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Al Veoli: From a Distance

Al Veoli

Dear Al Veoli:

My ex-boyfriend and I lived together for a year and a half. At the end of the year and a half the relationships was still wonderful. We had had plans since the beginning of our relationship to move and finish our college education. When it was time to go he didn't want to leave his son behind which he has joint custody with his ex. Needless to say I tried to get him to move but he wouldn't. I still moved and he stayed-- the thing is even though I only moved an hour and half away he broke up with me and we haven't spoken since. I tried to call him once and wrote him a letter but he never responded. I'm trying to cope with not having any closure as to why we had to stop our wonderful relationship. Do you have any insight?


Dear Confused:

The issue seems to be that your partner wished to remain near his son. If he has joint custody, in particular, he most likely wanted to stay rather close to his son so that visiting was not difficult for either party. Though you are not far away, perhaps your partner thought that you deemed his emotional needs insignificant. Al Veoli does not condone his abrupt lack of communication, but at the same time, you chose to move away from him. Al Veoli suggests that it is best for both of you to move on with your lives in your separate locales.

Dear Al Veoli:

I have what I first thought was a totally ridiculous problem until last night when I see it has cost me my 8 year relationship. My boyfriend and I have been maintaining a relationship for years despite living in different cities for work purposes. We have had our ups and downs but have been able to work things out. He usually comes to see me on the weekends (1 hours drive) or I travel to see him. It is not conventional but it has worked. ||About 8 months ago my boyfriend suggested that I get a little dog to keep me company as I tend to spend a lot of time on my own. I thought it was a great idea as I had had a dog when I was a child and he had been my constant companion. I brought home a tiny terrier cross from the local shelter who very quickly became attached to me and of course I fell in love with her. Unfortunately, my boyfriend hated her on sight and she was afraid of him instinctively. I was told by my boyfriend that it wouldn't work and I should return the dog. I tried to be accommodating and suggested that I would make arrangements for the dog to stay with a friend when my boyfriend came to visit. I couldn't in all conscience adopt the dog and then abandon her in the shelter again. She is my responsibility and I love her on top of that. She is a wonderful loyal dog and deserves a good home. I rationalized that my boyfriend was only with me two days (at the most) a week anyway.||Things worked out as long as my boyfriend was willing and able to give me notice of his coming (he doesn't always come over as it depends on work schedule). However lately he has taken it in his mind that he wants to "surprise" me and despite telling me he is busy and not coming just appears at my door step or calls me he is on his way and 10 minutes away from my place and "get rid of the dog". I know that I have been foolish to do so but in these instances I have furiously made alternative arrangements for the dog. The next day he shouted on the telephone about not keeping to his boundaries and lack of respect on my part. No amount of discussion would persuade him otherwise that I was a terrible person. ||Last night the same thing; he turned up at my doorstep at midnight and expected me to get rid of the dog. I told him that was not possible at that late hour and I would confine her to a room in the apartment. He refused to accept it and after fuming and ranting uncontrollably and talking about my lack of respect and that his freedom to come and go as he pleased in my home was being encroached upon and that he did not have to give me any notice of his coming as that was an assault on his freedom to do as he pleased.........he ended the relationship with me. He ranted about the dog coming first and that I had placed the dog as the master of the house and he as the slave....all very melodramatic... he is usually extremely loving.........as long as everything is as he wants it.

-Dog Eat Dog

Dear Dog Eat Dog:

Al Veoli hesitates to make such a harsh pronouncement, but really, sister, you are much better off without this man. In every way he seems to be a control freak; he tells you to buy a dog, he dislikes the dog so he automatically expects you to get rid of it, he is completely unreasonable when you have tried to make reasonable concessions and compromises, and he even seems threatened by the dog, as if to him it is an illicit affair you are having rather than enjoying the company of a pet. It is not his right to drop in on you unannounced and on purpose to rile you and the dog. It is not his right to determine whether you own this dog or not, and it is not his right to only be loving when he is getting everything he wants. Successful relationships are about compromise, and if he is incompetent and rude in this department, you're better off without him.

Dear Al Veoli:

I was involved with my ex, on and off until the beginning of the summer when he disappeared without telling me in order to pursue a job. Now he's back and I know that he's dating someone else (and so am I) but there is still residue there. What should I do???

-X Marks the Spot

Dear X Marks the Spot:

Perhaps you had a fun fling with your ex over the summer, but someone who disappears without a word is generally not a great long-term (or even short-term) catch. Al Veoli advises you to move on, enjoy your current relationship, and rest assured that whomever your ex is dating is not getting the deal of the century.

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