Partner of 11 years left me a month ago. Do I hang in there?

Partner of 11 years left me a month ago. Do I hang in there?

I was with my boyfriend for 11 years. We’ve been through a lot of crap together. He drank for the first 8 years that we were together and smoked drugs all the way until the end. He wasn’t the best when he was drinking. One time, he was drunk and got into a fight with my sister who was visiting us, and I kicked him out for two weeks. He hasn’t touched a drop since and begged me to take him back so I did. Then he left me at the beginning of April, apparently to ‘find himself’. He’s 40 and I think he’s going through a mid-life crisis. I thought it was going to be like last time and we would make up. I mean, 11 years is a long time to throw away. But this is the first time that he has left on his own. After about a week I asked him to come home. He told me no and he didn’t want to hurt me anymore and that I have a chance to be happy with someone else. I found out that he had been talking to an old girlfriend from what he thinks are his glory days. Three days after he left me he went on a date with her. She is a drunk – abusive and jealous. She hates that fact that he still talks to me but she has to understand that he was with me for 11 years and that’s just hard to turn off and untangle our lives. He still has stuff at my house. Well, it’s been a month now. And everytime I see him he tells me what a psycho she is and that he still loves me, but the next day he is always so confused and emotional. She is always telling him how much she loves him and promises never to drink again. Then he goes and sees her. I keep asking myself why am I letting him do this to me? I know I should just let him go. But I love him and he was my whole world. So I guess my question is what are the chance of it working for them or should I just walk away while I can? So Stuck

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. That’s a quote from the mouth of a smart fellow called Albert Einstein. And if we apply it to your love life, it’s spot on. You’ve been with this guy for 11 long, painful years. Years that have been touched by the damaging effects of drug and alcohol abuse. You stuck by him, and he’s continued to let you down. With prolonged substance abuse, getting into fights with your loved ones and now by leaving you in the lurch in the pursuit of a fellow alcoholic and ex-girlfriend. So humilating. You must know, deep down, you don’t deserve this kind of treatment. You’re right to ask yourself, ‘Why am I letting him do this to me?’ Why are you? Sit down and think about it. You don’t need to anymore. Stop letting him treat you badly. Take back your dignity and start over. It’s as simple as that.
This is going to be hard to hear but HE’S NEVER GOING TO CHANGE. You’ve given him enough chances now. Don’t come back for more this time. Don’t mope around a house filled with his stuff, hoping for him to throw you a bone. Don’t let him tell you he loves you, then change his mind and leave you hanging with no contact. Don’t let him take up another second of your precious life. Leave him. Walk away. Pack up his things in boxes and have them shipped to his new address. Put away the photos, come to grips with the fact that you shared over a decade with him (but that you have plenty more good years left) and start your life over. Hope for something, someone new. Someone reliable and kind. Someone who can give you the love and stability you’re so desperately craving. Someone who’s sober and motivated. Someone who wants just you.
Put yourself first and you will be amazed at the outcome. Let this be your wake-up call and make today the start of your new life. Move on. Make better choices in men. I promise you’ll be happier for it.
Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


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