"My boyfriend has changed for the worse"

By Updated: 27-12-2018

Category: Better Relationships | Date modified: 14-03-2019

Natalie's request, with Elly's relationship advice

Roger absolutely swept me off my feet, he was amazing... not like anyone I had ever dated before. Caring, out going, FUN, compassionate, he really took the time to break through my security walls and learn the real me. He treated me like a princess, made me feel secure, special, truly loved. I GLOWED with passion and happiness. 

My name is Natalie, i'm 26. Roger (he is 28) and I have been dating now for 2 1/2 years. In my past relationships/break ups I never really taken the time in between to heal and figure out what I really wanted or needed in a relationship.

When I had met Roger I was single for almost a year a half because I finally took my mother's advice and took some ME TIME! 

Throughout this time I got to know a lot about him as well. Like The women of his past. Before my self he had always dated women who literally needed him. They had no job, money, place to live, or a car. He decided he didn't want that anymore and found me, I am the exact opposite of that. I take care of my self.

Also the relationship he was in before us was with a woman named Renee, they were together off and on for 2 years. Early in their relationship she got pregnant and decided to keep the child.

When their son was 10 months old, Renee left him unattended in the bathtub and he drowned. This happened 05/2008, we started dating 03/2009. His only other serious relationship had been with Christen, who was violent towards him. 

Throughout the first 6 months of our relationship he fed me with nothing but negative things about Renee. He wanted nothing to do with her, he hated her, never wanted to talk to her. Then one day that all started changing, he wanted to spend time with her… just like "hang out" at the bar, get lunch. This made me extremely uncomfortable.

One night when I had to work early I stayed home while he went out... he neglected to tell me he was meeting up with renee. He spend the whole night at the bar with her. I also found pictures and texts of other women.

He has stopped being my prince charming, and was just Blah towards me. Now the majority of his attention now goes towards other girls… nothing every physical, but more emotional and verbal. It's like he doesn't understand that relationships have boundaries. 

Now we are going through the somewhat of same "boundaries" issues. We have been together 2 1/2 years, bought a house together 8 months ago and all of a sudden he's telling me that he has commitment issues and that he gets "bored" with relationships easy. Not that i'm a boring person but that he gets bored.

He says he realizes that he neglects me as his girlfriend, that he wants to treat me the way I deserve to be treated. He understands that our issues are him because these same issues arise in every relationship. 

I love this man but I am at my witts end. We can't sell the house because we just bought it... and he refuses to move out even though everything in the house is mine. We have been broken up for a little less than 2 months now  and living together! 

He suggested that we remain "roommates" It's like wants to have his cake and eat it too.

Since we have been broken up he has started being more of the man I fell in love with and he claims that's because he doesn't have the stresses of our relationship, that he doesn't feel obligated to me or trapped.

A few weeks ago we talked and now he wants to try and "start over/ rebuild" our relationship. He tells me that he wants to spend the rest of his life with me, that he's happy with me, that i'm good to him but then he turns around and tells me the other day that sometimes he wants a girlfriend and sometimes he doesn't.

I'm not a bad girlfriend, i'm not clingy, possessive, controlling, i'm super easy going and have a lot going for myself. 

I don't know what to do...and it sucks, because i'm a fixer. HELP!!!! =(

Do you think it's worth it to try a counsellor? Or I should I cut ties...i'm torn on what to do.. I love him, but I deserve and want better.  

Get help now. Click here. Sign up to get Better Help counselling. www.professional-counselling.com

Elly's advice

Natalie, I am sorry to know that you've been so hurt. It sounds like you feel torn between what your heart tells you and what your head tells you. That can be such a tricky place to be.

We can look for all kinds of reasons as to why Roger is acting in that way, but that isn't going to change the situation. Neither do you or I have any real influence over him. And I suppose that's what really bugs you because, as you say, you are a 'fixer'.

So, where do we start? I think your idea of getting some counselling for yourself is great. However, you'd need to do it because you want to work on you, not on what you could possibly change about Roger.

You'll get the best out of counselling if you deal with questions that relate to you. For example: what led to you getting caught up with a man who isn't emotionally available? What happened in your previous relationships? How did they end? Why do you need to be a fixer?

I know that won't solve your present predicament - living in the same house with a man you feel you love but who cannot commit. There's no easy answer to that and there probably isn't an ideal solution either - certainly not one that I can begin to address on this page.

To understand more about your own reactions and Roger's, I'd love you to read: Why Him? Why Her? - see below...

Book cover: Why him, why her. By Helen Fisher PhD, author of Why we love

You may also find my Relationship Compatibility Test very useful. It will help you to consider other factors that are important in developing a relationship that works - away from the ones that occupy your thinking so much at the moment.

I wish you all the very best for your happiness, Natalie. I'm rooting for you!

Signature: Elly Prior

How to get immediate help from a licensed counsellor

Your problem is never too small or too big, too silly, too embarrassing or too complicated to get personal advice (anonymous if you want) from a licensed therapist. They'll be happy to help.

  • Click the image below and answer a few questions about yourself and your situation (it takes just a few minutes).
  • Choose how you want to pay (it's safe and secure).
  • Write down what's troubling you to start (chat, text, email, video-chat)...
Photo - hands holding mobile. Text: Get help now. Click here