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Dr. Steve
Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience:  19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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So, my boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship

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So, my boyfriend and I have been in a long distance relationship for 5 years. We have been seeing each other at least twice a year. We were planning on getting married even if we had some problems as he has not finished a degree and he has to find a job when he moves here from his country. He is an only child and has been very spoiled by his family. We were having problems because as soon as he started working he developed friendships with women and I told him that he had to be carefull because in a long distance relationship it is dangerous to see other people. So as I was telling him he cheated on me. He lied for months about it and even told me I had to go to therapy because of my jealousy. The woman got pregnant and she contacted me and told me all the dirty details of the affair. She aborted. He now wants to fix things with me. I cant seem to forgive him it hurts a lot. Keep having flashbacks, our wedding date was suposed to be dic 26. I am scared he is still seeing her.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 4 years ago.

Hi Customer:

Um... listen, this may not be a popular answer, and it is totally from a male's point of view, but c'mon mcf - is it worth all of this? This is a guy who you have seen (roughly) twice a year, and for a good shot of that time, he was seeing somebody else anyway? I think you are answering your own question.

Well, sort of. You didn't really ask a question, but the subtext is that you want somebody to tell you that this is messed up. Believe me, this is messed up. And I'll say this too: these type of relationships have a VERY difficult time sustaining themselves once the parties actually live together. You have formed a relationship with certain parameters in place. Once those parameters are violated, it will be like starting over... and you may not actually like the person who you are now married to because they are not the same person you knew "long distance."

Look, I am not trying to kick you in the shins here, but if you honestly don't think you can do better than this fellow, please take a look at your own self esteem. Who would put up with that and then still have a fantasy about the relatiohship working out? Not saying you do carry that fantasy, but are you really considering "working this out?" Plus, think about how slimy he was to try to turn this whole thing back on you as if you were the one with a "problem." There is a good chance this will be his motus operandi once you are married, too.

Imagine having children by him and then receiving a similar phone call or email from a different woman.

Nope... I have been doing couples work for a long time, mcf. This one has "uh-oh" written all over it. Sorry.

My verdict? Unless you are having trouble sleeping, functioning, etc. I would not think of you as a candidate for medication. Plus, you SHOULD feel rage! Feel it, mcf. Feel it and learn from it so you don't run into the same bug zapper again and again and again! Be good to yourself. At some point, your self-worth is going to kick in and you will see reality more clearly. In the meantime, I DO think you are a good candidate for therapy. And not just to "get over this" issue, but to help you structure future relationships in a way that keeps you on more equal footing with your partner, and also to help you recognize a raw deal before it sneaks up on you and you feel so doggone betrayed.
Be good to yourself - find a therapist and start to work on self-esteem.

P.S. to make the decision to get married "even if we have problems" is a red flag right from the word go. Get good with YOU so that you can get with someone who is also good to YOU.

Thanks!

Dr. Steve

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The problems that we had were mostly about money and practical stuff of he moving here. Also the fact that he has not finished college and I am a Phd student. We did see each other often in 5 years. from two weeks to six months each time.
He is also putting on me a lot of the responsibility of this situation he claims that my jealousy made him stray initially. That he hasn't done anything. I just don't understand why he does not leave me. Why does he want to work things out. I recently had health problems and he came to visit me and took care of me. This confuses me. He cries all the time and says he feels guilty for what he did. But I wonder if it was because I found out. How he could think that he could go on with that?He saw her for around 6 months. And he lied lied and lied.
My question is: How can I know he really wants me to be with him or he is using me somehow? How do I let go? He seems frustrated because he says he is trying and that I am always angry at him and if he disapears for a while I start having flashbacks. He said he did a "truce" with her so that they could work together, but then one day he went to eat dinner at a friend's house and he said she was there. That he arrived home early to because he felt bad she was there.. to me this is bull.. i dont know...
We had a good and loving relationship.. hard sometimes.. how do I know if he is still lying and how do I let go of this so I can move on and improve my self esteem, I am trying, I am meditating (not medication) but it doesnt seem to take things off my mind. I suffer from anxiety disorders and this has worsened my condition.
Expert:  Dr. Steve replied 4 years ago.
Hello again, mcf:

(I am taking a deep breath here)... Okay, I hear what you are saying regarding the nice things he has done for you and the weeping and the wanting to make up. It is going to mess with your head, especially because this is a guy you have put a LOT of time into. It is hard to walk away from that "investment" (for lack of a better metaphor).

LIsten, it's not the lying I am worried about. Most people will lie when they are facing such a remarkably unpleasant consequence as hurting somebody you care about. No, whnat concerns me the MOST - and this should be on the front burner of your mind too, BTW - is that

(1) he turned this onto you (AND it sounds like he is sticking with that story even after the initial storm blew over - is he arrogant enough to think it was YOU who forced him to CHEAT???) and took zero responsibility himself. Yeah, he might have paid lip service to responsibility, but botXXXXX XXXXXne: he is pushing blame here

(2) he cheated on you! I don't think that bears repeating, but that is never a good idea. If he wants to be with someone else, so be it. If he wants to be with you, then WORK IT OUT before you cheat. This was not a one-night stand, either, mcf. It was a 6-month affair! and

(3) IMHO, he is trying hard because he (on some level) knows that he can twist you into accepting fault. Regardless of his behavior, he can push blame. Guys who default to this absence of responsibility need to "test" women until they find one who will "fit" their personality.

And sorry about the meditation mix up... I realized my mistake after I hit "send" But seriously, whatever you decide (and you may decide to go back with him, which is fine as long as you don't let him twist blame into you) seek a therapist and s/he will help you start to feel better on a global as well as an acute level.

Thanks!

Dr. Steve

Dr. Steve, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 370
Experience: 19 years conducting therapy; book author; newspaper columnist; former co-host of radio show
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