No Expectations

Hi Dr. Darcy:

I would like to know your view of my relationship.  My boyfriend is such a great man [but only] when he wants to be, otherwise he is rude, inconsiderate, disrespectful, and does not tell the whole truth about things.  I know he is going through a divorce, and I [am] so understanding, if he talks to me about it.  I feel [as] though he takes advantage of me being so understanding… The only thing I want to do is to be there for him. Then on the other hand I was going through IVF and we made an appointment for him to do his thing, but he never showed up, and made an excuse, but it happened more than once and he knows this is my only chance - my time is almost gone.  He said,  “I’m sorry. I will do it, I promise, because I love you.”

Needless to say it never happened and I had to look for a sperm donor, which he did not like very much.

Anyway, I do so much for him [and] I’m so understanding and kind to him and I feel I get pooped on.  I mentioned to him how I feel and he… says I’m the best thing for him and he wants to marry me, but its one disappointment after another.  He lets me down so much that I just cant take it. He also says he knows how I should be treated but he can't [treat me properly] right now.  I ask you, why is he still with me?

Please help me justify this Dr. Darcy.

ANSWER

Seriously?   You want me to justify you being a doormat?  Fat chance.

Since you asked, my view of your relationship is that the boyfriend did you a favor by blowing you off and no-showing at the IVF appointment.  Lucky for you, your only chain to him is emotional. But you’ve seen how difficult it can be to end a relationship, regardless of how unhealthy it is and how unhappy you are in it.

I would tell you that this guy is poison, but really, the problem is your self-esteem.  You lack the capacity to establish and maintain appropriate expectations for how others treat you.  I’m betting that the boyfriend’s not the only person in your life who has treated you poorly.   There have been bosses, family members, friends, and for sure, ex-boyfriends who have been inconsistent, self-absorbed and who have failed to show up.

There’s no short cut here ~ you need to get into therapy.  And there’s no quick fix.  You’re going to be in therapy for a while.   In the meantime, let me give you some homework:  Decide that you deserve to have a man in your life who delivers on his promises.  Furthermore, commit to a no-bullshit policy from the boyfriend.  The next time he tells you he’s going to do something, expect him to do it exactly as he says he will.  The first time he comes up short, drop-kick him.  And make that your new expectation of others, meaning, have some.