My friend told me to send you an e-mail because you really helped her out, and she thought that you could help me. I been in a relationship with this boy for 7 months now. We have broken up so many time I lost count. We have been through a lot together making it so hard to let go. He always say he is going to change, but he changes for two days then goes back to the old him. I can honestly say I love him because if I didn't I wouldn't put up with all the things he put me through. I guess the reason why I sent you this e-mail is because I don't know what to do anymore. I'm really confused and just need some help.


Just for the moment, consider why one person dates another person. Though for many dating is a form of entertainment, giving a person something to do on the weekends, most of us understand that the real goal of dating is to find someone whom we want as our lifetime mate. As much as you like a person, at least part of the time, what you have to ask yourself is: Is this the person I want to spend the rest of my life with? Is this the person I want raising my children?

You didn't give me much to go on, but are you comfortable making a formal covenant (a very solemn vow before God) with a man who you know says one thing and two days later goes back on his word? That there are rocky times in any relationship is to be expected, but when in the short time of seven months you loss track of how many break-ups you've had, something is seriously wrong. I would be more comfortable if you told me he was changing and improving, but you say that little has changed -- other than you seem to have become more tolerant of his sins over time. Being worn down isn't the makings of an even poor marriage.

Yes, you've been through a lot together, but it appears that the "lot" is of your own two's making. If you told me that you had gone through trials that life threw your way and that together you each helped the other overcome the problems, then those experiences would be worth counting. But to have lots of experience at fighting with each other is not a triumph.

I suspect you are in love with whom you think this young man could be, but not with the man he is at the moment. Marriage is about respect. "Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Ephesians 5:33). Find a man whom you respect for who he is, and a man who respects you for who you are. You don't have to settle for marginal.

Who knows, if you demand a higher quality product in your husband-to-be, he might just find the motivation to make serious, long-lasting changes in his life because he wants your love that much. But instead of accepting him back each time he says he has changed, insist on waiting a while to see evidence of that change. Even if you don't marry him, you might then have an opportunity to make a better man out him.

And don't make the mistake of thinking that having sex with him is going to change him or make him stay. It almost never works and he strikes me as one even less likely to be caught by that game. It will just bind you more to him, making it harder for you to face reality.