To complicate things more, I was just offered a job where I have the fellowship. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I’ve told my boyfriend I can’t move where he lives because I’m afraid things won’t change and I’ll be stuck there working a job I don’t like and without my friends and family. I’m not ready to call it quits though. I want to take the new job and give the relationship time to see if he really does the things he says he’s going to do in order to change. I don’t want to move there till I feel safe. He isn’t having it and says if I take the job and stay where I am, he’s done.
I don’t know what to do. Can he change? Is the long distance the reason for his anger issues? Is this relationship worth losing a great career opportunity? — Is it the Long Distance?
Hard no to all your questions. Please, please, PLEASE break up with this manipulative, controlling abuser immediately. He is not going to change, your relationship is not going to get better, he doesn’t care about you or your best interests, this isn’t about the long distance; this is about his being a bad person. Let me guess: When things are good, they’re really, really good, right? And they’re usually really good soon after he says and/or does something really terrible to you? He can make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world, like he loves you more than anyone does or will, and that what you have together is super special? I know this because guys like him are a dime a dozen and I hear about them all the time, often from women who have married them and had children with them and have a much harder time disentangling their lives from them. You are lucky in that you can pretty seamlessly disentangle your life from his and move on, which is what I implore you to do. You have so much going for you! Don’t let this creep derail you from your goals and lock you into what will surely be a continued abusive, unhappy, really awful relationship.
Stop relying on men to give you the security and care you crave, and give it to yourself. The men are just a distraction. The fact that you’re even dating one man when you aren’t over another one — that you already had him lined up by the time you ended “whatever the situation was” with the other guy – suggests that you don’t know how to be alone, comfortable and secure on your own, and that you are looking for a man to fill whatever voids you feel internally. Until you get comfortable being on your own, relying on your own self for security and care and love, no relationship with another person is going to be sustainable or happy in the long run. And not for nothing, but if a guy says he wants to commit to you only when you dump him for someone else, he probably doesn’t really want to commit to you – he just likes the challenge and is probably a manipulative creep like the guy in today’s first letter.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.