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I have posted here a few times regarding my situation, so I wont go into too much detail...but the guy I have been having a very problematic relationship for the last 9 months and I have just been for a drink and a chat...

 

I have been very strong with him, told him exactly why his behaviour has been unacceptable to me...he has heard it many times already and he listened carefully without interruption and took it all on the chin. For the first time without coming back at me with a load of excuses. Basics are - he ended a 15 year relationshipm FOR me, but over the months after that he went back to his ex several times...and I caught him out on numerous lies. However, I do believe that he has finally ended things with her now. I know that he cheated on her before in the last years of their relationship but that he had never felt compelled to end it until he met me and I know that their relationship was horrendous and dysfucntional and co-dependent, with neither of them able to give it up....

 

Of course, none of it is good, and I take responsibility for getting with a man when he was still with someone else.

 

I have given him no promises, been very honest, told him that I am getting on with my life and that right now I dont trust him and that whilst I have feelings for him, I cannot be with him. He has told me that he loves me dearly, knows all his mistakes and desperately wants to change. He hasnt asked for any commitment from me, but has told me that he is ready to roll up his sleeves and start to properly look at himself and his behaviour. He has an appointment with Relate next week. He is 42, a former heroin addict (from 18 to 27) and feels that he has never really looked at his "issues" or confronted them.

 

So my question is, what do you guys think? Can he change, if he REALLY wants to? Can anyone? Or are we all, at 42, the person we are going to be for the rest of our lives.

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I believe people can change because I have witnessed it. But, just because they can change, I still think it's rare that they actually do change.

 

I think you're being very reasonable and logical about this, and I think it's good that he has made an appointment with Relate. The thing about changing is, only time will tell if and when any change really does happen. If you feel in your heart the right thing to do is stick by him and help him change, and if you don't feel you're being cheated out of potential happiness with someone else, then there's nothing wrong with giving him a chance.

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Can anyone change? Yes. Can he? Maybe. But not for a long time.

 

Your relationship began even though he had another partner. He cheated on you. He cheated on her. He was in a co-dependent relationship. Yes, he may have kicked heroin, but he certainly picked up another addiction. Dramatic relationships.

 

You have seen NO evidence of change. At least he's self aware enough to know he's not self aware, as he must start with self-examination. But one cannot confuse the communication of a desire to change with change. Unfortunately, I doubt that he can change with you. It's hard to learn to respect someone you have disrespected if that person doesn't completely walk away forever. Then, how is he supposed to know the consequence of loss? (Which is often the impetus for addicts to hit rock bottom and then start recovering.)

 

What concerns me more is that you haven't looked at yourself and made the choice to let him and the unhealthy nine-month dynamic go and learn to have a healthy, loving relationship. I think that if you leave now, instead of waiting years for him to change, you won't feel like you wasted too much of your precious time with him.

 

How old are you? What are you looking for in a relationship?

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Hi Ms Darcy

 

Thank you so much for your message its really helpful...

 

My background - I am 40, been separated for 4 years, have a had what most people class as a difficult life. My childhood was not good, I suffered emotional, physical and sexual abuse. I was lied to about the identity of my father up until the age of 15. My mother was not good - she allowed her second husband to abuse my, my brother and the two children she had with him who eventually were taken into care. None of her 4 children now speak to her.... My marriage was difficult, my husband is a good man but he lied a lot too and I never trusted him - he didnt cheat but he did lie about money and got us into a financial mess which we still have yet to resolve. I live alone, my children live with him because I lost my job two years ago and was effectively homeless.

 

I know I paint a bleak picture...but I am a very positive person. I had counselling throughout my 20s to try and cope with the events of my childhood and adolescence and I think to a large extent I did cope with them. I have moments where all this gets to me, but overall I feel healthy...I am attractive and look nowhere near my age, and as a result I often attract much younger men. This might sound like a good thing, but of course they are not usually great relationship material...

 

Right now, as far as relationships are concerned, I dont know what to think or feel. I fell in love with this guy but I think that is because he pursued me so heavily - he is Italian, has all the right romantic words and phrases and is very passionate. But he is immature and selfish in his love...it's all about him.

 

I want nothing more than peace and love and equality in a relationship...someone I can live alongside and share things with. I dont want to feel anxious all the time like I did/do with this guy...I want to feel like I can trust.... All my life I have know lies and deceipt and I wonder whether I would recognise someone trustworthy if I met them!

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Hi Ms Darcy

 

Thank you so much for your message its really helpful...

 

I want nothing more than peace and love and equality in a relationship...someone I can live alongside and share things with. I dont want to feel anxious all the time like I did/do with this guy...I want to feel like I can trust.... All my life I have know lies and deceipt and I wonder whether I would recognise someone trustworthy if I met them!

 

The real question here is: Can YOU Change?

 

I understand that your conscious mind only wants peace, love, and equality. Unfortunately, you have grown up with chaos, abuse, deception, and disrespect. You weren't cared for and protected. You weren't encouraged to be independent and happy. You weren't valued or loved. You had no model to show you what real love is supposed to feel like ... neither from yourself nor from your partner. Given your past it is no wonder that you have ended up with men who continue the cycle of chaos, emotional abuse, deception, and disrespect. Different culprit, same crime.

 

And for now that is all your subconsious mind knows about relationships. I am glad that you have gotten therapy. It can help you get through the day-to-day, to let go of some of the conscious blocks, to feel more positive about life. You may, however, want to consider returning to it as you continue to grow and develop in your powerful journey. It sounds like you need to help both your conscious and subconscious mind IMAGINE, RECOGNIZE, SEEK, AND COMMAND happiness in a relationship.

 

I also think you need to READ, as I was advising another poster, so that you can understand how YOU are blocking yourself from the great relationships you deserve because you do yet know how to love yourself first, leave worse, and command better.

 

Here is a list of books I would suggest that you read. I think you might find yourself somewhere in there:

"Women who Love too Much" Robin Norwood

"Daily Meditations for Women who Love too Much" Robin Norwood

"How to Break Your Addiction to a Person" Howard Halpern

"How to Survive the Loss of a Love" Peter McWilliams etc

"Stop Being the String Along: A Guide to being the One" Barbara Rose

"Emotional Vampires: Dealing with People who Drain you Dry" Albert Bernstein

"Boundaries ..." Henry Cloud etc

 

Out of curiosity, are you looking for marriage? Does that play a role in your reluctance to let him go?

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Thanks once again - I am going to check Amazon later today for those books...

 

Marriage...no, that's not an aim of mine. To be honest I wouldnt mind if I never actually co-habited again, as long as the relationship is right and secure.

 

Everything you say is right, and it is scaring me that I am unable to do what you and everyone around me is saying and walk away completely. He appears unable to leave his ex behind (despite having ended the relationship last September). He insists he doesnt love her, yet everytime things go wrong between us and I pull him up on yet another lie he goes straight back to her. She knows what he is like, is aware of me and of all his other cheating and still wants him back and I am terrified of becoming her.

 

I am strong enough to stay away in the short term, have told him that until I am certain he is free of her and dealing with his issues that I will consider myself a single woman and get on with my life....but the problem is that my heart is unable to follow. I have to see him every day at work, and I have this huge attraction for him and love the things we have in common...shared ideals, politics etc. Besides him everyone else seems mundane...

 

I know I have to do this....its just so hard

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"I am strong enough to stay away in the short term, have told him that until I am certain he is free of her and dealing with his issues that I will consider myself a single woman and get on with my life....but the problem is that my heart is unable to follow. I have to see him every day at work, and I have this huge attraction for him and love the things we have in common...shared ideals, politics etc. Besides him everyone else seems mundane...

 

I know I have to do this....its just so hard"

 

This is the unhealthy talking. There is no special magic to him. It's the addiction to the chaos that makes him so exciting and a nice guy who would love you securely would bore you to death right now. Can you get out of work or move to a new job?

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I love my job...absolutely love it and I refuse to give it up.

 

But in August we are moving offices and I wont have to see him any more...just to bump into I guess...

 

He told me yesterday that he intended to tell his ex that he has moved on and is in love with someone new. He has told me that he has told her this at least 5 times now on the 9 months and still he has ended up with her again at some point. Its never going to end is it?

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It has to get where the part of you that doesn't want him, is stronger than the part of you that does want him.

 

And not only him as an individual, but all the crap and drama that goes with a situation where you are wondering "can a person change?".

 

I think people can change but it's not our jobs to worry about it. It may sound bad to some people, but I assume they WON'T. That is what he has shown you so far - that he has no intention to actually change. You can keep your mind open but pining hopes on a person who is not living in the present is simply fantasizing, no?

 

Y'know, I truly believe that a lot of times people hold on to unhealthy situations and people in an effort to not having to face some strong emotions and issues of their own. Totally separate from the person, just their own issues.

 

Yes, the question is more "can you change?" than can he. And yes, you can! Whether you want to or not, and will put in the effort to, is up to you.

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I love my job...absolutely love it and I refuse to give it up.

 

But in August we are moving offices and I wont have to see him any more...just to bump into I guess...

 

He told me yesterday that he intended to tell his ex that he has moved on and is in love with someone new. He has told me that he has told her this at least 5 times now on the 9 months and still he has ended up with her again at some point. Its never going to end is it?

 

It will end when YOU end it.

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The latest - he left work on Friday telling me that he was going straight away to finally tell his "ex" it was over between them, no friendship or anything is possible. He told me that as soon as it was done he would call me so that I was aware. I didnt hear anything all evening. The next morning I text to say - "how long does it take to tell someone its over? Let me guess, one last **** and a load of alchohol".... as this is how it has always gone before.

 

He texted back to say "no way, I have been out with friends but will try and contact her today". He doesn't have friends.

 

He rang me yesterday evening to say, he had done it - he had a meal with her and told her he cant see her again, not even as friends. He said she was very sad about it, but he told her he was in love with me. He then said, I was with her last night, not with friends.... and that he watched a film with her because he wanted everything to be right between them before he ended it for good. He sounded drunk, and said he had been drinking all afternoon...

 

I then had to go as I had an important call on my mobile but that I would call him back or talk to him online. When I tried to do this I got a load of lies - his phone and mobile had broken and so he wouldnt be able to talk to me...he was outside and said he was just nipping to get more beer but would be at home in front of the TV. Later, for my own peace of mind I tried again to contact him and then finally texted to say if I didnt hear from him within the hour I would know he was with her and that our story was finally over. I havent heard from him since.

 

What is wrong with him? But yes, what is wrong with ME that I have tolerated this craziness for so long?

 

It ends today.

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I've told him it's over...like this:

 

 

Dear *****

 

For the last nine months I have been hoping you will change.

 

After the events of this weekend it is clear that not only will you never change, you are actually worse than ever. IT was so blatantly obvious to me that you were lying last night, that it was her trying to call you...and your pathetic attempts to cover it up with bull * * * * are just sad.

 

I want you to know the following. I have stupidly overlooked so much to be with you....to spend time with you.

 

- Your lying, which is both cruel and nasty and also extremely immature...you have really never grown up have you?

- Your girlfriend. She was never your ex..NEVER. You have a sick and twisted addiction to the relationship with her and you can never escape it. You will I am sure cheat on her again and again but you will never be free of her. It's repulsive and sad.

- I don't believe you have ever loved me. You dont treat people you love the way you have treated me. I dont think you know what love is. What you have felt for me is some kind of sexual obsession, but it ain't love.

- Your ego - you have a massive ego, and you seem to think you are something special, some young looking great catch. You are not....without exception the girls at work have asked me what the * * * * I am doing with you, that when we are togeher I look like I am doing you a favour. I think you have liked the fact that when we are together I make you look good, but believe me - you look everyone of your 42 years and the way that you treat your body shows. You are not liked there, I hope you know that, apart from your little gang and the fact that people have to remain professional there is not a lot of respect for you.

- BUT ABOVE EVERYTHING, THE CRUELTY AND CARELESSNESS WITH WHICH YOU HAVE TREATED ME. FOR ME AND YOU THIS IS THE VERY END. YOU DON'T DESERVE TO EVEN LOOK AT ME, AS I AM IN A DIFFERENT CLASS TO YOU. YOU AND THAT SAD DOORMAT YOU CALL an EX DESERVE EACH OTHER.

 

STAY AWAY FROM ME. KEEP YOUR HEAD RIGHT DOWN AT WORK, CONTROL THAT PATHETIC EGO OF YOURS OR THE ENTIRE STORY AND ALL THE EMAILS WILL COME OUT....I MEAN IT.

 

YOU WILL NEVER GET OVER THE LOSS OF ME, EVER...AND THAT'S MY ONLY CONSOLATION. I HAVE TO NOW GO AND WAY AND UNDERSTAND WHAT IT WAS ABOUT ME THAT MADE ME STAY WITH YOU ALL THIS TIME, AND MAKE SURE I NEVER MAKE SUCH A POOR CHOICE AGAIN.

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So now he knows....how do I stay strong enough to keep this in my head?

 

 

While I wouldn't have worded it that way, at least it has all come to an end

 

I know it hurts, and that you feel angry and used but in fact I am very happy for you in taking this first step towards healing. I would suggest you start working on these five immediate steps towards healing:

 

1. Do NOT contact him. Cut him off completely. Your head is leading you now, but if you get back in touch him, your heart might lead your actions astray.

2. Write out a list of at least 10 positive outcomes from the break up (i.e. I feel empowered because I was able to leave, I feel relieved from the anxiety, I am free to find the relationship and partner that is right for me, I can enjoy being single again etc)

3. Get out and do physical activity. Exercise will be important during this time as the chemical release of happy, pleasurable feelings (endorphines) will help counteract the sadness you will mostly feel in the beginning.

4. Start reading the books. This will not only get you out of your head a little, it will also help you understand yourself.

5. Spend serious time with friends. Do fun things with other and smile again.

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While I wouldn't have worded it that way, at least it has all come to an end

QUOTE]

 

I know my anger is clear, but I want him to know exactly how I feel.... No one EVER confronts him or tells him how it is, he deserves nothing less...

 

What do you feel was wrong with it?

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While I wouldn't have worded it that way, at least it has all come to an end

QUOTE]

 

I know my anger is clear, but I want him to know exactly how I feel.... No one EVER confronts him or tells him how it is, he deserves nothing less...

 

What do you feel was wrong with it?

 

 

I'm not saying anything is wrong with it, just that I would not word it that way. But how I would do things doesn't matter. Will you try the things on the list?

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Hi It'sallgrand...

 

Well, I do at least know that it has to be over this time. I cannot stay on this crazy ride any longer. Some of the things he has been telling me over the last few days defy belief really - how he has been constantly telling her that there will always be a chance they could be together again despite telling ME constantly that he loves me and wants to be with me.

 

I am angry and really hurt but I also feel stupid, stupid that that I let the first lie go all those months ago...repeatedly allowed him back in just to hurt me again...

 

I know it will fade, and I know I have to take the good advice on here and look at myself now...but it just hurts SO much.

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So he is starting to fess up now that you've put your foot down? And you are still in contact with him?

 

I'm so sorry to hear you are hurting. But on the good side - at least this hurting has to do with truth - it's based in something real, you can work from that. Actually feel it and release it.

 

It's the other kind of hurting that is the hopeless kind, because it just goes on and on upon itself.

 

You might be pleasantly amazed at how strong a woman you really are underneath all this, and what you will see is in you. Good for you. Seriously. It takes guts to face these things.

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