Sex and the SMW: “I’m afraid of running into my ex and his new girlfriend.”

By Josie Brown

I live in a very small town. Unfortunately, I’ve just had a heart-wrenching break-up. Turns out he was seeing someone behind my back. Needless to say, it left me totally depressed. Only recently have I found the energy to leave my bed. But I don’t want to leave my house. I’m so afraid of bumping into my ex and his new girlfriend. We share mutual friends, and that makes it all the harder. Help!” — Veronica L., in Port Townsend, WA

Whoa, hold on a minute: What do you have to be ashamed of? From what you write, he was the liar, the two-timer. He was the one who didn’t have the guts to confront you with the truth: that he wasn’t happy in your relationship together.

On the other hand, you have every reason to hold your head high.

Hiding under your bed sheets won’t solve your problem: living the life you want, perhaps with a more trustworthy guy at your side.

Your friends are your friends, through thick and thin. They will come running to your side—if you let them in.  So why don’t you hit the phone and invite a few of them to meet you at your favorite watering hole?

If they ask how you’re holding up, be honest. It’s okay to say that you’re heartbroken. Just be sure to let them know that you appreciate their love and support. And invite them to cheer you up with all the reasons why he was such a lousy match for you in the first place.

And yes, eventually you will run into He Whose Name Will Now Be “The Jerk.” He may even have his latest victim in tow. Will he have the nerve to say something to you?

Odds are he’ll be too ashamed.

But if he does, don’t cry. Don’t turn away.

And for that matter, don’t feel as if you have to turn the other cheek, either.

Let him have it with both barrels. Maybe she’ll take the hint: He’s a coward.

Got a question for Sex and the SMW?  Email me at josieb at