Love Letters

Is there such a thing as a ‘sophisticated’ breakup?

After his infidelity, she just wants to move on and be happy.

Q. I told myself I didn’t believe in love. Then I met my husband. We got along quite perfectly, and got married quickly because of external circumstances. His job (music) requires him to travel, so sometimes he had to go on tours, which was fine because I trusted him completely . . . until I didn’t.

He had a short tour, and when he came back, he was different. I checked my phone records and found some calls in the middle of the night to an out-of-state number . . . a state he had visited on his tour. I confronted him about it, and he confessed.

We would have been together three years this month.


I have yet to cry my eyes out, and, honestly, I don’t want to shed tears for him. But I am holding everything inside, and I feel like it’s eating through me. I have tried to deal with this in a sophisticated manner. I have not cursed him out, I have not yelled, I just want to move on and be happy.

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I feel unattractive and disrespected. I am quite young, 25, and I have a bright career in front of me, which is what I am focusing on right now. I’d like to believe I’m very strong, and the way in which I’m dealing with this proves it. But this whole thing is overshadowing my happiness. Any advice would be appreciated. — Disrespected

A. Strength isn’t about pretending you’re OK when you’re not. Sometimes strength is about weeping and telling your friends you need them. It’s about being honest with yourself, even when you don’t want to admit the truth.

Compartmentalization is a nice skill — it certainly helps at work — but it doesn’t delete the pain. You’re trying to put all of your sadness into little boxes, but that’s a bad plan. For the record, I’ve heard tales of hundreds of breakups and know that they can be messy, painful, cathartic, respectful, and kind. I’m not so sure they’re supposed to be . . . sophisticated.

You need to cry and yell, even if it’s not at him. Even if it’s at a wall. You must allow yourself to feel everything, and then balance those sad moments with interactions and activities that make you laugh.

You already know that you’re only 25, that you’ll get over this, and that there’s excitement and happiness in things down the road. All you need is a reminder that you can’t skip ahead. The sadness is a step to moving on. — Meredith



What does “sophisticated” have to do with anything here? I mean, if you go hide in your bedroom and cry, no one is going to know about it but you. JIM-IN-LITTLETON

As is often the case with these letters, you would benefit from some counseling to help you work through it — or at least some friends. Sophisticated doesn’t mean alone. SUNALSORISES

You don’t cry “for him.” You cry for your loss. THATGUYINRI

If he is a drummer, you have nobody to blame but yourself. BZZNLIKE-CRAZYMAN

Submit your question to Meredith here.

Meredith Goldstein’s new memoir, “Can’t Help Myself,” is now available. Column and comments are edited and reprinted from Send letters to