My Ex Works with Me

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Visitor's Question:
My ex and I broke-up back in mid July. Her reasons for breaking up was that she had doubts about us and that God had told her that it was ok for her to break-up with me. I am 37 and she is 22. We have spent the better part of the last 2.5 years together.

This isn't the first time she has done this. Two years ago, she broke-up with me to get back with the guy she was enagaged to prior to being with me, only to leave him again and come back to me. Like a dumb a$$ I took her back.

I tried to end it last October b/c she suggested that we should see other people and that is exactly what I did. When she found out I was seeing someone else she freaked and wanted us to work on it. Again, like a dumb a$$ I took her back after she convinced me that she really did love me and that she wanted to work towards marriage.

Now she decides that she wants to be single and work on her relationship with God and to enter into a vow of celibacy. Now I come to find that she has started dating a 20 year old Pastor that she met no more than 2 months ago and that she plans on marrying him and going to Sri Lanka to do ministry work next summer.

I still love the women and the fact that I work with her and see her everyday is killing me. I try to avoid her but I still get rather emotional and have a hard time concentrating. Besides stating the obvious that I am a complete dumb-a$$ for getting involved with someone so young at work, do you have any advise how to deal with this situation other than being zoned out on Xanax while I am at work?

Our Suggestion:
I do have to say that young adults often have all sorts of dreams and hopes and desires about their future and go back and forth between them while trying to sort out what they are going to choose. So trying to plot a long-term situation with that kind of huge age gap between you can be very tricky - as you've seen. I don't think necessarily you are dumb for trying. But you have to expect that she might change her mind or change her dream. College students often change their majors several times before they get out with a degree. College-age people can have that same view towards relationships. Doing something "For your entire life" can be extremely scary when you are barely getting started in the adult dating world.

It's always hard to work with an ex no matter what the situation was before. I have a ton of tips on dealing with exs on my site, but the core solution is to take care of yourself. The better and more comfortable you feel with yourself, the less what she does or doesn't do will matter. So find friends to do things with, enroll in clubs or classes in topics you enjoy, immerse yourself in your favorite books and movies. Really spend time appreciating what you are as a person. The more happy you are with your own life, the less her being around will matter at all.

--Your Friendly Advisors at

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