I have had an up-and-down relationship with my boyfriend for nearly two years. About a year into our relationship (which at that point, had been mostly long distance), he confided in me that he had been abused by a peer when he was 13. Our dating relationship turned into friends for a while, and then back to dating, and then back to friends again. We joke that we've broken up more times than we've actually dated!
This past year we were living relatively close to each other (at least compared to the oceans apart that we had been last year). We spent a good amount of time together, and even traveled to Turkey for a vacation together. Most recently, at the beginning of April, over the phone, he broke up with me. I was devastated and shocked because we had been talking about me staying in his country for another year while he finished up school.
I went home for a bit (to the States), and then re-joined him in Israel. Over the time that I was gone, he went through a lot. He says that at first he was lying to himself that the problem was me, and that he would be fine if he dated someone else. Then he began to realize that everything I had been saying was true (the issue was the abuse, he needed to go to therapy, etc.).
I'm writing this from the airport because I have to head back to the States for at least the summer. He and i had some really great conversations this past week before I left. He knows, now, that the abuse really is the issue and that we have something special. He has said that if it weren't for the abuse, he thinks we'd be married by now. He also says that the reason he wants to go to therapy is that he "wants to want to marry me". I think that means that he knows I'm the one, but doesn't feel things for me that he thinks married people should feel (deep emotions, sexual desire).
We're both really optimistic about where we are and where therapy can lead him. Although he is also nervous that therapy won't help.
I feel good about where we are, both because it felts good to hear the things that he said, but also because i believe more in action than words and he has made the appointment with the therapist (its in two weeks).
I'm writing because I'm not sure what to expect. We're going to be apart, at least for the summer, if not much longer. I am feeling optimistic, but trying to be cautious about that because we've had so many ups and downs. This is definitely the first time he has been so expressive about his feelings for me - in the past, I've mostly had to read into his actions to understand his thoughts.
Am I fool to stick this out for more? Or is there really a chance of recovery? Has anyone been in a similar situation and had success? We haven't made plans to see each other again, because at $1000 a plane ticket, he wants to see some progress with therapy before committing to a specific date. (and I mostly understand that, because he can't know what he will feel when).
I do feel like he is my soulmate and I want to be with him. But I also want to not be taken for a fool, and continue to stick it out if it is never going to work. I'm more than willing to work hard at it, but I guess I'm looking for some sort of guarantee that probably doesn't exist....
advice? thoughts? experience?