I told him to leave

Once again, please join us on Sunday at 4 p.m. in Somerville for a live taping of the Love Letters podcast. It's at Bow Market, which is a great place to spend an evening. Tickets here.

Meredith,

I've been seeing this guy for about six months now. Before we started dating, I was in a relationship with an abusive narcissist for a little over a year. He tore me down to nothing. Since then, I've been through counseling and am now in one-on-one therapy. We broke up a year and a half ago. My current boyfriend knows everything I've been through.

One day my boyfriend approached me in a tone of voice that caused me to have flashbacks of my ex. We fought, and at one point I told him that if he didn't like what I had to say, "there's the door." I've regretted saying it ever since. It's not like me to say something like that. I truly hurt him but apologized and promised it'll never happen again, but he didn't talk or text me for two weeks, and he wouldn't see me. We have just started messaging over the past couple days. Is there anything I can do to repair the damage and hurt I've caused?

– Damaged


Your best bet is to be very honest in these messages. Let him know how happy you are to hear from him, and that you hope the two weeks of space has helped the relationship. Ask him if he'd like to get together in person, and then maybe talk some more. Know that if you see him, there's no point in groveling or apologizing 9,000 times. Right now, it's more productive to spend your energy on figuring out how to communicate better in the future.

Don't allow this period of messaging to go on for too long. I understand you're slowly warming up to each other again, but after not talking for two weeks you shouldn't have to spend another few weeks checking your phone and silently hoping that you're still together. At some point soon he should be able to tell you whether he wants to take next steps to make this work.

Also, no matter what happens, try to forgive yourself for your behavior. I'm not saying "there's the door!" is a polite or productive thing to yell during a fight, but you don't have to continue to punish yourself. You're trying to be better. That's what's important.

– Meredith

Readers? What should the LW say in these messages?