Original "Tell Me About It" columns will appear in Sunday Source while Carolyn is on maternity leave. The following are excerpts from spring 2003 live discussions on washingtonpost.com.
My fiance has a longtime female friend in New York whom he frequently e-mails and talks to on the phone.
He has admitted fooling around with her once in the past but claims they are just friends. She has caused fights between us in the past and I'm tired of having her around.
Recently my fiance and I have been having troubles and he tells me he confided this to her. Her response was that she was looking for a long-term boyfriend and maybe he should come up to see her in New York for a weekend. When confronted, he says I'm being too sensitive, and I think she's being devious. What do I do?
You tune out misleading distractions like ex-girlfriends and focus on the troubles you are having with your fiance, including the possibility that he uses your jealousy to manipulate you.
I'm stuck on someone I really shouldn't be. He's a longtime friend and we've been off and on romantically for too long now. I know there's no future for us, but I really care about him. How do I move on?
You decide you're really ready to turn this thing off for good, and you do it.
If there were an easier way, you would have moved on by now.
A relationship ended last summer in a nasty way and I said some really mean things to him. I mean REALLY mean. And what's worse is that I did love him (and still do) but made the terrible choice of going back to an awful ex. Yeah, that didn't last long.
I understand that the relationship is over and that I humiliated myself and he doesn't want anything to do with me. But I also know I owe him an apology. Do you think I should reach out and tell him I'm sorry for what I did, regardless of where we stand now?
I've accepted that we can't go back but I would feel a lot better if he knew I'm sorry.
-- From One C to Another
I'd say yes, tell him you're sorry, but after asking yourself two questions: Why were you so awful to this guy, and what do you hope to achieve with your apology? Having those two things straight will give you your best chance of being fair to the guy, which should be your only concern.
I asked my boyfriend to sit down to eat the pizza he asked me to prepare. After playing sports with his friends all day, then sitting at the bar with them for hours, he proceeded to call them while I tried to clean and cook. I requested he come eat and commented he had all day Monday to talk to them.
He then threw the pizza at the wall, mangled two baking sheets, broke the trash can lid into 200 pieces, whipped a beer can at the floor and threw my house plants at the wall and the driveway.
How can we go from a conversation about home-buying (he initiated) to his violently cursing that he can't stand me? Please help.
1-800-799-SAFE. That's 1-800-799-SAFE.
Write to Tell Me About It, Style, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071, or firstname.lastname@example.org.