How to deal with a boyfriend girlfriend who treats you badly

confusedafgirl asks: I have had many boyfriends and I always thought, “ok this is love.” But I truly fell in love with a guy who was my best friend for two years and we really shared every minute with each other. But then, due to some problems, he left me and started dating another girl. He came back, but I wanted commitment, so he left again and dated some other girl. Now I was alone, no friends and nothing, and then a boy entered in my life making me happy, and everyone says how perfect we are together – even after six months he hasn’t made me cry. We solve everything perfectly, but now this ex of mine has been drunk-calling me for four months, and he’s too depressed, and he doesn’t have any friends, and he wants me back. I know I should be with my current boyfriend, but I always miss my ex too, and I had promised him that I’ll always be there for him, and I don’t break promises, but now I don’t want to hurt my current boyfriend too. In between many things had happened. Before my ex I was raped, and he helped me move past that, but when he left I tried killing myself (after that I went for sessions and now I’m okay). But now my ex is depressed in the same way and I don’t want him to do anything stupid. Please help me. I’m really confused.

Hi confusedafgirl –


Okay, I have a long answer to part of your question, but let me move past this other part first.  You promised a guy who broke up with you twice, for other girls, that you’d always be there for him?  That promise is NULL AND VOID!  Sorry, guy, but whatever promises she gave you, you invalidated when you broke her heart, TWICE.  End of story, she owes you NOTHING.


All right, so that’s my very quiet subtle doggy voice there.  I hope that’s okay.  But even if it seems harsh, I’m not apologizing or lessening my opinion in any way.


Now, onto your main question.  You had a guy you were crazy about who treated you like last week’s garbage.  Then you found a new guy who treats you like the princess you are, but you feel drawn to that last guy, especially as you know he’s feeling bad.

So, you’re human, you’re a good person, and you’re complicated.

But you’re also something else.  You’re addicted.


What?  This mutt is saying you’re a drunk, or a druggie?  No I’m not.  But your addiction to your ex-boyfriend is just like the addiction you could have to cigarettes or alcohol or drugs.  It goes to the same part of the brain.

Think about it.  Have you ever known an alcoholic?  Have you seen how they have the ability to reject everything wonderful in their lives (say marriage, kids, job), completely believing it’s a way better idea to get drunk in the middle of the day?

And what exactly is different from that, in your behavior?

Now maybe you didn’t mention that your ex is the best-looking, sexiest, guy since David Beckham and Bruno Mars?  But even if that’s true, he treated you badly.  So just like the alcoholic who says “But orange juice never tasted as good as a martini,” you’re treating yourself badly for the sake of a good feeling you get from that “substance.”


Now I don’t know if this new guy is actually right for you.  But I can see you have an addiction to the old boyfriend.  And just as with a drunk or a heroin addict, your job is to take control of that addiction, probably by cutting him out of your life.


Look, I know this guy isn’t all bad.  He helped you through a horrible time, dealing with a monstrous experience no one should ever have.

But he’s a rotten boyfriend.

If I lived with a human who was just great in every way, except that he never fed me, I’d have to run away from him.  Even though he was great otherwise.

You don’t like being left for other women.  So don’t let it happen again.

Cut this guy out, read books on Codependence in relationships, watch some movies about obsessive love like The Story of Adele H  and Phantom Thread.   And move forward in your life, with the understanding that this addiction is about you, not about him or any of his qualities.


confusedafgirl, you have a great future ahead of you, if you can deal with this draw you have to a guy who treats you poorly.  Or you have a boring, frustrating future, if you stick with guys like this.

It’s your choice.  I can’t tell you what to do (though I can help if you let me know specific struggles you have).

But I do know that if you let him go, you’ll find a whole new lease on your life.


I hope you can.


Best of luck!


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