How to Strengthen Your Relationship/4 years and more trouble


my boyfriend and i have been together for 4 years and a few months , we have been through a lot and most of the time its great , we respect each other and have a loving relationship . Every now and again there is a girl that he used to have feelings for that sends him messages late at night and sends him pictures of her and basically flirts with him , she knows we are in a serious relationship but doesn't seem to think what she is doing is wrong. In the 4 years we have been together we have gone through cheating , lying and him being secretive. This is not the guy i fell in love with and i have trouble trusting him anymore when they are together or he is alone with another girl . Any time we fight I'm the first one to apologize and come crawling back . recently when we get in fights we get aggressive and it turns into him hitting me and then no matter how the fight started or what it is about its always my fault . We are both very stubborn and most of the time it works out eventually.
in some ways i feel like she is the one that got away on him and I'm second best. i don't know what to do about that cause no matter how much i ask him to please let her go its always a fight and a no . Am i wrong in feeling insecure about him being kind of close to another girl ? I always feel like I'm wrong and cant do anything right and never will. I'm never high on his priority list and i always bend so i can accommodate him . i don't know what I'm doing wrong anymore, and anytime we try to work it out he lies to my face or just completely shuts down and refuses to communicate to try and work it out .

Hello Jen,

You say that you respect each other and have a loving relationship, but then you go on to tell me that you have been through cheating, secrecy and lying. You don't trust him. He's flirting with another woman. You are the one to always apologize and he's literally hitting you...respectful and loving?

The problem goes much deeper than this woman who appears to be trying to wedge between the two of you. From what you have told me, you are staying with a man that most would tell you to dump in a minute. yet, you are letting him flirt. There's been lying. And, worst of all, he's putting his hands on you when he's angry. That alone should be a direct ticket for him to hit the road.

But, you are still with him. Jen, it sounds to me that you may have low self-esteem. You deserve better than this, but you stay with him anyway. You know he's not being straight with you. You know that no matter how mad you might make a man, he should NEVER strike you. You know this, but you are with him, either because you are afraid he might hurt you if you leave him, or because you don't think you can get another man if you leave him, or that you don't think you deserve better.

Jen, if you are afraid for your physical well-being you need to get help. Call a friend and slip away to her home. Call the police. Look into a battered woman's support group in your area. If you don't think you can get another man or that you don't deserve better, then you need to start working on you, and looking back at what might make you think this. Why are you afraid that this is the best you can get, or that this is what life should be like for you? How was your parents' relationship? Have you been hurt by men in the past? Has someone hurt you early in life?

Once you can figure out why you are accepting this behavior, you can start to work through it and hopefully start moving forward and never again accepting a man like this into your life.

And, please, don't tell me that you want to work things out with this guy because you love him. That's just telling me you are afraid that you won't find another man. Think about who you are and the respect that you know you deserve, and ask yourself is he really giving you what you deserve? Are his actions showing you he loves you? You know the answer and you know what you should do. The hard part is taking that big step.

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