Time to Drop Runaway Boyfriend
Q: My 35-year-old boyfriend and I have been living together for 11 years, though the last two have been rocky. He has a pattern of losing a job and moving back with his parents, and then I would pursue him and he'd eventually move back. This last time I told him if he wanted to move back with me, then he had to stop with the back and forth to his parents. He assured me he cut ties with them and was never allowed back there. In the next two months with me, he lost two more jobs. Once again, he packed and went back to his parents while I was at work.
I asked him to come home, and he ignored me. The next day he said he just needed a few days. Then he said he would be home Sunday. I haven't heard from him since nor have I contacted him. This has happened many times before.
I miss him and love him so much. It is so hard not being in contact with him. Is it best to leave him alone and wait for him to come to me? However, I wonder if I do this, will he move on? Or should I stay on him about coming home so I stay in his mind? Or will this push him away? —Ashley, 32
Dr. Susan: Your guy's habit of running home to his parents is crazy-making. It's incredible that you keep chasing him and taking him back and want more of the same. If you knew for certain that nothing would change, would you commit the next 20 or 30 years of your life to this exact same nuttiness? Maybe he's trying to change by not running back to you this time. YOU need to change too. Don't call him. Don't pursue him. Believe me, you're on his mind no matter what action you take now, but he needs to move on in his life and figure out why he keeps losing jobs and running away. You also need to move on and allow yourself time to overcome your addiction to him. He doesn't keep his word, he can't keep a job, he's totally undependable, and he's not good for you.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.