A very complicated relationship dilemma.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2014
A very complicated relationship dilemma.
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 10:03am

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. I am 21 and he is two years younger than me and has been battling a weed addiction throughout our relationship. He started smoking when he was about 13, just a year after her mother changed her name and ran away to Spain never to return or give him reasons why. This is my understanding of why he wanted to smoke as he incredibly in denial and confused. I knew he was a smoker when we first got together and I saw that he wanted to change so I agreed to help him and admittedly things did get better and he was only smoking on weekends. A few months into our relationship I saw that he had left his Facebook logged onto my computer and noticed that he had been messaging HUNDREDS of girls who are all about 16/17 and having these very immature relationships via Facebook saying things like "I love you so much baby" and "I love those dirty pictures you sent me". I was literally shocked and didn't speak to him for two weeks. He did everything he could to prove to me that this was a mistake and as it was early on in our relationship. I ingored his messages, emails, voicemails and texts and did not say much to him as although I had decided in myself that I would be able to forgive him, I did not want him to know it was that easy. Anyway, so I forgave him and we were able to move forward. Months down the line and he started making friends at college with people that love drugs and crime. This is something that he has always been attracted to as he has found comfort and stability in life on the streets. He started smoking more, lying about how much he was smoking and I noticed a big change in him. He was not happy and looked very pale and ill. Sometimes I would smoke with him. I had smoked weed way before I met him and am confident with my limits and knowlege as to what it does to you (I don't smoke it anymore). Right so fast forward to a few months ago I had a feeling he had been hiding something so I snooped through his computer and found messages on his Skype account with both boys and girls. I was in complete shock as we have never had problems with out sex life so I could not believe some of the things I was reading. He had been having video conversations with boys while they both masturbated on camera. There was another conversation with a girl who was obviously working in this kind of area and he was asking how much it would cost for him to see her "rub her sweet pussy". I forgot to mention too that a few weeks before this I was looking through his history and found he had been looking at a porn site called "fatty videos" which of course was videos specifically of larger women. 

I confronted him about the messages on his Skype account and he was out with him friends smoking weed and of course, denied the whole thing. I told him to come home and see the evidence for himself and he did, reluctently. He continued to deny it all and I could see the guilt and embarrassment all over his face. He said someone must have logged into his Skype account and of course, I was not stupid enough to believe this. He told me I didn't know him if I thought that he was capable of somrthing like this and did his best to manipulate the conversation but he was high and stupid and nothing he was saying was making sense so I told him I was going to see my friend and he cried begging me not to leave, telling me I had to believe him. I held his hand and told him that he is very indenial and he needs help. I left to meet my friend and I assume he did the same, only he went to smoke away his pain and I went to find answers. My friend and I anayalised the whole thing. She was just as shocked as I was. We spoke to her mum who is a qualified councillor and she helped me find some understanding without actually forcing her opions. I came to the conclusion that Chris (that's his name) is obviously very hurt and confused by his mother leaving him at the tender age of 12. His dad is amazing and he is very lucky to have him so of course, we idolises men. I think he has sexualised his pain in extreme ways by talking to HUNDREDS of girls, meeting random men in chatrooms, paying to see someone strip on webcam and getting off on fat people having sex. I am not making excuses for him, I am trying to find the understanding to come to terms with what has happened. 

Later that evening we met up on a park bench and I told him everything that had been building up since his smoking got worse and also about the recent events that had occured. He was quick to admit what he did and I was understanding and compassionate at first as I knew this must be a very hard and embarrasing time for him. However I spoke up for myself and told him exactly what I deserve and what needs to change if he wants a chance at rebuilding what we have. I told him he needed to get into contact with his mother for a start and get the snwers he needs to move on and stop burying with drugs. Secondly, I told him he needs to stop smoking weed COMPLETELY and thirdly he will also need to see a therapist to help him understand the things we has done (not just with me but aso in the past).

It has now been two months since this night and Chris has been seeing a therapist weekly, has met up with his mother who flew over from spain and has stopped smoking weed. It has not been easy for him and when he saw his mother, she fed him a load of lies about why she left and also tried to blame HIM for the reason she left and Chris said what he needed to say which was hard for him as it was years of things that he had been ignoring with drugs. He is now healing himself and becoming a better person. His dad has noticed the change and is over the moon to have the Chris he knows and loves back. One that he had not seen for a long time. 

We both get on like best friends, protect each other like brother and sisters and love like lovers but I am finding it very hard to completely trust him again. I don't know if I will ever be able to trust him after the way he has lied to me twice in the past and both times I have had to show him the proof and drag the truth out of him. He once told me that as a child his mother never believed him when he was telling the truth and this leads me to think that he was never taught the value of truth. Again, not making excuses for him. Just trying to understanding.

One minute I'm happy and can see a bright future for us and the next (more rarely) I am crying and upset because I don't completely trust him. Sometimes I find mysellf making him feel terrible for what he's done to the point where I make him cry which I know isn't fair but I don't want him to forget because I'm scared that when he forgets the pain he has caused me he will become comfortable, start smoking and lying again. His dad says he hasn't seen a good change like this in years and that he thinks this time something has really clicked in him.

I am still very hurt and confused and am still taking things slow. A part of me is worried he might be gay too although there is no reason for me to think this, it is simply because of the messages I saw to boys on his Skype. 

I don't know what to do.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 11:38am

He is probably bi-sexual.

Time to step away. You are not his savior;you are not his mother;you are not a qualified therapist.  Get yourself out of this mess; tell him you can be friends but that's it.

Start working on YOUR future.. I suggest that you go see a therapist to try to understand why you devalue yourself so much that you would get involved in such a messed-up boy.  I know that young women feel they have to "save" their men but there has to be a sound foundation for that to make sense. Feeling sorry for someone is all well and good but you have to understand how you are contributing to all this by being so "understanding".And how much he is actually manipulating you and your feelings.

You told him what you deserve and what he needs to change is the wrong tactic. It is all "shoulds"; like a parent  "shoulds" a child.  He already knows that his behaviour is unacceptable. He has to want to change; HIM. His behaviour has worked for him up to now; it has to get to the point that it no longer works fot him. No amount of "blackmail" would do that in the long run.

And advising him that he has to see his mother., that is something ONLY a qualified therapist should do. You do not know the true back story in all this and the boy may not be pyscholically strong enough to see his mother, especially if she is suffering from some mental illness as well.

Sorry but I wonder where this great father was when Chris was 13,14,15 and 17 abusing drugs.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 12:41pm

I agree with Mom.........what you need do is  to walk away, and move on with your life.  You aren't a psychiatrist or psychologist, and you aren't the person who can fix him. You can't heal him....and certainly talking to a counselor in his stead is NOT going to heal him.   First, aside from all his problems, he was only 17 when you started with him.  You were 19....and guys mature much more slowly than girls.  You were 4-5 years more mature than he was.  He was a kid, and he was certainly not ready to settle down with you or anyone else.  All his sexual escapades on the computer are proof of that.  He's searching, he doesn'[t know if he's gay, bi-sexual, interested in childish teens or fat women.  His missing mother and his weed smoking are the very least of his problems!  I find it strange that "Mom" left him at 12, and was never to be seen again, until she flew in to help him?  He obviously knew how to contact her, so I find "disappearing Mom" a poor excuse for being a drug addict and enjoying people who "love drugs and crime".  He's a drug addict, and you telling him to stop is really ridiculous......you use drugs yourself!  You need to move on with your life, and allow him to move on with his, whichever way he wants to do it.  You cannot control him, or anyone else but yourself.  He needs professional help, but only HE can decide it's time for doing it.  Maybe he never will......but that's not your concern, nor is it your dilemma! 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 4:54pm

Even if he gives up drugs, the basic fact is that his ethics are very poor (emotionally cheating on you by sexually speaking to others.) That has nothing to do with his drug use. His lousy ethics are his ethics and most people don't change for the better over time. The road to happiness is choosing a person who you don't want to change. You met him when you were young, and you're still young. You lack the life experience to know that trying to rescue him by loving him, giving him valid advice and counseling him is pointless.  

He engages in emotional affairs because of his own mental flaws. It doesn't matter how cute, sexy and wonderful you are. Your wonderfulness will never be enough to fix a broken man. As Maya Angelou said, "When someone shows you who you are, believe them the first time." He's shown you that he's a liar, a cheater, and a substance abuser. Is that who you deserve in life? You only get to choose one lifetime partner for yourself. Be smart about it. Don't let your heart override your brain. He's let you down time after time. Tell yourself you learned from this relationship what you don't want. Thank the heavens you didn't have children with him. Make a clean break and tell him you will no longer be able to communicate with him, as you need closure. (You might cave in if you keep in contact with him). When you get some distance from the relationship, you will wonder why you stayed so long. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2010
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 6:14pm

What you should do is to break off with him so you can move forward in your own life.

The reason that you don't trust him anymore is because he has repeatedly shown you that he cannot be trusted. He lied and he cheated, not once but many times--and those are only the instances that you discovered. He has a substance abuse problem which is very hard to kick. You are also aware that he is very confused: about his sexuality, about how to be in a monogomous relationship, about how to treat the people that he supposedly loves.

This boy--yes a boy, because regardless of chronological age he is emotionally stunted at boy---has a lot of baggage. It will take him years of therapy to heal, assuming that he wants to heal for his own reasons and not because you want him to. Its well beyond anything that can be "fixed" by your love and understanding.

At 21 you should not be dealing with these types of problems with a bf. Love and passion do not have to include high drama and emotional turmoil. If its this difficult to be with someone then you ought not to be together. Move on and find somebody with whom you can have a shared mature relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2014
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 6:26pm

Thank you for you advise and feetback, I definitely have a lot to think about and have told him that I need space.  Even though I agree with everything you're saying, It's very difficult to quiet that small voice in my head that says "what if he does want to change" "he's only 19, you made mistakes when you were 19 and you learnt from them". He has also shown me his lovely side which of course I have not mentioned.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2014
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 6:31pm

Thank you for your feedback and I have taken everything you have said on board. I will also consider seeing a therapist myself as I did not see myself being understanding as a flaw or because I am not giving myself what I deserve.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-17-2014
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 7:10pm

I think I accidentally deleted the comment about me seeing a therapist. If whoever wrote it sees this please write it again as it was very eye opening.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Sun, 08-17-2014 - 7:24pm

I think that 2 months is not enough to make a permanent change, especially with sobriety.  Usually alcoholics or addicts will need support for the rest of their lives if they were really addicted to drugs.  My friend's brother has been sober for about 20 yrs but still goes to AA meetings all the time.  I think at your age there are plenty of men around who have backgrounds that are not troubled.  Maybe you can explain or see where his issues come from but it doesn't make them easier to deal with--and it's not like if he goes to therapy for a year, everything is going to be magically healed.  When I was in my 40's I married a man who had issues from his childhood--sexual abuse by a relative, emotional and physical abuse by his father, mother not doing anything to step in, etc.--he was still affected by these issues that many years later and it was very hard to deal with.  So do yourself a favor by not getting back into this relationship.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Tue, 08-19-2014 - 11:06am

You are 21, are not married, have no kids and you think this is a complicated relationship dilemma?  If so, then I think you have a world of hurt ahead of you.  This is the time in your life when you should be meeting lots of people, having fun, and not settling for someone you feel you can probably never trust.  Chris needs to work on himself, by himself (and with his counselor).  He needs to go to meetings and get a better understanding of his addiction (to weed and other things).  Drugs cause arrested development, I can see that every time I speak with someone very close to me who was an addict for 20 years (starting at age 16!).  His development was severely arrested to the point that his humor is still that of an adolescent.  It's like waking up from a coma, not having had the ability to grow up, take responsibility for yourself, make good choices, all because something else took over.  Distancing yourself, and getting involved in other activities so you aren't so wrapped up with what Chris has done/is doing will be the best thing at this point.  What Chris needs now is professional help and support from his family, you can be a friend, but I can say from experience that addicts are told not to get involved in serious relationships.  Until he can face his demons full on without medicating his pain away, old habits may creep back in. 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Avatar for khatru1
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-07-2004
Wed, 08-20-2014 - 10:19am

You have to keep in mind that you are so young are your BF is even younger. A fairly small percentage of couples who are together at your ages, ever end up being together long term. So it just doesn't make sense to think that you have to put so much work into this guy, that you have to try so hard to have a decent relationship, given that the chances you will be together long term are so very small. You being 21 still have many changes in your future. Through your 20s you will grow and mature and you will likely find that what you want now, is not going to be the same as what you want when you are in your late 20s. I know its probably impossible for you to see that now, but you see it happen over and over.

You are so young and have so many possibilties and opportunities upcoming in your life for relationships with guys that while not perfect, are not going to entail nearly the crap that this one is already bringing to your life. Your BF is not ready for the kind of relationship that you want. Guys tend to lag behind women in the progression of maturity anyway, and add to that he is 2 years younger, so that adds even more years to the timeline of him growing up. Of course some guys never do. To add fuel to the fire, you guys are barely out of the starting gate and already he has two big strikes against him. It simply just shouldn't have to be this hard for a 21 year old.

So whats his future? Maybe he will grow up, maybe he won't. If he does, how long will that take? How many years? No one knows? As always, the question becomes how long are you willing to wait to find out?