How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr.G. Your Own Question
Dr.G.
Dr.G., Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1525
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
15682972
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr.G. is online now

My boyfriend has asked me to marry him, he is totally in

Resolved Question:

my boyfriend has asked me to marry him, he is totally in love and commited to me and my son and wants a future together, he is a great guy. I am ambivalent as i still love my ex boyfriend, but he was bad for me and had a criminal record but i cant get over him. He was also 11 years younger than me and had little job prospects or plans for the future and lived at home with his parents. But i loved him anyway. We loved all of the same music, movies and books, i dont have this with my current boyfriend. I feel i am going to embark upon a life of mediocrity with my current boyfriend rather than a life of interest and shared passions with my ex, albeit him being detrimental to my life and not being able to give me a stable and conventional future that i perhaps need. Im 42 and am a single parent. I feel i need to grow up and conform but i feel absolutely heartbroken that i cant have what i really want.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr.G. replied 1 month ago.

Hi there. Sounds like a tough decision you are facing. It seems you kind of answer your own question when you say that your ex is bad for you and offers little hope for the future. What makes you think it will be mediocre in the future with the new boyfriend? Have you put in effort with the new boyfriend or are you constantly comparing to the ex? What is the connection with the new boyfriend besides that he is not a criminal and has a job? Are you willing to love him and give him your all?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
these are the questions i am asking myself, life isnt really mediocre with my boyfriend, we enjoy one anothers company and laugh together, he is really funny and we keep one another entertained. he is really supportive and is emotionally there for me, we like cooking together, we go away for weekends and he is great with my son. we play board games together at the weekends and really we are 'happy'. We are the epitome of a happy family arent we? He is very insecure and anxious and needy, but he attributes this to me still being in contact and really, still having strong feelings for my ex. I feel there are more insecurities there than simply this but only time will tell. i seem to have a self-destructive streak, perhaps i cant accept im worthy of a mutually beneficial relationsip, im not sure. I seem to yearn for the dysfunction on my previous relationship, he was anything but medicore, he was a musician and wrote scripts and music but having him in my life was near impossible due to his recent conviction and i work in a responsible profession. Am i willing to love my current boyfriend an give him my all, im struggling to answer this. Im not sure why, the answer is yes but there are mixed feelings there.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
If i had of met my current boyfriend without being caught up in the emotions i feel for my ex, then i think we would be blissfully happy, but you are right, i am constantly comparing him to my ex and feel this current relationship doesnt measure up, but i cannot fugure out why..? My ex couldnt offer me a future, or be a role model to my son, is that even important? As long as we have a record player and cigarettes then that is enough no? Yes i appear to be caught up in some bohemian nightmare, trying to escape the rigours of my life which i find hard. I want escapism and i am prioritising some immature fantasy over what could be a really happy reality. I want to snap out of this.
Expert:  Dr.G. replied 1 month ago.

Well, i think you will be stuck in this second guessing cycle the longer you keep in touch with your ex. Keeping in touch with him is sabotaging your current relationship on so many levels. To give your current a fair shot at succeeding and actually growing, you have to let go of the past. It sounds like you have a good thing going here and immature fantasy deal will definitely bite you in the butt. All attention and devotion needs to put into making this current relationship flourish. The emotions and the thoughts about the past will slowly fade away. But, that will only happen as you focus on what you have now.

Dr.G., Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1525
Experience: Licensed Psychologist in the state of Minnesota
Dr.G. and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
thank you, ***** ***** really given me some clarity and told me what i need to hear. I know your wise words are true, in my heart i know it. I am really really struggling to let go of the past. I know I have a future, hopefully a good one with the relationship i have now which is why i dont understand my ambivalence and reticence about moving forward. But thank you for your good advice.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 1 month ago.

I can tell you more about why you are reluctant to let go of your past. I'll have to explain a Jungian psychological concept to you to make it as clear as I want it to be. Everyone has an image or symbol of an opposite sex version of themselves in their unconscious mind; men have what Jung called an "Anima" or female soul, and women have an "Animus" or masculine energy in them. The characteristics of the anima can be typically feminine, and of the animus typically masculine. (You can look both of these up in Wikipedia for their version, which will be longer than what I'm presenting here.) Women also typically project their animus figure onto any man they fall in love with, but it will turn out to be too ideal to actually fit with the totality of their beloved boyfriend's personality. For it is a higher version of themselves, admired within a male body, but actually representing a spiritual energy that connects them to their own creativity and spiritual personality development.

So you keep falling in love with artistic/creative types of men, because your own creative (and spiritually transformative) parts are underdeveloped, and you're trying unconsciously to incorporate them from outside yourself. So what you need to do to make your life NOT conventional, even though you have a good conventional job, is to begin developing your own creativity and/or spiritual horizons.

If you start attending to and writing down your dreams, you will be noticing your own creativity in a naturally occurring part of your life. The images and plots in those dreams might begin to show you how to launch your own creativity and spiritual development. You could also do dream therapy with me, because I've been attending to my own dreams for 56 years and interpreting others' dreams for 45 years. That kind of therapy is known as Jungian growth-oriented therapy, because it perceives our nightly dreams as symbolic dramas and movies composed by a Higher Source inside of us to point the way forward in our own lives, as a Divine guidance (aka higher Self or God/Goddess within) to balance with our own personal waking consciousness (aka ego).

So this particular type of man you keep falling in love with (who is typically younger than you, because your masculine-creative side is less developed than your female world-managing ego side) is your creative side; and if you begin to develop your relations with his energy in yourself you won't need to expect your male partner to furnish you with creative inspiration as much, and you can appreciate him for what he is, instead of what your unconscious mind wants him to be.