Q: I have been in a relationship with the father of my youngest now for about 4yrs just about all of those yrs have been nothing but hell. When I first met him things were perfect he treated me so good then I found out I was pregnant and we moved in together once we began to live together things have been horrible and our relationship has now made us both very ugly people. Our problems at first were financially due to the fact that I was working graveyard while he sat at home and did not work then he finally went out and got a job well then the problems became sexual I never wanted to have sex and sleep all day he just did not understand how tired I was especially since I was pregnant and working such a late shift then I became physical I began to hit him every time we would argue and things then have just been down hill since then we went our separate ways and he disappeared he never called to see how the baby was doing he let himself go now it has gotten to the point were being around him is such a turn off. He does not want to brush his teeth he does not dress properly. His family says that he fell into a big depression every since we split but we then tried to work things out again but I got even worse. I have become so emotional and violent every time I get mad now I can not control my temper and I hit him. At first he was the only one that can make me this way but know I have become like this with everyone. It is like I walk around hating the world. All he does is smoke weed all day. I have been around people that smoke and never have I seen someone so addicted to it the way that he is. He has not had a job since three yrs ago and he is now living out in his car. He has no motivation to do anything and I want to help him but I am such an ugly person when I am around him and I do not want that anymore but I keep letting him stay with me cause I feel bad to see him out on the streets but all I am doing is making my life and the life of my daughters unhappy. My oldest loves him but she tells me that she likes me better when he is not around. I honestly do not know what to do anymore I want to help him but I do not know how.
A: The bottom line is that you cannot help him, he needs to help himself. He needs to get clean, find a job and a place to live before he will ever have the possibility of being a decent father. You need to focus your energy on helping yourself and being the best mother you can be. You can’t be a great mother unless you deal with your issues and take care of yourself. I would suggest getting into individual or group therapy to address your stress and anger problems. It could be that you might cope much better if you stay away from him consistently but you say your anger has now slipped into other areas. This could just be a sign of overload but nonetheless you need to deal with it and find healthy ways to cope and set better boundaries in your life. You have worked hard and you and your kids deserve to be happy, respected and supported, but this has to start with you. Good luck.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 20 Mar 2007
Counts, H. (2007). I don’t know what to do with my ex-boyfriend.. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/03/20/i-dont-know-what-to-do-with-my-ex-boyfriend/