Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers for my writing. It’s still going very slow, but I finished another chapter. But I still have six more to go and I will need to pick up speed to finish on time. Thanks for your notes and words of encouragement. God has used them to bless me.
This week the survey to pick your favorite title of those submitted for my new book will be coming to your mailbox. All you have to do is vote for your top three choices and send it back to me.
If you participated in my 3-part webinar earlier this year, Does God Want Me to Be Happy, we finally have all of it finished and available for purchase. Watch your mailbox for details.
This Week’s Question: I have been in a dating relationship for almost 3 years. My boyfriend and I are in our 30’s and our relationship is always on and off due to my boyfriend’s talking, texting, e-mailing other women. He has 2 social networking accounts and when I get the chance to see what he has been up to, it’s usually not good.
He is handsome, funny, charming and loving, and I guess you can say has a roving eye. He is a very good when he is with me…and we are almost always together. We have fun and do family activities and enjoy each other’s company. We don’t live together and we don’t have any children together. He has one daughter and I have 4 teens from my husband who passed away 5 years ago.
My problem is I cannot handle him talking with other women. It makes me so insecure and I am constantly watching to see what he is doing. His behavior hurts me and I have anxiety attacks after seeing him talk to these women. Some are high school girlfriends, ex’s and crushes. He doesn’t tell me he talks to them, he does it when I’m not around or he goes online whenever we have an argument, then he tells these women that I’m jealous and insecure. He shouldn’t be telling anyone my business right?
I love him very much but I feel I have no self-esteem. I am constantly comparing myself to these other women. We have been broken up for about a month and I wonder if I should give him another chance? I have told him what bothers me and if he just would stop doing it our life would be good. But he doesn’t seem to take my feelings into consideration.
As I am reading what I am writing, I believe I know the answer to this question. I am strong in faith and believe in God and prayer. I pray for him to change, but when I see him doing it again, it discourages me and I stop praying. I am so confused. I don’t know what to do anymore. Part of me wants him back but the other part says I deserve respect and deserve a lot better. Please, any feedback you could give me would be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Writing things down or speaking them out loud is a great clarifier. As you a noticed when you were writing out your concerns and question, deep down you already knew the answer to your dilemma. You say that you love this man but you realize that he is not a good candidate for a long-term relationship. After almost 3 years of dating, it doesn’t sound like he wants to commit himself fully to you. He wants to be free to flirt with other women and text, e-mail and talk with them as he desires. The problem I see is that he isn’t being honest with you about his level of commitment to you, or that you’re not hearing him.
So what I want you to do is stop and ask yourself two questions: First, has he told you again and again that he’s not ready to have a serious long term committed relationship with you? Perhaps he tells you that he wants to “go out” and “have fun” but not exclusively? Have you ignored what he’s told you, hoping and praying that somehow he would change his mind and stop looking at other women and flirting? Then when you discover that he’s been doing those things, you compare yourself with these other women and feel more and more anxious, insecure and jealous?
If this is what’s going on, I think you know that it’s not a matter of giving him another chance. Instead you will need to hear what he is able to give you and then decide whether or not you want to accept that level of relationship. It sounds to me like you are ready for a more committed relationship but he may not be. If that’s true it’s best that you let go. He’s made it clear to you that he’s not ready to commit and his behavior continues to hurt you deeply.
You say you have a strong faith but I wonder if this man has become too central to your well-being as a person. From what you describe, you have allowed your self-esteem and emotional well-being to be totally dependent on him. That is a very slippery and dangerous slope for any person. Your need for security and love will never be fully met by another human being but only by God. When we ask another human being to give us what only God can give us, we’ve put him or her in the god position in our lives, making him/her an idol.
I’d encourage you to take the time now to strengthen your own relationship with God so that you become a God-centered woman instead of a man-centered woman. This will help you even if you answered no to the first question and yes to this next one.
The second question I want you to ask yourself is: Does he say one thing to your face like “I want to be in a committed relationship with you,” but then he behaves very differently when you’re not together or you’re not watching him?
If that’s the case, then you still may have put him in the god position in your life but you also have a different problem.
It’s crucial that you not confuse charm and charisma with good character. You say that he is a lot of fun to be with and treats you well in some ways but you’re also telling me that he hasn’t been truthful with you, he’s hiding what he’s doing and he’s been inconsiderate of your feelings He wants you in his life but he minimizes the pain he causes you. In addition, when you confront him on his actions, he flips things around so that the problem becomes your jealousy and insecurity instead of his deceit and flirtatious behaviors.
It’s important that you ask yourself why you would continue to pursue a relationship with someone who cannot be faithful to you, isn’t honest, and doesn’t care about how he hurts your feelings. Is it that you’re afraid to be alone? Or is it that you’re not sure you will be treated any better by someone else?
Do you really want to be a detective or policeman over his phone and internet use? If you choose to do that, how will that make you feel more secure or loved? When we start trying to control another person’s actions, it usually results in the other person becoming sneakier and more clever at hiding things, not more loving and honest.
Your problem as I see it is that you don’t like your boyfriend’s deceit and flirtatious behavior. You don’t like feeling insecure around him and you don’t like that he doesn’t seem to value you enough to change his behaviors. You are discouraged that your prayers haven’t changed him yet but have you considered that perhaps God might be trying to change you instead so that you respect yourself enough to not allow yourself to continue to be treated in this way and that you not marry this kind of person?
I’d love to hear how you worked this through and what the results were. Please share your journey with the rest of us. God Bless.