Self-Discipline and Your Dead Relationship

I’m a big fan of self-discipline. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m any good at it. Anyone who’s seen my behavior with a bottle of whiskey — or even a tin of Altoid mints — realizes I have control issues. Still, I’m a fan. Give me a goal — a half marathon or a deadline for a novel — and I can be pretty good about self-discipline, especially if there’s a reward at the end.

One other time in life when I seem to have developed pretty decent self-discipline is when standing in the smoking crater of a destroyed relationship. And if I may be allowed to say so, more people should be like me. The world would be a better place.

Case in point. Some time ago, a friend of mine dumped her boyfriend after years of dating. As one would expect, he didn’t react well. None of us ever do when we’re rejected on a personal level after a years-long relationship. (And I think guys are often caught off guard in these situations, because if the woman isn’t nagging or screaming at us, well, the relationship must be perfect, right?) He was angry. And he made this anger known. Initial outbursts are okay, sure. But then you have to bottle up your rage and go home. You’re not going to win her back.

Easier said than done.

Recently my friend told me she’d gone camping. Oh, and that the ex had texted her a couple of times. They were camping-related texts that weren’t so nice. “I hope you get raped by an angry bear.” That sort of thing. (Okay, he didn’t text that. But my example is funnier than his.)

As a friend, my initial reaction was what you’d expect. “This will not stand! We shall march to his house and unleash rabid ferrets into his boxer-briefs!”
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