"Stories" from the Collective (YOU)

My On-Off Relationship -- Help!

by Gabriella
(Miami, Florida, USA)

I really need help with my on-off relationship. Why doesn't he treat me properly? Why do we keep getting back together? Help, please...

QUESTION: My Relationship Overall With My Boyfriend - Help!...


It's a long story, but here we go.

It all started two years ago ... when I first met my boyfriend we just automatically hit it off! Even though we only had one date in the beginning, it was alright with me since I thought things would eventually get better for both of us.

Fast forward to a couple of months later in the relationship, we started having issues - his true colors started to show.
  • He was constantly hurting me, being mad at me all the time.
  • He often stopped me from hanging out with my friends, telling me who I can be friends with and can't be friends with.
I, myself, at first I ignored the fact that he did all that because of how much I loved him. Then, he started accusing me for stuff that I have not done. He started accusing me of lying a lot, when I never lied.

Our communication level was horrible.

It was so horrible that I felt as if I couldn't talk to him without being mad. I started feeling scared to open up to him about stuff that I've done. He once embarrassed me in front of my classmates and so on. I could never speak to another guy even his friends because he always thought that they liked me and were trying to get with me.

I felt as if I could never be myself around him, because of the way he acted and treated me.

Whenever he said something to me, he would then switch his answer a couple of minutes after that. Like, if I ask him "baby, are we still going to the movies later?" he might say yes now ... and I ask him again later on that afternoon to reassure myself, he says "I don't know yet".

He then broke up with me, and told me that he was not going to come back to me ever again, so then I started to move on ... then all of a sudden, he reappeared and asked me back out. I hesitated because of all the hurt that he has caused me in the past, but I eventually did.

I gave him so many chances, but he has not changed to my liking. I feel as if he's not the man that I fell in love with in the beginning. I don't know what to do anymore.

I'm not saying that he has not changed at all, because he has but .... there are some things that are still not working, and I feel that whatever I try to do to better ourselves and the relationship, it will never happen.

I broke up with him so many times because of ridiculous stuff that he does that I don't like. But then, whenever I try to speak to him about it, we can NEVER understand each other or reach a solution.

There was a time when I didn't know how I felt for him. Just like right now, I don't know if I love him or just care for him deeply as a friend. This relationship needs a lot of help, and I'm scared. Every time I break up with him and try to move on, we always end up getting back together.





Comments for My On-Off Relationship -- Help!

by: Anonymous

Thankyou so much for sharing your experience of this difficult relationship. And I wish you well with the future whatever happens.

I also had/have a similar challenge with an on/off again relationship... And after several years, yes that long, and a lot of painful digging, as it was a well buried issue - the realisation of my own fear of commitment and his - has finally reached the surface of my awareness.

I feel like I am understanding some of the very confusing behaviour that was arising within both of us.

Thankyou Steve, for this added clarity on this subject - I find your advice very sound and you have an ability to say things with sensitivity and wisdom.

I appreciate this site, with its encouragement and acceptance of people's honest feelings and experiences. It is very helpful and special to be able to relate to others so easily here. Thankyou

'Complicated' Relationship Stories Usually Mean One Thing...
by: Steve

"Each relationship nurtures a strength or weakness within you."
- Mike Murdock

I often shudder whenever I read the words, "this is going to be a long story...". Reason? A good relationship is NOT complicated, does not need 'drama', and does not require a 'long story' to explain itself. Whereas a bad, or dysfunctional relationship needs words, words and more words to explain (read: justify) itself.

A good, healthy relationship is a relationship that works. That's not to say that such a relationship doesn't require courage and strength - not to help the other person change, but to face ourselves and our often unerring desire to self-sabotage.

A good relationship is worth working hard for, whereas a dysfunctional relationship...

I say all this, Gabriella, not as someone who has never struggled in a complicated, and messy on-off, on-off relationship, but has someone who HAS - many times.

The fact is, it takes two people to make a relationship work. Two people who are both able to look closely at how well they do relationships, and how able they are to open themselves to the deep intimacy that is always present in a good relationship.

So from your story it appears clear as to where your boyfriend seems frightened to be in relationship with you - his self-sabotage appears evident in the inconsistency of his behaviour towards you; his need to control you.

It is also clear that this relationship is important to you - that you have suffered greatly in trying to work out why it's been so difficult at times.

What is less evident, though, is how you seem to be self-sabotaging your relationship life. (I firmly believe, you see, that we bring into our life people who reflect our current level of self-growth, self-awareness and wisdom. Which means that if this man is frightened of commitment, chances are you are too.)

From my modest experience of relationships - my own, and those of my friends (mostly women) - I'd say that it's going to be hard to make this current relationship work. It takes two, as I said, and you're never going to get what you want from this relationship if your boyfriend isn't willing to take a long hard look at how he's relating to you.

And I politely suggest you might want to look at why you are so drawn to a man that (on the surface) is so 'unavailable', and so distrusting of you.

So I wish you strength and courage in your bid to transform this relationship in a positive way (i.e. leave and fully let it go, or accept this man for who he presently is).

And I thank you for asking your relationship question at our relationship advice forum - a question that many of us have had at some point in our relationship lives...


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