How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC Your Own ...

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5402
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How to handle a relationship with someone that has issues.

Resolved Question:

Making myself sick over someone. I'm a 51 year old widow. My boyfriend of 14 months at the age 46 has never been marriged and has commitment issues due to a very bad relationship in the past. He said he loved me 2 months into the relationship and I have not heard or felt that since. He says he wants to feel more for me and is having a hard time dealing with past issues. After several times of being intimate, he says, he is very religous and wants to wait until he feels secure and does not want to hurt me. So, now I feel more of a friend than a girl friend. When I try to pull back, he seem very hurt. He wants time so he can fix himself, but I don't know exactly what that means. It's making me a nervous rack. I miss the closeness we had in the begin. How do I deal with this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

 

It sounds like he may have commitment issues. But he is giving you very confusing signals. On one hand, he is telling you he loves you and he is intimate with you, then on the other hand he is saying he needs time and he withdrawals. This makes it hard for you to know what to expect and how to act.

 

You tried withdrawaling in response to how he is acting, but then he acts hurt. That is confusing. So what are you supposed to do?

 

One thing that stands out about your boyfriend's behavior is the control he has over what happens. He is taking away any say so you have in how the relationship works. When you are with him, he wants time to fix himself. When you pull away, he gets upset. There is no room for you to get your needs met. The relationship ends up being all about him.

 

When he says he is fixing himself, what actions has he taken? Have you seen him make an effort to go to therapy, try self help or talk to anyone about how he feels? Commitment issues are not easy to fix so it does take work. It would be almost impossible just to do on your own. Most people cannot fix their own issues without some kind of input from someone else, friends, family or a therapist.

 

If he is not working on this issue, then finding out why is important. You want to see if he is serious about resolving the commitment issues or just using this as an excuse to control the relationship.

 

You may want to ask him if he will seek therapy with you. That will tell you if he is willing to work on this problem for the benefit of your relationship. There is low cost therapy available through your church (if you attend) or the local community mental health center. You can also try the United Way for resources in your area.

 

Decide what you want out of the relationship and stand your ground. If you feel that both of you need space while he works on his commitment problem, then take it. Ignore the hurt he expresses. He cannot have it both ways and you have a right to have input in the relationship. If he starts to escalate in his behavior when you stand your ground, consider that he may be trying to manipulate you. Emotional abuse in a relationship often starts this way. Here is a resources to help you:

 

http://www.counselingcenter.illinois.edu/?page_id=168

 

He may not have all the signs, but even if this is just about manipulation, that is enough to be concerned. In that case, you may want to leave the relationship or at least separate until he can resolve his issues.

 

I hope this helps,

Kate

 

 

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5402
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
 
 
 

Related Mental Health Questions