Tired of dis­re­spect and empty prom­ises

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Living -

I AM in deep de­spair with my boyfriend of five and a half years now. We were happy in the first two years of our relationship, how­ever things turned sour dur­ing the third year when he cheated on me with our best friend’s girl­friend.

When con­fronted, my boyfriend apol­o­gised and begged me to stay. I stayed be­cause I loved him.

He still kept in touch with that girl and when con­fronted he gave ex­cuses and apol­o­gised.

His ca­reer took a dive and he was in debt. I helped him out fi­nan­cially and emo­tion­ally.

I bought a new car not long ago and my ca­reer back then re­quired me to work over­seas for two years. At that time he had a new car busi­ness ven­ture and he used my car in my ab­sence.

In our fourth year he stopped do­ing any­thing spe­cial for me. I got bored of our bland relationship and stopped putting in any ef­fort.

In our fifth year, his busi­ness grew, re­sult­ing in less time for me. We fought over his work life bal­ance. Af­ter our par­ents me­di­ated, he stopped work­ing on Sun­days but in­stead he works late ev­ery day, and I see him only once or twice a week. I have lost con­fi­dence in him as he has not re­turned what he owes me, and yet spends on the car.

The big­gest prob­lem is he is a re­ally nice guy but now his words dis­gust me.

Af­ter a big fight I asked to break up be­cause I’m tired of be­ing treated poorly.

I de­manded that he re­turn my car and he said half of the car be­longs to him be­cause of the ef­fort and mod­i­fi­ca­tions he has made.

I was told to ei­ther sell him the car or pay for re­moval of all mod­i­fi­ca­tions.

I can’t believe what a mon­ster he’s be­come, de­mand­ing things he doesn’t de­serve.

We were plan­ning our wedding and deep in­side I still wanted to get this right. But now, it’s all dark again.

Thelma, was I ask­ing for too much? What should I do? I have thought of relationship coun­selling but does it work?

In­sanely Lost You be­came bored with your bland relationship, you find what he says dis­gust­ing, you fight over ev­ery lit­tle thing, and you think he’s a mon­ster. My dear, that sounds like it’s over. But some­how you still want to marry him.

I think you need to ask your­self: if he’s so hor­ri­ble, why do you want to get stuck with him for the rest of your life? Do you still mean what you wrote, or were you vent­ing?

When I put to­gether a time­line, I see your relationship in two parts: the first happy part ended with his cheat­ing. Af­ter this, you went abroad to work. Now you’re back but you ap­pear to have com­pletely dif­fer­ent needs.

Long dis­tance love is ex­tremely dif­fi­cult so it may be that you have both gone your sep­a­rate ways and not re­alised it.

Or you may think you’ve for­given him, but find in your heart that you truly can’t move past it. If ei­ther ap­plies, then get le­gal ad­vice to sort out what hap­pens to your car, and move on.

If you de­cided you want to try again then you will have to work hard be­cause what you have now is mak­ing you mis­er­able.

First, you for­gave him for cheat­ing, and nor­mally I’d say that is the end of it. How­ever, I’m con­cerned be­cause you say re­peat­edly that he doesn’t lis­ten to you. Also, he keeps you wait­ing all the time, and he doesn’t seem to care that this up­sets you very much. It adds up to a pat­tern of dis­re­spect.

What are your other re­la­tion­ships like? Are you in the habit of let­ting oth­ers ig­nore and up­set you? If yes, then it has to be ad­dressed. This is a per­sonal mat­ter and I sug­gest you talk to a pro­fes­sional.

As for your relationship, you used to love each other, and so it may be pos­si­ble to get back to that point. If you both think the foun­da­tion is still there, hid­den un­der years of re­sent­ment and frus­tra­tion, then you might want to try to get back there.

The first item to ad­dress is your clash­ing per­sonal needs. He wants to grow his busi­ness and you want him to spend time with you. He’s tried to ac­com­mo­date you, but clearly it’s not enough for you. As this is a ma­jor fount of frus­tra­tion, you must find a deal you can both live with.

Un­for­tu­nately, nei­ther of you com­mu­ni­cates well. He deals with con­flict by ig­nor­ing you, and you con­front and fight. Also, you are both us­ing money as a tool to hurt and con­trol. He is re­peat­edly late mak­ing pay­ments to you, know­ing this up­sets you while you de­lib­er­ately stopped giv­ing gifts on spe­cial days. The is­sue of the car is par­tic­u­larly re­veal­ing of this be­hav­iour too.

This has to stop! You both need to learn healthy, re­spect­ful, ef­fec­tive ways to ad­dress and over­come dif­fi­cul­ties. Talk to a ther­a­pist or look for a work­shop in con­flict man­age­ment.

Whether you de­cide to work on your relationship is up to you. How­ever, as com­mu­ni­ca­tion and con­flict man­age­ment are fun­da­men­tal life skills, I think both of you would ben­e­fit from at­ten­tion to th­ese ar­eas no mat­ter what

you de­cide.

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