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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5457
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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im confused about what to do, myself & my fiancee (boyfriend

Customer Question

im confused about what to do, myself & my fiancee (boyfriend of 8yrs) broke up last april, it had been on& off for yrs, mainly due to his drinking, binges/not coming home when he sayes etc/ fighting over it.came to head last april after a fight i came home to find a note on the back of out wedding brochure saying it was over, all his belongings gone. i was devastated. tried to work it out for month/two, but eventuallly stopped contact.after a while i met this guy & strated dating, hes lovely sweet puts me first everythign i wnated my ex to do. then 6 months later my ex gets bk in contact, wanting to give it another go, saying hes changed his drinking ways. hes said this before. thing is i still love him, but im not sure i believe it will be different. what should i do? forget him & move forward with this new guy or give my ex another go?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

It depends on if you feel the new relationship is a good one for you. Are you in love with your current boyfriend? Do you see a future for the two of you? If so, then you probably should continue with your current boyfriend. However, even if you do not feel your current relationship has a future, going back to your ex may not be your healthiest choice.

 

What you need to focus on is your ex's behavior. In the past, he has been in and out of the relationship with you. Then he leaves without talking with you. He has made promises and not kept them. And he has promised to become sober and has not followed through. These are all indications that he is not reliable and not trustworthy. If you decide to go back with him, trust is going to be a big problem in the relationship already. And trust is the foundation of a good relationship, so you would have to deal with this issue.

 

What you may want to consider is letting go of the old relationship and letting yourself mourn it. Whenever something ends in our lives, we need to let ourselves say goodbye. This usually means we go through a process of grief and that is ok. It is how we cope.

 

If you cannot let go of your ex, you may want to consider therapy. There could be something about the dysfunction of the relationship that appeals to you. It may be because of problems in your childhood especially unresolved feelings from neglectful, abusive, or emotionally absent parents. Whatever you feel that attracts you to a harmful relationship with your ex is what you need to work out. A therapist can help you pinpoint the issue and resolve it so you can move away from the relationship and have better and healthier relationships.

 

I hope this has helped you,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the relationship was not all bad, we get on so well& i still love him after all we have been through.do you think the relationship with my ex could salvaged exp thro couples counselling? do you think he could grow out of these habits? he is the love of my life & i always pictures us married with children. is there any hope that we could make it work?

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

You can go to counseling together, if he is willing. The key here is that he has to want to work on this and want to change. And if you want to be sure this is going to work, watch his behavior rather than listen to his words. His behavior will tell you all you need to know about whether or not your relationship will work out.

 

Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5457
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
thanks kate. so do you think i should end things the new guy im dating. & try once more with my ex? i feel torn, i still love my ex & would like it to work out im just afraid it will go bk to the same thing. then this new guy is great, its a different kind of relationship, the kind id like to have with my ex. maybe it could develop into something serious but how can it if i still love my ex?
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

I think it's probably a good thing if you spend some time watching to see if your ex has changed. Do you have regular contact with him? Do you have the chance to talk to those who know him? If he has changed, you will see it in his life and how he behaves.

 

You could also consider talking to a counselor yourself to explore your options and have an neutral person help you take an objective look at the situation. The counselor could also help you address any issues related to your feelings about your ex.

 

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
i went to a counsellor as suggested, she thought that maybe it was time to move on, & grieve the old relationship like you said. i am finding this hard to do.

my ex has since been to a councellor, they spoke mainly about the relationship & did not focus on his drinking which i feel is the issue. he sayes he will go bk but i think he is just doing this to win me bk and not for himself.

the new guy i have been dating also drinks socially, he really is lovely however im unsure about whether to continue with this relationship. last wkend he went out, arrived bk to my place & wet the bed, due to too much drink, he did it once before. we have only been dating 8 months.i was disgusted. my ex has doen this before also.

am i repeating history, could this be a sign to let go & move on?
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

It sounds like both relationships are causing you distress. It may be the type of man you are attracted to that is causing the problem here.

 

This may not be a matter of ending this relationship and starting another one. You may want to take a different approach to understanding the types of relationships you are seeking out.

 

Take a look at your childhood and see if you feel there is any connection between the relationships you are having now and what you grew up with (this would be a good topic to explore with your counselor). How was your relationship with your father? Did he drink, or did anyone else in your family use alcohol? Often, people will experience behavior like alcohol use in their families as children and grow up to seek out the same kinds of experiences with their partners and friends. They seek them out because they are comfortable with the behavior. For example, a child that grows up in a home where mom or dad gets drunk every day will often seek out relationships where their partner drinks a lot as well. It's not that they prefer this type of person, it is that they understand how to react to the drinking. It would probably feel very odd to them that someone would not drink so they don't seek out that type of person for a relationship.

 

The other reason people seek out partners like their father, mother or caregiver is because they have a need to work out the problems that occurred in that relationship when they were little. If they were not close to Dad because he abused Mom, often the kids will grow up and either be abusers or become an abused spouse. It is an attempt to deal with unresolved needs of the child that causes them to seek those like their parents when they are an adult.

 

I mention all of this because it sounds like you are establishing a pattern in your relationships. In order to change the type of relationship you seek, you need to look at why you are interested in these types of men. Once you can explore your reasoning behind your choices, you can change the type of person you seek out in your relationships and your situation will improve.

 

Let me know if you have more questions,

Kate

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
my childhood was a happy one. my parents had a loving & affectionate relationship as did i with them.neither of my parents drank. if they did it was rare,and usually together. our family was/is open,close, caring, loving. my mothers brothers are drinkers, alcoholics that is the closest i guess i have been to drink in my family. so i dont know whynit is that i have been drawn to drinkers?

my ex & current date are very different the only similarity is alcohol i guess/bed wetting

maybe time out, time to myself is best right now?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
my childhood was a happy one. my parents had a loving & affectionate relationship as did i with them.neither of my parents drank. if they did it was rare,and usually together. our family was/is open,close, caring, loving. my mothers brothers are drinkers, alcoholics that is the closest i guess i have been to drink in my family. so i dont know whynit is that i have been drawn to drinkers?

my ex & current date are very different the only similarity is alcohol i guess/bed wetting

maybe time out, time to myself is best right now?


Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 3 years ago.

Probably. It would be good to take a break and explore being single for a bit. Give yourself time to recover and be on your own for a while. That way, if you choose to get into another relationship, you can start fresh.

 

I'm glad you told me about your childhood experiences. It sounds like you were raised in a happy home. That is good because it means the last two relationships were probably just difficult ones and you can move on to better experiences in the next relationship.

 

Kate

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