Freudian Slip


Direct Answers - Column for the week of November 17, 2003

My dilemma is this. I've been going out with my boyfriend for five months. He is a very loving and romantic guy and would do basically anything for me. But the other night we were making love, and he said a friend's name instead of mine.

Now this girl isn't particularly good-looking, she's quite small, her eyes are funny looking, and her teeth are all over her mouth. Basically she looks like a caveman. Nonetheless it still hurt me, and I pushed him away.

He tried to explain he had been out with friends he hadn't seen in ages and met up with her. He said he was supposed to ask me to do something for her, and that's why he said her name. I wouldn't listen to him. I tried to go to sleep while he kept asking me to talk to him.

I find myself thinking more and more about this situation. I'm not answering his phone calls or e-mails or anything. I do love him, but now I'm questioning whether he really loves me or has he got a thing for his unattractive friend.

Trudy

Trudy, everyone misspeaks at times. Parents often call one child by another child's name, and all of us stumble with a name or song title on the tip of our tongue. Ask most people what you put in a toaster, and they say toast, not bread. Ask what cows drink, and people often say milk, not water.

Sometimes, however, feelings come out in embarrassing ways. If you made cruel remarks about his friend's appearance, that could be enough to bring her to mind. Physical beauty is not an accomplishment but an accident of nature. Being a person of interest and value, however, is an expression of self and no accident.

Men don't take catty remarks well. They find them nasty not amusing. It could be your boyfriend was returning an emotional injury you gave him in slighting her, but one instance means nothing. If you are adding value to this, your reaction says more about you than your boyfriend's misspeaking.

Tamara

Cold Heart

My ex-boyfriend and I broke up a few months ago, but we agreed to stay friends. He went away for a month soon after, and we e-mailed a few times. When he returned, I spoke with him on the phone once. Later I e-mailed him, and he said maybe we could meet as friends.

I replied it might feel awkward meeting up so soon because I still had strong feelings for him. I didn't get a reply. Some days later I sent a text message saying if he wants to meet for a chat, let me know. Again I got no reply.

He replied a few days later saying he'd been busy and both his parents were ill. A week later I e-mailed saying if he wants to meet for a chat, we probably had enough space now. I didn't get a reply for a week. I was so angry I sent him a message saying since he doesn't want to stay in touch, so much for us being friends. Goodbye.

He replied that his dad died the previous week. However one of my friends told me that his dad being ill and dying is no excuse for him not staying in touch. Another friend agreed that the dad dying is no excuse either. Should I expect an ex who's now a friend to treat me no different than any other friend?

Maryanne

Maryanne, in the real world, the death of a parent is a good excuse for not keeping in touch. If you are as insensitive and callous as your friends, this might be the reason you broke up in the first place. The truth is your contact with him is based on a lie. You don't want to be friends. You want him back.

Wayne

About The Author

Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com" target="_new">www.WayneAndTamara.com.

Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.


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