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You Asked: My Life Has Fallen Apart, Now What?

Dear Sugar,

I really feel like I am at the end of my rope. A year ago, I met the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. We didn't become official until this February, but since then his ex has been trying to contact him nonstop even though he's told her to leave him alone. I graduated from school this year and got a job. I lost that job this week. We live together so I imagine my not having a job has him under some stress.

Since then, I noticed he has resumed contact with her and in turn, has started acting mean towards me. He has called me fat and has referred to me as a loser. Now he has refused to have any physical contact with me, and has basically vanished out of the apartment without a trace. He claims he needs space, but won't say until when. He doesn't even seem sorry for the way he's treated me.

I don't know what to do and I am starting to feel very hopeless. I have no immediate job prospects, I have no money, and the guy I thought loved me now apparently wants nothing to do with me. I can't even call him because he will just tell me to leave him alone. I don't know what to do and I really am feeling severely depressed, to the point of immobility. I don't understand how things can change so quickly.

— Down and Out Deanna

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Dear Down and Out Deanna,

The loss of a job and the disintegration of a relationship are difficult enough on their own, let alone together. I don't blame you for feeling lost and hopeless, but losses are a big part of life. Learning how to effectively cope with loss can mean the difference between being sad, and suffering through months of depression. As terrible as it is to be abandoned by the person you love in your time of need, learning how your significant other acts in a crisis is an amazing indicator of his personality.

What your boyfriend's behavior tells me is that he's not reliable for emotional support when he's stressed out. Instead of helping you work through this, he's using cruel language to berate you. You may not want to hear this now, but trust me, the end of this relationship is a blessing in disguise. Now you know who your boyfriend really is. It's painful, I know, but you'll have an easier time making it through this without someone you love calling you a loser.

First things first, reach out to your family and friends for support. Get them to help you update your résumé and see if their own companies are hiring. If you're really strapped for cash, reach out to your parents or a sibling for a loan; put it in writing if need be and mutually decide on a reasonable interest rate if necessary. And, of course, let them be there for you emotionally, too. No matter what, remember that you will get through this and will only be stronger for it in the end. There is happiness even in the darkest times, so don't stop looking for it.


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