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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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After 8 months of dating my boyfriend and I broke up. It was

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After 8 months of dating my boyfriend and I broke up. It was an unhealthy relationship and we had both recently broken up with our previous partners. It was not a good relationship so we broke up in a bad way.
Then due to a life circumstance we had to meet again and we started hanging out and supporting each other. We just hung out and had fun as friends.
During this time he realized he had feelings for me. I never saw this outcome so I was doing everything to move on even though I was falling for him.
A month ago he told me he loved me and wanted to try this. I agreed. We have had our issues but we have been able to work through them.
he has huge trust issues. As I was trying to move on from him, while on vacation, I kind of dated one of my friends. When my bf and I got back together he found out about my friend and asked me to stop talking to my friend for a while.
I did...
Last week my boyfriend and I got in a fight and while he took the time to cool off and I was just doing my own thing, my friend who I had dated texted me and I was just having a normal conversation with him. He calls me pet names, but he does that with everyone. It doesn't mean anything and I was just talking to him normally...
On Saturday while I showered my boyfriend went through my texts and saw texts from a friend who has a girlfriend and thought my friend was flirting (all he had said was hi, how are you, hows life). And then saw my friend who I had dated had texted me and called me sweet names.
My boyfriend said he saw the messages and he said that he loves me deeply but his heart cannot take suffering so his heart is telling him that we need to go separate ways.
I had prepared the most romantic weekend to finally tell him how much I love him. (he was insecure because he said i did not feel as he did... and yeah I was scared, and yeah he had hurt me a lot and I had to be sure I wanted to be in a relationship so I took my time to say things)/.
I was going to tell him I had realized I had moved on from my ex and did not want anything with anyone sand I was ready to just be fully committed to him...
I explained this and he said to not make it harder than it already was. He said it was goodbye. I said it was unfair so he said maybe we could talk later.
I texted him saturday night and just said I knew I made a mistake and I loved him and was ready to accept what that meant and act accordingly. He didnt respond.
I am giving him space but I dont want him to think that I do not care about him. I dont want to smother him and I want to respect his decision if it is to be over. But we did not get closure, we did not talk. Basically he saw texts, he said he could not trust me and he broke up with me. He said he was mad and needed to be alone.
He said he knew it would hit him eventually and maybe he would regret his decision.
He's leaving on vacation for a week. I want to see him this week and tell him that I respect his decision but I also want to say before we move on that I think we deserve another chance and that I love him and that I take responsibility for my actions and never meant to hurt him.
I didn't cheat on him... I didn't do anything wrong. I understand I would be mad but I have been in the position before in which I have found out he has lied and I have listened to the why and decided if it is worth keeping on trying or no.
What shall I do? Shall I just let him go?
Or is it ok if I try to talk to him this week before he goes on a trip? I want to show him that I care and I feel that if I don't say anything or call him he will think that I don't care and that I am happily texting the world and other guys.
When I said that I loved him before he left on Saturday he asked if that was true and if it wsa true that I saw a future with him.
I do, and he confessed he had talked to his family and said I inspire him and he sees a future with me.
I know he is hurt and he has every right to be. But I think it is also unfair to not try to work things out or at least to talk in a calm manner.
Advice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

This is a complicated situation...made all the more complicated because of his standing issue with trust and your talking to this other guy.

Customer:

ok

Dr. L :

And...then there is the pressure of him going on vacation and your wanting to at least clear the air. Which...I agree...ought to happen before he leaves.

Dr. L :

So...what steps do you take from here?

Dr. L :

First off, you text him on Saturday and got no reply. It seems you made a good effort to explain your behavior, apologize, and ask to be heard.

Dr. L :

Good move.

Customer:

ok

Dr. L :

There is a concern here that you might smother him if you push too hard at this point. As...yes...he does need some time to think through what happened and to decide what he wants in his future.

Dr. L :

What do you think is the most urgent thing you want/need to tell him?

Dr. L :

Let's look at that reply before we proceed...okay?!

Customer:

Here's the deal... I understand he is mad and I understand he is hurt. He has every right to be hurt. On the other hand, I know I was not doing anything to hurt him and if anything I had just talked to my friend and to all guys he was jealous of about having a boyfriend and needing space. Thing is, he never got to hear the great speech I had planned for our romantic night.

Dr. L :

Okay...let me clarify...

Dr. L :

He is mad.

Dr. L :

He is hurt.

Customer:

when he saw the messages and broke up with me and left my house we were able to talk for a bit and he kissed me and hugged me and held my hand and just said he needed to leave... I was able to say how I feel, which I reinforced with my text. But I also think it was not the right moment to talk. I don't want to smother him...

Dr. L :

He is also jealous.

Dr. L :

He is also distrusting.

Dr. L :

He wants/needs some space to think through his feelings

Customer:

and I am willing to wait to talk to him. I think that I should just give him space. But I also think that if I don't try to talk to him he will take it as me not caring.

Dr. L :

You had a great speech prepared about how you love him...but that never got said properly or fully.

Dr. L :

I agree...that he needs space...but if you don't talk to him you risk him leaving town thinking you don't care.

Customer:

exactly

Dr. L :

So here is how I see it....

Customer:

I dont think he will take my call... and I kind of think I should just go and knock on his door

Dr. L :

#1. Don't call/text/or go to his house.

Dr. L :

He wants and needs space.

Dr. L :

#2. Take your great speech, condense it down, and put it in a nice romantic card.

Dr. L :

Get the card to him...via U.S. Mail. Have a friend drop off. Whatever you need to get it to him before he leaves town.

Dr. L :

Let the card do the talking for you.

Customer:

all I want to tell him is that I understand he is mad and hurt. And I assume responsibility for what I did. I never meant to hurt him and I know what my mistake was. I want to tell him that I love him and that if the decision to just go our separate ways is definitive, I respect that and I will let him go.

Dr. L :

That way...you get your message across...but you are not intrusive...he can read when he is ready.

Customer:

But I also want him to know that I would like another chance.

Customer:

ok

Dr. L :

Yes...very good. That's what I would put in a card. I would keep it as brief as possible so that he does not draw the wrong conclusions but gets the right message.

Dr. L :

You can sign it by saying...

Dr. L :

Would you please give us a second chance...then put your name...

Customer:

ok I will do that...

Dr. L :

And absolutely..you must say...I saw your anger, your hurt, your mistrust...

Dr. L :

It is important to validate that you actually SAW these feelings. That will tell him that you are paying attention to him...that you actually SEE him!

Dr. L :

This is a critical point.

Dr. L :

So often in life we don't think that people really SEE us...make that connection to our real self.

Dr. L :

This is what you must offer him....the bond that comes from seeing...

Dr. L :

Do you understand this point?

Customer:

I will apologize regardless and I will accept whatever the outcome. I think it was unfair to him to go through my stuff and to not let me give him an explanation. But I understand how he feels. We just have different ways of handling things.And I can see how after telling his family he sees a future with me, and waiting to go on a romantic weekend with me that I had been planning the entire week, etc etc... I can't even imagine how surprised he was to see this. So yeah I see the point and I see that I need to validate his feelings. Because they are real and he must be feeling so many different things now

Customer:

Based on your expertise, with his history of trust issues etc etc... could this situation be solved? Or should I lose all hope? He acts impusively and generally when we fight he storms off... this time though he said it was goodbye. So was he just speaking out of all his feelings in the moment. Or should I expect this to be a situation that will not come to a "happy ending"?

Dr. L :

And agree...going through you phone was breaking your privacy and there needs to be a rule about that going forward. He is a suspicious guy...that's his insecurity and mistrust coming through - but he should not have done that. Alas, it's not the time to bring that up as you have bigger fish to fry here!

Dr. L :

It sounds like he let's his feelings get the best of him and then that he likely needs a cool down period to come to his senses. The mistrust keeps him on edge...and, to some degree, is looking for negatives instead of living in the moment and enjoying the hear and now.

Customer:

i know... which is why I am letting it slide

Dr. L :

I would say that the two of you need to do some work on communication and building trust.

Customer:

yeah. He does that all the time... Takes 3 days and then talks to me again. It is a pattern he is trying to break. And yeah he said he was expecting for me to do something wrong and he found it. So that's why I wonder, is this hopeless?

Customer:

ok...

Dr. L :

I encourage you to look at the books written by Deborah Tannen. See this one for example:

Dr. L :

http://www.amazon.com/You-Just-Dont-Understand-Conversation/dp/0060959622

Dr. L :

She has written several books on this topic.

Customer:

ok

Dr. L :

I would say it's not hopeless...but work needs to be done to improve his approach.

Customer:

thank you. I will have to look them up

Customer:

ok. After I send that card, which he will hopefully read, what do I do? Just take care of myself and wait to see if he will contact me?

Dr. L :

Also..it would help if he could talk about where the mistrust came from. Was it something in his childhood...how he was raised..is it an issue about women? It would help if both of you could understand the origins of this and work to approach things differently.

Dr. L :

Yes...just wait.

Customer:

that's the issue... he hasn't given me specifics from where it comes from. But his dad has had multiple families and cheated on his mom with his mom knowing. His dad abandoned the family for a while. his brother has screwed him over in business. His ex girlfriend cheated for a super long time and chose the other guy over him

Dr. L :

You know he is going on vacation. There is the chance that he will contact you as soon as he gets the card, will contact you while on vacation, or when he gets back. Sit back and take care of you! If you don't hear from him after the vacation...call him.

Customer:

and i feel he's just looking to have his trust broken all the time

Customer:

ok I will do that then

Dr. L :

Exactly! Because look at his life...how many people have hurt him? What did these situations teach him about life?? Would seem like in his head he keeps hearing...don't trust...don't trust.

Dr. L :

He needs to be able to see you as YOU...not as his father, his brother, his ex-gf....

Dr. L :

And...feel free to say to him...I see you not trusting me. Are you thinking about me...or are you thinking about your Dad (or your brother or whomever). This will help him stay in the present and clarify for himself what he is thinking and feeling.

Dr. L :

How does all this sound?

Customer:

this sounds great. Thank you. that's actually how i was able to deal with my jealousy, insecurity and issues... by realizing that I would take my anger on the present when I was actually angry at someone in the past

Customer:

thank you. This is great advice. I guess I just needed an expert opinion.

Customer:

So I will write that letter... make sure he gets it before he goes.

Dr. L :

Very good!

Customer:

and then I will just take time to myself and wait. Hopefully he will contact me when he is back and if he doesn't I will call him. Because regardless, I think every relationship deserves a closing conversation.

Dr. L :

And yes...sometimes we just need to check with someone else to validate our own thoughts.

Dr. L :

Yes...both of you will need closure in order to go forward...otherwise everything just lingers and you have no chance to understand what occurred.

Dr. L :

I will say good night and wish you good luck in getting your words down on paper for him to read!

Customer:

thank you. have a great evening

Dr. L :

You as well!

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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