Question: Dear Luise: My boyfriend of 2 years slowly has drifted away. Last week, I saw a girl’s cell number on his phone and phone calls from her at 2:30 in the morning, (other times too.) He used to “talk to her” when we broke up for a couple of weeks. She lives about 5 hours away but that still didn’t give me the reason to pass it by. Anyway, I got mad and assumed he cheated on me so I threw his phone, broke it on concrete and then slapped his face telling him I couldn’t believe he cheated on me…and it was over. I ended up changing my number and called him a couple days after in private to explain that I was sorry. He didn’t give me a chance; he quickly hung up on my face after explaining he has no respect for me. I called him immediately back and that long distant girl’s cousin answered and I just hung up. Yesterday I decided to drop off a little box of heart shaped pizzas and a picture of us saying I miss you and he called my friend and told her, “I have no respect for that bitch.” He called her cell phone, her house phone, my mom’s phone…so many phones, just to get hold of someone to tell them to spread the message. If he really didn’t care, don’t you think he would just drop it and ignore it? Anyway, please tell me, was I wrong? I tried to call him back to say I’m sorry and resolve it but he wouldn’t even give me a chance! L.
Answer: Dear L.: You were aware that you and your boyfriend were drifting apart. What you found on his cell was further proof that it was going in that direction. I doubt that there was anything you could have done about it but what you did do didn’t help or make you look very good.
Most of us can’t get away with throwing a fit like that. You ended it and that was fine with him. Try to look at it from a different perspective. If HE had been mad at YOU and accused you of something you hadn’t actually done (yet) and then destroyed your costly cell phone; following that by hitting you while he was speaking abusively to you…how would you have reacted? Would you have respected him after that?
You may be sorry but there are many situations in life where it isn’t wise to act out like that. Saying, “I’m sorry” often doesn’t cut it…partly because of hurt feelings and partly because the other person is just no longer interested in anything you might say or do. An apology is not an eraser.
Use this experience as a lesson, if you can. It was ending anyhow, but it didn’t have to end so badly. Part of growing up into a fully mature adult is learning to develop dignity. Blessings, Luise