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Angela
Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience:  n/a
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We met at work and were friends first. He asked me about entering

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<p>We met at work and were friends first. He asked me about entering into a relationship (more than once, but at the onset, I was dating someone else (not seriously but I am a one-man-woman). He followed up with me over time and about the third time, I was available, ready to date and we took our's to another level (and those were his words including "relationship" and "I would love for you to meet my daughter ..."). · We've known each other almost 5 years, been together over 2.5 years. · We're both divorced parents (his child lives with mother; he is a wonderful, devoted father & gets her every 2 weeks). My son lives with me. · There's a ten year age difference but we are very compatible from a personality/demeanor standpoint. (I'm mid 40's, he's mid 30's) & not that it's that important, but physically, we'd both be described as attractive & we look good together. The age difference doesn't jump out at you. . When we see each other, we have a beautiful time, every time, caring & loving. · He's an aspiring performing artist; self-described starving artist (this is his side-gig; he IS employed but doesn't make a hefty salary. I've never asked and don't care what he makes; he has a strong work ethic). He's adjusted in that he occasionally allows me to treat when he can't. I'm happy to (anytime) but don't push it. I'm happy to do things with him that don't cost money. . He prefers that I NOT attend his performances because he says I make him nervous. After our last talk, he said he is going to work on this. It's hard for me because I see he encourages others to come out to see him (on his facebook fan page), so I feel all others are welcome, except ME. Feels like forbidden ground for me and that hurts. · He is a beautiful person: kind, gentle, intelligent, passionate, funny, charming, chivalrous. I would describe myself similarly (as would others, including him). We're both very easy going & mild-mannered. This is the best relationship I've been in terms of how he treats me when we're together. · Our lovemaking is beyond incredible & is just as--if not more--passionate as time goes by. We average a date about twice a month. In between those dates, I don't get to physically see him. . He's extremely busy. I understand, respect & don't hound him. He is the type of person people come to for help & he gives it freely. He is a bit of a people pleaser & spreads himself very thin, by his own admission. . In the name of nurturing our relationship, I have expressed my wish to talk once a day (ideally) or every other day (briefly if time doesn't permit) just to touch base until we see each other again. By day 3 or 4 of not hearing his voice, I really miss him & want to connect. I hold out as long as I can but if I haven't heard from him by day 4, I'll call. . He's usually better after we talk about our relationship (about every 4-6 months) but eventually it reverts. After our most recent talk a couple weeks ago, he's called me about 4 x per week, which is like a miracle. I'm hoping for consistency from him. . I've yet to meet his daughter (I asked him about this in our last talk). He assured me it's not that I'm not special enough. It's the first time I mention this to him so we'll see. . He's never said he loves me (I have) but he has said he cares about me deeply. I feel it when we're together. . I know I'm running out of room so in a nutshell, am I a fool to stay in this relationship or should I leave? On a relationship site recently, upon posting my scenario, 79 out of 80 readers said I should leave and some were brutal calling me pathetic and him a "player". I feel he's worth it, he's a quality person and want to believe in him. I also want advice regarding my (occasional) attendance at his performances...should I insist? Help? </p><p>(P.S., to my surprise, the day after I received this advice, HE initiated a conversation with me for the first time, asking me what he can do to make me feel better about the relationship, how much he cares about and appreciates me. I truly don't believe he's a player and I know he didn't see that post--it was just a coincidence. I just don't want to feel like a nag or begging for slivers of attention. I don't want to disregard his "nervousness" issue but do feel that ANYONE he's in a relationship with will want to enjoy his performances and show their support. I'mkind of the opposite of "entitled" so I know I need to work on that. Taking it a day at a time, but appreciate your advice. Thank you.)</p>
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Angela replied 3 years ago.
Hello my name is Angela.
I am more than happy to assist you with your questions by giving you my honest and respectful opinion.

Based on what you have written, it is obvious that you care very much about him, therefore, I don't think you should leave just yet because you have noticed some improvement on his behalf. However, I think you should answer his question as to what he can do by considering attending couples therapy together (-if this is an option) due to the various concerns you have shared. If therapy is not an option, then I suggest buying a self help book that you both can work through together in order to make your relationship stronger and equally satisfying to both of you. I'll suggest a couple of books later for you to consider. The goal of working through a book together is to make the two of you bond more as well as to help you both better understand each other during this process. I suggest that both of you agree to a time when you will meet exclusively to read the book together and to discuss what you have read. Agree to how often you both want to meet for this purpose and for how long you both want to go over each section of the book together. Meeting in person on a regular basis is the best option, however, if this is not possible, you could both read the portion of the book that you want to discuss separately and then once a week discuss it via telephone or even via web cam. Also, be sure to keep your meeting times at an enjoyable length so that neither one of you dreads coming together for this purpose. I also suggest taking notes about anything of interest to you as you work through the book together. First, I suggest doing the book exercise and second, after you both work through the book together, then I would suggest revisiting the issue about you wanting to go see his performances (-hopefully by this point he would love for you to come more often). Choose the book that you feel would be the best for the two of you to work through; some suggestions I use often with my clients are listed below:
Click here for the first book
Click here for the second book
Click here for the third book
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for your reply. I will accept your answer and may take your advice down the road, but I wouldn't feel comfortable asking him to do couples counseling even on our own at this time. He has so much on his plate, to even get him to call me a few times a week is a stretch. I know he cares about me and he has said I can talk to him about whatever I need to whenever I need to, but I think my bigger problem, is that it's so hard for me to ask for anything (of virtually anyone), and especially him (because he's so busy). I tend to feel like I'm a burden (when logically I know I'm not--he said I'm the least demanding person he knows). Can you recommend something I can do on my own first perhaps, to strengthen my feelings of self worth, so that I don't feel like I'm asking for the world when I'm asking for so little? Let me know if I need to accept answer in order to received a reply to this follow-up question. Wasn't sure that would close out this case. Thanks.
Expert:  Angela replied 3 years ago.
I understand your concerns and you could also consider reading the book on your own and perhaps discussing it with him during one of the few times he calls you on a weekly basis or even just discussing it once a month with him. Either way I think it would still help to strengthen your relationship. To answer your second question, I suggest working on your self esteem because this is the reason why you feel as though you are a burden even though you know logically you are not. You could work on your self esteem by using a self help book as an aide (-and of course therapy would be helpful to get to the root cause of why your self esteem is not where it should be). Below are a few books that I use with my clients as we go through the process of building their self esteem; see if you like any of them. Also, it is important to keep a journal as you work through the self help book and as you read the articles because writing about your feelings and reactions to what you read and how it relates to you is therapeutic (-especially pertaining to any memories which may be triggered).
Book 1
Book 2
Book 3
Also, here are articles you can read as an aide in assisting you in improving your self esteem, click here. Click here for the second article.
Angela, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 681
Experience: n/a
Angela and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks very much. I am going to start with the self-esteem self help and order the workbook(s). Are your recommendations in order (i.e., book 1 would be your first choice and so on?)

 

I am also going to push through my feelings (of feeling like I'm a burden) and reach out to him when I feel a need (because he said that's ok and that I should feel free to). I'm going to go ahead and trust that...

 

Thanks again.

 

 

Expert:  Angela replied 3 years ago.
Your very welcome! Yes the recommendations are in order, however, I would still like for you to look inside the books at the table of contents and see which one you think would be the best for you since I have only been able to dialog with you in this manner. It's great that you will push through and reach out to him and I hope things will improve for both of you individually and as a couple.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Angela. I would like to accept the answer to my last follow-up question, but didn't realize I'd be billed an additional $35 to accept it...I guess I should have waited to pay. Do you mind if I don't accept it and send you a tip instead by selecting add bonus?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Angela, if I have another follow-up question, should I ask it first or go ahead and pay the $35 again. Sorry, I'm new to this. Thanks.

Expert:  Angela replied 3 years ago.
If you have a follow up question in reference what we have discussed, you can just ask it on this same question series or you can create a new question and type "for Angela" in the title of the question. Your welcome and have a great night!
Expert:  Angela replied 3 years ago.
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