Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend and I have been together since September 24, 2007, and since that day I have not gone A SINGLE DAY without talking to him. I think about him almost all the time. In the beginning, we were so happy and everything was perfect.  We were so cute together. We always have argued a lot, but it was never a big deal.  Six months into our relationship, I started doing Ecstasy and he didn’t know till our 7 month.  I told him I had done it once, which wasn’t true, and I started doing it a lot and lying about it.  He would find out, but he never really found out anything close to the full truth. So yeah, there was one time I took like 6 pills and ended up having sex with two guys (who were both sober), so later I kinda realized that wasn’t so much my fault.  After that, I did it again and all hell broke loose, and he found out about EVERYTHING!  He still won't let it go, either. He still calls me a cheater. But anyway, since our 6 months, our fights have gotten worse and worse, and it would get a little physical sometimes and he would say really mean things.  But there was always that sweet side of him that totally made up for it cause I am so damn in love with him. When we weren’t fighting, we always had fun and he was so freakin’ sweet and nice and loving.  He loved me more than any guy probably ever will.  He used to promise that whenever he finally got a job pretty much all his money would go to me to makeup for everything I had done for him. Anyway, every time we would "break up," in the end he would tell me he was still in love with me, and he would cry to me and say he needed me and he couldn't be without me.  The last time (before this time) that it happened, he came to my house and cried to me telling me how he was planning to propose to me on my 18th birthday, and how he knew exactly where and when he was gonna do it.  Now, lately, we have been fighting WAY MORE and things are really, really REALLY bad now.  That’s why it was called off this time.  Since Halloween, I haven’t heard him admit that he still loves me.  He says he cares about me, but if I say anything about love, he will change the subject. He is starting to get SO much meaner, and so I try to stand up to him and say he can’t talk to me like that, but he knows me too well and he knows exactly what to say and do to make me back down. I get scared. I’m scared to be without him.  I love him so much but I’m getting to the point that I don’t know why anymore.  I need some real advice. Something besides get over him, or be patient maybe it will get better.  I either need to find a way to make him see how bad he is hurting me, or find a way to be strong enough to leave him. I cry myself to sleep every night, either ‘cause he’s so mean or ‘cause I think that I have most likely lost him forever.
I Screwed Up

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

Dear I . . .

Wow, you’ve got a toxic relationship (a twisted co-dependence) with this guy, and there’s so much water under the bridge that both of you are drowning in it. I don’t think sorry when you lie, take Ecstasy and sleep with two guys cuts it, because it looks like you are out of control, and too much to handle for him. Listen, you are responsible for sleeping with these guys, because you took the E and everyone knows its nickname is the “love drug.”  Talk is cheap. Most people can pretty much judge the character of a person by their actions. I’m not saying this to hurt you, but the key word here is responsibility, and you seem to want to learn it the hard way.  This guy finds it tough to sever ties completely, because there is something there, deep down, that was good, and it’s not easy to make a clean break when you can still tap into that odd moment when things work. Maybe you should show him this e-mail, tell him that you realize that your whole time with him has predominantly centered on lack or respect, and that you want to try to start to repair the damage with baby steps. Find out if he'll get on board with this, before you throw in the towel. See each other when you aren’t carrying an ax you both want to grind, and treat each other like loving human beings who can control their habit of finding fault and casting blame.  It’s not hopeless, but your situation isn’t good, either. You are scared, because you can’t change the past and you want that more than anything.  There’s a lot I’d like to go back and change, and I've shed many tears of loss.  But I’m old enough to know that it isn’t possible. I give advice, instead!  Lesson learned?  Think before you act.