“My Girlfriend Isn’t Over Her Dead Boyfriend”

New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

I’m a 22-year-old guy dating a 21-year-old lady whose high school boyfriend of two years died in their last year of high school, while they were still dating. The lady claims to love me so much and I love her even more, but she can’t stop telling me about and posting stuff about her ex/dead boyfriend and celebrating his anniversary by totally ignoring me and not being willing to even be around me for a few days before and after the anniversary.

I don’t believe I can force her to give up this “celebration of his death” but I want her to understand that she does not have to include everyone she knows on how she is still grieving. She should at least consider my feelings. I’m not asking her to completely give up her rituals on the anniversary of his death; I can understand that they were partners. But at the very least, she should not post all her thoughts and photos and other stuff on social networks for the world to see that she misses him everyday. I really feel uncomfortable with it — it makes me believe that she has low interest in me and that she really believes that that the dude was her soulmate, which makes me a rebound who doesn’t feel like she loves me with everything she’s got.

I am wondering if the lady is really ready to be in a relationship where she can give her heart to a guy. It kinda sounds that her heart is in the grave with her ex right now. For me, dead or not dead — he’s still an ex. Please advise me on this as I really don’t know what to believe. — Tired of Competing with a Dead Ex

First of all, your “lady’s” dead boyfriend isn’t really an “ex” unless they were broken up when he died. If they were still dating, which it sounds like they were, he’s her “late boyfriend” not “ex-boyfriend.” It’s more than just semantics — “ex” has a different connotation, symbolizing a type of closure that is different than the closure you get from a partner dying.

It may be that she still hasn’t found closure from her relationship with her late boyfriend. Or it may be that she’s simply still mourning. Or it could be that, like many people who have lost someone they love, the anniversary of the death stirs up a lot of emotions that take a few weeks to absorb and process. This doesn’t mean your girlfriend isn’t “ready for a relationship” or that she can’t “give her heart” to anyone else though.

What’s most striking to me about this situation isn’t so much her behavior, which sounds pretty normal for a 21-year-old still processing the very early death of her high school sweetheart, but it’s your reaction to her behavior. You sound jealous, possessive, and disrespectful. To say she’s “celebrating” the anniversary of her late boyfriend’s death, for example, rather than “observing” it is akin to calling him her “ex” — it signals a total lack of regard on your part for what he meant to her when he died and how his death affected her.

And not for nothing, but calling your girlfriend “the lady” is another example of how your choice of semantics speaks volumes about how you regard her. I don’t sense love or compassion from you at all. And I don’t think you have the emotional maturity to handle a relationship with someone dealing with complicated emotions. Or, like, any emotion at all that deviates from blind devotion to you and the public expression of that devotion so that everyone knows whom she belongs to.

Women do not exist to serve you, to fluff your ego, and to make you feel adored. That doesn’t mean you can’t find one who will do just that (lord knows I’ve received hundreds of letters through the years from women who eagerly fit that role), but clearly this woman has other priorities. If you can’t handle that — and it doesn’t sound like you can — you need to MOA.

I have been dating a man for twenty months. He is 54 and I am 50. Our recurring issue is his Facebook activity. He constantly friends single women he doesn’t know, and then he likes every single post or picture they put up. He loves to post our dates, but without mention of his being with me — just a picture of himself at a ball game or on a bridge. He won’t change his relationship status from “single” or mention to anyone on FB that he has a girlfriend.

He thinks because he isn’t “inappropriate” with these girls he is doing nothing wrong. He says he thinks Facebook is just silly fun, that he is committed, and that he is a private person, so I need to get over it. I keep saying I am not comfortable with it and do not want to date someone who behaves this way.

We keep breaking up over this until he says he understands and admits he needs to do things differently. But then a new girl pops up and he does the same thing all over, and we repeat the same words. Do I just need to give up and lose this guy? I want to show him your answer – he thinks he is doing nothing differently than anyone else does. — Tired of His Behavior

I get where you’re coming from — I wouldn’t want to be with a guy who behaved the way you’re describing either. Some people might not be bothered by it, but I would be. Which is why I’m not with a guy who behaves that way. Why are you? You’ve told your boyfriend multiple times you are uncomfortable with his behavior and that you don’t want to date someone who behaves that way, and yet… you keep dating someone who behaves that way.

You can’t control his behavior, and he clearly isn’t interested in changing anyway. But you can control your own behavior! If you say you don’t want to date someone who behaves like your boyfriend behaves, STOP DATING YOUR BOYFRIEND. He sounds like a loser, anyway. A fifty-four year-old man friending random women on Facebook and then liking everything they post? Creep alert! MOA!


Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.


  1. dinoceros says:

    LW1: On one hand, I think it’s possible she’s not ready for another relationship. On the other hand, it’s hard for me to trust your observations because, like Wendy said, you appear to have no empathy or caring for your girlfriend. Nowhere did you say that you’re worried about her or hate seeing her hurting. You were only concerned about how it makes you look and how jealous you feel. So, knowing that, I don’t feel that I can trust your observation that she’s doing anything abnormal. Regardless, I think you need to move on. Either she’s not ready or she’s with someone who doesn’t really care much about her as a person, and neither one of those things makes for a good relationship.

    LW2: You don’t need to show your boyfriend the answer, you need to show YOURSELF the answer. This is a no-brainer. Your boyfriend does stuff that makes you feel disrespected and is not how you want to have a relationship. You break up, he lies, you believe him and get back together, and he doesn’t change. Why on earth do you need a stranger on the internet to tell you to stop getting back together?

    1. You perfectly summed up what was bothersome about LW1. It was all about him and how she made him look on social media. Ick.

      1. I think that is extremely unfair. You’re talking about, basically, a kid, who is dealing with something unique and possibly difficult for someone his age. He understands it bothers her and is caring enough to write to an expert/a website to ask advice on how to make the situation better for both. Maybe he feels he isn’t giving her his best self because of how he’s handling knowing about the situation. Some people shut down or distance themselves from stuff they don’t know how to handle. He’s young, maybe he couldn’t really articulate himself the right way. To just throw him under the bus is not the right thing to do.

  2. LW1 – This behavior is very normal but you just don’t know enough grieving people. I have a friend whose wife died in their twenties. He is now remarried with a child but every year on facebook, he posts a pick of his first wife and says it will always be her day. You wouldn’t feel this day if it was her mom or her close friend. This doesn’t mean that she doesn’t love you, just that she has lost someone.

    LW2 – while this isn’t heinous behavior, I wouldn’t like it and wouldn’t take it.

  3. LW1: Two of my friends from high school dated during our senior year, then on and off for awhile during college. The woman met someone new when we were seniors in college. Not long after, her ex-boyfriend died of colon cancer very suddenly and at a very young age. This was almost 10 years ago. She STILL posts to social media when she thinks about him. She STILL posts that she loves him and misses him and thinks of him often. It’s far less frequent now, but for years, it was pretty constant. He was her high school sweetheart and one of her best friends, and I’ve never thought it was weird. It was how she processed her loss and handled her grief. Her new boyfriend was fine with all of this. That said, I think you need to move on because, like Wendy says, you can’t handle a partner with complicated emotions — and because you seem sure that she’s not ready for a relationship.
    LW2: Your boyfriend sounds creepy. Any time you “keep breaking up with someone” over any reason, that’s a pretty good indicator that it’s time to stay broken up.

  4. napoleon1066 says:

    I’m going to start calling my wife “the lady” all the time. I expect divorce to follow shortly thereafter.

    1. I would love for him to refer to me as “the lady,” but he’d be required to say it in a different funny voice every time. “The layyyyyydeeeee!”

    2. Unless you’re in this position like this guy then how can you comment .
      I am in the same position as him . My new partner had lost his previous girlfriend & while I have been understanding & supportive it’s not easy . I new his pervious girlfriend & she was a lovely girl & it was so sad what happened to her . I was single & he was the one who chased me & I love him dearly. I think I have been a good support to him . I even bought flowers for him to take to her grave yard at Christmas. But it’s like living in someone’s else shadow at times . He constantly thinks & talks about her when with me all the time & it’s getting to me . I am supportive & try to show that but it makes me feel that I am second best even tho he says he loves me , as sad as it is she’s gone but I am here trying to build a future with him & he’s always going on about her . So I do get we’re you are coming from . I too lost my previous partner as he killed him self & I have been grieving too but we have to move on . Doesn’t mean he should forget her but we are here living life . It’s a hard thing to deal with all round

  5. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    LW1 I think you need to move on. I don’t think you are ready to handle her emotions and she may not be ready for a relationship.

    He isn’t her ex because they never reached the point where at least one of them realized they weren’t going to work long term. They never had the relationship break apart because they weren’t getting along or realized they had different life goals or dreams. Part of the trouble with that is that he can always seem perfect. He will always be the right guy who died. He will always be a perfect fit and a perfect partner. It is easy to fantasize about how life would have been with him and in the fantasy he will always do things right.

    I’d move on because it is hard to compete with a great guy who died. I’d also move on because you aren’t happy in this relationship. If you aren’t happy it isn’t going to work. I’d move on because the two of you aren’t emotionally at the same place.

    I don’t see anything wrong with calling her the lady. I think it can be a regional and cultural thing and isn’t disrespectful. I’m assuming you also didn’t want to use her name and didn’t see the need to make up a fake name.

    1. When a partner dies, the person that remains needs to be 100% ready to be in a relationship, if she was to put the current boyfriend next to her boyfriend that passed away, and she was ask to pic one assuming that the boyfriend was alive, she would pic the dead guy, guarantee, but now she has no choice, and in the process the new guys lives in the shadow of the other guy, not right. I prefer someone that their ex still alive because they still have that choice, but if they choose you, then everything is good.

  6. Avatar photo Skyblossom says:

    ” But at the very least, she should not post all her thoughts and photos and other stuff on social networks or whatsapp for the world to see that she misses him everyday.”

    If she is doing this frequently or daily then she probably isn’t ready to date. If this is the week of the anniversary of his death then she may be fine.

    1. Ruby Thursday says:

      This is the part that also stood out to me. If it’s near the anniversary of husband death, that’s understandable. But that sentence made me think that she posts about her late boyfriend frequently.

      1. Ruby Thursday says:

        I don’t know how that ended up saying husband.

    2. ele4phant says:

      Yeah – I agree. I’m surprised out how harsh some of the other responses are.

      He says he understands why she wants to acknowledge her boyfriend’s death, but it hurts that 2-3 years later, she’s still constantly talking about and posting how much she misses him. To me, that would indicate she has not moved on and is not ready to be with a new partner.

      And yeah, that’s got to be pretty soul crushing to be in a relationship with someone you care about but to know they’re still hung up on someone else. I feel for him.

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        The way I read it, it’s during the anniversary week that’s she’s doing this, not all the time. The sentence Skyblossom called out came right after he was talking about what she does for the anniversary week, it seemed to me to still be in that context. That she posts every day, for the week surrounding the anniversary. If it’s everyday all year round, then yeah that’s an issue, that’s just not what I got from the post.

      2. ele4phant says:

        Hmm possibly, and if that’s the right interpretation, I’d definitely agree with everyone else he needs to chill out and let her be for those couple of days.

        I read it though that she posts and talks about her late boyfriend all the time, and then specific to the anniversary of his death she goes AWOL a couple days. But, now that you’ve pointed it out, I could be wrong.

      3. Jane Smith says:

        So do I.

    3. Jane Smith says:

      I agree. Of course, it’s understandable that she may miss him. However, posting these thoughts on social media is, in my opinion, disrespectful to her current boyfriend, along with ignoring him during this time. I don’t think her current boyfriend is a loser or a creep. He isn’t asking her to give up “all of the rituals”, just tone them down.

      1. ” But at the very least, she should not post all her thoughts and photos and other stuff on social networks or whatsapp for the world to see that she misses him everyday.”

        He doesn’t get to control her social media. He doesn’t get to define how she grieves or even that she’s allowed to still grieve.

        It’s not disrespectful to him. It’s disrespectful OF him to try to define and control her grieving. He also trivializes it by constantly referring to the deceased boyfriend as an “ex”. Nobody seeing her social media feed is going to judge their relationship when they see her grieving posts, which is what i think he most cares about. His image, not her feelings.

        “,,, doesn’t feel like she loves me with everything she’s got.” LW doesn’t sound like he’s ready to have a relationship with someone that includes complex emotions and not just devotion to his 22 yr old self.

  7. LW1 – if you’re all “no1curr!!!” to your “Lady” regarding the anniversary of her late boyfriend’s death, I’m not surprised that she doesn’t want to be around you a few days before and after the actual date.

  8. ele4phant says:

    I dunno – I thought the answer to LW1 was a little harsh.

    It is reasonable to want to be with a person who is not hung up on someone else. It is not unreasonable to feel hurt or upset that the person you love and are into is constantly making references to someone else they loved. I understand where he’s coming from. He loves his girlfriend, and is hurt that she is preoccupied with someone else. That would hurt anyone.

    Obviously, it sounds like she’s not yet grieved and isn’t really in a place to date anyone else yet. The advice to him should be to move on and let her get there on her own, but I still feel empathetic to him. This sounds hard. I don’t think he wants her to exist to adore him or stroke his ego, but he does want her to be present in their relationship.

    She didn’t write in, but if she did, I might say she needs to work on moving on. While tragic, it sounds like it’s been two or three years since he passed. If she’s posting something about how much she misses him *everyday on social media* still and talks about him frequently with her new boyfriend, that doesn’t sound healthy.

    Of course she doesn’t need to forget he ever existed and strip every reminder of him for her life, but she should be able to move on and form relationships with someone else without needing constant reminders of her late boyfriend. I agree with LW1 that it doesn’t sound like she’s there yet, or that she’s genuinely trying to move forward.

    1. Avatar photo Cleopatra Jones says:

      Yep, I agree.
      It’s OK to be sad about his death but the constant grieving of a HS boyfriend? I honestly think she needs grief counseling to help her move past his death. No one is saying that she needs to forget him but being this distraught after 3 years of anyone’s death is not normal or healthy.*

      LW needs to move on because until she gets herself into some therapy to deal with the situation, she is not in the appropriate space to date anyone.

      My mother passed away after a short battle with cancer on my birthday. On my birthday, y’all. Do y’all have any idea how hard that is? Even with all of that, I couldn’t imagine grieving this long and frequently. A 3 year long period of grief has to be taking toll on her mentally and physically.

      1. But do you post on your wall that you miss your mom on her birthday or mother’s day? I think this happens on anniversaries.

      2. ele4phant says:

        I guess the hang up for me is that I interpreted it that she posts and talks about her late boyfriend every single day, and then for about a week around the anniversary of his death she retreats. If she’s still talking about him/posting about him everyday, I don’t think you could argue that what she’s doing is healthy anymore.

        As others have pointed it out, it’s possible to interpret a different way – that she’s only posting about him surrounding the anniversary of his death, in which case, yeah, that would be normal and healthy and new boyfriend needs to back down and work on his own insecurities.

        But I’m not convinced my first interpretation is wrong…

      3. dinoceros says:

        I thought so, too, ele4phant. I think the boyfriend is still being harsh, but only because it’s not his job to police this. If he isn’t comfortable with how much she talks about her late boyfriend, then he needs to move on. Grieving looks different for everyone, but a person who posts about their late boyfriend every day is not ready for another relationship.

  9. LW1, I don’t think it’s wrong or bad to feel insecure when your SO is pouring out her sadness over her lost love, whether it is public or private. Your feelings are your feelings and just as valid as hers. I didn’t see that you’ve discussed any of it with her in a calm moment not right around the tragic anniversary? She’s not a mind reader and you should not try to be one either by assigning meaning to what she does when you don’t really know. What doesn’t work, especially around death, is to hope or expect someone else to just ‘get over it’. Maybe try talking with a grief counselor yourself, someone who has the training and experience to help you put this situation into perspective. Sometimes people do lose their way in grief and need some help from a professional. We don’t know if your girlfriend falls into that category (and you should not be the judge of it). Sometimes timing is far from perfect between two people who would otherwise be a great match. This isn’t a wrong or right situation, this is one that calls for you to be kind and thoughtful, to understand what you need, to find out what she needs, decide what you can offer, what you can accept, what you two can compromise on, etc. without ego getting in the way. Good luck!

  10. Both of these letters are excellent examples of “You can’t change someone’s behavior and it’s okay to just break up.”

  11. My boyfriend passed away 5 years ago. I’m 25 now. He was my first love and soulmate. From experience I would say if you can’t handle her way of grieving maybe you should move on. Grieving can take years from my experience and it’s not something that happens overnight. Everyone grieves differently. First 3 years after my bf died was horrible. I went thru deep depression, suffered from anxiety and PTSD. I’m at a point in my life now where I’m finally happy and can actually fully move on. If you truly love her you should give her time.

  12. Aaron Hubbard says:

    So far wrong on this abby, sounds like your a man hater. I have been with my girlfriend 9 years and every year she celebrates her dead ex and its super disrespectful. Its almost ended our relationship and may still, if death is not a reason to move on than there will never be one

    1. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

      Yeah, ok, my name is wendy as clearly stated in the url and title of this site, but thanks for playing. Keep googling “My wife is obsessed with her ex” and maybe eventually you’ll find someone who tells you what you want to hear…

      1. Listen, Ann Landers, it’s clear you don’t know what you’re talking about.

      2. Wendy,
        Your advice/comments about LWI are abrasive and insensitive. You should not be giving relationship advice at all, because rather than responding to the topic or offering constructive comments, you resort to name-calling, attacking and shaming people. YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO TACKLE THE ISSUE/SUBJECT WITHOUT GOING AD HOMINEM AGAINST THE PERSON SEEKING ADVICE OR THE OTHER PERSON/PEOPLE INVOLVED.

        Look up “Ad Hominem,” if you don’t already know what it means. Your “advice” is like a debate where you attack your opponent instead of the issue!

        You advocate therapy. Imagine a therapist talking to LW1
        with your tone. I think your “advice” or response is dangerous! You may end up worsening the issue and/or wrecking relationships (if some of your “advice” are followed). I studied psychology (including counselling and psychotherapy), and I am currently in a relationship. Anyone who knows a thing or two about counselling would cringe at your advice.

        The comments are even more dangerous. Just because a lot people agree with you does not mean that you are right. You set the tone for the comments, which are more destructive than constructive. However, I am glad that some comments are more constructive by showing empathy, suggesting communication and counselling, instead of your abrasive and insensitive comments (LW1) which you ended by “MOA.” In other words, based on your judgement, he should end the relationship and move on already because (in addition to other things) he is incapable of dealing with the situation. If he follows your advice, the relationship is headed for a break up. By so doing, the (grieving) girlfriend, whom you defended ferociously, would have an ex (in addition to her “late” boyfriend) to be sad about.

        Furthermore, I wonder if gender/sex was a factor in your abrasive and insensitive comments. Think about it. If LW1 were a woman seeking advice, would you respond to her as you responded to him?

        Finally, notice how I made my points clear without attacking you. I was tempted to ask about your qualifications and competence in giving such an unremarkable (or remarkable) advice, but I held back. That would be Ad Hominem, if I had used your qualifications (or lack thereof) to attack and label you as incapable. Again, that would ad hominem. I’m sorry I did it anyways, but I did it to emphasize that you ought to be more careful to make sure that you attack the issue/argument and not the person.

        PS: I did not proofread this comment. Just wanted to give my 2 cents and couldn’t careless about editing this lengthy comment.

      3. Carl Joe —
        I think you’re due a penny change. I don’t think you’re actuall y a psychologist… and you’re in a relationship. Wow! That puts you on a par with 80% of adults and qualifies you to give and critique advice.

      4. Holy long winded. Do you go on like that in your therapy sessions?

      5. @CarlJoe, Why is your name linked to gmail?

      6. Carl Joe —
        And the strangest thing about your complaint is that Wendy’s answer to the original poster did not contain any name calling and also didn’t contain any ad hominem attack. It was straight explanation of what the OP asked about and good advice on how he needed to either accept his gf as she was, including her memories and grief over a lost relationship, or MOA and allow her to get on with her life.

        I’m of an age when a lot of friends lose spouses and SOs to death, and many start new relationships and even remarry — often these relationships are with another person who also lost their spouse to death. They have all understood that a loving relationship ended by death never leaves you. They all understand that their new love will always lover their deceased lover/spouse. If you are jealous and can’t handle that, then you can’t get involved with a widow or widower or anybody else who lost their SO to death. You’re not a big enough, generous enough, or self-confident enough person to handle that. You should stick with those whose prior relationships ended by breakup or divorce.

    2. Your GF is so lucky you are going to leave. Thank goodness she hasn’t been dumb enough to marry you yet.

  13. I’ve been dating this girl for a little over a year and her husband who committed suicide three years ago leaving behind three little boys. Yesterday being Father’s Day was very tough for them as well for my son and I. They were pretty upset and my son not really understanding was lost and confused so we left. My question is, how do I help this situation? I need some guidance

    1. You can help the situation by being present with them, being there when they need and giving them time when they need. Don’t abandon them or make them feel that they are alone. Don’t try to be a savior but show respect toward their loss. Sometimes people get angry because they feel that no one understands them, usually it’s at people that act like they understand what they’re going through. Everyone experiences the loss of a loved one differently. Your experience of losing a loved one, no matter how significant that person was to you, is very different from another person’s experience of losing their loved one. You can only relate to them but you won’t ever totally understand what they’re going through. Words at this point don’t really matter, usually it’s words that come out wrong, so it’s your presence that matters the most. As for your son, you can tell your son about the situation, no child (besides infants of course) is ever too young to understand what losing a loved one means so don’t hide that from them or else they will be confused. Just tell your son that they had a dad just like he has you but that their dad passed away and since it is father’s day they’re upset because they miss their dad who is no longer alive and with them. You are there to support them because you love and care for their mommy.

  14. I was 22 when my boyfriend died. I hate it when people refer to him as my “ex”. He was not an ex, he was my boyfriend. We loved each other dearly, saw and planned a future together, the only thing we didn’t plan was his death. So that was unexpected, and you can imagine how shattered my life was to wake up one day with no closure to everything that had a start. Anyway, shortly after his death I met a guy. I was still grieving the loss of my boyfriend, but I felt ready to move on. That guy really liked me, and I really liked him, we fell in love, but he couldn’t accept the fact that I was still grieving my late boyfriend. I needed that guy the most to tell me everything will be okay and that he is there for me since I have nobody. I needed a new chapter in my life. That guy would’ve helped me go through my grieving process faster and create this new chapter with me. But since he was jealous and felt competitive toward my dead boyfriend, he decided to step away from me and leave me hanging. I felt a second loss in a row! I was so hurt and sad! Even though that guy decided to step away from me he still liked me a lot. He waited from afar and even dated another girl during his “wait” for when I will stop talking about my late boyfriend or observing his death. There came a time when I was done grieving and altogether even stopped observing my late boyfriend’s death, anniversary, and birthday. Right away that guy called me and wanted to be in my life. Guess what? When I moved through my grieving process and moved on with my life, I moved on from that guy too. If he was with me during my grieving process I wouldn’t have moved on passed him too. If he wasn’t with me when I was hurting, he will not be with me when I’m healed and happy! After all that I’ve gone through, I’m so much a different and renewed person today. That guy still likes me today. I can see regret in his eyes and “too late” in his eyes. Too bad.

  15. I have an boyfriend who wasn’t completely honest about an ex. But I later found out was his wife and I am pregnant. So they were married when she passed away I feel so terrible but they weren’t able to complete the divorce before her death so technically he is a widower. I feel so sad for him because he hurts I hurt. But then he doesn’t want to talk to me and when he does he states how much he love and loves her although she hasn’t been with him in a few years I’m not sure how to handle it or if I should just leave him be and not be with him because I don’t want to stress as loose the baby and I don’t wanna be insensitive either or get jealous when truly a death of anyone is hurtful help me please.

    1. anonymousse says:

      Ask him to speak to a grief counselor.
      I don’t think you should leave him for feeling sad sometimes. He’s with you now, and loves you, right?
      Be as supportive as you can and try to pull the focus to the future.

  16. This so called boyfriend is a lair. He will do to you what he did to his wife. You really have not gotten the whole trueful story. I bet the wife was sick (this is barring some sudden accident) and this guy was stepping out on a sick wife. I do not care if he his given you the line they were separated, they were still married. What a gem. The baby comes first and stress is bad for both you and the baby. I am also betting there is also another women on the side. Stop worrying about this gem of a guy. Baby comes first.

  17. Smart Owl says:

    I think it’s ok to grieve about your dead ex. But to tell your new boyfriends or girlfriends that the ex was better – it’s rude . Especially, if that relationship was broke! Advise for everyone, if your girlfriend is grieving of that kind relationship get out ASAP and don’t even spend your time on it! Harsh advice? Maybe. But better to move on, life is to short to comfort someone who does not respect you!

  18. Wow Wendy! Sounds to me like you hate men. I, too dated a man who lost his ex to suicide three years prior to our date. This man was the very most emotionally and physically unavailable human being on planet earth. He had one foot in the grave with her. I never wanted him to forget her or not remember her. But I wanted him to be available to the person in front of him giving him love and compassion. His lack of availability landed me in counseling after he broke up with me because he cannot ‘release’ his guilt. If any human being is still in the process of grieving(which is fine!), then they have NO rite dating. No rite to hurt another LIVING person. Your advice on this one is hideous and abhorrent.

      1. Ha Wendy I wrote the same thing but then deleted it to not be a bitch but let’s not lie, I am. 🙂

  19. LW1:
    I came across this letter because I’m coming from the other side of the coin. I’m the one who lost someone, and my current girl doesn’t get it.
    And, how do you even respond to “Well, if she hadn’t died, you and I wouldn’t have even met?” She’s probably correct about that.

    It’s different from losing a parent; it’s not like she and I “broke up”. She was taken from me, quickly, by throat cancer. I’m afraid to talk about her, to mention her, to grieve, because it starts the whole issue again, how I’m told “a part of you will always love her, so I don’t have you completely”.

    I said to her last night, “If I really wanted to be with [the girl who died], I would be. Instead, I’m choosing to be with you.” That statement didn’t seem to matter.

    So, I’m trying to figure out how to reassure my girl now that I’m *not* trying to replace [the girl who died], and that I *do* love her. She feels that she is competing with a ghost; and I don’t know how to convince her that’s not how I feel.

    Both are (were) amazing in their own way. Very different, but both with amazing strengths. I haven’t ever compared them, even in thoughts.

      1. Bittergaymark says:

        SkyBlossom is right. That is an amazing read. I so miss Emily’s version of Dear Prudie as her advice was so often really solid.

  20. Bittergaymark says:

    Greg, sorry about your loss. And sorry to tell you it may soon be time for another one, but yeah… your current gf doesn’t seem to get it. Those questions she keeps asking you are impossible to answer. If she doesn’t knock it off, I’d break up with her.

  21. Dear Tired, here’s some better advice than Wendy gave, based on my own experience. Detach in love and let her finish grieving on her own time.

    1. anonymousse says:

      Umm, she told him to move on! WTF does “detach in love” mean? That’s not better advice.

  22. LW1 Wow! I lost my fiancee who I was with 5 years, 10 years ago suddenly. After a few years of grieving and trying to help his kids and family through this very long process, I met a man and dated him 3.5 years. We were in our 50’s, mind you, and out of the blue he broke up with me stating that he couldn’t compete with a ghost. Wow…. I still try to process my painful loss everyday but when I heard those words come out of his mouth and the disrespect he he showed me and my fiancee’s family, I was done trying. This is a grown man how has such low self esteem that only my full attention made him feel complete. Some people will never understand it until it happens to them. I would love to see how he would feel losing someone he was ready to marry. SMH…. Son, you you have some serious growing up to do to be in an adult relationship.
    LW2 Dump that loser! You deserve much better!

  23. Its been years since I lost the man that I love. You just have to give her time. Remember there are going to be things that are going to remind her of him. Just try to be there.

  24. Ernest Hobbs says:

    The feedback and comments for the first story are rather aggressive. This is a 22 year old who is still learning how to manage himself and those around him. But instead of guiding him, he gets lambasted from word 1…. Not terribly constructive feedback, is it? Instead of pointing out his errors, perhaps it is best to highlight her reasons so he can better understand?

  25. My boyfriend died very unexpectedly last year and I’m still in a dark place. It was the anniversary a few weeks ago and I spent it locked away in my house with a bottle of gin to keep me company (unhealthy I know). I ignored every phone call and text. I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving him and I feel utterly lost without him. I can’t talk about him as it just hurts too much right now and I’m still going through the grieving process, slowly.
    She’s not celebrating his death, she’s doing what I wish someday I will be able to do; she’s celebrating his life. As she should, they never broke up; they were in love and he died. I think you’re being extremely insensitive, especially calling him her “ex” – you should listen to her talk about him and and feel privileged she trusts you enough to share her memories of one of the most important people in her life.

  26. I have been living with ghost ideal boyfriend through a 30 year marriage. He will never go away. I wish I had moved on when I first learned of the situation. I have sympathy for the women holding on to these dreams and the pain they experience. My advice to the young man is that you will be living in his shadow forever. You will be the lovers on Keats urn…forever chasing, never catching.

  27. LW1 – I am in the exact same situation as yours.
    Her late-boyfriend of 10 months passed away 4 years ago. She still hasn’t seeked therapy mainly maybe because she’s an introvert. What we had was special, she felt it – i did too. But there are days she thinks about him & is down. She even still wears the ring he gave her. It is hard for you, i completely understand. Sometimes unconciously you feel like you are fighting some ghost which is a unhealthy thing(i felt it a bit only after we broke up). Lots of comments here on the post spit hate without actually being in that position.

    One thing i know is, don’t try to fix/help people who don’t want to be fixed/helped. She will do therapy ONLY if she wants to do therapy. I’ve told her many times to go for therapy as it helps & whatever she is doing to herself is NOT right, but in the end its her choice.

    I am in a point in life where i’m looking for something serious, i don’t want to be involved in something which has no clear future ahead. Also, she is moving to another country soon for masters & i will also be moving to the same country in another year but she didn’t wanna do long distance – even for a year. So, we broke up.

    I realized if someone reallys want to be in it, they will be in it. She is not willing to put that effort. Neither is she willing to put effort to make effort with her past.

    The thing is people with past trauma or scarring associate that memory with a sort of pain. Over time they get comfortable with that pain & think that’s normal. She’s told me she likes that pain she experiences at times & she will do it all over again even if he will pass away like he did. To me it sounds unhealthy & she clearly needs help, i’ve offered my best & its best now that we part ways.

    You will find someone again in your life, you will fall in love again. Just be positive & move on from her. Its not healthy for you nor for her.

  28. Anonymous says:

    My first boyfriend died a week ago last year and today is his birthday. I am in a new relationship and haven’t explained to my current boyfriend that even though I am fully over my first love there is still a place in my heart as he was taken away from me at 13 from cancer. My current boyfriend and I haven’t talked in a few weeks because he doesn’t like that I talk to my deceased boyfriend’s family, and he doesn’t like that I talk to his older brother( I dated his older brother after he passed and it wasn’t the right thing to do but it was part of both of us coping because we reminded each other of him.). My boyfriend never directly stated it but he implied that he wanted me to cut contact with his family but I continued to talk and go over to my weekly dinners with the family. I want to be able to talk to my current boyfriend in person about it but I wrote him a letter stating that I am over both my first lover and my ex and that they have been in my life for as long as I can remember and that nobody is going to take my relationship away with them because they are more of a family to me than my bio family is.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *