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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience:  Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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I need help with a breakup and coming to grips with my part

Resolved Question:

I need help with a breakup and coming to grips with my part in the sudden loss of my relationship. I met my boyfriend online about a year ago. I lied in my profile about my age by shaving off 5 years. I am 56. My boyfriend thought I was 51. I found that I couldn't bring myself to tell him the truth, even though I had several chances to. We recently took a trip to Vegas & he discovered my age while making an online reservation. He seemed to joke about it, so I didn't think we needed to talk about it seriously. He had been kidding about proposing to me (I don't really think that's a joking matter) for a few weeks leading up to and in the airport following the revelation about my age. Once we returned home, we spoke a few times by phone, and he seemed to be in a rage about lots of pressures & problems. He is the sole caregiver for his 84 yr old mom, who is in assisted living. He talked to me about having a lot on his plate once we returned, but never said anything about the age lie. Anyway, we spoke by phone several times after the trip, the last of which was Friday afternoon the week after we returned, and I've heard not a word from him since. It's been nearly 3 weeks, and I'm broken hearted. I don't' know what this is about, exactly. A few days after his last call, I sent an email with an audio message attached apologizing for being untruthful, and asked him to just let me know if he was ok. Still nothing. A few more days later, I tried to reach him at home. He didn't answer. Can't leave a voicemail on that phone. How do I handle this to forgive myself and come to grips with the loss?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Coach Jen K. replied 2 years ago.

CoachJenK :

Hi. Welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

CoachJenK :

I am so sorry to hear of your pain. I know how terrible you feel about lying about your age on your profile. It is not uncommon by the way. Sure it would have been better to tell him up front, but you didn't so we live with that decision.

CoachJenK :

we dont know if his disappearance has anything to do with the lie about your age...I know you are assuming it does, but it is also possible that he is just overwhelmed by the pressures he is under.

CoachJenK :

You have reached out to him to express your sorry and give your apology and he has not reached back out. The best thing to do right now is to give him some space to deal with whatever is going on and hope that he comes back to you.

CoachJenK :

In terms of how to deal with it and forgive yourself....you just must. I know you feel like you did a terrible thing but it is so very common on dating sites and clearly you were worried if he knew your age he wouldn't go out with you.

CoachJenK :

Forgiveness of the self is hard, but you can get there.

Customer:

I am hoping that he does. I should tell you more about him. He suffers from anxiety attacks that wake him up from his sleep and he can't breathe. He was also suicidal a few years ago from the strain of his Mom. He also has cut off his sister and niece & nephew because of a battle over his mom that involved Adult Protective Services. His profile stated that he was mentally and emotionally stable. Not exactly true either. I didn't reject him because of it, but I'm much more forgiving.

CoachJenK :

yes and we all present ourselves in the best light on a profile...you are not alone so I am hoping you can ease up on yourself. Telling me all that you have about his history suggests to me that his cut off from you is not dissimilar to what he has done to his sister and niece and this may be how he handles stressful things.

CoachJenK :

not the best way and certainly not the best way for you. So what to do? Give some time and space and focus on you and your healing and forgiving....and maybe in time when he gets some strength back emotionally he can see what he is throwing away with you.

Customer:

Thanks. I guess I just don't see how one's age changes what you've discovered and liked about a person for a year. And what's with the joking about proposing to me. I never understood what that meant either. Was he testing the water or simply playing around?

CoachJenK :

I agree with you about the age thing...it is totally irrelevant and that is why i think his disappearance is related to something deeper.

CoachJenK :

was he playing around? not so sure...he may have been feeling you out.

CoachJenK :

but he seems quite sensitive to things and reactive so if your response on anything isnt exactly how he believes it should be, he retreats.

Customer:

Yes. You're right. I found myself being very careful with my responses to him. His profile says he's soft hearted. That much was very true. He told me about a couple of past relationships, and I believe he has reestablished contact with both women. One is his realtor, so I know he can reconnect if he chooses to. I don't know how he did it, of if they reached out to him, but he won't budge on his family. He also told me about horrific physical abuse from his alcoholic father and not being protected or well parented by his mother. His number one complaint about his mom & his sister is that they lie about everything. That's why I'm worried that he may never forgive me. I believe lying is one of his sensitive spots. On the other hand, with both past relationships, there was lying--much more serious-- involved cheating, and he is in contact with at least one of them again. I just wish I knew if he misses me.

CoachJenK :

I think he misses you but he has a very tough history and is very sensitive and clearly when he is injured he retreats...that was self protective as a child, but doesnt serve him now.

CoachJenK :

i might write him a handwritten letter and mail it to him....reminding him of how you love and care for him and are so very sorry if you hurt him deeply. Certainly that was not your intention but more from an insecure place about being in an online dating situation and thinking someone might not respond if you put your true age.

CoachJenK :

again remind him of what you have shared and what you love about him and let him know you respect his space but are hoping and praying you can reconnect.

Customer:

Whew. That really feels like putting myself out there to be rejected again, and I'm afraid to do it. My audio voice mail, that I sent on the 4th of July said a lot of that. I sent it so that he could listen to it whenever he wanted. We had never told each other that we loved the other. Weird, huh? Joking about proposing, but never professing our love. Anyway, we'd just say that we missed each other. He lives 4 hours away on a ranch with just his dog for company. He has to drive 2 hours just to reach the nearest town. I live in san Francisco.

CoachJenK :

Okay well if you feel that it is too scary to put yourself out there then be true to your feelings.

CoachJenK :

and yes if he is joking about proposing but hasn't said I love you...seems a bit in-congruent.

CoachJenK :

so what we are left with then is you healing from this and forgiving yourself. I am not a fan of dishonesty but the age thing on a profile is so common and can certainly be understood why it happens. And you have taken responsibility for it when you have apologized and sent him the note and audio. More than that you cannot do.

CoachJenK :

The rest is up to him.

CoachJenK :

If his limitations are such that he cannot reach back out, i would prefer you know this about him now rather than a longer relationship or marriage...even though it is very painful now.

Customer:

I just don't know him well enough to know what to do. I do know that breakups don't leave him for a while. One of his anxiety attach episodes came from remembering a lie and a breakup from a girlfriend. He told he all about it. A 2 hour late night conversation about how he just wanted to believe her and he was planning on marrying her. I was puzzled, because the relationship story sounded kinda unpleasant. Anyway, you

Customer:

're right, I probably can't do much more that wait. I was just looking for some relief from this pain

CoachJenK :

I know and I think some relief will come if you can forgive yourself. Can you work toward that? We all do things every day that we need to give that forgiveness to ourselves. Relief will come when you un burden yourself from it.

CoachJenK :

Take a look at this on forgiveness. http://www.thepowerofforgiveness.com/pdf/Forgiving_oneself.pdf

CoachJenK :

Here is a wonderful self hypnosis download on forgiveness. even if that forgiveness is for yourself. http://www.stevegjones.com/forgivethatpersonhypnosiscdmp3.htm

Customer:

Thanks. I am trying. Sometimes I feel better about it. Other times, I just hate that things ended so abruptly. I think his reaction is over the top and kinda immature. I also think that we all do things from time to time that require forgiveness. I really don't think we have much of a chance it this would send him off the deep end. I'm quite imperfect, as is he, and I would never hold him to such an unreasonable standard. When we made our reservations for the trip, it turned out that his birthdate on his driver's license is also incorrect. He told me about it then, I guess that would have been the perfect time for me to come clean, but I didn't. I'll keep working on forgiving myself, but I miss his voice & his presence terribly. That's all

CoachJenK :

I truly understand all of it and I am glad you have insight into his behavior as well.

CoachJenK :

We all need to make less out of small things but he hasnt been able to. It is sad not to hear his voice for sure.

CoachJenK :

We are all human.

CoachJenK :

we all want to be loved

CoachJenK :

and we all do things at times that we wish we didn't...big deal!

Customer:

Well, I'll take a look at the download and will read over your comments again. Thanks for listening. What I'm getting from you is that this isn't the worst thing that one can do in a relationship and that I've done at least a part of one can do to repair the damage. Maybe after more time passes, I will try writing the letter. If I can get the courage. Thanks for your help.

CoachJenK :

That sums it up perfectly...but you forgot one thing....

CoachJenK :

FORGIVE yourself.

CoachJenK :

Please take a moment to click on the ratings tab. My goal is EXCELLENT and I hope I have given you that and your rating will reflect that.

Customer:

right. I'm working on it and I'll keep going.

CoachJenK :

come to me anytime.

CoachJenK :

once you complete the rating you will get a copy of our time together sent to you in an email.

Customer:

ok. thanks. bye.

CoachJenK :

it has been a pleasure.

Customer:

one last thing. I took down my profile once he and I became an item. I don't really feel like trying it with anyone else. What do you think? Should I go back online, or should I wait till I'm better?

CoachJenK :

I would wait a bit. give yourself some time to heal and really feel okay. Then you can get back in the saddle and get ready for the next adventure.

Customer:

ok. sounds like the sensible thing to do. Thanks again.

CoachJenK :

hard to see someone wonderful if they are in front of you if you are grieving over someone else.

CoachJenK :

my pleasure.

Customer:

you're right.

CoachJenK :

love you first....

Customer:

will I get a transcript?

CoachJenK :

and this time say your age...if they are too shallow and dont respond because of it then they aren't worth your time.

CoachJenK :

yes when you complete the rating and again I always aim for excellent. you will get an email with this.

Customer:

I agree. Most guys cut you off at 50, which is why I lied in the first place. Then I got a few guys who said I was too young. That made me laugh. You just can't win. Anyway. No more of this lying about my age.

CoachJenK :

too young...that is funny...they must be geezers. :-)

Customer:

Just under 60. Just their taste I guess. My photo looks younger than 56. Actually, I look younger than the cowboy. He's younger, but looks older. Maybe that's another reason he's so upset.

CoachJenK :

lol. keep that fun spirit. there are plenty o cowboys!

Customer:

I hope so. I really loved this one.

CoachJenK :

I know.

Customer:

Where are you located?

CoachJenK :

Florida.

Customer:

Ok. I'll say goodbye. Thanks so much.

CoachJenK :

take great care and thank you in advance for a positive rating.

Customer:

you're welcome.

CoachJenK :

nite

Customer:

bye

Coach Jen K., LCSW, CPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1811
Experience: Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach
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Coach Jen K.
Coach Jen K.
Social Worker, Professional Coach
648 Satisfied Customers
Licensed Master Social Worker. Certified Life Coach