Friday, October 31, 2008

Should She Break Up with Him?

Hi, Terry-

How do I know if it is time to break up or make it work? I have feelings for S., but we have different beliefs and values in life. Sometimes he doesn't listen real well to me, and other times he just can't handle what I am sharing because he will not evaluate the evidence I bring. He doesn't want to know or believe the truth.

Despite all that he has good traits too. He is generous, faithful, makes good jokes, and a great hugger. We have bonded sexually and been faithful. I always thought that I would wait until marriage, but I didn't and now Steven and I feel bonded to each other. I am thinking that if had chosen to fall for someone with similar values and beliefs my life would be more fulfilling and productive. I don't know what to do.

I feel love for him, and he tells me he misses me when I am not there. He feels some love, too. Is it enough? Should I just focus on the good and ignore the bad, or should I move on?


Hi, M.-

You say you feel love for S., but you have different values and beliefs. You've had sex, so you feel "bonded" to him.

Okay, it's true that no relationship is perfect. Nobody is perfect. Now, S. seems to have some very desirable qualities, but you still this feeling nags you that he may not be the one. I think you need to listen to your instincts.

Picture yourself married to Steven ten years from now; maybe you're running one kid to soccer while he's running another to piano lessons, and you're trying to get his attention on your way out. Is he giving it to you? How does that make you feel? Do you think you'll be able to get through the day-to-day routine of married life happily, or will you resent having compromised your needs, beliefs, and values?

Ask yourself what's motivating you to stay with S., a man you're pretty unsure about. Is it that you have a faithful, generous man in your life, and you somehow feel ungrateful for questioning whether he's really the one? Do you worry that he's the best you can do, so you'd better hold onto him?

I can't answer these questions, but you can. They're worth exploring.

Would you consider putting a little space between you and S.? You don't have to break up with him, but maybe you would make more time for friends, family, and coworkers. Or you could go on a little weekend by yourself to sort your feelings out. It's possible you'll miss him enough that the things you thought you valued seem less important. Or, you'll realize that you're better off having S. for just a friend, instead of a boyfriend or potential husband.

One more thing: Just because you had sex with someone doesn't mean he's the right person for you.