Ask A Guy: How Can I Help Him Get Over His Relationship Issues? post image

Ask A Guy: How Can I Help Him Get Over His Relationship Issues?


I’ve been seeing this guy for a few months now and I really like him. The thing is, he has some major relationship issues. All of his former girlfriends have cheated on him which has caused him to be very closed off and wary of relationships. I really think we have something real here but I don’t wanna waste my time with a guy who will always be too afraid to commit. Is there any way for me to help him with his issues and help him trust women again?

Read our guy’s response after the jump!

My short answer would be:  Don’t try to help him get over his relationship issues.  Leave it alone.

Instead, lead by example.  Be the type of girl that does the right thing and wants a serious relationship.

If he’s going to be receptive to it, he’ll come around and get over his baggage.  If he’s not willing to let go of his issues, there is nothing that you’re going to be able to do to “make” him.

All of us have had crappy things happen to us in our lives.  Some of us have had major misfortunes, some of us mostly minor ones.  But how we choose to handle those stumbling blocks and misfortunes is entirely our responsibility.

I’m not saying that it’s not difficult.  It can be extremely difficult and, moreover, all of us have our own way of dealing with things.

Personally, I have a tougher time dealing with things when I’m in a relationship.  When I am working something out, I want to be completely by myself and left alone for a while.  Sometimes days.  I think it’s because, for me, I don’t like people seeing me when I’m in a bad place… plus I know that I’m not pleasant to be around when I’m in a bad mood and I prefer to spare everyone from having their feelings hurt.  But that’s me…

In general, guys don’t want help with things.  If we want help, we’ll ask.  But working out our own issues is an especially touchy subject.

There’s a trap that people can fall into where one person “engages” with the other person’s issue.  And at that point, instead of being just the guy’s issue, it becomes an issue with the relationship.

How do you avoid “engaging” with someone’s issue?  Don’t fight with it.  Don’t reason with it.  Don’t try to solve it.  Just leave it alone.

If you’re really interested in him and you’d like things to work out, I would say your best bet is to: 1) listen to him when he wants to talk about it, 2) be receptive to what he’s saying, but don’t judge it, 3) don’t take any of it personally, 4) don’t interpret it as some kind of hidden message, like it means something about you or him or how he’ll be in your relationship, 5) DON’T even think about trying to solve his problem.

Chances are, if he feels he wants to talk about it, he probably just wants you to listen so that you can understand where he’s coming from.  And once you’ve done that, you can both let it go.

If you genuinely care about him and are acting like a good girlfriend, he will see that you’re different and not like those other girls.  It’s just going to be a matter of being patient and non-reactive if he brings up his “issues”.

To tie this answer up with a short and simple thought:  It’s only as big a deal as you make it out to be.

Hope it helps,

- eric charles

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Gem

Thanks for this Eric!! It really helped me. I have a friend who I like and who likes me, but he isn’t ready to be in a relationship right now. We still go out to dinner and other things that make it feel like we’re dating but we’re not. I am having an internal struggle with myself about how to handle this, because supposedly if a guy is really into you he’ll get over his issues if he thinks he’s going to lose you. So, I waiver between my current approach of just being friends and seeing what happens or getting tough and cutting him off and seeing if he comes back. His issues are pretty big, he’s been cheated on, tossed in jail for things he didn’t do, and there is some unresolved stuff from childhood. I have told him he needs to go to therapy, I was a Psych major and can recognize certain things but am not an expert and I’m too close to the situation to be able to treat it the way a professional could. He is open to the idea and has discussed it with his doctor. We do talk about his past though and I always just tell him the way I would act and hope that he knows me well enough to know that I am being truthful. Recently he told me he just doesn’t think he is in a place where he should be dating because he needs to get his life together first. (He is temporarily living at home with his Mom and has been dealing with health setbacks.) I knew this already but something about the way he said it this time just clicked. I feel like I don’t need him to be perfect before we can date, but I keep telling myself Eric always says guys want to be winners… After our last talk and then finding this article I feel even more confident I am on the right path. This line drove it home from me “Personally, I have a tougher time dealing with things when I’m in a relationship.” Maybe it really isn’t about how much he likes me and it’s okay to continue to leave the door open to possibility without feeling foolish. He knows I’m not waiting on him, but I can wait if it mean if we get together we will have a more meaningful relationship.

Reply December 6, 2013, 12:58 am

Sandra

WOW, your comments are eiriely like my situation, like a Page right outa my life, the things you and your guy said and the line and paragraph where Eric mentions dealing with personal issues while in a relationship, which lit a light bulb over my head, again, Wow. unfortunately my guy and I are also apart, I got the “I don’t wan’t you to have to deal with my problems”, he got more distant when his health declined and other things , like money issues, also living back with family, cheating women, distance, etc. But it’s sad and confusing, and maybe Eric you can give me advice on this, that my faults or mistakes I made became amplified to him and things became one sided like the break up was entirely my fault because of supposedly what I had done, and him forgetting anything he may have said or done wrong, he does have bigger problems than me at the moment, But I still loved him no matter. And as related to the article, major issues with his past girlfriends and wives, that in hindsight and after reading article, he seemed to quickly start comparing me with them, like if I was moody or hormonal sometimes, then I MUST be Bi-polar like an Ex, or if I got a little emotional about an issue and wanted to discuss it then I was a Drama Queen like other women. I’m neither, everyone gets moody occasionally, and wanting to discuss something is not necessarily Drama. I think he had aqiured a mindset from past relationships, and the current life issues added to the stress and complications. I still care for him very much and would like to try again. any advice from u guys and Eric would be greatly appreciated

Reply May 5, 2014, 4:20 am

Esther

So, i’m actually really confused at my current situation. I’m so confused at my friends don’t even know what kind of advice to give me. I’ve been seeing a guy for about two months, we became offical a about a month ago. He’s been spending more and more time at my house, talking about the future and how great everything is. But, on Saturday night he TEXTED me to break things off. Who sends a text to break up? I called him to figure out what was going on and he said that he cared for me alot but that he had unresolved issues from his divorce (he got divorced a year ago) that he needs to deal with before he gets into a serious relationship. I asked him if this was something he wanted to do and his response was i’m not sure, maybe you can talk me into staying. I understand that he got cheated on but how is that fair to me?

The part that throws me off is, he came by Saturday night after we broke up and hung out my place. No matter how much distance I put between us, he was the one trying to cuddle or hold my hand and so forth. It got pretty late so I ended up letting him stay the night, he spent all of Sunday with me up until he had to go to work Sunday night. He even made plans to hang out this Thursday and confirmed plans for Valentine’s day.

why is he being so confusing??

Reply January 29, 2013, 4:34 pm

Lisa

This was amazing advice. Dating a guy who has serious trust issues and is afraid of love although he is AMAZING! It’s sad because he’s allowing his past to affect his future;-(

Reply July 1, 2012, 12:10 am

lisa

I started in a friends with benefits relationship with a guy last year. We got along very well and the sex was great and lasted for a year & some months. In the beginning, I was skeptical of him due to the fact I did not want a relationship just a sex buddy. During that time, he was so nice, respectful and then things changed. He started to become this person I did not like. The text he will send me were over the top as well, I blew a couple off but then I started putting him in his place. Whenever I did have sex with him, it would be that and he would always say he have to go to work so I would leave. Never spent the night or nothing, it would be just that. Recently he asked me to be in a female threesome and I said no, now he does not want to be bothered. Although I’m aware its not my fault, I have always been genuine with him and upfront about the things I wanted, he will never compromise he wanted everything on his time and when he says it. Most of the time I didn’t meet his needs or were available but I can say I feel anger because he shut me down and stated I was controlling and too aggressive and the dudes I dealt with it have me messed up, What does that mean? he is the one who wanted to say when, how and where all the time but when he pulled a very disrespectful move and called me over thinking we were going to have drinks and chill, he called another girl and his friend. He took the female upstairs and had sex with her while I was there and told his friend to get me. I could not believe it I was ready to bust his head. I was so hurt and furious, now I trying to forgive but I want revenge so bad because he did all that for nothing and to top it off I never did anything but been honest and straightforward with him. I believe he has insecurities due to the fact he was engaged before and his fiance left him for another dude, which ended in him and the guy fighting and a restraining order put against him. I’m still trying to figure out why he had to be so cruel and low to me for for no reason. In addition I did tell him about himself but all he would say I was crazy, but I never brought drama to him like he did me. I still like him and truthfully want to have sex, I know it sounds crazy but he recently told me to stop calling him. I did text him everyday for three weeks about all kinds of stuff I guess I’m looking for closure or something. Please help me, I hope you understand what I am saying. Thanks

Reply April 1, 2012, 3:10 pm

Ashley

I have been talking to this guy for a month now… Things were going so good. I was feeling a bit needy, but he didn’t seem to let it bother him. Well out of the blue he sends me a text saying that he can’t get me out of his mind and this went on all day. Well now it’s gotten a bit weird and he is fighting the feelings because of what an ex did to him over a year ago. I have decided to take a step back and let him figure all this out, he is still texting me everyday, but when he texted me this morning he said good morning and I responded with morning. Well then I get a text back asking me whats wrong and I responded with nothing.. Y? He said that I don’t normally just say morning.. I’m so confused at what to do. I thought I was doing the right thing by backing off a bit to let him sort his feelings out, but now I question if I may be doing more damage by doing that because I don’t want him to feel that my feelings for him have changed because they haven’t.

Reply January 20, 2012, 10:59 am

Ati

This makes a lot of sense, cuz currently I’m with a similar guy who acts the very same way and at times it really gets to me n i just feel like leaving it alone. But i was wrong for trying to solve the problem, so next time it’s probably better to do part of wat i do, which is listen, don’t judge or even misjudge him, understand where he’s coming from and just don’t say neting to make him feel like he needs help, cuz it’ll only make things worse.
Thanks so much Eric :)

Reply December 30, 2011, 3:55 pm

Anon

I think being on the first page of google needs this to be said… This is false. It’s telling how someone in a perfect world can accept a guy who is insecure or needs time. Both of which a new relationship will not fix.

What really happens:
The boyfriend is so scared that he is ‘brainwashed’, develops trust issues, and reads into everything 4x more than he should.
If you ignore it he gets paranoid and questions his own judgement, which is then reflected back upon himself. He becomes depressed, and makes up for it by being super-nice, or a great boyfriend.
No person can carry that forever, which is what this article leaves out.

is the girlfriend supposed to be perfect and “know” this is him no matter what? What happens if a part of the boyfriend is exposed that leaves a novel called Why We Won’t Work laying on the table? Get what i mean?

Ladies, if he’s not over her the only thing that will heal him is time. By being what he wants, you’re putting yourself into a bad place. He will act out his ‘fantasy love’ for you to make up for his failed ones in the past. He will be everything you want… watch it!

Reply October 18, 2011, 7:21 pm

Eric Charles

Here’s my point – you can’t help a guy get over his issues. He needs to get over them himself.
.
Sometimes, guys aren’t really ready for a relationship and refuse to grow and heal whatever it was/is causing the void, baggage, “wound”, insecurity, [insert synonym here], etc.
.
But if a girl really wants to be with a guy, then it’s not my place to tell her to leave.
.
I never said be what he wants – I said:
.
If you’re really interested in him and you’d like things to work out, I would say your best bet is to: 1) listen to him when he wants to talk about it, 2) be receptive to what he’s saying, but don’t judge it, 3) don’t take any of it personally, 4) don’t interpret it as some kind of hidden message, like it means something about you or him or how he’ll be in your relationship, 5) DON’T even think about trying to solve his problem.
.
I think you misread the article… your comment seemed kind of disconnected from what the article and question was actually talking about.
.
Or maybe I’m just misunderstanding your comment.

Reply October 18, 2011, 8:38 pm

Relationship issues

Relationship is a bond or connection you have with a person or other people. How someone or something exists in relation to another, it is between two people. to improve our relationship we should follow some relationship advice such as spend more time with our partner, Write a romantic letter, spend a weekend with your partner and give gifts to like flower, cards etc. If we follow these advices our relationship will definitely improve.

Reply February 15, 2010, 1:18 am

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