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How Do I Deal with Boyfriend’s Problems?

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From the U.S.: I have been with my partner (that’s just what I’ll call him, we’re too emotionally attached to just say friend at this point), for about ten years now. We basically grew together, and have been through a lot.

Throughout the years, he has decided to leave (about 3 times over the span of ten years) without really giving any reason why. He just kind of ghosted. When I was younger, this would drive me crazy. I would feel dead inside. I was really attached. Every time it hurt.

He had come back three years ago after us not talking for about three years. It started off fine, casual, we both were a lot older and more grounded. And then, of course, romance sprung back up. It was fine, until it wasn’t. Things went far, really quickly. We started trying to figure out ways to make things work, for us to meet up. We tried things, they didn’t work.

We started fighting constantly, he accused me of leading him on, lying to him… There was so much rage. And then he would call me crying, saying things like “you were supposed to save me, I’m going to kill myself..” It was all very traumatic for both of us. And I felt bad because I couldn’t really wrap my head around what to do.

So eventually, after many many fights, we come to this place where we’ve accepted everything and just tried to be there for each other, we cut the romance, we just knew that we always would need each other so we needed to work it out.

It was going fine, up until last Friday. He had seemed distant all weekend, and I told him about it Sunday. He got kind of upset and made it so I couldn’t call him. Then send an email saying “;Goodbye, hopefully forever”. My heart sank. I asked to explain and that I didn’t understand. He then sent back an email that said he’s having a hard time trusting human nature, especially females, he doesn’t think he can take being around a female right now. And honestly, I’ve never been more confused an hurt. I’d give up all my money to know what’s going on in his mind. About three months ago I started research about BPD, and he has all the symptoms. But how do I deal with it?

How Do I Deal with Boyfriend’s Problems?

Answered by on -

A.

Let’s take a look at the timeline: This all started when you were only 11 years old! He apparently “left” when you were 14 and “came back” when you were about 18.

Meanwhile, you’ve grown up. But he is struggling with his own demons. You can’t “save him” and you can’t allow him to hold you emotionally hostage by threats of suicide. You can’t wrap your head around it because you shouldn’t. His behavior and accusations aren’t rational or fair. He at least knows enough to not blame you anymore. He has personal therapeutic work to do to be trustworthy and to trust. You can’t help him with that. You can’t understand him more than he understands himself.

Please stop putting energy into trying to fix him. He needs to fix himself. Take a big step back. Accept his decision to part ways for a while. Hopefully he will do his therapy. He may come back to you at some point when he can be the kind of friend, even partner, that you deserve and need. But in the meantime, make yourself available for other friendships and romance.

You are only 21. This is your time to learn about yourself and what kind of person you want for a life partner. You can be compassionate about your friend’s situation without being involved to the point where you are limiting your own development and excluding potential partners from your life.

I wish you well.

Dr. Marie

How Do I Deal with Boyfriend’s Problems?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2019). How Do I Deal with Boyfriend’s Problems?. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 15, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/05/03/how-do-i-deal-with-boyfriends-problems/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 28 Apr 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 28 Apr 2019
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.