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You Asked: Can I Trust That He's Changed?

You Asked: Can I Trust That He's Changed?

Dear Sugar,

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.


goldilocks0078 goldilocks0078 8 years
Get out now!!! Huge red flag going up. I don't believe him when he said he changed. He's probably just on good behaivor now because he misses you, and then once you get closer and more comfortable and he knows he has you again he's going to go back to his own behaivor. If you really want this to work and think it's worth it, definitely enroll in couple's counseling NOW. The same behiavor is going to show up again. You really have to weight it and see if it's worth it. Even though it probably won't show up for a while, when it comes back it's going to be a lot harder to get out. Decide if it's worth it and figure out what will make YOU happy. Good luck!
sparklestar sparklestar 8 years
seka21 covered what I was going to say! I am FREAKING INSANE and controlling but my boyfriend can THANKFULLY overlook it !! We all have our crazy times and it's just how we deal with them is the different I guess. =) Couples counselling. Don't move in together. Keep seperate everything until you are SO 100% CERTAIN YOU DON'T NEED TO WRITE INTO SITES LIKE THIS ABOUT IT. =)
Seka21 Seka21 8 years
Listen... even if the 'old him' reappears.. its not all bad as long as its just a little. We all have negative traits. My personality- Im clingy, controllying and at times hysterical. I would be alone if it werent for the fact my fiance loves me with my moments. Make sure if the 'old him' comes back its only a 20% MAXIMUM of his personality and it will be ok. But if the majority of his personality is taken over again by this controlling character leave him.
glamabie24 glamabie24 8 years
you can give it a try but then look for signals that the old "him" is coming back again. then, that's the time to tell him to stop or remind him what he promised. all of these advice are great and helpful in some ways but it's still you who would decide.
i-b i-b 8 years
I'm going through a similar situation right now. I've broken up with my long-term bf because of his volatile, abusive and controlling ways that only revealed themselves after we moved in together. I know we both want to be able to get back together under different circumstances, we both feel like we're "meant to be," but I also am slower to trust again, so we haven't fully reconnected. I think this "meant to be" thinking can get people into trouble, making people sacrifice wise decisions because of idealistic thinking. My boyfriend said he would change, then temporarily did, but is slowly reverting back to past behaviors - big red flag. I've actually sort of resorted to testing him: try to make him upset to see if those old habits flare up again. The reason I've decided I can't get back together with him is this: I don't want to be in a relationship with someone I cannot fully trust. Trust is SO important. I can't always be afraid that the guy I'm with might mistreat me, no matter how much I feel we're meant to be together. Try not to get caught up in that kind of thinking and keep your rational side intact. Good luck!
Janine22 Janine22 8 years
If I were you I would be very skeptical about how much he has changed if he didn't do some serious work and accept complete responsiblity for how badly he treated you in the past. It is very easy for a guy to act like he has changed, but then eventually revert back to his old abusive ways. Has he had several sessions of counselling? Does he accept all of the responsibility? If you want to be back with him, I do not think it is a good idea to move back in with him right away, why not just date for awhile instead? Otherwise you could be stuck in an abusive relationship with no place to live! Good luck to you.
a-million-suns a-million-suns 8 years
I agree with princess about the couples counseling; it could REALLY help you and your relationship. It's helped my boyfriend and I through some rough spots
Muirnea Muirnea 8 years
Yup, agree with most others. Don't move in. People don't usually change that much that quickly, it's pretty rare at the very least. And guys say they have changed all the time to get a girl back. Don't fall for that. Maybe go ahead and try the relationship again, but give it a lot of time to see where it goes. And talk to him!!! Get some real answers as to why he says he has changed, make sure you think its for real before you do anything. And make sure you aren't just missing him b/c you were with him for 8 whole years, that's a long time, so it would take a long time to get over him, even if he wasn't really the right guy for you.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 8 years
I think you are lonely and feeling nostalgic. Agree with NOT move in, give it time. What is the rush?
lifeloveandlattes lifeloveandlattes 8 years
Disaster waiting to happen... again.
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
I would talk to some of his friends or family to see if he has changed for the better. or maybe he has changed because he lost you...he could always change back.
Deidre Deidre 8 years
Princess Eab said it best. Get yourselves to couple counseling pronto. And the other posters are right. You have to take this slow to really guage how much he's changed; yo ucan't just automatically jump back into a serious relationship after 2 years apart. Don't move in with him yet, ESPECIALLY since you flat out said that you still don't trust he's changed. You can't be in a fully functional relationship unless you do trust him (and he deserves that trust).
Ac2366 Ac2366 8 years
Only time will tell. You shouldn't move in with him so soon after getting back together. It's hard for people to change completely. He's bound to show his old self at some point. Take your time.
princess_eab princess_eab 8 years
Both of you need to get into couples counseling and STAY there. Otherwise, why bother? This problem was clearly at one time bigger than both of you. IMO, you must seek professional help if you're going to give it a solid go. Personally, I wouldn't, but if you do, please get yourselves (esp. him!) into counseling so you can head off these issues before they start again.
RunninginBoston RunninginBoston 8 years
I am skeptical of people changing--especially with something as serious as being controlling of other people. I'm not saying it isn't impossible, but that kind of change usually takes serious work, like going to a professional counselor. dm8bri is right, talk to him about your fears, expectations, and find out exactly what he did to change. If he just claims to have had some magical epiphany moment and was no longer negative and controlling, I'd be suspicious.
TidalWave TidalWave 8 years
I sort of agree with dm8bri. Why can't you two just have a relationship again without living together?
dm8bri dm8bri 8 years
I wouldn't move in with him yet. You said "things changed over the years, and he became a very negative and controlling boyfriend." What if you move in and the same thing happens - there's no way you're going to know unless some time goes by. Of course you're both happy to be back in each other's lives...there's a sort of euphoria and second honeymoon stage. Let that pass before you consider moving back in, and make sure that, more than ruminating on your own about it, you talk about expectations and issues and fears (etc) w/ your bf before making the move.
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