Reader Missing My Ex writes,
I broke up with my boyfriend of almost nine years, yes nine. He didn't love me the way I understood. He was stuck in his career and never made time for us. His way of love is to work and provide. My way of love is to spend time together. We both have good jobs. What is the point of having all this money but you can't enjoy your life and you're never around? What if we have kids, I can't do everything... He would be at the office until midnight! We would go on a date once a year, max. Just typing that makes me feel foolish for staying. I think he thought that was okay because we are always with our friends in group settings, but I wanted quality time.
Once I broke up with him, it seemed a light bulb went off and he promised to change and said all this means nothing without me. I didn't believe it and told him he had nine years to do it and didn't.
It's been almost a year and a half since the break up, and it still hurts like it happened yesterday. Am I crazy for thinking of getting back or it's normal to miss an ex? He has tried to reach out but we are both hurt. Is this just the normal healing process, because it's taking forever. They say it gets easier but it hasn't. I thought I was doing myself a good thing by leaving a dead-end relationship.
It seems like you will never get over this guy unless you know if his epiphany really means that he is capable of change. If you were able to move on, you likely would have done it within this last year and a half. Perhaps he really is able to be a better partner. Maybe he saw the light. I believe in change, as I see it all the time in therapy, and I see couples become better partners in couples counseling, often due to an epiphany they have in session while working through their issues.
I don't see any reason not to try again with this guy. I would only advise you not to if the guy himself didn't seem to be into it. But he wants you back. You don't mention having kids with him. If he isn't a better partner the second go-round, then you can leave and not look back. Loads of people have a break in the story of their relationship. Some people have way bigger issues than a guy not wanting dates, too. So, long story short, try again.
If, however, you get involved again and the same patterns start right away, and you find yourself unable to leave, it is then time to go into therapy. That will hopefully allow you to figure out why you remain stuck in this way, with this guy. Maybe on some level you don't think you deserve better, or you don't expect to get someone more attentive. But for right now, for all we know, maybe he will change. Maybe you started dating him as a 21 year old party-hearty guy and now he's 31 and wants different things, but during the nine years you were just caught up in old pattern from the time that you met. This is possible. Anything is possible.
Good luck, and till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist That Says, You Never Know Anything Till You Try.
This post was originally published here on Dr. Psych Mom. Follow Dr. Rodman on Dr. Psych Mom, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Order her book, How to Talk to Your Kids about Your Divorce: Healthy, Effective Communication Techniques for Your Changing Family. Learn about Dr. Rodman's private practice here. This blog is not intended as diagnosis, assessment, or treatment, and should not replace consultation with your medical provider.