Hi :) So I recently broke up with my boyfriend and best friend (two months ago). I am at rock bottom as I’ve experienced rape, abuse, dropped out of college to pursue my ambitions but it’s not working out. He was also going through a lot, a life changing surgery and recovery. He broke up with me because he felt that he needed to regain his strength alone before using his energy on a relationship and would like to meet up after he regained his confidence. I had accepted his decision and we remained best friends. He asked for space which hurt me as I need support during my trying times and I’m getting support from my friends but not from him. He ignored my email when I explained how I felt. I feel like it’s unacceptable to ignore someone at their worst as I was there for him at his worst. I don’t know if I can forgive him for this. Am I overreacting? We were always great at communicating but now he refuses to reach out and ask how I’m doing. He’s not there for me at my worst so he doesn’t deserve me at my best? Is this rational thinking? (From South Africa)
I would take him at his word in that he has nothing to offer you, that he is concerned with his own recovery, and that he can only meet up with you when he is feeling better. From what he seems to be saying there isn’t much here to bank on. He isn’t available to you — and is only promising to meet up somewhere down the road. This isn’t a strong hook to hang your hopes on.
Take the best parts of your relationship and let yourself look for someone who can be more available for your needs. You were drawn to your boyfriend’s potential, but his reality is something different. I’d look for someone who has more of what you need to offer.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be friends, but don’t expect more from what he already has told you he can give.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Is It Advisable to Forgive Him?. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 25, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/04/16/is-it-advisable-to-forgive-him/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.