Dear Miss Emily:
As I write this, there are tears in my eyes.  I have been with my boyfriend for about a year and 8 months, and for the last 6 months things just seem to have gotten bad.  He used to do such nice things for me, in fact, this past Valentine’s day, he built a teddy bear for me and got me a beautiful necklace.  He’s told me how much I mean to him but, a while back, we went on a break but were still "in a relationship." Well, come to find out he kissed another girl during that time. He blamed me, because he said that I was “too bitchy” for him to deal with, and only kissed her to get back at me. He said that afterward, he regretted it.  We did get back  together and he promised to not talk to her anymore, but I got a hold of his phone and a couple weeks later he was still texting her. "We're friends. That’s all. Stop freaking out," was the explanation I got.  He finally agreed to stop texting her, and I believe him.  I  try so hard to tolerate the things he has done and said to me.  He told me I should read a magazine because sex is boring ( months ago), then told me he didn’t mean it. He’s told me, in a fight, he grew out of love with me (again, months ago).  He’s broken up with me several times, and I’m the one who comes back upset asking to work things out. Just last week he randomly stopped talking to me, and it was a miserable week for me, I cried myself to sleep every night.  My family and friends are fed up with it. My family has helped him so much, financially, and I have done so much for him. He doesn’t have a car right now, because he’s going into the Air Force soon, so he sold it. I always offer him rides etc. He leaves for boot camp May 20, and I know he’s stressed.  He’s said before he doesn’t want any strings attached when he goes into the military ( his mom agrees) but, then, later tells me he wants to marry me.  He once got down on one knee and gave me a promise ring but, now, the person I once knew, just isn’t the same person anymore. Others see it too, including his friends. I’ve tried to be patient, but it hurts so much because he is my first real love.  We lost our virginity to each other, and it's just so hard to care about someone so much and have them treat you like crap. I often think maybe he is bi-polar. He had a traumatic head injury when he was younger, and his father left when he was only 7.  He harbors a lot of feelings inside, because he feels his family has always overlooked him as the non- important "middle child."  I don’t know what to do anymore!  He told me he doesn’t like talking on the phone but, yet, when I looked at his phone, he called an "old friend" (girl) during the week to catch up. This was the week he ignored me. I told him I can’t do it anymore, and he said he would do better. But when I would call, he would either hit ignore, or acted pissed if he talked to me.  Last night I called him and he was about to go to a movie with some guy friends. I told him I loved him, and he said "yeah." Later, when I asked him about it, he told me that he couldn’t stand my pestering him and that if I continued, he’d break it off with me, because he didn’t need it anymore.  I can’t go to my friends or family because they have been telling me since day one to get out of this relationship. But I care so much about him, and when he’s nice and we get along, I’m so happy.  Please tell me what you think. He leaves soon, so I don’t have much time.  Thank you for reading this and please help me.
Losing It

------------------------Miss Emily’s advice------------------

Dear Losing It:

Your desperate need to hold on to this guy is similar to watching someone hang from a greased rope.  Sooner or later, they will hit rock bottom. Please understand why friends and family sit back, watching in horror at the futility of it.  We are who we are for all sorts of reasons.  Your analysis of why he behaves the way he does (middle-child, head injury, and possibly bi–polar) may have merit, but that is not much consolation when you look at the big picture.  First love relationships are often the hardest to let go.  There is a deep, emotional bond that comes from “growing up” together. He appears to be a confused, angry young man, and there is no doubt he has treated you horribly, at times -- but you have allowed it.  Your hold on him has become a game of sorts. Your board piece moves forward a square or two, only to find that the next throw of the dice puts you back at the start line. This guy is moving into a whole new world when he enters the Air Force.  Right now, prior to his leaving, I am sure he is experiencing feelings of hope, fear of the unknown, impending separation anxiety, you name it.  Once he is in boot camp, don’t be surprised if this is a time when he wants to reconnect with you. More than likely he will get homesick and, therefore, become reflective and want to reach out to friends and family before getting comfortable in his new environment.   That said, I would back off on something you have tried desperately to control, but have failed miserably in your attempt.  Learn this lesson now: Nagging and being needy are indicators of deap-seated insecurity and, eventually,  it becomes a burden to others. Your resorting to this low-level of relating to him is pitiful.  The key element of a successful relationship is respect and, in this one, it is clearly lacking.  Let go.