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July 5, 2003 |


Dear Garrison,

I have been in love with a guy for three years. We've both been married twice, but he doesn't seem to be able to put his past relationships in the past. After three years of watching him run away and come back I'm getting tired of waiting to see if he'll ever commit. What should I do? And how do I find someone who actually wants to have a relationship?

Thanks,
Nancy

Nancy, if you're thinking about finding someone else who is less encumbered by the past, then probably you should move in that direction. There is a gentle way to ease out of this love affair—not painless, but kind—and that's the route to take. No big confrontations, no demands, no long discussions, no therapy. The next time he runs away, don't be there when he decides to come back. Be there but not there for him. Be a little removed. And then remove yourself farther. This is not a fit subject for discussion. His feelings are not with you and he can't express himself honestly and so you have to do the work of resolving things.

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