heart-logo_web.pngDear Dr. Monique,
If you need to get over a relationship, which was deeply meaningful and lasted  six years, is it necessary to end it cold turkey or take say, at least 3 months, to fully get over the person? What if the other person overtly still wants to be with you?
Should I go cold turkey?

Dear Should I go cold turkey?,
I would hesitate to give a one size fits all answer for this question and since two parties are involved that can further complicate the issue.  I will also add that for a relationship of that significance and duration, for many people three months would hardly suffice to “fully get over the person.”  Here are a few thoughts that I suggest you consider. 
Does spending time with the person make it easier or more difficult for you or your former partner to get over the relationship?  Does spending time with your former partner enhance or detract from your sense of self and your personal wellbeing or, in other words, do you feel better or worse when you are with the person and does that feeling last even after the person has left?  Do you think that spending time with your former partner allows you to feel more or less prepared for another relationship? 
If the majority of your answers to these questions lead you to believe that the presence of your partner leads to more negatives than positives in your life, I would certainly suggest that you separate for as long as you need until the balance shifts or the questions no longer matter.

Dear Dr. Monique,
How do you pick up the pieces and move on after failed love?
How do I move on?

Dear How do I move on?,
It is often difficult to recover from a failed relationship but here are a few suggestions.  Surround yourself with people who care about you and are able to improve your sense of wellbeing or at least distract you from focusing on the failed relationship.  Take advantage of your increased free time to engage in activities that you enjoy, whether they are former ones that you had put on the back burner or brand new ones.  Make an effort to participate in activities that involve meeting new people.   Try not to rush into a new relationship and give any potential partner careful scrutiny because any short term relief that a premature relationship may provide could lead to more pain in the long run.

Dear Dr. Monique,
What should I do if the female partner of my family friend (a man) seems to engage with my husband more than with me, yet gives the impression that she does not want my friend and I to maintain the close family-type relationship we had for years? For a period of time it seemed that she and I (and apparently other members of his immediate family) got on well. But it does not feel as if we are getting along as well now. And the same is true with members of his immediate family. My family and my friend’s family have been close for more than 20 years.
It seems as if the partner of my friend wants to “manage” all his relationships, including ours. Any advice?
My friend has a controlling partner

Dear My friend has a controlling partner,
Thread this one carefully.    If you become at odds with your friend’s partner you could potentially lose or seriously damage the relationship with your friend.  As long as it does not make you or your husband uncomfortable, you could allow her to engage with your partner and use the opportunity that it provides for you to maintain your friendship.  If on the other hand, her actions make you or your husband feel uncomfortable, you may have to distance yourself from the relationship.
This should be accompanied by a carefully worded explanation to your friend that the distance is only because you sense his partner’s discomfort with your friendship.  This allows him the opportunity to not only place his partner at ease regarding your relationship but to take active steps to preserve the friendship if he so chooses.

Dr. Monique is an award-winning graduate of Harvard Medical School, who completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C. She has years of experience in counseling and discussing relationship issues. Ask her your questions at drmonique@sfltimes.com