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Is this relationship worth fixing? (He's 24, I'm 20)


lilithia

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Hello everyone, sorry this is my first post here. I don’t really know the etiquette here so bear with me. Also I know I am young and "inexperienced in relationships" so sorry if I say something that seems so self-evident to the older. You know how we are... young and naive.

 

Ex-bf is 24, I just turned 20. Together for over 2.5 years and broke up 5 months ago. Very messy breakup: names calling, insults, numerous failed NC attempts, etc. The first reason of our breakup was because of fundamental differences over things like school and work. He is a high school dropout while I am very career-centered. Although he is trying to get back to school, he has always treated me as a clueless “bookworm” while I have always treated him as a guy who made too many wrong choices by overlooking the importance of proper education. Consequently, he always had trouble respecting my work schedule while I had trouble accepting his perpetual “poor choices”.

 

The second reason of breaking up was because he had health issues that made him very irritable and unbearable (I didn’t know about the health issues at the time). It was him who initiated the breakup in one if these “irritability phases”. I guess I can forgive him for that, since he does have medical evidence to back that up.

 

The third reason, more or less related, is his infidelity in the past. This is the reason why I did not want to take him back when he came back begging for reconciliation. A year ago (I was 18 at the time), I found out that since the very beginning of our relationship he had been masturbating online with multiple using his webcam. He had thus been “cheating on me” for more than a year since we started dating. This disgusted me and torn me apart, not to mention that when he was not masturbating on his webcam he was flirting with strangers he regularly chatted with. Still today, I immaturely resent him for it. I am not sure I can let that “cheating” go, but if the relationship is really worth fixing, I think I can try harder this time to forgive him. After all, like they say, it’s online so it’s just like porno.

 

Now, before you tell me that “a relationship like this at my age is not worth fixing”, I also want to add a few other points.

 

To be fair, aside from what I mentioned above, my ex-bf has always been a good guy. He is very affectionate, makes sure to call me every night, texts me a lot, takes care of me even when I’m puking everywhere, etc. Although today I give him the cold shoulder, he still comes around whenever I ask and even though he now lives 45min away. He also promises to do whatever it takes for me to forgive him. He has been actively trying to show me he’s changed since the breakup.

 

Second point, I started graduate law school when I was only 19. I am thus not the typical 19-year-old who is still enjoying college and has *so many fun experiences to live*. This argument will not work on me. My legal academia/career had a premature start, so it’s hard to live the “college life” even with my friends. All I do now is working on law, sleep, working on law, sleep. It’s such an isolating experience. Half of my classmates are much older, are settled down, have families, etc. I feel so jealous and alone because unlike them nobody is there for me when I go home at night. At the same time, I can’t just find anyone of my “generation” because chances are they won’t understand the pressure I am going through. My friends and their friends are still drinking, partying, and not giving a sh***t about things like law firm recruiting. All this craving for intimacy and supportive love are slowly pulling me back to my ex-bf and this is so confusing. I know we have fundamental differences over things like school and work, but his promise to “compromise” seems promising. Moreover all this “successful female lawyers have trouble in their love lives once their career starts” crap I hear about drives me to believe that if I don’t “secure” a good guy I love right now I never will later on. Like I said, despite what I said above about the cheating, I consider my ex to be a good guy and still have many, many fond memories of him.

 

So yeah, what should I do? Is this relationship worth fixing? Am I immature in not forgiving the “webcam cheating”? Given our young age, if we stick together, will we eventually grow stronger and more mature over time? Should I be more compromising and less focused on my career?

 

Many thanks,

 

L.

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If you're still torn up from what happened with him re: sexual past, I dont think anything has changed between you over these last 5 months.. have they? You're still hurt over it, so it's still there.

You cld have done some counselling trying to heal/accept this.

 

Could also be the fact of your 'yearning' because you're feeling 'lonely' and comparing yourself to others.

We need to learn how to be happy enough alone and accepting of ourselves. Also don't compare yourself to anyone else's life. That's wrong. My life is so different than many other's i went to school with.

 

I feel, with the fact over his cheating, which is still there, embeded in your brain, things cannot 'move forward' for you two. And never take someone back because of lonliness.

Another thing to consider is it may not be the same again..as it was for you two back then, before your split.

 

So, much to look into and consider. Relationships are NOT always so easy..as we 'think' they are. Make sure your heart & mind is all there and in good working order.. or it may just end up failing, again.

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welcome to ENA - you sound like a mover and a shaker! you've got good things coming your way and a promising future. I think this guy is just not right for you, and I bet you'd be better off with maybe one of your law school classmates, or maybe another guy who gets you. I think you can do a lot better.

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Agree with Ms. Darcy, there are just way too many problems and issues to sort through. I know you think it's now or never, but that's not the case. You're better off to focus on your career now and relationships second, with someone who doesn't have so many red flags and issues. I don't really see that either of you have changed anything so drastically that what tore you apart to begin with won't do the same again. And the webcam cheating--well, maybe it's just me being a skeptic--but for whatever reason I have yet to ever see someone who cheated on an SO with that and not have them go right back to it when they got bored/were having relationship problems/never stopped to begin with. It's a form of chronic cheatingversus perhaps an isolated incident between partners that can be resolved with counseling and other means sometimes, and chronic cheating means there's a huge problem with the person who's the cheater. For whatever reason they are unable and/or unwilling to stop cheating and form healthy normal attachments to a single person, and yet they aren't honest enough to be upfront about not wanting to be monogamous and share so they try and hide it. Badly as it turns out all too ofen.

 

I think you're better off to realize this may just be more about the rough time it takes to get somewhere on a chosen career path and you maybe seeing this guy as a distraction or an answer of some sort. I've been there where I used relationship drama to escape other, more pressing issues, and I can tell you it doesn't work. And alot of times you end up wasting valuable precious time and energy on something you knew from the beginning was a bad idea. I say no, just walk away and leave this guy to his own devices. He may or may not decide to get therapy or work on changing, but that will have to come from him acitively doing something about it--not just makign empty promises. There will always be people out there in your future for you to connect with, but getting a rewarding legal career is alot harder to do if you veer off the path now and find yourself tied to a guy with serious red flags and baggage, possibly pregnant and saddled with someone who won't likely be making enough money to help you continue going to law school, and only years later regretting and/or trying to start your career path all over again.

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Sweetie: NO NO NO. This is a troubled guy, very troubled. And although he is older than you it is obvious he's not half as wise and mature. Guys like that have very little orientation in life, very little drive to live as functioning adults and are likely to continue making poor choices. Consequentially, his lifestyle is very unhealthy and someone with your astounding brain, wisdom, and level of maturity will not and should not be able to conform to that. Feelings could be strong on both sides, I believe you, but the main issue is he likes to take the downward path in life whereas you're healthy and very constructive. These paths do not cross hun. Which is also why you feel isolated, you've noticed yourself your peers are still immature. As for the "female lawyers ending up lonely" argument, that is such stereotypical bull. Working on a career takes time and effort so there's less of it to build relationships, true. However, remember that most people in their late twenties, thirties and even later on often have a hard time keeping their relationships functional precisely because of someone's poor choices or irresponsible behavior. This is the achille's heel of many- you're steps ahead here because you don't have that problem despite your youth. The time and energy you'll have to make relationships work may be lesser but you're making better use of them by having your head in order. I believe he is sorry and it's nice that he's doing his best to be there for you. So maybe you two can mean a lot to one another but obviously are not compatible in romantic terms. I'd get that idea out of my head if i were you- you sound like a jackpot and those don't have to settle. There are men out there who wouldn't dream of messing up with you by doing something as destructive as what he's been doing. He'll need plenty of time to mature and take a better course in life i think. I warmly suggest you give yourself time to get over him, then put it down to experience and look forward to better things that are SO waiting for you to choose them over the misery he had to offer. I'm sorry for him and understand that you are too but don't make it your duty to pick up someone when they obviously like rolling around in filth. Getting up is a choice he'll have to make on his own and hopefully losing a great girl like you will be an eye opening thing for him. You take care of yourself for now. all the best hun, what an awesome person you sound like

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I am grateful for your quick replies! I guess I will move on now... It's hard to see the big picture when you are thrown into career-building so early in life... They tell you to focus on your career and never compromise your education for anyone, but they also tell you that work and school are not the only things in life Although education should never be the measure of someone's (ex-bf) worth, I guess deep down we are just really too incompatible.

 

Many, many thanks!

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