The guy I’m dating was and still is traumatized by his last relationship. She was emotionally abusive to him. He is really a great, smart guy, but probably a “fixer.”
He and I have had a great thing going for six months now, but he tends to get into a funk about the past! His “funks” do affect me. I try to be a good listener and understand where he is coming from, but I know he is not able to move forward in a relationship at this point. How much time should I give this situation? I think he is worth my compassion but for how long? I am very torn about what to do, please help!!! Thank you!
Dealing with the Ex-Factor
Dear Dealing with the Ex-Factor,
We’ve all had some damage due to our exes. Baggage isn’t easy to unload, but it is a must to move on in love and life.
So, what should you do? I would speak to him about how you feel, especially regarding his “funks.” They are affecting you. You can only be understanding for so long before you don’t even want to spend time with him. His “funks” are also bringing negative energy into your relationship and, in turn, your life. He needs to know this.
I don’t know if you’ve asked him how you can help him get through his ex trauma. If you haven’t already, you should. However, remember this: you are not his therapist. You are a woman he is dating that also needs attention, understanding and love. You can nurture him all you want (as women often do) but you can’t be the only person in this relationship who is giving. If this is the case, the relationship lacks balance. You don’t want this to become the pattern for this partnership.
Truthfully, he isn’t ready to be in a serious relationship. You know this and said it yourself. He may be a great and sweet guy that you can “fix,” but there’s a lot of work to do here. It’s one thing to fix how a man dresses; it’s another to fix him emotionally. That shouldn’t be your job. It’s his work to do. Think about whether you want to take on this role for God knows how long. There may no be an immediate end to his suffering.
Last note: give yourself an ultimatum. If he doesn’t open up and is still wallowing over his ex trauma after X amount of time, move on and let him heal on his own. Because you deserve a man who gives to you, and is ready for you and a relationship.
Love strongly and wisely,
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