Help me please! I am so torn and I have no one to talk to…

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    I am a 24 year old single mother. I have been single since I left my husband in October of 2010 when my daughter was about 6 months old. At the time I was active duty in the military, constantly at sea, dealing with becoming a single parent and was not interested in starting any sort of relationship with someone new. Fast forward to 2015. It has now been over four years, I have left the military and my life has calmed down a little. I have stayed single, mostly voluntarily, these entire four years. I was weary about starting a relationship and quite frankly it has been much easier maintain feeling free fun flings.

    Towards the end of 2014 I decided to change it up and start dating, and I met Boy. Boy is 24, Hispanic, lives with his parents and works two entry level jobs. I usually date no younger than 27, white, tall and already extremely established men. By usually, I mean always. He has been the only exception. We met on OKcupid, found out we had a lot of actual friends in common and clicked so quickly. When we finally met in person it was magical. He had just been in several bicycle accidents and his face was all messed up, but I didn’t care. He liked my daughter, we connected culturally-it was my first time dating someone Hispanic like me, I liked his family, he didn’t mind my temperament. He is kind of the opposite of me. I am very uptight and he is the joker that can crack me open. Our relationship moved very fast. Within a couple of weeks the problems started. He has a problem with alcohol. & that’s pretty much where all our problems stem from. Over Christmas I bought him a cheap but nice present, he got me something but ended up returning it before I even got to see it cause he needed cash. He got a DUI on a night that he blew me off, he was with a girl that was visiting from California-they are just friends (and I really do trust that). He blew me off almost every Friday and Saturday night…something started changing for some reason. Anyway at some point the drinking became even too much to him and he decided to quit and start recovery but the first thing he did was call me to tell me that he heard that it’s not good to be in a relationship during these types of life changes. Mind you, I had been nothing but completely forgiving and supportive during all these problems. Obviously I was upset at the problems but I always listened to him and knew that his intentions were good and that he had a problem and I wanted to be there to support him. Instead he was telling me that he didn’t want me around during this transition.

    He wasn’t man enough to say it that way or to actually break up with me so I ended it. It’s been a week now. Our relationship lasted two and a half months.

    I guess this is where I need help… I still want to be there for him. I still want him in my bed next to me and I still miss his stupid mustache. I’m not sure whether I just miss being in a relationship or whether I miss being with him, but I’m pretty sure I miss being with him. Unfortunately when were together he’s not very respectful towards me, even if it’s not intentional. He will ignore my texts, never took me out on dates, never asked me about my day, never really paid much attention to me…it was always about him. But, I feel the love…as cliché as that sounds. I don’t really know what advice I’m looking for, I just don’t know what to do.

    I feel like if he really did love or respect me he would appreciate the effort I had put in. Or if he really did want to be with me he would have taken me out and asked about my day and cared and did cute little nice things for me. & he would have wanted me to be here for his life transformation rather than immediately dismiss me. & that I shouldn’t accept anything less than the best from a man. & that I should never beg or have to ask for a man back.

    The other side of me feels like…he needs help. Since we ended he has not actually gotten sober and it has gotten worse, I know I can help him. The other side of me feels like I have to fight for what I want and if I want Boy then I can’t give up. Maybe Boy has a million faults…but he is the laughter that cracks me open and I need that. And boys faults…they’re fixable I think.

    I’m not good with relationships. And this one is so complicated so soon…I need help.

    Staples 400

    Hi Alexis. I’ll just be straight forward and honest with you. If one of my daughters every came to me asking for advice a situation like this, I’d scream RUN!!
    First of all, it sounds like you are ready for some companionship — and that is great! There is nothing wrong with wanting someone to connect to. However, be mindful of your need and be aware that there are many eligible men who would love you and love your daughter. You don’t ne
    As far as “Boy” is concerned, I’d urge you to slow down and reevaluate things. You are considering a relationship with someone who you’ve just acknowledge has a “million faults”. What if those faults never go away? What if you cannot change him? Do you want a relationship or an improvement project? While humor is an awesome trait to bring to a relationship, you need more than a good laugh to be successful.
    Again, I’d urge you to take things slow with Boy or *any* other person for that matter. You sound like great catch. Don’t settle. Explore your options (safely) and maintain a good sized buffer on your heart. I’ll speak from experience and say that I pretty much wanted to marry every single woman I every met, not because all those women were marriage material, but because I wanted to be a husband. People like us are more vulnerable to abuse so you need the buffer. Protect your heart at all costs. Make sure you think long term. Don’t let your heart and your feelings get you into circumstances that you ill later regret. You are only 24. There are lots of eligible bachelors for you to choose from 🙂


    Sweetie, sweetie, Alexis I was once in your place. He’s unavailable, ask yourself why you want an unavailable man or better yet ask a therapist. Suppose you do go down that road, and you beg and plead and persuade and “fight for what you want” with an addict. How are you gonna feel when he never moves beyond entry level work? when he DUI’s with your baby in the car? when he kills somebody? How are you gonna feel when your much older and you’ve never really felt loved in your relationship? When your kids have never had stability? Take care of yourself, well, and let this one go, you deserve better. On some level Boy, probably knows that.

    “There is no such thing as a soulmate…and who would want there to be? I don’t want half of a shared soul. I want my own damn soul.”

    Ely in Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List Rachel Cohn and David Levithan”
    ― Rachel Cohn, Naomi and Ely’s No Kiss List


    Hi Alexis,

    I agree with Staples and Raventrue (love that quote by the way) about keeping your distance. If you enter a relationship hoping to change that person, it means that you are not able to accept them for who they are even if the change is for their own good. If someone is not ready to change, which appears to be the case here, you are going to be frustrated in all the things he does (e.g. drink driving, ignoring your or just being drunk most of the time) while he gets frustrated for you trying to change him. Usually the relationship ends up as some form of co-dependency with lots criticism and attempts to fix problems.

    Though it is true that some partners can help through an addiction period, the person being helped needs to have a lot of trust in the helper to overcome feelings of inadequacy, weakness and judgement. This is especially difficult for men as we are not raised to be emotionally vulnerable. If you want to persue a long term relationship with this person, let him be so that he can work his own way out of his addiction. Who knows, he may become the person you wish him to be all on his own and you two may reconnect sometime in the future. Otherwise, don’t spend years fixing someone else’s problem because no matter how much you invest, they are not going to get there unless they want to.



    I am so sorry for the situation that you are in – but the answer does not lie in staying with him or helping him through his problems. In fact, he needs to be willing to make the changes in himself first. When you first meet someone after being single for so long and it feels like things are magical and wonderful, it’s really hard to pull yourself back into reality and confront all the very real problems that exist within your relationship. It is so easy to believe that all of the major problems and differences between you are the result of “opposites attract” and it is so romantic to think of things as being meant to be. Alexis, I know it hurts now, but you must, absolutely MUST break off all contact with him until he heals on his own, for your own good, his own good, and for your child.

    Boy’s flaws need to be worked out by himself before you can embark upon any relationship with him. Trying to fix his problems FOR him will NOT WORK. Love is not words, love is action and love is selfless. And blowing you off, cowardly trying to pin the breakup on you and his unresolved addiction, those are not the actions of love.

    Staying in this situation, embedding yourself in his problems is only going to lead to more heartbreak and greater hurt for you in the long run. Love yourself and be thankful that you got out of this situation while you still could.


    Thank you so much everyone!

    Yesterday I had a moment of weakness and made plans with him for after work. Paint by Numbers, wine and a movie. When I got off work I called him and lo and behold-he was too tired. I cried home. I paint by numbered and drank wine and watched a movie with my sister after my daughter went to bed and had a really great time anyway. You are all right. It was nice to experience a relationship again, but I deserve better. I am glad I left. I do still care very much for him though, and I hope that he does recover and who knows… I’m still allowed to be a romantic!

    When I started dating I went on 20 something dates and met so many wonderful people, beautiful men, smart men, rich men, not so rich men, artistic men, whatever, but this Boy was the only one I wanted to pursue. There is just something different. He isn’t the prettiest, the smartest, the tallest, the most packed, the richest, the most artistic, the most alluring, the sexiest…he just feels right.

    Him blowing me off yesterday was maybe what I really needed to cement this. It doesn’t feel right to not be respected or loved. Christine, your words really hit home. I’m not sure whether I will be cutting off complete contact, but…I sort of had an epiphany or woke up from a slumber of stupidity last night, I can handle myself now. Hopefully this feeling lasts.

    Thanks, everyone 🙂

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