hello dr. Turndorf,my name is omar. I’m 22 years old and i live in california. I desperatly need the advice of someone with experience in relationships and hopefully you can help figure out what i need to do in my situation. Here goes.I had a girlfriend for 2 years. The first year went great it was fun and i was madly in love with her and so was she. After the first year things started changing. . . she started getting more serious and putting all her effort into the relationship, thinking about a future together and sacrificing many things (like family, school, friends) for me.One example: she goes to university of san diego to get her masters in higher education. I live 2 hours away from her school. Well she would drive at least 3 times a week to see me and some of the times i’d tell her not to come because i had plans with my friends. When she had already canceled plans with friends or family just to see me and spend time with me. . . I was an asshole.She was taking this relationship seriously and i was just taking it day by day and putting the least effort just to keep her around. she tried to talk to me many times about the way i was towards her and how uncomfortable it made her feel and i was the macho type of guy who would be like ‘f-u. I am not changing. This is the way you met me and this is the way i’ll always be. ‘i was a real jerk. I’d talk to other girls without her knowing about it. I never cheated on her but still never told her that i’d talk to other girls. I would ask her not to call me every day because i didn’t want to get bored of her. . . i mean she would do anything i would ask her to just to make things work.On the other hand i didn’t. It was my way or no way. I thought about breaking up with her many many times but i just couldn’t picture myself hurting her like that. Many times i told her that if she wasnt happy with me to leave me and go find someone else, but she didn’t.She stayed with me and she put up with my crap for much time. . . for the last 4 months of the relationship things were pretty rocky. We would always fight, and it was mostly my fault. . . i was always mad at her because she would always try to change me and i didn’t want to. I wanted to hang out with my friends all the time, go out and have fun, all of this without her.Well one day she calls me and tells me that she needs to talk to me and she tells me that she wants to break up with me. . . I was shocked and a little hurt. She told me that she was not breaking up with me because she didn’t love me but because she thought she deserves someone better than what i was for her. . . and she did. I was alright with the break up for about a week. . . it took me a week to realize what i had and how much this girl meant to me.I was going crazy without her. I called her and told her how sorry i was for the pain that i caused to her during the time that she was with me, that she did the right thing by breaking up with me and she made me realize what i had. . . that it sucked that she had to leave me for me to realize it but she did the right thing. she said that she was sorry also that the relationship didn’t work out, that she really tried to make things work but she got to a point where she got hurt so bad that she just didn’t want to go any longer. . .i told her that i completly understood her and respected very much her decision. I kept talking to her for about 3 weeks as just friends, which hurt me to death because when i would hear her on the phone she sounded sooo cold and uninterested. Sometimes i thought she would just pick up the phone out of pity. . .after a while (month) i asked her for another chance. I told her that i had changed and i was a more improved human being and i wanted to show her and fixed all of my mistakes. She said that she wasnt ready for it that she was still hurt and was afraid that she was going to hold to those feelings and not put all of her effort into the relationship. . .i couldnt take it. I was dying. . . then i started thinking all types of stupid thoughts, that maybe she didn’t love me that much and maybe she lied to me all along. . . but then i thought about it and she put up with the crap i gave her for a year! For me it had only been a month and i was devastated. . .She had a christmas break of a month to come down to visit her family (which is pretty close to where i live, 5 mins away). I asked her to please let me show her how i changed for the time she was going to be down here, because why would she want to come back to being treated bad?I had to show her that i’ve changed. I was going to give it my all to show her my improvement and then after showing her if she didnt want to take me back i was going to understand but i had to try it. She said that all she could do is be my friend and from there if she saw any changes in me, and her feelings changed that she might take me back, otherwise she couldnt do anything else. . .as much as it hurt me to be her friend i accepted her offer, with the hope that she might change her mind and take me back, i was supposed to get a final answer from her before she would go back to school as to whether she was going to take me back or not. . . . I’d call her every day ask her out on dates, which she accepted most of the time.The times we went out it was like magic. We had fun, i would flirt with her, she would flirt with me, we got intimate with each other, i sent her flowers to work. (first time i ever did that for a girl). I have bought her a wonderful necklace for christmas. She would call me to ask me silly stuff. She would hug me warmly every time we saw each other. . . i mean it was going great!But through this whole time i could tell she was holding back on alot of stuff that she wanted to say or do. . . i could see it on her eyes and by the way she would talk to me sometimes. Sometimes she was really sweet and some other times she was cold and cut throat. Many times i tried talking to her about what had happened and about the way i was before, and everytime we would talk about it she would start crying and told me that she loved me and cared for me but she was still hurt and she was afraid that she might never forgive me for all i did to her, but she didnt want to lose me that even if she didn’t take me back she would want to keep me as a friend because she cared for me so much still. . . .So this went on for 20 days out of the 30 days that she stayed here. . . a week before she went back i told her that i couldn’t take it anymore. I was devastated because i didn’t know whether she was going to take me back or not. I could not function at all. At work, when i would go out with my friends, family i mean it was bad.I had never ever felt like this because of someone. I was extremly depressed and she seemed to have gotten over me. . . Besides the fact that she could look at me as just a friend. She would go out with her friends, go out to places like las vegas, big bear and have fun. . . i could not do that at all! I couldn’t stop thinking about her.So a week before she had to go i asked for an answer from her and she said that she thought about it alot and that she got advice from her friends and my friends, and that she definately just wanted to be friends, that her heart and the passion to work things out was just not there anymore, she was afraid to get hurt again. . . my heart crumbled, but i was kind of expecting this answer, i mean i still had hopes of her coming back to me but i didnt want to get too excited. . .after she told me she just wanted to be friends she asked me if she could still call me and be my friend or if i needed time for myself. I said that she knew how much i loved her and that she is the most important person in my life right now, based on that i let her make the call.Next day she called me 3 times, through the day. . . i didn’t pick up the phone till the 4th call which was around 11 at night. I answered and i was cut throat and cold. She was nice and seemed happy, as if nothing had happened, which kind of made me mad. I asked her what was going on and she just said that she called to see how i was doing and how my day went. I didn’t talk that much and she told me all about her day while i listened in pain. After she was done i told her that i had to let her go and went to sleep.After that call i realized that it hurt me too much to hear her voice, to see her as just a friend and a friend only, so i wrotte her a letter telling her that if she truly wanted my friendship to give me some time to get over her and maybe i would be her friend, to not call me or try to make any contact with me because it would just get my hopes high again and it’d hurt me too much. That i loved her and i always will, that no one was ever going to occupy the empty space that she left in my heart.She changed me for good and i was not the same person i was before. I learned to appreciate what i have and to treat women in a more respectful way and that the doors to come back to me were always, always going to be open for her if one day she changed her mind and decided to come back.I believe this is the girl for me dr. I truly do. I have been with many girls in my young life and no one has made the changes that this girl had made on me. I have never felt this strong for anyone in my life and i would do anything to get this girl back, and if she does take me back one day i would definately treat her like how she deserves to be treated, like a queen and one day marry her without a doubt.I love her like i never loved anyone in my life, i really do. She’s 22 as well, she’s very well educated, hispanic background, very focused in life with goals and accomplishments in her life. She wants to get married once she’s done with school, which will happen in a year and half. Right now she means everything to me. I cannot stop thinking about her.I’m hurting because i don’t have her with me. I find my self talking about her all the time and every single thing i do or see reminds of her. I gave her the letter 2 days ago from today. And i dropped it off at her house, we talked for a bit and she was the nicest girl, she would stare at me and i can just tell by the way she looks at me that she still loves me but i just can’t believe that if someone loves a person how she once did love me, why wouldn’t she give me another chance.I’m just so scared that she might forget about me completly and find someone else. . . it scares me more than death itself. Well dr. Sorry for the length of the letter but i felt that you really had to hear most of the story to understand me and try to give me a good advice.*do you think she’s just going through a phase? *do you think i’ll ever get back with her? *did i really mess up that bad that i’ll never be able to get her back? *what can i do to get her back? *how long should i wait? *does time really fix everything? *do you think i’ll fix me. Will it fix her? *what’s going through her mind? *do you think she’s acting like this because she found someone else?No one had ever broken up with me before, and it hurts like hell. Please help me dr. And give me any type of advice on what i should do in my situation.I’d love to get back with this girl but i’d hate for her to take me back out of pity. What do you think it’s going to happen? Thank you very very much
Wow, that was a long story. I feel like I’ve taken the rollercoaster ride with you.My first thought when I read your letter was that she allowed you to mistreat her. By not having put her foot down with you much sooner, she actually condoned what was happening. Now she presents herself as an innocent victim, but the reality is there are no victims, only volunteers.So, I don’t know if she would be open to hearing what I said. If she were open to this truth, then it would help her to drop a great deal of her resentment toward you, since it was she who allowed to mistreat her. When she drops her resentment, she will then be able to find out whether she still has feelings of love for you, which it sounds like she does. She can’t find these positive feelings until her resentment lessens.The next obstacle that needs to be tackled is what seems to be her fear of trusting you. She seems to be afraid that you will mistreat her again. If she fully absorbs the truth of the fact that she didn’t set proper limits with you, then her next step would be to realize that she must from here forward learn how to put her foot down when she is being treated in a way that doesn’t feel right for her.When she knows that she can count on herself, then her fear of being hurt and mistreated by you or anyone will not be so overpowering, since she will know that she can and will put her foot down whenever needed, thereby insuring that she can and will protect herself.As for you, I think that you mistreated her for two reasons. First, I think that her self-effacing behavior brought out the brute in you. It’s kind of like what happens in the jungle. Animals who are weak and don’t defend themselves become easy prey. The way she rolled over seemed to ignite your sadistic side.I also think that your tough attitude was a cover up or, to be more technically precise, your tough attitude was a defense that concealed your fear of becoming dependent on her or any woman. It is said that the unconscious mind knows everything and if this is true then your unconscious mind knew that you have a strong urge to become dependent on a woman.As long as she was chasing you, you didn’t have to admit how much you needed her; but as soon as she left you, you fell apart, and even felt that death was worse that being without her, etc. In other words, you actually were more dependent on her than she was on you, but you never admitted this to yourself. Instead you fooled yourself into believing you didn’t really need or want her.It is also possible that you can only allow yourself to admit how much you want her now that you can’t have her! In other words, it’s safe to want her now because she’s not allowing you to have her. But, if she were to come close to you, it’s highly likely that you might freak out and begin warding her off. In other words, your fear of dependency might make you mistreat or push her away again.So, you would be wise to study your deepest feelings regarding intimacy. Most of humans have mixed feelings. We want closeness, but, at the same time, we’re scared to death of needing or becoming too dependent on another person.When you sort all this out, you won’t need to ward off intimacy by pushing away or mistreating your partner. Knowing that you are aware of this issue and that you are addressing it in therapy should be yet another incentive for her to try again with you.At this point, all you can do is share my thoughts with her and see what happens next. If she agrees to try again, she needs to work on the issues I mentioned above, as do you.