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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1386
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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My boyfriend of a year, whom I deeply loved, abruptly dumped

Customer Question

My boyfriend of a year, whom I deeply loved, abruptly dumped me about 4 or 5 months ago. It was shocking to me because I thought he loved me too and our relationship was going well. I'm a single mom and he was great to my son. I was devastated and suffered a complete breakdown. I thought we were possibly on the path to marriage. I didn't understand what I had done to drive him away, and I tried to call, email, text etc. to no avail. He wouldn't speak to me. I completely cut off all communication with me. I humiliated myself - I sent him a large Edible Arrangement with chocolate strawberries and such (it was very expensive) and attached a mylar balloon that read "I'm Sorry". Although I wasn't sure what I was sorry for. He never contacted me. So after a few weeks I just gave up. I was very depressed, but I just tried to keep myself busy. After a few months I had mostly put it behind me and moved on. But sometimes I still felt pain
and humiliation.
Fast forward - three months later he calls me from an unknown number and tells me how much he missed me and still loved me. He said he'd made a huge mistake and he was so sorry...blah blah blah
Against the advice of a few friends, I let him back into our lives. He repeatedly apologized and says he will make it up to me. I wanted to trust him so I gave him the benefit of the doubt. I worked on forgiveness and understanding. But he has never really given me a straight answer about why he broke up with me. A few times he said he just got "scared" because we were getting too close. I have a hard time understanding that answer.
I love my boyfriend, I think? He helps me so much with things like car trouble, house stuff, etc. I don't have family, so I really like feeling a part of his. My son loves him. You know the saying "love is blind" - well, I must have experienced that the first go around...
Since we had broken up - he has put on 20 - 30 lbs (he was already overweight with a big belly.) And now he actually looks like he could be in the latter stages of pregnancy. He actually kind of waddles now. I also noticed how terrible his breath is - always. I know that he brushes and flosses regularly, but I don't want to kiss him and definitely don't want to have sex with him.
I really care for him - he swears he won't dump me again. He is so good to my son and me, so I decided if I was going to salvage our relationship, I would have to address the issues - gently and lovingly of course. I am not in the best shape - but I do take care of myself, and am very conscientious of my body and breath. I don't want some supermodel! I just want to be attracted to him again.
So, I told him that I was more attracted to him when he didn't have the extra lbs and that we could work out together and I could get in better shape too. I am paraphrasing, but it was said as gently as possible. I also mentioned that sometimes I didn't want to kiss him because of his breath. (Actually his breath is always bad.)
He flipped out - called me "vain", "selfish" and "superficial". He said that he is never concerned about peoples' appearances, rather he only sees what's on the inside. He went on and on about my vanity and that I was only concerned about appearances.
The next day, I apologized and told him that I was so sorry and that I didn't mean anything I said. But, I of course I actually meant everything I said. He's such a great guy - I don't want to lose him, but am not attracted to him anymore. What should I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 4 years ago.
I understand how you feel and I know how important it is to be attracted to the person you are with. It is not about being a supermodel like you said and I agree. However, I think the problem might be the love. You said that you think you love him. This could be part of the problem. In relationships when with someone for a long time their outside apprearances change. Sometimes they gain or lose weight even worse people can actually get deformed by a tragic accident. It is sad and unfortuante, but it does happen. However, when the love is there we would not just pick up and leave due to that since we are in love with their inside we see beyond that. Yes, in the beginning we may not even start seeing someone if they looked as they would years later, but as we grow with them and love them the outside apprearance is less important. I would analyze this and think about if you really love him and want to be with him or could it be out of loneliness and not having family around. After what he has put you through this also could be why some love may have been lost and why you are seeing these imperfections in his appearance. It is best to be true to yourself in order to get what you want and deserve in order to be happy in life.
Now on the other hand there is nothing wrong with wanting to get healthy together. The problem is mainly you not being attracted to him and not wanting to be physical with him. However, you are helping him in wanting him to lose the extra weight because that could cause him to have health problems. Also, with his breath. This is serious because if he brushes and flosses regularly this could be health problems such as gingervitis, which is more serious than taken. I am not a doctor, but from what I know this can lead to heart problems, stroke, and even causing the gum line to fade and him possibly loosing all his teeth. His breath can even indicate stomach problems such as ulcers and etc. So it would be good for him to get checked out by a doctor and dentist. Like I said it is best you think about what you really want out of this relationship, but either way for his own good I would tell him you told him those things because you are worried about his health. Let him know the possibilities and health risks I explained. Then tell him that regardless of appearancce you would not want anything to happen to him and want him to be healthy. Before you speak to him I would think about how you would like to proceed because depending on that the conversation would then take a different route and outcome.
I wish you well and please let me know if I can be of further help.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You know, he has had major stomach problems. He had gastric bypass surgery a few years ago. He lost over 100 lbs. However, now he's gaining it back again.

I think you're spot on about my seeing his imperfections for the first time. It was what he put me through that changed my perception of him. I now see what everyone else sees on the outside. But you were right - I loved him for what was inside.

During our time apart, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I'm only 32. They were able to remove it easily and I just had to complete a few rounds of chemo/radiation. But, of course I was scared. I needed a friend and foolishly called him, hoping he would spend some time with me. He never responded - I cried and cried.

I made a kind friend from my church, and she advised me not to go back with him after I explained the break up and what followed.

I actually just got off the phone with him and he was angry that I cancelled our plans today and I was supposedly very rude about it. But the only reason I cancelled was because my IUD perforated my uterus and I've been bleeding heavily today. The tear has been repaired but I recently started back on Yaz, and I think my body is just reacting to the changes.

He said that I always do this - make plans and then have to cancel. He's right - it did that sometimes, but it was because I didn't feel well. He said that that was one of the major reasons he broke up with me and that I am repeating the same behavior and his life was easier when all he focused on was his career. He was divorced 6 years ago - he loved his wife, they had 2 great kids....and then she must have gotten a little bored and started cheating on him with multiple men over the course of several years. He just accepted it until she met a man she really cared for and filed divorce papers.

I am the first woman he has dated since that time. He gets very angry because he wants to do things with me and I cancel at the last minute because "I don't feel well". And he was just sick of it and sick of having to deal with a woman. Hence, he got rid of me. But he says that I need to share the blame for break up because I contributed to it. I never said I was perfect, and some of the time I didn't feel well - but now I realize - I had CANCER! No wonder I didn't feel like going out. I was sick. Today, he told me that this behavior was why he just needs to focus on work. He said I'm using the cancer defense as an excuse to stay in. I like to go out too - but In the 6 months I have been ill.

You're right; I am very lonely. I have my son, whom I love and adore. He's 8 now! I have a very civil relationship with my ex, so things are good in that department.

I've been on disability for some time because I also had a neurological disease - am I lucky or what?!?! But I landed a good job with a good law firm (I'm a litigation paralegal) and am excited! I won't be making the kind of money I used to earn, but it's a good sized firm that offers good healthcare plans, dental insurance and a 401k contribution. I start on March 11. I am scared...about everything - learning a new job is super tough, especially when there are critical deadlines. But I'm going to try!

When we reunited he told me that he had never stopped loving me, and that he missed me terribly after a couple of months went by... I now wish I would have told him to F off when he called, because I was moving on and doing well and now I'm back in the same position - hoping that he loves me and isn't going to dump me abruptly again...

What do you think I should do?

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