Dear Ms. HeartBeat:
I’ve read many of your columns over the years, and there seems to be many women who are out there in love with men who don’t seem to love them back. I’ve also read the ones from the men who acted foolishly, then realized the error of their ways.
I, too was (am) in a similar situation, where we talked of marriage, kids, a life together. We had a great relationship, intimacy, spectacular sex life, etc. for more than two years. However, just as things were about to take off to the next level, the usual crap started. He started finding fault with insignificant things, told me I didn’t understand him, etc. But here’s the kicker: he wouldn’t break up!
Ms. HeartBeat, we’re not teenagers or lost little students… we’re both college educated professionals in our mid-20s, with excellent incomes. We both own our own homes, have nice cars, great credit, etc. He claims he works hard and I should understand that he’s tired and grumpy
. Well damn, I work hard and I get tired too, but I don’t take it out on those I love!
I offered to leave amicably, but he said he didn’t want that. Finally, I got so fed up, I followed the sage advice you’ve given others and told him I wanted nothing more to do with him since he didn’t seem to think I was worth the effort. During the following weeks it hurt so much I couldn’t even cry because of all the pain I’d already been through. Despite this, though, I felt I was going in the right direction by moving on.
Then BOOM, out of the blue he called. I happened to be out of town on a business trip, so we just spoke for a long time on the phone as if nothing had ever happened. I let it go. We spoke again a couple of days later and I tried to bring it up, but he said he didn’t want to argue anymore, he’s sorry, and can’t things just go back to “normal.”
He asked me why I couldn’t just let things be, but I can’t just sweep all that under the rug. I’ve never been in a situation like this before, and I thank God every day that up until now, I’d never experienced any awful drama or pain like the outrageousness I’ve read in your columns.
Please don’t berate or scold me. I realize this is not the optimal situation, but do you think anything is salvageable? If so, what are the appropriate steps to take? What’s your opinion on second chances? I remember in one of your columns, you received a letter from a man who realized he hurt his woman and wanted her back. How would you have advised the woman that he hurt so badly?
I thank you in advance and welcome your response.
Dear Need Direction:
When a relationship ends, there is always a reason. For problems leading to that breakup, there are reasons. The problem with his approach to your breakup is that he doesn’t want to deal with it. He prefers to pretend that there are no reasons, and that the behavior which you found so disturbing didn’t happen.
I know you, like most young women, are tempted to go along with it. In spite of you saying you can’t let it go, the fact is you wrote me to ask for direction. That means you are considering his lame proposal. But let me warn you… if you go along with that stupidity, you will find yourself right back in the same boat of unhappiness you so bravely escaped from.
We are supposed to learn from history and from our mistakes, or we are doomed to repeat them. Some people repeat the same mistakes over and over and over again until they get their head bumped enough times to get a clue. I would hope that isn’t you.
Bottom line here, if he refuses to address the problems and issues you two have, don’t bother yourself about him. In my column too many women let feelings of love turn them into complete fools about some man. Women really need to take charge of their lives and their relationships, and stop letting men run these games.
Before you even consider seriously getting back together with him, you need to know why things deteriorated and if they are fixable or not before you go wandering back into something that might make absolutely no sense. You need clear and verifiable answers to the following questions:
- What was going on with him that he stopped caring about your feelings and the relationship you two were building?
- Why did he let things deteriorate to the point you had to leave him to save yourself?
- What was he thinking that made him pick up the phone and call you?’
- What was he doing with himself and his life during your time apart?
- What about him, his life, his thinking, etc. is different now vs then?
- How are those differences going to improve communication and intimacy between the two of you?
- What does he offer that you can’t get from someone else and possibly should?
- What is his end game – dating forever, moving in together, marriage?
You also need to quit trying to play the victim role by saying “he won’t break up.” Luckily you did, or you know I would have gone smooth off and done my scolding/berating thing no matter how much you begged (smile).
Anyway, those are my suggestions for how to handle this situation.