Ask E. Jean - Tormented? Driven Witless? Whipsawed by confusion?

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Was I too petty to break it off with a boyfriend that was otherwise wonderful because he would cancel on me or give me the silent treatment if he did not get his way or was upset? It's been a year and I miss him so but I just could not stand the silent treatment.

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    No, it wasn't petty of you.

    It was incredibly smart and sane.

    One of the worst mistakes people make in relationships -- and I have done this, so I'm not pointing fingers -- is to look at bad behavior as if it was somehow separate from the person instead of being intrinsic to their nature.

    Someone who cancels plans and resorts to the silent treatment when they don't get their way or are upset is not mature enough to be in an adult relationship.

    It's only been a year, so it is extremely doubtful that he has changed, unless he had some serious therapy.

    So, remember the good things about him with affection but with eyes wide open and try not to second-guess your decision. You did the right thing.


    reply to Robynne
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    Unless he gets professional help, the sort of behaviour you're describing is the kind that tends to get worse over time, not better. So breaking up with someone who routinely punishes you with silence if he doesn't get his way? I'd say you made the right call!

    reply to Kal
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    Yes - please listen to Robynne and Kal's excellent advice!

    I'm guessing that you miss the moments when your boyfriend would act nice to you. And you considered him a basically nice guy who sometimes treated you badly. But, as Robynne stated, that's not who he was. He was a jerk who could occasionally act nice when it suited him. He was not worthy of you and still isn't.

    He's like a house that looks good, has enough room, some useful upgrades and a large enough garage - but the foundation is cracked and can collapse at any moment. Would you buy that house? Or would you pass on it, grateful that you learned about the bad foundation?

    I think it would help quite a lot to get over him if you didn't focus on his good moments. Those, ultimately, weren't really who he was. And keep telling yourself that you really did dodge a bullet. Re-framing experiences can go a long way toward getting past them.

    reply to Jill
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    I get why you are feeling why you are feeling: I think it is not that common for women to just trust their intuition and act on it, we still think we need to justify it with serious reasons why. Like in your case, you might think "but he was a nice guy, it is just that sometimes he would not talk to me" and it is easy to doubt yourself. I would take another imagination test: imagine you contact him, you get together and all is well and then he gives you the silent treatment again, so nothing had changed after a year. How would that make you feel? I think another exercise is in place: give thanks to the Universe for the experience because it has taught you something, wish him well and move on. There are plenty of guys out there who are more mature. And who can express their feelings instead of sulking.

    reply to Gerbera
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