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Dear Bossip,

I was with my ex-boyfriend “Will” for four, almost five years. We were high school sweethearts.

The first year of dating was good. He was a great boyfriend. When my father was diagnosed with cancer he would come to the hospital after practice and sit with me for hours. He was the only guy that ever met my father and my dad thought he was a good guy which meant a lot because I am a daddy’s girl. When my father passed away he stepped up and was there by my side whenever I needed. My mom at first did not care for him, but eventually she grew to love him like one of her own and she is still so attached to him.

Each year after that was horrible! He cheated, lied, he let his family disrespect me and he was abusive at times. I stayed with him despite everything and thought he would change, but he just got worse. He eventually went off to college on a football scholarship and I stayed to work and go to school in our city. Despite the distance I thought we could make it work. SMH! I was wrong. One morning I woke up and I no longer wanted to be with him. All the times I said I was done with all the BS he did to me had been building up and I was disgusted by him. He had changed for the worse, not only did the cheating continue but he no longer had any goals. He kept getting into trouble with the law and all he wanted to do was smoke and party. I was tired of the lies, drama, and being hurt and I just broke it off with him and I haven’t thought about getting back together with him since.

Now here’s the problem: Will was on probation and he did some things and ended up losing his scholarship and was sent to jail. Once he got out they sent him to the facility, and while in the facility his dumb a** did something and they ended up sending him to prison. Everyone and their mama feels that since we were together for so long that I should still be there for him, writing him letters, visits and putting money on his books. Why I don’t know, but I am so tired of people trying to make me out to be the bad guy when I’m not entitled to write him, visit or give him money. We broke up almost two years ago! Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad and when I first found out I wrote him to tell him to remain positive and that God will see him through this, but after that I don’t see why I should do anything else.

I look back and I realize how stupid I was over him. I’m grateful that God got me out of that situation and even though I don’t regret being with him, I regret sticking around for as long as I did. That situation was a learning experience. I now know a man will do to you whatever you allow him to and you can’t change a man unless he is willing to change and I’m no longer in the business of trying to.  I’m young and my focus is not on him or any other guy. It’s on work, college, my family, God, and becoming a better me. I do not have time to be getting my butt on the highway to visit his jail bird a**. I’m no longer in that chapter in my life, and I just want to move on with everything. My question is, am I in the wrong for not being there for him? Am I a bad person for moving on and forgetting about him? – Am I Wrong

Dear Ms. Am I Wrong,

Ma’am! Your letter gave me life this morning! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You did that!

I wish more women were as smart, wise, and about their business as you are. They claim to be independent, self-sufficient, intelligent, college-educated, and doing it for themselves. Yet, as soon as some d**k come into their lives they become d**k-matized, strung out, and don’t know how to function. Despite the cheating, lies, procreating with other women, taking their money, living in their homes, not working, in and out of jail, berating them, and never proposing marriage, they wonder why he won’t commit to them. Why he won’t be a man and love them, treat them right, and respect them. SMDH! But, you shut all that –ish down, recognized your worth, ended the relationship, and moved on with your life. You are truly an inspiration. Bravo! Clap! Clap!

So, no! You don’t owe him anything. For years you put up with the lies, cheating, disrespect, and abuse. Then, you had enough, ended it, and moved on. Two years went by, and your paths took two different routes. You chose empowerment, happiness, and peace. He chose to party, jeopardize his scholarship and education, and to commit a crime. No! You don’t have to write, visit, or put money on his books. The hell is wrong with people telling you that you need to go see his dumba** in prison! You are not in a relationship with him. It’s been over for two years. You don’t have children with him. You’re not his wife. And, you aren’t even friends. Why do folks feel that you should be writing him, visiting, and putting money his books? See that prison and jail mentality families and friends have in thinking that they need to “hold Pookie, and Ray Ray down” is for the damn birds!

He got himself into the situation and predicament, then he needs to do his time by himself. Why hold those on the outside, in the free world, hostage because you’re locked up? And, why do those in the free world feel the need do YOUR time with YOU? That is asinine and just stupid. The hell you look like focusing on him. He wasn’t even focusing on himself. Well, he was, but he was about a different life, and that life got him time in prison! Therefore, if he was about his business, did what he had to do to maintain his scholarship, not drink and party as much, and focused on school and his grades, then he would still be in school. You don’t owe him anything. Your relationship ended two years ago. It’s the past. And, that’s where it needs to remain, IN THE PAST!

You gave me LIFE when you said that when you first found out he was in prison that you sent him a letter, and you told him to remain positive and that God would see him through this. And, that was the end of it. YASSSSSS!!! Honey, that was all that you could have done. You did your part. Don’t feel bad, or guilty, and please don’t let others make you feel bad, or guilty for not doing more. If they feel so bad, and feel that he needs support, then you politely tell them, “I understand that YOU may feel bad for him. And, since you’re so concerned about him getting a letter, visits, and money, then why don’t you write him, visit him, and put money on his books. But, leave me out of it.”

I am so happy that you are in school, working, and focusing on YOU! I’m also glad to know that you are building and empowering yourself. You know your self-worth, and you’ve reclaimed your self-esteem. Do it girl!

So, continue doing you. And, continue being about the business of empowering yourself, and remaining positive. Also, those persons who keep bringing up your ex and telling you what you should do, uhm, you need to nip that –ish in the bud. Let them know that you are not interested in having conversations about him, or what he’s doing, and who he’s doing it with. Let them know that they need to respect you, and your wishes in not discussing him. You’ve moved on, and you suggest that they move on as well. And, if they can’t stop talking about him, or bringing him up, then it’s time to end your relationships with them. Your true friends, and your loved ones will respect you, and support you. They will not encourage you to maintain an unhealthy relationship. They will not encourage you to return to a past that you left. If they are not about your new life, your growth, and your well-being, then it’s time to let them go, just like you did your ex. BOOM! BAM! POW! – Terrance Dean

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Make sure to order my books Mogul: A Novel (Atria Books – June 2011; $15); Hiding In Hip Hop (Atria Books – June 2008); and Straight From Your Gay Best Friend – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Love, And Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden Books – November 2010; $15). They are available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, click HERE!


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