Ask Dr. Gilda-I Need Closure

Her new guy called it quits but won’t talk to her about it…how can she get the answers she needs?

By Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D.

ear Dr. Gilda,
I have been separated for over a year. I met someone who really made me feel special. I could seriously fall for this guy. I let him know up front that I was separated, but still married on paper. He said that was OK and that he could handle it. We continued our relationship and I was having the best time of my life. He told me he felt the same way. Suddenly, out of the blue, he said he couldn’t handle the fact that I was still married. I mean, we went from having the best weekend of our lives to being over. To make matters worse, this is a long-distance relationship—we live 250 miles apart. Now he won’t even return my emails or phone calls. I can handle the fact if this is just too much for him, but I need some closure on
Clearly, a few hot weekends does not necessarily guarantee more.
some things, and he is avoiding it at all costs. What is going on?
– Unfinished Business

Dear Unfinished Business,
Do we always know the real reason a friend stopped calling, a boss terminated our employment, or a neighbor suddenly snubs us? Of course not! Similarly, you’ll probably never know the true reason this man went MIA. In truth, you did have two strikes against you: The two of you were geographically distant, and you are still married. It’s probable your marital status had no impact on this guy at first, when the romance was just casual. But things got hotter, as evidenced by “the best weekend of [your] lives.” At that point, it’s anyone’s guess what was going on in this guy’s mind.

The passion may have been startling, but the distance between you made it difficult to know the man. In a perfect world, this guy would have returned your calls with grace and class. But perhaps his usual nature is to cut-and-run. Perhaps he did not want to deal with your anger or sadness or attempts to change his mind. Perhaps he did not know what to say to you after he cut you off. Perhaps there was someone else in the picture all along... Clearly, a few hot weekends does not necessarily guarantee more.

Don’t fret! As my Gilda-Gram says, “Everything happens for a reason—so open your eyes to see what that reason is.” Then make that reason your impetus for beginning divorce proceedings. It may be too late for this romance, but be sure your looming divorce never again sabotages your future. Here’s what I suggest you do:
  1. Finally outline the terms of divorce with your husband, and initiate the paperwork.
  2. Assess why you had been waiting so long to proceed with the divorce. Is there a part of your past you want to maintain? Is a money issue scaring you from independence? Whatever the reason, take action to overcome it now.
  3. Interpret why you attracted and got involved with someone so far away. At some level, do you want to maintain distance in love for purposes of self-protection?
  4. Let go of trying to understand this guy’s motives. The only motives you must understand now are those that belong to you.
Decide why you made the choices you did and what you can do to enhance your life for the future. While you’re bummed that this guy didn’t show up the way you would have liked, he did you a favor in pushing you to make needed changes that will ultimately enhance your future love connections.

Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle, Ph.D., has a private practice and is an associate professor at Mercy College in New York. Her best-selling books include Don’t Bet on the Prince!, 99 Prescriptions for Fidelity and How to Win When Your Mate Cheats. Please visit her website ( and send her your relationship questions.
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