Dating / Relationship Question and Answer


02 May 2001


What To Do When You Just Can’t Seem To Let Go


Hi Dr. Neder:


I hope you have some good advice besides telling me to get over
this woman. I’m doing my best on that (primarily by dating other
women), but I really want this woman back if possible.


Here’s the story – it’s pretty bizarre:I was with a woman for
a number years. It was on again/off again, mostly because she
would deal with problems by breaking up. (I never initiated a
break up). Eventually, she would come back again. She wanted
marriage and children and I admit I was afraid of marriage. She
would get very emotional and raise her voice; we lost the
ability to communicate about important issues, especially the
topics of marriage and children.


She broke up with me again late last year. I was told she was
very upset, crying all the time. I assumed she’d be back like
always. Wrong – she met a guy, got engaged 3 weeks later, and
married 3 months after that. The man she married was also on the
rebound and it’s an obvious case of two lonely people consoling
each other. They are very incompatible; he’s not her (or my)
equal in any way. It’s pretty certain she married him to get a
family, to not feel lonely after breaking up with me and to show
me something — not out of real love. It’s almost certain they
will eventually divorce.


I’ve overcome my fear of marriage, and even proposed to her to
marry me before they married. As I said, she is stubborn and
even though it’s pretty certain to everyone she still loves me
(and has implied she “feels sorry for him”), she would rather
die than admit she made a mistake and rushed into something.


I love the woman dearly and, though would not break up her
marriage if it were a better situation for her. I really want
her back in my life if possible. Obviously, sitting and waiting
for them to divorce is not a healthy approach. Can you give me
any suggestions other than just trying to forget her?






I’m not going to lie to you just because you’ve asked – you
deserve better than that. Get over her. Yes, I know that isn’t
what you want to hear, but it’s the right advice. I also
understand that you’re still in love with her, and maybe this is
the key to your freedom from her. I’m sorry, but this woman
sounds like a real nut case. Suffice it to say that, while crazy
women are the best sex you’ll ever have, they will cause you
nothing but problems otherwise.


You’ve been doing the right thing by dating other women. I just
hope that you’re not spending your time with them telling them
all about this woman. They don’t want to hear that. You might
find that focusing on volumes of women will help you get over
one. After all, having a supermarket to choose from will make a
single brand much less important.


Ok, so on to the “key”. Again, you’re going to have to get over
her. Get out of her life, and get her out of yours. If you have
any property of hers, give it back – ever single bit. If she has
anything of yours, get it back. No more telephone calls,
letters, birthday cards, email, or anything else. You’ve got to
wash your hands of her completely. After all, you wouldn’t cut
off a dog’s tail piece by piece would you? Of course not – you’d
do it all at once.


Next, spend one session (no more than 30 minutes) considering
what it is about this woman that has a hold on you. Is it the
sex? Is it her looks? Just what is it exactly. Write this down
on a piece of paper – you’re going to need it later. Be short
and specific – no more than a paragraph.


One final tip that will help: carry a rubber band with you. Huh?
A rubber band – why? Here’s why: You need to stop the patterns
that are making you want her. These patterns continue to get
reinforced every time you think about her with someone else. She
isn’t going to leave him for you – and if she does, you’d better
run! So, every time you slip back into thinking about her, take
that rubber band between your thumb and first finger, place it
against your thigh, pull it back and give yourself a nice pop
with it.


Does this sound stupid? Believe me – it works. What you’re
trying to do here is to associate the thoughts of her with a
negative stimulus – in this case the stinging on your leg. Be
consistent – don’t stop until you stop thinking about her.


The final step is the paper. You should use this as the beginning
of a letter to yourself. Instead of being a sad remembrance of
her, it will now become the basis for your new goal – that of
finding someone new. You should spend a few days and describe
the exact woman you want to find. Describe her in detail and
don’t cut corners. There is something magical that happens when
you commit this to paper. Describe her looks, her height, her
political affiliation, her likes and dislikes, her family, where
does she come from, what does she eat for breakfast, lunch and
dinner, how intelligent is she, what does she read, etc., etc.,
etc. Remember to keep that rubber band handy – if you fall back
to thinking of the previous woman, you know what to do!


My brother, you’re going to have to move on with your life and
accept that she is doing the same. Be thankful for the things
you’ve learned in your association with her and find someone
else that you’ll love even more – and that is less crazy.