How to get him back

Dear Stephen,

About a year ago, when I was still together with Paul, the man of my dreams, I was in repetitive phone contact with my ex boyfriend who wanted to be back together with me. I did not tell Paul anything about this contact as I did not want to disturb our new and fresh relationship.

Unfortunately Paul found out and did not handle the situation well at all. It turned into a nightmare and he accused me of wanting my ex back, accused me of cheating behind his back and got in contact with my ex to tell him off in a rude way. I am sure this kind of behaviour is due to problems in earlier relationships where his girlfriends had ‘really’ cheated on him. He became a very insecure man and now I did more or less the same to him.

The months that followed were full of accusations and hurt. We both hung in there, was our love so strong. But we never worked it out, up until today he was not able to let go of that situation and to move on from it. [Read more...]

Long Distance Relationship Advice

My partner and I have been having a lot of problems. We were together for 4 months and everything was absolutely perfect, everything was going right and we fit well with each other.

Then after the 4 months we were thrown into an unexpected long distance relationship which equals to a few thousand miles between us (17 hours plane journey). Our relationship changed a lot, its now been a year and one month since we started our relationship so 9 months has been long distance and this has been difficult to say the least.

I would say that I have become quite irrational, I am incredibly jealous now but I never was before the long distance. I trust him much less and I can stress a ridiculous amount which leads to getting angry with him for the smallest thing.

I kind of understand my jealousy because I am jealous of any girl that can be near him but I can’t be, that I have to be thousands of miles away and the horrible feeling that something could happen.

I have become a completely different person which he had always been patient about but I could never seem to change. I don’t know if I can ever change my jealousy especially in a long distance relationship, also the problem is that we would have to be in this distance for another few years.

Its been 9 months and the truth is I’ve been finding it absolute hell, I’ve been stressed, I’ve been crying almost everyday, and its horrible. My Partner on the other hand really likes a long distance relationship, hes been understanding because he loves me so much but I can’t seem to do that for him.

I don’t know at all what to do.



Dear Lisa

Thank you for your email to me, I really feel for you, this is a horrible place to be.

You enter into a perfect relationship and just as it’s getting going, it’s now been taken away.

Now you are left will all these conflicts inside that are now making you really unhappy. On one hand you know these thoughts are irrational, but every day they’re coming into your mind uninvited.

There are two key areas here that are effecting you.

  • 1. The man you love is thousands of miles away from you, and this is not how your relationship or life should be.
  • 2. Your constant focus on potential problems has taken you to a place of fear, which has generated a version of you that is constantly worried and now becoming depressed.

When your life conditions don’t match how you think things should be, you can become miserable, depressed and in this place of fear you have unconsciously gone on a search to discover what problems this long distance relationship could create for you, for him, and the relationship.

  • What’s happened is you have come up with loads of ways this relationship could hurt you or end.

Your boyfriend who seems to be trying to fix this relationship from thousands of miles away knows how unhappy you are, and is telling you that everything is OK and that a long distance relationship with him is not to be feared.

In fact you believe either through his words or your feelings that he likes the relationship this way. If you also believe that, then there is no end to living hell for you…

…I don’t believe any man that loves his woman wants to be thousands of miles away from her ( if you also share that thought, that could be making your feel worse, however…), I expect he is fearful of you getting so upset that you end the relationship, to escape your own fears, and so he could be playing his own feelings down to protect you.

Something needs to change, because you are making yourself unwell and these behaviours in you could create the thing you fear most and that’s a break up, because you both can‘t see away forward.

At the moment this situation for you equals the possibility of the end of your relationship every day.

The other part that I know is hurting you is that you want to give him love and yet from this place of fear you can’t, and that’s deeply hurting you too.

The bottom line is you feel out of control, not able to do, or be, what you want in a life situation you never saw as perfect for you or ever wanted or asked for.

For you to be happy again a change is needed, and so your focus and the meanings you are giving that focus has to be different for you to be OK.

Lisa I am going to contact you direct, I can tell you what needs to change, but I will have to work with you to make that change happen.

If Lisa is happy to work with me, we will be back to share the results.

Sexual Advances Blocked By Her Values

Dear Stephen

A guy that I have known for awhile has made an advance to want to kiss me. I don’t know where I stand with him. We have a platonic friendship – no committed relationship. His past relationships have been shaky – non committal – he has never been married – 50 years old which makes me feel emotionally unsafe with him.

I am interested in a long term relationship and eventually want to marry. I consider kissing very erotic which could lead to becoming sexual which I do not want to do before I am married. I don’t want to compromise my faith in God. I also consider kissing to be a part of a committed, monogamous relationship.

How do I explain all of this to him without being demanding – and thinking that I’m needy for him to want a relationship with me? I want to tell him all of the above and also that he needs to look at himself as to why he has been in and out of relationships all of his life. He needs to do this for himself not for a relationship. I need help in explaining this to him in love and not seeming judgemental. Also, I want to tell him that the relationship that I want is that both partners have the same beliefs and values.

Thank you.


Thank you for your request for help.

I would firstly like to honour and respect your strong sense of yourself displayed through your beliefs, needs and your values.

You have set these up so well, that they will not allow you to compromises your long-term wishes for yourself and a happy future. This strength within you will allow you to be at one with yourself and all your life choices so this is a brilliant start.

You are also aware that through your feelings of wanting the best for you, you don’t want to be judgemental of him because you are probably aware that you may not understand fully, why he has behaved the way he has through his past relationships.

None of us are qualified to be anyone’s judge, so what we are left with is some questions, that for you, clearly need to be answered before you could ever be happy with this man.

The first question is what has generated a life without commitment for him? Is there a weakness in his values, or has is he also been living by his values, but they are just different to yours? Maybe he has never met someone right for him and he has been true to himself, or maybe he also lives in fear of being hurt, just like you.

Many, many possibilities and this is why a judgement of him is not possible or fair. However you are right to be concerned, because you see he has lived a life which is not like the one you want, and you know that to be happy you would have to share the same vision and values.

You also mention that you don’t want to be demanding. You’re never demanding if all you do is set a boundary of what you will accept. A boundary is a solid and inactive place that protects you, the word demanding is only relevant when someone who is aware of your boundary selfishly takes action and steps over it, again and again. Was he aware of your boundary?

You are in a position of strength here through your beliefs and values so you will never be hurt if you live by them as you are.

An honest conversation with this man outlining your critical needs, will help him understand what he has to do if he wishes to have a relationship with you, this is simply you being “honest” and I know you value that.

As you know he is not qualified to judge you so no matter what his opinion of you after your conversation this could never be respected or trusted.

I have one question for you? He has shown sexual attraction, but does that mean he wants more? Be sure you understand his intention behind his advance, because you maybe rejected through confusion of meaning, is this where your fear sits with him?

Your other option is to wait to see if he makes another advance towards you, if he does then that’s your chance to let him know what is important to you and if he is serious about you what you would like to happen so you can be safe.

If he is an honest, respectful man and he really wants you he will do anything to help you to feel secure with him by giving you what you really need.

Please let us know how you get on.

Stephen Hedger

Pregnant Ex Causes Havoc

Dear Stephen

I am in a relationship with a wonderful man.

We both are in our early 40′s. We met through mutual friends at a wedding and have now been together for about 10 months now and have discussed on numerous occasions about moving forward with our future (marriage).

But during these months I was hit with some news that his ex was pregnant for him. They had broken up months before he and I got together but kept getting back together. He explained that about 1 month before we got together they were together. He said that he kept going back to her or allowing her into his life because she was what was familiar.

He then met me and called it quits with her and told her that he wants to develop a relationship with me and wanted to make it work because what they were doing was not good for him or her. And that they should move on with their lives and stop hurting each other.

The ex didn’t take this lightly and has been a nuisance. During this new year she told him that she was pregnant and that the baby is his. The baby has since been born and they are about to take a DNA test because he wants to make sure the baby is his.

She has put a lot of pressure on our relationship. She is constantly confessing her love to him and he has told her that he is not in love with her but will do the right thing by her by taking care of the child, if the baby is his.

My head is in a tailspin with everything going on around me. He has on many occasions reassure me that he wants to be with me, but sometimes I allow my emotions to take total control and say and react in ways I know I shouldn’t, especially since he tries so hard to communicate what is going on.

We are now at a distance in our relationship by allowing this situation to get in the middle of us. We know for a fact that we still have and feel love for each other, but how do we get pass this? How do I deal with this? Because if we do get married how do we deal with this person who vows to make our lives a living hell?


Dear Anonymous

Thank you for you letter to me. This is an unfortunate situation for everyone concerned and it’s so easy to see why you are feeling uncertain about your future.

The DNA test is a great idea and this will help everyone involved to understand what the facts are and that will help you all moving forward.

So if this child is his, then what?

Your first sentence states that you are in a relationship with a wonderful man and regardless of his history with this ex, for you it’s clear, that he is a wonderful man.

He is clearly acting like a strong man for you by doing his best to help you understand that you are the only woman for him he loves only you and the past is the past, you are the one he wants and he will look after you forever.

But all you can see is problems as this threat in the form of his ex sits like a cloud over your new relationship destroying the future you imagined.

I also see that you have said things that you regret due to your emotional state of fear, but you can now see that your behaviour and the stress of the situation is driving a wedge between you both.

Your relationship will always face challenges

As your relationship progresses through the years you will be faced with many challenges, the key to a successful life together is to meet every challenge together as a unified front.

That means you trust each other 100% to always look after each other and together shield and protect your relationship from the outside world no matter what.

The truth about your feelings

I want you to know that it’s not this woman that is causing the problems although I can see that it’s very irritating. The real pain for you sits in the meaning you are giving what this woman is doing and the future this then creates that clearly does not match the future you had designed.

So your pain is being created inside of you, by you… The great news is this means you can control that pain and change it.

The fears your mind is creating and the meaning it is giving those situations are not facts and are therefore NOT true, yet you fear them if they are. If you believe these made-up fears you will create a bigger problem and this is what has started to happen, hence the distance.

Your wonderful man feels that no matter what he says to you, you are still unhappy, whilst he understands your pain, if this continues he will also be in massive pain with himself because his job is to make the world you live in safe and happy.

If he feels he is failing you he will start to see a future with you that is also painful for him and this is why the distance is starting to appear. If you want to change this help your man see that he can be successful at fixing this situation and you trust him to do it.

So my advice is trust this man with all your heart, and show him you trust him to be the man that is capable of  looking after you and the relationship. Once you have this unbreakable level of trust then together decide how you are going to manage this ex, the child if it is his, and your future with them in it.

Work with your wonderful man to create and design an amazing future, one that you can both be happy to live in, this process will remove your future of made-up problems and replace it with a vision of happiness, passion and joy.

Once this ex sees that to both of you she is insignificant, and whatever she does has no effect then she will go away.

Make a good decision today

Make a decision today that you will make your relationship the number one priority no matter, and do this together and every day

Take some quiet time together and make each other a promise, a vow if you like. A commitment to each other and the relationship. Look into each others eyes when you do this, because as he says his words to you, you will see his truth and he will see yours.

At that moment your heart will see the truth and this woman will be no more that an irritating fly that eventually goes away.

Please let us know how you get on.

Warmest regards

Stephen Hedger

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Broken Heart Seeks Reconciliation

Dear Stephen

My relationship of 9 years with my partner recently ended so we do not live together now. We have a 7 year old son. I am heartbroken and desperately miss her and day-to-day contact with my son. She will not talk about a reunion and keeps saying it is over.

What do I do?



Dear Des

Thank you for your email. When a relationship ends your whole world is affected not to mention the loss you will feel, so I am sorry for your loss and in particular your little boys loss of not having his father around everyday.

You don’t mention the reasons your partner left, but to be honest people’s reason, or the problems people face are never the real reason why people split up. The real reasons are much deeper than surface problems.

Why someone will leave a relationship

The only reason someone leaves a relationship is because their deeper needs are not being met by their partner and so when they consider a future with them it becomes a painful thought so they feel that they have no choice but to go.

This is why relationships end.

For your partner to consider even thinking about a reconciliation, you would need to prove to her that you understand what needs were missing for her in your relationship, and that you understood why she had no choice, but to leave.

Then she would need to be convinced that not only is your understanding real and honest, but that you can commit to meeting her critical needs for the rest of your lives together. Of course this does have to work both ways.

So the only way to help her change her mind about a relationship with you is to convince her that the future she has pictured with you is not going to be full of the pain she expects.

What she is looking for, will be a man that is an oak tree of security for her, that understands her and helps her to grow and be the woman she wants to be, in the life she wants to live.

Many men respond with “BUT I gave her everything”
…my response is always “yes you did, everything except for what she really needed.”

So Des your task is to put yourself in her shoes, and imagine what her life was like living with you and what reasons could she have for leaving.

What you are looking for is a conflict in what she values most. So we know that “security” will be one of her values/needs for any relationship. What could have made her feel insecure about being with you, what could have created a future that was not safe for her?

Uncover all her values/needs for having a successful relationship and discover what was missing in your time together for her.

Only when you get these answers will you have a chance with her to start a conversation that will mean something important to her and is not just about what you might want.

I will be contacting you direct Des because you’ll need to get this right for success to be possible for you all and especially your little boy.

Quick note to everyone…

If you don’t understanding your partners critical needs, this is a recipe for disaster in any relationship, because how can you consistently give your partner what they need if you don’t understand what it is they want.

Worse still is two people not understanding each others needs and not understanding their own, all this creates is a relationship full of fears that then creates constant conflicts and blame.

Should I Stay With Him?

Thank you for all your questions from – ASK Stephen Your Burning Relationship Question

The question for Stephen…

Hi Stephen,

Thanks so much for all the tips its really working for me in my relationship. But I have a question, I am in a relationship that is entering the 8th month, but my man hasn’t said anything that is committing. He has two kids and I have one, he says he wants to be careful before committing himself into any relationship. We talk everyday and I’ve visited him twice in Europe we haven’t done anything intimate(sex). Please, do you think this is a relationship I should hold on to because I really do not know what he is up too and living in deception is the last thing I want to get myself in right now. Awaiting your response.

Thanks so much Stephen.


Stephen’s Relationship Advice

Dear Olu

Great to hear from you and thank you for your question, I’m so pleased to be able to share my thoughts with you today.

Long distance relationships are tough and so I really do sympathise with you, because even in geographically close relationships, fears and insecurities can creep in grab us and get out of control.

So lets look at what has happened and what it could mean…

He says he wants to be careful because he has two children, I’m sure you can agreed this is a good thing that he values the security of his children. Of course you could see this as a stalling tactic, but unless you have proof, why assume the worst as you‘ll only feel bad and probably for no reason.

You have spent time with him in Europe and not yet become intimate, again this is great because it’s a stronger indication that he respects your wishes and is looking for a lasting relationship and not a fling.

Plus you talk every day, so he is showing you a solid commitment to wanting to communicate and find out more about you, this is all great news. Clearly he wants to find out more about you, because he enjoys your company. No man would phone every day if he didn’t.

So far everything looks great… Except for how you feel.

There are two clear issues

  • 1. You have created a trust issue and attached it to this relationship, ask yourself why, and do you have real proof he is being deceptive? Feelings and assumptions do not count as proof.
  • 2. The other issue is about the speed in which this relationship is moving at.

My question to you is this. What commitment are you after from him, and does he know specifically what you want? In other words have you told him what your relationship goal is. I.E. marriage, living together, in which country if it were to happen…etc…etc…?

You are not asking him to give you that commitment today, or even in the next 6 months all you want to know is if a relationship was right for him does he want the same future as you, whatever that is?

What this creates is two specific points, where you are today, and where you both want to be, which hopefully is the same place. If not then you need to talk.

If you both have the same goal for the future, but just need to get to know each other better then this is great.

How to accelerate the commitment

What you now need to focus on is to helping him feel great about himself and attach those great feelings to you. Help him to know that he is significant in your life because when you are with him and think about him  you feel secure and happy. When he feels responsible for your happiness the chances of him feeling great are really high.

The quicker he starts to create a future that is better with you in it, the faster he will want to commit.

Be open with him about the intimate side of the relationship, be sure he knows you are looking forward to it, so he understands there is not a hidden reason why you don’t want him this way. Be sure he knows that you also just want to be careful and sure about him like he does with you.

What you both then need to focus on is building a bridge each day towards what you really want. When this happens then you will see the steps of growth happening on both sides. When you see this you’ll feel more secure with him that you are a team / couple.

Avoid creating fears based on assumptions

Be careful of your own fears Olu, because they can and will worry him. If he senses that he is not making you happy he will feel he has failed and this does not build a great future in his mind and may help him feel he will never be enough for you.

Should you stay in this relationship? Unless you can‘t bear long distance relationships, I don‘t think you have enough information to decide at this stage, which is why you feel stuck.

You need to understand the direction you are heading and if you share the same one, it’s really that simple. After all it is eight months and you would like to know, be sure he knows you are not after a commitment today just a shared direction to put your mind at ease!

If your questions scare him away then there is your answer, somehow I don’t think that will happen here.

Please let us know how you get on Olu…

If you have a question, or would like to share your thoughts for Olu please leave your comments below.

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