I’m inspired today by a series of strange events in my life. I’m sure I’m about to say some things that friends wish they could say without hurting anyone’s feelings. And I’m pretty sure there are some therapists out there who wish they could just shout “HE’S NEVER GOING TO CHANGE!!” So for your dose of painfully honest relationship advice I give you the following scenario. I should disclaim that I’m not a therapist. But I’m that logical friend you may need to hear. If you need a professional, please click here.
I have an acquaintance who is in a dead end relationship…with my ex. She has reached out to me for relationship advice, and I’ve been happy to give it. Why? Catharsis, I think. Honestly, she’s a lot like talking to myself twenty years ago. She’s in the stage of denial that includes the old, “if I talk about it enough to rational people then maybe he’ll understand. But I’m not actually going to acknowledge that this probably isn’t a good relationship.” Yeah. I did that, too. Didn’t work then, and it’s comforting (in a weird way) to know that it doesn’t work now. It really drives home the pointless point that it was more him and less me. Which leads me to another level of self validation. Suffice to say that in some way me offering her relationship advice is me working through some shit.
Relationship Advice to My Ex
Being that he’s my ex, you can see that my knowledge of what she’s going through isn’t just opinion. Most of what she’s going through I have dealt with first hand. So, I’m kind of an expert. Anyway, he has actually told her he has no interest in changing certain behaviors (like drinking, smoking, etc.). He as also said, and I quote, “I won’t be told what to do.” Ah. The echos of yesterday. No red flags there.
About Last Night
Well, it all came to (another) head last night. You see, my ex and I have remained good friends and he still “lives” in the house I was awarded. But by “lives” I mean he keeps his stuff here and spends no more than two days a week in my spare bedroom. Financially it works. Anyway, since he and I have remained friends, despite our failed relationship, when he showed up here last night I spoke with him. I thought perhaps I could offer some carefully wordsmithed relationship advice to him. Because the truth is, she’s clearly not accepting that he is a real dick most of the time, and he needs to stop dragging her through his bullshit. And I apparently still hold onto some stupid vision of him actually becoming a good person. You know, the guy I knew from February through June of 1998.
It was (again) strangely reassuring that I got pretty much the same version of him as always. After all, we all can appreciate consistency. But I tried to get through. Unfortunately if you’re going to hold his attention you have to speak in a way which won’t cause a twelve year old reaction from an almost fifty year old man. It’s fucking exhausting really. But this too had some kind of catharsis for me. He never cared how he affected me. Maybe he cares about how he affects her. (You can almost touch the willful ignorance, can’t you?)
If You Thought That Was Weird
This woman is in her late forties. So she’s old enough to know better. He has changed drastically since he and I split. I never caught him in lies and he always came through for me back then…no matter how much he resented me for it. She’s been with him for a few years now. He talked a good game back then but his actions proved (and continue to prove) different. But she still believes his words from three years ago. She recently said, “I’ll see what he does.” To which I replied something like, “I think he’s already shown you quite a bit.”
She catches him in lies. He’s rude, insensitive, and drinks entirely too much. She even suspects him of texting other women. Not to mention that for over a year he told her he’d move in with her. When she pressed him last month, he said he should never have said that as he did not want to move in. I know she’s heartbroken over this. And yeah, he’s tall, handsome, funny, and sometimes even charming. I fell for that too. Even made it legal and spent almost twenty years trying to figure out why he just didn’t care as much about me as I did about him. But there came a time when I had to face the facts and take the relationship advice I sought, no matter how much I didn’t want it to be true.
The truth is, and I’ve told her this too, he simply doesn’t understand what it means to love anyone more than he loves himself.
And It Just Keeps Getting Weirder
In a bold move of desperation, she recently asked me to sever my relationship with him in an effort to drive him closer to her. Kick him out so he has no place to go except to her place…for the two days he spends here. Apparently she thinks he needs “consistency,” and needs to “stand on his own two feet.” I’m not sure how me only having two bills on autopay is me “taking care of him,” but I understand. My relationship with him is difficult to navigate. He and I became more like family than spouses, so there’s a loyalty between us that can be intimidating to a new boyfriend or girlfriend. But think less “tell each other everything,” more “I’ve got your back.” The truth is, we barely speak when he’s here.
In another attempt at relationship advice I had to explain to this woman, who again is in her late forties, that not only did I not want to sever my friendship, but that me cutting him out of my life isn’t the way she should want him to wind up with her. He should choose her. Touching lightly on his bizarre childhood, I suppose there is a certain element of security he feels in this house. And all things considered, I don’t think kicking him out is in his best interest.
Doesn’t take much more than a first year Psychology student to figure out that my ex has some serious “mommy issues,” and takes them out on women who get close to him. His current girlfriend has literally said, “I try to love him enough so he’ll get better.” Seriously? My money is on him and the carnage he’s about to leave behind. “Love him enough?” You’ve got to be kidding me. This f*cker literally just lied to her about who he was at lunch with. What amount of love is going to cure that “lying” issue?
I want to say she’s “gullible,” but I won’t. I’ll just say she’s “in love.” Believe me, I’ve been there at times in my life. And I’m just as big of a disaster. But eventually I too wake up and realize my worth and set out to figure out why I like emotionally unavailable people.
But if all of that wasn’t strange enough. Today she is remaining calm and keeping an open mind. She’s even still willing to have a discussion with him after unloading on me over the past six weeks or so about how moody and shitty he can be. So exactly what does this potential “discussion” consist of? I have no idea. Maybe more empty promises?
Not kidding. This shitshow is like watching the last twenty-odd years of my life play out with someone in the role of me. God. Was I seriously that naive? If so, my only saving grace is that I can look back and say, “What did I know? I was in my early twenties.” She’s almost fifty. I think you can see where I’m going with this.
Relationship Advice for those in Therapy
I suppose being in a painfully one-sided relationship can lead to one of two things – either a hardened heart or checking yourself into therapy. (Guess which one is me.) As his current girlfriend is trying to “love him enough” I’m sure you know where this landed her. That’s right. She’s getting relationship advice from a therapist. But I’d like to know exactly what kind of relationship advice she’s getting. Because I’m pretty sure she isn’t picking up much on this journey of “self realization.”
I don’t mean to sound insensitive but she just doesn’t seem to realize that talking about her relationship problems with a professional isn’t going to make him understand. He doesn’t see the pain he’s caused which drove her to seeking professional help. What’s more, she doesn’t see that this is actually her and not him. She cannot change him. She can only change how she interacts and reacts to him. And I hope she understands that he’ll keep taking if she keeps giving. (I told her that too…and she agreed.)
Seriously, what kind of relationship advice is it when she still thinks he’s going to change? He has heard over and over that his behaviors are negatively affecting others and literally does. not. care. So, of course, I keep urging her to ask herself why. “Why are you so attached to someone who is so emotionally unavailable?” Her response to that one was, “the emotional connection.” I think she forgot to properly place the word “imaginary” in there. Over the course of my relationship advice segment with him I actually said to him, “You know you’re not the man she thinks you are or the man she thinks you can be. You have to be honest with her, because this isn’t fair.” He agreed!
My Relationship Advice
I know it’s romantic to think that he will one day “get it.” He’ll go to her and see her standing in the rain. He’ll hold her face and offer a teary-eyed apology and she’ll know that all of her suffering was worth it. *Insert screeching halt sound*
The gross amount of resentment he’s building in her aside, I think it’s fair to say that the chances of that happening are about as good as getting a BJ from a nun (slim chance, but possible).
True For All
I’ve been trying to convey a sentiment to her for many weeks and it is no more or less true for her than it is me, or anyone else. The only thing we need to do when it comes to deciphering our interpersonal relationships is:
Once we embark upon the journey of knowing ourselves and understanding our deep seated wounds we begin to become comfortable with ourselves. Reasons we chose certain people and didn’t choose others become clearer. Which clears the way to make better decisions. But the key is diving deep within ourselves and accepting what made us who we are today and then figuring out how to refine ourselves into a better version.
I know that most people think they know what this means. After all, we’ve all liked those inspirational posts on Insta. But believe me, it’s a life long journey. Becoming comfortable alone and walking through darkness each night as you close your eyes is a painfully valuable experience.
So, in the spirit of relationship advice, I’ll leave you with what I left her –
New Literotica has Dropped!