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 Elliott, LPCC, NCC Your Own Question
Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 7664
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
40019946
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Elliott, LPCC, NCC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am 44 year old woman, unmarried, no children. Dating a man

This answer was rated:

I am 44 year old woman, unmarried, no children. Dating a man for about 1 year who is also in 40s, divorced, 2 young children. We are not living together. We have had a very difficult relationship for about 9 months. It began after he started being, what I term, "verbally abusive". What I mean is that if I would bring up a problem in our relationship or make requests (ex: more time together, more listening to each other, more emotional intimacy), he would accuse me of attacking and would say mean things like ("there's something wrong with you", "I don't care about you", "You are over reacting" "You are crazy", etc etc for anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour, while I am crying. Often he will leave or hang up on me during these times. He has even said we are broken up about 4-5 times during the past year.

This happens about 1-2 times a month. I withdraw for a few days and try to recover and even consider breaking up, but never break up. He then comes back to say sorry, or sometimes just to initiate the relationship again without a sorry.

I admit I have been considering dating others and have become quite depressed, even despondent and unable to keep up with my daily work life and self care very well. Recently I have gone to a counselor a few times and decided not to continue due to cost. I have read 2 books about relationships in the last few months trying to improve this situation. I joined a support group that meets once a month and am trying to get out and meet others in order to help my emotional state.

Here is the part where I want your assistance please -
Last night, I went with a friend to give her moral support as she went to a "Speed Dating" event, where she will meet about 20 men and have about 5 minute conversations with each man. I was going to watch from the side and wait for her. Instead, at the last minute, I joined in and met the men as well. I did not meet anyone I wanted more with. But now I feel very guilty. I would want him to tell me if he had done something like this and I would not be happy with him doing this to me.

Should I tell him? I am seeing him tonight.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Seeking expert counseling is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Dear friend,

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe that I can help you.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You do have a very volatile relationship with a difficult man who seems to enjoy hurting you to the point of bringing you to tears.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He may be a narcissist because of the way he seems to enjoy dominating you and by his lack of empathy for your pain.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

His apologies seem nominal and not heartfelt.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What would have happened if you had met a lovely man while at the speed-dating event and you were mutually interested in each other? You would have exchanged numbers for starters, and then you would not feel guilt, but rather might look for an opening to start to date this other man.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That would be the natural and preferable thing to do.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It sounds as if your current relationship is not going to improve or change for the better.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you tell him that you went to the speed-dating event then you will never hear the end of it. It does not take much to incite this man. This would be dumping a lot of fuel on the fire and I am afraid it would be worse for you.

Customer:

Yes, you are correct about what you are saying that if I met another man at this event, then I would have wanted to begin a dating experience with him.

Customer:

So you are saying that it is not a good idea to tell him?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

At least you are trying. If you were satisfied with your current relationship, you never would have gone to the event or tried.

Customer:

Did I do something wrong?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you want a battle with him then tell him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Is wanting a better life wrong?

Customer:

True.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It is not really his concern.

Customer:

Is it lying to not tell him?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You are trying to find your way.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Do you tell him that he is overbearing and tiresome?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Is that lying if you don't tell him?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Or is it just trying to live peacefully.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He does not own you, although he seems to act as if he does.

Customer:

I am surprised to hear this.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

To hear what?

Customer:

I thought I did something terribly wrong by going to the speed dating event when he and I are not really "broken up"

Customer:

I almost felt like I was a "cheater"

Customer:

To hear that maybe I should not tell him. That is surprising

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That a man who browbeats his friend and brings her to tears is not dominating and oppressive?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You know exactly what will happen if you tell him.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You will pay and pay and pay, don't you think?

Customer:

I thought I was going to tell him, so I asked him if we could talk tonight. He knows I have something on my mind. Should I now tell him or no?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Think forward.

Customer:

Tell me more what that means please?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You could tell him that you are tired of being brought to a tearful state by his overbearing behavior.

Customer:

I like that.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Thinking forward means that if you tell him he will treat you as if you are a cheater or worse and you will NEVER live it down.

Customer:

Please though, I am really not looking for an answer that will make me feel better. I really am looking for an answer that will give me the most chances at feeling healthy emotionally and preserve any possibility of intimacy growing here.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Maybe you SHOULD, but not apologetically. I think that you would be better off not to. He will just make you suffer and you know that is true.

Customer:

ok.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Intimacy will grow when you find someone who is capable of treating you with kindness.]

Customer:

Yes, I know this is true.

Customer:

thank you for the advice

Customer:

What does it say about me that I feel so guilty about this?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have to look elsewhere. Your first speed-dating experience was your first step.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

It says that you would not like it done to you. However, you do not push him away and treat him with disrespect.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

If you treated him this way, then he would want to find something better that didn't hurt him to the core all of the time.

Customer:

Yes, I feel this. I would not like this done to me. That is the source of my guilty feeling. Will this feeling go away? Or how do I deal with that?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He doesn't deserve to be treated as your master. He has not earned your respect.

Customer:

wow, I hope you are not saying all this just to make me feel better. I hope it is really from your professional judgment. Because I really like it and I want to start acting this way that you describe.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You have your own life to sort out. You are still a young woman and have your life ahead of me.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I am speaking as a professional, and from the heart as well.

Customer:

If he starts acting better to me, should I then tell him this little secret in the future?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

I believe and KNOW that you deserve much better and I hope that you find your courage. I

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

believe that you will.

Customer:

Before we end, how do you suggest that I deal with the guilt feelings?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You will always be held accountable for this. Now or in future.

Customer:

In my mind? By myself? Or him? What do you mean?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You didn't do anything against him. You did the right thing.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

By him. You didn't do anything harmful to anyone.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

He harms you emotionally, constantly.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

You deserve so much better. You know that in your heart of hearts.

Customer:

How can I quell the guilt feelings, or should I?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

What did you do wrong that you have to feel guilty about? He PROMOTES that guilty feeling in you. You always do something wrong and you always have to pay. He has trained you, more or less, to feel guilty.

Customer:

ok.

Customer:

thank you.

Customer:

is there something I can do or say to help myself feel less guilty?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me think for a minute (although I congratulate you for doing what you did).

Customer:

ok

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Let me offer you a couple of books. The first you have to order as a book. The second you can get as a Kindle book and can be reading in five minutes.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

This is a big subject for you.

Customer:

ok.....looks good

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


and (this is the Kindle book)

Customer:

ok. I will look at these books. are you saying this is a big subject for me, in my specific person?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


You have no reason to regret what you did. It was a very positive step.

Customer:

Ok. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Yes, because he always makes you feel guilty and you call for it.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

That is the way of the narcissist.

Customer:

wow. should I look into information about narcissists too?

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

and if you want to explore that here is my favorite:

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :



I wish you great success and shall keep you in my prayers.

Customer:

thank you. very much. good bye.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :


Have a wonderful future. :)

Customer:

thank you again.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC :

Your are so very welcome.

Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you