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Long-Term Relationships: Rebuilding Love After Emotional Damage

A couple having coffee together on a couch.
 

What’s “falling in love” anyway?

It has two components:

  • Part one: How the other person makes you feel about yourself.
  • Part two: How you feel about the other person.

These two parts are inextricably bound up together, and, as a matter of fact, part two follows from part one. Here’s why:

The “falling in love” kind of love, not the familial love that you have, say, for your parents or children, is about receiving. The other kind of love—the tender feelings for children, or the compassionate love that you have when you’ve been married 50 years—is about giving.

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So what is it you’re receiving when you fall in love?

You get a clear, bright, and shiny message of validation of yourself as a person. Many people can try to give you this message but it doesn’t work with other people. The one person with whom it works proves to you, in the course of being together, that he or she really gets who you are. Only someone who has plunged your depths and finds you amazing, special, and wonderful can offer this level of validation.

There may be people you have dated who feel as though they love you, but in your opinion, they don’t know you. Therefore, it’s impossible for them to validate you. Knowing the other person, genuinely knowing, is the cornerstone of intimacy. So you have allowed one person into your inner world, in the course of being together, and each step of the way you felt understood. This person, in return, continues to be intrigued by that process of knowing you, and wants more.

What could be a better experience than that?

That is part one (how your partner makes you feel). You feel exhilarated because after carefully letting down your guard to someone, this person has appreciated having been given the tremendous gift of you. Part two (how you feel about your partner) flows from this. As you let him or her into your private self, your partner did the same. And what did you find inside your partner’s heart and soul? A self that is very similar to yours!

Although opposites do attract, the fundamental, deep-down attraction comes from a reflection of oneself. Not only is this person validating you, but his very being (because it’s so much like yours) validates you all the more. That’s part two (how you feel about your partner).

(Incidentally, if you don’t see this, you do have to plumb the depths to find it. It is not on the surface. The surface includes a host of differences, but deep down you’ll find the sameness.)

So what’s “falling out of love”? The answer is: betrayal. You have opened up your soul; you’ve been vulnerable, and what did you get for it? You got hurt and betrayed. The betrayal doesn’t have to be as raw as cheating, although it can be that. But even ignoring a spouse when he or she is talking is betrayal. When this continues, the commonalities aren’t so apparent. Your spouse might be hurt, too.

Now, just suppose the two of you want to maintain the marriage. Maybe you’ve been married a long time. You may have had children together. How in the world can you get back to opening yourself up to someone who has hurt you? How can you possibly fall in love with such a person again? You are torn because it would be good to keep the relationship but the feelings just aren’t there. What can you do?

My answer is: Feeling can come back, but the process is backwards from the way it was the first time.

The first time, you just opened yourself up and there it was. You can’t do that this time. Even if you really would like to, your survival instincts won’t let that happen, and you must honor those.

Here are some steps that you both can take:

1. Your partner must prove to you, in every conceivable way, that he or she has changed. He/she must acquire the skill of patience. That is, your partner is so anxious to wish away all the bad in the relationship—which is understandable—that he/she may make you feel like he/she is more concerned with what he/she is getting out of it than what you are being offered. If your partner has truly overcome his/her hurtful behavior, then it must go along with an attitude of patience for your healing—and giving of himself/herself. It has to be about you, not him/her, this time around.

2. You must be patient, too—with your spouse and with yourself. His/her awakening to the fact that you have been deeply wounded in the relationship, and that you need to heal, will dawn on him/her slowly. Your spouse will realize that change goes way beyond no longer being ugly with you. This may take time, and perhaps help from outside sources. And you can allow yourself time to heal from the hurts of the past, because that is a natural process that cannot be rushed.

3. This is a wonderful step. It is akin to noticing how your child is improving in math or picking up a language. There is the dawning awareness that your spouse is growing. Because your guard remains up (that was number one in this list), your powers of observation are keen, and you can see that something new is on the horizon. Expected behaviors don’t happen and new, lovely ones are in their place: consideration, gentleness, sensitivity, generosity of time and effort. From this, respect and trust begin to grow. Allow this step the time it needs to unfold. The more respectworthy observations you make, the stronger your trust will be in your spouse.

4. Respect and trust will allow you to open up, little by little. You won’t have to force it; it, too, will be a natural process. There will be new things in the “you” that has experienced all this pain: guardedness, healing, and newfound respect. These are the new things that you will be able to talk about. Your spouse opens the door to intimacy when you know that he/she has heard you. You become willing to be vulnerable and open more and more.

5. In turn, your spouse will be able to talk about his/her dawning awareness of his/her past selfishness and hurtfulness and any regrets felt over them. In these admissions, he/she too will be vulnerable, and this will open the door wider to falling in love again.

What’s the upside of this difficult process? It’s more than falling in love and even more than preserving a family. It’s something rich and mature that you can’t feel the first time around: It’s a rock-solid knowledge of who this other person really is, leading to a much deeper bond, greater respect, and stronger trust than you could ever have with a new person.

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© Copyright 2011 by Deb Hirschhorn, PhD, therapist in Woodmere, NY. All Rights Reserved.

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Comments
  • elena douglas October 13th, 2011 at 2:08 PM #1

    Falling out of love does not always have to mean that there has been a betrayal. It might simply mean that the couple has grown apart and cannot seem to make their way back together again. I actually think that this could be a good thing for some couples, so that they do not waste any time on something that is not right for either one of them.

  • Bradley October 15th, 2011 at 12:42 PM #2

    There are times when I think that this is a possibility and times when it is not. If this is something where the two of you have remained together and do in all honesty still love each other, then I definitely think that it is possible to fall in love with that same person all over again. But for many couples the hurt runs too deep, and there is nothing that is going to bring those feelings back for them, no matter how hard they try. And you have to be on the lookout too, because sometimes they will appear to have changed on the surface but when you start to dig a little deeper you might find that really they have only stayed the same.

  • KM October 15th, 2011 at 2:53 PM #3

    I have been in this situation before and its not easy. When someone you thought is the closest to you goes on to hurt you it becomes very tough to deal with the situation and I even felt like I couldn’t trust myself anymore :(

  • L.Donald October 16th, 2011 at 7:48 AM #4

    Falling in love with someone who hurt you-Not an easy thing by any means but is a lot smoother of a journey when the other person truly recognizes his or her hurtful actions and comes along to comfort or apologize.

    And a no-repeat is a given-repeated hurt is something that even the mot patient person would hate!

  • uy October 3rd, 2012 at 12:32 AM #5

    The process is very well described in detail :) the interesting thing is ‘falling in love again’ takes inputs from both persons and if the other person is not willing to be genuine and do their part to ‘make up’ for the ‘betrayal’ then it leaves one with suffering alternating with numbness which eventually overtakes (ie. not feeling anything not able to feel love and not able to feel suffering either). I think its about abuse – willful, intentional abuse (which you refer to as ‘betrayal’), and not ever making amends for it which is the essential cause of the suffering.

  • james November 27th, 2012 at 6:48 PM #6

    i have the similar problem now with my gf

  • amanda December 26th, 2012 at 10:39 AM #7

    I hate that the one I love hurt me so bad that its hard to love myself. He’s back in my life and I don’t know if I could let him back in my heart , or do I do what he did to me? He seams like he’s sorry but it could all be a act. And why I think that cause he wouldent even talk to me till he seen me with someone else. IDK What to do can someone help me with what I should do?

  • Brittany January 27th, 2013 at 9:46 PM #8

    I was hurt by my ex, I caught him sending sex pics to some random girl that he talked to years before claiming we were broke up. Im falling out of love with him and I don’t think I wanna be with him anymore. I like the thought of being with someone else because I dont wanna be with a liar and a cheat. Someone tell me what to do?? We have a daughter together.

  • Laura March 16th, 2013 at 9:21 AM #9

    Hello everyone, helped me out when i thought my life is lost don’t know where its going……… It all started when the father of my two kids left me and sworn never to have anything to do with me and all effort to get him back prove to be abortive and i decided to let things be the way they are cause i felt my life is lost don’t know where its going. But Priest Andrew came into the picture and things turned out to be how i have ever wanted it to be……….I will forever be grateful to him for the rest of my life, Am so happy!!!!!!!!!! Laura

  • need marriage counseling July 12th, 2013 at 12:01 AM #10

    I ABSOLUTELY think that it’s possible to fall in love with the same person again. I you loved them once, you can surely love them again.

  • Alicia July 19th, 2013 at 4:03 PM #11

    My boyfriend said he fell out of love im 6 months pregnant , the problem was that i treated him really bad and he was the best man in the worlddd he did everything and anything he could for me i was hia princess. When he realized how i treated him he changed he sais he lost respect for me he heard rumors aboute cheating on him and makes everything worst he said he dosent want me anymore or ever want to be with me .. All he said is ” maybe with time , or maybe after you have the baby” but i i dont know out relationshil was deel and we were very comfortable with eachother . I wonder if he can ever fall in love with me again.

  • steve December 15th, 2013 at 9:47 PM #12

    Falling in love is heavenly, falling out is like being in hell. I fell out of love with my baby. She is a wonderful woman. Truly blessed. But by my actions. Betraying my baby. I fell out of love. Our relationship is long distance. Trying to figure out how to bring back that love joy happiness back. I keep ruminating on what I’ve done. Confessed and was forgiven.trying to rebuild is hard. Some days feel normal. Some feel distant. Some are really painful. Feel so lost. My world is up side down.

  • DrDeb December 16th, 2013 at 8:46 AM #13

    Hey Steve, thanks for commenting on my article – and on your sincere remorse. It truly is possible to rebuild. Remember this: Loving is giving. Your actions in betraying were not giving, not even to yourself. To fall back in love, you have to start giving. Too much focus on how rotten you feel about your actions point your attention back to yourself – and that’s not where it belongs. Good luck!

  • Alicia January 12th, 2014 at 7:14 AM #14

    My boyfriend and I didn’t know each other. We had a one night stand and he got me pregnant on purpose!! He admitted it to me and when I said never contact me again he said call me in about a month when your knocked up!! Well I got pregnant and we got together to see if this would work. We have been together now for almost a year and he has treated me like sh** the whole time! Cheating, lying, hiding, ect!! I lost the baby in April of 2013. I got pregnant again in September and lost that on in November:(! We love each other like no other but I feel the love falling on my side. He says he loves me and acts crazy and stuff when I leave. He says he’s sorry but the next day all the lies and fucking up will happen again. How do we both stop the non sense??? I’m giving up on trying!?

  • Vicky Palmer January 13th, 2014 at 1:53 PM #15

    I have been married for 19 years. I have tried to be the strong person in our marriage, I finally had decided that his jealousy and distrust in me has come to an end. I wonder days why I feel this way. I have dealt with his jealousy all these years and it is old I have given him no reason for his actions. So therefore I feel this will never change. I have told him the problem which he feels he has done no wrong in saying things putting me down , just so much he has broke my heart so bad that I don’t know if I even want to still be married. I want that unconditional love, that I see people have and when I have dealt with this jealousy for so long, I have quit talking and keep to myself just to solve the problem with all my friends and family at times it fixed things for awhile but it always came back worse, and now I have a broken heart that I have no idea how to fix it. I want a divorce but I don’t want to hurt him or my kids so then I think maybe, just maybe I can get that unconditional love that I have always wanted. My heart says one thing and my mind says another?

  • DrDeb January 14th, 2014 at 11:27 AM #16

    Vicky, jealousy comes from a person feeling insecure inside himself. But that insecurity is in itself very hard to admit, especially for a man in our society. So your husband isn’t going to get past it without help. Telling him that you did nothing wrong isn’t enough to make changes: He needs to heal and he needs help to do it.

  • Tyler February 21st, 2014 at 1:58 PM #17

    Can you explain what you mean by outside sources? My ex has a crush on some guy who makes her feel better because I unknowingly cut her down. But she wants to love me again and says im the best person ever, and she loves spending time with me. Im special to her, but she seems too hurt. She says shes numb?

  • DrDeb February 22nd, 2014 at 6:06 PM #18

    Tyler, I mean therapy! Not an old flame. You will have to work hard on yourself to be a better person. Follow the steps above and little by little she may stop being numb. But a crush on someone else doesn’t help one bit.

  • Aiden March 16th, 2014 at 6:51 AM #19

    Me and my ex were dating for about 5years and 3 months. We broke up about 3 weeks ago. She said we needed space because we were arguing too much and we were. I nagged at her all the time, I have no clue why? She told me herself “why are you being like this? It’s pushing me away. You weren’t like this before!” I said I’m sorry. I tried controlling myself but it’s so difficult when it seems like she’s doing so well without me. People tell me it’s a front that she puts up. I believe it because I made this girl who she is. I was the only person who truly loved and cared for her. Her own family even neglected her. My family loves her and still don’t know we’re apart. We’ve kept contact here and there but we argue. I acted a bit insane but it’s because every time I try to talk about us, she bring a up old stuff. I tell her I wanna drop everything and start fresh. I can tell she cares because she brings up the past, she says she loves me but doesn’t wanna be with me. We went to dinner about a week ago and we haven’t had a night like that since we were barely dating. We both messed up but she’s the type of girl who knows she’s wrong but won’t admit it. That’s how I use to be but I eventually swallowed my pride and I’d just tell her how I feel. She accepted it at first but later would take advantage of it. That’s how it seemed. I’d get so mad because she’d play games with me and I’d lose my head. I can’t control it but that’s what I’m working on right now. I really want this girl back. She’s been my everything and I know I’ve been her everything. No ones loved her like I have, no one has cared, protected and provided for her like I have. She tells me herself. It makes me feel special. Anyway, by the way I acted I feel like I pushed her away. How can I prove to her that I’m changing because I really am. I don’t know what to do? Give it some time, work on myself, let her work on herself and then try to slowly contact her then? Help!

  • DrDeb March 17th, 2014 at 10:59 AM #20

    Aiden, this is really the kind of situation therapy is for: You don’t know why you argue, you want to control it but you can’t, you love her but the arguing continues, etc. Sometimes we need an outsider to nail what’s going on.

  • Aiden March 17th, 2014 at 2:43 PM #21

    I tried using that. An outside source, another person but she only got mad. It was her friend. My ex doesn’t express her feelings much. She keeps them bottled in. I get irritated by that. I had to go to her friend and her friend said that she went through the same thing that I am going through. Her and her bf have been together for 7 years now. She said my ex would be back if I gave her time but idk if I believe that. Someone told her I cheated on her and it is NOT true. I pretty much talked to her about it and she somehow seemed to believe me but then she threw out “idc if you cheated on me or not. Look how you’re acting. You’re being crazy” all I’ve done is try to talk to her. I haven’t been insane and yelling at her like crazy. Old what’s wrong. She also suffers from depression so I wonder if that’s what’s wrong? It’s difficult for me to give her space because she seems to be doing fine without me. People tell me she does care and misses me because she talks to them about me at times but I don’t feel like she does. She tells me she doesn’t her self yet her friends say she does? I’m confused. She’s rude and I feel like she doesn’t truly believe I didn’t cheat on her. I told her to just trust me because I’ve done so much for her. I wouldn’t jeopardize our relationship. She was the most amazing person to me. I loved her. I guess I just want her to miss me and for her to realize that she should to be pushing me away. All I want is for her to miss me and for her to swallow her pride and at least talk to me. Idk how to get her to do that? If I give her space I feel like she won’t be back. Yet she does have all the stuff I gave her and a bunch of my clothes. Her friends say if she really didn’t want anything to do with me, she would’ve gotten rid of them or gave them back. Its a messy situation.

  • DrDeb March 18th, 2014 at 7:50 AM #22

    Hi Aiden,
    When I said this is what therapy is for – an objective outsider, I will add that a therapist is a competent objective outsider. (Of course, you need to check on the competency and that is a different article.) Your girlfriend’s friend is not the right person. Furthermore, you have not gotten to the root of her behavior – or your own. One thing you do mention is that her bottling things up irritates you. Can I say something here? Your irritation is going to make her bottle things more! Can you see that? That is reason #2 for a therapist to help you. Please check your local listings. The therapists on this blog are amazing and you can see who they are by what they write. Good luck.

  • Makemeselfless May 3rd, 2014 at 2:42 PM #23

    All I know about love ( from 10 years of marriage) is that the only way to love a person, is to love them even when they don’t deserve it. Love past the hurt, give her space. To be honest with you, it’s too hard to do alone. Only God can help you love someone how they need to be loved. That is the only way I can love my spouse, not because we have a bad relationship, but because a relationship is hard! It takes too much work for someone to bear alone and do it with their own willpower.

  • Makemeselfless May 3rd, 2014 at 2:46 PM #24

    Men respond well to unconditional respect. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

  • So_willing_to_change May 5th, 2014 at 9:22 PM #25

    I had a great opportunity with a woman who I connected with deeply. I found out recently that I’ve been suffering from generalized anxiety and I tended to blow up whenever we got into an argument. Sometimes I would just be short over minor issues. After 6 months she began to pull away and it freaked me out. I started to frantically look for ways to fix the situation and I think that I came across as too needy. She finally broke up with me after 9 months and now is very cold and distant. The hard part is that i see her every day (at work) and some days it feels like I’m slipping back into anxiety ridden grief. She’s started to talk to me a bit but is obviously not interested in talking about getting back together. I’ve been trying self help and I’m about to start counseling. She hasn’t said yes or no with regard to trying again at some point, in fact she has intentionally refused to answer the question saying that she doesn’t know. I’m seriously trying to get my life sorted out but I know that it’s not going to be a quick fix. My question is should I try to move on without her or do I continue to try and make things right?

  • DrDeb May 6th, 2014 at 9:11 AM #26

    I am very impressed with your self-awareness, namely, realizing that you would blow up for minor reasons and that your frantic attempts to hold the relationship together came across as needy. I also am glad you are going to start counseling. The counseling should be goal-oriented, meaning, you should be given specific tools to rebuild your sense of self-esteem and overcome the destructive messages that you have inside. This woman wants a “whole” person, I would guess. She doesn’t want someone who blows up or who is anxious or who isn’t comfortable with who they are. So it seems to me you should work on healing yourself first before complicating matters with relationships. Good therapy does not have to last years and decades. With the degree of insight you already have and the motivation that I believe you also have, your whole entire therapy process should be under a year, maybe even six months of effort. If she is really this fantastic person, I would say to tell her you know exactly why she has pulled away and you don’t blame her one bit. You are working on all of it. That’s it. Because by telling her this, you validate her feelings without putting any pressure on her to do anything at all. Since you see her at work, she will see the changes in you for herself over time. A no-pressure approach is the opposite of the needy approach and in and of itself is respect-worthy, therefore attractive. The key is to not work with a psychodynamic therapist which will take 30 years. Ask your therapist his or her orientation. Good luck!!

  • Sandy O May 13th, 2014 at 4:36 PM #27

    Hi DrDeb,
    I have a been in this relationship for 7 years before i got pregnant. getting pregnant was not what i wanted at the time because i was in university. i was so mad at my boyfriend and i cried all the time and we argue a lot. after having the baby the arguments continued because he spends most of his time away from home . after work instead of coming home he would stop by his mom or stop to help out friends with their issues while i am at home in need of his help.i would vex with him and argue why cant he come home to help me when i ask him and its hard all by myself to take care of the baby. it didn’t help. the arguments and quarrels between us got worse everyday. sometimes we don’t argue and we talk about the arguments and we both vow to do better and it goes right back to square one. he wants this relationship and wish i would stop cussing he said for everything. but his actions makes me mad. why cant he see that. now he got a promotion in another city and the company provides living accommodation there for him so he only comes home every two weeks. since january he started acting strange and then he said his foot his not in this relationship anymore. he said its not gonna work because his feelings have changed somewhat its not as strong as before. i begged him to let us work on it but when he comes home he cant even look at me he looks so guilty like he is having an affair. we still live under the same roof. he eats when i cook just the same and we have sex. the last three times he came home. i am trying doc. he is my first boyfriend and he wanted to marry me prior to this new job promotion. he asked me to and i said you have to adjust your ways and be more committed to us (me and the baby) and stop putting other people before us including your mother. he is always at her house evryday of the week sometimes when i talk about it he would do better and then go right back into the old ways. now he is miles away and the distance have made me realise how much i really love him. he is hurt over the fact that his sister and mother at times dont get along well and he said i dont respect him and as we start to argue i get so loud on top of my voice and he cant deal with stuff like that so he dont think it will work. but i think he want it to work because he is hanging around to see if things will change in my behaviour. and i want to control my voice and i am working on getting the ralionship withhis family to be better too. they have hurt me in the oast and i oulled away from two member of his family until i jus eventually jus cut off all of them. i love him please help me to show him that i can change and respect him and speak ona normal volume and recreate the relationship with his family. please doc. ilove him soo much. since we started having sex again i realise his behaviour towards me is a little better but when he leaves and go back to the other city to work he comes home with a strange behaviour and he dont want me to touch him and then the night before he goes back to the other city we have sex and he gave me a a body massage for mother’s day and that how the sex started. help. i need to recreate this. my son needs both his parents and i i love him too

  • DrDeb May 14th, 2014 at 12:12 PM #28

    Hi Sandy
    Three things: 1. work on calming yourself. There are deep breathing apps you can download for that.
    2. work on your self esteem. Read self-help books for it or seek affordable therapy. You will become more attractive when you like and love yourself and don’t appear needy.
    3. Please get your health checked now that you’re having sex again. I am concerned about his behavior when he’s away.
    Good luck

  • Sad Cat June 1st, 2014 at 3:07 AM #29

    Dr deb,

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years, 2.5 years long distance. We started out on the same career path, but he stopped for a while and now that I’m finishing my training he hasn’t even started. I know he’s depressed about his career life and said he “can’t love anyone until he loves himself” and “can’t be in a relationship right now.” The pain he’s dealt me is like nothing I’ve ever had before. I want us to work out because I think what we had is special and what others dream about. He says he’s been feeling so down he hasn’t even thought about getting married anytime recently. He also doesn’t feel the same about me. I know he loves me and says he wants me in his life in the future. How much of this is his depression talking? And is it possible for us to fall in love again?

  • Thomas June 10th, 2014 at 6:03 AM #30

    My girlfriend and I have been together for what would be 5 years next month. She is my first real long term relationship but it’s mainly because I’m very specific on who I want to give myself too. I know I love her with every ounce of my being, but throughout the relationship, I managed to abuse her physically and mentally. I justified it for so long as it being her fault for making me that mad. I guess it was normal for me having grown up with my father constantly abusing my mother.

    June of 2013, I had taken the physical abuse pretty far and had hurt her fairly bad. My mind immediately snapped to a point where everything was plain to see and I decided to go to anger management. She moved out with her sister and from being traumatized, fell immediately out of love with me. I didn’t want to be like my father and since I finally realized what I was doing, I was able to significantly control my anger from then onward. Her feelings came back soon after and she moved back in with me, however there were a few situations, not outright physical abuse, but still hurtful things that had happened. This began to break her down into depression and now, about a year later, she tells me she no longer has any feeling for me. My continued sub conscience acts of control had pushed her further and further away, coupled with my own depression about where I was in life with my career. Right before she told me of her lack of feelings, I began taking an active approach in things like my career and relationship, after all, my life is in my control, but it was too little too late.

    I’m going to seek out an abuse specialist to help me make sense of all the controlling actions I make, but I will never stop loving her. She made her share of mistakes like hiding conversations with exes and not wanting to be close in front of exes, but I know at this point that she has always had issues with anxiety and that nothing shady was going on. I also know that none of it justified my actions.

    My questions are these, can she fall back in love with me? After about 3 years of physical and mental abuse, can she love me again? Can the spark of my kiss be there again? Can she feel that beautiful sensation when I touch her skin?

    I know that I will never stop loving her and in my mind, love is absolute. It can be broken, it can be buried, but it never goes away. If I give up on her and “love” someone else, it will never be true and I can’t live in a lie like that, questioning myself at every turn. If I can fall out of love with this girl, then how can I ever trust it’s absolute meaning again.

    I truly am sorry for the way I treated her and I never want to hurt get like that again. I want to give get as much of the world as I can and give her a life worth living. How do I show her that I’ve changed for her? For myself as well, but for her?

    With kind regards,
    Thomas B

  • DrDeb June 10th, 2014 at 10:28 AM #31

    Hi Thomas,
    The way I work with people in therapy who have had abusive relationships (you can see my book on this – go to my website for more) is to help re-wire our brains so that the trauma that caused the anger in the first place is completely healed. That goes for both parties. When your ex- sees you as completely changed and she, too, is stronger and healed, then there are possibilities.

  • Marie June 11th, 2014 at 8:23 AM #32

    I am glad I came across this thread because I am having trouble fully trusting my boyfriend again. When we first started dating all was well until he started showing me this other side of him he didn’t show before I had started to open up to him. He would flirt with other women in front of me and constantly made sexual comments about other women both to me and in front of me. All friends and family who I discussed this with thought I should leave him but no one but him and I could understand that we had such a deep connection despite his actions. I told him how hurt I was and that he violated my building trust for him, shattered it actually. He was very remorseful of his actions and said he didn’t intentionally do them and felt horrible for hurting me. Ever since then there has continued to be significant improvement in him so I gave him another chance. We are very much in love now, 2 years later, and I do have trust in him but I feel it never fully built up because he shattered it during the most fragile stage. I still cry from time to time over the pain he has caused and I know he feels awful about it. How do I overcome it and trust fully?

  • DrDeb June 11th, 2014 at 12:39 PM #33

    Hi Marie,
    He has to understand himself better. Why did he do what he did? – was he trying to impress you? Was he afraid to show how committed he was to you? Is this a bad habit he picked up from going with the wrong friends? Before you have complete trust, he will be able to explain why he used to do it and why looking at other women means zero to him now. And he will want to share that with you of his own accord, not just when you ask.

  • Pauline June 14th, 2014 at 6:00 AM #34

    My boyfriend and I met 2 years ago, I fell for him first sight. It took him a little longer but a couple of months later we were together. He left for italy 1 month after getting together and we talked for 6 months. Everything was perfect, we had the same goals, the same visions on life, but we did have completely different interests. I would feel guilty every time I was talking about my interests because I knew he wasn’t as in to them as I was, and I was probably boring him. I would feel guilty when i let him wait outside while shopping so I stopped enjoying that as well. Not once has he made any complaints about waiting or me going on about my interests. It’s just the ‘knowing he doesn’t really like them as much’ that was making me feel guilty. He was my perfect first boyfriend and I needed to be the perfect girlfriend. That I had some huge disappointments to get through (school fails, dream fails, health fails) and 6 months ago I was kissing him and was distracted. It shocked me to the core and 6 months of thinking I don’t love him anymore, has made me not want to be with him anymore. Not because of him, his personality or anything. I just want to be free of the anxiety my head believes is caused by him. I keep thinking he’s the reason why I can’t see a future for us or for me in general. I have self pity, am depressed, am disappointed in myself for being such a horrible person for not loving this amazing man anymore. I want to fall back in love but it will never be innocent again. The anxiety has brought so much stuff up that ‘bother’ me (things that didn’t bother me or wouldn’t bother anyone but the anxiety and depression and adhd are making me irretated all the time) Any advice? How do I let go of fear and love again… Innocently? I’ve talked about this with him but he doesn’t understand why I’m doing this to myself. He’s not giving up, but I don’t know how long I’m going to last. I don’t want this relationship feeling like this. Feeling not in love, feeling pain, feeling sorry for myself and not seeing him for who he truly is. Depression and anxiety has deformed him to a stranger. I’m in my head constantly, HOW TO GET OUT? how to love innocently? again?

  • DrDeb June 14th, 2014 at 7:20 PM #35

    Hi Pauline,
    I am thinking there is more going on than you are aware of. Could it be that some message in the back of your mind says you are not entitled to happiness? Could it be that someone has planted the idea that life just can’t be good? I don’t know. I think it would be helpful to talk to a therapist who can ask you broad questions about your life, your family, your history.

  • stephanyL June 15th, 2014 at 9:11 AM #36

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 1 year and 3 months. But when we got into a fight, out of nowhere I told him that I lied to him. The way I said it he thinks I’m prpud of what I did which is not true seriously. I don’t want to hurt him. He’s my everything. I don’t know what to do know to make him believe I was really sorry, that I hurt his feelings and give me another chance. It was wrong lying to him in the first place and I regret it. He won’t believe me. I need help ;( seriously. How can I make him forgive me for what I did and how can I make him,fall for me again :( HELP ASAP ;(

  • DrDeb June 15th, 2014 at 10:03 AM #37

    Stephany I think that what you are saying is in some way like what Pauline was saying and my answer will be the same: For some reason, you feel insecure and feel the need to lie. Apologizing won’t cut it because this insecurity and lying are something that is in you. You should talk to a therapist and work on where this came from and building up a sense of confidence about who you are so that you don’t ever need to lie again.

  • Brittany June 18th, 2014 at 9:57 AM #38

    Dr. Deb. I am trying my absolute best to save my relationship. I’ve been with my fiancé 2+ years now & I cheated on him emotionally. Although in my eyes that’s much worse than a sexual connection with someone. I had an ectopic pregnancy & I got caught up with the person I was involved with after that just because it was a refreshing experience for me. I was in a very dark place about the pregnancy, but I also know that was only an excuse after a while. Anyway, my fiancé has found messages in my phone between the 2 of us on 2 different occasions within a 6 month timeframe. I’ve constantly prayed for God to free me from that relationship because I knew it wasn’t healthy for me & I didn’t need to betray my spouse in that manner. About 2 weeks ago, everything came to the light & I was cut off from the guy I was cheating with. As relieved as I was, I hated how it ended. But I took the time to for once be honest with my fiancé & myself about everything. Now he doesn’t want to restore our relationship & I’m crushed because it feels like now that I’ve put forth the effort to not only change myself but to change the downward spiral of my relationship, it’s too late. I don’t want this to be the end of us. I’ve done my best to show him that I’m done with being dishonest & to dedicate my life to loving only him.

  • Jessica June 18th, 2014 at 9:31 PM #39

    My husband and I have been together for two years and 6 months. When we got together everything was really good. Then a month later his grandfather died and he was really close with him. I was there for him through everything. Well in July 2012 I found naked pictures on his phone and went through his Facebook account and found messages to an ex asking if she wanted to have sex. He of course made lies saying they saved on his phone and that his friend Rick had sent the message. Well then in June or July 2013 I went on his yahoo account and there were emails on there off of craigslist personals between him and other woman in 2012. He was sexted other woman for 7 to 9 months. Then I found messages from him and his ex off Facebook, I could only see what she wrote and she said your happy with jess and I’m working things out with my baby daddy. He says he didn’t tell her he wanted to work things out but she told me he did. He told her he missed the good times. We also had dinner with his sisters and her(the same one he wrote) and I didn’t even know she was an ex. He’s also looked up naked chick’s on his play store. I want to forgive him and move past this but I don’t know how. He’s hurt me so bad and he won’t even talk to me or answer questions that I have. He gets defensive and aggravated at me. He says he’s changed and wants to be a better husband and father. But can a cheater really change? How can I move past this? I still say he has feelings for his ex and wants her. But I can’t get him to talk to me. How can I get him to open up? Do you think he could possible be cheating? He’s even came home with a hair on his privates and make multiple excuses. Then two days later he came home and showered since being together he’s never came home and showered. I really could use your help please.

  • Jessica June 18th, 2014 at 9:50 PM #40

    And around the time he was sexting, my grandfather was in the hospital and he died. I needed him but he was preoccupied with the other woman and his ex. How can I forgive someone who isn’t there and supporting you when your having a hard time grieving?

  • Daniel R June 19th, 2014 at 9:40 AM #41

    Hi

    I would like to get some advice about my relationship with my partner of nearly 2 years.

    Since day 1 we have both been crazy about each other up until a few months ago where I’ve started to suffer from anxiety. I slowly over come it but it comes back now and then.

    My partner is my stone. She makes me feel strong and proud of myself and does nothing but give me compliments because I do have low self esteem.

    I consider her my life partner and we both cannot imagine a future together. We want to grow old together and have the same goals in life but lately I have been questioning my love which makes me quite upset.I know deep down inside that we are soul mates.

    Is this a faze I’m going through triggered by the anxiety?

    At the end of the day I will never give into the anxiety and let it win.

  • DrDeb June 19th, 2014 at 7:53 PM #42

    Jessica
    It sounds to me like your boyfriend has a fear of intimacy. I know that will sound just the opposite of what it seems so let me explain: People use sex as a way to AVOID a real relationship. Sex pretends you are close but it leaves out the everyday things–like staying with your girlfriend when her grandfather died. Real life is so much more than sex and if a person wants REAL intimacy, then they have to be vulnerable. They have to feel deep feelings AND compassion for another person. That is real intimacy. This will NOT go away, so your boyfriend needs short-term but very intense therapy directed to correcting this BEFORE you can forgive him.

  • DrDeb June 19th, 2014 at 7:56 PM #43

    Daniel,
    You could be questioning your feelings because maybe deep down you don’t think you deserve something good in your life. On the other hand, maybe there is really something wrong with the relationship and you just can’t put your finger on it. I hate to sound redundant, but maybe you should speak to a therapist to find out. Marriage should not be taken lightly.

  • meeka June 20th, 2014 at 7:11 PM #44

    Hi I have recently seperated from my husband after 8 years and 3 beautiful kids together. He was a drug addict before we got together and he got clean when we found out I was pregnant with our first born. He then had an accident 2 years later which has left him in huge amounts of pain. So along with medications and spinal surgery he has resorted back to using pot. Not a little.. but alot. Influenced mainly by a friend of his. He doesnt see a problem with it and says it help the pain and his sleep. He still doesnt sleep when he has it and still hurts so I see it as being an excuse to get high. He at first hid it for me for month and friends of our all knew about it and no one told me. Then he said he would cut back to quit and that was almost 2 years ago. I have been more the patient I have given him help offered support and tried to get him to quit. But he has chose not to and has left. He has also been having mental health issues as recently wanted to kill himself and has little self worth. He has made his choice of drugs and drop kick friends over me and his kids. I am broken and dont know where to go from here

  • DrDeb June 21st, 2014 at 8:34 PM #45

    Hi Meeka,
    Drug use is often a way to hide or escape from old emotional pain. It is pain that will not go away because a person loves you, unfortunately. It needs therapy. I’m sorry to keep having to say that on this thread, but that is the way I feel. If there is any way you can get him to see a quality therapist, that would be good. You may be saving his life.

  • Ashleigh June 25th, 2014 at 1:02 PM #46

    Hi, i met someone last year and we instantly clicked. We became the best of friends, but also sexual partners. We agreed at the start that it was just going to be ‘casual’ and if either of us ‘caught feelings’ we would walk away. However, that wasnt the case. we tried to end things on numerous occasions but because we felt so deeply about each other, we continued. This carried on for around 6 months, until the silly arguments got too much for him and he walked away. We carried on to see each other after this however, bearing in mind during this whole period we never were established as a couple. Then after a bad argument, I told him we were over and we didn’t speak for a full week. A week later he came to me saying he cant stand not having me in his life and so we got back to what we were, however, I was soon to learn that during the week we were not speaking, he began sleeping with one of my friends, and this continued even though we were trying to make things work again. She knew the situation between us and I had my suspicions, but when i asked either of them, i was told to ‘stop being paranoid’. My suspicions were confirmed when one of her friends told me they had been sleeping together all along. I was distraught and when confronted, they both lied, until eventually i got the truth, which was that he had been sleeping with us both for around 3 weeks. It took him a few days to apologise to me, but when he did, he came to me genuinely upset, crying and telling me how stupid he had been, I should have been his girlfriend all along, it had taken losing me to realise he was in love with me, all I wanted to hear. So I took him back and we began working towards a proper committed relationship, however, it has been almost 3 months since I found out about them and things are so bad. I’m jealous, controlling, irrational and I accuse him all of the time of being unfaithful again, and it has pushed him away. I have now distanced myself from him (something that he said he didnt want) and have realised i need help. Could I have your opinion on the whole situation, thanks.

  • Ashleigh June 25th, 2014 at 1:04 PM #47

    we never got into a relationship before all of this because he has commitment issues, he has never had a girlfriend before.

  • DrDeb June 25th, 2014 at 2:17 PM #48

    Hi Asleigh
    To me, the word “commitment issues” combined with the idea of sleeping around casually implies that your boyfriend feels very vulnerable and fearful of losing the relationship. He therefore was distancing himself emotionally. But apparently, he had an awakening and now the tables are turned. Your fear of losing him has lead to your pushing him away. This isn’t as illogical as it sounds: keeping a distance creates an artificial feeling of safety. I think your reaction to being betrayed is perfectly normal. And furthermore, if you could take him back then he should be mature enough to take you back. Discuss with him how he would react if you apologize. And would he put that ring on your finger? You may find that if he finally commits, you will feel safer and you will not act that way. On the other hand — there are people who cheat once they’re married. What assurances will he give you that he is mature enough to stand by you and work things out when marriage becomes stressful?

  • Anonymous July 9th, 2014 at 9:27 AM #49

    Hi Dr Deb. My H and I are currently separated. I had an emotional affair with the man I fell in love with when I was in my 20′s, and I still have feelings for this man. I do also still have feelings for my husband. He is an extremely damaged person. And I mean extremely. He had an abusive disjointed childhood, witnessed domestic violence and was loved by only one parent. He was in a warzone. And later imprisoned and tortured for a year. He has seen terrible things. We had a very difficult relationship and it was always difficult. I think I married him because I felt sorry for him. We have two beautiful children. Since we have separated I have observed his relationship and interaction with the children improving. (He has never been fully emotionally present because of his PTSD). The problem is I feel like a trauma victim having lived with him. I know he still loves me. He is very loud and comes with a whole load of annoying habits and that’s even before you take into account his inability to emotionally connect. We are incompatible on many levels. And yet I honestly feel he is a remarkable man, and I have seen him change some of his behaviours. It has felt like I held the whole thing together. So being a single mum is also difficult. And after a brief period of space I contacted my emotional affair partner – who, incidentally, is willing to give up his life (he is partnered but it is more of an mental partnership/friendship than any romance which doesn’t give it any less meaning, but I know I was his great love of his life). So now I am in touch with the one but have interactions with my husband as he still sees the children frequently (they are quite young). I feel very confused. My religious background was teh reason I split up with my EAP in the beginning and he says he would be willing to work at shared values. But I don’t really know which way to go and either way is difficult. So I just feel… stuck! The level of emotional connection I have with my EAP is so huge and the level with my husband so minimal it is quite difficult to imagine climbing that mountain. And I sometimes wonder if I will ever be able to let go of my EAP even if I did try to climb the mountain. Does this make sense?

  • DrDeb July 9th, 2014 at 1:42 PM #50

    Yes, it makes sense but there is no way I could help you w/o actually seeing you and talking this thing through. I wish it were easier than that.

  • Melly July 12th, 2014 at 1:45 PM #51

    Hi Dr. Deb,
    I am so pleased I found your blog! I do not love my husband. We have been living together for five years, and married for two and a half. I have a child from a previous relationship. He has 4 children from his first marriage.
    Four months after we were married, I realised that he is a ‘secret’ drinker. I still can’t believe how stupid I was to not recognise it. Before we got married, there were issues with the kids (ie that due to his work hours I was on my own from 7am until 7pm, and that I couldn’t discipline his kids with time out or anything so my daughter is the only child in the house who is discplined and faces consequences for bad choices… which in turn impacts on her emotionally) but for all that, I felt that I could trust him implicitly. For me, that was the fundamental basis of our relationship. And then when I realised about the drinking, and started watching for the drinking and realising it was happening EVERY day, and we had conversations about how I don’t care if he drinks, but please please don’t hide it from me because I can’t bear the deception, but it continued anyway… well, after two years of this, the final straw for me came 8 weeks ago when he drove drunk. With my ten year old daughter in the car. My grandmother was killed in a car accident. I hate that people drink and drive. My husband knows this. Yet, he went ahead and did that. I moved to my mother’s the next day. My daughter and I moved back into the home a week ago, and I can see that my husband really is trying to make changes, but for me it seems too little, too late. When I look at him, I just see a liar who was so arrogant that the safety of my daughter was jeopardised.
    I don’t just ‘not love him’, sometimes I feel like I actively dislike him. I realise that this is not going to be helpful for him in overcoming his issues with alcohol. I get so frustrated when he cries and says he needs to feel love from me because I understand that he means it, but I kind of feel like… ‘well, you had that already and it didn’t bloody do you any good’.
    He has started to see a psychologist, and I have also met with the psychologist. There is a referral in place for alcohol dependency counselling, and we will do some relationship counselling also… but I guess my question is, is there any point? How will I know and how can I tell if I will love him again? At the moment, I don’t want to stay in the marriage because of him, I only want to stay in the marriage because of the impact on the wider family and also I really love my stepchildren – we have day-to-day care of them, I spend more time with them than their biological parents do, and I don’t want to lose them from my life. But… none of these reasons are actually to do with my husband.
    Even a rough idea of a timeframe would be helpful to me in deciding on whether I stick it out or bow out now.
    Thanks for your time.

  • Megan July 12th, 2014 at 11:12 PM #52

    I hurt my boyfriend really bad today. I lied to him, in his face, and he couldn’t believe I could do that to him. Neither could I. We are in a long-distance relationship, but we were a very happy couple. No arguments, just love and support. Until recently, I asked my guy friend to accompany me in choosing a computer since I don’t know anything about technology. He’s been one of my best friends since college and my boyfriend knew that. I always tell my boyfriend when I’m going out with this friend of mine and he has been always fine with it. But that day when we bought my computer, I decided not to tell my boyfriend precisely because I don’t want him to think that I’m going out too much with my friend. I’m in a foreign city and he’s the only person I know that lives nearby. Anyway, my boyfriend found out but I lied and it was very obvious. He almost broke up with me but decided to forgive me. But it remains obvious how hurt he was and told me that it’s going to be hard rebuilding the relationship and the trust, especially that we’re continents apart. I love him very much and the thought of the possibility of losing him is killing me. I almost never have any sleep. I cry even in my sleep, have nightmares. How do I fix this? I’m scared that even if we do fix this, we’ll never be the same happy couple again. :(

  • Carmen July 13th, 2014 at 1:47 PM #53

    I have been with my boyfriend for a little over 6 months. I have known him for 3 years now and he has my first everything. First boyfriend, literally everything. 3 years ago when we first began to get to know each other, he hurt me really bad. He ended up hooking up with another girl twice. We weren’t together officially but the purpose was to get closer to having a real relationship. I felt so betrayed because I respected our terms and remained loyal to him but he couldn’t do the same. I left him and he kept contacting me but I wanted nothing to do with someone who only looked at me as a way to get sex and be so insensitive to disrespect me and cheat on me. 5 months later he texted me and I decided to talk to him again and slowly we began to rebuild what we had and finally are in a relationship now. At first it felt like a dream until he hurt me once more. I surprised him at his house and I found him in the living room talking to another girl. What hurt was that he completely ignored me. He gave a dry hi not even a kiss or hug. He didn’t even introduce me to the girl as his girlfriend. He went to drop her off and when he came back he came back to greet me just like he always does and that threw me off. I was convinced he was cheating on me because he even had a picture of himself and the same girl as his wallpaper. He claims until this day that she is just a friend who was there to visit his mother because she took care of her as child. I fell back into the same hole as 3 years ago. it is so hard to get back from that hurt. Ever since we had that fall out he’s like a changed man. He’s doing things for me that he’s never done. He’ll take me out on dates, cook me dinner, and most importantly, putting up with me no matter how much I seem to push him away. For me its these small things that warm my heart. He claims he’s a changed man and that he will do anything to prove to me that he really loves me. He has even told me he wishes to marry me. Even though he is doing everything in his power to show me his love I feel like I the hurt and pain has made me numb. I know I have feelings for him because just the taught of losing him makes me sick and after everything he’s done I still choose him over any other guy. I just can’t trust him fully I always feel he’ll do something to me again. He gets frustrated that I don’t trust him but he’s willing to do anything to get me to understand. He feels like I don’t show him that I love him and it makes me sad because I do but I know deep down its the hurt that’s caused me to become so guarded and cold towards him. How do I fix this? How can I put the hurt aside and go back to loving him like I use to?

  • DrDeb July 13th, 2014 at 8:04 PM #54

    Hi Melly
    It looks to me like you are taking good steps — your husb has a therapist and is getting alcohol counseling. I would add two pieces: AlAnon for you and to not have moved back so fast. You have to watch yourself very carefully not to inadvertently enable your husband. Isn’t there somewhere that HE can go now? Also, I applaud you for wanting to give a stable home to his children. You may be saving (emotionally) 4 lives. Here’s the thing: You actually don’t know who your husband IS and neither does he. If he continues with the AA or whatever special dependency counseling he has and a high quality therapist, he could make very good progress PROVIDED the rules are clear and no one (including the therapist) enables him. Why not give it 6 months and see? Can you stick it out that long?

  • DrDeb July 13th, 2014 at 8:09 PM #55

    Hi Megan,
    You have to look inside yourself honestly to figure out what made you insecure enough to lie. Something in your past? Your parents? etc.? Why not reach out to women that you meet and make new friends? If your boyfriend sees you as self-reliant and stable then it could restore his trust. Perhaps you need to work a bit on your own sense of self-esteem and self-confidence.

  • Nicole July 16th, 2014 at 11:54 PM #56

    I hear you on that. I feel the same way. Like u did. I feel really bad. How I treat my boy friend. It really hurt me so bad too. He did every thing for me and my kids. And i did this to him. I feel really bad. And now I now I want to hurry up and fix my prombles out with him. Before I lose him. And i really don’t want to lose him at all. And i really do miss him so much with all my heart and soul. And i really do miss him so much always forever. And i really do love him with all my heart and soul. And he is the most important thing in my life. And i really do love him so much. And i used to treat him like a king. And i really do miss it so much. The way I used to treat him like a king. It was my value. And i really did alot of damage to him. It was never his fault at all. It was me all the time. And i said thank you so much for everything. And i really did appreciate everything he did for me and my 3 Beautiful kids. Thank u so much.

  • Shawn July 17th, 2014 at 5:24 AM #57

    My wife was self employed for 7 years and had serious ups and downs with her income. We used to argue about her getting a job back outside the home. She was a blogger who wrote about food and parenting. Her paychecks were never steady or reliable to pay our bills on time. We got to a point where I had to start fronting her money from our rent that I paid to help buy her some time until her pay came in. She began borrowing money from me almost weekly for work expenses. One morning while waiting for the school bus to come and pick up my daughter, she came outside swearing at me that we clearly missed the bus and told me to start acting like an adult. It was very humiliating and to see the look if horror on my daughters face was hard. She has always spoken down to me in front of our kids and my family members. I asked for a sit down with her to discuss our problems. A few days prior to our meeting I emailed her a few things that were on my mind that I wanted her to think about and asked her to do the same. She did not. The meeting was not good. I asked her to please talk nicer to me when she is upset and asked her if she would start trying to play a part in my family’s lives. She does not really speak to any of them and stays behind when I take the kids to go visit them. She agrees to speak nicer but wants nothing to do with my family and will not make any further efforts. When she apoke all she said was that she feels like I don’t even like her anymore. I told her that was not true and I will make changes to that immediately. I told her I will never give up on our marriage and would never consider a divorce. She got mad and asked me why I would do that and don’t we both deserve to be happy if things can’t be fixed. That hurt me deeply to hear that divorce was even a possibility in her mind. From that day forward I changed everything in the way that I support her financially and emotionally. I took on all kinds of extra responsibility so that she could do more with her career. We began making love 3-4 times a week. Then a job opportunity came up that was 7 hours north of our home. She wanted to interview for it and asked me to take off 3 days from work so she could drive up to do so. I agreed. When she came back she began talking about me staying behind to see through the short sale on our home and eventually joining her up north. I did not like the sound of that. She wanted to leave me and our two dogs behind. I lost my job and began looking for work where her new job was. Miraculously I found a job near hers and wanted to get an apartment together. She said she could not find a place that would take animals and that we would have to live separately for a year for now. Every alarm in my heart was going off now. I knew there was a problem and she was evading me about it. When we moved out to the new area she shut me out completely. She could barely bring herself to hug me and a kiss was not even possible. She doesn’t return any I love yous or I miss yous. She said she works and is too busy. After a week if this I pressed her into telling me what was wrong and she finally said that she isn’t happy. She hasn’t given me any details as to why. I am living in a vacuum and don’t know what to do. I gave her the choice between counseling or divorce. She chose counseling and says that she wants to try and work things out. The few times I have seen her I don’t get any feeling that she misses me at all. If she can’t tell me that she loves me I am worried that counseling may not help. I don’t think you can talk someone into loving you or reason with someone to have feelings for you. She won’t start counseling for another 3 weeks because she is too busy at her new job. This situation has hurt me deeply. She swore to me that she wasn’t leaving me before we moved. I could have stopped this from happening because it is illegal to take kids more than 70 miles from their parent. I knew if I invoked that and cost her the dream job she always wanted that I was heading for a divorce for sure. So I took a leap of faith and allowed this to happen. I have been an emotional mess and fell into a depression over this. I don’t know why she didn’t jump at the opportunity for divorce when I put it on the table. That is the only thing I have to hang into as a sign of hope and that isn’t much. If we do divorce I will try to get custody of our children and that will start a war with no end. I don’t want this to happen. I am devestated that she lied to me. Can counseling help this situation or am I destined for a divorce?

  • Thomas July 17th, 2014 at 10:00 AM #58

    My fiancé who I love very much and have been together for almost 10 years and have 2 children. We both love each other very much but she has told me that she has been holding back her feelings to spare me and now she feels that she has neglected to take care if her own feelings. She tells me that she wants to stay with me but now she is in doubt on her feelings on the long term. Basically, she says she does not know right now. She also says that it does not mean she won’t stay with me but just now she is confused on how to feel. She is afraid just like me to leave each other and start over cause of AIDS and the thought of getting to know a person and hoping that they are not gonna cheat or be violent. Please help me on what to do

  • DrDeb July 18th, 2014 at 9:33 AM #59

    Hi Thomas
    If your fiance is confused, there has to be a reason. Perhaps she isn’t really confused but is afraid to admit to herself the real reason. I suggest she get counseling to help her figure this out. You don’t want to start a marriage that was wrong from the beginning. In the meantime, I also suggest you get counseling to get help on what it might be in your own personality that has presented an obstacle for your fiance. In fact, please seek a person with a degree in Marriage & Family Therapy. This is because that is the only profession that deems it fine for the same therapist to see both members of a couple alone. In this way, she or he will get a much better picture of what could be the problem.

  • DrDeb July 18th, 2014 at 2:21 PM #60

    Hi Shawn,
    Here is what I am hearing from your msg: There is a part of you that lacks empathy, is disconnected. Maybe I am wrong because it is just a letter. But I am puzzled how you can talk about “borrowing from my money” when you are married and it is both your money. Psychologically, it seems there was a disconnect right there. I am not saying her reaction was nice. It was not. Generally in cases like this BOTH people have something to learn about life. But I am focusing on you because you are the one that asked. Next, you say that if you do divorce, you will try to get custody. This also bothers me. Unless she is an unfit mother — on drugs or something– the children need both of their parents. Why wouldn’t you want shared custody? See, these things make me think that perhaps you can be controlling. Now, on top of it, you have fallen into depression. This tells me that you actually lack some of the coping skills you need. [And BTW, controlling people often do lack them; that is why they resort to pressuring others.] Anyway, please see an MFT together.

  • Phil July 19th, 2014 at 6:58 AM #61

    Hello Dr. Deb,
    My girlfriend and I recently broke up after a 3 month relationship in which there was at least one other break up. Earlier this week she said she didn’t love me anymore and that she doesn’t want to be with me ever again. I realized eventually that through out the course of the relationship I was being emotionally abusive towards her in my actions and reactions. I came to the conclusion that I was projecting my feelings towards myself on to her and that I was really hurting both of us. After futile attempts to try to get her back I’m now in place where I’m trying to increase my awareness of how I feel and my emotional intelligence. I just recently started counseling earlier this week to help achieve this.

    What concerns me right now is the fact that it had been three weeks since I spoke to her and her anger and rage only seems to be growing and she said that she’s okay with it even though she knows that it may be unhealthy to be holding on to it. I’m not sure how to feel about that, she was already dealing with her own emotional conflicts and seeing a therapist (though she is currently away for the summer) before we got together. I know that we each individually have to work on ourselves and make progress but the way she is dealing with things right now I wonder if there is a future for us. I’m not sure what to do at this point.

  • Maria July 19th, 2014 at 6:22 PM #62

    I have been in a relationship with my husband for almost 8 years and almost 6 years of being married. 3 years ago my feelings changed, and everyday since than I’ve tried to get them back. We have 2 kids together (2 and 5 years old). We never did anything before getting married ( we were forced to get married because we got knocked up) we were not ready to get married. I had everyone telling us it was the right thing to do and basically forcing us to. I know he loves me and we fight a lot. My feelings aren’t there at all. I dont feel anything when we kiss or have sex. It’s almost like I’m forcing myself to for him.. And it sucks cause I know he deserves better, But I dont want to loose my family cause my kids love us together and I know how a divorce can ruin everything… I just dont know what to do. We go to a therapist , but it breaks my heart that he wants to keep trying and I do too but I’m not feeling anything. I know he wants me to love him and show him it, but I dont feel it at all…

  • DrDeb July 20th, 2014 at 1:59 PM #63

    Hi Phil,
    First of all, why don’t you discuss this with your therapist? Second, her therapist who is away for the summer should either have put in place a way to contact her such as email, phone, or Skype, or have a substitute. There are a lot of emotions here that need to be examined, understood, regulated, and possibly changed.

  • DrDeb July 20th, 2014 at 2:02 PM #64

    Hi Maria,
    This is serious! If your therapist is not able to move from couples therapy to individual with you to help you with how you have cut off your feelings, that is a problem. A good Marriage & Family Therapist can work with both the couple or any individual in that family. It is NOT all about behavior. Feelings count! No one can live a life without them. You need to find out what it is you are hiding from yourself and then what to do about it. It does not necessarily mean you don’t love your husband. it could be a hundred things. Maybe some childhood experience got triggered. You need to investigate.

  • Rosa July 21st, 2014 at 7:26 AM #65

    My husband and I have been together for a little over a year and just recently got married. He came into my life unexpectedly. I had already been through a couple of long and unsuccessful relationships which both failed because ultimately neither of those men treated me with respect and both of them ended up being abusive in the end of each relationship…and even through all of that I never cheated or disrespected them when I was in the relationship with them. I just turned myself off, my feelings I guess. And I just let out what was necessary. After the last relationship ended I stayed like that… Not opening myself up to anyone.. Like I was living in protective mode and I planned to stay like that and not to open myself up to a chance to be hurt again. I was honestly in a bad place in my life.. Depressed and convinced that I would never be happy again. But then I met my husband.
    This relationship I have with my husband now is a completely different world for me. He came into my life when I least expected it and he brought back a part of me that I lost during all the bad times. He made me feel happy again. We have always completely open and honest with each other about everything and trust each other 100 percent which has given us the opportunity to explore things in our relationship and Recently we have been exploring some fantasies. After some talking and planning we decided to bring someone in to our sexual relationship. The plan was for it to be a purely physical thing with no emotion. Just for the fantasy and pleasure for us to share. We planned to try several different things, but the first time we did this we brought another man in. We had talked and agreed on what we were ok with… All the what ifs and everything. We were prepared… I thought. The plan for the first time was for me to be with this man and to video it. When the time came to do all this we ended up having some problems…for one, the camera did not record like planned so that part of my husbands fantasy to watch that was ruined…and on top of that the man that I was with had a little much to drink before all this started so it took a lot longer than we had planned… And I realized how long it was taking but I didn’t take the initiative to do something to stop it…I wanted to.. I tried to find a way to, but Instead I let him continue in order to not make him feel bad for the alcohol induced performance problems… And in doing that I disrespected my husbands feelings. In that moment without realizing it I hurt my husband in a way it don’t know if I can ever repair. My husband ended up getting upset and coming to interrupt to put an end to it. So now we have a big problem. My husband feels disrespected and made a fool of because I didn’t take control of the situation. And in turn he has lost all trust and respect for me. The kind of trust and respect we had is something that neither of us had ever had with anyone before and is devastating to lose. We both still love each other more than anything in the world, but that can’t survive without trust and respect. At this point I need advice on how to begin to gain his trust and respect again. I can’t blame anyone for this but myself. I don’t want to hear “you should have never done that in the first place”. That is no help. At this point what is done is done. I need help to try to fix it. Any suggestions or ideas or advice is greatly appreciated. I would appreciate no negative remarks or opinions. It’s hard enough as it is. Thank you.

  • Kim July 22nd, 2014 at 11:47 PM #66

    My husband and I married very young, he was immature and after the birth of my son I was still over weight and exhausted and didn’t take care of myself. He told me that he was not attracted to me, that he had pictured two younger girls wondering what they looked like naked. I lost a lot of weight another guys told me how good I looked…he never said one word! Several years later he was talking to my son and said that he saw a girl he had gone to school with and had he known she would end up looking like that. Now after 28 years of marriage he works with someone that he finds attractive. I have become very resentful and have a love hate relationship with him. He is being patient with me as I battle these emotions that he has created. Will I ever get over this pain of always feeling inadequate to other women in his eyes!?!?!?

  • DrDeb July 23rd, 2014 at 9:33 AM #67

    Hi Kim
    If you go to my other blog, on my website, drdeb.com, there are some articles that deal with sex, porn, and so forth. I realize that that is not your problem. However, your problem is related in the following way: Men who focus on the body have a lot of trouble focusing on the mind and spirit. They are educated in our society to turn off their deeper feelings until they are disconnected from them. The only way they can connect is through the body because the emotions have been cut off (and the mind, too). What I advise is a really, really competent therapist who will work with the two of you together to help him turn on his feelings (which means helping him overcome his early learning to turn them off). It is a painful process but rewarding at the end.

  • J July 25th, 2014 at 8:22 AM #68

    I need help…

    I made the biggest mistake of my life by cheating on my spouse. We have been together 6 years. I cut off the other person before my wife learned about the situation because I had learned that I already had everything at home I could want. I knew that I loved my wife. but the other person continued to try to contact me. Her father found out what I had done and told me He would not tell her but I needed too so I agreed that I would. But he told her before I had the chance too. So I admitted and I told my wife what had happened. She is devastated and doesn’t want anything to do with me. She says as of right now we are not together but she doesn’t know what the future holds for us. I will do absolutely anything to earn her back. She needs space she said and I am willing to give her that. But at the same time it is hard to give her that. I don’t want to lose contact with her and a kind of out of sight out of mind situation. How long do I wait to contact her or reach out to her. What can I do to earn a chance to fix what I have ruined. I am so lost without her. I take full responsibility for my actions and am deeply sorry and I will truly do anything to have a second chance with her.

  • DrDeb July 26th, 2014 at 7:40 PM #69

    Hi J
    Being sorry isn’t enough. What you did eroded trust. How can YOU be sure (let alone your wife) that you will NEVER in a hundred years do this again? What you need to do is work with a therapist who can help you (a) quickly figure out why you did this and (b) give you the tools to withstand the challenges of life going forward. Please see an MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) who does more than just talk. Maybe a Gestalt therapist, CBT. But not a psychodynamic type as that therapy is a long-term deal. When your wife sees you as having a different attitude because of the work you’ve done, then there is a possibility she will be willing to take a chance again.

  • Cristina July 26th, 2014 at 7:55 PM #70

    I have been with my husband for over 12 years, 9 have been married. About a year and a half ago I confessed that I lied in the beginning of our relationship about the number of sexual partners I had in my past. It devastated him until he confessed he had been unfaithful earlier in the year. It was difficult at the time but we decided to stay together and try everything we could to fix our relationship. We haven’t been in love for a long time now and haven’t uttered”I life you” in all this time. We tried counseling but weren’t able to get past our distrust and our past. About 4 months ago we decided to try a separation but couldn’t stay away. We want to be with each other and fall back in love but we don’t know how. We have no children but know we want to fix our marriage. I don’t know what to do.

  • DrDeb July 27th, 2014 at 11:16 AM #71

    Hi Cristina
    My question to you, about your previous therapy: Did it focus on why there was a problem on your husband’s part with your previous sexual partners? If the problem was religious, there is such a thing as repentance and forgiveness. If the problem was your lying, then the question is: why did you feel a need to lie? Were you afraid of him? If that was part of it–and this requires soul-searching w your therapist’s help–then it is no wonder that you can’t get the love back. A husband should not be a person we are afraid of. If it was fear, then your husband has the work to do to be a different kind of presence for you. If it was not fear but your own low self esteem, then THAT is what you need to work on in therapy. You see, depending on the reasons underlying the behavior, the process of healing is different.

  • C July 30th, 2014 at 1:09 PM #72

    I have a problem. I’m pretty young 23 and so is my boyfriend, well, ex. We dated for around 6 year (not including a year that we broke up two years ago). Our relationship when we got back together two years ago was amazing. We were happier than ever before and we understood each other great and we were best friends and always talked about the future and building a life together. We were both very much in love. But then around 4 months ago I got sexually assaulted while out with a girlfriend and it left me very emotionally apart. I would hang out with him but I was never really there because I was dealing with what happened to me, and even when we would talk on the phone I would never really be listening. In the end he fell out of love and I don’t blame him. He ended up being seduced by a girl who wanted to hurt her fiancé and cheated. I myself was finally three weeks go able to work past what was done to me and I wanted to fix things with him because I didn’t want to lose someone so special to me and he broke up with me. I am devastated especially when I feel the guy who hurt me had already done enough I feel now I lost the love of my life and my best friend. I feel like I can forgive him for what he did with the girl because i know i was distant and ignored him emotionally. But he doesn’t want to give me another chance. He says its not my fault that he just wants to see what other people are like and travel. But I know that I pushed him away. I want him back and to show him that I’m the person I was before this mess happened. I don’t know what to do.

  • DrDeb July 30th, 2014 at 3:13 PM #73

    Hi C
    So let me ask you a funny question. Suppose we project into the future. Let’s say everything works out and you get married and now it years later, you are 40 and just had your breasts removed because of cancer (God forbid). Would he find you less attractive because you weren’t perfect? I’m bothered by his lack of compassion, not your lack of listening. YOU were traumatized, not him. But he made it all about him and so are you now, too. The fact that you got along so well for so long is very nice but you started out real young, too young to know how a person would handle life. And then HE cheated and he doesn’t want to give YOU another chance??? Something’s mixed up here.

  • Shena August 1st, 2014 at 12:19 AM #74

    I have been with my boyfriend for nearly two years now. We’ve bee fighting quite a bit and he broke up with me once. During that time, i became close with a guy. He fell for me and i think i have feelings for him too. But my boyfriend and i decided to try and fix things. We were on the right track, but he left for army a week after. And our relationship is still weak. I know it’s wrong, but i kept contact with the other guy and i’m so confused now. He wants me to give him a chance but i’m not sure what to do :( I can’t leave my boyriend for someone else. Eventhough he has been treating me like shit, he deserves more than that. What should i do?

  • TJ August 1st, 2014 at 8:54 AM #75

    I need help. My ex girlfriend and I just recently broke up because currently we cannot afford to live with each other and we are now states apart from each other. She wants to see other people for now and hopefully in two years when things settle down and we can both get on our feet we can see where we in life and get back together. I am currently hurting a lot and I am ok with her plan but I feel hurt, I feel like I cannot trust her anymore, and I feel betrayed. What should I do? We both still keep in contact with each other and talk daily still.

  • Marina August 1st, 2014 at 9:36 AM #76

    Hello,

    I’ve been engaged since January and we were happy as ever. Since I’m Brazilian we decided to have our little ceremony there with my friends and family and his parents and sister, and having a second party here in Canada for his family and friends afterwards. My mother in law showed how selfish she is since day one making a huge drama about everything. My fiance feeling guilty decided to have a huge party here before Brazil and that hid mothers happiness and needs when it came to the wedding details should come first because he was doing this for her.
    After six months of being betrayed and hurt I decoded to cancel everything and work on whatever was left of our relationship after this.
    He now realized how wrong he has been and is fully committed to change everything and to show me how he is putting me always first, no matter what.
    The problem is that I’ve been so hurt so manyttimes that now I’m discouraged of trying one more time. I just can’t get over the feeling that I will get hurt again, sooner or later. I could even start seeing my life without him but because I trully love him and because he asked for one last chance, I stay. The issue is that he wants me to be fully committed and upbeat and in a happy place with this and I’m not. I’m still hurt and seeing him as a five year old boy, not a man.
    Will I ever be able to get over this and look at him with the same eyes I used to?

  • DrDeb August 1st, 2014 at 12:01 PM #77

    Hi Shena
    Of course, I don’t know your complete situation, but I’m getting the sense that what’s mixing you up is that you (and maybe your boyfriend) have confused the excitement of first getting to know someone with real love. Romantic love feels great but it only works well–and long term–with the right person. The right person loves you for who you are including all the irritating things that will come to annoy him 20 years from now. That’s true love. So you have the wonderful feeling of being the object of interest but that doesn’t substitute for true love. First thing to do is to have a frank discussion with your real boyfriend about his mistreatment. He has to commit to making changes or getting help if he can’t figure out how to treat a woman by himself. Can you talk while he is in the military or is he overseas? Naturally, being separated, he will probably long for you so anything he commits to now has to be re-discussed when he is with you. Then with the second guy, the truth is, you don’t know him well enough to know if he would be a better match for you, so you can’t make any assumptions. For sure though, do not start a new relationship when you’re in an old one. It is not only confusing but doesn’t make you look very good to the second one, let alone the original boyfriend.

  • Tina August 2nd, 2014 at 7:58 AM #78

    I have been dating for my boyfriend for a little bit but he was married for 13 years to this woman that really hurt him. He just started telling me that I cam do so much better than him and that he is scared of anything because of what she did. I really don’t know what to do. He has kids and I have a kid. They all get a long great and my daughter really likes him. I’m starting to get a lot of feelings for him and he told me to get rid of my feelings because he doesn’t know what to do since she hurt him. He told me that he can’t go through something like that again. I just don’t know what to do. How can I get him to trust me and show him that I’m not going to hurt him. To top it off I met his mom and she doesn’t like me. I introduced my self to her and all I get is an attitude from her and she makes it very uncomfortable.

  • DrDeb August 2nd, 2014 at 10:30 PM #79

    Hi TJ
    Well, I am puzzled. If she really loves you, why does she want to date other people? If she is not sure, then being in different states will not help. Perhaps she is not sure how to tell you it’s over? Perhaps she is just immature or selfish? I can’t tell without more information.

  • DrDeb August 2nd, 2014 at 10:35 PM #80

    Hi Marina,
    You’re asking a good question. Generally, people don’t change in their deepest core too readily. If he is afraid of his mother or of feeling guilty because of what she says, then he would need to work hard on getting over that — and that piece is difficult. If he wants you to be upbeat and happy under these circumstances, then he is really out of touch. May I suggest you go to a couples therapist so as to (a) help him understand you and (b) develop the strength to gently point out to his mom that your relationship comes first.

  • DrDeb August 2nd, 2014 at 10:38 PM #81

    Hi Tina,
    Maybe this man married his mother the first time? Interesting that he has a not-nice mother and an ex-wife that was not nice. I am sure readers of this blog may be tired of hearing me say “therapy” so much, but I’ll say it again: I would like to recommend couples therapy. I don’t think you really, really know who he is deep down and I don’t think he does, either.

  • beth August 4th, 2014 at 9:57 AM #82

    I just found this website searching for links to help save my marriage. My Husband and I have been together for 12 years and married for 9. We have 4 children. Recently he got a job that would cause us to move away from our home town, family and friends. He moved four months before us, I was scared to move and told him I wasnt sure if I wanted to move or to be with him. I was unsure about our relationship because its has has its ups and downs. I didnt want to move away and be alone while dealing with issues in our relationship. This hurt him so much, id never seen him act this way. He was desperate to have his family and told me everything I ever wanted to hear. He promised to our children things would be better and to me. Two months later right before we moved he told me he had found a girlfriend there and didnt love me. We I thought worked through it and I moved our family there. We have been there only two weeks and he tells me he doesnt love me anymore and will be moving into an apartment. He wants me and our children to stay so he can see them daily. Im devistated and cant imagine his feelings have gone from being madly in love to having no love in two months. I would do anything to have him back I love him so much and with everything we have been through I cant imagine him calling it quits. He says it is not because of a nother woman but I cant imagine why he would feel the need to move out after two weeks of living together again. Basically I dont know where to go from here and I cant imagine breaking my childrens heart and telling them we moved our lives to be a family and daddy is now moving out.

  • Carmen August 7th, 2014 at 7:58 AM #83

    I have been with my boyfriend for a little over 6 months. I have known him for 3 years now and he has my first everything. First boyfriend, literally everything. 3 years ago when we first began to get to know each other, he hurt me really bad. He ended up hooking up with another girl twice. We weren’t together officially but the purpose was to get closer to having a real relationship. I felt so betrayed because I respected our terms and remained loyal to him but he couldn’t do the same. I left him and he kept contacting me but I wanted nothing to do with someone who only looked at me as a way to get sex and be so insensitive to disrespect me and cheat on me. 5 months later he texted me and I decided to talk to him again and slowly we began to rebuild what we had and finally are in a relationship now. At first it felt like a dream until he hurt me once more. I surprised him at his house and I found him in the living room talking to another girl. What hurt was that he completely ignored me. He gave a dry hi not even a kiss or hug. He didn’t even introduce me to the girl as his girlfriend. He went to drop her off and when he came back he came back to greet me just like he always does and that threw me off. I was convinced he was cheating on me because he even had a picture of himself and the same girl as his wallpaper. He claims until this day that she is just a friend who was there to visit his mother because she took care of her as child. I fell back into the same hole as 3 years ago. it is so hard to get back from that hurt. Ever since we had that fall out he’s like a changed man. He’s doing things for me that he’s never done. He’ll take me out on dates, cook me dinner, and most importantly, putting up with me no matter how much I seem to push him away. For me its these small things that warm my heart. He claims he’s a changed man and that he will do anything to prove to me that he really loves me. He has even told me he wishes to marry me. Even though he is doing everything in his power to show me his love I feel like the hurt and pain has made me numb. I know I have feelings for him because just the taught of losing him makes me sick and after everything he’s done I still choose him over any other guy. I just can’t trust him fully I always feel he’ll do something to me again. He gets frustrated that I don’t trust him but he’s willing to do anything to get me to understand. He feels like I don’t show him that I love him and it makes me sad because I do but I know deep down its the hurt that’s caused me to become so guarded and cold towards him. How do I fix this? How can I put the hurt aside and go back to loving him like I use to?

  • Sabrena August 9th, 2014 at 1:32 AM #84

    hie am a 25 years old woman I have been in a relationship with a man for 30months. I met this man early 2012 we were staying in the same complex things started all as a joke ad time went on I was advise that he was married I asked him he refused and as time went on I literally believed him as he will stays here in Pretoria but his family is from Mpumalanga. so I told myself that if he is married I will see his wife coming time went on I feel inlove with him he used to go to Mpumalanga 2 weekends a month I never minded as he had a daughter there who her mum passed on. In 2013 I went to a funeral with him I got a chance to be introduced to his family member all went well. He gave me a right to go to Mpumalanga if I want to and I never really bothered as I trusted him. He asked me to move in with him I refused as I didn’t want to tush into things we recently had a baby all was good he is still asking me to move in but I can’t. 3weeks ago I discovered he has a another woman there in Mpumalanga what must I do.

  • Anna August 10th, 2014 at 5:24 PM #85

    Hello DrDeb,

    My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. Just in June we were looking at engagment rings. Then in July I found out I didn’t get into a grad program I had my heart set on. That same week I also didn’t get a job I wanted. I was really upset and got pretty angry. I wanted my boyfriend to comfort me but since he didn’t know what to do and I didn’t tell him what I wanted things got bad. I felt like he didn’t care when he just didn’t know how to react. This ended in me storming out of his apartment and leaving my promise ring there. It’s now august and things aren’t any better. He says I really hurt him when I did that and he doesn’t know how to get around it. He’s even thinking about ending everything. I love him so much and I’m so angry this has snowballed. Do you have any advice?

  • DrDeb August 10th, 2014 at 6:50 PM #86

    Hi Beth,
    Your story is contradictory. First you say you weren’t sure you even wanted to continue the relationship. Then, after he promises everything and you move, and he does not love you any more, now you love him so much. Are your feelings really love or fear of loss? Fear of being alone? And the same question can be asked of his up and down feelings. What I’m thinking is that you don’t know who you are let alone who he is — and he has the same problem. I hate to keep saying “therapy” in this column but I guess that’s why God created therapists.

  • DrDeb August 10th, 2014 at 6:54 PM #87

    Hi Carmen,
    I’m not sure that it is right of you to expect yourself to sweep this dust under the carpet. I’m still stuck back at the moment you walked into his LR and he did not hug and kiss you and say to the other girl, “Here is my girlfriend, Carmen.” And why was she his wallpaper if she just came to visit his mother? Marriage is not for cheats and liars. Until these funny things get 110% cleared up, I would not trust him no matter how nice he is to you.

  • DrDeb August 10th, 2014 at 6:57 PM #88

    Hi Sabrena,
    It looks like this guy is having fun seeing how many women he can keep on the side. You do not need this. This is not a real relationship; this is someone taking advantage of you. Have more pride in yourself and your value than that.

  • DrDeb August 10th, 2014 at 7:01 PM #89

    Hi Anna,
    Somewhere in your life, anger was acceptable. But it isn’t, especially at the wrong object. Your boyfriend didn’t cause you to not get into the grad program of get the job. When outside circumstances like that happen, it’s a signal for you to think: How can I improve myself? instead of getting angry. That said, now I strongly urge you to get therapy to figure out where the anger came from and most importantly, how to look at Life in a healthier way so you don’t get angry, especially not at innocent people. If you see a marriage & family therapist who is skilled at anger issues, then you can eventually bring him into the therapy so he can see that you are, indeed, working on yourself and this won’t happen in the future.

  • vicky August 12th, 2014 at 12:13 AM #90

    I’m im a relationship for 2 years now. My problem is that my bfriend can get very angry and says a lot of thinks that hurts and because he knows me it hurts bad. One day I was at work and he got angry – not because if me, but he wanted to take it on me on the phone. When I came back he locked me outside the doors and I couldn’t get in. He was still arguing and I phoned the police. They took him to the police station to sober up and calmed down. Now he doesn’t speak to me and says it’s my fault because I put him in the box for few hours. I do love him and I know it hurt him, but i still want to fight for us. Anything I can do? I would appreciate any advise

  • Jess August 12th, 2014 at 7:10 AM #91

    I found this website while researching my complicated relationship with my husband of 2 years. We met online as friends 5 years ago and fell in love. We dedicated everything to be with each other as we lived separated by the Pacific ocean. Finally in 2 years ago he proposed and set into plan moving to live with me. However, I still lived with my parents after being sick for many years. Meeting my husband had set me in motion into becoming a independent, healthy individual after 10 years of neglecting myself. His love saved me. My parents loved him and had no problem with us living in their house while we set up our lives together. BUT, living with my parents for so long showed the worse side of me. A side my husband hadn’t seen and didn’t like. I was stubborn and got irritated easily, a trait that I now know was conditioned from living with my father who shows the exact same attitude.
    We had fights often, usually from a small disagreement that always blew up into a massive arguement that left us bitter as we always said hurtful things. But we seemed to make up everytime.
    We moved out a year after being married and finally had our own place. Things seemed great but I didn’t see my husband slowly moving emotionally away from me. It all blew up on my birthday this year. It was our most violent fight. I had developed a headache just before we were meant to go out for the night so I was in bed. Something just snapped in my husband and he tipped out of the bed suddenly, knocking my bedside table over in the process. I was scared and acted in fear by shouting at him and hitting him on his back repeatedly saying that being his wife didn’t give him the right to treat me like that. I was ready to leave him that night, but I stayed as he quietly told me everything he had been keeping from me.
    He told me he wasn’t attracted to me, certain features of me physical and my personality he hated. He hated the arguements and most of all he felt I had betrayed his trust.
    I was so lost and confused. I was sure this was the end of my marriage, there was no fixing this this time. Promises wouldn’t be enough. Somehow, we sat down and talked and moved on but now there was a wall between us. We kept to our routines; he would kiss me when leaving for work sbd let me hug him but the warmth was gone.
    I did a lot of research and listening to my husband and he continually spoke out every thought to me on why he wasn’t attracted to me anymore and how I would react if he cheated or he left. It hurt a lot but I listened and answered honestly any questions he wanted from me.
    I decided to lock away my feelings for this time period, crying or feeling sorry for myself wouldn’t help my marriage.
    It wasn’t until I found this website that I realised what had happened to my husband and me. I was always confused when he said I had betrayed him. After reading this article I know now that my unfulfilled promises of improving myself had hurt him deeply. We had made promises to each other the first day we met physically; both of us vowed to get in shape and improve ourselves. My husband felt he had fulfilled his part but I was slacking with my end. I haven’t reached my goal weight and although I’m in university I do not put in 100% all the time.
    After reading this article I have a deeper insight into how I hurt my husband. I was naive in thinking that not reaching my goals wouldn’t hurt anyone.
    I’m writing this to say that the advice on this website worked. Everything began to fall into place as I showed my husband my motivation to be that better person I promised to him. He slowly opened back up to me and after 4 months I got a “I love you” from him, which frankly shocked me into speechlessness. After so long keeping my feelings locked up, it felt great to show him how much I still loved him.
    Since then we gave gone strength to strength, our love life is better than it ever was and we barely argue at all. I feel a lot of my bad habits of being stubborn or misunderstanding have gone and I have beem rewarded with my efforts through this tough time by a husband who tells me I look prettier every passing day.
    I hope this brings some encouragement to others in difficult relationships situtations and to listen to DrDeb. I never would have gotten to this point in my marriage without this revelation, thank you.

  • sue August 12th, 2014 at 6:41 PM #92

    Since the last two weeks in April my husband has been spending the weekends with his female friend. She had lost he fiance and has been in and out of the hospital and has had to move back in with her parents…he’s been right by her side. He even went to florida for a few days with her because she didn’t want to go by herself. I had even suggested us all hanging out together. There was always some excuse not to include me. Posting selfies all over facebook it looks like something else is going on as if they are dating. I don’t have a problem with platonic friendships of the opposite sex but after 10 weekends I told my husband how I felt…I explained to him that he had stopped doing “the little things” and that I wanted to spend time with him. He said he had not realized that and we discussed having a date night. So a friday he went to see her at the hospital not letting me go with him, he stayed the night in the hospital with her and that saturday made plans for him and i to go out to dinner & movie. Several hours had passed since we had made the plans and had not heard from him so i sent him a text. He said that they were at the pharmacy then going to see a movie…he said we could do out date on sunday…i was so mad and hurt. I felt like she was more important than me…needless to say we got into an arguement and he didn’t have date with me sunday instead took her fishing. With all the posts on facebook, i see him doing things with her that he should be doing with me…
    A male friend that i’ve known 17 years was visiting from out of state as his sister was in hospital…i had lunch with him twice, both times letting my husband know…but after the cancelled date for him to take here to the movies i was mad…i took a day off from work to clear my head…i asked my male friend if he wanted to ride down to the beach with me…after swimming at the beach we went back to my parents camper to shower and get cleaned up…i watched a little tv and when the show went off i went outside until my male friend was out of the shower and dressed…and while i was showering and dressing he was outside on his phone but had come back in before i was done. I did not exit the bathroom until i was fully dressed. I fixed my hair or it will tangle and we left for home. I was wrong not to tell my husband my friend was going with me…but others knew and had told him. I didn’t tell my husband because i was still mad at him. I finally told him several days later…but it was too late because he thinks i cheated and i did not. I didn’t tell him i went outside when my friend was showering. At the time i told him and we were arguing he would not let me talk without shooting down everything i said and still accused me of cheating. I tried explaining what i did and giving him more details of me being outside…he sees it as having two stories and still believes i cheated. He still doesn’t see him doing anything wrong by spending all his time with his female friend. It’s been over a month now…nearly two…he continues to spend his weekends with her and maybe a night during the week…he says he doesn’t trust me and still thinks i cheated…nothing i do seems to help…he doesn’t know whether to stay or go…and i want so much to fight for our marriage. I never cheated.

  • sue August 12th, 2014 at 9:26 PM #93

    I want to know how to be able or if I’m even able to regain the love that I once had for my partner? This person cheated on me many times, but I was still there by them when they were going through their addictions and trying to fight them. Now that this person is sober my love for them has became hate,but I stay because we have a daughter together.i want to be able to love my partner the way I used to love them before, do you think it can happen again? Please help

  • DrDeb August 13th, 2014 at 12:04 PM #94

    Hi Vicky
    Why are you more concerned about the pain you caused your boyfriend than the pain he caused you? If we don’t take care of ourselves, why would we expect others to take care of us? When you get on a plane, they tell you, if you’re traveling w a child and the O2 needs to come down, put it on yourself first or you will pass out and then you and the child will lose oxygen. Does that make sense to you? my question for you to think about is: When will you start protecting yourself from verbal abuse? Dump the guy if he is more concerned for himself than you. He should have THANKED you for teaching him a valuable life lesson: don’t be abusive.

  • aran August 14th, 2014 at 4:25 AM #95

    I loved my girlfriend Tanya but whilst I was going through a rough time I spoke to another girl and it relived my stress and made me feel happy.I thought I started to get feelings for this girl (it wasn’t I just liked talking)and I told my gf. But I love my gf and she left me and she says she can’t trust me anymore but that she still loves me. What can I do?

  • tyler August 14th, 2014 at 10:37 AM #96

    I’ve have recently become aware of how abusive I have been to my gf. I judged and shamed and manipulated her without really even thinking about it. I love her deeply and I know what I have to do to change, but we’ve been over this ground before.

  • teri August 14th, 2014 at 12:43 PM #97

    IIve been in a relationship for 7 years . I cheated a couple of times n i was also women enough to let him know. But what i wana knw how can a man says he love u but when u ask.him ? S he dosent respond about anything serious anyway. If u talk about muve he can hear n everything else. Y is that ? N i told him if he cant open up its over n he said olewell thats something that i cant do. What.kind of stuff is that i been dealing wit it for a while n nw im juz fed up.

  • DrDeb August 15th, 2014 at 2:19 PM #98

    Hi Aran
    People use all kinds of methods to relieve stress which are not healthy: addictions, OCD, flirting, etc. First thing you should do is learn healthy stress relievers like working out, yoga, meditation. I’m not kidding. Once you are more able to cope with stress, you can tell your gf you took this thing seriously and have actually done something about it. If she still won’t trust you, then you can go to couples counseling to re-build trust.

  • DrDeb August 15th, 2014 at 2:22 PM #99

    Hi Tyler
    It is super important to totally get past the verbal abuse. You can read my book – on my website is a description of it [drdeb.com] – but the key is to understand your own family and how their behavior influenced you so you know exactly what to avoid when the situations come up in your life. This is possible by reading a book but counseling may be best because (in my opinion) a person who is abusive was also abused and therefore needs HEALING from it himself.

  • DrDeb August 15th, 2014 at 2:24 PM #100

    Hi Teri
    That’s how men were raised in our culture — hide your feelings so YOU don’t even know what they are. Be a man and stuff it. That happens to be a bad idea but our society works that way. It keeps me in business ;-)

  • princy August 16th, 2014 at 11:26 AM #101

    My boyfriend hurts himself when we fight and he cant hurt or hit me so that he hurts himself. What does it explain? What kind of man he is??

  • Someone August 17th, 2014 at 10:24 PM #102

    Hi
    I have someone that I love her with whole my heart and she is into drug. I just wanna know how can I show her there is nothing above love. After that drug thing I am so confused and I really don’t know what I do. I know one thing for sure love never fails. Why the hell people prefer drug over someone who really love and heart? I am so upset and I don’t even know what can I do. I try to talk with her with different apps she talk with me for-awhile and she either uninstall the app or block me for no reason. All I say I love her. Please help me what should I do.

  • Craig R August 19th, 2014 at 10:41 AM #103

    I live with my girlfriend of 8 years and she says she loves me and wants to be with me but she never shows it, living with her is a nightmare, we Dont communicate, we are never intimate, she never listens to me when i tell her how much its effecting my state of mind, i feel so low ATM that i feel like ending my life. What can i do?

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team August 19th, 2014 at 11:16 AM #104

    Thank you for your comment, Craig. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • mersy August 19th, 2014 at 4:59 PM #105

    I have been married for 10 years, i say I because i was technically the only one who acted as if i was married. there was Cheating,verbal abuse, drug use, and been an absent and irresponsable father. 7 years i found myself heartbroken with 3 kids. i didn’t know what to do because his drinking was out of hand and the kind of trouble he was getting into made me worry about all of us. i was exhausted by the fact that nothing seemed to change no matter how much i tried and i had so much on my plate, i was emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted. i tried everything to make things change and work. i was in this case the giver and he the taker, i understand now that i played a role in him just taking everything and giving me nothing. i was raised to have a united family and divorce was not something i initially saw as been an option. finally 1 month before our 9th year anniversary i had enough after him coming home wasted and getting aggresive with me. i left him for a year, during that year he became more responsable got a better job that he was motivated about and he was giving the kids a real dad. He begged me to give him another chance,he acted different towards me as well and although i missed nothing about our relationship i decided to give it another try since i had never seperated from him before i thought this maybe the one thing that would make him change. we are 9 months back together, he has taken 4 trips by himself with his cousins and friends, i found out he was doing cocaine with his aunt on my birthday and he recently went out and stayed who knows where because he did not come. these are all things i had told him i would not ever be ok with again, i took too much before and i told myself i would never tolerate this again. He has made some changes but this things are completely unacceptable. how do i put my efort into this when he still doing thinbgs that shattered the little trust and respect i had gained?? how will he know when enoguh is enough if i stay? i feel i’m cheating myself by staying and i’m not in love anymore. i’m full of anxiety because i feel i may have to make a decision once gain.

  • DrDeb August 19th, 2014 at 5:26 PM #106

    Hi Craig & Good Therapy Team-
    Thank you, Team for keeping an eye out here. I’m honored that so many people have posted but I can’t get so quickly to each one.
    Craig, please don’t take into yourself your gf’s behavior. This is HER way and her problem. If this is not the type of personality for you – if she’s too cold – you are entitled to your feelings. Consider ending this relationship – NOT your life.

  • DrDeb August 19th, 2014 at 5:29 PM #107

    Hi Someone,
    Why do you love a person who is avoiding you? Do you have a fantasy of being her rescuer? That is not healthy. You will not succeed against the drugs. People get into drugs because they can’t tolerate the emotional pain inside. That pain started with their childhoods. Only therapy can fix that.

  • DrDeb August 19th, 2014 at 7:03 PM #108

    Hi Princy,
    Your bf hurting himself sounds pretty serious. Can you get him to see a therapist?

  • DrDeb August 19th, 2014 at 7:09 PM #109

    Hi Jess,
    Thank you so much for your praise, but I have to tell you: it is YOU who took it seriously and applied it. That is all to YOUR credit.
    Best of luck going forward!

  • DrDeb August 19th, 2014 at 7:14 PM #110

    Hi Sue#1
    Although your post is long, I feel like there is stuff missing from it. I’m thinking something must have been going wrong in your relationship in the first place for your husband to just drop you like that to take care of this friend. I just don’t get where he’s coming from. That said, we learned in school that two wrongs don’t make a right. Even though you didn’t actually cheat with this male friend, what you did sounds like spite — and that is not healthy for a marriage. Instead of fighting, you really needed to understand what was up with him. Was he just no longer interested in the marriage? Why weren’t you supposed to join him and the girl? Very fishy to me.

  • Amelia G August 20th, 2014 at 2:53 AM #111

    Hello,

    My relationship is of almost 4 years and hasn’t been going great recently. I sensed to late that something has been off with him and by the time I instinctively realized the emotional damage I must’ve done to him I also felt that he might have fallen out of love with him. He admitted it after I asked if he’s not in love with me any longer. I asked him if he wanted space and he agreed, saying he needs time alone and he will call when/if he’s ready to talk to me. I feel that I needed the space too for my own healing. The thing is, I know what he’s going through because I fell out of love with him as well a longer while back, but regained it again, a new deeper love, over time through both his unknowing efforts and mine (I didn’t let him know of it). I am wondering if it is wise to let him know now of my past experience while we are having our time apart. Or if we should even have this time spent for ourselves in the first place.

  • kristal August 20th, 2014 at 7:23 PM #112

    I seen a counselor Tuesday and explained how im almost 6months pregnant, ive been with my bf 14months and I feel very little support. We dont get a long most of the time, we argue because he can discipline my kids but I cant even look at his the “wrong” way without it being a diaster. I have three kids of my own 7 and undet who are not his and he has two 13 and 10. Im on a leave of absence from work until 6 weeks after my pregnancy due to anxiety. The only income I have is child support which I cant always count on. In the 14months hes pretty much lived here has only helped me a handful of times with bills. He clams I knew his money situation when he moved in which is correct but I told him I really need his help now that im off work, and he still has not stepped up. A lot of the times we fight he packs his stuff up and is gone about a day or so. I miss him he misses me he comes back and the argument s over bills and his kids happen all over again. He also has a habitat of accusing me of cheating which ive never done or given him a reason to be that way we also fight over that. I dont even like being around his kids any more because I know it will cause an argument. Idk if I should see this counselor again on monday or not, Iwanted someone to help me help myself but help me work on my rrelationship. Please help!

  • Marshall B August 21st, 2014 at 12:09 AM #113

    I’ve been married to my wife for 10 years now. I love her dearly, but fear im not in love with her anymore.

    First, let me say, she had a traumatic childhood and suffers from depression, and just within the past year has been getting professional help.

    In the first four years of our marriage, she had multiple online affairs. One of which killed a friendship with a guy i’ve known since childhood. Another, which got so serious she stayed with her sister, for over a few months, so she could focus on a relationship with a guy that lived on the other side of the country. (with many racy messages and pics, that linger in my mind) I still loved and missed her so much. After pleading with her almost daily to come home, one day she did. They secretly stayed in contact for a while longer. But eventually ended with drawn out, heart felt goodbyes to one another. Which felt like my already broken heart had been shredded.
    Soon after that, she broke down, genuinely apologized and begged for forgiveness. I forgave her, or so I thought.

    Things were going pretty well after that. We soon had a child, and bought a house.
    Naturally or unnaturally, the new baby in our life led to decreased intimacy. Soon, my wifes traumatic childhood experiences really start coming to the surface and depression worsens, she starts seeing a therapist and taking medication. Which I fully support. Due to the meds, the sparse intimacy has now turned non existent.

    Meanwhile, one day a few months ago (I think while at therapy) she ran into a friend she hadn’t seen since before we married. They started chatting a bit online, and over the past few months, have become, in my wifes words, best friends. Her internet actions are very reminiscent of the previous affair, so i start snooping her messages a bit. I read messages that I felt were inappropriate, and confronted her about them. She claims they are innocent, “friends tell friends, I love you all the time”, she says. Which I agree with, but still feel its inappropriate for a married woman to be saying to another man. Then last week she told him she was crazy about him. I felt so disrespected. I felt like i fell out of love with her when I read that. And I told her that. She claims it was a joke. We had a long talk, and agreed that we have been emotionally drifting over the past few years. And that we wanted to be in love with each other again. We stayed up hours really talking. it was good.
    Now Monday, two days ago, they saw each other at therapy again. I dont know if it was planned or not, doesn’t matter. But,they kissed. I came home from work and told my wife that was it. I was done. She claims it was like a “science experiment” to see if she could feel anything.
    I threatened to get custody of our son and I wanted her out of the house. I was in shock I think, I think im still in shock. Later the same night, after we put our son to bed, in my mind, I’ve convinced myself that there was enough negativity in the world, and that I didn’t want to contribute to that, and this was the woman I vowed to cherish forever, so I passionately kissed and made love to my wife right there. Despite the meds she’s taking, reached orgasm for the first time since starting them. She then, in front of me, sent him a text that said, they couldn’t be friends anymore, shes wants her family. Then Tuesday morning she told me she sent him a message on facebook, “to make sure he got the message, and that she needed to know there was closure between them, and that they were done”

    I dont know what to make of it. I feel like such a fool no matter what happens next. Despite my attempts, no progress towards strengthening anything was made today.

    Im so confused, lonely and lost right now.
    I dont want to lose my wife or my son to lose his mother.
    she’s a beautiful person inside and out and I love her so much. But it dont know what to do.

    I apologize for the lengthy post.
    I have no one to talk to, and I had to let it out.

  • SBM August 21st, 2014 at 8:54 PM #114

    I have been divorced for two years and separated for three. Dated some but nothing serious. Seven months ago, a man that I knew messages me and we began talking. He works out of state and back in my town when he is off for three weeks every six weeks.
    We spoke daily and text for a month before we agreed to see one another. We were friends in high school and are both 45.
    He has never been married and had no kids. I have three. He had a five year relationship with a woman married several times, very needy, spent a lot of his money and would reel him back in using her kids or her problems. Two years ago he left got counseling and blocked everything so he could focus n himself. Dated very little until me.
    We hit it off instantly. Talked and laughed and have a lot in common. We began to get serious and the minute we did…she strikes and begins the whole suicide bit. He falls for it. Open with his communication with her. Tells her about me. Then now he has been saying he feels overwhelmed with the responsibility of a future with me as he has never had it. He loves me and won’t say leave or he’s done. He will say he loves me and that my life is so normal and this is healthy but his friends tell me that he finds reasons to leave as I am not needy enough for him and that I may be almost a threat to him because it is easier to save this manipulative woman as she will kick him to the curb until her next drama.
    Aside from that…we are friends and I would like to at least help him see that not everybody leaves and not everybody is out to use and hurt you. I genuinely love this man. My kids do as well. Mim close to his mother as I am his circle of friends who will not have anything to do with the old girlfriend as she has screwed them to. He just says if I block her and she kills herself then I will never forgive myself
    But need brutal honesty.

  • shelly August 23rd, 2014 at 9:55 AM #115

    You have the same story as I do. He left me a few weeks ago to go live with someone he reconnected with over Facebook from years ago. He told me to file for divorce the other day, two days after he asked if I would take him back.my heart is breaking all day long over this.

  • tamiko August 24th, 2014 at 4:58 AM #116

    Hi dr, I’m so deeply in love with a guy I meet online, but we never met yet personal, because we are staying in different provinces. he’s a businessman and his business is demanding him too much, we only communicate over the phone and chat on social networks. its been three months doing this, but I can’t take it anymore. It hurt my feelings so bad that I can’t spend time with him. I cry every time I speak to him. He is trying hard to make time but the business doesn’t give him a break. please help me what should I do.

  • Shelly August 26th, 2014 at 8:11 AM #117

    I lived common law with a man for 6 years, he told me in June he was not coming home and would not be coming back. We had a good relationship. I realize now I pushed him to do some things he did not want to do and did not respect or consider him like I should have. I have been doing alot of soul searching. I am far from perfect but I love him and really want him back. Is it possoble and whar should I do

  • Cindy August 27th, 2014 at 6:57 AM #118

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years, and in the past I cheated on him, I kissed this guy because I felt like I wasn’t getting attention from my boyfriend, I know it was wrong and I wish I could take it back. My boyfriend got back at me and when he went to Peru he cheated on me as well. We broke up afterward for 4 months, within those months we managed to talk, we ended up getting back together, we love eachother and it was one mistake that I will never do again. We’ve been fighting a lot lately because he says I need to change the way I am, and to gain his trust. He says I don’t act like a girlfriend sometimes and that hurts. I never know what to do, he says I don’t comfort him, that he’s tired for the past three years he’s done everything, he puts my feelings first and as a girlfriend all of this should be an instinct, I should know what to do and say as a girlfriend.

  • Cindy August 27th, 2014 at 7:00 AM #119

    Also, I told him I don’t do anything. I don’t talk to guys I don’t want to become friends with any new guys that I’ve done nothing wrong for him to not trust me a little bit. He says that I don’t do anything for his to trust me, what am I suppose to do? This is what I don’t know, I don’t know how to change, I want to because I love my boyfriend and I hate to see him feel like this, it’s my fault and I want to make everything right

  • DrDeb August 27th, 2014 at 10:15 AM #120

    Hi Cindy
    Often we go into a relationship looking for all the validation, nurturing, warmth and support that parents didn’t give us. If parents had given these things to us growing up, then we would feel self-confident and brimming with love to give out to the person we are with. Instead, when we start a relationship in a state of being somewhat on “empty” then instead of looking for what we can give to the other person, we are always feeling in some way neglected and missing something. The truth is that a boyfriend or husband can never give to us what our parents didn’t give – it would never be enough. We really have to start giving what we missed to ourselves. We have to start telling ourselves that we are a good person, that we were born to give the world something special, that life is meant for us to be happy with, and so forth. Then, when our bucket is “full” it is easier not to count: did he do this for me? did he do that? well, I did X, why didn’t he do Y? This is the EXACT reason for cheating. Once our bucket is feeling full, we will want to give everything: our time, our attention, etc.

  • DrDeb August 27th, 2014 at 11:03 AM #121

    Hi Shelly
    Sometimes we get challenges in life that are very painful but they actually lead to something positive. the fact that this whole bad situation caused you this soul searching and it made you realize you didn’t treat your bf well is very good for you. Use that new knowledge in positive ways with your friends and family, people you work with and so on. The word could get out that you have made changes!

  • Amber August 27th, 2014 at 9:09 PM #122

    Hello Dr. Deb…
    My boyfriend and I started talking a little over a year ago. We were “together”, but not technically, for a while due to the fact that I was staying with my mom a few hours away. When I came into town to celebrate my birthday he asked me to be his girlfriend and things took off in the best way from there, at least at first. We clicked on a level I’ve never felt before, and I don’t think he’d ever felt anything like it either. I decided not to go back to my mom’s after that (for many reasons, though I will admit he was one of them) and I stayed with family for a few weeks until he convinced me to stay with him and his cousin. We had our petty fights, but nothing serious until we had a pregnancy scare. We talked about what we would do if I was and he kept pushing me to consider abortion, but although I support a woman’s right to her own body I couldn’t fathom the idea at first. I went to the doctor to find out for sure and I was. When I finally gave in to the idea, we couldn’t find the money. So we bounced around a little after until we managed to find our own apartment. We started fighting a lot more, partly due to how unfairly needy and emotional I know I’ve been, and partly because he feels trapped in a life he was not ready for. I’m now 5 weeks from my due date and he recently said that because of how I’ve been acting due to the pregnancy and because this isn’t what he wanted at this point, he’s falling out of love with me. He isn’t trying to leave, or make me leave, or not be there for our son. He just says he doesn’t have it in him to make the relationship part work with how drained he feels he’s already become emotionally and how much he’s working now to make sure we can take care of the baby financially. This is confusing to me because we haven’t actually “broken up” and he still shows me some affection on occasion, we still get intimate, and I even get that glimpse of love in his eyes I used to see all the time, but only for a moment. The thing is, I can’t do this without him. I love him deeply and genuinely and I know I am partly at fault for him feeling this way (like his needs don’t matter, like he never did enough, like I can’t accomplish the tasks he sees as so important, etc), but I don’t know how to try and start the process of fixing it. I know I’m going to have to take the initiative and hopefully he’ll see how hard I’m trying and follow suit. I know I can’t force him, but if I can show him how hard I’m trying to better myself and become the person he keeps saying he believes I can be, and how willing I am to do everything to make this work, is there a chance I can bring him back to me? I feel that this is the best option, seeing as neither of us deserves to live awkwardly and miserably in the same house trying to raise a baby together, but alone, and neither of us intends to leave. Not only that, but I don’t think I could handle it with how much I care for him. Being so close, yet so far… So how do I get him saying “I’m in love with you,” instead of “I love you, but I don’t know if its that way anymore”?

  • Rachel L September 1st, 2014 at 10:31 PM #123

    Hey Marshall, I think you sound like a man who is truly dedicated to his wife. You made my night truly, I dont even know how I came across this lol…but im here and im reading this thread and I want you to know that you are so wonderfully kind. So much that your wife has taken full advantage of just how sweet, loving, forgiving and kind you are. She has issues but I wouldnt stand for that, she is knowingly hurting you and she needs to work on herself. She needs individual counseling. Falling out of love was the result of your wife’s rotten behavior. You can do better. You have a lot of love in her heart. Save it for the right woman. Marriage or no marriage ya cant really get over it once your spouse wants to look elsewhere.

  • Bambi September 2nd, 2014 at 3:22 PM #124

    Me and my best friend have friends for almost 10 years we’ve had are ups and down but still remained best friend. About 3 and a half years ago I lied to her about my brother dying. I wanted her sympathy becuz I have falling in love with her about a year passed and she finally told me she loved me and I was so happy I forgot about the lie and we been dating for more than 2 years and then the lie came out and I confessed the lie and now our relationship is on the rock because of the lie. She hasn’t left but she has said she’s hurt and that she don’t know if she can ever feel the same way about me again. I don’t want this relationship to end I’m so in love with her that it’s killing me that things aren’t the same. What can I do to get her back?

  • cindee September 2nd, 2014 at 11:21 PM #125

    Hi, the first 2 months of my relationship with my bf, i like him a lot because he know how to treat a woman, and he is very blunt and direct with what he want and how he feel. But he did not feel the same way in the begining of our relationship, which i can understand why. I have 2 kids under the age of 5 and he was not ready to be a “stepfather”, so i stop myself from liking him more than i should. 7 months into the relationship he confessed he is really into me and that he could say he love me. Unfortunately, i cannot say the same. I do like him a lot but i don’t love him or feel that i love him. Is this normal to feel this way?

  • Tim September 3rd, 2014 at 5:56 AM #126

    Hey Dr. Deb,

    I was recently in a relationship for the past 5 years. In that time I was battling what I perceived as anger issues. I was never physically abusive but I was very emotionally and mentally abusive towards me ex. We have 1 child together and we have another child who I consider my own because was only 6 months old when we started dating. His birth father was never in the picture due to his instability and choice of partying and drugs over being a father. Well after 5 years of my abuse towards my ex girlfriend she finally said she had to leave so she could grow into the woman she wanted to be. She felt she was constantly walking on egg shells out of fear of when she would do something that I would yell at her about. And I wouldn’t just tell I would insult and call her names no one should ever be called. Well after our split I took it very hard and did soul searching and trying to figure out why I couldn’t get rid of the anger and what felt like a demon that lived in my head even though I had told her several times I would change and I honestly wanted to,but couldn’t. I ended up realizing I wasn’t just angry, I was fearful. I had been letting fear of a nonexistent condition I fabricated in my head rule my life. I had a panic attack months before I met my ex and i literally thought in that moment I was going to die. It was caused by me my working out for 2 years prior and then one day going to workout to the point of exhaustion and I started feeling like I couldn’t breathe and my heart raced and my nerves got so worked up I began to vomit. and for the past 5 years I lived a life where I was scared to leave the house unless necessary out of fear of having another attack. And due to that I was a bad father and boyfriend because I wasn’t doing the camping and hiking and other fun things I loved to do and my family wanted to do. So I was angry at myself and expressed it towards others. Well to trim down on all the details we are now civil but she has run to the arms of our first child’s biological father. She believes they have a connection and she is happy with him. From the outside looking in I see it as she’s getting all I didn’t give her from him and eventually whether she comes back to me or not is irrelevant to the fact he can’t offer her much past the fun good time they have together. He has 3 kids from 3 different women and he sees none of them. He has recently started a job but he has never kept one long term and spends his days getting drunk and smoking pot, which I dont do personally but I have tried it and don’t see anything wrong with it if your life is in order. So for her to be with him is a mixture of him being her first love, and he doesn’t insult her like I did, and all they do is have fun. So I understand that and it hurts me but I’m not mad at her or him for it. However, our son who is biologically his only sees his birth dad on occasion when he comes over and visits my ex. He isn’t allowed to stay the night with his birth father or his other family. I believe that’s because somewhere deep down she knows the guy isn’t a good character but she’s too busy filling the voids I left her with to want to leave him. And though I am trying to be nice to her and show her changes I still don’t feel her receptiveness. I say nice things and try and do nice things and I feel they aren’t appreciated. We have only been separated about 6 weeks (feels like an eternity) and she says don’t have hope it will never happen I should move on. But I honestly feel that is a mixture of her defense towards me not changing and us falling into the same abusive relationship again, mixed with also the scars are so deep she may not see how she can ever look past them even though she says she has forgiven me. And she says she understands why I was that way. I just try and keep persistent but I don’t want to hang on to a rope that isn’t tied to anything on the other end. Maybe right before the rope falls over the edge of the cliff and I plummet to my death she will come running and grab it and save me, or maybe I should let go and climb down before it’s too late. I just don’t know. I know I miss our family and though I didn’t show it I loved her deeply and wanted to change, I just didn’t know how. It took something life changing to snap me out of it. Any advice or suggestions will be very welcomed and acceped. Thank you

    -Tim

  • barry l September 3rd, 2014 at 11:19 AM #127

    My question is. I have verbally abused my girlfriend and destroyed her emotionally, but she still loves me and says that she is confused about what she wants to do with us and mentions that only time will tell. i am currently working on myself and stripping all the negative behaviors from my soul to avoid reoffending. i love her with all my heart and i want to convey that to her. we have been broken up over a month now. we barely talk and i havent seen her since she left. but we still communicate and LOVE is still strong. Is she coming back to me or is she going to pan this one out?

  • Aaron September 3rd, 2014 at 6:27 PM #128

    Me and my girlfriend of four years recently/still are going through a rough patch. After coming off a day of not really talking to each other, she come home and said she doesn’t feel the same way as she did when we first started going out and that she feels I’m holding her back. This broke my heart because I’ve put and given up so much for her and always said this was forever, but to realise she doesn’t feel the same way broke me! She was to try and work it out but I feel as though she is just leaving me hanging! I can’t get angry or anything if she does something wrong because I feel she will want it to be over between us!
    What do I do and how do I make her be in love with me again and be on the same page, not just me bleeding my heart out with nothing in return?
    Please help

  • DrDeb September 3rd, 2014 at 7:33 PM #129

    Hi Amber
    I hate to make this so short when your letter was so long but what I think you both need is support – in a big way. You guys were fooling around and having fun. You weren’t mentally ready for a FAMILY. That is a huge change in life. Please go together to see a couples counselor. Please!

  • DrDeb September 3rd, 2014 at 7:36 PM #130

    Hi Bambi
    Lying is a serious problem in relationships. There are families where it happens and it is no big deal, but many other people do find it a big deal. If this relationship is important to you, you really need to do what the 12 step people recommend: A fearless moral inventory. Think about the people you deal with and how straight w them you are. Work on yourself in that way. Words alone won’t do it; it’s actions that matter.

  • DrDeb September 3rd, 2014 at 7:48 PM #131

    Hi Tim
    First of all, I respect you for recognizing that you mistreated your girlfriend. Taking responsibility is a big first step. Next, the panic attack and the over-working the workout are something that worries me. Yes, people do get angry to hide their fears. It is also really good that you could figure out that part. So I really would like to see you working in therapy on overcoming whatever it was in your own life that got the fears started. Also to be absolutely sure you have new coping skills so you will never slip back into abuse. Finally, something about how you are handling yourself w your gf tells me that perhaps you aren’t so sure of yourself; maybe you have insecurities and she can “sense” that, and that is why she is not really back w you. If I am right, then for sure counseling is in order. It will be a very good step for you.

  • Tim September 3rd, 2014 at 10:10 PM #132

    Man that sounds identical to my story for the most part. How long were y’all together?

  • samuel September 5th, 2014 at 4:45 AM #133

    Dear Dr. I have been with this girl that I am in love with but every time she gets irritated. I can’t seem to leave get alone until she tells me why. I get so irritated myself that she won’t tell me why she is irritated that I just keep asking get until she screams at me to leave her alone. And I then I end up on the couch for days at a time. And then I get afraid that she is going to leave me. I don’t know what to do in these situations, because I usually bug her about why she is irritated usually to the point where she says she doesn’t feel like dealing with this relationship anymore, How do I fix this and what can I do to get this relationship back to the spark that we used to have in the beginning ox the relationship. What am I doing wrong.? When she tells me to leave her alone, does that mean she hates me and going to leave? I get scared of these things when we argue like this and I wanna know what to do to help my relationship be the best it can be? Please help me?

  • Mike September 5th, 2014 at 6:00 AM #134

    My wife said she was tired of me not listening, and turning my back when she talked that she was leaving me. It opened my eyes and want to work on us as a family. For the past month i have been her slave, doing dishes, taking care of the kids, stepping up to the plate where I haven’t in the past. I have referenced while we were dating the good times, and she has mentioned that she was forced to evolve and alludes to the fact that I am stuck in the past. I have stepped up to the plate,taking on more than my share of household responsibilities, provided lavish gifts and opened the line of communication because I am no longer blind to the fact and finally aware and want to make this work.

  • cco September 5th, 2014 at 8:03 AM #135

    Dear Dr Deb.,please help me.. I have been dating my boyfriend for 2mnths now..I stay in Nigeria while he stays in the U.S. He will be coming back to Nigeria in November to see his grandma and to see me for the very first time(as we started dating online). I noticed he liked to talk about sex,a topic that doesn’t interest me. Few days ago,I decided to tell him that I did not want sex b4 marriage and that he should be patient with me. To my greatest surprise,he got angry and started saying all manner of things(eg.,he doesn’t promise to be faithful but he promises not to touch me till we get married next year.he has become so distant and cold towards me as he no longer calls. I don’t want to compromise and I don’t want to keep calling him so as not to look needy..pls help!. What do I do?

  • Mike September 5th, 2014 at 8:20 AM #136

    For a long time I pushed her needs off to the side but now she is my Queen

  • Blanca M. September 5th, 2014 at 11:51 PM #137

    Hello Dr. Deb
    My boyfriend is thirty, eight years older than me. He was the first man who treated me well and had no issues with his life. Until three months into the relationship when he decided to break up with me because he wouldn’t allow anything to distract him from his studies. He also went on to say that he was not over the fact that both of his ex girlfriends cheated on him. He broke up with me three times, for a few weeks in between. The second time he said something was missing, there was no chemistry and that someone from work was in his mind, a girl he liked prior to knowing me. He also told me that for the first time he did not have to work for girls to like him. The third time we broke up I called him to see how serious he was about me and he said that he hadn’t got over his issues and he placed a greater importance to school. The next day I went over to his house when we were not official, we had intimacy and we ended it for good. Two weeks of miscommunication led to him pleading to take him back he told me that he wants me for the rest of his life and that he wants to marry me, something he had never told me. He has been wonderful and pays for everything he showers me with gifts, I see a sincere change in him but I can’t drop my guard. I no longer feel that passion or that I would give my life for him. I can’t get over the fact that he took me for granted when I have been nothing but good to him and accepted him with and love his child, unlike his ex whom he wanted to marry but she treated him like crap.

  • Serina September 6th, 2014 at 3:59 AM #138

    Dear Dr,
    I don’t know how to start this because I don’t understand it myself but I’ll do my best. So I was dating a man I met online, for a year it was long distance. Finally he visits me and decides to stay he had nothing but the stuff he brought with him so I supported him in everyway until he could himself and we were good for another year. Mind you he still lives in his car, he knows absolutely no one, and has no family close by. So mostly it was just him and I together all the time. So time goes by his parents start fighting, they end up divorcing I don’t know if it is the main cause for everything but he starts pulling away from me. Saying he needed time and space away from me but that we were still together ( I didn’t understand him on this at all where I guess I kept trying to push myself back into his life). Trying to do my own thing while he does his was really hard for me but I tried to for him. Then I find out after we had done it, he had been with someone else during that time we were “seperated but supposably together”. I loved him so much I forgave him the next day thinking great were talking again atleast. But then he pushes me away again so I broke up with him. The hardest thing I ever did. And I meet a new guy who in many ways is better than my ex but I just can’t feel anything for him it’s so frustrating but I just can’t stop loving my ex. I just want to move on I want to love again :(.

  • shero September 6th, 2014 at 5:32 AM #139

    Dear Memers i need your advise i have been in a relationship my this guy for one yr. at first he used to communicate with me daily but in the last three months he stop. i would send him msgs but he would just ignore replying me or he replys in ashort way with out trying to find out how i was like he used to do. recently i abused him and told him that it is over but in actual sense i still love the guy. i just said all the bad words coz i felt negelected and i wanted him to know how i feel but eneded up abusing him. i sent an apology one week ago but he has not replied. what do i do so we stay? should i go to his place to ask for any apology? how do i tell him that am very sorry so that we can continue our relationship coz i know i hurt him with my words but i need his forgiveness.

  • shan September 6th, 2014 at 8:36 PM #140

    I need advice…. I have been in a fully committed relationship for 2 years. I am so emotional, physically, and mentally attached to this man I am with. We talk about getting married in the future and we both know that we want to be long time life partners. When we first started dating there was an incident where the woman from the previous relationship he was in, was impregnated by him, and she coincidently found out in the beginning of our relationship. Unfortunately, she had complications with the pregnancy and the child was lost. A few months after the incident we resumed our relationship. A year later, she accuses him of being the father of her 3 year old daughter, and I find out that they have been seeing each other for 2 weeks and that he may be the father. This man really does make me a better person, but there have been other lies in our relationship from him… I don’t know what to do honestly. We are both in our early 20s and I think I’m too young to have this kind of stress in my life and so is he. But if he turns out to be the father I don’t know if I should stay or go?

  • Kelly September 7th, 2014 at 1:21 PM #141

    Hello dr
    My husband and I have been married for 15 years. The first part of our marriage was up and down as they usually go, but about 3 years ago we moved back to his country. Within the first 3 months he started changing. Ignoring me treating me like I wasn’t wanted and that I was in the way of his family. I finally went back to the US and told him I wanted out if the marriage. He immediately changed again asking me to come back and promising me we would be ok. I came back a few months later and life was good really good then one day he asked me to find an email with some info on it he needed for work. I found instead an email he sent to his ex girlfriend asking her to come back to him. He had sent it 9 months earlier when he was pushing me away. It was so bad I needed to be put on medication for depression. When we discussed it I learned that she turned him down (I know now that’s why he wanted me back). Ok it’s 3 years later we have been doing really well but he has changed again. This time being over affectionate over complimenting. Now my trust in him never recuperated so I checked his phone and found sext msgs to and from a coworker. Along with random dirty videos from I don’t know who and of course pics. He says he didn’t realize that any i would consider any of this cheating and apologized. He says he wants to fix this, but honestly I absolutely don’t trust him. Every time he picks up his phone I get sick knots in my stomach. When he’s gone I don’t want him to come back. When he’s with me I try to see that he wants to be with me but at the same time I just want to go to bed and be left alone. I don’t know if it’s depression along with anger or if it’s time to just walk away
    Please help me

  • ruqyah September 8th, 2014 at 4:06 PM #142

    I met the love of my life 3 years ago back in high school. We never actually dated but we were good friends. Sadly his friends did not like me I think it may be because they all smoked and drank and lived carefree lives whereas I lived a Simple Muslim life and he was fine with that actually we even talked about Islam on a regular bases. Once I got into a huge fight with my parents and they even threatened to throw me out that’s when I told him to come and pick me up because I was going to be kicked out anyways.. He actually came!! But my parents did not let me leave with him. And he left and I never spoke to him until a couple of months ago on Facebook and when I spoke to him he seemed so angry all he kept saying was leave me alone don’t talk to me, the day I left high school I never planned on talking to u again. And I was so heartbroken I said things I shouldn’t have said but I still did not tell him that I loved him so much. The one thing I wish I could change about him is his inability towards insight. I wish he had the ability in him to see that the girl that he says is his best friend is actually not who she appears to be. I wish he wouldn’t have listened to her… We would have been so happy. He’s actually with a girl now that I was friends with I don’t mind as long as he is happy and I think he’s happy with her because he usually does not date. What I want now to happen is, that I just show up at his house or work or wherever I see him and tell him that I fell in love with him the moment I saw him and till this day I do and whatever he has to say after that is entirely up to him when he says “maneesha I don’t love u back I don’t want to see u I’m happy without u” then I will leave him alone. He’s just so amazing his name is Brad he’s so handsome and loving, funny, sweet but very ignorant he thinks people are out to get him. But I love him anyways no matter what . He could sleep with all the women he wants as he probably is doing right now but I’ll love him still.

  • Ruqya September 8th, 2014 at 4:44 PM #143

    Give him some space ask him if he is happier around somebody else maybe he has love for his ex that he doesn’t have for u but u have to ask to find out you are lucky that u have him around to talk with cuz the man I love doesn’t even want to talk he just plain out says leave me alone don’t talk to me. If the guy your with loves somebody else then let him be with her if you want him to be happy I’m not telling u to get over him cuz I don’t think u can ever get over somebody completely but the world moves on and u have to find a way to move on with it

  • millie September 8th, 2014 at 9:32 PM #144

    I been with a guy for 3 years in one day he took of in never came back it’s only been two months in the other girl is pregnant he has tried calling over 7 times I am so heart broken he was my best friend I don’t think I will ever be the same

  • Erica September 9th, 2014 at 6:10 AM #145

    My boyfriend of about a year and I both cheated on each other and lied I each other about it. Eventually we both found out about the other. We still really love each other but are trying to get some space now to figure out if we can make this work. Do you think it’s possible to trust each other again when both people were wronged? How do we both go about getting trust back?

  • Steve S. September 9th, 2014 at 11:01 AM #146

    You both have to agree to counseling to learn communication or you might as well forget it. Not to be a buzz kill but counselors who would be qualified to help you are few and far between.

  • Steve S. September 9th, 2014 at 11:18 AM #147

    You deserve better and there is better trust me. Take it from someone who’s been around over twice as long as you and have been betrayed more than once.
    It is hard to do but move on, take the pain and be patient. You will meet THE one and he will treat you like you deserve!!

  • DrDeb September 9th, 2014 at 5:19 PM #148

    Hi Samuel
    It sounds to me like you are afraid of being abandoned. I would guess there was something bad in your background that this triggers….like maybe a parent walking out or something? I am worried about you when you say you just end up on the couch for four days. That is depression. Please see a therapist to unravel this. It is big and should not be minimized.

  • DrDeb September 9th, 2014 at 5:21 PM #149

    Hi Mike,
    You don’t actually ask a question. It sounds like a good beginning to be helpful with household things, but only a beginning. To make it work, you do need to become a listener like she wants. Really listen and comment to her on what she is getting at. Good luck with turning that around.

  • DrDeb September 9th, 2014 at 5:24 PM #150

    Hi CCO
    Sounds like he was using you, plain and simple. Forget him. Stick to your values. You want someone who wants you for the PERSON you are. The sex will be much better when that happens, I promise you. Marriage is hard, no doubt about it and a man has to be mature to handle it. You are on the right track. Otherwise, you’ll end up with kids and no husband.

  • DrDeb September 9th, 2014 at 5:26 PM #151

    Hi Blanca
    Isn’t it funny that he showers you with gifts and suddenly wants to marry you AFTER you had sex? I’m not sure about this guy…..

  • DrDeb September 9th, 2014 at 5:30 PM #152

    Hi Serena
    The feeling of love is so exciting that people just want that feeling and will take anything in the way of dirt so they can have it, almost like an addiction. In fact, the brain chemistry in love is very much like the chemistry of the brain in addictions. So here’s the thing: Falling in love is great but we don’t stay “in” love for all that long. Then reality sets in and the long-haul TRUE love should kick in. That love is made of respect, admiration, trust, and enjoyment of who that other person is. That’s real love. That’s the love that keeps couples together for 50 years. Get to know the new guy as a PERSON. See if the feelings will come, and give it time.

  • DrDeb September 9th, 2014 at 5:33 PM #153

    Hi Kelly,
    Your husband needs help. He is dishonest and you will not trust him again unless he is under the care of a therapist. Sexting and such is escapism. It’s a way of avoiding real life and feeling good in real life. Insist he get therapy or he’s out.

  • D.arclese September 9th, 2014 at 8:54 PM #154

    Hello, I’ve been with the same guy for 5 years we’ve been married for one. We have two children with our third on the way. We love each other very much but he says he doesn’t know if he wants to be with me because when I’m upset I threaten to leave and it hurts him for me to use that against him. I didn’t know that he was getting hurt by this and that I’m not meeting his needs when it comes to loving him. What can I do to show him he’s my everything.

  • priya g. September 10th, 2014 at 5:32 AM #155

    My boyfriend has problems so he broke up me. but I want to live with him again.

  • shane September 10th, 2014 at 8:13 AM #156

    me (25) and my girlfriend (22) have been dating for over 5 years. And we have a son who is almost 2 years old. We just recently relocated 2 the Seattle area. We have been living here for 6 months. over this course she has been a stay at home mom.. She has a mother and grandma that lives about 8 hours. we were recently told by her mother that she and her grandma will be moving down to Texas( this is her only family keep in mind.) so too continue my girlfreind is a stay at home mom who has no close friends where we live and is not going to school or work. I currently work full time and provide for the family and we are comfortable and can manage to do fun nice things. ever since we found out her mom was moving, her attitude has changed very drastically in the sense where I can tell something is bothering her. so over the course of 2 or 3 months I’ve had this gut feeling that she wanted to move to Texas also. After talking with her and picking away to try to understand what is bothering her she has told me that she does not love me intimately anymore but she loves me as the son of our Father. she has said that she felt this way for almost 2 years. And the reason is because of an argument we had gotten into before my son was born and we were on the brink of splitting up. she said she cannot let go of what happened in the past and that is partially why she feels this way today. we talked some more about how she felt because her communication with me is not the best, she likes to keep things inside. She stated she does want to try to make it work for the sake of our son but doesn’t know if she’ll ever love me ever again. She wants to speak with somebody like a family counselor. I am very confused on how we got off track and all the way to this.. Like I stated before we been together for over 5 years almost a 2 year old son and now she tells me that she has not loved me before our child was born and I don’t understand how we made it this far. if any ladies any advice or have felt this way please help me bcuz i don’t know what to do and I care about her I love her so much but I don’t think she truly believes that.

  • Frankie M. September 10th, 2014 at 10:26 PM #157

    Hello my name is Frankie, so I’m having problems me and y wife are going through a divorce, i truly love my wife we have a 6 month year old son and I want to win her back, she’s told me that she wants to be friends but she has no feelings for me, she says she feels numb. But on the other hand I’m tell only guy she trust for sex. She texts me still everyday. Her mom tells me that my wife stills loves me. It all started when she was barely letting me see my son then she would tell me I have to give her half my paychecks or will go to court. That day I had my son in my arms and I took him home with me. She called the law on me and the law said she can’t do anything about it. Then she filed divorce. I wasn’t gonna keep him from her. I never do that. But now she doesn’t know what she wants. She’s kissed me and all a couple of times and I heard if I act like I don’t care she’ll come back. I don’t know what to do but I need advice I can’t move on cause my heart belongs to her

  • M September 12th, 2014 at 3:43 AM #158

    Dr. D, I have been with my boyfriend for 5 years and 2 months. I feel like I need to point out that I am only 21 and he is 22. We met in highschool, I dropped out and moved in with him and his parents a few months after we got together. Things were not good at home, and I’ve always believed that he rescued me. You can imagine that us being young and stupid have been through pretty much anything you can think of. He has, without a doubt, helped me grow as a person, and will always be a huge part of my life. But I feel where I’ve grown and changed, he hasn’t. I hope I’m not discrediting him but that feeling lingers and won’t go away. The first 3 years were great. We had no responsibility, no bills….nothing but each other. After that I started school (he started a while after me), we got our first apartment together, and really started our lives. We lived off his financial aid money for that year, until I finished school and he dropped out for the first time. I got a decent paying job and have been mostly supporting us since then. He has never had a steady job, and im lucky if I get a couple hundred bucks off him a month. He doesn’t bother keeping the house tidy while I work all day every day. He litterly does nothing. And he doesn’t hardly try too do anything.I even drive him around! Several months ago I started falling out of love with him. The sex stopped, and I can’t stand to even have him touch me. Communication stopped also, basically everything that makes a relationship work doesn’t exist anymore. I resent him. Every word he says irritates me. The faces he makes, the way he walks, everything. And I’m constantly irritated by him, which in turn makes me super mean. He knows that something is wrong. He is deep down a nice guy and I know he still loves me, but I can’t return his feelings anymore. I don’t want to keep hurting him. Ww have fallen into a vicious circle. When I think of parting however, it makes me so anxious and sad. I’m scared to be alone. The last few months we have come very close to breaking up. A couple months ago I told him that I wanted to, but he freaked out and I stayed. Tonight he broke up with me. We’ve litterly been up all night talking and I’ve cried so much that I have no tears left in my eyes. But somehow I felt relieved that he did it so I didn’t have to. I’ve completely given up on us. I don’t think things will ever get better, but at the same time im afraid of him leaving. He stuck to his guns all night until he asked what I really wanted. I took a minute to reply, but told him “I don’t want you to leave”. For some reason I’m drawn to him and even though I know it would be best, I can’t let things end. I feel like im missing out on my 20’s, and the thought of spending my life with him terrifies me as much as the thought of him leaving. Do you think I could ever love him again? Or should I even try? Any advice you could give me would be great. Thanks for taking the time to read all this.

    M.

  • James September 12th, 2014 at 8:44 AM #159

    My wife and I can out of dufficult to understand relationships before and after started dating I talked about my ex and things that we did involving sex, traveling etc… but I don’t know why I said them to her cause it hurt her so much and we she always talks about them ever time we fight. I want her to forgive me and I am trying my best to understand how I hurt her. She askes how I can make everything uo and what will I do to have her forgive me. Everything I say she says it is not good enough for her. What can I do and can you tell me why you think she is trying this and always keeps on bringing up divorce when we have these fights.

  • shan September 12th, 2014 at 9:03 AM #160

    PLEASE HELP!! I need advice…. I have been in a fully committed relationship for 2 years. I am so emotional, physically, and mentally attached to this man I am with. We talk about getting married in the future and we both know that we want to be long time life partners. When we first started dating there was an incident where the woman from the previous relationship he was in, was impregnated by him, and she coincidently found out in the beginning of our relationship. Unfortunately, she had complications with the pregnancy and the child was lost. A few months after the incident we resumed our relationship. A year later, she accuses him of being the father of her 3 year old daughter, and I find out that they have been seeing each other for 2 weeks and that he may be the father. This man really does make me a better person, but there have been other lies in our relationship from him… I don’t know what to do honestly. We are both in our early 20s and I think I’m too young to have this kind of stress in my life and so is he. But if he turns out to be the father I don’t know if I should stay or go?

  • Stacy September 12th, 2014 at 10:21 AM #161

    I have been in a relationship for 7 years, we have 4 kids together. He has cheated on me each year we’ve been together and then some. I can’t forgive him and I’m not in love with him anymore. He says he is in love with me. But I don’t know what to do anymore. I know not interested in him anymore. Please help me.

  • nesma September 12th, 2014 at 2:14 PM #162

    theres this guy liked me and we both fell in love with each other but its been like that we were 7 months together. . we had fights continuously and we break up then we get back. we broke up like twice and now its been like I had a misunderstanding and people got in between us and I belived them on him and I broke up which made him lose feelings for me and he says that he loved me too much and got hurt too much so he cant get back to me…can anyone tell me or help me with what shall I do..

  • Nesma September 12th, 2014 at 2:44 PM #163

    i have been in a relationship for a short period of time, it was for 7 months, i dated this guy who liked me and had a crush on me when we met in university, he stood up and told me on chat that he likes me so much nd wants me, i agreed being with him after getting hurt in 2012 with my first ex, i wanted to heal my self and by time when we were together i fell in love with him more, and i was so happy with him, later by time our relationship starting becoming worse, it was like a long distance relationship and i barely used to meet him and complain but he says he had so much work in university, we fought alot due to my jealousy on him and his jealousy on me, we both really loved each other, but at times people use to get in between and tell me he is a player, dont stay with him and all, i actually ignored, i really dont care about the past, he was truly a player but when he dated me he changed completely to better, time by time we were good and suddenly we fight and breakup, we broke up once and got back again becuase he loves me, suddenly i stood up and told him i cant be with u anymore, because i got alot of bad things about him and i was tired listening, but i felt like i didnt break up from the heart, it showed that he didnt want to let me go, after the break up he tells me that he misses me and writes up pms all over his status, and that time he was out of country, he says that when he comes back he will fix the fight, and i felt guilty and i wanted ti stay with him because i love him so much that i cant let him go, once he got back he started getting colder i was wondering what happend to him also he was avoiding me and he wasnt replying me so often, he couldnt face me so his bestfriend told me that he lost feelings and he cant get me back again because he loved me so much and in the same time he got hurt so much from me also hes not ready for a relationship, i tried to get him back but no use, we talk and i try to fix but he says i cant be with someone who belives things on me wrong from people, he was like we can be bestfriends, i dont really feel like he lost feelings and i still dont know, but i love him so much and i cant let him go.please help me :(

  • DrDeb September 12th, 2014 at 3:23 PM #164

    Hi M
    I think I know what’s going on. Your boyfriend’s parents may have indulged him too much. They were so nice – they let you move in and took care of you. BUT they also let you have sex w your boyfriend and live a grownup life w/o any responsibilities. I think that was wrong. And the fact that he was not working is because they didn’t insist on it. As parents, being nice is not enough: You have to require discipline from your children and it doesn’t seem like they did that. So I understand you losing respect for him. Of course, you being mean is not good at all but that is what you must have learned in your own family. I am also thinking that he and his parents are the only people who gave you love and care. Perhaps I’m wrong but that’s the implication from your letter. That’s why you don’t want to let go. That is totally understandable but not healthy and not fair. You don’t really love him; you feel needy. Please take care of yourself by getting counseling to give yourself the self-love that you need to make up for what your parents didn’t give you. This will take time (1-2 years) but very well worth it. Don’t go to a psychoanalytic type as that is a lifetime of therapy. You don’t need that. Try also to work to support yourself and finish school. You sound like an intelligent young woman; there can be a lot of possibilities for you to have a good life.

  • ruqyah September 12th, 2014 at 4:53 PM #165

    Hi drDeb could you please give me advice on my story that I wrote

  • Ruqyah September 12th, 2014 at 6:37 PM #166

    I don’t think you love him if you chose people over him maybe it’s a infatuation

  • Ritika September 13th, 2014 at 5:06 AM #167

    Don’t get back … Once a cheat will always b a cheat

  • Ana September 13th, 2014 at 8:42 AM #168

    I have been in this relationship for 8 months. He’s the first person I’ve truly loved and treated me correctly. But one night i got really drunk, and I’m a mean drunk. Well i went a little crazy and he said he couldn’t handle everything. I apparently told him that I didn’t trust him, and I don’t feel like thats the case. He broke up with me while he was overwhelmed trying to take care of me. Since then, I have stopped drinking, started therapy, started exercising, and applied to an internship. We are still in contact, but its been over a week and I’m trying so hard. Finally, I realized that it wasn’t the fact that I was a mean drunk, it was the fact that we had no time apart, that i was selfish when it came to him going out with his friends, that i was suffocating him, and he didn’t realize it until i said it…that he wanted some alone time and that was the real reason we broke up. He just kinda gave up on me when i was in a bad place. and thats what hurts me the most. But I’m trying and I’m fighting for our relationship and it seems to me at this point, that he’s not. He told me that he’s planned on forgiving me, and always planned on getting back together and he tells me that he misses me. Our relationship was great though, until that night. I told him we really needed to work on communication, and trust, but we can’t work on those things if were not together. The only time trust was broken was when he lied to me about this girl he was talking to..i asked him who she was and he said she was someone in his class from school for a project and i believed him. but then i found out that she was someone from a party he went to while i was on vacation. that she got drunk and tried taking off her clothes. but instead of telling me about the incident, he lied to me , to my face. Then we fought, and i forgave him and i really did put it in the past. I don’t hold it against him. I know neither of us would cheat. I needed a wake up to realize that i was going down the wrong path, but I am honestly working on it. I don’t want to ever hurt him again, but at this point, I feel like he’s punishing me. If you miss someone, and love them then why wouldn’t you want to be with them?

  • shan September 13th, 2014 at 3:24 PM #169

    Dr deb please could you give me advice?

  • DrDeb September 13th, 2014 at 6:50 PM #170

    Hi Shan
    You know this blog is getting busy…sorry I couldn’t answer everyone. Please don’t get involved with a liar. I am sure this man has good qualities. But lying is a really, really bad one. Like you said, you are too young for so much stress. Work on being the best person you can be. I often recommend therapy not because a person is “sick” but sometimes it is just good to get insight from an outsider. Good luck.

  • DrDeb September 13th, 2014 at 6:57 PM #171

    Hi Ruqyah
    I am concerned. On the one hand you call yourself a simple person and on the other your parents were about to throw you out of the house. What is going on?? Not so simple, it seems to me. Next point, you are very young. You just graduated HS. You are supposed to have infatuations at that age, but don’t call it love. Move on!! Final point and I will leave you with this: real love is loving the character of the other person. If someone lacks something that you think is important, such as insight, as well as thinking people are out to get him, what you call very ignorant, then how in the world can you really love THEM?? You can love the fun times you’ve had; you can love how they made you feel, but you can’t possibly love who they are if you call them ignorant, etc.

  • shane September 14th, 2014 at 11:46 AM #172

    Dr. Deb could you please help me out with my post from Sept 10!

  • DrDeb September 14th, 2014 at 8:00 PM #173

    Hi Shane,
    Since you do not say what the argument was that turned her off and I don’t really understand the every-day feel of your relationship, I don’t know what to suggest other than that your girlfriend might want to make an appmt w me since I am a Marriage & Family Therapist. There are several pieces of your story that need filling in.

  • Maria September 15th, 2014 at 12:34 AM #174

    Hello. I would really appreciate some advise. My fiancé and I have been together for a year and a half. I got pregnant and we had our son three months ago. It was too soon but I don’t regret any part of it. We got into a small argument a teo months ago that turned into something big and I left the house for about a week. He wanted me back just as much as I wanted to be with him as well. When I came back home he was honest about another woman he had met and slept with her. I forgave him mainly because we weren’t together during that time, even tho it wasn’t long. He said he wasn’t going to ever speak to her and he wanted to make things right. He proposed to me at the end of the month and we had plans on getting married until I found out he was still talking to the other woman about a week ago or so. I reacted in ways I shouldn’t have and ever since then we have been arguing mainly about her. This morning he told me that he loves me but he wants us both. I am absolutely heart broken and I have no one else other than him and my son. No support from family or anyone else. I really want to work things out, he is the man I am madly in love with but I don’t know what to do.

  • Maria September 15th, 2014 at 12:38 AM #175

    I mean three months ago. Sorry about that..

  • Mark September 15th, 2014 at 8:09 AM #176

    Hi,
    As most people trying to make sense of a break up, I’ve searched what I can do and found myself here…
    It is still incredibly raw. In fact it was only Saturday night when my fiancé told me it was over. We met over facebook neither of us looking for someone just one of those chance ‘meetings’ hit it off completely, both incredibly similar when it comes to the deepest things but quite different on the outside. We have been together for 5 and half years, bought a house together a little over a year ago and got engaged nearly a year ago with dates set and most things provisionally booked bridesmaids dresses even bought. I’m from surrey and she lives in Yorkshire where we both live now I moved up just under 5 years ago and bar the natural small bumps in any relationship everything has been perfect and until now I was certain that was on both sides.
    On Saturday 13th sept we were at my rugby club celebrating my 30th birthday (a joint party with two team mates who also turn 30 around the same time) which is this Friday. The club is or was going to be the venue for our wedding reception and my fiancé was talking to the chairman/club manager about plans, telling her sister where everything was going to go and discussing honeymoon ideas etc. so for her to say a matter of hours later it’s over came completely out of the blue! On Sunday I tried taking to her but she was adamant it was over saying she still loves me but isn’t in love with me and that she’s not attracted to me anymore. She also said that she has been feeling like this for a while but like I describe above showed no signs (that I picked up on). She is at her mums at the moment and said we need space and will come back Tuesday to talk but the impression I get is that it is to sort out the practicalities of next steps not to work things through. I have no idea what to do, can’t see anything if things don’t work out she has been my sole drive to achieve what I have in the last 5-6 years.
    I don’t think she has really spoken to anyone about how she was feeling as even her mum and sister had no idea it was coming. One thing she did mention was that she has been having panic attacks one that bad she had to get a work friend to drive her home. She spoke to her mum asking if it was normal thing putting it towards wedding jitters. Mentioned it to me but not when it had happened and didn’t really seem to make a big thing of it. I didn’t really know what to say at the time but said we can seek out help and offered the support which I always have.
    On the Sunday when we spoke before she when to her Mum’s I asked her why she hadn’t said anything sooner and she said because I’m really good at talking things through, getting her to see the positives and change her mind (be work, friendships, anything she’s need to talk about) and she said she didn’t her mind to be changed. I just don’t understand that, is that what you’re supposed to do as a couple, work at your relationship. I understand that if it can be fixed then there is no point in forcing it. But not even giving it a go is just ridiculous! Why throw nearly 6 years away after a couple of months of not being sure.
    Is there any hope? Any advice on how to move things forward or to get her to open up would be really appreciated!
    Thanks in advance and apologies for the length of post but as I said it is all still pretty raw.
    Mark

  • nesma September 15th, 2014 at 12:37 PM #177

    dr deb could you please help me with my note..Thank you

  • nesma September 15th, 2014 at 12:38 PM #178

    Sorry I meant advice

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