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Should I give my ex another chance, or move on?

Published on January 5, 2010 by ithinkiknow

My ex-boyfriend and I were together for 3 years. From the beginning to the end, he had a pretty serious drinking problem. The problem wasn't how often he drank, but that he couldn't drink without getting absolutely wasted. And when that happened, my normally very sweet, quiet, non-aggressive artist boyfriend would turn into a complete ass. He would say and do the dumbest things, pick fights, completely embarrass himself (and me), pee the bed...the list goes on. The next day, he was always very sorry and everyone always excused and forgave his behavior, partly because a good portion of his friends are the same way and think that this is completely normal. Well, twice during the course of our relationship, he got completely trashed and fooled around another girl. Both times he admitted it to me and did everything he could to try to show me how sorry he was, but the second time was the last straw, and we broke up. It was very hard for me, because aside from his drinking, we were pretty blissfully happy together, and I've never felt the way I felt about him for anyone else. Now, its been a few months, and my ex is still trying his hardest to get me back. He has quit drinking, and is beginning to cut out the friends in his life that are a bad influence. He has also started going to a psychiatrist to work on his issues with self-control. I believe that he really wants to change and grow, but obviously, that doesn't take back his past indiscretions. I'm also concerned that he could be really gung-ho about all of this now, but after we get comfortable, he could fall back into his old pattern. I want to wait it out a bit to give both of us some time to figure things out, but I'm considering the possibility of giving him another chance in the future. However, I'm concerned. How do I know if this is actually the right choice, or just me holding on to the past? Is it worth trying to move forward with a relationship that would require a lot of work and a lot of risk, or should I just cut my losses and try to move on?


History repeats itself. You endured too much pain both in the relationship and getting over it (as much as you have so far) to go back and take more. Yes he is changing. Yes you still have feelings for him - who wouldn't. But remember the feelings of pain, hurt, anxiety and embarrassment? You don't want those again. Part of his healing is that he will fall again. You and his friends were the enablers in his life. If you really care about him stay away. Remain friends, but not lovers. A life with him will be full of hurt, distrust, and pain. He and you need a fresh start. Ok?

It sounds like he is doing a lot to change for both himself and you. I can tell you from personal experience (being on the other end of your problem) that people can change. I used to be a party animal. My boyfriend of 3 years told me it had to stop so I went to counseling, started going to a bible study, cut the people out of my life that partied, and stopped drinking all together. In the last two years, I still to this day haven't gone back to my old ways. People can change if they have the will and motivation to do so. He obviously has the will, and his love for you seems to be a huge motivation. I'd say you can give him a chance, but on a trial basis. Let him know that you need to be sure that these changes are going to stick and that if they don't that it will be the end for good.

I agree. My ex-fiancee also had a drinking problem, it broke us up completely. But it sounds like to me, he's trying to make a difference for himself. I would definitely give him another chance. Everyone deserves one. Holding it against him might just trigger him back to his old life style. But like Bridgesfolly stated, be sure that his serious about this transgression. It takes alot of will power and strength to give up on a alcohol addiction. Talk it out, tell him how it makes you feel when he's out-his-mind, tell him how you fear for his safety and health. Also, be there for him.