In addition to that worry, I have reason to doubt his commitment to me. About five months into our relationship I felt ready to say “I love you” to him. While I did not say it, we ended up in a fight about commitment in which he said that he could not give me a 100% commitment and specifically saying that, if his ex became a better person, he could not guarantee that he wouldn’t get back with her (she has made it clear she wants to get back with him).
We are now ten months into our relationship and last night I brought up that I was bothered that he had not yet told me he loved me (I have told him, once). He got angry that I had brought it up, and he said that he’d tell me when he felt it. He felt that I was ignoring his actions which should reveal his true feelings.
Aside from these issues, our relationship really is wonderful. We both work hard to be good partners to each other, have great communication, and have a lot in common. When I suppress my worries, we get along blissfully. It’s when I bring up the issue of commitment and emotional closeness that he pushes back. I’m worried that I’m putting myself in a situation that has no good ending. — Looking For a Happy Ending
I always feel a little sad when I get letters like yours that describe one’s relationship as “wonderful” or “blissful” or “the very best ever,” except for this very small little thing like, oh, I don’t know, HE SAYS HE WANTS HIS EX BACK. Or: He gets angry when you express your feelings. (I’ve also heard: “Our relationship is perfect except…he cheats on me.” And: “He hits me sometimes.” And: “He won’t tell me where he lives.” And: “He always tells me how fat I am.” And from tomorrow’s column: “He won’t accept my grandchildren because they’re half black.”). You know what all of these various relationships, including yours, have in common? THEY AREN’T GOOD.
I don’t care what else is going on in your relationship. It may be 90% wonderful. But if 10% of your relationship — hell, if even 2% of your relationship — involves things like cheating, abuse, and seriously wanting to be back together with an ex, then the relationship is not on the right track. Not only has your boyfriend admitted he wants his ex back, but he also has told you that, after ten months, he still doesn’t love you. It’s one thing for a person not to SAY “I love you,” but, if your boyfriend has told you he’ll say it when he feels it and he hasn’t said it yet, then he clearly doesn’t feel it. And, I’m sorry, if a person doesn’t feel it after ten months of serious dating, I don’t think there’s much chance he ever will.
Honestly, if I were you, I’d probably move on…unless you can accept that this relationship likely won’t ever progress to anything more serious than it is and that your boyfriend will probably never want to commit to you. If you can accept the relationship for what it sounds like it is — temporary companionship and intimacy without any commitment — go ahead and stay, but understand that there will be an ending eventually and it probably won’t be a happy one if the only ending you want is one where the two of you are a committed, loving couple.
It sounds like you’ve been through a lot — you’re a single mom, divorced from a sex addict, and have spent a couple years working hard to undo some of the damage from your marriage. You deserve a relationship that makes you feel great and doesn’t leave you questioning your partner’s feelings or commitment to you. The last thing you need is more damage done that you have to work to undo before you’re ready to trust someone else again. Listen to your gut and, if it’s saying move on, do it. Do it before you get any more invested.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.