Michele O'Mara

Vacation with Ex-Flingy-Thingy

Filed By Michele O'Mara | February 12, 2007 3:16 PM | comments

Filed in: Living

While my girlfriend and I were split up she made plans to go on a vacation with a woman she was seeing during our "off" time. We have since reunited and she is planning to follow-through with her plans, which don't include me. She assures me that they are just friends now, and tells me I have to get a grip on myself and learn to trust. What should I do?
~ Hurt and Confused

"While my girlfriend and I were split up" makes it sound like you were on a relationship-vacation. If only we could take a vacation from our relationships, huh?

The choices your partner made while you were separated reveals information about her mind set, her needs, her wants, and how she copes. That was then, and I'm guessing that there was a whole different set of agreements when you were "off," than there are now that you are back "on."

What is relevant now is the meaning you give her choices. Specifically, what do the choices she made while you were apart, and the choices she is making now, mean to you? Here's the tricky part. It is not your partner that you need to trust. It is yourself. Do you believe you know whether or not you can make the right decisions to move yourself and your relationship in the direction of your highest good? I'm assuming (based on the fact you're asking me what to do) that you have one of two answers to this question. Either one, "yes, I know what is the right decision to take care of myself and my relationship, but I don't like that answer so I'm avoiding/ignoring it." Or two, "No, I have no idea what's in my best interest. I'm afraid to make any decision, fearing it will be the wrong one."

Either way, here's what you need to do:

1. Know yourself. Clarify for yourself what is okay. What do you want? If it is not acceptable to you for your partner to go on a trip with her ex-flingy-thingy, then it is your responsibility to teach your partner what your boundaries are. "But what if she say's she's going anyway?," you might ask. That is the risk you take. If you say, "yes, go" but you really mean "I am so hurt that you are even considering it," it is not a gift to her for you to agree to her going. You risk resenting her for going. She is then likely to resent you for saying "yes" and meaning "no." If you say "no" and she goes anyway, you may have to consider whether or not this relationship can offer you what you need. We can pretend to be okay with what we are not okay with in hopes of getting what we think we want. Until we are true to ourselves, though, we'll never get what we actually need.

2. Commit to being faithful. That is, faithful to yourself. So many people pride themselves on their fidelity and their loyalty, when in fact, they are not loyal at all. Don't overlook the most important relationship you will ever have - your relationship with yourself. Commit right now to being faithful to yourself. Sometimes we must disappoint others in order to be faithful to ourselves.

Be true to yourself and you can't go wrong.

Ask Michele Your Question!
Michele O'Mara, LCSW is an Indianapolis-based psychotherapist specializing in gay and lesbian relationships and issues.

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