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Hello Dr. Matt,
I really love my boyfriend a lot and he means the world to me. He loves me too. He says that he will never leave me, and will not let anyone break us up. One more thing, my boyfriend was recently released from prison. I think he learned a few bad habits there.
They say "Love conquers all!" Can I expect that my boyfriend will become fair and meet my needs some of the time, because we love each other so much? What should I do?
First, lets get clear on the Highest meaning of the word Love. Visit this page at my website: Lasting Love: Standing vs. Falling. You need to GET CLEAR on what Real Love looks like—I call it the Love that Stands—in order to understand my advise to you!
Anyone who desires to live a good life and rise above past mistakes, deserves our support and love—they deserve to be supported by the Love that Stands. Is that where your boyfriend is? Does he want to rise above his mistakes and live a better life? If so, he can begin by learning how to be kind—eliminating the mean behavior that you've written about.
On the other hand, if your boyfriend wants to persist in a life course that grates against goodness, I advise you to part company with him. His intentions for his future life will NOT necessarily come from his mouth, but will be absolutely be spoken by his actions. Listen to his behavior! As long as he is "mean" to you, he doesn't really love you.
As long as there is meanness in him, toward you and others, this is not the kind of man you should have a relationship with—for now (until he changes).
The Love that Falls, and eventually Fails, is primarily about physical attraction and chemistry between two people. It's easy and is very common to enjoy physical affections between a man and a woman . . . and then imagine that THIS is "Love"—it's the Love that Falls!
As long as your boyfriend is mean to you, it is best to put your relationship plans "on hold." If he is the right man for you, your friendship with him will flow and be comfortable—for now, you are experiencing conflict and contention. The best relationship you can have in this life, is absolutely NOT nurtured within a context of conflict and meanness.
I repeat, people who want to rise above past mistakes deserve a chance—they deserve our Christlike love and support.
Again, you will know when your boyfriend has risen above his mistakes WHEN he is out of prison, and further, shows by a consistent track record of kind behavior over time that he is committed to a new lifestyle that is centered upon the Love that Stands.
It is important that you listen to his BEHAVIOR, and NOT his MOUTH. Talk is cheap, and there are millions of people who promise with their WORDS and do NOT follow through with their ACTIONS. Believe his behavior and NOT his words—that is, until he becomes a man of his word over time and through consistent experience.
Remember: Believe your behavioral experience, and NOT verbal promises—that is, until a person's verbal Talk precisely mirrors their behavioral Walk.
Matt Moody, Ph.D.
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