Thursday, March 22, 2007

Jealousy and consistency

I have this huge problem. For one year, I was going out with a guy who was extremely jealous. From the beginning, he was sweet, but he said it straight away, that he was very jealous.

But for the first 4 months I could manage. He kept asking me silly questions, like if people looked at me and so, got upset, if I went somewhere on my own, but he wouldn't stop me. After 4 months, suddenly he wouldn't leave me for a moment. We worked together in his father's restaurant, me as a waitress, him as a chef. Before, he slept at my place every day, but always left me for few hours and went to his own home where he lived with his mum. But after those 4 months, he wouldn't leave me for a moment: we worked together, we lived together.

He was really getting upset with people just looking, and when they said something...Soon, he started with insults, with pushing me. Sometimes, he broke something, like my SIM card. He was worse and worse, and because I loved him, I wanted to make him happy by giving in. Later on, I was too worried to live with him on my own, so we moved in with his mum, but he still would treat me very bad. I couldn't go even to the shop on my own. He wanted to separate me from everyone.

The few times we broke up, I ran away from his house, but in a week, I was back. Then we broke up for a month, and meanwhile, I had gotten a new job and wanted to keep it, but soon made me to lose my job. We had such a bad row one night that he punched my head.

I left him and have been gone for 9 months. When we were together, he tried to go to a few therapists, but no one would help. Since we have been separated, I kept saying he has to go to see one again if he wants to be with me ever again. For the last 3 months, he has been seeing one guy who seems to be helping him. He also changed a bit. Before, he would ask so many questions, like who was looking at me, who said something, what I was wearing but now he has stopped.

He keeps telling me that if i come back that he will let me work because I've been working for such a long time now without him and there isn't point of stopping me and facing breaking up again. The way he talks and behaves now is much different than he was few months ago. Now he seems to be reasonable.

But yesterday he said he won't be in touch anymore, as I've been saying I won't come back to him. He said he still loves me, and still wants to be with me again to show me that he can make me happy, but that he can't keep begging me.

I'm really confused. I'm scared to come back and face his jealousy again. On the other hand, maybe, he is really changing and together and with bit of a work, we can make it. But I know that once we lose touch completely, there is no chance of getting back.

Can people like this change? Is he changing? It is breaking my heart that I would really lose him forever and think, that maybe if I came back to him, and if he kept going to therapy and we worked on his issues, we could make it. On the other hand, I'm scared. What do I do?

Debating the future

Dear Debating,

Let's review the facts of your relationship for a moment.

So you dated a guy for a year who you knew was the jealous type. He manipulated you and kept you away from other people. He was, in essence, abusive. But then he sought help and seemed to change. Suddenly he isn't asking about every detail of your world or breaking your things, but is asking you to come back to him. And if you don't, he wants nothing to do with you.

Obviously this is a tough decision. You miss the good times of your relationship...oh...wait. You didn't mention those at all. When he wasn't being jealous, he was being sweet, right? It redeemed him, right? And he only broke your SIM card because he loved you, right?

Three months of counseling isn't a lot, frankly. There is a good chance that he could just be tricking you. If you went back, you would feel foolish if it was to the same wolf in sheep's clothing.

If he is truly changing and it was meant to be, maybe you'll date again in the future. But in the meantime, I think it would be wise to reflect on what is going on here, perhaps with the help of a psychologist.

Aunt Amy