DEAR HARRIETTE: My ex-boyfriend is pretty much demanding that I return the gifts he gave me over the course of our two-year relationship. He’s given me so many things that I’m not even sure I still have everything. I may have regifted a few things. As far as I’m concerned, those gifts are mine now, and I don’t have to return anything. He’s now blasting me on social media. I don’t want to return the gifts, but I also would like him to stop dragging my name through the mud; it’s all so tacky and so beneath me. What can I do? Can I sue him? -- Get Over It
DEAR GET OVER IT: What happened to make you and your ex break up? It sounds like he is hurt and bitter and the gifts somehow represent something that he can have in exchange for the love that no longer exists between you. I think you need to talk to him. Invite him to get together with you in a safe place where you can talk. Whatever your role was in the breakup that has him feeling so hurt, apologize for that. Tell him that you didn’t mean to hurt him. Even if you did something that was incredibly rude -- especially if that is true -- tell him you regret hurting him. In the moment, people do all kinds of things, but I would like to believe that, upon reflection, we can regret hurtful actions.
Regarding the gifts, if there is something particularly valuable to him that you can return as a conciliatory gesture, do it. Then let him know that you are not willing to go through your things and pick out items he has given you to return to him. Suggest that it is now time to move on. Do not respond to his social media. Allow it to die down naturally. If he libels you, consult an attorney about suing him, but try kindness first.