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I wish I could help him

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  November 18, 2013 08:51 AM

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Q: I met a guy eight months ago who had been in a long relationship. About a year before he was supposed to get married, his fiancée left him and never looked back. It had been two years since the heartbreak. We hit it off well and soon we were together frequently and met each other's families. We always had a great time together. We're in our 30s.

One issue that came up in the relationship was that he would drink frequently until he was drunk, even when he was alone at his home. I received very drunk phone calls from him on two occasions. I always called him out on the excessive drinking and then I realized that he would drive when intoxicated. I was furious and explained all the potential dangers to others besides harm to himself. He always tried to make it up to me the following day and seemed so ashamed. I caught him in many lies about drinking.

Another issue was that he would get moody and seem distant. I asked him every time if it was our relationship, but he would assure me that it was not. Well, I finally said that I had had enough and he needed to change, but instead, he said that he wasn't 100 percent into the relationship and he did not see a future with me and didn't want to marry me. I am devastated. But I guess I need to be reassured that the problem lies with him. I still wish I could contact him after some time passes and try to help him. Despite it all, I loved him and wanted a future with him.

– Unlucky in Love, Cambridge


A: This breakup is a gift. Had he been desperate to marry you, you would have had to decide whether you could really be with someone who lies about his drinking. You would have had to put up with his moodiness and made guesses about his ability to change. Instead, you're free. You can walk away knowing that it wasn't about you at all. The problem -- and the fate of your relationship -- was all about him. He made a choice.

Applaud yourself for being clear with him. You explained your needs and got an honest answer, which saved you time and energy. Good for you.

I'm pretty sure that you want to contact him because you miss the company. That's totally understandable -- you guys liked each other a lot. But don't confuse the breakup loneliness with a desire to have his problems in your life. You can be sad that he's gone without wanting him back.

Readers? Why does she want to help him? Did the problem lie with him? Thoughts about why he ended things? How should she feel about what happened? Help.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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