My boyfriend… well ex-boyfriend at the moment, is so confusing to me. He was in love with me since we were 10 and we finally got together when we were 23. Our relationship was magical, as perfect as it could be… but only for like a month. After a month he started to change a lot! Our relationship started by him telling me he loved me and that he was ring shopping and he wanted to spend his life with me. A little tiny conflict, such as a communication problem would come up and suddenly he says we’re not meant to be and he would bread up with me. An hour or so later he’ll call and say he’s so sorry and he’ll never do that again. Well he did it again, and he started doing it all the time. He even started doing it when nothing was wrong between us. He would tell me how in love he is with me one minute and change his mind the next just like that. Then suddenly he started manipulating our relationship to make it seem like me and my family are ruining it when nothing wrong was going on. Then of course he would tell me sorry and not to worry and he’ll love me forever. I love this guy so much when the times are good, I planned on marrying him but now I don’t think that’s a good idea. Does it seem like there is something wrong with him or is he just a stupid guy? Oh and he has a history of doing this with girl friends.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
I do not believe that anyone here is crazy but just scared. Of course, I do not know your boyfriend and can only speculate about what is troubling him. Therefore, I am making an educated guess that he is scared and the fact that you mention his doing this with other girl friends lends support to that guess.
Have the two of you considered couple counseling. I know that couples counseling is usually reserved for those already married. However, over the years many couples sought couples counseling with me because they were in love but experiencing problems. In most cases, the problems were able to be cleared away and the couple married. It is true that, in a few cases, the couple broke up and went there separate ways. In my opinion, it could be a good idea for the two of you. Why do I think this?
I think couple counseling could, perhaps, be beneficial because it is rarely the fault of one and only one person in a relationship, when there are problems. What I mean is that, in a relationship, as in a family, everyone contributes something to the problem. Now, I know I used the word "fault" and it is a bad choice of words. I am not blaming either of you for your problems. I am suggesting that each of you has a role to play that neither of you is aware of at this time.
For example, I am already asking myself why he accuses your family of "manipulating?" What does he mean by that? What does he believe is happening there? You know, families can interfere even with the best of intentions.
Even when he breaks up with you he apologizes and returns. It seems like he really does love you. What is bothering him? Do you know? What types of things does he accuse you of? Is it possible that he is, at least, partially right about those things? What does he want you to do to improve the relationship and to help him? What kinds of things would like him to do that would help you?
A good couples therapist, either Psychologist or Licensed Clinical Social Worker with lots of experience, could help you.
Give it a try before you give up on this relationship. You have known one another since childhood.
Anyway, best of luck whatever you decide.