You Can’t Always Save Him


You are happy with him. It takes a few minutes of your time each day to grasp this.

He makes you happy.

When you’re with him, you feel wonderful. He takes care of you. He makes you laugh. You can see yourself with him thirty years from now.

You really can.

So what if you fight? All couples fight. Love means accepting the other person for all his flaws, right? What kind of significant other would you be if you gave up?

So what if he yells at you? You can’t always be right. You did go out without his permission. He has the right to yell at you. It’s actually adorable when he gets jealous. You feel wanted, you feel needed. A few hours of a relentless shouting match is a small price to pay. It’s okay if he gets jealous. Of your friends, of your work, of your time, of your attention. It’s okay if he takes the jealousy thing too far. Really, it’s okay. Because you get jealous, too.

So what if you get jealous? He’s just a really friendly guy. And he couldn’t take you dancing with his friends because that other girl you’re jealous of is a colleague and he doesn’t want you to make a scene. And she was drunk when she kissed him. It’s okay.

So what if he’s sometimes distracted when he’s with you and he’s constantly texting someone but won’t tell you who? So what if he won’t let you look at his phone? He’s entitled to his privacy.

So what if all your friends are telling you that something’s seriously wrong with your relationship? And so what if your instinct is telling you the same damn thing? Your friends don’t know what they’re talking about. Your instinct must be wrong. You have to have faith, right? This dysfunctional part of the relationship is just a phase. It will get better. It has to get better.

So what if you’ve been on this emotional rollercoaster for over a year now? You can handle it. Why give up now? You’ve been together for years. You can work things out.

So what if he doesn’t want to introduce you to his family and friends, or take you with him when he goes to see them? You’re not married yet. And he said he’ll bring you into his life someday. It doesn’t matter that it’s been years since he said that. He will. He said he will.

He isn’t perfect, and neither are you. But he saved you. He taught you how to love. So what if it hurts too much sometimes? That goes with the territory. It’s normal. So he’s done a lot of shit. He apologized, didn’t he? Love requires you to forgive.

And you can save him. You can save him from himself someday. You can teach him to love more. Be clingy and needy and maybe he won’t cheat. Be unbelievably understanding and maybe he’ll get it out of his system. Sacrifice your own time to work around his needs and his wants. Sacrifice your relationship with your friends because they don’t love you like he does. Save him. You can do it, no matter how long it takes. You can save him. What’s a few more years of pain and tears?

Ignore that little voice at the back of your mind telling you that he doesn’t want to be saved.


Ignore that little voice at the back of your heart telling you that you might not be the one to save him.


Ignore that little voice that’s been telling you all along, “he can’t be saved.”

“Oh ye of little faith,” you whisper. “He can be saved. I can save him. He wants to be saved.”

And maybe you can. Maybe he can. Someday he will be.

It’s been years since you saw him last. It’s incredible that Fate found a way for you to see him now, out of nowhere, unplanned. And in spite of everything you went through when he finally left you, you wait for him to glance up and see you. And smile. And tell you that he was wrong. You wait. You wait.

But he doesn’t. And you start walking toward him, breathless, with your heart pounding, loud enough for the world to hear. You anticipate the moment.

But you stop.

Because finally it sinks in. He is surrounded by his friends. And he puts his arm around a girl, and your head spins when he kisses her temple. You try to look away, but you’re drawn to the ring sparkling on her finger and the smile they share. The way he looks at her is so tender and true that you finally find the courage to turn around walk away. Like you should have done all those years ago. He never looked at you that way.

That should have been you.

But it isn’t.

Maybe you could have saved him by letting go when life told you to.

Maybe he saved you when he did.

Maybe you could have saved yourself.

Maybe now, you can.