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Ask Dr. L Your Own Question

Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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Can I ask here about having trouble letting go of someone?

Resolved Question:

Can I ask here about having trouble letting go of someone? I'm not sure if this is the right place.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr. L :

Yes...this is the right category on JustAnswer to ask that question.

Dr. L :

Can you tell me more about the situation? How long have you been together? What are the issues that have you wanting to end the relationship?

Dr. L :

Does the other person know you want to end the relationship?

Dr. L :

Thank you.

Customer:

Thank you very much for taking my question. I do not want to end the relationship. However, I would like to quit trying to bother/pursue her because that is her wish. We have been together for almost 4 years now.

Customer:

The situation:

Customer:

We met while I was still married; my marriage was lacking intimacy. However, I let my marriage end at my ex-wives convenience so it took almost 3 years. The reason I did this is because she is Japanese, in a foreign country, speaking a second language, with no family. I felt I needed to ensure she did not feel completely abandoned. This put pressure on my new relationship as I'm sure you can guess.

Customer:

Once the divorce was finalized, part of the agreement was to split the house until my wife (ex-wife now) finished school. She will finished in a couple of months. The fact that she is still living in the same house as me further degraded my new relationship.

Customer:

She has stopped wanting to see me and does not reply to my e-mails; she has asked me repeatedly to not bother her. I am started to feel like a horrible person. I called her twice today, she answered both times both was very cold to me. 1st called I asked if we should just try to be friends- she said "no". Second call I asked her to tell me the truth of what's going on- she said "no"; I asked if I don't deserve the truth ans she told me I "do not".

Customer:

This type of communication has been going on for a week now. We have been in an on-again off-again relationship for 2+ years now... because of the thigns I ahve described abouve and perhaps some other, smaller, issues.

Customer:

I know all of the typical answers:

Customer:

Focus on improving myself.

Customer:

Find a hobby

Customer:

Start dating other people.

Customer:

Stay away from her until she wants to see you.

Customer:

I have creating a profile on a dating site and chatted with a few- I may meet a couple of them in person. I bought an online book to try to help me understand the psychology of what's going on (it's called Relationship Rewind). I have tried to keep myself occupied. Most of these things work temporarily, but only for a very short time.

Customer:

I find that I have no motivation to do any of it- I'm sure you've heard it before- I am wallowing in self pity. and my feelings or too strong and uncontrollable.

Customer:

or = are.

Customer:

I actually do want to leave her alone, but I honestly do not have the mind power to stop myself from trying to be with her and it is really starting to bother her. Her happiness is what I want, so I would like to be able to stay away form her. Yes, of course what I really want is to be with her, but if she just doesn't want that then I have to be able to stay away from her.

Customer:

Another really ig problem is that we work together and near each other so I see her throughout the work day; that really sucks... it is very hard to focus when I keep getting reminded of her.

Customer:

Sorry- that's a lot of information; I did try to keep it short. I hope I have answer your questions.

Customer:

.... my emotions are all over the place; confident and secure in my ability to be ok one minute and totally crashing the next.

Customer:

I feel weak, powerless, stupid.... I'm starting to feel like a stalker.

Customer:

~sigh

Customer:

I honestly believe there is no answer, no fix .... I can logic out what I am doing wrong- I can easily see what would be more healthy..... but, for all the logic and understanding... and wishing I could do something different .... all of it is powerless against this other 'thing' that keeps making me try to be with her.

Customer:

Despite being on-again/off-again for so long (and yes I understand how unhealthy that is) I do believe this time is final. That is to say, I believe this time she will never accept me back.

Dr. L :

Good Morning,

Dr. L :

Thanks for all the additional information, it gives me a clearer picture of what has happened and is happening.

Dr. L :

As you already know, this is one difficult situation....made more complex by the fact that you work together. Untangling a relationship is one thing..but then you have this entire piece of how to clean up the work site.

Dr. L :

The roller coaster of feelings you are experiencing is about you grieving the ending of the relationship. You have heard what she is saying...NO...and it is a loud and clear message. And...it seems that you are compassionate enough to understand and accept her NO. But understanding her position and fully, totally accepting the NO is another matter. There is no way you can go from being in a relationship one day..and the next day have absolutely no feelings, no heartache, no pain about the ending of that relationship!! The price of love - in this case - includes feeling horrible when that love cannot be returned.

Dr. L :

On a cognitive level you understand why she wants the relationship to end. Logic would say that if she says NO and you say YES. No is going to win out. You don't want to be with someone who doesn't want to be with you. So - that's your head talking and you get that logic.

Dr. L :

But in matters of the heart...it's a different ballgame. We can't turn love off and on like a water faucet. It doesn't work that way.

Dr. L :

So...that's where you are right now...you love her..you want to be with her...but you can't have either of those things. Your heart hurts, your feelings are all over the place...that's grief.

Dr. L :

Yes...to all those things people have been telling you...get a hobby, date other women...etc...and Yes to saying...that's not helping because I'm in so much emotional pain.

Dr. L :

So...the best you can do right now is to realize that you are grieving. To be patient with yourself and all these mood changes. To honor and respect her desire to end the relationship. To find ways to release your feelings - exercise, talking to people who care about you, keeping busy at work or home, meditation - and to simply hang in there. If you are feeling depressed, consider seeing a therapist to talk out what is happening and gain some new coping skills to deal with your feelings.

Dr. L :

As far is work is considered, it likely would be good for the two of you to call a truce and to sit down and talk about how to build (or rebuild) a strictly professional relationship. As adults...you ought to be able to accomplish that. Unfortunately, in some instances like this one of the parties ends up finding new employment. I imagine that's not something either of you wants to do...so it would be best to sit down and come up with a workable plan on how each of you can maintain their jobs.

Dr. L :

I await your reply.

Customer:

I have nothing to add. I have my silent pleas and my constant pain. I wish it was a nightmare I would wake up from. I can't understand why she doesn't acknowledge how hard I've tried or what I've given up. I wish she could understand how much I would do/give- I can't express it to her and so she can't know- I feel that if she could see how much I care for and about her- she would never want to give it up / throw it away. I keep secretly wishing she will call me and ask me to come see her. I keep wishing she would somehow change her mind. I wish she would tell me what exactly I've done so that I can try to fix it. All typical stuff a guess for a heart broken person. However the intensity of which I feel these things is too overpowering. I can't even hardly breathe. Anything short of getting another chance is just going to be a constant pain for a very long time. I've been in a situation similar, but far less, than this previously in my life and it took me over 2 years to be myself again.

Customer:

I don't want to go through that again + more since this one is hurting even worse. Yet I have no choice. I even feel like I deserve it, if I knew that getting back to her at the end of this I would take it; for as long as it took. I could put up with anything if I knew, afterwards I could be with her. I can't give up and as long as I can't give up and I can't approach her...... OMG.

Customer:

I appreciate your words, I really do. Please take care.

Customer:

(well- I guess I did have stuff to add)- but nothing significant really. All the answers have been given that can be given really. Sometimes we're just stuck.

Dr. L :

Hello...

Dr. L :

I agree....sometimes we are just stuck. You can't make someone want to be with you. That never works. And...she has her reasons for why she wants to end the relationship...likely it is more about having lost patience with the situation and badly needing to get on with her life goals.

Dr. L :

It might be helpful if you did a bit of reading about grief so that you have some better ideas of why it hurts so much and what you can do to cope during this tumultuous time. A book I would like to suggest is Iron John.

Dr. L :

Here's an article:

Dr. L :

http://www.livestrong.com/article/128576-stages-grieving-after-relationship/

Dr. L :

I'm sorry you are feeling so much emotional turmoil.

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Psychologist, Marriage and Family Therapist
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