Dear Mistress Maeve,
I broke up with my girlfriend of three years, and due to financial reasons I’m still living in her apartment (I’m due to move out at the end of the summer). I initiated the breakup, which was difficult for me to do — she’s put up with a lot from me and has been very generous. However, I knew I wouldn’t grow as a person unless I left this relationship behind.
She has asked me not to tell our friends just yet. We have committed to deejaying a wedding together later next month for our friends who are tying the knot, and she thinks we need to tell them we won’t be able to co-deejay before we make the breakup public. I agree, but she has yet to talk to the couple. She said she was going to do it two weeks ago, and nothing yet. I am really needing to talk to my friends, but I’m trying to be respectful of her wishes, being that I’m the shithead who dumped her. What should I do?
Mired by Guilt
End of summer?! If you’re trying to grow as a person, sticking around in a house full of negativity isn’t going to help you. You say you had to shed this relationship to move on — so don’t half-ass it. Figure out a way to move out.
It’s incredibly unfair of her to ask you not to talk with your friends about the breakup. Sure, you may have dealt the final blow to this relationship, but it doesn’t mean you don’t need support, too. She’s exploiting the guilt you feel over initiating the split and maintaining the last bit of control she has by not discussing your break with the bride and groom. It’s time for a talk. Say, “Hey, I need to begin telling my friends so that I can get the support I need.” Give her a reasonable deadline to speak with the wedding couple, and let her know you’ll be shouting your breakup from the rooftops of Facebook shortly thereafter.
Breakups are complicated enough; it’s time for you to stop being mired in the aftermath and move forward.