DEAR ABBY: I still feel immensely hurt because of a failed relationship from almost 30 years ago. My high school sweetheart of almost four years broke off our engagement when we were in our early 20s. Our lives were going in different directions -- I was going to college and she was partying.
Over the years I never really got over the hurt, even though I have been married for 20 years and have a loving family. I finished college and have a great career.
Recently the wound was reopened when she reconnected through our high school Web site. She told me about her life, which has had its ups and downs. She now lives five states away. She's happily married but "just wanted to see what I'm doing and how my life ended up." I never returned the e-mail as it hurts too much.
How do I get over this, or doesn't the pain ever truly go away? -- ACHING IN NEW YORK
DEAR ACHING: First, thank your higher power that you have a successful career, a happy marriage and a loving family. Your pain will dissipate when you stop nursing your old hurts and count your blessings.
Quit dwelling on a disappointment from 30 years ago and begin living in the moment. Brooding is wasted effort. It only diminishes the present, and you have already wasted enough time looking over your shoulder.
If my commonsense cure doesn't do the trick, ask your doctor for a referral to a licensed psychotherapist for counseling because it appears you're mesmerized by the ghost of Christmas past.