I have been with my boyfriend for a over a year now. He had always gone above and beyond for me. We do have an age difference where he is 4 years younger than me. But he has always been very mature and well-spoken for someone his age. Recently we have been experiencing a lot of downfalls in our relationship. He has a very busy schedule and doesn’t make a lot of time for me. We are also long distance, he lives across the country. I’ve been asking for some time to video chat and discuss over some of our issues and he agrees that we should do that as well, but he has not prioritized time for me. I’m feeling very insecure in our relationship because lately when we fight, he doesn’t seem to care. One minute he is expressing how important I am to him and that he loves me. And then the next, he is getting defensive and said that I’m not being considerate and understanding.
During our 6th month together, we had a big fight which led to me breaking up with him because I was frustrated with him. He ended up getting drunk that night and told me he kissed one of his female friends. It took me awhile to forgive him and to move past it, but I feel like the feeling of betrayal never really left. He told me he would never do something like that to me again and that it was something stupid that he regrets so much. But I feel like anytime he gets upset with me or we have an argument and he goes out with his friends, I fear he would hurt me again. I don’t know what to do. He isn’t giving me much to work with because I can’t seem to be able to get him to sit down long enough to talk. If he isn’t going to class or studying, he’s working. And that’s almost 7 days out of his schedule packed. What do I do? I love him so much and I want to work past this, but I just feel so defeated. (From Canada)
I think the answer to your question is embedded in your email. In the year you’ve been together you’ve had a great deal of distance between the two of you, he’s done something that makes you feel betrayed, he doesn’t prioritize you, doesn’t care much when you fight and isn’t interested in making time for you. Add to this the fact that you’ve already broken up with him because of your frustration and we are left with not much of a relationship.
In these instances you may be drawn more to his potential than the reality of who and what he is to you. As difficult as it might seem to accept there isn’t much here to move forward with. It is time to move on.
If, however, you choose to stay in the relationship, there are some things you can do to help feel more secure and trusting in the relationship.
- Open and Honest Communication: Encourage open and honest communication with your partner, this can help build trust and deepen your connection. This can also provide an opportunity to address any insecurities or concerns and find solutions together. This can provide an opportunity for your boyfriend to apologize and take responsibility for his actions, and for you to express how his actions have affected you. It can also help to establish a clear plan for moving forward and rebuilding trust.
- Show Affection and Appreciation: Expressing affection and appreciation through physical touch, words of affirmation, and acts of kindness can improve feelings of security in a relationship.
- Establish Shared Goals and Values: Having shared goals and values can provide a sense of stability and security in a relationship. This can involve discussing future plans, personal aspirations and how to support each other in achieving these goals.
- Time and Consistent Actions: Trust is built over time through consistent actions and behaviors. Encourage your boyfriend to demonstrate reliability and dependability over time, through small actions like following through on promises or being available when he says he will be.
- Acts of Contrition: Encourage your boyfriend to show genuine remorse for his actions and take steps to make amends. This can involve apologizing, making restitution, and making a commitment to change his behavior in the future.
- Maintaining Independence: Maintaining independence in a relationship can actually increase feelings of security. This involves having individual interests, maintaining individual identity, and taking time for self-care.
- Seek Support from a Therapist: If insecurity is persistent or causing significant distress, consider seeking support from a therapist. A therapist can help identify the root of insecurities and provide tools and strategies for overcoming them. They can also help improve communication and strengthen the relationship overall.