Should I even be talking to him?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I had a boyfriend of about a year and throughout it we had a lot of problems, and I broke up with him a lot. Once, he got fed up and dated my best friend for about a month. During that month, though, it was clear that he still loved me. When they broke up, we got back together and dated for a few more month, still having problems. During the last month or so of the relationship, he became awful. He cursed at me all the time, calling me names constantly, he ignored me and didn’t show any care towards me, he chose everyone over me, stole an iPod from me, and got mad over every little thing. He went from being “whipped” as they call it, to not caring the least bit. I stood by him for a while, until I got fed up.I ignored him for about a month after that, during which he constantly tried to get me to talk to him and said he was sorry. I started talking to him as a friend, and he seems different, but I’m not as nieve as I used to be about him. I’m aware that any guy is capable of changing in an instant, but I really do believe deep down that the month he treated me bad was just a mistake to him and that he regrets it. I know it’s not common, but guys feel that way sometimes when they lose a girl. My only question is, should I even be talking to him? And if so, how can I trust again?

A: Please be cautious. It sounds like this fellow is the most considerate and loving when you distance. When you get close, he switches to abuse and disrespect. It looks like his sweet side comes out only when he is in pursuit. Being close scares him so much he does everything possible to push you away. You may find that being with him will mean regularly being pulled and pushed by his two sides. Many women in relationships like this keep forgiving the harsh side because the sweet side is so sweet. But ultimately, you have to ask yourself if the good times make the bad times really worth it.

I suppose you could try going back to him to see if the pattern repeats itself. But I doubt you really need to set yourself up to be hurt like that again to find the answer to your question. Let yourself get very quiet and still and ask yourself what your best instincts tell you. I have a guess that if you listen to yourself, you’ll know what you need to do.

I hope you know that you didn’t deserve to be so badly mistreated before and you don’t deserve it now. If he can’t cherish you and share a positive and loving relationship with you, respect yourself enough to sever your ties with him. Open yourself up to finding someone who always treats you well.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 3 Oct 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Should I even be talking to him?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/03/should-i-even-be-talking-to-him/