He’s still texting her

Today, an update that's also a question.

Send your own relationship/dating question to [email protected] or use this form.

Also, happy anniversary to us.

Hi Mere!

Update here! Back in April 2021, I wrote the letter "He deleted her... then texted her," and some things have changed. I broke up with him about three months ago. After so much distrust and issues, we were not enjoying the relationship. However, we do love each other and have a wonderful connection. We haven't seen each other and have barely talked during these three months. But we said we would meet in person sometime soon to talk about where this is going. I still love him and want to make thinks work.

Remember the girl from the past letter? She came back many, many times. So, this letter is mainly to talk about his triggers. When I wrote last letter, I didn't know much about his past relationships. He revealed that his exes caused him relationship trauma because they, too, were disloyal and lied to him often, which I didn't know until he revealed that to me (with proof). Along the way, I realized how he overall distrusts women, which leads him to act irrationally with me. His mentality has been cheat first because their cheat is coming. I would never cheat on him and have never lied to him, so it's unfair for me to carry the emotional baggage of his unhealed wounds. For instance, sometimes we would argue, and he would text this girl (from the past letter) whatever random thing "to keep in touch with her." At one point, his friends started talking about our relationship (not good things, I assume), so he felt triggered and immediately texted three girls to go for drinks, including the girl from the letter. He literally texted them all at the same time. The dates never happened and this situation happened on the verge of our breakup, but still, that was messed up because he knew that would hurt me. He said, "I never even planned on following up with them to actually go get drinks. It’s just that after my friends talked to me about us, I realized how much I've screwed up and decided to push you away because I don't feel like I deserve you.”

These are the options in my head: 1. He likes her – because why would he care to keep in touch with someone, directly risking his relationship and hurting his partner. 2. He doesn't like her because he hasn't made a direct move, and only texts her when he feels insecure (I know that sounds immature, but I really want to help him). He says it's not Option 1. But still, if we are getting back together, I want to understand how to help him internalize his triggers to avoid falling into the self-sabotaging cycle.

I want this girl out of his life for good. Regardless of the reason, he keeps contacting her and either hides it and lies about it, or feels bad about it and confesses. Yet, I feel like if I ask him to take her out of his life so we can have our relationship in peace, he will feel controlled and, therefore, even more triggered. How should I approach this talk/what should I say for him to finally have an aha moment?

– In need for pointers (and disrespected, again)


Now you know why he behaves this way – or why he believes he behaves this way. That's great, but I'm not sure the new information should change the status of this relationship.

You can't fix him. It's not in your power to help him better manage his insecurities. He has to do this work on his own, and it doesn't sound like that's happening.

Even if it is, there’s no quick fix or aha moment that will make this all better. He's spent a very long time lying to people to make himself feel better. He can be set off by the tiniest statement made by friends. He has real self-exploration to do, and I'm not sure he can be good to you until he's done it.

That doesn't mean you should wait around for him. You're broken up for now, right? Stay in that state and think about why you'd want to have to work so hard to be with someone whose instinct is to lie to you. I assume you really care for him and enjoy his company, but the bad moments – and constant distrust – ruins anything good.

You need your own aha moment. Help yourself instead of him. "It's unfair for me to carry the emotional baggage of his unhealed wounds." You said it.

_ Meredith


Readers? Should getting back together be on the table? Does knowing the cause of this behavior change anything?