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Brad The Therapist
Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience:  10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
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inability to settle

Resolved Question:

I spent 5 years active duty and 3 years in the reserves while attending school. During my active duty days I was never home for more than a couple months at a time. Always on the go never steady or too settled in one place. I never even lived in the same house for more than 6 months the entire time. I had to have a very large friend base because I never knew who would be deployed and who wouldnt, so I was always searching for that next close friend. This also seems to be a pattern with me and women, I would start dating and would be gone months at a time with brief periods at home. This destroyed most every relationship I was in. Now Im in college and began dating someone almost immediatly after I got here. yet my brain never really has been able to shut off looking, always being on the look out for the next girl to date because things were always destroyed by me being constantly on the go. now two years later my inabliblity to settle has all but destroyed that relationship, and Im trying to figure out why im the way i am and how to fix it. and also how to explain it to her.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Brad The Therapist replied 1 year ago.

Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your question. Before providing some suggestions, I have a few questions for you. What is your relationship to your parents like? the reason why I ask is because is because human relate to others in patterns (which you have already identified). When we have unresolved issues in relationships (be it with parents or any other important relationship) humans have a tendency to resolve these issues through other relationships.

Brad The Therapist :

I'm not sure if I make sense through what I wrote, but please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer:

my relationship with my parents has always been great. they are still married. my father is a pastor.

Brad The Therapist :

Thank you for your response. Few more questions for you. Have you had any other relationships in the past that you feel that has been unresolved? What type of thoughts do you have when you feel you need to be on the look out for anther relationship when you are in a relationship

Customer:

I had one relationship in the past that was unresolved and it was while i was in the service. the thoughts just seem to be im comfortable with my relationship but im always on the lookout for someone else because im always expecting this one to end. because thats just what im used to. having to emotional seperate your self during deployments and always plan for the worst.

Brad The Therapist :

how was your time during deployment? Have you had experiences (during your deployment) where you had to ?emotionally separate yourself

Customer:

of course...everytime I had to emotionally seperate myself. A lot of ppl relied on my to do my job correctly, so part of it was not dwellng on your loved ones at home. secondly I had many friends over there get cheated on, their possesions sold by their spouse etc etc. im just so used to seeing bad things come from them and i know im not in that world anymore but it seems like I just cant turn that part of my experience off.

Brad The Therapist :

All these experience and then some has affected you on how you see relationships. You mentioned why you do what you do, but it seems as though you have answered your question. I believe the next step for you is how to change these behaviors. Is that correct?

Customer:

yes

Brad The Therapist :

The thing is, thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are all interrelated. When you have thoughts of looking for another relationship, the behavior leads to you looking, and you feel bad...

Brad The Therapist :

To change this pattern, you will need to either change the thought, feeling, or behavior....of the three, thoughts are the easiest to change

Customer:

right.

Customer:

what if it also stems from the unresolved relationship in my past. because sometimes i feel that is part of the issue

Brad The Therapist :

So when you are in a relationship and you have thoughts of wanting to look for another person, I suggest for you to challenge the thought... ask yourself "What does this thought mean and why is it bad?"

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, it can be...you may be trying to resolve your past relationship by going through the same motions in your new relationship

Brad The Therapist :

When you challenge your thoughts and ask these questions to yourself, you are uncovering your negative core beliefs

Brad The Therapist :

on you uncover these negative core beliefs around your relationships, you can further refute these beliefs

Brad The Therapist :

which changes your feelings and behaviors

Customer:

and the thoughts feelings and actions i definatly agree are all interrelated. mine seemed to stop at feelings. I had the thoughts. moved to the feelings but once I was interacting with someone mosty via the internet since thats how I had to interact deployed. Then I stop it before the action. it seems like simply knowing i have "other options" if you will makes me feel safe. because im constantly on the look out for the current one to end. which in turn....me being on the constant defense and me constantly looking...is what cause it to end....

Brad The Therapist :

that is correct...based on your responses, you are very insightful of your thoughts...that is why you stop short on the feelings.

Customer:

lol ive pondered whats going on inside that noggin of mine for days good sir lol.......and it even takes a spin into the realm of sex. I think anyway that ive almost developed the ability to seperate emotions from sex. I think it stems directly again from the fact that I was always dating never home much. when deployed pornography took over as a sexual release. and always being on the look out for things to end, i build a defense mechinism in which i can unattach the emotion from sex if i choose to. which has lead to situations of girls I wasnt dating but had sex with as friends. and mainly it worked very well because we were open and honest about it. Again, its screwing up my ability to have a normal relationship I think.

Customer:

because apparently that defense mechanism is not as subtle as i though it was

Brad The Therapist :

Is there anyone in your life right now that you want an intimate relationship with?

Customer:

id say the woman i was in this last relationship with for two years. or the unresolved relationship. have been the only two relationships in the past 5 to 6 years where i was able to truely be intimate. so i feel a closeness for either of them.

Customer:

again see there i go with the one or the other. becuase im scared the one i choose wont work out

Brad The Therapist :

what is the worst thing that can happen if the one you chose did not work out?

Customer:

i become even more scared of relationships, and marriage, and trust issues become worse.

Brad The Therapist :

if you find someone attractive, what would you do?

Customer:

in what context?

Brad The Therapist :

are you currently in a romantic relationship right now?

Customer:

no, the woman that i have referred to as the relationship that ended because of all this is here with me at school. we are not currently dating. we have tried to remain friends which usually works pretty well. and in some of our talks she still has feelings for me and i her but in seeing how ive acted over this last two years is not sure she could make it work again. which is pretty much what made me sit down and start sorting out whats wrong with me. because she was an absolutly amazing woman. and she will definatly be the one that "got away"?

Brad The Therapist :

I see, what would happen if you try t explain to her what you were going through, in terms of having difficulty with needing to protect yourself emotionally because of your deployments?

Customer:

um ive definatly been trying to and ive told her the things im telling you. she can understand but still until your put in that kinda situation its a very hard concept to really grasp. She does seem to be pretty understanding of it though, its more of the too little too late concept where the trust is already broken, and although i may be able to provide and reason or incite as to why my actions were such, that does not excuse those actions or make it easy for her to just forget those actions. nor should it. fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me kinda deal

Brad The Therapist :

You have tried to verbally to for her to have trust in you. If you want to take your relationship to the next level, you will have to show her how she can trust you. This will take time and a lot of effort.

Customer:

effort im not short on...time might be a different issue. lol

Brad The Therapist :

If you are thinking this is a lost cause, then you will be experiencing grief and loss which will be uncomfortable for you, to say the least

Brad The Therapist :

you may be right on that

Customer:

oh yes ive had my share of discomfort over it. well time being an issue casue ill graduate in dec and possibly be in AZ for a job then over to afghanhistan for this job lol. but im just as much concerned with wanting to resovle this issue for future relationships as i am to possibly save this one

Brad The Therapist :

Please continue to have frank conversations with her regarding your thoughts and feelings. If it does not work out in this relationship, I would rest assure that you may not experience the same thing during your next relationship as you will be starting from a "blank slate." Now that you are aware of your thoughts, you will be stopping yourself from the behaviors

Customer:

well thats good news lol

Customer:

i guess i just struggle with finding ways to put it in words for her.

Brad The Therapist :

Yes, being aware of your thoughts will lead you from stopping the negative behaviors

Brad The Therapist :

I can see that...

Brad The Therapist :

Any other questions? Did you find me helpful?

Customer:

no thats all i can think of for now. and yes very helpful

Brad The Therapist :

great! I wish you all the best!

Customer:

thank you very much

Brad The Therapist, LCPC
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 549
Experience: 10 years of experience in working with youth and adults
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