Ask Amy: Honeymoon ended before it began
What advice can you give me?
Dear Empathetic: It strikes me as extremely unreasonable to look at a man facing jail time and ask, “What happened to our honeymoon phase?”
That honeymoon ship has sailed.
Read your question and ask yourself: “What would I tell my best friend if she brought this messy relationship dilemma to me?”
As it is now, you play the relationship martyr, and he emotionally manipulates you. You should assume that the way he is behaving now is the way he always behaves.
Do not do the relationship work for him, and do not make excuses for him. That’s not empathy; that’s enabling.
Pay very close attention to what he does, versus what he says.
You don’t say what crime this man was convicted of, but the wisest and most empathetic course for you to take would be to maintain a non-romantic friendship, while understanding that you both have jobs to do. You need to work hard to fulfill your professional potential, and he needs to pay his debt to society and then – once he has done so — reintegrate into the world.
Whether you are standing by when he returns will be completely up to you.