Should I stay or should I go?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Should I stay or should I go?
Fri, 04-02-2010 - 11:55pm

I've been with my boyfriend for a little over a year. We're both in our mid 20's. We used to bicker a LOT, but it has settled down a lot over the past 6 months. He's insecure, but controlling? You tell me. I call him every break I get a work, if I don't he wonders why and it seems like he gets a little upset but he denies that. He won't let me go to bars with my girlfriends alone (the 2 or 3 times a year I go to a bar)... things like that. What should I do about his insecurities? I want to get him over it.

The reason I don't just dump him is because he has a history behind him. A hard few years with a very sick dad and a mother in the middle of her mid life crises getting a divorce, brothers and sisters in rehab, and lastly a manipulative and untrustworthy girlfriend.

He's got an ambitious, charismatic, smart personality, but I feel like this huge cloud is hanging over him. He lives with his mother right now and I think that could be making the cloud linger? We are moving out together in a few days and I'm hoping he gets better... he's been getting better, it's just little things now. But if he doesn't change we won' work...

What should I do about his insecurities? Is it stupid of me to think I can help him?


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-18-2009
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 9:48am

Yeah, that's very controlling.

There's only hope for him getting over this if he wants to. Does he want to?

"The reason I don't just dump him is because he has a history behind him."
That's a really flimsy reason for staying with him. How long do you think a relationship can hold up if you're staying with him based on pity? Shouldn't you be with him because you love the person he is? Shouldn't you be with him because he makes you feel happy being yourself and because you make one another's lives better?

I'm guessing the reason you've stopped bickering is because you've stopped trying to stand up for yourself.

If you want to excuse his problems that's fine, but a person with this kind of history doesn't need a pity girlfriend - He needs a few years in therapy instead of taking out his problems on someone else. There's no reason you should put up with a person who inflicts his issues on you - None. You can't make him get over his issues. Even if he tried, it would be a long process. You've only been with this guy a year; you don't have a huge irreversible commitment to him or an investment that can't be withdrawn. It's time to start seriously thinking about doing the right thing for YOU rather than sacrificing your happiness by enabling his insecurity. The only thing that's going to improve him is some time being single and reflecting on himself with a professional. I'm sorry I can't give you an easier answer.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-03-2010
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 12:50pm

you obviously want to make this work. It sounds like its time to have a real discussion about these things and how you feel. And how relationships are based on trust.

Tell him you obviously care for him or you wouldn't be moving in together, but a few things need to change.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 5:18pm

I posted on the other board.

Moving in would be a HUGE mistake. Even if he promised to change, this is not enough to go ahead with a life decision like living together. I'd have to see him changing for a good year before I'd move in. Even then, why wait and go through the headache?

He can change if he wants to and he'll need lots of therapy. Why are you sacrificing your future and happiness with a less that spectacular partner? Yes his controlling and insecurity issues make him less than spectacular.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2010
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 5:56pm
Honestly, his tough breaks in life
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sat, 04-03-2010 - 6:53pm

Utopia, I can see two ways for you to help him:

1st; Hold him hostage to his own behaviour. That is; Refuse to move in with him unless he admits his to his behaviour, seeks counselling and demonstrates change. This strategy has the double advantage of keeping you safe until he addresses his issues.

2nd; refuse to be controlled: You see, by giving in to his demands, you're REWARDING his behaviour. You need to show him that you will not accept or indulge his behaviour.

example 1: tell him you're far to busy to call him every time you get a break. Keep your daytime calls down to one call at lunchtime and only if you've got nothing else to do.

example 2: If the girls are going out, go with them. You're no longer a 16yo being told what you can and can't do by your father. If he gets mad at you for going, tell him that he is not to contact you until he accepts that he can't dictate where and whom you go out with.

Lastly, please ignore his history. Only 10% of our personality is related to what happens to us. The remaining 90% is how we deal with it. Lots of us have bad stuff happen...but it doesn't turn us into insecure control freaks.

Edited 4/3/2010 6:55 pm ET by
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Sun, 04-04-2010 - 1:57am
Thanks for your replies. Am I giving in to him? I don't think I am.. I think he's giving into me. I don't call him as much as I used to and when he tries to control me and he can't he just gets over it. BUT... is that really how it's going? You guys opened up my eyes a little, and maybe it is time to go talk to someone about our relationship. I really do love him, but I can't let myself marry and raise a family with an insecure man. I can't wait for him to change. I try talking to him and he's very open minded and wants to talk but when it comes time to talk I can't put my feelings into words. How can I get through my feelings? Should we see a counselor? Should I start a blog that only he can see?
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2007
Sun, 04-04-2010 - 6:21pm

By all means talk with a counsellor to sort out your own feelings. The counsellor will help you put your feelings into words. And of course, he needs counselling if this relationship is to continue.

However, I don't recommend seeing a relationship counsellor together. You see, I believe the whole point of dating is to find someone we're compatible with. Dating isn't about finding an incompatible partner and needing to do counselling to make it work.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2010
Wed, 04-07-2010 - 12:59am

You HAVE to call him every break or he gets upset? You CAN'T go out with your friends?

I'm sorry, are you 12 and living with your parents and this guy is your dad? Or are you an adult in her mid twenties and this guy is your bf?

Do you honestly believe that you can or SHOULD change him?

Go and live your life and have FUN! You're only young once, don't let a man like this drag you down. Dump him, get out with your girl friends and live it up! If you move in with this man he will alienate you from everyone in your life further than he already does.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-21-2007
Tue, 04-13-2010 - 9:54am

Just thought I'd let you know my ex was like that. I literally couldn't even go to a girls house and hang out, if I suggested it he would say things like you'd rather hang out with her than me? And guilt me into staying hime.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-06-2007
Tue, 04-13-2010 - 11:39am
Utopia, how are you doing? What are you thinking?