I’ve dated a man for a year and a half. I had my doubts about our future since the day I met him, but my love is so deep I always convince myself there’s no one else for me. My family and friends, however, tell me otherwise.
Our relationship has had ups and downs with trust and slight physical abuse issues when alcohol is involved.
He recently went on a vacation with my family. On the last night we got into an argument and the argument carried into the next day. We were outside my parents’ house and he yelled at me, swearing and all. My sister came out and screamed at him, “Do not talk to my sister like that.” He told her to shut the you-know-what up.
My sister is not fond of him and did not want him on our vacation. Both their aggression came out at once, however that does not excuse his actions. He continued to disrespect my sister and me in front of my entire family.
My whole family says he is not husband material. Deep down I tell myself I should end it because it’s not the first time I’ve felt this way. But I’m struggling with this decision because my love and bond with him is so strong. I’ve created a strong relationship with his two children, another reason my family doesn’t approve.
Since the argument he told me, “If I ever disrespect you in the slightest way again, then leave me for good and I’ll understand.” He’s deeply sorry for the way he spoke in front of my family.
I’m looking for strength and clarity. I’ve never been good at breakups. I can’t picture my life right now without him, but I don’t want to lose my family’s respect.
Leila, Alexander Pope said that admitting a mistake only means we are wiser today than we were yesterday.
There are two underlying fears in your letter you don’t mention: one, you are not good enough to have better and, two, you think it’s him or nothing. But your parents know better and so does your sister.
You wouldn’t have a relationship with his kids if you hadn’t stepped on your doubts from the beginning. His kids have nothing to do with what you deserve. Eve n with your family around he has no filter on his anger. That’s why you need to break up with him. You are letting things hold you that have no business being there.
A year and a half into the relationship there needs to be an overwhelming sense of good to move forward. That you mention not being good at breaking up is striking. People in love don’t talk about breaking up.
The same thing that makes it hard to break up is the same thing that will get you verbally and physically abused if you stay. It may be hard to end this, but it will never be easier than it is now. Above all, don’t let him get you pregnant because then you will feel trapped.
When we say we are not good at something it means that is what we need to work on. Perhaps you need family and friends to help you with the breakup. Perhaps your dad can help. Perhaps you need to move back home for the time being and change your mobile number.
Alexander Pope said, when our good judgment fails us, pride rushes in to fill the void. Don’t let pride prevent you from admitting that, with this man, you made a mistake.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of June 13, 2016
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