Molly in Charlotte writes:
I am currently in a five month relationship which may or may not have long-term potential. We have a real connection on many levels but he is wrestling with issues from his past relationship. Every two weeks he laments having lost his ex and her moving away… even though they weren’t working out for a long time.
I’ve tried to be patient with him because I know we have a good thing going. We also play music in several groups together and have the same circle of friends. But I’m not sure how much longer I can put up with this. Moreover, he doesn’t really seem to be trying to let go of his ex. I know they still want to be friends, but they call and email each other all through the week. I’ve spoken to a few psychics here already and the answer was basically the same… to give him time, that he’d come around and be with me completely.
Honestly, my intuition tells me the same thing. And I want to hang in there but he keeps telling me he’s not sure if he’ll ever get over this. It’s hurtful and confusing and I’m not sure what to do. Any advice or insight you have would be greatly appreciated.
I have to agree – time is the necessary element to get this man of yours out of the past and into the present. This makes for a challenging situation, but not a hopeless one!
I would advise you to keep your professional and personal relationships as separate as you can while he goes through his process. Have one of those hard, heart-to-heart talks with him that lays down some rules regarding your professional working relationship with him. His personal drama can become problematic to your musical aspirations. Don’t let that happen. It may seem to him as if you are taking a step back in your personal relationship, so try to be very clear that you are just trying to protect the working relationship, and everyone involved.
As far as your personal relationship goes, continue to be as supportive of him as you can be, while still respecting yourself. It looks like you have a bit too much compassion. While he isn’t trying to hurt you in any way, he can also be quite oblivious to the affect his behavior has on you. Rather than recognize, he tends to cross the line of respect into disrespect of your feelings, he uses his pain and confusion as the blanket excuse. Granted, it is completely unintentional on his part, but that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it. There is sometimes a fine line that separates an understanding friend from a doormat, and your desire to be with him propels you to cross that line at times. Try and avoid that… it isn’t doing you any good.
The next couple of months with him are going to be rocky, so you need to be prepared. He is going to continue to maintain contact with his ex, but slowly he will come to terms with the fact that holding on to that relationship isn’t doing him any good. No one can tell him this – he has to make that discovery on his own. When he does, he will be able to make sense of the senseless, and begin moving forward in his life once again. When that time comes, things seem to click into place with the two of you.
For you, this isn’t a question of “hold on or let go,” it is more along the lines of how to navigate the challenges while things unfold. The answer is keep your cool, struggle with your patience and don’t play the overly-understanding fool.