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Friday, October 7, 2016

Should She Have Fought for Him?

Dear Bro Jo.

Almost four years ago I wrote you about a boyfriend I had (we were broken up at the time), and you wrote me back, and you told me it wasn't a good idea to be with him.

Coincidentally (or not) , that email came to me while we were eating dinner together on our second back together date.

Well, fast forward through that and you would see we were quite happy together. We were very much in love, and to this day I have never cared for anyone more than him.

But, here's the clincher....I always noticed red flags (choosing football over me, his dad was a jerk to his mom, and he followed suit, he had a brother that was not nice at all) and you see, these red flags are what drove us apart.

I was sixteen and a week away from being seventeen when he left for his mission.

Almost a year into his mission we started considering setting a marriage, until, one day I asked him, if that's what he saw himself doing and he replied, "I don't know".

That's where the problem comes in.

Every doubt or red flag I ever saw came rushing back to me.

I decided then that I would not be that girl who waits around for someone who never loved her.

I was after the world and no man was going to stop me.

I quit writing and I started going on dates, and I was so angry I honestly didn't care anymore.

Fast forward to the day he came home from his mission.

I was working the night shift at a local huddle house, when I received a strange call.

I did not pick up.

The next morning I got a call from his dad:  "come eat breakfast with us".

I declined.

Then, I get a knock at my front door, it was him, his mom, and my mom.

I just hugged the mess out of him!

I just couldn't believe he was home!

All of the anger melted away, but right off the bat as we started hanging out again and trying to fix things, he would make comments like "pull your shirt up" or "are you drinking coffee at work, because you shouldn't do that it's wrong"

And just little comments like that.

And then suddenly he just have up on me.

He seemed disinterested.

He would STILL rather go to the football game than spend time with me. The old red flags were back.

So, I took the reins.

We lived in a small town, and there was nothing there for me so I decided to move to (Location Withheld).

I had planned on doing that for many years, I just hoped it never came down to a choice...but it did.

I know it seems silly to have "broken up" only two weeks after he got home, but I felt unimportant and he passed very harsh judgement on me that I refused to repeat.

I didn't do it because I WANTED to, I did it because I had to.

Well, here I am, a little over a year later, and I'm still missing him, like I have been everyday.

Except now he's engaged (as of yesterday) and I'm distraught.

I left home in May of this year, and it was the hardest goodbye.

I felt like it was what Heavenly Father wanted. And I still believe that.

I believe he wanted a small town life and I am on my way to law school.

I just don't know if I did anything right anymore.

If I made the right choice, if I listened correctly to my promptings, I just DON'T KNOW.

I hate that he is getting married, and I'm so frustrated that it's really, truly over now.

I know that I'm supposed to be here, in (Location Withheld), but I just don't know if I should've stayed a little longer and gone back and said lets work this out.

This is unreal.

- Name Withheld

Dear NW,

I went on a job interview once where I was asked whether or not I had any regrets.

I was young and confident and I said that I had no regrets.

While there were things I wish I hadn't done, I was grateful for where my life was at that moment and I figured all things, even the bad, had led to that point.

All of that, on some level, is true of course, but now that I'm older, while I wouldn't risk giving up what my life is now (it's not perfect, but I am grateful for the good stuff), I would certainly chose to do something differently had I the chance.

It's never a good idea, IMHO, to marry someone who ranks so many things as more important than you. So, in that regard, despite how much you like him, I think you're better off.

We can know if our promptings are from Heavenly Father by knowing whether or not what we feel prompted to do will help someone other than ourselves. I'm not sure how that applies here.

I think there's a lot you're not telling me.

But I also think that what you do say contains some valuable information.

All of the sadness and frustration that you feel isn't unreal, it's very normal.

Could you have held onto this relationship had you stayed?  Maybe, but I don't see how that would have been a good thing.

No amount of time would have changed who he is or who you are.

I think all sticking around would have done is prolonged the inevitable.

I know it's difficult, but it's past time to move on.

That will be easier as you work being of service to others.

Eventually you'll find someone who treats you the way you should be treated, who loves you for who you are, and in that moment you'll now that all of this has been for the best.

- Bro Jo


Anna said...

If you had met someone who doesn't have those red flags would you still be pining over your ex? Desperation is never a good enough reason to marry someone, especially when you're still young.

Bailey Peterson said...

Dear NW,
Our stories are so much a like it's unreal. I dated a guy in highschool (I loved him from the moment I met him), he would pick friends and other things over me but would also put me first sometimes (I was never a priority though) and we had the best of times. His parents were harsh and his siblings were mean.... But I loved them so I didn't notice to much.

Fast forward a bit, he went on a mission and I decided to wait.... Joy right? Wrong. It was an uphill battle every week, with great depression and heartache. It was so hard. I wrote every single week his whole mission....

About half way through he talked SUPER ill of me to a comp in the Dropbox we shared. I tried to let it go because it was "hard since he wasn't home". It'd get better....

It never got better, and I was ALWAYS giving him the benefit of the doubt. once he got home he wanted to see me, and off we were together again. He was just as rude just as distant just like before. His family was worse than before.... there were great times and awful times when he hid me away from friends and family. In much confusion I had felt I needed to wait, I didn't understand I needed to love him because God said so.... We dated the whole month since he was home and he dumped me.
Devastation set in. I didn't understand why if he was so mean and wrong why I missed him so much to cry till I threw up. He wasn't good to me but I missed it anyways daily. It was awful.

He also got engaged and now married, I hated myself for being jealous but it happened. Still feeling like that was supposed to be me, it felt wrong for her to be there and not me.

Then Ben came along.... After what felt like a billion years and it all clicked. He talked to me, he ditched plans to just sit and talk on my couch with me, when I didn't feel well and didn't answer his calls (all 3 of them in a row) he came over with my favorite soda and candy bar just to say he loved me. He was kind to my younger siblings, he was nice no matter how he felt after a crappy day at work. I became his priority, I didn't know how to act, he was so overwhelming at times because I had never been treated like that. He felt fake, he wasn't the same.
I realize now that if I hadn't been with the missionary who was so mean I would've never seen Ben, I wouldn't have seen his goodness and appreciated him. I had to go through hell to see it, and see my worth. I still miss the other but I see God's hand in Ben and I.

I am so thankful I didn't settle, that I didn't go back. There was better in store for me. Ben really isn't perfect but he's of great worth and I love him beyond what I thought love was. He honestly saved me.

I prayed long and hard for my feelings to go away but now I see just how much they blessed me and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Long story short.... It gets better. There is a man worthy of your love and affection that will see you and want to be with you. You will be his priority, he will treat you right, and it won't be hard. Let me say it again. IT WILL NOT BE HARD, when it's right it just comes and works without so much work. The pieces just fall into place and you never see it coming. You'll see someday the awfulness will be worth it.... Please stayy faithful. The best us yet to come.
If you need a listening ear I'm here.


Emily Stiles said...

Hi bailey, i wrote this letter years ago to bro jo. And after a recent breakup i was searching the internt for courtship advice, and i found this by coincidence. I can't believe this made the blog! If you would like to contact me, reply back and I'll send you my email.

Bailey Peterson said...

Hey how did things turn out?! I'd love to chat!