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Question
Posted by: Patricia | 2010-09-22

Can two people like us be happy together?

Me and my boyfriend just broke up last month. We were together for over a year but I knew since the beginning that he was still in love with another girl. She had a boyfriend, so he moved on (with me). Knowing that plus the fact that he was severely depressed (possibly because of her) immediately traced the path our relationship was to take. It made me insecure, always wondering if he missed her touch when I touched him etc. He was always open about his feelings and at the same time he always gave me attention and was always very romantic and respectful, and always listened to my problems. Had I never known about the other girl, I would have thought he was madly in love with me. That''s how well he treated me. I believe he was hoping to fall in love with me eventually. He liked me a lot already. But my deepest thoughts always made me a little cold around him. He''d hold my hand when walking on the street, but I NEVER took the initiative to do the same. I felt I had no right to do it because he belonged to her. Of course, he thought I didn''t want to hold hands and decided not to do it anymore. From time to time I''d be so happy and romantic but his depression (partially because of his job) would always interfere and make me feel that I was not enough. I poisoned our relationship, I know. I really wasn''t good enough, or I''d have succeeded in making him happy.
At some point I discovered I was moving out, and he wanted to move out from his parents, so we decided to move in together. Months later, just a few weeks before the moving day, he seemed very worried and irritable, so I asked him what was wrong. He said he wasn''t sure if he was ready to live with me, that he didn''t even know what he wanted in life because at that moment he wasn''t happy and he was scared of the future. I said it''s okay and I told he could feel free to leave me if he wanted to look for someone else, so he agreed and thanked me, but also said that he didn''t know if he was making the biggest mistake of his life because I was amazing. We talked about all the good things we''d had and all the bad things and we cried for hours. We decided to stay friends and always share all the news with each other.
Now, in the process of finding someone new, we often talk about how things are. He hasn''t had any luck and I can say the same. He already said he misses me and wanted to hang out with me last weekend. I miss him too, but I don''t say it so openly because I know I have nothing more to offer than what I was giving him before, and if that wasn''t enough, then things are likely to be the same again, if we get back together. But then there''s days when he doesn''t contact me too. So I assume he''s as confused with all of this as I am. Still, he was the best I''ve ever had and I love him. But I don''t want to tell him that because I can''t promise to make him happy. But I also don''t know if all he needs is to hear me say I love him and need him, as I have never said this before.

How do I deal with this? Should I wait and see how things go or move on? Is there any chance we could be happy together? And is it reasonable for a person to think that a perfect partner will cure their depression? How can I hel him? (He''s been to a specialist twice and both times they said he doesn''t need medication, but he doesn''t believe in counselling.)

Thank you so much.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Useful and thoughtful responses from other readers. This sounds like a relaionship that took place in the dark - with both of you reacting to more ( at times ) and to less ( at others ) than was going on. And meanwhile making everything far more complicated and fraught than it need have been. Why not see a couples counsellor together so as to better understand and man age this relationship, or to decide to end it, in a better informed and more reasomnable fashion ?

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010-09-24

Useful and thoughtful responses from other readers. This sounds like a relaionship that took place in the dark - with both of you reacting to more ( at times ) and to less ( at others ) than was going on. And meanwhile making everything far more complicated and fraught than it need have been. Why not see a couples counsellor together so as to better understand and man age this relationship, or to decide to end it, in a better informed and more reasomnable fashion ?

Reply to cybershrink
Posted by: Lele | 2010-09-23

i would like to echo on something that two-stone has mentioned, about you being fearful! and i just want to say that the best thing you can do for You is to tell this man what you''ve just said - tell him that HE was/is the best thing that has ever happened to you - maybe he doesnt feel like he''s capable of being loved to that extent - re assure him. Yes maybe he knows that already but you need to say it - tell him and free yourself - even if he may not chose to hold on to your love but he will know that he was truly loved by yourself!!!

Reply to Lele
Posted by: two-stone | 2010-09-23

The one thing that stands out to me is that you are scared to give yourself to anyone. All the excuses in your letter about his depression, ex-GF, etc etc still come down to that - YOU are scared and holding back all the time. It will happen with the next guy as well. Please, don''t make this same mistake over and over. You will never know what it feels like to love without reservation and have that fulfillment in your life, if you are not prepared to take a chance. You caused the uncertainty in your boyfriend through your lack of demonstrating love for him, and then it becomes a vicious circle - he starts holding back, then you hold back more and so on and so on. I also think, because of your lack of trust, you over-analize EVERY thing he does and says. Relax, and ENJOY the experience of being in love. If you end up getting hurt, at least you have loved without reservation and will be a better person for it. Good luck sweetgirl - because that is what you are!

Reply to two-stone

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