Help please, in real confusion and despair

I am suffering, I am going through a seriously troubled moment of my life, asking God to help me through and you for a suggestion/advice.
I will try to make a long story short.
I have had 10 year long relationship with a man who was unwilling to commit, who had cheated on me several times with different women, an emotionally abusive man, insecure, with serious depression issues … and only 3 months ago I happened to discover he has been having a parallel relationship with another woman. We never lived together, because he did not want me to live with him, even when I quit my life in my country, to move to his country (where he moved 5 years after we began dating). After this last discover I decided to quit it, to stop being with him. I am not willing to be him, in this relationship, I am just tired of all the lies, of all the waiting, all the pain, tears, shame, etc. He is now, “finally” and more than ever ready to commit, he realizes all his mistakes, he says to be regretful of all the pain; he only now realizes how great of a woman I am, the only one he wants and the only one he cannot live without. i have given him THOUSANDS of chances throughout these years, I have helped him through his depressed moments, his painful days, I managed to get his closer to God, go to Church, listened to him, talked to him, ALWAYS been there for him, I forgave his other “adventures” and constantly hoped he would change and that my love was stronger than all this. BUT I just cannot anymore, I just can’t believe him, can’t trust him anymore, I feel so lost. I feel sad and very very lost. A piece of my “stupid” heart still hopes for a real, drastic change, as he says it is…but my mind says “no,no” my heart still crying but I can’t help it but feeling sad when I hear him crying on the phone, he is desperate, he says he will not give up on me, he can’t live without etc. My family, friends, even people that know him very poorly, they all say “He will never change. It is his nature and He does not love me”. He does not say he loves me, he does not even say he wants to marry me or anything, he wants another last chance to try it for real, because he says “I did not try it for real and you deserve all”. I am scared, what if we try, one more time, and it does not work, I will go mentally insane I am sure. I am suffering a lot. I asked him to stop contacting me, calling me, texting me I even told him “I forgave you, I swear, but I don’t want to be with you anymore, I want to be left alone”. He does not stop. What I am going through is a hell for me. I feel guilty for what he is going through right now, I would like to always see him happy and healthy and see him like this, knowing I am the ultimate reason for it, it kills me. What am I doing? Am I a bad person? Am I not acknowledging God? How must I acknowledge God?Can a man (40 years old) truly wake up one day, accept his mistakes and change for real, see a light through the tunnel and decide to be a better man? Should I believe him? I am so confused, lost, afraid, I am very afraid. I don’t know what to do. Please advice if you can, I would greatly appreciate it. I am sorry this email is so long, Thanks from the bottom of my heart, in advance.

All things are possible with the Lord. He wants nothing more than our happiness.

Please, keep praying and see a holy priest and tell him what you wrote here. And then listen to his advice.

I will pray for you.

Yes, a man like that can change.

But no, you shouldn’t put your life on hold any longer. You are not doing him any favors by allowing him 40th or 50th second chances. He needs to deeply face up to his own sexual addictions, and you cannot help him with this.

You need to ask yourself the question, “What am I getting out of this relationship?” You are certainly getting something from it that you don’t want to lose, or you wouldn’t even be considering taking him back. But I expect that, whatever you’re getting out of the relationship, it is something you need to get from God, not from a man. You cannot find your dignity in the arms of another person.

Seek first the kingdom of God, sister!

What am I doing? Am I a bad person?

Do not let guilt and shame control you. Surely you’ve done some bad things. But the guilt and the shame have been pushing you back into this dysfunctional relationship. Bring your shame to God, and He will take it away, and you will feel so free! You’ll stop obsessing about whether you’re a bad person, and you will realize that you are a beloved daughter of the living God. He chose to adopt you, and He loves you.

(Side note: I highly recommend seeking out a spiritual advisor.)

First of all, let me say that I am not a Therapist. If it were me, I would tell him that I needed more time. The old saying if nothing changes, nothing changes could apply here. If he really wants a change then maybe he could start by going to mass or seeking a priest to discuss RCIA with.

I would require some action on his part because actions speak louder than words and his words are too difficult for you to trust at this time. If he has anything in his life that he would like to control but just can’t then he needs to get the proper help for that also. I’m thinking sex addiction or something along those lines. Some people truly want to change but need additional help before they can change.

I agree with the other person who posted a response. Find a holy priest and at the bare minimum go to confession (reconciliation).

I am praying for you too!

Thank you very much.

Thanks for praying for me too and your words of courage and I will take your advices guys thanks.

What have I done bad? I don’t want to say I am perfect but I don’t understand what bad things I have done if all I ever did was to love him, support and help him through his darkness ;( I am asking you this because I have doubted myself many times in my life throughout these years, if help and love someone means to let all the rest of bad things to go and just sacrifice for love; if move on and quit it, leaving him crying and desperate is what Jesus would do, leave a son, a brother in his pain…I am asking you this because i am confused and lost right now, I don’t understand what makes me a good Catholic, a good person, a good woman if what I have done only left so much emptiness and sadness. I suffered a lot and all I have inside me today are insecurities, doubts, fears, about life, love, about myself…it’s very hard, and I thank you for taking the time to even write a few words for me. I truly appreciate it.

THANKS a lot for real, you spoke truth and gave me strength. I will ask myself those questions, talk to a spiritual advisor and try to be a better person.

Wish this man well, pray for him, and keep firm in your resolve to not be in a relationship with him!

His calling and crying and begging is all manipulation. It is designed to tug at your heart and get you to forgive him yet again so that he can continue the same way he has for the last decade.

My husband likes to say “Love is a verb!” Love is what you do, not what you say. This mans actions have clearly shown that he does not love you. If he claims he wants to change, refer him to a priest and a faith based counseling center. If he goes on his own and sticks with it for a *long *period of time then maybe you could reconsider a relationship with him somewhere in the distant future after he has proven to really have changed.

In the meantime, live your life and be open to finding love and marriage with a good and honest man.

You asked us, “Am I a bad person?” That tells me that you feel very guilty. I don’t know if you have reasons to feel guilty, and I don’t know if you’ve done anything wrong. But you obviously feel guilty. That guilt needs to be dealt with, or else it will distort your ability to love yourself and others.

THANKS a lot for real, you spoke truth and gave me strength. I will ask myself those questions, talk to a spiritual advisor and try to be a better person.

Thank you for being open and vulnerable, and God bless you! I will also be praying for you.


Have you ever heard the phrase “tough love”? It means that sometimes to love someone we have make them stand on their own and go through their hard times alone so that they hit rock bottom and have to face what they have done, what kind of life they are living.

By loving this man and continuously forgiving him when he does bad things you are actually showing him that it is ok to keep doing terrible things. You aren’t helping him because you are allowing him to keep doing what he has been doing with no real and lasting consequences.

After 10 years I know it’s hard to let go. I have been there. I was married to such a man for 6 years and I dated him for 2 years before that. I finally saw what damage he was doing to himself, me, and our children and I left. I know how being in a relationship with a man who behaves that way can damage a woman. You cannot help him. He has to help himself. But you can help you by seeking guidance, getting counseling, and healing.

He needs help that you can’t give him. These worries about leaving him desperate are lies that the devil has planted to keep you in bondage. The best way to show him love is to separate, and point him to help.

I am asking you this because i am confused and lost right now, I don’t understand what makes me a good Catholic, a good person, a good woman if what I have done only left so much emptiness and sadness.

Your desire to be good is commendable, and I knowing you are striving for goodness with all your heart. But right now, your need to be good is just a way to condemn yourself. You feel like, any choice you make, you won’t be good enough.

You need to be willing to risk being seen and known fully by God the Father, in your imperfections, in your unworthiness. You cannot earn His love. But don’t be afraid! He loves you passionately, and if even you’re not good enough, He still can’t get enough of you. Your Father in Heaven is rejoicing right now that His daughter is seeking after Him. Coming deeply into relationship with Him might be painful in some ways, but it’s worth it.

I understand what you mean now. I feel guilty because I am listening him crying and suffering BUT I am, this time, doing Nothing to help…I am sorry I was not clear … thanks again for replying and your sweet words of comfort and hope about being so fully loved by our Holy Father.

Oh, I understand now. I’ve been there, in a dysfunctional relationship, where I felt like I had to stay with her, because if I left her, she would be destroyed. But I discovered that the really loving thing for me was to leave her and cut off contact entirely.

You see, I wanted to be her savior. But I’m no good as a savior, and there were really other reasons (more selfish reasons) I wanted to be in that relationship.

So I don’t think you should listen to this guilt. You want to help him? Pray for him. Because He needs God right now, not you, and you can’t be the one who brings him to God. (Don’t worry, though – God can reach him, and is even now trying to reach him).

Yes I always pray for him, always want only the best for him, because no matter how much he hurt me, the more we keep this relationship going, the more we would continue to hurt each other. Thank you SO MUCH, you have no idea how helpful your words are for me. Thank you.

Oh, you’re welcome! :slight_smile:

Remember that NONE of his is your fault. You are not “doing” anything “to him”. He did his himself by abusing your love and trust for 10 years. And now he is reaping what he sowed. You are worth so much more than this. We are only required to forgive, but we are not required to put ourselves in emotionally abusive situations for years. Forgive him, stop talking to him, stop responding to his texts, and move on. You will find someone who is worthy of your love and with whom you can find true happiness. God bless!

Needed this so much.
Thanks a lot. God bless you.

You got some great advice already here and I’m glad to see that you are carefully considering it. One thing I will add however: since he continues to contact you even after you asked him to stop, it’s up to you to stop the contact. *** Don’t*** take his phone calls, don’t respond to texts or emails. If he comes to see you don’t let him in the door. And above all, ***don’t ***feel sorry for him. Once you make your mind up that you don’t want to be with him, then keep your resolve and refuse any and all contact. Responding in any way only gives him encouragement and your resolve will soon crack. You need to be strong. Ask God to help you with this. Keep St. Michael at your side.
I will pray for you.

Hello monnatale,

I’m sorry you are going through this type of suffering. It’s hard to see the ones we love hurt and being hurt. I’ve seen abusive relationships, been in them, and have been the cause of them. I too used to hear myself say; “I will change, this time will be different, etc…”; and while the change has been happening, it was not over night nor will it be for a man who is 40 years old. This man, like myself, has a broken relationship with God and he need’s to start repairing that before being in anymore relationships with other people. I believe from personal experience that the best thing you can do for this man, is to stay away from him and offer all of your prayers and sufferings for his conversion.

I will keep you in my prayers, and ask that you please pray for me.

God Bless.

This is good advise in addition to much of the other responses. I was also in a long term dysfunctional relationship with a lot of similar issues. I was finally able to break it off for good but it was difficult. While I believe people have a tremendous capacity for change, few people ever really change their core values & behaviors without significant motivation. I firmly believe that in relationships generally, if a person is unwilling or unable to commit fully, be faithful & true, they never will.

Pray for this man but keep your life separate from his. He may be able to change but it sounds as if you have given enough of yourself only to be hurt over & over. Stopping all contact is the best way. By taking his calls, seeing him, exchanging text & email only enables him to continue to hurt you. People like this are very good at making promises, very bad at keeping them.

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