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dirty talk

She makes sexual comments to male friends about their body, calls it flirting. Made it quite clear I don't like that. Says she would never cheat on me, there is no harm done. I told her I would never do that with my female friends. Recently she took it to the worst level at a family function, public place, she held two circular noise makers on her breasts. Then lifted her sweater to put the noisemakers under it. Her female friend grabbed her hands and yelled "NO!" as she pulled her hands and sweater down. This was a family friendly function, after midnight, but there were still children present. I broke up with her a few days later. Her and and her friends deny it. I tried several times to set a face to face meeting with her to see if we could work it out. She refused. She stated that there is no harm in her dirty flirting since she knows them for a long time. I still love her and miss her and her son. She was very kind and loving to me and I thought we would eventually marry. I told her she was lucky no one took a photo. I gave one more try. I asked if she still thought her dirty talk with other men was harmless. She said as long as both parties (her and her male friends) know their boundaries it is harmless (even though it broke us up). She also told me she was upset with me for not going to church with them. I said you talk dirty to male friends and then go to church? That's hypocrisy. I feel betrayed, hurt and confused. I never loved anyone like I love her. I am having trouble trying to move on. Am I just over-sensitive or what?

Re: dirty talk

You need to find a way to bridge the gap between her behavior and your distaste for it. Creativity and patience will help. ;) For instance, you can agree to disagree on her flirting. You find it distasteful and disrespectful. She finds it harmless and fun. You can both be right -- but then you have to find common ground. For instance, would she be willing to accept that you don't agree about her flirting and still change her behavior as a sacrifice for you? We all make sacrifices in relationships and we do things for each other that we don't agree with, simply because it's important to the other person. Or, can you find a way to be okay with her outrageous behavior and subsequent church visits? Or.... can you ask her what she'd like from you in exchange for curbing this behavior. It can be anything -- and this is how you start making creative deals within a relationship so that both people win when you can't agree. And, of course, the reverse is true as well. ;)

You're both stuck in opposite corners of the metaphorical boxing ring and to get out of fight mode, you have to both want to make the relationship work, and be willing to make adjustments -- if not at the same time, then one of you budge on this one and the other budge on something else in exchange. That said, if you both feel that this behavior is a deal breaker (she refuses to give it up, and you refuse to be a part of it), then you have no choice but to go your separate ways. But I hear you saying you miss her after breaking up over this, and that's an indication that you're ready to make some sort of deal. To get her back in the game, you're going to have to apologize and bring flowers. She's got her back up and you're dug in. Give in, see if the two of you can make the relationship more important than this upset, and come up with some offers that show you're flexible and a creative problem solver in the relationship.
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.