I never in a million years thought Craig would ever get clean or ever come back to me, but since four years ago, he has been clean. He came to visit in May of this year and then came back again, and he’s been staying here with me since. I’m 38 now and he is 43. He has apologized over and over for the horrible things that he did to me. In the few short weeks we have been together I see a totally different man than the one I fell in love with many years ago. He is treating me like a queen — helping me with finances (something he was never able to do before), buying me flowers, romancing me — something he never did before.
My son has met him (he was too young to remember him from before), and he really likes him. We have a connection like I can’t describe. However, my father still views him as an addict. He is away on vacation right now and will be back in August. I do not know how to explain to him that he isn’t the man he once was. He’s not a thief — he can be trusted. My dad is 78, and I don’t see him changing his mind about him. What do I do? — Treated Like a Queen
Wait, so let me get this straight: You dated a crack addict ten years ago who stole from you, did horrible things to you, was somehow involved in Children’s Aid being called, and yet, after a few weeks of reconnecting with him a decade later, you’ve moved him in with you, introduced him to your son, and taken financial help from him?! And you’re convinced he’s a changed man and can be trusted because… he’s bought you some flowers? I mean… look, your judgment is really, really questionable. It would be one thing to reconnect to the guy, but making him your boyfriend — fully integrating him in your life, moving him in with you after a “few short weeks”… is fucking nuts.
Honestly, I don’t think you should try to change your dad’s mind. You aren’t thinking very rationally and you need someone in your court who cares about you and wants the best for you who IS a little suspicious and isn’t blinded by the sudden romancing you are currently experiencing. If Craig is really all he’s cracked up to be (no pun intended) and truly is a changed man and everything your life has been missing, your father will figure that out eventually. Maybe it will take a year or so, which really should be the very minimum amount of time you should be giving a crack addict who has a history of doing horrible things to you to prove that he has changed. And even then I wouldn’t advise getting romantically involved with him. Some people are simply meant to be left in the past — even the person you think is “the love of your life.” At 38 you (hopefully) still have many, many years to find someone else to be the love of your life — someone who doesn’t have a long history of treating you like garbage.
If you are intent on giving Craig another chance, at the VERY least make him get his own place while you continue getting to know the “new” him and you work on re-building the trust that was completely destroyed ten years ago.
I confessed to him that I loved him, and we began to date. But I’ll admit that I was insecure in our relationship. I worried that he was too good for me while I tried my best to fit in with his friends and distance myself from the person I used to be. Four months after we started officially dating he canceled our Tuesday date night. We usually went out every Tuesday and Saturday. He had never canceled on me before. He said that he was sick and that he’d call me the next day. I was worried about him, and since I knew his parents were out of town, I made soup and rented a movie for us to watch together in the house. I wanted to keep an eye on him and make him feel better.
I used the key in the flower pot, thinking I’d surprise him, and I walked in on him in bed with one of our friends. He claimed to be in love with her and said that he hadn’t believed I was serious about him because of my reputation. He thought that I would get bored and start sleeping around again. He hurt me, and I spent the rest of high school trying to recover. I’m now in my second semester at college, studying to be a teacher.
We ran into each other when I went home for Easter. It turns out he lives in the same city as where I go to school and he wanted to reconnect. I said no, but then I ran into him again this month. He apologized for how he treated me, and he said that the girl he cheated on me with was not who she claimed to be. He said that he missed how open and happy I was and the way that I used to look at him like he could do anything. He says that he missed talking to me and everything that we had. He said that he was proud of the person I had become and he wished that he had appreciated me before.
He wants a second chance with me, and he promises that he won’t make the same mistake again. I’m torn. I haven’t dated anybody since I dated him, and I think it’s pathetic how much what happened then still hurts me. I admit that I still have feelings for him—he was the first person to ever make me feel like I could be more than what I was—but he is also the first guy to really hurt me.
Then again, I wasn’t the best person when I met him and I shouldn’t blame him for not believing that I really loved him. I know that I changed a lot and I don’t want my past mistakes held against me, so I shouldn’t do the same to him. Maybe things will be different this time. Should I give him a second chance? — Second Chance?
Abso-fucking-lutely not. That guy’s a loser. He’s sorry about leading you on and cheating on you because the girl he cheated on your with “was not who she claimed to be”? What the fuck kind of nonsense is that? All that means is that she dumped his ass and now he’s got no one and feels lonely and like the loser he is. He’s sorry about what he did to you because he misses you and misses what you had? Too fucking bad! He should be sorry about what he did because it was a super shitty thing to do and it hurt you and you didn’t deserve that, just like he doesn’t deserve you. THAT is what he should have said to you. And anything else that he might be saying now — ESPECIALLY how much he misses you and would like a second chance — is utterly self-serving, tone-deaf, and not at all in your best interest. MOA, MOA, MOA.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.