My boyfriend and I’ve been together for 3 yrs. Right now our relationship is good, but in the past he was very unkind to me because he was still stuck on his 1st girlfriend.
I met him 6 months after his ex left him. He was still pining for this girl while we dated, for reasons I couldn’t figure out considering that their relationship was extremely unhealthy, and for a long time he was non-committal and inconsiderate to me. He would say he wants to be together forever, then a week later he’d want to break up. He spoke about his ex CONSTANTLY until I told him to stop. (For example, I’d take him out to dinner at a nice restaurant, we’d be having a perfectly nice time, then he’d begin fondly reminiscing about a time he ate there with his ex, and I’d pay the tab feeling totally worthless.)
We had a rough patch where he wouldn’t deal with disagreement without becoming angry and abusive, started flirting with other girls, threatened to break up constantly, he made extremely cruel comments that I still cannot forget – his mother told me it was the exact same way he acted in his other relationship. I tolerated it for a while but then made it clear that if he wanted to be with me he would respect me, and he genuinely changed. Now he is very loving and considerate, and a much better communicator. At one point this ex started calling him and he wanted absolutely nothing to do with her, which reassured me that I am not “second rate” to him as I had always felt.
It’s been about a year since he changed his habits, HOWEVER, it is still very painful for me to think about our past. I feel like I deserved a man who appreciated me from day one. I get very sad when people talk about how they were so in love when they met or “just knew” they were meant to be, because I can’t say the same of him… “Yeah, he preferred some other girl and mistreated me, but now everything’s lovely.”
I love him a lot, he is my first love (and I sometimes worry that I am blinded by naivity), but our future feels poisoned by memories of how he treated me the first year we were together and knowing that he thought another girl was better than me WHILE he was with me tortures me… even if I’m who he wants now. Is this a realistic reason for not being able to salvage a relationship, or should I be able to get past this?
You have to make a CHOICE to get over it. If you simply expect your feelings to change they won’t. If you keep thinking about it then you will keep feeling the pain of it and stay stuck. You have to decide right now if this is something that you simply are not going to get over. If that is the case then you need to break up. If you choose today to not dwell in the past and focus on the present and future then stay with him. It’s up to you and what you CHOOSE to do.