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Is He Going to One Day Be Everything I Need?
May 24, 2011 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I have a long and complex situation. I was in a 2 year relationship with a man who I am still in love with but am so unsure of what to do. Our relationship was amazing at times and rocky at other times. Let me tell you a little about his past, maybe this will help to paint a better picture because I have a feeling the way our relationship was and how it ended has a lot to do with his upbringing.
He was told that his birth mom abandoned him, and he lived with his alcoholic father and stepmother until his father passed away when he was 10 years old. Then he moved to live with his Aunt and Uncle who neglected him, showed him no love but were extremely disciplinary.
His stepmother who he considered his mom passed away when he was 18, and his best friend who was like a brother to him 6 months later so he has lost 3 very important people in his life. I believe he is still going through the grieving process because a year ago he was crying and talking about his best friend and how much he missed him.
He moved from place to place to place to place and ended up in a different state, it seemed like where he lived things did not work out for whatever reason. I personally think he was searching for happiness but things always ended bad.
I think looking back at it we jumped into the relationship fast because we were boyfriend and girlfriend after a month of dating and from then on were attached by the hip for a year-year and a half.
After 2 months of dating he told me that he lived in a half way house and that he was living there not for drugs but for another charge which is true because I have seen his records. I was pretty upset to find that out but I really liked him and figured we could see where this would go. Long story short over the time we developed trust issues, he tried breaking up with me about 5 times but we never did because I begged him not to. Later I found out that to him breaking up means not talking for 2-3 days which is so immature because if you love someone you don't break up and go back out and break up and go back out. Then he was guilty of breaking my trust multiple times, 6 months into our relationship he started talking to an ex and developed an emotional relationship. He was acting strange and forgetting to call me and call me at night to talk like we always did but I believed him when he told me he fell asleep on the couch. I know there was no physical cheating because the girl lives thousand of miles away but the emotional cheating was wrong and I found out about it one day when I looked through his phone.
That was the breaking point for me, I was so terribly hurt and upset and could not believe this was happening to me. I was depressed for 3 months or more but we made it work. It took me a good year to year and a half to truly forgive him but he said he was doing drugs at that time which I did not know and did not love me then which is why he did what he did. Comes to find out he was doing drugs for the first 6 months of our relationship off and on. After that situation and once he got clean he realized how wrong he was and fell in love with me and was so sorry, he has apologized more than 3 times and even cried.
I know he was genuinely sorry. I always loved him so much that even though I knew it was wrong what he did to me I forgave him. I just wanted us to work out so bad and I thought he learned his lesson. Six months later he created a facebook without telling me and I searched his name and found out about it so I broke up with him because we had issues with facebook to the point that I deleted mine. He was sorry and told me he was going to tell me about it and after a couple of days I forgave him. Another 6 months later I found an email to his ex girlfriend but in the email he said he was going to hang out with me so it wasnt really a big deal except for I did not know he was talking to her and I was not okay with him communicating with her. He told me it was because he was trying to help her out with her and her boyfriend's problem because he used to be friends with the boy she was dating. I doubt that is true now but at the time I believed him. In addition to that he doesn't seem to be able to keep a job for more than 6 months before he goes to another one for whatever reason, sometimes it's his fault because he gets tired of his boss, the rules etc. other times its because the business bankrupts or lays people off. He is motivated for months at a time and works hard and acts like a responsible man then he crashes and acts lazy and unmotivated because life situations bring him down.. I guess he gets depressed? I am not really sure because for two years I have tried to figure him out and I simply can not get to the bottom of him and who he truly is. He worked in sales and is really good at charming, and manipulating which I did not realize till our break up.
In the end he went to hang out for a weekend with his guy friend and I went out with my girlfriends which we never do and I got really upset because he told me he was sleeping out one night but ended up staying 2 but didnt tell me till really late and he was so busy he was unable to text me back or call me for hours. The next day I was hysterical and thought he cheated on me or at least hung out with girls because I don't fully trust him. He said he did not but I was so upset and kept going on and on and just wanted to know if he hung out with girls. He told me no. After the break up I found out that girls were coming up to them and at times were around but him and his best friend told them to hang out with the best friends brothers who were single and he told me they did not talk to them because they both were in relationships.
After I accused him of cheating he accused me of cheating and after 4 days of violent fighting he moved back home. We were living together for 4 months at that time but it was not planned he basically had nowhere to go.
Throughout the relationship he lived with me 2-4 months here and there when his roommate situation would not work out. Before the breakup he was treating me really well for 8 months to a year, I could tell things were different I could tell that he was in love with me but he still did those occasional slip ups which were harmless and maybe he was not open about it because I was so controlling but he was controlling to me too. We have been broken up for 3 months and after 2 weeks he started to talk about being back together and the past 2 months he has been trying to get back together and tells me he loves me, no girl compares to me, and that he made a mistake and wants to be back together and that he would do anything to be with me. But my problem is that my family and friends don't think I should give him another chance because they are not very fond of him even though they don't know everything about our relationship and also I have many doubts that we will workout in the long run because of his financial instability and the trust/shady girl stuff. I only want to get back together with him if we will end up getting married one day and having a family but I don't know if he will change because he says he will work on himself and I have seen him change for the better so there is a possibility that one day he will be everything I need but that's a risk I need to figure out if I am willing to take. I am at a standstill and feel torn and hurt and confused because I want to be with him badly because I'm in love with him and he is my best friend but I don't want to be with him for another year or two only, I want to make it work long term and that's the only reason I would get back with him. Please tell me your honest opinion. I really need some advice and someone to tell me how it is. I know it doesn't look too good but I really am in love with him and really wish we could make it work long term and he is willing I just need to figure out what I want. Thank you so much for everything!
Wow! That was a very detailed explanation of your relationship, your break up and beyond.
I hear you saying that want to get back with your ex only if you can have a long-term relationship. You said you only want to get back with your ex if "he's going to one day be everything I need."
You can't imagine how many women enter into relationships thinking I can change him or he'll change eventually.
You need to ask yourself the following: Would I be willing to marry him as he is now?
I think you already know the answer to that question. It's a resounding no.
I admire the fact that he says he's willing to work healing himself. He has a lot of work to do.
Since you are such good friends and you love him so much, you could consider another alternative. For now there's no need to commit to him or kill him off. Just step back and let him do his work.
He has a lot of hurt, anger and trauma buried inside him. He's terrified of getting close for fear of being abandoned and mistreated again. As a result, he engages in all kinds of distancing operations (resuming contact with his ex, having an emotional affair, breaking upBreaking up refers to the dissolution of a romantic love relationship. Many people have a tendency to break up in order to preempt or discharge unwanted or painful feelings. For example, if you are...(Click for full definition.) repeatedly, etc.) and emotional escapes (doing drugs, quitting jobs, etc.)
What you're going to want to see is a greater level of emotional balance and maturity as well as consistency. What will this growth look like?
You will see that he's able to talk about his feelings-- especially the really painful ones that he buried in childhood--not run from using distancing behaviors, drugging, quitting or breaking up. People who are mature are able to sit with their feelings and talk about them, rather than engage in destructive behavioral operations that are hurtful to themselves and their relationship.
In fact, my life's work is all about teaching people how to constructively handle all our feelings. The key is to transform our strong feelings into communications that are constructive for ourselves and bring us closer to others. I recommend that he read my book, Till Death Do Us Part. It will launch him on the path of healing, showing him how to identify and heal all the old wounds that are causing him to destroy his relationship with you.
You see he has a lot of work to do. You are clearly very fond of each other and good friends. You can certainly help him in his journey without committing to marry him.
I also recommend that you read my book. Your devotion to a man who is not there for you suggests that you have a wound of your own that needs tending.
My book will show you both how you can work together to assist each other in your mutual healing.
You may find that you were brought together to help each other grow and heal, but not spend a life together. Or, on the contrary, as you clear away the cobwebs of old wounds, you may find that you are meant to be together.
But for now, it's too soon to tell. Promise me you won't make any commitments to him until you figure out what person from your past he represents for you and you heal the wound that you are still suffering from way back when.
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