My first serious boyfriend and I broke up after 30 months. I still have feelings for him. We talk almost daily and he said he still has strong feelings for me, too.
He said we broke up because I was too controlling… not because of him falling out of love or no longer being attracted.
I admit I was paranoid and controlling, and I take blame for why we fought constantly. I had no reason to believe he was cheating.
I've suggested giving us another chance. He said he needs more time for us to start a friendship again. He's also said that he’ll get jealous if I meet someone else.
How do I win him back?
Tape your own words on your mirror - “I was paranoid and controlling with no reason.”
Study it, and realize that your own insecurity is your downfall. If you don’t show confidence in yourself and him, you’ll push him away again… for good.
He’s smart, by knowing what’s needed now and being upfront and honest (even admitting his own ability to get jealous).
Be friends. Talk about real things that matter to you, not just questioning him.
Have fun doing simple, ordinary things…. a hike, a bike ride, a movie. Be affectionate, but don’t rush into intimacy. Once you two have a solid relationship, you’ll both be ready to try a full-on trusting relationship.
I was previously divorced, remarried for the past year. I’m 27, and he’s 29. We don’t have any children.
Lately I’m depressed, very sensitive, and can be moody with him. However, the past few months have been hell.
We’ve had two physical fights - pushing, and he’s hit me in response. Then we got into an argument in which he threw a bottle at me and slapped me. So I called the police.
He didn’t get arrested because I refused to press charges. He’s a medical professional and I didn’t want to ruin his ability to work.
But he couldn’t accept that I called the police and he now wants a divorce.
My family’s been extremely supportive and caring for me through all of it, and all he does is insult them for doing so. He also teases me about other women, with behavior and comments, which has killed my self-esteem.
Yet I still want to be with him and can’t get my heart to follow my mind. I feel like a failure with a potential second divorce. Is it me, or do I just make bad choices with these men?
The stark reality is that your fights are becoming unsafe and potentially disastrous to you both. It takes two to create such a mess.
Protect yourself by suggesting a break to cool down before deciding on the divorce route. Get counselling for yourself, not for the marriage. He could consider doing the same, but don’t push this, or he’ll feel you’re blaming him for the conflicts.
Your emotions are topsy-turvy for fear of failure. But you need professional help to probe what’s really going on… e.g. are you depressed because you feel insecure in this relationship? Did you choose the “same guy” as before - a pattern you need to understand and change?
Do NOT cling to false hope this marriage will magically work out if you just stay together. Both of you have to be willing to do hard work on assessing what’s wrong, and then both changing your behaviours.
FEEDBACK Regarding concern about a seriously overweight friend (Sept. 3):
Reader – “Previously, I was 180 pounds overweight, and didn’t exercise. I was an emotional eater.
“Two years ago I got a better job, and moved back near family. A new doctor diagnosed hypothyroidism.
“I embarked on a managed eating plan, started exercising daily, and lost over 80 pounds, towards a healthy weight.
“There were enough things in my life making me happy that I didn’t need the joy of eating a chocolate bar.
“About severely overweight people: 1) they know they’re overweight, and that it’s a product of what they eat and how little they exercise. 2) Food is their number one coping mechanism. Criticizing their weight makes them want to eat.
“Be a good friend. Provide emotional support, be clear that you love them unconditionally, and avoid criticism.
“When your friend decides to make changes, applaud every small success. He/she’s doing a really hard thing.”
Tip of the day:
Controls and questioning do the opposite of keeping someone close.