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Crazy Love

By Mink Stole | Posted 9/5/2001

I dated Clare for almost a year, and she was great, but toward the end she started getting possessive--calling me, needing to know where and with whom I was whenever I was out of her sight. It got so bad, I finally had to break it off with her, but she still calls me almost every day. And she pages and e-mails me all the time, even though I ignore her as much as possible and never return her calls. Last week, I was on a date and we ran into Clare coming out of the movies. She made a big scene, calling me a bastard and telling my date she could do better than me. My date totally freaked, which was too bad because I really liked her. The next day Clare called, crying, to tell me she was sorry but that seeing me with someone else made her crazy-jealous. And she promised it would never happen again. We're not kids--we're both in our 30s--so why is she acting like this? How can I get her to leave me alone?

By Love Possessed

Dear Possessed:
Instead of eating gallons of Häagen-Dazs and contemplating what a big jerk you are, the way normal people comfort themselves after a breakup, this poor gal is lying awake at night writing maudlin love poems and composing the next clever message to leave on your answering machine. She has convinced herself that if she just keeps trying, sooner or later she will say the magic words that will bring you back into her arms, more in love with her than ever, and overwhelmed with relief and gratitude that she didn't give up on you while you were being such a fool.

If Clare is just an immature, insecure, hormonally unstable female, this is probably temporary insanity: Today she's obsessed, tomorrow she'll wake up utterly mortified, hoping and praying that she never sees you again. She might even move away. She needs professional help, but unfortunately that's not your call. In the meantime, it's a huge pain in the ass, but there are things you can do to try to protect yourself. Get an unlisted phone number (or at least get Caller ID) and never, ever take her calls. Change your e-mail address and your pager number and give them only to people you trust. If you see her in a public place, leave, even if you were there first. Don't smile at her, don't take pity on her, don't discuss her with her friends, don't show any interest in her at all. Do keep a log of any attempts she makes to contact you, and if you ever feel like you might be in any actual danger, don't hesitate for a minute to call the police and seek a temporary restraining order.

i>I'm a 24-year-old newlywed and I love my husband (he's 25). But I'm not sure now that he was as ready to get married as I was. He's an only child, and we spend at least three nights a week with his parents. They're nice enough to me but treat him like he's gold on a plate. Before we were married he never washed a dish or did laundry, and he acts like he's doing me a huge favor every time he takes out the trash. He makes plans without asking me and often goes out with his buddies without me. He makes pretty good money and wants to have babies right away, but I'm afraid that I'll be stuck with all the work of taking care of them while he's out with the guys. His mother says he'll straighten up when he's a father, but she was sure he'd calm down when we got married and she was dead wrong about that. What do you think?

Should Have Waited

Dear Should:
It's too soon to tell whether or not marrying this guy will turn out to be the smartest thing you ever did, but it would be criminally stupid for you to start a family now. It takes maturity and commitment to be a good parent, and, nice as your mother-in-law may be, she hasn't trained your husband to be anything more than her own son. He's less ready to take on fatherhood than I am to run CitiBank. No matter how much you love him, before you even think about kids, your husband has much growing up to do.

For starters, you might want to put your foot down about all these nights out. You don't want to make him a prisoner, but he's living with you now, not his overindulgent mama, and at the very least he needs to learn some manners. A little less time with his parents wouldn't hurt, and he needs to take on some housework. If he can learn to handle trash, it's possible he'll eventually be able to cope with a poopy Pampers.

You're only 24; your biological clock has barely begun ticking. You've got plenty of time to see if your husband will grow up to be the man to give you children. Until then, unless you're willing to risk raising your kids alone, you'd do well to keep taking your Ortho-Tricyclen. To be extra safe, keep using your diaphragm too.

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