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BREAKING UP

 


 

Saying Good-Bye

 

Dear Diva,

 

What is the best way to break off a relationship?

 

                                                            Angie in Alcatraz

 

Dear Prisoner,

 

            In a January 27, 1998 interview, Hillary Clinton said ďwe have been married for 22 years, and that means we know everything another person could know about each other.Ē  You have been in a relationship and have known the problems and the prizes.  Only you can know if itís time to quit.

            Angie dear, if you are truly in a relationship resembling Alcatraz, you must leave.  Itís that simple. You have fallen out of touch with the world and any support you might have, and have lost touch with yourself.  Relationships rarely last forever, though some do.  Relationships change as we change, so drop all the Cleaver Family expectations and get realistic.  You see, what we have to give in a relationship is the important thing.  If you are trapped, then you have nothing to give.  Why you canít even be yourself!

            There is no good way to leave, and you must have faith that time will heal open wounds resulting from your departure.  Be kind, donít make ultimatums and keep the focus on the future, not a rehash of the past.  It is difficult, darling, to refrain from mentioning her infidelities, snoring, slovenliness, lies, odors, annoying habits Ė whatever  Ė for sure, but they are not the subject.  The fact is, your life must work for you, and your current one does not.

            Organize yourself so you donít need to come running back to pick up clothes or in need of shelter.  Leave and stay left.  Let some time pass and contact her to discuss closure if need be.  And good luck.

 


 

Consolation Seduction

 

Dear Diva,

 

How can I console my recently-dumped roommate and get him in the sack at the same time?

 

                                                            Dichotomy Dilemma

 

Dear Dummy,

 

Recently-dumped men want to feel better and resort to any sort of stimuli to achieve the result.  During the time of distractionary pleasures, the feelings men run from are buried or forgotten, at which point the man opens his eyes and wonders why in Heaven he is involved with, in this case, YOU!  Then, you get to be Ďrecently-dumped friendí.  He may then realize you are no friend at all, having violated his vulnerability for your own lust, and men HATE to be reminded they are vulnerable.  Youíve now achieved enemy status.  Way to go:  recently-dumped and enemy.  It goes on from there.  Word gets out, you are one who takes advantage, you are an  untrustworthy friend, a liar, whatever.  Add them to the list sister.  Now, shall we continue, or do you get the point.  Be his friend, sweetheart.  If the friendship lasts (and men reward loyalty with all sorts of kind measures), he may even grow to love reliable, understanding you (though donít expect him to admit it).


 

Children Of Divorce

 

Love Children, Guide Them By Example

 

            Several months ago a woman named Mary contacted Dear Diva via e-mail.  She began a dialogue about a friend of hers who is going through a difficult divorce.  As this is a legal case, the names have been changed.  Mary, a straight woman who saw a Dear Diva Live! stage show in Virginia, has a friend, Jeff, who is must have an adult accompany him in his visitation with his daughter, Leslie, to fulfill a court order.  His ex-wife, Sarah, is fighting him tooth and nail.  Now, my gay friends, please donít turn your noses up at this situation because it is straight.  It is one many of you grew up with or will witness in your lives, either as visitation supervisors, or as parents.

            Over the course of our correspondence, Sarah has proved a horrible bitch, pardon the language, and seems destined to turn her daughter into one too.  Now, it is not acceptable to automatically label women as bitches, unless earned!  The Judge in the case says if Sarah speaks ill of her ex-husband in front of the child or in any way attempts to poison the childís mind against him, sheíll be fined $1,000 for the first offense and spend 1 week in prison for every slanderous comment after that.  Well, readers, the Judge is about to be able to afford a complete interior redecoration of Chambers!  As for Sarah, she may just meet her match in prison.  Now, read along with the last two messages!


 

Mary Letter #1

 

Dear Diva,

 

I really need some feedback from you.  Here is the situation...... Sarah told Jeff that Leslie told her that Jeff and I refused to let her call her mother last weekend -- and that we had actually PUT OUR HANDS OVER THE TELEPHONE AND REFUSED TO LET HER PICK IT UP!  I don't know if this is getting over my head, but I feel very apprehensive about where this could be heading -- because I said to Jeff a long time ago that Sarah was so out  of control that I felt that she could easily target ME at some point in time and I would be very vulnerable -- like I am the one who goes to public restrooms with her and so on.....  Do you think I should get a lawyer?  Do you think I should tell Jeff that things are just too hairy (this is exactly what Sarah wants, mind you)? or what?  I feel like Sarah is out of control and I need to take some steps to protect myself... what do you think?

 

If no one has told you yet, Happy Valentine's Day...... hope it's a good one......

 

love,

Mary

 

Well! My dears! To this Diva responded a hearty YES! Get a lawyer, write down every detail of these experiences and send a letter to Jeff, his lawyer and the Judge requesting some sort of protection if she is to continue as visitation supervisor.  It is important to remember in a situation like this that the point of focus is on the child and her well being (now and for her psychological future), not on ourselves.   Admittedly difficult, my bar-fly friends, but necessary.  When children come into our lives we must meet the challenge to give them a good self image, love and a sense that adulthood is not just a colossal inconvenience.  Her next e-mail came two days laterÖ 


 

Mary Letter #2

 

Dear Diva,

 

Done it!  That is, send Jeff a letter AND given his lawyer a copy, so it is all down on paper. I outlined several instances where I felt Sarah had crossed the line, including spreading rumors that I was sleeping with Jeff, having been asked about THAT as recently as about 2 weeks ago by people who are close to Sarah.  Gimme a break.  Jeff in his own way is a nice guy, but would I want to get involved with a guy who is involved in this messy, messy divorce with SARAH??  Get a grip, people.  I don't think so, I'm too smart for that.  In fact, it feels good NOT to be in danger of Sarah attacking me now.  I feel sorry for Jeff, but I gave him plenty of notice to be able to find someone else and/or the lawyers were supposed to meet with the judge yesterday morning and if they could iron out some protection for me, well then fine....  like I told Jeff, this really can't hurt.  And if I can be a catalyst for Sarah to start paying consequences for her actions, well, so be it.  That'd be a start, huh?  She has been skating on thin ice for a long time.

You should see her now.  Sheís lost weight, I think personally she is anorexic, her clothes are absolutely hanging on her, she looks gaunt. I know she just has herself convinced this is the worst thing that ever happened to her in her life, but if she would get herself together and get on with her life she would feel a lot better.  Actually, I think she really expected Jeff to sit around and take her crap for the rest of his life.  She thought that because she had a child she had it made Ė he would never leave.  She was wrong.  I don't think she is really thinking about the long-term consequences to poor little Leslie.   That kid is screwed up already.  She is a Junior Sarah In Training.   Holy Cow!!!!

 

Dear Mary,

            You have done great good for little Leslie, but the time of your effectiveness in the situation is at an end.  Jeff needs to find other solutions and remember Ė he married the bitch in the first place!  As for Sarah, we must always keep in mind that people must live with themselves.  Rotten people have rotten lives, how perfect!  Keep in touch with little Leslie, remember her birthdays and holidays and give her some gifts.  Drop what you are doing right now and send a little card to her at Jeffís home - her name on the outside of the envelope only, not his.  Tell her she is a wonderful little girl and you are her friend.  Do not say one ill word of her horror of a mother, unless of course you want to be like Sarah yourselfÖ 

            Next chance, invite Jeff out for a nice meal or coffee to reestablish your friendship, and you may even want to invite him and Leslie over sometime.  Now Mary, stop pouting.  It is the least you can do for that child.  You may be the only other example of womanhood she has.  Keep his lawyer informed of anything pertinent and get back to your life.  With your help, Leslie may just have a chance at some happiness in her future relationships.  Letís hope she turns out lesbian so she doesnít imitate her motherís actions with men.


 

Apart - Together - Apart - Ö

 

Dear Diva,

 

            My boyfriend and I broke up last week.  We even had a farewell love making to put closure on it.  Well, last night we sat in my car talking for three hours and then he came to my house and spent the night.  It was nice, and I did want him there (I told him I didnít want to wake up alone). 

            Diva, we talked a lot.  He said things that I have always dreamed of a man saying to me, but he said other things too.  He told me that I am not the one, and he is afraid if he is with me heíll miss the one.  He also said that I have too much body hair for him.  But he loves me and I love him.  I think we should spend time and regain our friendship, like in the beginning, and see if anything will come of it.  He says that is okay for him, but he is giving me mixed signals.  Was it wrong to spend the night with him?  What should I do?

 

Hate Being Alone

 

Dear Ape,

 

            Make a promise to Diva.  Promise that you will never allow this man in her presence!   As if body hair determines oneís qualifications for matrimony!  Tell Mr. Rogaine to rush to the boyfriend store so he can get his life mate as soon as the plastic manufacturer distributes it!  Too hairy to marry, hrmph.

            My dear, you do yourself a grand injustice.  Your letter sounds like you believe the bad things he says and canít accept the good.  Divaís judgment on the situation is that you are far too good for him, and it is that goodness that makes you not be the italicized one.  Go to the mirror, look yourself in the eyes, smile and say ďYou are lovable.  You are desirable.  You are the perfect mate.  Your hair looks great!Ē  Do this ten times a day for six months and you will begin to walk tall. 

            So stop dragging your knuckles on the ground and believe in yourself.  Find a man who enjoys you for who you are.  Perhaps heíll also enjoy braiding!  But if you find yourself hanging out near the Nair display at the drugstore, rush to the mirror and redouble your affirmations.

            As for sex, you slept with him, big deal.  If it was good (and you used condoms) then just smile your afterglow into the next day.  If not, donít go drinking at that well again.


 

Grieving Loss

 

Dear Diva,

 

            How do you get over an ex quick and painlessly?

 

                                                                        Hurting

 

Dear Dumped,

 

            You were dumped, right?  People who have walked out on somebody donít need to get over the ex, but need to get over themselves.  Pity be with you, child, for you now experience the flip side of having actually loved.  As long and as painful the process is indicates how much the relationship meant to you, how much love you gave.  My dear, you are lucky!  There are many of the meat mongers out there who wonder forever what it would be like to  have a regular love in their life. 

            But, you are in pain.  As Diva has shared before in this column, there are three rules for grieving and recovering:

 

1)       Surround yourself with beauty.  Whatever you consider that to be - fine china, art prints, music, feather boas or just looking at yourself in the mirror.  Beauty reminds us the worldís a wonderful place with loads to offer.

2)       Donít drink or take drugs.  For heaven sake, feel the feelings youíve earned, it means you are alive and healthy.  Yes Healthy!  Donít listen to those John Wayne throw-backs from the 50s who preach the evils of feeling.  Cry, write long ridiculous poems, cut his clothes into tiny pieces.  Process your grief, donít medicate it.

3)       If youíve a chance to sit quietly or go out with new people, do the impossible - sit quietly by yourself.  Imagine it from the side of new friends - handsome guy, seems nice, but get him alone and he gets weepy, clingy, needy, ucky!  Wait until youíre yourself again, then meet the world on fair terms.

 

            You will bloom again. 


 

Looking For New Love

 

Dear Diva,

 

            A friend of mine recently broke up with his significant other and is looking for a new love but can't seem to get over his ex. Please help.

 

                                                                                                Friend

Dear Concerned,

 

            Diva knows that your concern isn't all that innocent.  It's okay to be interested in him yourself, you can tell Diva.  It is entirely understandable to be concerned about your friend, whether your concern is for his happiness or more vulturely interests, but the fact is that every break up has its required grieving time.  During this time we often 'look for a new love,' but until we have grieved the old, any new love will be a replacement to fill the hole in our heart.  These rebound affairs often sink before they are out of the harbor.

            Gay people often don't have the support for relationships that we need, and thus our grieving is not supported either.  The best thing to do is to be a friend, help him grieve and then, when he seems honestly interested, start suggesting new activities.  Once when Diva had gotten a messy divorce after a long relationship (it was at least two hours), she found herself wanting more, but not satisfied with any of the men who threw themselves at her feet. Diva knew this was not right, and sat and cried with her friend Miss Manners, who helped her grieve.  Well, in another fifteen minutes the grieving was over (to hell with that tired old queen anyway) and we went to a tractor pull.  Just when they were into the deep mud race Diva found the next man of her dreams!


 

Stupid Mistakes

 

Dear Diva,

 

            My boyfriend and I broke up over stupid mistakes that I made and terrible things that I said.  I realize now that I truly love him and that he's more important to me than my bad habits (spending too much, i.e., debt, and making him feel I'm limiting his freedom). I want another chance to make things right between us now, taking steps to change my behavior, and realizing that hindsight really is 20/20.  I know he still loves me but others in the "bar scene" are telling him to forget about it, and he's listening to them.  How can I reunite the two of us who are still very much in love?

I've tried apologizing, sending flowers, writing poems, taking an ad out in the blade and sending cards.  As tokens of my sincerity and symbols of my love.  I'm also taking concrete steps to change by cutting up my credit cards and getting debt counseling, as well as trying to be more aware of his needs for personal freedom and friendship.

            I know he's scared that things won't really change and he prizes his new found freedom very much.  However, I know in my heart how much he means to me and I know that I will change and will give him his freedom.  I've learned my lesson a very hard way--but I have learned!  I just don't see how to make him both understand and believe this.  Please help!  With much hope and thanks,

 

                                                                                    Mike

My Poem:

 

One true love

One true man

Hand in hand to walk this earth

Held together by solemn word and bond.

A love created to last forever more

A dream from heaven brought to life

For this shall I endure and fight.

 

Dear Mike,

 

            Diva is flattered that you took so much time to write, and she certainly hopes that things turn out for the best.  It is always difficult when our own human failings get in the way of our relationships, and other people get hurt in the process.  Diva hears how much you love him, and doesn't want you to be in pain. However, sometimes avoiding pain in the moment means greater pain in the long run.

            In our dealings with people in our lives there are two sicknesses: co-dependence and independence.  What we seek is inter-dependence - the healthy way to have relationships.  It seems that you two have both sorts of sickness.  You, in deciding to work to overcome your shortcomings, are clearly co-dependent, for you are proposing to improve your character for him, or for the goal of getting him back.  You ought to do this self-improvement work for yourself, to become the best person you can be, no matter who is in your life.  On the other hand, Michael love, it sounds like your estranged mate suffers from the sickness of independence, and is surrounded by others who might advocate isolation as solution to domestic problems.  It is a difficult situation.

            Love is not easy, and it requires much hard work on both ends. When a person is hell bent on living independently, the prospect of being with a person who will 'do anything for love' is pretty scary.  Your beau may not regain his interest, or be willing to act on the love he feels for you, until you show signs of maturity and self-reliance.  When you truly know you will be fine with or without him or any other specific person, you will exude a type of confidence that is irresistible.  Likewise, when he gets enough of playing alone in his sandbox, he will show signs of compassion that will make others eager to be with him.  Diva suspects that when each of you moves toward the position of the other a bit, that is when you will find a rekindling of love.

            You will never return to what you two had in the past, and any thoughts of that are folly.  What is possible is a brand new relationship with him, based on new foundation of maturity and self respect.  Then, and only then, will you two find what is possible for you as a couple, and at that time you will be gleefully happy, so much so that you will be glad you did the work on your own side of the street.

            Thank you for the poem, Diva has put it up on her refrigerator door.  Good luck sweet Michael.


 

Ex-Lover In The Way

 

Dear Diva,

 

            My boyfriend is always on the phone with his ex-lover.  It seems like whenever he needs to talk to someone he calls him.  How do I deal with the situation?

 

                                                        Jealous

 

Dear Jealous,

 

            Diva would not stand for that at all.  Scratch his eyes out, girl!  But there are, too, those situations in which the past is not so easily ignored.  Diva knows many who own homes jointly, have children, work together, etc.  Each situation has its reasonable needs for continued contact.  However, if your boyfriend is suffering from the "absence makes the heart grow fonder" syndrome, then I would wish him and his ex a very happy life together on the phone and strike out for new lands.  In other words, dump him and come visit Diva.  I will pay you undivided attention, as you deserve.

 


 

Ending Relationship

Dear Diva,

 

            For the past year I've been seeing this bisexual guy.  I've always wanted a relationship with him, but he is not ready as he's never had a relationship with a man before.  Meanwhile, I've met another man who wants a relationship.  I like this new guy a lot and I have lost my sexual feelings (most of them anyway) for the bisexual man.  Over the past year I've gotten a good friendship with the bisexual guy that I don't want to lose.  How can I "end things" with the bisexual guy without ending our friendship?

 

                                                                        Confused

 

Dear Confused,

 

            Diva thinks she might be writing to a very fickle young man, no?  Ah the web we weave.  In our culture we know very well how to get into bed with a man, but we don't know how to get out of bed very well, no do we?  Diva admits, she has in fits of frustration simply had the bedroom guards carry the offending man away and throw him into the dumpster, but that is hardly the way. 

            If there is indeed a good, solid friendship with the bisexual man, then it will endure.  If the friendship is built on sex or guilt, then there is no friendship to begin with.  So, what to do?  Simply go by the saying that honesty is the best policy and tell him that you want his friendship but not his sex.  Wait!  Diva has heard that before and wasn't too thrilled at the time. 

            Perhaps you can plan some outings with this biway-man that don't leave room for sex, but are loads of fun.  Go to King's Dominion, or the Zoo.  Have a party with friends, or go to parties together.  Learn how good friends you really are without the sense of rejection creeping in there.  Then, when the question of sex comes up, you can tell him gently, pointing out that you two have had some wonderful sex-free times which will continue.  If that leaves him half-satisfied, send him to visit Diva...


 

Lesbian Dog Walking

 

Dear Diva,

 

            I have a job walking dogs for a lesbian couple.  Their two schnauzers are actually very nice, and I love animals - non-human ones. 

These dykes are a different story.   Some time after I took the job, they got divorces (she wants children, she does not).  So they separated, but couldnít allow the dogs to be separated.  Their arrangement is that first one has them for a week, then the other.  Well, it started fine.  I went, walked the dogs, bagged their poo, and returned them home.  Then the war heated up.  Suddenly, I am responsible for delivering the dogs between them on drop off day, because they canít stand to see each other.  Then, I am asked to deliver first messages between them, and now itís notes.  Nasty notes.  Things are getting worse, and Iím in the middle.  I hate to see the dogs suffer, but Iíve had it with these two.  What should I do?

 

Caught on the leash

 

Dear Hounded,

 

            However did you get in this profession?  How interesting.  You must have great legs from all that walking, but what do you smell like after a day of work?  It must be challenging.

            Ah me, God hath no wrath like a woman scorned - and there are two of them!  Poor you.  The immediate thing to do is triple your fee for the walking and scooping, and charge psychiatrist fees for the marriage counseling.  What ever you do, donít get caught in the middle.  Take no sides, answer no questions.  In fact, learn American Sign Language and use no verbal communication with either one of them.  Do you know what angry dykes are capable of?  My dear, watch your back at all times and start Kung Fu lessons immediately.  Personally, Diva prefers prissy old queens, alone with their poodles and fortunes and nasty as the day is long.   They wonít do bodily harm to you no matter what, it might break a nail.

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