by Too Helpful
(San Antonio, TX)
I just recently got out of a relationship with a man who has all sorts of issues (trust, respecting women and anger). He had been staying with me since he was released from the US Army. To somewhat summarize the situation, I received a text messages from one of my friends (a guy). Then he started redirecting and getting angry at me for an unwarmed bowl of chilli. He didn't just get angry, he started calling me names, cursing and threatening to hit me. He had done this once before and I had told him to get help. The first time, he said he would, we got back together and then he never did.
So, immediately after his screaming and hollering, I asked him to give back my key, get his things and get out.
Three days later, we was calling my phone apologizing and then three days after that he was asking me if I would give him another chance if he got help.
I told him I would but he had to get help first. Well, that didn't last long. Three days after that, he was asking if we could meet up. I told him no and he got really upset. He didn't call me or make an effort for three more days. So, of course, I started feeling bad. So I sent him a text and he was very cold to me. He told me to keep going out and meeting guys and the only reason I had texted him was because I was lonely and my friends were busy. I just started laughing and apologized for the original text I had sent him. I haven't heard from him since, that was 2 1/2 weeks ago.
I'm very depressed but I haven't called him. As tempted as I am to talk to him, I refuse to give in. I can't understand why I am the one to be depressed. It's driving me crazy. I knew of his trust issues before we started getting serious but I thought I could help him trust women again. I was always trying to mend our relationship. I'm always trying to help and fix and all it does is give me heartbreak. I don't know what to do. It makes me sad when I think of how he thinks of me. I don't want to care, but we were together for 2 years and he still doesn't know me. He thinks I'm going out all the time and meeting guys and that has never been what I'm about.
I keep thinking about what I could have done differently. I wonder if I should have just give him the third chance or let him see me. I was just so fearful that nothing would have changed. I wanted him to trust me and I wanted to help him trust me. I keep blaming myself and I am about to lose my mind.
You gave him plenty of opportunities to get help. Many women would have kicked him out the first time and been done with him. You gave him a chance and he blew it. Consider yourself lucky that he isn't harassing and stalking you after a couple of weeks of shutting him out of your life. You made a clean break. Feeling depressed and doubting yourself is normal at this point, but if you give in to the guilt, you will most likely just repeat the cycle all over again. He will start to see that he can always count on you coming back to him no matter how he treats you. His motivation to change will be zero. And your self-esteem and self worth will be in the toilet.
You did the right thing. Now be strong. Just because it's emotionally painful to let go of him doesn't mean you made the wrong choice. In fact, the most dysfunctional, abusive relationships are often the ones that are the most painful to leave.
Decide how you want to be treated, and don't accept anything less. Actions always speak louder than words. Empty promises mean nothing.
If you want to help yourself to let go, I suggest Meridian Tapping/EFT. It's an excellent way to release painful emotions quickly, and to free your mind from repeated thoughts (like thoughts about your boyfriend, or loneliness, or guilt feelings).
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist