I have a girlfriend of 3 years who gave me an ultimatum recently; Clean up your act or I have to leave you. I love her very much but I know that I have been depressed for a long time and have really brought this on myself.I lost my job a while back and didn’t really feel much like doing anything. I stayed up late, slept until 4 or 5 and so on. Since she told me this I seem to have found the motivation to change. I just got a job today, have an appointment with a counselor, and have been trying very hard to respond to her needs as well as to’clean up my act’.By the way, we are both 21. My problem is that she doesn’t really have a lot of faith that I will do what I say I will. I have failed to change in the past. I am absolutely committed though, and she has agreed to stay with me, but wants some space. I am having a hard time doing this. She likes to talk with me, but she basically doesn’t want to be sexual or overly affectionate with me. I really want to get better, and I want her to see my progress so she will start to feel trust and closeness, but I’m feeling impatient. How can I approach this so she will trust me and start desiring me again without seeming too anxious or needy?Sorry if that sounds muddled, but it’s a real, long storyThank you,fritz in denton texas
I commend your honesty and devotion to the woman you love.Your first step in trying to regain her trust is to understand her feelings of and not try to talk her out of them. See Dr. Love’s Ten Tips on how to Listen to emotions.To do this, you can say,’Since I never followed through in the past, I understand why you don’t trust me now. I’m not asking for your trust. I just want you to know that the thought of losing you woke me up to my problems. I have an appointment with a counsellor and I will work on resolving my issues–especially my lack of follow through. All I am asking is that you give me time to prove to you how much I care for you and how much I want to become worthy of your love. Again, I’m not asking for your trust. All I want is the time to show you that I have changing for good.’It may sound corny to you, but, in actuality, the above statement reflects your sentiments as you expressed them to me in the letter. And, you need to tell her what you told me.Speaking to her from the heart, and not forcing her feelings for you, is your only avenue at present. If she cares for you, there is a good chance that you will win her back, providing one other thing happens.Once you promise her that you will change, you must make darn sure that you do. Otherwise you will lose her for good and damage her more in the process.So, work hard and be consistent with her. Keep your promises and you should have a good shot at winning her back.Let me know.