Carolyn Hax: Laid-back approach may do some good

Carolyn Hax:

May 13, 2013 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend of a year and a half and I are breaking up. Our fights have turned into WWIII, and he was tired of my being upset because I caught him lying to me a half-dozen times.

The kicker is that none of the lies were deal-breaker issues or worthy of the brawls they caused. He feels like the lies might keep a fight at bay, and I feel like lying over insignificant matters just adds fuel to my fire.

We want to keep spending time together but without the commitment. Is this a terrible idea?

LOVER NOT A FIGHTER

If you're going to hang on, then try this: He practices radical honesty, and you practice radical laid-backness in the face of such truth.

I actually think fear of telling the truth, to the point of lying to smooth things over, is one of the more deal-breakery of deal-breakers. But, again, you seem to want this, so by all means try easing the pressure to stay together and emphasizing honesty.

Dear Carolyn: Last year, my husband asked me for a divorce. I got a job right out of undergrad as a nurse and supported our living expenses while he was in law school (third year). This was devastating for me because I did not see any warning signs. He is already engaged to a girl from his law school class.

His new fiancee interviewed in the legal department of the hospital where I work.

Part of me wants to write a note to the hiring committee explaining how difficult it would be for me to work with her. Another part of me thinks the adult thing would be let this go and deal. Any advice?

ANONYMOUS

Please do listen to your adults-suck-it-up voice. A note to the committee would draw attention to you that you don't want.

I realize this will be singularly unconvincing, but your divorce wasn't about this woman, it was about you and your husband. Knowing this won't ever make it pleasant to see her at work, but it might just help you detach.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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