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Thu, April 18

Dear Annie: Seeking relationship closure

Dear Annie: I feel like a cliche. About a year and a half ago, after six years of dating, “Jon” and I broke up — or more accurately, Jon broke up with me.

It blindsided me, especially because I had just relocated with him to another state about a month earlier. He said he was having personal issues and just wanted to be alone. He was drinking a lot and seemed really depressed at the time. I tried encouraging him to seek professional help, but he refused. I continued calling him periodically at first to check in and see whether he was doing OK. But I wanted to respect his wishes, and he didn’t seem interested in getting back together, so I slowly began the process of healing and moving on.

About six months later, I started hearing from him again. He sent me gifts in the mail, references to inside jokes we’d shared over the years. He began calling a lot. I kept meaning to call him back, but for some reason, I didn’t. Things were just different. I had started developing feelings for someone else. Eventually, Jon seemed to get this and began moving on, too. But I never could have guessed how quickly he’d move on.

He started seeing a woman he’d met on a dating site, and within three months, they were engaged. Their wedding is next month. And as much as I’m happy — I’m in a new relationship myself — I still sometimes dwell on how things ended with my ex. And I don’t get how he never proposed to me after six years but it took him only three months to pop the question to a woman who was practically a stranger. I know it’s silly, but I even have thoughts like, “Was I so horrible that anyone who came after me seemed like immediate marriage material?” And I feel this sense of unfinished business because I never did tell him how much he hurt me. I don’t think he knows, because he invited me to the wedding. (I respectfully declined.) Do you think that calling him or writing him a letter just to have one final conversation would give me some sense of closure? — Conflicted

Dear Conflicted: Perhaps the cheapest form of therapy is putting thoughts down on paper. So write Jon a letter, but don’t send it. Instead, use it as a space to work out your feelings and figure out what’s really stopping you from moving on. Closure is a gift we can only give to ourselves.

Dear Annie: As a retired pastor with over 40 years of ministry, may I suggest another response to “Trying to Save Our Church,” who wrote in about two people causing problems in her church? If her church is part of a larger denomination, she could suggest help from a denominational leader, such as a bishop or superintendent. Having dealt with troublemakers such as the ones she described, I have found that such people or couples can and do cause significant damage to the harmony of a congregation. — Reverend Barron

Dear Reverend: I was surprised by how many readers wrote in and mentioned that they’d dealt with similar problems at their churches. I’m printing your helpful, practical tip here because apparently, there are a lot of troublemakers out there! Thank you, Reverend.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

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