Fear and loathing in splitsville

Joey Garcia

I saw my girlfriend hugging her boss. Being a smartass, I argued with her about it (behind closed doors). She cried. We broke up. It wasn’t the first time my trust issues caused problems. But I had promised to stop. She had a lot of fun before we dated. So when I heard things about her, I paid no mind. Occasionally, I commented, but she ignored it or said it was from the past. I love her, and when you love someone, you don’t judge. I’m from Mexico, have old-school values and was trusting. U.S. women were cruel to me, took advantage of my kindness and turned me into this assuming guy. I hate what I’ve become. When my girl told me she loved me, I didn’t believe her. Later, I wondered how I could be so mean. I dread my next relationship and myself. Please help.

Dread—anxiety about what might happen—is what caused your eruptions of jealousy, control and anger. You were afraid you would lose your girlfriend, so you never allowed yourself to feel safe enough to love her. Yes, there were strong feelings. But love is not rooted in feelings. In a committed relationship it means choosing actions that exemplify deep care and concern for the other person. Your choices were selfish. When your girlfriend hugged her boss, your concern was for your own discomfort. You felt dark emotions rise and tried to ignore them. The emotions responded by gaining power. That led you to believe the emotions were correct so you lashed out. Everything would have been OK if she only said [fill in the blank] or did [fill in the blank]. Yes, if you could control her, everything would be perfect. Can you hear the self-centeredness?

You are also dragging around enough blame to win a world weightlifting championship. How is it possible that U.S. women turned your trusting heart into a suspicious one? If you were not luxuriating in being a victim, you would notice how easily you lose yourself in a relationship. Begin now to experience yourself internally as capable, content and compassionate, without a partner. That reality must stay present when you are in a committed relationship. If it doesn’t, you will always fear losing the person you imagine you can’t live without. When you do, you will have lost yourself.

One last thing, why claim you paid no attention to your girlfriend’s past or to gossip, then admit you made comments to her about rumors? If you want to stop hating who you have become then practice honesty with yourself, first, and then with others. You must also forgive yourself. The new year offers a fresh path to love. Begin by learning to love yourself.

I was friends with a man who moved in with a girl who doesn’t want me talking to him. I miss him. He is with me when she kicks him out, but he always goes back. Don’t I have a say in talking to him? I didn’t ask for much and was honest and faithful, but I ended up alone. Dating isn’t helping. Spiritual law suggests we follow our heart and mind, be connected to others and be nice. What am I doing wrong?

If this man wanted you in his life, it would be so. So don’t fault his girlfriend. He may blame her because he lacks the backbone to admit you are his backup plan. Unfortunately, you are willing to settle for that. I want you to develop the self-esteem required to stop clinging to someone who is not interested in you. And, please, be clear: You are not following your mind or heart. You are desperately trying to avoid abandonment. When you stop chasing rhinestones, diamonds do appear.

Meditation of the week
“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity,” said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Joey says this is the secret of spiritual evolution. Live it.

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