Teaching Someone To Love.... Advice??



New member
Jun 9, 2019
alberta canada
Hi everyone! Obviously I am new... I thought about doing a post in Introduction first but I wasn't sure if that would make the best of sense because I am here really for someone else so "Hi, I'm Jenna! I don't really have any issues..." just didn't seem right... lol

I'm here hoping that maybe someone has some advice on how to (I don't want to say 'deal with' because that makes it sound like a chore and it isn't) help? Respond too? My.... My kinda, not really, maybe sorta boyfriend who is all sorts of...complicated? How's that for a starter?!

Please bear with me as this may get slightly long winded because I will need to give some background here in order for any of it to make enough sense I think.
Six years ago I met through one of my good friend's boyfriend this guy. I admit, first sight, I was completely, totally, utterly captivated. You kinda can't help but be drawn to him initially because he is beautiful - not the handsome sort, but beautiful. Pretty, really, although he always give me the stink eye when I call him that. But there is something else about him... Like a sly, lost, charming soul that wants to completely love you but shadowed by scared, angry, self deprecating and destroying bigger soul that keeps that first part of him under a pretty good lock and key until he really gets to know you.

He is SSOOOO hard to explain... So let's go to the basics, I guess. "He" is Judas (Yes, that's his real name. He has, I think, a love/hate relationship with it. He gets tired fast of the comments on it and a usual repsonse to "Is that your real name?" is his "No." And when they ask what it is again they get a very straight faced "Jesus." haha Personally, I adore it but...). I don't want to get into any details that he doesn't or hasn't offered to people other then myself or Aden (His best friend and probably the only person who has any sort of control or power to persuade or dissuade Judas in any situation, although I would like to think that I am close behind) because that's obviously personal to him but I will have to throw out some of his dirty laundry, so to speak, so you can get a sense of where he's coming from and why he is the way he is.

First off, some important things to know about him...
1 - He has extremely strong suiidial tendancies. He was only 10 when he first tried to kill himself. Again at 17, and again at 21. He is 25 now. He has never denied the fact that it is only a matter of time before he "at least get that right" and is fairly assured that he will leave this world of his own hand. The only thing that has stopped him these past few years is because of a promise he made to Aden. I'm not naive enough to think that this promise will hold out until old age has won... But I also think there is potential there for him to learn to love himself yet.

2 - He is a alcoholic and drug addict. He has been on his own since he was 15 but raised by a drunk, drug addicted father and a drug addicted mother, he started on both prior to that not only because it was obviously handy and a way of life but a way of dealing with life and the years of vile, inhuman torture they put him through. He quit drinking awhile ago, aside from the odd social drink here and there now but still, currently, does drugs (speed). Now, of course, before we got close I have seen him smoke it at someone else's place, etc but he will not do them around me and has spent a couple days even at mine and is okay without them. Unless a trigger happens, but he always leaves. He has been talking more and more about quitting but he keeps chickening out because he knows he "absolutely not strong enough to handle life and all my demons sober".

3 - As you probably figured, he was abused - Mentally, sexually, physically. Before Judas was born they had a previous son who passed away in a drinking and driving accident and when failed to turn into their dead son they were there to remind him daily of what a failure he was, beat it into him when they felt ripping his own person to shreds wasn't enough and escalating up to trading him to their friends in exchange for drugs to nail home how worthless he was. It is absolutely heart breaking and literally sickening listening to some of the things they put him through.

4 - He is often described as "scary" or "dangerous". Before I get into this, I want to make it very clear that never once have I ever, ever felt threatened or been intimidated or in any way ever gotten any sense of threat from him when we are alone. Truly, he is one of the most compassionate, kind-hearted, dedicated person I have ever met in my life. He would never pass a stranger in need, volunteers at animal shelters when he can, and shovel's the sidewalks at Nursing homes in the winter. He paid a massive surgery bill on a dog that he found on the side of the highway that had been hit by a car just to save its life. This world today (though he would never admit this to a crowd) breaks his heart for all the hurt and waste. Does anyone remember back in 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting? He literally, and still will today if he thinks about it, cried for a week for those pour little souls.
However, there are certain situations that trigger that dark side I mentioned... Most always it will involve someone(s) hurting either a child or women. I have seen him get into a fight with someone and I think if the cops hadn't had used the baton and almost knocked him out like they did, he probably would have killed him. He almost did, I think. From what I understand I don't think that guy recovered back to his old self 100%. I am not excusing what he did by any means, but it wasn't as if he just came across someone who called their girl "stupid" or "ugly" but he found him having sex with her while she was unconscious and...lost it. I absolutely do not think he could sit in a court room across from a pedophile and not try to serve his own justice. Thankfully that situation hasn't arose with us and I pray it never does because I've seen the change in him if this topic gets brought up.
When it isn't one of those two, it is a self created one. Not so much anymore as he quit drinking 4 years ago, but prior he had a habit of instigating a fight in a bar or party sometimes just to hit someone I think, but most often to antagonize a group of guys into absolutely being the shit out of him to the point where he'd been hospitalized several times. I know he still has his father's mantra's rolling through his head because when he forgets something or messes up on something he always, without fail, berates himself with something like "Holy fuck you retard, Judas" or "Nice going you fucking loser" etc so I would think these fights are more "just" punishment he dishes out to himself in lieu of an absent father to do it for him.

You still won't even have half the idea of who Judas really is but it's enough (I think???) to get a real rough sketch. So, two years ago we started talking more and he finally started to let me into that tight shell he keeps around himself. It almost seemed sometimes that he was finally starting to let himself receive affection when the walls would slam back up and he would back away, apologizing for doing this and that he couldn't handle the idea of wrecking my life by saddling me with the likes of someone like him and he would disappear for a week or a month as he is won't to do.
One night when he came over he got up to leave and he actually held me for quite some time (he is not an overly touchy feely person - holding hands at first weirded him out), gave me a kiss on the cheek and said goodbye...Something, whatever it was, raised a flag and a half hour after he left I couldn't help but call the RCMP because I didn't know what else to do but I was sure that he was going to try and kill himself. They located him two hours later using his cell phone signal and while he was just sitting in his truck on the side of a back road, still all in one beautiful piece, they did find two guns in his truck and while I just initially wanted him on 24 watch, he ended up doing 11 weeks in jail.

Despite what he thinks, he is an extremely smart individual and I was scared shitless he was going to hate me for making that call to the cops. He was out for almost 4 months before Aden made it so we "ran into" each other. I never did admit to it, and he hasn't actually put it on me but every now and then his .45 gets brought up in conversations with other people and he'll slide me a look on the sly with a slight grin so I know that he knows and that he knows that I know, and thankfully he doesn't. He said, rather, it was sort of a nice break from life and mostly like rehab (he went for rehab when he was 22 for a then cocaine habit) and he looked a MILLION times better (on top of doing drugs, he doesn't really live anywhere but out of his truck rather so meals are not regular nor...healthy. He is 5'10" and I doubt he weighed 130lbs when he went in).

Wow... Still with me? I hope so because I'm about to jump us forward to the present, finally.

Initially it was a lot of the same with him when we started reconnecting - the starting to open up and pull away ordeal but gradually it got better and better. The last six months have almost been (neither of us have made it "official" yet) like a normal relationship. He finally started to not just crack that shell, but actually let a piece or two fall off and for the first time, in all the six years I've known him, I finally heard him laugh and got a real smile. And then...

Two days ago he showed up at my dad's work (I live in a separate house but on the same land (I live in the country on a ranch) as my parents and they are aware of his issues just not as much of the gory details as I, (they both get along with Judas - he adores my mother and spoils her when he can but is rather timid yet around my dad. They'll go fix fences or work on a truck together and seem great but if you can tell that there is this wariness in Judas yet) and my younger sister (the adoration goes both ways here) and asked to speak with him for a few moments. My dad was shocked he was there, to say the least but he brought him into his office and after a few rough starts he finally managed to say, in a nutshell, that he was sorry and he knew that I deserved so much more and he had no right to being around me but God help him, he couldn't seem to make himself stay away but if he (my dad) made it clear to him that in no un-certain terms was he to come anywhere near his daughter again he might be able to force himself to stay away because he couldn't do it on his own.

None of us quite know if he was looking for just a verbal beating telling him to kick it, that he was right and is a useless piece of shit or if he was asking my dad to literally beat the shit out of him to bring the message home but my dad said he watched him for a moment before saying "I can't do that". I'm not sure if a different response would have triggered a different reaction or not but he ended up crying and not just tears, but years of pent up cries. He ended up sitting the corner for 10 minutes after avoiding my dads initial comfort gesture but when he calmed, he did get him to agree to come that night for dinner and they would talk more, and gave him one of those man hugs (you know, the one arm, hand hold sort). Judas left my dad with a confirmation that he'd meet us at my dad's house, 7:30 that night. That was two and a half days ago now and not a word.

I am not overly surprised - when he gets overwhelmed his initial response to run and lick his wounds, to suffer on his own as he always has right from the time he was a child. I know he will come back. I know maybe I sound crazy that I am not too worried about a suicide attempt right now, but... I don't feel it. He can't handle any sort of positivism or compliments. Bad is safe to him, Good is foreign. What I don't know is what exactly I do from here. I absolutely love him to pieces. He really, truly makes me whole, you know? I never though I would sound so sappy but I really can't imagine life without him.
But I also can't deal with this running away forever. We talked of him going to see a counselor again (He used to see one regularly for awhile but then she got transferred and he got assigned a new one but for him it's not just about paperwork being transferred - that was 3 years of heartbreaking work to lay his soul out and he isn't convinced yet that another one is worth the amount of work to start over from scratch again and for him, he has no choice but too.
He has, over the last week, downloaded a lot of self help books ranging from addictions to DBT Therapy to controlling emotions to self-compassion and he is actually doing the work and trying. But again, being a book person, he can do that part.

What he can't do is sit and listen to me while I praise him. Offering a gift for his birthday or Christmas? Absolutely unacceptable. He refuses to partake in any holiday.
It's weird because when he does something for you, you can almost see the eagerness in his face that you're happy with it and it's good enough for you, but the minutes to start to verbalize that to him that's gone and replaced by neutral look with some flippant negative and/or deflective comment and if you persist then he gets uncomfortable then fidigity then anxious to the point where he starts breathing faster etc and eventually, if it's not dropped, he'll just up and go. Not always far, mostly uses a cigarette as an excuse, but he will always leave the room.
Someone told me once when I got frustrated that I just had to keep it up, eventually he learnt to accept it. While I only have months of steady repetition for it to engrain in his head, he has already had 15+ years of the negative shit being beaten into him so I had some work to even the odds out... but I just feel like a broken record.
Has anyone else had someone that so completely loathed themselves so? That couldn't accept that they deserve to be happy? To be loved? Please tell me yes and that there is such a simple miracle cure! I can't stand knowing that he truly can't see any good in him and knowing he is holding all these feelings of hate and guilt for himself in his head and heart 24/7 but I don't know what else I can do to really help him so any suggestions on what I can do that might get through would be very muchly appreciated.

Sorry for such a long post, if you read that all with me you are a champ and I thank you greatly! :)


Well-known member
Founding Member
Dec 16, 2007
hiding behind the sofa
Wow that really is some story. The poor man has had a tough life no wonder he turned to drink and drugs but good on him for conquering them. He really is a damaged person but he has to learn to love himself again and I think that therapy is the only way forward .
He obviously trusts you as he’s told you of his past and you’ve been together a long time and obviously your family can see the good in him. I wouldn’t keep on reminding him how good he is because if you keep hearing the same thing continuously it can sound patronising and meaningless. Better with the occasional show of affection . Let him know that your parents like him or leave little positive notes for him
I don’t think anyone on here can give you the solution your wanting . I think it’s down to him and him getting the help he needs. I don’t think medication is the route for him I think talking therapy and him accepting his past is the major deal for him. Because once he accepts what’s happened then he can hopefully move forward. He will never forget his past but he can learn to live with it