So Some A-Hole Doof-Face Apologized & Wants You Back? PROCEED ACCORDINGLY.
A few times a week I get a panicked email from some brilliant, smart, sweet, sweet female that goes a lil' something like this: Hey Amy,
I started dating this doof-face X years ago, and it's always been sort of a shit-show. He loves me but he really hurt me by Y-ing on me, and I know I can't change him, but I also love him Z much!
Cause during the times when it's good, it's soooo good! Like, soulmate-level good! Like, Kate & Leo in the backseat of that car on the Titantic when they still have hopes & dreams, good!
Also - he's really not a terrible person, he's just absolutely awful in some very difficult ways! I think it's mostly been bad timing, plus he had a terrible upbringing, plus he knows not what he does, he's just soooo damaged! :(
So last week he came to my door, apologized for everything, and BEGGED me to take him back, and I miss him so much but I'm also worried he'll just hurt me again.
He SWEARS it'll be different this time, he promised he's changed and seen the err of his ways. But how do I know? And what should I do?
Knee-jerk, immediate response?
SLAM THE DOOR, CONFUSED AF. Slaaam it.
Slam it so hard it knocks him on the nose and he falls backward and bonks his head and wakes up with amnesia and has no idea who you are, so he stops bothering you--that'd be the best case scenario.
But this best case knee-jerk scenario is often quite unpopular, because sometimes people do make very good cases for why they will be different, or the relationship will be different, and we just want to give second (or third!) chances...
So if you find yourself on your stoop, facing some doof-face who has recklessly and notoriously kick your heart's ass repeatedly, and for WHATEVER reason you're still thinking about going down that dark alleyway one more good time, please know this:
HIS WORDS ARE NOT ENOUGH. His words cannot be enough.
You need to thank him for his pleading, kind words, and his insistence that things will be different, and then you need to insist that he SHOW YOU how things will be different.
Give this guy a 6-month grace period to not fuck it up again.
And if he fucks things up even once, even a tiny smidge of a fuck-up? Oh hell no. You done. Buh-bye mister!
And let him know that's what you're doing.
ALSO - Ask him why he's so sure it'll be different. Has he been in therapy? Gone to like, seven Tony Robbins seminars? Had a lobotomy? A personality rewiring? Confronted all of his weird trauma and fears and issues??
If he can't tell you the work he's done to change his sucky ways, or doesn't have really strong, supportive, apologetic evidence and back-up to prove it to you, THAT AIN'T A GOOD SIGN.
ALSO ALSO - keep seeing other people. Do not commit to this doof-face. Do not let him move into your house. Do not bring him around your kids. Do not let him replace the battery in your smoke detector. Don't let him drive your car. Don't rely on him for anything right now. And do not expect your friends or family to approve of his presence.
ALSO ALSO ALSO? I would not have sex with this person. I would not let this person in my bedroom or onto my couch. Anywhere where you can go horizontal with this person is off limits. You hear me?! OFF LIMITS.
I would put this person on FRIENDSHIP PROBATION for a minimum of half a damn year to determine whether or not he's actually pulled his head out of his hiney, and knows how to be a decent human to you.
Tell him that at the end of 6 months you'll consider a sexy upgrade-- you'll consider it . Until then do not touch his wee-wee parts. Do not commit to him. Do not fall back in love and forget every awful thing he did. End of story.
And if you are reading this and thinking, "Oh fuck I can't do that--he'll leave! He'll hate me!" OR, "I'm not strong enough! I will succumb to his wiles! I want him to change my batteries and fuck me in the shower!"
THEN YOU ARE PROBABLY NOT READY OR PREPARED TO LET THIS PERSON BACK INTO YOUR LIFE.
Do your own work. Hire a therapist or a coach. Figure out how to treat yourself better, and how to stop letting others mistreat you.
I think that's everything. This is a slippery slope and it needs to be treated like one. And if all else fails? Just hope and pray he gets amnesia. Cause again, #bestcasescenario.
But the second best scenario is that you set some massive boundaries, communicate those massive boundaries, look for actionable evidence of his wholehearted improvement, do nottt have sex with him, and yes--continue to date around, date around, date around.
That's it. Hugs. xo