How much more should I take?
I have been dating the same guy for 6 years. We often talk about marriage and I feel we are close to getting engaged. Our relationship for the most part it good. We tend to bicker but typically it is very kind and loving relationship. However, every so often he completely disrespects me and our relationship. He completely contradicts his typical behavior. We have had numerous fights about this. The only outcome is false promises, only for the disrespect to happen again. I have never hurt him or disrespected him the way he has done to me. I feel I am always consider his feelings first, I only want the same treatment in return. If he does realize the damage he has done, I feel his apologies always come too little and too late. He thinks all he has to do is say I’m sorry and all should be forgiven. He works so hard at his job, and so hard at school – why doesn’t he work that hard on the relationship? We both agree it could be improved. How much more should I take? He can make me feel so good and safe and special, and then just turn around and treat me like such garbage. Signed, Betty, age 26
Dear Betty: Thank you for your email. I think you have taken too much already and it is time for a change. Here are some things I would like for you to consider.
1. Believe people when they show you who they truly are. Your boyfriend has been showing you who he truly is. He does not respect you, he is not sincere in his apologies, and he makes false promises. Believe him he is showing you who he truly is.
2. You deserve better. You must consider your feelings first, not his. You must put yourself first. Take care of you and respect you and then others will find it easier to follow your lead. Actions speak louder than words. There is no excuse for the poor treatment he is giving you.
3. Suggest the two of you get some professional counseling. That can be from a minister, counselor, or therapist. If he refuses to go get some help yourself. Work on building your self-esteem and self-respect.
Betty, when someone puts down others and shows disrespect they are showing you that they have low self-esteem and aren’t happy with whom they are. Your boyfriend is displaying low self-esteem and you can’t fix him. You can’t change him. You can only change yourself and your reactions to him and his behavior. Please don’t allow someone to mistreat or disrespect you. Set some boundaries for yourself and let this man go if he doesn’t consistently improve his behavior. I wish you all the best.
Please understand you have free will. This advice is given only in the realm of personal growth and self-help. This is not to be considered a substitute for therapy or professional counseling. We wish you well.