I was with my boyfriend for eight years; we were engaged and owned a house together. Things changed over the years, and he became a very negative and controlling boyfriend — we fought all the time. To make a long story short, I broke off the engagement and moved out. We sold the house and went our separate ways.
This past Summer, after being apart for nearly two years, we reconnected. He promised me that he has changed and that his love for me never went away. After spending some time with him, I can tell that he is in fact a changed man, and I'm really happy to be back in his life. He recently asked me to move back in with him, and after much thought, I agreed.
While I'm excited to be back together, I fear that the controlling and manipulative side of him will come out again. I love him with all my heart, but I just don't want to go through what I did before. I know I need to let go of the past and think positively toward a great future together, but I can't help it! Can a person really stay changed for the better? — Skeptical Sally
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Dear Skeptical Sally,
It sounds like you two really love and care for each other, and if you think he's a changed man, you really have no other option but to trust his word. Being afraid of history repeating itself is a perfectly normal fear, but if you don't take a chance, you'll never know if he did in fact change his ways for the better.
To ease your anxiety, open the lines of communication, talk about your concerns, and get the answers you need to feel secure in this relationship. If you're not ready to live together just yet, see how getting back together works out first and readdress your living situation later on. Trust your instincts on this one, but if his manipulative side does in fact come out again, at least you'll know that you tried. Good luck.