures of MY amazing life without him.
How do I get beyond this?
— Unjustly Ticked-Off
Where can I write this guy to congratulate him on his narrow escape? He must be wiping his brow right about now. Maybe he can get a spot on the new I Shouldn't Be Alive spinoff — I Shouldn't Be So Lucky.
Are you trying to win him back or merely impress him? Try this thought experiment: Relax, take a sip of Island Mist, put on some Barry White, close your eyes, and imagine yourself on a bearskin rug in front of a roaring fire in a chalet in Branson. You're snowed in and he's kissing you. Does that feel yummy? Or weird?
If yummy, you're not over your perfect breakup. Deep in your sweet little heart you wanted screaming. His ability to walk away whistling a tune has left you wondering whether he ever really loved you. He didn't, so don't try winning him back.
If weird, then you've got some kind of compulsive competitive thing going on that needs professional help. Whenever I need professional help with my competitive compulsions, I see a blackjack dealer, but that's not the right course for everyone.
Either way, you need some distractions. Get involved in something. There must be some trendy cause you can join and bore the ever-loving soul out of your Facebook friends as you describe in painful detail all the wonderful children/baby seals/old buildings you're helping to save. Pretty soon, he'll unfriend you. Problem solved.
So do you really have an amazing life? If so, go out and live it instead of pathetically casting about for validation. I have a pretty amazing life myself, one not everybody is quite up to living. If I sat around trying to impress my ex-wives with the tales of my conquests, I wouldn't have time to troll for the next former Mrs. Waggon.
Want Jack to set you straight? E-mail him at email@example.com
My husband has been looking for a job since he was laid off last year. I have tried to be supportive but it's getting harder as the holidays approach. I am working two jobs just to make ends meet. He's helping with the kids and is constantly going on interviews, but even though most of our friends who have been laid off have found jobs, he has not.
I realize his self-esteem is in the toilet, but frankly, I’m too tired to keep building him up. I'm also starting to wonder what's wrong with him that he can't find a job? He's very well educated, good at what he does and had a good track record at his previous job. Even the kids are getting depressed about the situation.
Do you think it's time for some tough love?
Clearly your husband wants to be your wife. How about this Christmas you deck him out in one of your dresses and y'all head on over to my place? I'll shake some vodka out of the bottle and whichever one of you is ugliest can whip up a couple dozen bacon sandwiches while the other discovers the excruciating pleasures of tough love in my private dungeon hideaway.
Your old man is going through hell right now. What kind of tough love do you have in mind? You can't quit your second job, so what else is there, other than a good spanking (which I always recommend, deserved or not).
Instead, why don't you ask him what it is he really wants to do. Maybe his failure stems from his desire not to succeed at something he hates. Maybe he doesn't want to go back to the grind but he's too afraid to tell you. Maybe he doesn't even know he's afraid, or isn't willing to admit it to himself because he thinks if he chucks it in and chases his dream of becoming, say, a farrier, that will only prove he's the failure his asshole father always told him he'd be.
So now your husband wants to become a horse podiatrist. I know, it's weird, but some people can't get enough. At least he's going into medicine, right? Let's forget about that and find out how y'all can make it happen.
Start by building a plan together. He agrees to work five years at his current profession while he trains up, chases clients, and puts together the money he'll need to get off the ground. I think you'll be amazed how quick he finds a job once he knows he doesn't have to punch that clock until the day the dirt hits the lid. It's like my cardiologist recently said, if you know your time at the grindstone is finite and something better awaits you on the other side, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to put your shoulder to the wheel every morning.
Need some advice? Let Jack Waggon set you straight: firstname.lastname@example.org