A Bad breakup

Dear Dissonance,

I am horrified to learn that your patient broke up with her boyfriend. What were you thinking taking a vacation during his visit over the holidays? If you knew she was harboring doubts about being with someone who did not share her faith, you needed to be there around the clock to foment anxiety about being alone and starting over in her mid thirties.

Instead, you went off to a spa as if your work was a done deal and your patient a sure thing. Most women, when faced with the stark reality of their boring lives, fat thighs and inability to write an online dating profile that simultaneously sounds like them and attracts members of the opposite sex will cling to the mediocre man they have. I mean, who wants to date anymore? It involves constant ego bashing when someone who looks interesting does not wink back or message and requires so much time responding to people via email who may be total duds in person that it can become a second job.

It also requires awkward conversations with men balder or paunchier or older than their profile or a mutual friend suggests that want to unload about their exes and how much money they weaseled out of their divorce or one-sided conversations about how hard they work, how much money they make and how they’re really into running marathons or training for an Ironman, which means your patient would have to start training with him to spend any time with him. Could it be so hard to remind your patient of the facts?

Besides, no one likes to be vulnerable. I don’t see any evidence that your patient is out of the ordinary in that regard, which makes the loss so much worse. If you can’t keep the easy ones in the fold, who can you be trusted with?

You need to get back to work immediately planting doubts in her mind. Even if they get back together for a year it would mean another year of life wasted for both of them! Help her get caught up in watching fatalistic romances and work with her now ex-boyfriend’s tempter to send flowers and win her back. Maybe he could even be persuaded to propose marriage. The see saw of breaking up and getting back together can take a long time to work itself out even if the relationship eventually withers.

That would be infinitely better than the two of them actually finding people with whom they would be happy. It’s really too bad as I thought you had her convinced that it’s impossible to find someone who loves all of her. Now I recognize that she somehow realized her loneliness in the relationship revealed a hole in it. If only she could have come to have seen it as her problem and properly medicated herself into a lobotomized happiness, we wouldn’t be at this juncture. Take this as an example to urge pharmaceutical solutions on future patients contemplating breaking off unsatisfying relationships. That would have the double benefit of having your patients confuse their relationship problems with mental health issues and help them to misinterpret the origins of their malaise.

In this case, I think you got too lazy thinking inertia was going to win.

Please know that I did not get to where I am through coasting. I attend relationship workshops regularly and always check in with patients at least every 24 hours. Vigilance, my dear. I cannot stand the work ethic of younger tempters who think that just because they went to the Harvard of tempting schools they can turn in shoddy work and be promoted without actually turning people to Our Father. Don’t become one of them.

It takes hard work to keep people on Our Father’s side. The Enemy has a knack for using human’s lowest situations to point to him. I don’t know how he does it, because it seems so obvious that he lets humans wallow in misery whereas Our Father wants them to be unburdened by moral angst.

Keep up the good fight.

Your affectionate aunt,


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