Hax: Girlfriend upset with name slip

The Washington PostSeptember 11, 2013 

Dear Carolyn: Last night, my boyfriend of seven months introduced me by his ex-girlfriend’s name, then hurriedly corrected himself. I stated very calmly, “You just called me ‘Rhonda,’ ” and he denied it. I left the bar and began to walk home.

A few days ago, I asked him to remove the 100-plus pictures of her on his Facebook page, and put one of me up. They have been broken up for quite some time. He put one of me up but didn’t delete the pictures of her. He has since deleted them, but it feels like it is too late.

Some of my friends think this happens all the time and I should just get over it. Others think it clearly shows that in the back of his mind he still considers her his girlfriend.

Although he was initially sorry, hours later he fought with me about it. I feel like he should not only not be fighting with me, but also making some sort of gesture to show me how much I mean to him. A cheap card or flowers would suffice. What should I do?

“LORI”

Marry him. Then sit back and relish his calling you by your kid’s name, your dog’s name, and occasionally just “Hey.” Or marry a divorced guy and, every time he accidentally uses his ex-wife’s name, buy yourself fabulous shoes.

Obviously I think your “get over it” friends are wiser than the others, but, well, if only that were all there was to it.

His denying it, your stomping off in a huff, his later fighting you, your photo counting, and the whole idea of “cheap card or flowers” as proof of devotion just give the advice lobe of my brain a throbbing pain.

If he’s good to you in ways that matter — listens to you, shares with you, treats you as an equal, is kind to you even when he doesn’t want something from you — then quit the stomping and just trust him.

Which really means trusting yourself to handle it if not every minute with any partner fits your precise definition of devotion to you. Make sure the big stuff is there, yes, absolutely — but recognize that takes time to develop, and will come to you as-is for you to take or leave, “shoulds” be damned.

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

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