Dating a criminal and depressed


Dating a criminal and depressed


your avatar   Lucy, 21-year-old woman

My fiance (Nick) and I have been together since July of last year. Things moved very fast from the start. (I should probably mention that prior to this I had a boyfriend, Richard, who was long distance as well). What attracted me to Nick was his lifestyle. He was a party animal. He was also very wanted by the authorities for minor drug-related offenses. A month after I met him he was notified by the police in another state that they knew where he was and that a warrant was issued for his arrest. It turned out not to be as big of a deal as he made it. He told me that he was on the run and he asked me to go with him. He was aware of my relationship with Richard, but he swore his undying love to me and begged me not to leave him.

Even though my family disliked him we left for California and lived there for three months. We couldn't afford a place to live because I was the only one working and my job only paid $6.25/hr. Nick was depressed and refused to get a job. I also found out at this time that he had lied to me about the death of his mother just a couple of weeks before. I knew he had a problem with lying, but I thought I could help him (he never told me why he lied about his mother). Since California, we haven't stayed anywhere for more than six months. Now we are living with his mother, who is feeling better after her bout with death. Nick also has a terrifying temper. He has hit me a couple of times by "accident". He kind of reminds me of a child with a temper tantrum sometimes. My self-esteem has gone way down since meeting him.

Here's my question: Lately, I've been feeling depressed. Its almost like there's something missing from my life. Even though Richard hasn't spoken to me since June, I can't get him out of my heart or my mind. It's not that I believe that Richard and I will ever get back together, it's just that I'm realizing that he had qualities that I like in a man which Nick lacks (won't clean, showers irregularly, still won't find a job, etc.). And he has qualities that I do not like. While he claims I can leave at any time, it doesn't seem that way to me. This is annoying me to the point of wanting to find someone else or just give up on men and become a lesbian. I find it difficult to talk to him because he just won't listen to me. How should I handle this?


    Thomas H. Schear,

You need to leave this situation now! You went on a rescue mission believing that you and love had the power to turn Nick into a decent person. However, you see what has happened. He has corrupted you. You are on the run. He is wanted by the law. And I would suggest that you don't know the half of what he has been up to. He has lied to you in the past, he's doing the same now and he'll continue to do so. You need to leave before you find yourself really physically hurt or being a co defendant with this guy in court. If you stay in this relationship you are sicker than he is.

With respect to Richard, look at it from his point of view. (I am assuming Richard is not a criminal like Nick.) He was dating you, he believed you to have a certain kind of character. Leaving with Nick told him that any positive image he may have had of you was wrong. You could have said "no" to Nick. But you decided to leave the straight life of work, a boyfriend, and routine for a life of being on the run with a lying, abusive, criminal.

You need to return home and start over. I suspect that idea gives you a great deal fear and anxiety. After you return home you need to get involved in counseling. Do not get involved in another relationship with a guy. You will either find another Nick or hurt another Richard. You need to find out why you did this. What motivated you, what did you believe about yourself, about what life is all about, about your prospects of finding a decent guy, about why you put up with being on the run, assaulted, etc. You need to do some serious, honest personal work before you can consider any sort of serious relationship with any other guy so you don't get hooked up with another Nick.

Thomas H Schear

This question was answered by Thomas H Schear. Dr. Schear has over 20 years experience as a front line counselor, clinical supervisor, program director and college instructor. Currently he provides online and telephone counseling service as well as home-study and online course for the helping professional from his website.For more information visit:


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