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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Hello, Jen(?). Wanted to give you an update on my relationship

Customer Question

Hello, Jen(?). Wanted to give you an update on my relationship saga (the 6year one that may break up for no reason). Think things will work themselves out. He called the other day to say hello and chat a bit. Last night, he texted me because he couldn't sleep and needed someone to talk to...we had a long text chat...got him to admit he missed me. Now today, he's a little standoffish, not wanting to confirm or deny what direction he believes our relationship will take.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Welcome back. That is so good to hear. However, I do understand why you are afraid to have that talk. Try not to worry. What happened recently is a good sign. He is still probably depressed as well as confused, but he is making effort. I would have this talk whenever you feel he is willing. Maybe somewhere over coffee would be nice or whatever you both enjoy. Being in a relaxed setting may take the edge off. At the talk I would focus on him and seeing how he is doing. Show your concern. Have a good time together and ease into the talk about your relationship going with the flow and following his lead. See how much he can handle. The entire conversation about the two of you may take even 3 meetings if you want to take things slow. That is okay. I think its better to go slowly in order to not scare him away or put too much emotion on him. I would try and let him lead the conversation. That way you will see what he is ready to talk about. If he does not mention it then you can start and see how he responds from there. In any case focus also on enjoying the time together as well. Make that a priority because this can cause him to remember how good it is to be with you and what he is missing by allowing his depression to overpower him. These actions can even speak louder than words.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He already misses being with me...told me that yesterday. The text chat late last night was a surprise to me. Shows me that he still does want that connection and still does rely on me when he's really upset & worried about something. I tend to be ble to calm him down. I was chatting with him today, trying to get him to really answer my concern about where he thinks WE are going. He kept dancing around the questions, not giving me any answers or reassurances. It's almost as if he is trying to keep me clueless on purpose. I ended up very annoyed with him and told him I believe he has decided for the both of us our relationship has come to n end and he doesn't quite know how to tell me. Told him if that's the way it is, then just say it and move on. It would be sad, yes, but nothing I couldn't deal with. FINALLY, he admitted where he's at. He says that the only thing he meant was that he is going thru a lot of stressors, has too much on his mind, and thought that our relationship was heading down a bad road. He never said or meant our relationship was over. If he woud ave just told me that in the beginning, there woud be no issue. It's almost as if he was deliberately not giving me the direct answers I wanted/needed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Hi Jen. I notice that some experts have actual live chat sessions. would it be possible to perhaps schedule a chat session with you? I believe you have given me the most helpful advice with regards XXXXX XXXXX issue. Please let me know if a chat session is possible.

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Hi,
Hi,

Hope all is well.
I am so sorry I never saw your reply from the 3rd. If I had seen it I would have surely responded and yesterday I was offline, so since I got this last reply I was able to see the other too.

I think he was thinking the relationship was going down because of his issues, so he seemed to assume that due to that it would go down. That is what it sounds like to me. He probably did not mean it was over, but feels he may mess it up due to his depression.

Sure, we can schedule a time to do a chat if you prefer that. I am so glad I can help. Let me know if you have any updates.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You may have gotten this post several times already. If so, I apologize. I can't tell if you get notified of posts directed toward you, of if my post went up for any expert to answer. I am really looking for an immediate answer, as I'm anxious to contact him, but would much rather obtain your advice.Hi Jen. It's "andi1253" again. I have a short question for you. You are aware of the problems with the relationship with my boyfriend (our 6 year one that appears to be ending overnight). Last night, I was looking back & reading old texts (from June of this year) & I've noticed that I had treated him badly several times, which he handled extremely well. Looks like I was upset with him quite often and he sometimes admitted to being afraid to say anything for fear of getting me mad. Already Tried: Also, whenever he didn't hear from me for a little bit, he automatically assumed I was upset with him. That's not the kind of partner I ever wanted to be with him. I never recognized it before. (we are now taking time apart, but he doesn't want me to give up on the relationship yet. We both think time will straighten itself out since we were EXTREMELY close for our entire 6 yrs. my question is, should I contact him and apologize for treating him so badly?I want him to know how sorry and embarrassed I am, & I never want to be a partner he is always in fearbof making me mad. (I admit I was having bad mood swings over the summer because I am going thru menopause. My emotions did feel out of control sometimes)
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Hi Andrea,

I think that is wonderful that you were able to look back and see what you did not like and want to change. No one is perfect, but takes a strong individual to be able to admit faults and want to change. I would do what exactly you told me. I would let him know you are so sorry and exactly how you told me I would tell him. There is no special way to say it I would just let it be straight from your heart. This is how we grow and change into the people we want to be. It is never too late to change. We are constantly improving. It is sad when people get "stuck" in their ways and unable to see their faults, so I commend you on this. Don't feel bad and guilty, but just let him know this and now that you are aware try and make steps to change. Since this can be a habit it may take work to change by you staying aware, but in time it will be natural. However, you really do have an excuse that is true. Menopause can really change a person's attitude.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.!!!!! I really wanted to tell him this ASAP, but wasn't sure if I should wait for him to contact me first. I'll write him an email now. I just hope that i wasn't bad enough to ruin thus relationship. (we did have very happy times since the summer, so I don't know what to think). Funny, once I asked him over the summer if he noticed my mood swings. He said he wasn't sure if he should answer that, because he didn't want his answer to make me mad. He thought it was "a woman's loaded question; sort of like "do these pants make my butt look fat". LOL
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
No problem. It is my pleasure.

LOL that sounds like a good response on his end. He sounds like a really sweet guy. Maybe by saying this it will clear a lot of the air and make him more comfortable to talk with you about anything. This can improve the relationship as well. You can do it by email if you want, but what do you think about face to face or the phone?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We are not in a comfortable enough place to deal with each other on the phone, or in person quite yet.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
That is understandable. Then email is just fine.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Email has been sent. He's working on a project for his parents "his Sonny-Do" list of chores...but will sit down & read it when he is finished. May I update you on his response (if any)?
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
That sounds good! Of course you can update me. Anytime at all! I am here for you! :)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Im not sure how to take hs response. He tells me to please, please, please do not blame myself for anything. I did nothing to drive him to where he is now. This is all his own screwed up head and he can't bear the thought that I am hurting because of him. He's sorry to be "a mental mess at my expense". I really did not intend for him to start hurting more because I pointed out my bad behavior and believe I have not been a good partner sometimes.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
He seems to be thinking that you are blaming yourself for this, but I don't believe you are doing that. You just saw you were not treating him the way you felt you should have. I would let him know that you are not blaming yourself for what he is going through, but explain how you realized what you did due to your menopause and wanted him to know that you are sorry and will change. Let him know you do not want him to hurt more because of this or feel guilty. You just simply want to be better in any way you can for yourself, him, and relationship. Regardless of how he is feeling you are not happy with that behavior and since you realized you can change now.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you...that is pretty much what I told him.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
No problem! That's good :)
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jen. It's "Andi1253" again. I'm going thru very rough time right now & looking for advice. So far, things have not progressed between my boyfriend & I. He still won't set time to get together for our chat (think he's nervous). He still does not want me to totally give up on US, but says he needs time. He calls and texts to say hi and update me on his activities. But, he does not lean on me anymore for much support (says he needs to push himself through). I'm afraid I am not strong enough to patiently sit back and give him much more time. I wish I were! Since I don't see any progression at all, I just don't see how we can come out of this intact. The waiting, and dealing with him pushing me away & not talking about how he's feeling, is tearing my heart out. I'm just about to the point where I want to tell him to just gather my things together, either me or my daughter will go pick it up, and let's just end this and stop dragging it out. On the other hand, I really do not want to lose this relationship that has been so close for many years. Really don't know what to do right now.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I am sorry things have not progressed. I understand how frustrating this must be for you. He may feel like he was dependent on you and wants to learn how to be dependent again. However, the way he is handling all of this and not letting you know anything is really unfair. At this point I would consider giving him an ultimatum. Let him know that you both really need to talk and he needs to be willing to let you in if the relationship is going to continue. Explain how you will be there for him if he is going through something and that you are very understanding, but can not just sit in the dark. If he is going through something then he needs to let you know or else its better to just end it now and not drag it any further. Let him know that you really want to be with him, but without communication it is impossible. I would really consider doing this at this point because regardless of what he is going through it is going a little too far now and he not considering you or your feelings especially how things just changed overnight with no explanation or communication.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, this is not fair to me at all. I did nothing to bring this on, and feel like I (and even out of respect for our relationship) deserve an answer to what is/has happened. It's just very heartbreaking to see this end for no reason. I do want to give him that ultimatum, but on the other hand, I feel that if I loved him like I should, I should him him the time he asks for. He HAS to learn to deal with hard times in a relationship like an adult and not just think if he waits long enough, problems will magically disappear. It is very hard for me to end a relationship with someone whom I still deeply love.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
I understand what you are saying. You can wait longer if you like. I just feel the ultimatum may make him think about this a little clearer, but I respect the fact that you do not want to take that risk right now. I agree with you that if you love him enough you will wait, but you do need to think about yourself as well. The same goes for him if he loves you enough he will at least talk with you to give you some type of feedback about all of this. Your right problems don't just magically disappear and the way you both were before it makes it all the more heartbreaking. It really is up to you how long you want to wait for him, but hopefully he will at least talk with you about this soon in order for you to get some direction in all of this. Even if he needs space that is fine, but it is only right out of respect to you to let you know what is happening or he thinks is happening. Even if he does not know he should at least meet with you and let you know this as well.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you!!! As always, you really do give me solid advice. I appreciate your patience while listening to me. :-)
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Anytime for sure. :). It is my pleasure to help. I am just an email away whenever you need! Try and stay strong and take care of yourself.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Jen: I came to a point where I just could no longer sit back and wait for my BF to "get his head back on straight" without having any clue why he needed this time. I had tried again over the last few days to get this chat started or even just scheduled. He would not commit. We had been chatting both over the phone & mostly text, but ll chats were about his father's failing health. I know he feels very sad and scared right now because his dad is losing his cancer battle. With that being said, the other day I did put my thoughts down on paper and ended up giving him the ultimatum. All I asked for was that we have our chat, so I wouldn't be so clueless as to what's going on. I made it clear that I loved him deeply; did not want to see our relationship end; but I could no longer give him the "time" he asks for, without know why he needs this time. Told him I would be willing to give him all time he needs, but we needs to clue me in. Without outer talk, I would HAVE to put closure to him & our relationship because I just can't do this anymore. After reading this letter, he sent me a text saying it truly hurts him to know what he is putting me thru, & he is very sorry. He asked that I please give him time to get his thoughts down on paper, as I did...said he believes he can help me better understand where he is coming from. Jen, sending that letter was the hardest thing I ever had to do and I really did not want to send it (with his father's failing health, I feel like I just "kicked him while he was down). I feel like I just forced the closure of this relationship. If/when this happens, I don't think I'll ever be able to believe it was for the best...i really feel as though I just kicked him while he was down, and I just hurt him more.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I am so sorry you feel that way, but I do think you did the best thing. You were hurting and you gave that thought before you wrote it. You did not write it on the spur of the moment. I remember last time we spoke you did not want to write it, but I guess now you decided it was for the best, XXXXX XXXXX did not react on the moment. You were going through a difficult time and we all need to make decisions based on our current information and feelings. There are pros and cons with each decision, but I think you did what you needed to do. What you wrote sounded very good and not that you were ending it at all nor wanted to. You were clear that all you were doing was simply asking that he opens up to you at least with a clue. You also made it very clear that you would give him all the time in the world if you have some sort of clue, so I do not think you asked for much at all. You are being very fair and considerate. You do deserve to be let in and its not like you told him "get better or I am gone". What you wrote was nothing near that. Personally I really do not think you kicked him while he was down. He does understand that you are a good woman doing all you can and his response showed that. He knows that it is his issue and you deserve this talk. Based on his response it seems that he just wants to organize all his feelings since he may be worried it will come out the wrong way. You have been very patient and a very good woman. Try not to feel guilty or bad because you also need to think about your feelings. Meanwhile you are not being selfish at all. You are being more than selfless and caring, but how can you help if you have no clue. It is only fair to the both of you. I hope that he opens up and now let's you in, but just think of if you didn't write it how much longer could you have been able to stay like that. It could have went on for months more and that could have made you get fed up and possibly risk the relationship in a worse way. Being open and communicating in the moment is so important to avoid built up resentment and that letter served that purpose since he was not willing to talk. I really do not think you asked for much plus the letter shows your love and compassion. Your actions alone prove this as well.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. You made me feel a little more at ease. It took me two days to finally decide to send him this letter. I did not want to give him an "ultimative", unless I am prepared to back up what I say. Much as it hurts, I am prepared to follow through...but I believe that I won't have to. I know that this finally forced the dialogue to start. I'm actually nervous to hear what he has to say. I had been speaking with my mother, and she believed that if I sent him this etter, was like kicking him while down, it would definitely force our breakup. She thought I should dit back and say nothing and wait for him to straighten out on his own. I just could not do that anymore, as I felt I deserved some kind of explanation. Don't know how long it will take him to get this letter together, but I know he will. I did not want these letters to be our actual chat, but the beginning of our dialogue. I do feel a little more at ease now that I sent it. Needed him o know that I can only put up with so much...depending on what his letter says, if I understand what is happening with him, and he keeps communication open, I WILL be able to give him time to sort through things. Hoping we are now on the road to start working our issues out.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I do agree with you and think that you did the right thing. I, too believe this is the beginning of the actual talk. This can help put you both on a new level of closeness and maybe he will see how he can confide in you even more than he thought so.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1140
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
Jen Helant and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hope you are right...just hoping this will not force us to end. But, much as I care for him, I dont want to stay with someone who doesn't really want to be with me anymore.
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
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Jen Helant
Jen Helant
Counselor
1140 Satisfied Customers
I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.