Help me help him . . . before I lose my mind
April 12, 2009 10:57 AM Subscribe
Help me help him . . . be a better boyfriend. Specifically, looking for book recommendations to help him understand his 'role' as boyfriend.
posted by lblair to human relations (59 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
I'll try to keep it short-
We were dating for a little over a year, and after much back-and-forth I decided to break it off. Even though we loved each other, we were having a hard time relating- I was his first serious girlfriend, and I think he has some issues relating to others, including me. Basically, even though I loved him, he didn't know how to be a good boyfriend and I figured he would never learn. He has a hard time listening to what I'd say, and then internalizing it.
Well, now we've been broken up for a week and we're both basically falling to shit. It's horrible. I've never missed anyone so much (and I've broken up with several long term boyfriends.) He is saying all the usual stuff too- he loves me, misses me, realizes now that he took me for granted, wants to try harder. etc. I'm not 100% sold yet, but I kind of want to give him another chance- with conditions. one of the things i want to do now, while he's feeling open to suggestion, is drag him to a bookstore and find some sort of book that will help him understand what a relationship is really supposed to be like, and what i should be able to reasonably expect from him. (I realize I can tell him all these things myself, but I like the idea of him having it there in black and white, written by an expert, to refer to whenever he's feeling unsure.) Besides, I think it's only fair considering I've done plenty of that sort of reading in order to be a better girlfriend. I know these types of books must exist for men as well, I'd like to know which ones you've actually read and found useful.
Please don't judge me for my decision to get back together with him. If anything, this is kind of one-last-chance to get his shit together like he says he wants to, or it's off for good. And I know counseling is helpful, but neither of us can afford it, plus I don't know whether it's really appropriate for two people who have only been together a year.