My Ex Needs Help – Why Won’t He Let Me Help Him?

Question: Yangki, in you dating your ex book you say that we should not focus on our ex’s issues and faults. What if the reason for the breakup is because your ex is addicted to porn, shouldn’t that be a concern? Shouldn’t one try to help their ex overcome the addiction?

I love my ex very much and I really want to help him overcome his addiction. He needs help and it breaks my heart that he is pushing me away when all I want is to help him. He says he wants to be alone and not be in a relationship not just with me, but anyone. I care about him so much and know that he needs someone to help him. I’m willing to do anything to help him, I just don’t know what to do.

Yangki’s Answer: Yes, addiction to porn is reason for concern, and absolutely, you should try to help him. I will explain the reason I say in my book not to focus on your ex in a while.

It’s obvious that you indeed care and love your ex very much, but trying to help him when:

  1. You have no idea what you are doing may hurt him more than it helps him. If you are not a trained addictions professional, it’s best to gently steer him towards someone who is trained and capable of helping him with his addiction to porn.
  2. You are trying to get him back at the same time can complicate things in that it becomes difficult to tell what your motivation for helping is. He may reject the help if it’s somehow tied to you being in his life in a way he does not want.

The second issue you raise is about what I say in my book. I think what you are referring to is the part about taking responsibility for creating your relationship problems.

My experience has been that people who blame what they perceive to be their ex’s issues for the breakup and/or for their ex’s resistance to getting back together do not usually get back their ex.

It’s true that it takes two to create a relationship and two to break it down. However, saying the reason for the break-up is all because of your ex’s issues is essentially admitting that there is nothing you can do to change the situation. Because you can’t do anything about your ex’s issues or change your ex, you’re admitting that the relationship is beyond help. 

There is nothing wrong with admitting there is nothing you can do, if the relationship is indeed beyond help, but that’s often not the case (in my experience).

There is a lot you can do to change the situation, and get your ex back simply by 1) re-examining how you are looking at the break-up, and 2) changing the way you are going about getting your ex back: What would you have done differently? What is within your control to change? What have YOU changed?

What is it within your control to change are things about YOU. You are the only person you can change. If you change things about YOU that played a role in how the relationship played out and ultimately ended, and the relationship is still not working out, then you know for sure that things are indeed beyond help. Until then, focusing all your attention on your ex’s “issues” is throwing your hands up and declaring defeat, before you’ve even tried.

So while there are situations where it is clear that your ex has issues, putting all your efforts in trying to address your ex’s issues is NOT going to get the two of you back together.

In some cases, you have to be realistic and accept that the relationship will not work unless your ex gets help, the catch here is that your ex has to admit to himself that he needs help.

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One reply on “My Ex Needs Help – Why Won’t He Let Me Help Him?”
  1. says: Sonia

    I appreciated this post because I have become fixated on my ex’s issues, and it has led me to feel helpless. I examine all of these things about his past, his previous relationships, his impulsiveness, and I get fixated on these problems. I see our relationship as just another casualty of his inability and fear to commit. Of course, when you see things that way, it looks bleak. I realize that I have to re-frame this in my mind. It will take effort, but it’s the only way to actually accomplish anything.

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