September 15, 2019   11:01pm
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Francine Talks: Break-up No. 2: The if-he-doesn’t-change-I’m-leaving break-up

Our “Family” adviser Francine’s No. 1 Break-up post was about the messages you were sending, but might not even realize. Her No. 2 Break-up is about those things you’re more than aware of and can’t shut up about … to your own detriment?

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Break-up No. 2:
The you-bitched-and-moaned-and-swore-you’d-leave-if-he-didn’t-change-
and-now-he’s-split break-up

It’s amazing how surprised we can be when a relationship that makes us miserable folds. Correction: what floors us is when HE leaves! After all, We’re the ones Who’re unhappy-and rightly so. Script doctor! Rewrite this scene!

I’m thinking of a couple of women devastated by a break-up. One complained for years that her partner was crazy and controlling. Sex, well… it was terrible. Then non-existent. Finally he left. She felt shredded. Of course. What doesn’t compute is that she didn’t see it coming. At all.

Another woman I know felt lonely in her relationship. Her partner was incapable of intimacy, she said. He was immature and self-centered, she fumed. She pushed him hard for the things she wanted. She demanded he change, laid out a list of the ways he was failing her.

The problem is that he could never become the man she wanted. Increasingly, he felt a failure — as well as angry at being unappreciated — for anything. One day he announced it wasn’t working for him. I’m not blaming her. Much of what she needed was reasonable. But if she’d thought about what it felt like to be on his side of the relationship, she might not have been so blindsided.

The moral of these stories? No matter how great you are, if you’re unhappy with the relationship, he’s bound to be too.

Francine

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