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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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Hello. My relationship has just gone south in a matter of weeks.

Resolved Question:

Hello. My relationship has just gone south in a matter of weeks. Do u want details?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 11 months ago.

Dr. Z :

Hello

Dr. Z :

I believe I can help you with your concern

Dr. Z :

I am so sorry to hear about these relationship issues you are having with your partner, I can understand how distressing this is for you

Dr. Z :

You mentioned that he wanted to keep this relationship "quiet," why did he want this?

Dr. Z :

Also may I ask for how long have you been in a relationship with this man for and has it always been a commuter relationship?

Customer: Because he doesn't trust people in Dubai he said
Customer: He doesn't want me to call friends and look for information
Customer: We have been dating since July
Customer: Yes always a commuter relationship until he finds a job
Dr. Z :

Well commuter relationships are very difficult for couples, so that definitely adds to this, but him not trusting people from Dubai is interesting. You think he would be flattered that you were talking about him in a positive way to your friends

Customer: He has been looking for work for over six months and is very distressed about it
Dr. Z :

Your question also stated that you may have more details, what other details would you like to add?

Dr. Z :

I am sorry to hear this, stress that can definitely have a negative impact on your relationship as well

Customer: He talks about future plans but lately he has cooled off
Customer: I just feel he is hiding something
Dr. Z :

Would you describe him as a very prideful man?

Customer: And has used this incident to walk out
Customer: He has a lot of pride and wants to have a job before he commits to me
Customer: He is a successful businessman but his industry has dried up since the gfc
Dr. Z :

Yeah that is what I thought, I think he may have been feeling ashamed and this caused him stress/anxiety and that is what led him to break-up with you, although he may not be even know that this was the reason as this shame can be subconscious

Customer: And he has very bad days because he can't find work
Dr. Z :

Yeah he may be feeling shame and that he is not worthy of being in a relationship with you, which I know you do not find to be true, but he may because of his pride

Customer: I feel that you are right about that
Dr. Z :

He may change his mind about this as he starts to miss you a lot

Customer: You don't think there may be another woman in the picture
Customer: Shall I contact him or give him time to process this
Customer: I have been very supportive of this with him
Dr. Z :

It is possible that there could be another woman, but from what you have described that does not seem to be the case. I would definitely give him time to process it and let him come to you if you choose. In about a week or two, you can write him a letter expressing your feelings for him and also how you want to support him through this.

Customer: I sent him an email today but I am not sure it was the right thing to do
Dr. Z :

That may have been too soon, but I am sure he will read and re-read it in time and that will start to hit him hard emotionally and it may be a driving force to help him come back to you

Customer: I just told him I was hurt and angry
Customer: But I feel that he wants it on his terms all the time
Customer: Ii feel that he was trying to control me by not letting me speak to people about us
Dr. Z :

Okay, well you can still send a letter or email in a 1-2 weeks being more positive of your feelings about him and how you will support and care for him no matter what, so when he wants to contact you, he can do so at anytime.

Customer: That's normally what I do
Dr. Z :

I think it does sound like control, but it also may be that he was ashamed that you may tell him that he does not have a job and that is something that he is very sensitive about it appears

Customer: He always tells me that I am very supportive of him
Customer: He doesn't need to work for money
Dr. Z :

That is good that he tells you that, but he may not necessarily believe it because of his pride

Customer: I didn't think of that
Customer: Valid point
Customer: He has very high expectations of himself
Customer: Because he has always done well in life
Customer: Except in his personal life
Dr. Z :

And those high expectations just cause more shame and stress when he does not meet them, which is unfortunate. And when he feels shameful or stressed he feels vulnerable, which he does not like and that causes him to push the people closest to him away

Customer: That's what he is doing. Pushing me away
Customer: Do you think can be resolved
Dr. Z :

Yes he definitely is pushing you away because he does not like being vulnerable and open with others. It can be resolved, but he must learn to open up with those closest to him and start to trust others, namely you more with his vulnerability and insecurities.

Customer: IWW have a wonderful time together up until one month ago
Dr. Z :

But with a commuter relationship that may be very difficult to achieve a successful resolution unfortunately

Customer: He had an awful upbringing which I think is impacting this situation
Dr. Z :

That definitely can cause these issues with pride, self-confidence, not being emotionally vulnerable with others, and high expectations for himself.

Customer: The distance is hard but we are no strangers to an exXXXXX XXXXXfe
Customer: We grew up as expats
Customer: But I agree they don't work for very long
Dr. Z :

Okay, if you are used to it than it is definitely possible to resolve, but it will take time and understanding, and he will have to be more trusting and open with his feelings to you, so that you both can communicate effectively

Customer: He has lost trust in me know so I am not sure he will open up
Customer: Trust seems to be important to him
Customer: It is important
Dr. Z :

He may open up in time, and I think he may still trust you and just used that as an excuse. It appears that although he values trust, no one is is capable of earning his trust on an emotional level as he does not like being vulnerable with others.

Customer: Shall I apologise for telling our friend in Dubai about us
Dr. Z :

You can apologize and you can just say that you were saying positive things about him because you are so happy to be with him, this should help the situation

Customer: He trusts no one
Dr. Z :

That is because if he trusts someone he thinks he may get hurt like when he was a child.

Customer: Yes
Dr. Z :

So no one is worthy of earning his trust, he guards it to well, so when someone gets close, he will just push them away

Customer: He needs a lot of love
Dr. Z :

He will have to learn to be vulnerable with those closes to him if he wants a meaningful relationship

Customer: He got close to my father
Dr. Z :

That is good

Dr. Z :

Did you meet his family at all?

Customer: His parents don't bother much with him
Customer: He had no siblings
Customer: Raised by an abusive grandmother
Customer: He has two failed marriages
Customer: He is fifty now
Customer: Ihe wants me to meet his sons
Dr. Z :

And that abuse as a child is what makes him learn not to trust because his family are the first relationships he had and that did not work out well for him, so it taught him to not trust, which he carries to this day in other relationships.

Customer: I know
Dr. Z :

That is good that he wanted you to meet his sons, that is progress

Dr. Z :

This can be resolved, but he will have to take the initiative to change and maybe go to therapy to help too

Customer: He loves his boys
Customer: He won't see that he is the one to change
Customer: One interesting fact. When he met my entire family he broke down crying because he never had that
Customer: They were wonderful to him
Customer: My father loved him
Dr. Z :

That is very sweet actually, and it just shows how great an impact his abusive childhood had and still has on him to this day

Dr. Z :

That is good to hear that your father and family loved him

Customer: He keeps telling me that what I have is rare these days with my family
Dr. Z :

But if he wont see that he is the one that needs to change, then most likely the relationship will not work as this issue will come up again

Customer: It doesn't make up for all the money he has
Customer: That's what concerns me
Customer: Can u give me some guidance on this
Customer: How do I make him understand he is the one to change
Dr. Z :

That is the tough one, but the best way is to not tell him directly. Usually I would recommend couple's therapy for the both of you and you can use a lot of pronouns like "we" and "us" to help show that this is a team effort and that no one is to blame. But because you two are in a commuter relationship it may be difficult to achieve couples therapy, although some places allow for 3 way teleconference. Still if he wants to resume the relationship and you can hold on until he moves to your country, then you can try to see a couple's therapist and work on it together.

Dr. Z :

If you blame him directly though and say that he needs to change, this will cause him to be defensive and push him away, so that is something we do not want

Dr. Z :

Instead you want to say that there are things you and him can work on as a couple to strengthen the relationship together

Customer: Exactly
Dr. Z :

So that is what you have to do, to show him that you both need work to do, even though this is primarily him that needs the treatment, but if you make a sacrifice it can help him at least respond positively to treatment.

Customer: He is no stranger to therapy
Dr. Z :

I would like to recommend a couple books that can help you too

Customer: Yes please
Customer: Perfect
Customer: I am never sure which ones are of good value
Customer: Thank you
Dr. Z :

Those two are very high quality that I use with patients all the time.

Customer: Now I just need to stop beating myself up for this
Customer: That's my issue
Dr. Z :

Yes, you are not at fault at all for this

Customer: You sure
Customer: I need to relax
Dr. Z :

Yes I am sure, your partner's issues with being vulnerable and open are what are causing these issues and it is quite common with someone who experienced his level of child abuse

Customer: Because the anxiety is affecting my thoughts
Customer: He also had and abusive ex wife
Dr. Z :

I am so sorry that the anxiety is effecting your thoughts in this way, but you are definitely not at all fault at all

Customer: Poor thing
Customer: Ok
Dr. Z :

Wow, so he has trust issues for good reasons then and this is not you

Customer: He has a way of manipulating things
Customer: Projecting the blame onto me
Dr. Z :

I think this is a defense mechanism he uses to protect his fragile psyche and it is very fragile obviously

Customer: When he starts accusing me of what I did wrong what is the best way to handle it
Customer: I am getting close to him now and I can pick up on his moods
Customer: Which I don't think he feels comfortable with
Customer: But he is also highly intuitive
Dr. Z :

Well you want to point out objectively what you did and then point out that it is possible his negative perception caused him to think that what you did was wrong, when that was not your intent. And then afterwards say that you will not do that behavior again or you will ask next time, etc...This way you are not fully blaming him and you are not taking the full blame. Again it is a sacrifice on your part a little bit, but it will help him think more objectively and build a compromise that you both can agree on

Customer: That will work I think and gives him control which he obviously needs
Customer: But I am compromising a bit
Dr. Z :

Yeah I think he will respond well to that too. The books will also have good interaction techniques too

Customer: Thank you
Customer: He is a complicated one!
Dr. Z :

Relationships can be very complicated, but they can be worthwhile too

Customer: I can see why he is drawn to me tho
Customer: And why he needs the distance
Customer: Safety
Dr. Z :

Well I hope that he will get closer to you and let you in more to his heart in the near future

Customer: I hope its in the near future
Customer: So I will wait to hear from him
Customer: And then send an email in a couple of weeks
Customer: When I have my thoughts together
Dr. Z :

Yes, give him some time and space and if you contact him too soon it may overwhelm him

Customer: Ok
Dr. Z :

So contact him in 1-2 weeks

Dr. Z :

Good, is there anything else I can assist you with?

Customer: Is one month too long to wait
Dr. Z :

Yes one month is too long if he has not contacted you

Customer: I am happy with your guidance
Customer: This has been great
Customer: So if he hasn't contacted after one month I should leave it
Dr. Z :

Yes unfortunately I think if he has not contacted you after one month then it would be best to move on with your life

Customer: Yep
Customer: I agree
Customer: Have a lovely evening
Customer: Take care
Dr. Z :

You as well and I wish you all the best with this man and I hope he contacts you very soon because you obviously care a lot about him. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. Before you sign off though, I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

Customer: Done
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5460
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Dr. Z and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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