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My ex-fiance and I have been dating for 7 years and have a 4 year old son. She kicked me out of the house 3 years ago for among other things my binge drinking. I am 33 years old and have been sober for 18 months. About 2 years ago after I got a girlfriend she told me she was moving away from west coast to east coast. I said if you and my son go I'm going too. So it was understood that I was going to help with the move and we would be friends. So I went about the process of telling my then girlfriend. My ex-fiance then decided she wanted me all the way back and I jumped at the opportunity. I missed being with my son everyday and I really wanted to make the relationship work. I wanted him to have a good family. I still loved her anyway. So we move to the east coast. She hates the first place we move (Virgina Beach) so I find us work and a place in New England. She then hates the cold so in August we moved to Las Vegas. Our relationship has always been a bit rollercoaster obviously. On Saturday December 10th I went to San Diego with her brother to see a Charger game. That night she went out with her sister and did not get home till 6pm Sunday Night. She stayed at her sisters boyfriend's house. I was furious. She would not answer her cell phone. I made her promise that she would be home by 3am. Now I am thinking that I was being controlling. We get over this, things apear better and the new year starts off great. We actually say that we are going to make this the best year yet. I just want to add that I trust her sexually. We had a very long term relationship before we ever had sex and she has only been with 3 men in her life. So she then tells me an old friend is coming into town and she wants to go out with him as friends (I think he is gay). He used to have a huge crush on her before we started dating. I said she could not go(controlling) she said she was going no matter what I said. She said what night do you want me to go Friday or Saturday? Finally I said Friday. I thought that because she had to work on Saturday she would be home early. I made her promise to be home by 3 am. So I stay up till 3 waithing on her of course she does not show up and will not answer her cell phone. I go to sleep when I wake up she is not there and she calls in sick to work. As the day goes on I get more and more upset. I throw 2 phones at the wall and do minor drywall damage. At 7 pm I go to her closet and throw all her clothes on the ground. She shows up at 9 pm like nothing is wrong. I am furious I yell at her and I break up with her. At first she say's no then, when she see's the drywall damage she got mad and agreed that I should move out. Financially I can not move out right now. I get up everyday with my son and make him breakfast and read to him every night before bed. The thought of only seeing him every other weekend is unacceptable. I am going back and forth as to want I want. To try to stay together or just accept that her chapter is over. I feel that if I really wanted I could get back together with her. Right now we have 1 car and carpool to and from work (not same workplace) and there is no way I can move out until Feb.1st. My son's 4th bithday in on Feb. 4th. I don't know what to do. NC is really not much of an option. I do love her and wonder if I pushed her into showing me I can not control her. Oh my goodness I am confused and hurt....


Your Brother in Pain,




P.S.: Her mother has lived with us since our son was born and she is his primary carekeeper and her sister (with her daughter who is 5 weeks younger than my son) has lived with us most of the time.

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Tim, you asked me to take a look at this for editing purposes, and I have, but as I read it, I felt I should respond.


It's good that you recognize that you're being controlling, because in some ways it sounds like you are. You've identified at least part of the problem, but fixing it is going to require help from her.


See, if you think "Hey, I can be less controlling," you might give it an honest and sincere try, but you might be focussing on the wrong things. What you should do is sit down and talk to her -- in calm, measured tones -- and tell her this yourself. Tell her that you've come to understand that you are being a bit overbearing and controlling at times, and you want to work on this, but you need her to help.


She can help by, first of all, telling you whether that's really the problem at all. If it is, she can give you specific examples of things that have bothered her, and you might find that the things that stuck out in your mind aren't what stick in hers. Knowing that will help you.


I also have to tell you -- and I don't mean to sound like a jerk -- it seems as though you may have some anger management issues. I know, I know, that's cliche. But look at it this way. We all get upset, hurt, and angry, and as a guy, I understand that *nothing* gets us as hurt and angry as when things aren't working out with women.


But there are better ways to deal with this, Tim, than throwing phones at the wall and dumping her clothes on the floor -- especially before you'd even had the chance to talk to her about it.


I'd like you to consider this for your own sake. I'm just one guy with one opinion but this is what we're here for, isn't it? Please consider that communication is better, always, always.


Here's an example. She came home, what, almost a full day after you were expecting her. You're furious. It's understandable. You're confused and hurt by her actions, and angry that she would do this. Again, understandable. What she did was obnoxious and thoughtless.


But instead of yelling at her, and driving yourself crazy and throwing things and whatever else.. you should have talked to her. No, it wouldn't be easy. It never is. But you can do it. When she came home, take her into the living room, sit on the couch, and tell her what you're feeling. Do it in a way that isn't accusatory -- focus on your feelings, not her actions. Things like "I thought we were going to spend today together, and you've been out all night and day and I haven't been able to get in touch with you. I've been worried sick and confused. Is there something wrong? Can you tell me what happened?" Then shut up and let her talk.


I said she could not go(controlling) she said she was going no matter what I said.


This is going to sound stupid, but I'm reminded of an old show called Saved by the Bell. (Anyone remember it?) It was a trite, ridiculous half-hour teen sitcom in the 80s, but those of us who were children of the 80s remember every episode. And one I remember is when Zack (the lead guy) got in a fight with Kelly (the lead girl), because Kelly's old flame came back into town for a weekend and she wanted to see him. Zack reacted the same way you did, forbidding her to go, but we all know you can't tell a woman what to do like that. She's going to do what she wants.


At the end of the show Zack finally realizes that what he should have said was something like, "Your old boyfriend? I think it's great that you're still friends after all this time. Of course you should go. And when you get back, I have a special evening planned for us, too."


Trite, like I said. Saccarine beyond the pale. But, you know what? It worked. And it would have worked for you. You'd look like the understanding guy who didn't mind if she had friends other than you, and thoughtful for wanting to take her out afterwards.


Of course, you wouldn't have to do exactly like Zack did. It was a very silly TV show, and let us not model ourselves after such things. But the point is that you can't control someone else, unless we're talking about BDSM relationships here. They can and will want to rebel. You tell her she "can't" go, so of course she's going to. You *make* her promise to be home by a certain time, so of course she's going to do what she damn well pleases anyway.


That having been said, it is really not cool that she did this in the first place. Going out with a friend, fine. Breaking plans with you to do it, not fine. Staying out all night and into the next day, not fine. And when you factor all that in with her calling in sick to work so she can spend time with.. who, exactly? And doing what? ..well, then we have a real problem, don't we?


The two of you need to communicate, and together establish that if this is going to work, you both have things you need to remember and work on. You need to stop giving orders, or making her promise to do things she wont' do anyway, etc. And she needs to remember that you take priority, and to be more considerate of your relationship, not just do what she wants and expect zero fallout.


You've got to decide what you want. If staying together is a viable option at this point, learn how to communicate your feelings, not act upon them and throw things. If you're pissed off, even if you have a right to be, then call a buddy and gripe at him, or go to the gym, or beat the snot out of a tree with a shovel, or, heck, come to this site and tell us all about it. Grab a video game and focus your anger on blowing things up. But don't lash out at her, or break things. Talk.


And if staying together isn't a realistic option, then talk to her about that too. Calmly, and again, with measured tones. I say that to keep the anger out of your voice, or any other emotion you might be feeling. Tell her why you've come to this conclusion, and together figure out how to wrap up the loose ends, like any shared property, your son, and so on. Your son is the most important part of this and she will understand that -- anything the two of you do needs to impact him as little as possible. I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, but I wanted to throw that in there.


I've rambled long enough. Keep us updated on how things are going, and come back to the site often. Sometimes, just writing about what you're feeling can help (I should know, being the king of novel-length posts around here), and sometimes it can even help to read about other people's problems and pitch in a bit of advice or understanding when you can.

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Thank you so much for your response. I agree that I handled the situation badly. I am very confused right now. We are spending lots of time together. Last night we took our son to Chuck E Cheese. Then took him home put him to bed and went out agian (sitter of course). She says that our lives have to moved forward enough in the time we have been together and she thinks she can do better alone. Instant gratification is a big problem in our life. We both make good money but we pend it even better. Our long term goals always get pushed back for short term fun. She tells me she wants to go out more so I have been taking her out more. When we go out it is very expensive. Restaurants night clubs ect. As of right now I am moving out this weekend. She talks to this friend practically every night on the phone. She still want's to date and hang out but explore other options. I am thinking as soon as I move out go NC as much as possible (except for matters regarding our son). I know she has feeling for me and I am going to move out start going back to AA (I have not starting drinking again but AA is great for dealing with inner issues). I am trying to convice myself it is over for now. Treat her with the respect she deserves as the mother of my only child and work on myself. I need to focus I things I can control (like myself and my temper). Take it day by day.

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i think that would be a very good idea. working on yourself is great and you really are more than half way there when you realize where the problems are and are willing to work on them. And i also think that doing NC where possible will be a very good idea, as you are working on yourself and you will be able to concentrate on yourself more.

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I am trying not to build up too much guilt over the throwing the phone incident. We have been together 7 years and nothing like that has ever happened before. Istill can not believe I did it. I was so hurt and fustrated. Do you think that is an absolute "deal breaker" as far as a relationship goes?

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No, but it's going to take some serious discussion between the two of you. Even if you've been nothing but a gentleman the whole time you've known her, she's going to remember the one incident where you looked like a psychopath. No matter how things end up, you should apologize, sincerely, for that and any other things you might have done that looked like you were out of control, but always remember that actions speak louder than words. Let your actions prove to her that you're in control of yourself, even when you're upset.

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