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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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we just broke up.

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we just broke up. Will be cancelling our wedding. I just want to die. Please Read my other questions for background.on energy.there is on point to living anymore.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 3 years ago.

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you and but see you are now offline. Please chat back when you are next on site.

Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience: Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

I am so sorry about your situation. You certainly had the rug pulled out from under you when you were set to move forward in a certain direction. You are inconsolable now, I undersand how you feel. I have had tremendous disappointments on that magnitude and felt like you, but now, looking back, they are small chapters in my life and all of that emotional upheaval is gone and no longer has any meaning.

We are all built like this, with the capacity to spring back, or at least to readjust.

There was something very wrong with your relationship or with your finace. Perhaps he is afraid of committments, perhaps he has other fears or reasons for teminating so suddenly.

Now you know that he is a volatile person and your relationship would have been a troubled one. Imagine if this had happened after the wedding, or after you two had become parents. Reframing this situation you have been saved from an ordeal so much more worse.

You are suffering from, basically, grief, a natural form of depression when we suffer when we have a death or breakup or divorce.

Taking antidepression medicine will only delay your recovery. You will get over this, little by little, day by day. You have your whole life in front of you and you have people who authenticly care about you. This is the time for you to gather your strength and courage. Talk to friends, or a pastor if you belong to a church, or to a counsellor who can give you strength and guidance.

If you are truly thinking about doing yourself in, then seek help immediately. I believe that you actual just wish you did't have to go through this ordeal. Trust me, you will come out stronger on the other side, and have a lot more character as well. You will also be better prepared for all future relationships..

If you are feeling desperate, I urge you to seek help. If you need more support, please don't hesitate to get back to me.

Best wishes,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Elliot, you have been a great help. After getting engaged and moving in together, I discovered he had a drug addiction in his past which has now appeared to have transferred into alcohol abuse. I was trying to encourage him to seek support. I was very tolerant and I know i did all I could to help. I did a lot of reading, spoke to 4 counsellors regarding the topic. He wouldn't come to a counsellor with me however.

 

I put up with the lies and the mood swings when he quit pot. I was getting very nervous as we got closer to the wedding - it's meant to be in October this year. I asked him if he could leave his old drug friends to focus on me, our future and all of our wonderful friends that aren't involved in drugs. This created a very big wedge between us. He drank more because I was asking him to do something he didn't want to do. It's not what he wanted so he was resenting me.

 

We've been upset now for a few weeks. He decided that last night we should go our separate ways. I wanted to pull the pin, but wanted to make sure every stone was not left unturned first. Now I feel like a fool. I helped him and was supportive, when he tried several times to quit pot. I endured the mood swings, I never ever abandoned him. I accepted the lies as all just part of the process. The addiction talking. I of course expressed that they hurt, but didn't go down too hard on him because he was trying a good thing.

 

Last week was the cruncher for me. He lied about seeing a psychologist. He said the psych said he was fine and he could maintain friendships with all his old drug crowd because he was not at risk anymore and that I was the one with issues. After a week and half he finally admitted he lied about seeing the psych, but it hurt so much that he could pretend a psych had said negative things about me, just to validate that he could hang out with a bunch of people who would do drugs in front of him.

 

I know it's definitely a good thing that we are not getting married, but it doesn't take the pain away. I feel like a fool. I feel used. I feel abused. I copped a lot while trying to help him. I feel like such a door mat. For him to leave, I was obviously not appreciated. Why does he want to punish me after all of this. I'm so devastated. I've been left holding the bag too and had to cancel all the wedding plans today, the venue, the celebrant, photographer. I'm so crushed. I feel like I've been used and spat out. I cried all night last night and not even a little compassion from him for why I would be upset. I feel like a fool now for crying in front of him.

 

Dreading going back to work and answering people's questions about the upcoming wedding. Just want to fall asleep and wish it would all go away. I won't take anti depressants. I've had hard experiences in the past and always took the natural course of grieving. It's just so horrible. 5 years ago I was engaged to someone else and they slept with prostitutes a few months before we were due to be married. I had to cancel that wedding too. It's all too familiar. Why I have to go through that kind of ordeal, not just once, but twice.

 

Believe it or not , I am well educated. None of my friends do drugs, it's not my value set or background. I have a fantastic career and investment properties. I'm not a loser. I have a good head on my shoulders. I just can't ever seem to pick a decent man and make a relationship work.

 

Thanks for everything thus far! You've been so lovely!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Just to clarify, as I realised I seemed to contradict myself above, he had an extensive drug past before we got together that I was not aware of & it unravelled after engaged. - LSD, speed, ecstasy. A few months into our relationship, I learnt he was smoking pot, but made it clear I would not marry a pot smoker, so he quit that for several months before proposing. Then 1 wk after being engaged I was let down when he snuck pot. It's been a battle since then. There hasn't been any pot since February now, but it's been alcohol instead. Hope I make more sense now.
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear friend,

I volunteer weekly at a local jail, doing drug counsellng. One of the main stragegies emphasisized is ditching the old friends and staying away from anyone who uses drugs. Your ex wasn't just addicted. He enjoyed his lifestyle and was not about to give it up. It is difficult to quit, but if you don't have the desire to quit then you haven't begun to change. Change is internal first, and he has wasted a wonderful opportunity to have such a wonderful wife.

It is terrible to have suffered a broken engagement twice. Nowadays people suffer two or more broken marriages, and that is usually more complicated. In both cases you have saved yourself from divorce.

There are many decent men out there. You haven't met the right one YET, but you shall. Many people have serious but hidden flaws. You are not resposible for their flaws nor should you have any guilt or feelings of inadequacy.

You are obviously a winner. If this man saw you cry, then he has a memory and a vision that should bring him shame and pain for his weakness. He hurt you badly and he needs to know that HE was the fool and the loser. You are STILL a winner, and now are free from a looming disaster. It happened and you survived .

God bless you and give you peace.

Warmest regards,

Elliott

(P.S. - Don't forget to ACCEPT if I have helped. This is not only an act of love for me but the way I make my living. Thak you so much!)
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I've spoken to you recently, but have more Qs. As mentioned above, I've broken off an engagement. My fiance wasn't prepared to give up his druggie friends who were still heavily involved with 'hard' drugs (speed, acid, lsd, ecstasy, cocaine) & Pot. His involvement with these friends made me nervous they would influence him. He had relapsed with pot a few times b/c they did it in front of him.


He did hard drugs back in the uni days to party & to study & smoked pot since 14 & quit when we started dating. However, he appeared to transition pot to alcohol. Now, he did not drink excessively every night & think he was self conscious to drink whilst I was around as I shared my concerns, but he would always be the person to drink the most at social occassions & as he had every Wed off & would drink exessively - 3/4 of a bottle of Vodka.


When things were going well between us in the beginning, it was only Wed where he would excessively drink & at social events. The 1st time he met my work colleagues he had 4 double shots of Vodka, got so drunk he spilt his drink & sat in it. I was embarrassed.


One Wed I came hm to find the apartment in darkness & found him in the bath crying b/c he didn't want to drink that day. Another Wed I came hm to find all the lights on & no sign of him & could not reach him on his ph. I went down to the garage & found him. He had tried to change his car battery, but had dropped his ph into the engine bay along with several tools. I spent the next 1/2 hr fish them all out. All b/c he was drunk!


If we had things to discuss to try & resolve, he would prefer to withdraw, play his computer games & drink excessively. In the last few wks we were together he drank every night excessively for 2 wks. One night he vomited until 3am & couldn't go to wk the next day! He hates red wine, but if that is all that was in the house, he would drink it whilst pulling faces because he didn't like the taste. I'd ask him if he didn't like it, why was he drinking it, but wouldn't give an answer.


On 1 occasion I asked him if we could live in a dry house. He said that he doesn't even like Vodka, so it would be easy, but he bought more. I also had to go away with wk. I took the toothpaste. During the wk I was away, he didn't buy toothpaste, however did make it to the store to buy Vodka. When I returned there were empty vodka glasses around the house. Whilst I was not there he chose to drink every night. Admittedly we were going thru a bit of a rocky stage then & think he always liked to drink if things were hard between us. Funnily enough, things were rocky because of the drinking & his drug friends & it caused him to distance himself & drink more. A catch 22!


Now for my questions, define an alcoholic? If there were mths where he only drank excessively on Weds & on at social events, was he an alcoholic? He could go several days without drinking. He also was able to hold down his job!


Definintion of a computer game addict? He wanted to play every day. When we were dating & living apart, he would get hm at 6pm & play games until 8pm, then go across the road to his mum's house for dinner & then be back at his at 9pm to play until midnight & sometimes to 2am. Because he had Wed off work, he would play all Tues night until 3 or 4am & all day from 10am until 10pm at night. When living together, I'd get hm from wk & I'd have to wait an hr before he'd say hello b/c he'd need to finish his game. On these days, I'd still have to cook dinner. The 1 night he could have cooked but chose to play games all day instead. During the whole relationship I had all the responsibilities. Cooking, cleaning, finances etc.


How would I know if he had a mental health issue like manic depression? I ask because initially the reason I was attracted to him was b/c he seemed to be so bubbly & energetic, extraverted & lively. So much fun! When he came to visit me if felt he brought an amazing energy through the door. But when we lived together I saw he could be grumpy & depressed & had a temper. The 1st mth of living together he kicked the ottomon & broke his foot. Later he threw a book thru the wall. He punched his car denting it. He even strangled me on a couple of occassions. He always complained of being tired. He is a chiropractor & only wks 6hrs, 4 days per wk, so not sure why so tired. He had 2 hr lunch breaks. Also he was a mummy's boy. When he was single, his mum cleaned his house, cooked, washed his clothes, paid his bills, did his banking & tax. He did not have any responsibilities.


Please help me know what was going on with him. He refused to go to counselling. I need answers to why things had to go this way & end. Thankyou

 

P.S

Either way, we are over now, and although I know it is probably for the best, XXXXX XXXXX hurting a lot. When we broke up he left me to cancel the wedding, and to make all the ph calls to celebrant, venue, photographer & band to cancel it all. He also left me to wind up the apartment we shared & to pack & move.


All he had brought to our place was some clothes and his computer and some games, so it was very easy for him to just up and leave and not look back. He never showed any sense of loss or that he missed me. I actually get the impression he's just moved on straight away with someone else.

I feel so abandoned and that I meant nothing after all. He just expected me to be a replacement for his mum. I did all the cooking, cleaning, finances etc. The first time I stood up and actually requested something of him and it was too much and just easier to end it all! It's not like I am possessive or anything. I only wanted him to leave the drug crowd behind. He he has a lovely group of friends who are positively influencing but he would only invest about 5% effort into them whilst the other 95% was given to his druggie friends. These druggie friends were doing soft and hard drugs from Pot to LSD. The guys in the druggy group were also obsessed with porn and would all exchange their hard drives to swap the porn.

I don't think it was an unreasonable request that now he was getting married to leave the druggie friends in the past to focus on our wonderful future together and all our stable friends.


I am just devastated. I am upset for not only losing him, but also the future I thought we were going to share together. I am sitting here alone in my new apartment. Just a few weeks ago I was going home to him and excited about getting home to him. So quickly I am all alone again and my life has taken a completely different path. I'm still in shock, and worst of all he DOESN'T miss me at all. Not one message etc. How can someone be so numb? He wanted to marry me! Why doesn't he exhibit any emotion for missing me? In the early days he was so warm and affectionate. Very cuddly! I just thought we could find a way to fix everything. I wanted the version of him back that I had fallen in love with. The happy funny person.

 

Optional Information:
Gender: Female
Age: 32

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear friend,

When you looked up the word alcoholic, did it have your boyfriend's picture at the top of the page. He is absolutely an alcoholic, and has an addictive personality, which is why he is also addicted to games. He drank the with wine with drawn up face and endured the bad (to him) taste because he absolutely, addictively craved the alchohol inside. An alcoholic might drink a glass of dog urine it it had a couple of shots of vodka in it. After the first few drinks, in any event, inhibitions drop.

From your description of him he also has bipolar disorder, some times very depressed, other times, bubbly, full of life, but also exhibiting reckless behaviour, such as drinking, gambling, drugs, sex, addictive gaming in his case, and similar behaviours.

His complete lack of caring may also indicate some personality disorder which can sometimes be recognized by an individual having no empathy for another person's feelings, as he does not.

You are very luck to have him out of your life. It has nothing to do with you, but with his major defects. Try to move on with his life.

If you wish to give me a bonus instead of (or in addition) to accepting my answer, let it be known that I get to keep 3/4 of my bonuses but only half of my payments.

Be joyful that he is out of your life. He was destroying you and now, thankfully, he is gone.

Warmest regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Elliot,

 

Me again, you've been a great source of comfort to me and thus why I always write to you. I've just been having a really off day. I'm getting thru this break up without any meds. I haven't missed a day of work. I'm trying to hang in there and do it the 'healthy' way, but there are the severe ups and downs.

 

Each day starts the same. I wake up around 4am and then fall back asleep and dream of him. A few hours later when I have to get up for work, my day feels as though it's already started on the wrong foot. I wake up so very depressed. I go to work and put on a 'happy' face and try my best to push the feelings down and at least appear productive. I do still get work done, but no where near the pace I used to and now have the distraction of my mind that doesn't not think about my current situation at least once every minute.

 

I then leave work and cry the whole drive home and then the majority of the evening, so from about 5:30pm until about 10pm. The one benefit is that it does exhaust me and makes me feel tired, so I do then get a good few hours sleep, until 4am when the cycle starts all over again.

 

I'm so upset that he was my everything & I discovered that I turned out to be his nothing! I thought I was worth so much more to him. I'm still greiving that he didn't love me as much as I thought he did.

 

I am also so cared about the future and terrified by all the uncertainty. I'm so scared this lonliness is never going to go away. Will there be a night I come home and feel happy and don't actually cry. Will I ever be able to appreciate the small pleasures in life again?

It's weird, because I know I'm worth more than a comptuer game. I know I have more to offer. I know I am worth more than a group of rude druggy friends and have more love and care to offer, but it hurts when the one you care for, and love, ultimately did not feel the same way.

 

I feel so abandoned and alone. I'd be lying if I didn't admit that a part of me thought that after a few weeks of not making any contact, he'd finally be thinking "Oh my gosh, this is what it feels like to not have her in my life and I really miss her & nothing else matters" and he'd be knocking my door down. I know this sounds stupid, but I was kind of hanging onto the idea of how Kate and Wills (famous royal couple) had a 3 month break, she went off and did not look back (apparently) and then he ran after her. I wonder why it happens for girls like her, but not for me? Why am I not worth chasing after?

 

All of my friends see what I am worth, but not him and I don't understand why! I don't know how I am ever going to get thru this. Just keep reading my self help books and take it a day at a time I guess.

 

I just wish I was 32, had my good job that I have now AND had a husband in the house and a baby asleep in their warm little bed. This is where I feel my life is meant to be in 2011. Not alone in a one bedroom apartment with the TV on for noise, reading books to help me get thru another break up & completely uncertain of where my life is headed. I wouldn't wish this upon anyone.

 

Just a little background info, my family are all at war with each other and so I have no contact. I am an only child so no brothers and sisters. My chance at having a family, is to find a decent man to start one with. If I can't do this, I truly believe I am going to be alone.

 

I am doing all I can to keep myself busy and with my friends every hour of every weekend so I don't have time alone to get deeply depressed. Do you have suggestions on how to make this time easier without anti depressants etc? How can I stop the negative self talk and often second guess if I made the right decision to let the relationship end?

 

Thank you,

Amanda

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

I truly feel your pain and wish I could talk to you in person, look you in the eye and tell you to your face what I already know: that you are a wonderful woman and that you will be fine.

You are going through the stages of grief now, which we go through not only when we lose a loved one, but when we are jilted and abandoned.

Just to encourage you let me mention those stages and you can understand that grieving is a process. Let me briefly list the seven stages so you know what you can expect.

1. Shock and Denial - reacting with numbing disbelief, feeling disoriented, possibly guilty about what you might have done to prevent it. Your denial, in the form of trying to act normally by previously contacting him, was your way of protecting yourself from the full force of sorrow that you felt which overwhelmed you. This is your circuit breaker. Fortunately, you are not self-medicating with alcohol or drugs.

2. Pain and Guilt- as the shock begins to wear off, a period of great pain and sadness will follow and it will include remorse about things that you imagined you did. Life will feel chaotic and perhaps a bit frightening, but you must endure it and feel the full force of the pain. Contacting him (in vain) would just a way of avoiding the pain, but you are not letting yourself go through the healing process of grief. This is where you are now.

3. Anger and Bargaining - you may lash out at othersr, because you need to find an outlet for your pent-up emotions. You may be angry at "fate" or the higher powers.

4. Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness - Others might think that it is time for you to "come around" and get on with your life, but you may continue to feel despair, and reflect on the past and what might have been.You might even withdraw from friends for awhile. This is normal. Don't let them talk you out of this process. You must see it through.

5. The Upward Turn - As you start to adjust to life without your ex, it will become calmer and more organized, and you will not feel the physical strain of depression and sadness.
6. Reconstruction and Working Through - As you begin to function normally, your thought processes become more normal, and you start to think through life independent of your past relationship. You will begin to solve current social and financial needs.

7. Acceptance and Hope - This is the final stage in this model of grief. You will learn to accept reality and deal with it effectively. You may not find the same level of happiness before, and may be a bit of a sadder but wiser person, but you will now move forward with your life.
I have taken the trouble to include this grief model as a way of showing you hope. You will stop contacting him on your own as soon as the futility of it sets in. It will get old for you, and you will eventually cease, probably sooner than later, because you have already reached out for help. This means you are close to stopping.

You will look back at this period of your life, and from the view of the future it will seem much smaller in the scheme of things, and you you will be grateful that it ended before it went any further.. Go through the process. Don't seek depression medication (as this only delays the healing). Know in your heart that these dark days will pass.

You cannot depend on others for your happiness. You could also consider adopting as a single person, although this might be difficult to manage. Put yourself in a place where decent people congretate (lecutres, church social events, community action, exhibitions, even large do-it-yourself home building suppy big box stores (there are lots of good men, shoppers themselves, who love to be helpful to women with questions. I have learned this fact from clients.

You are a "catch" and someone new and better will come into your life. The odds are with you.

I wish I could help you even more, but I do care very much about you.

Warmest regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

 

Today I have felt completely overwhelmed by grief and depression. I understand from our last exchange that there are 7 stages of grief, but today I think I am grieving for more than just my lost partner, but all of the below...

 

 

- The basic loss of someone I loved

- The rejection & that I was not worth the changes to him

- The reduced self esteem that even a so called 'druggie loser' doesn't appreciate me & how I constantly feeling insecure

- The knowldege that everyone at work may be thinking "she is not good at relationship or dealing with people" b/c this is now the 2nd break up they are aware of me having.

- The humiliation of telling everyone at work, I had to call off the engagement.

- The legal battle I am now having with the wedding venue who still want full payment for a wedding I am not having even after providing them with 3 months notice.

- The wedding was meant to be this coming 22nd Oct and counting down to that day & anxious as to what I am going to do on that day without feeling suicidal

- I'm back in in my onw apartment and living by myself again

- The constant lonliness

- The lack of energy caused by the depression

- The lack of hugs and kisses (affection) from someone you think cares for you.

- The realisation they must never have really cared for you

- The sadness with the lost time, the lost investment put into that relationship

- All the effort and strategising of how to make it work was all for nothing.

- I'm 32, no longer a spring chicken and never thought this is where I would be at this age. Afraid all the good ones are taken.

- All my friends are married with children, with the exception of one!

- Afraid if I don't have children I won't ever have a family and will be alone forever.

- My first family are at each other's throats and all I want to do is start my own lovely family free of any drama.

- Afraid if I don't learn from this experience, it will be a re-occuring pattern and I'll build just as destructive family of my own even if I do meet someone again.

- My life was planned (Marty and I were going to live on the coast another year whilst he saved up enough money to start his own clinic and then we were going to move to a lovely country town where we would live, start his new clinic and start our family) and now it's back to being so very uncertain.

- I don't like living back in my old apartment anymore. It feels like I've taken a step backwards to where my life was 18 months ago. It's where he and I spent a great deal of time, where we fell in love. I want to move again, but don't know where I fit, or where I feel I belong.

- I don't even want to go out and date anyone. I don't have the energy to give anything of myself to anyone now. What if this energy never comes back.

- I don't trust any man with my heart, my feelings, my finances. What if I don't ever trust any man ever again? I can't comprehend ever being able to. It truly seems impossible. - I wonder if there is something terribly wrong with me, as I've now cancelled two weddings! Most people don't cancel one. What is wrong with me, I've cancelled two. I do see this as a reflection on me! I'm humiliated and so embarrassed and angry at myself. - Still having to pay for a wedding I am not going to be having.

 

Elliot I don't expect you to respond to each of those points, I merely wanted to show how much is going on in my mind. How all of these are compounding. Whilst home at night, or keeping myself busy with friends it is not so bad, but whilst I am at work I feel the pain the most. I don't know why it is worse during the day than it is at night. I need to really get a hold of myself so I can perform at work. I don't know what to do whilst I am going through these stages of grief to keep myself composed and productive. How to reduce the pain when it feels it's worst during the day. I feel like I'm going crazy at times.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

I have read your long list of everything negative in your life. You have enough material there to keep you in a very low state for a long time to come if that is all you focus on. You have had the bad fortune of being used by two very dishonest and very faulted individuals.

Imagine the horrible life you have avoided by marrying NEITHER one of these awful men. Because you are so decent and honest, they found you an easy target.

You could have wound up with an incurable or fatal sexually transmitted disease from the first person, and could have spent your time in the long-term role as caregiver for a drug addict or alcoholic who mentally and physically declined and lost everything.

You did have the GOOD FORTUNE to end these relationships before they ended you.

You cannot recoup the lost time, and cannot cry over spilled milk. You CAN hire an attorney to put an end to the harassment from the wedding venue, and the attorney can also sue your former fiance for breach of contract and make him pay for the venue, and for pain and suffering that you experienced.

If you can't stand your old apartment, then move, or more easily, indulge yourself in redecorating it.

Thirty-two is a very young age. You are absolutely a spring chicken. The most attractive years a woman has are between 30 and 40. You are just coming into the full flush of womanhood and, when you recover your composure, after going through the grieving process - WHICH YOU WILL - then you will want to find different ways of meeting worthy gentlemen. This time, you will be more cautious. I know that you are a discerning person, but now that you have some experience you can better see the pitfalls ahead and avoid them instead of walking right into them as you did before.

You must stop saying "what if, what if". That is a very negative and useless exercise that just serves to dig you into a position of self-pity that you really MUST avoid. It is beneath your intelligence and education.

I know that you are a lovely person with many qualities. I wish I could work with you face to face or on the phone, but from 12,000 miles away, I shall have to do my best in this medium.

I know in my heart that you will be fine. I DO have an assignment for you, however. This is a therapy and I would ask you to follow through.

I would like you to sit down, thoughtfully, and write a long list, as long as the one above, or longer, DETAILING all of your positive attributes. I know that the list is long, and I want to see it, and above all, want YOU to see it and learn from creating it.

Don't worry about what others think or might say. People make small talk all of the time and it means little to nothing. That is just the way of the world.

I know that you need some affection. I can only give you a warm and caring hug via this message. Please take it to heart and know that I really care about your well-being and that I know that you are a terrific young woman who just needs time to recover.

If you can get it (the book is in print), I recommend:

There Goes the Bride: Making Up Your Mind, Calling it Off and Moving On
by Rachel Safier, Wendy Roberts LCSW and Wendy Roberts

I wish you the very best.

My warmest regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

 

My goodness, your words are so comforting to read. You are entirely right. I will do my homework (which I just love because it also gives me something to keep busy and feels proactive) and I will be in touch again.

 

I really felt like I was losing my mind with grief yesterday and your advice has been so reassuring and fills me with hope that I will pass through the stages of grief and come out the other side far more knowledgable and better able to make relationship decisions. I also feel a sense of relief that perhaps by being strong enough to let both of those relationships end, I may have spared myself an immense amount of future pain. I guess it is all 'an education'.

 

I thought you might be interested to know I've had a far more productive day at work today because of your assistance. I've kept your email open on my computer all day and every time I felt down, I'd read your words again and it has kept me stable and able to keep functioning. Today is the first day I've not run off to the bathroom to have a cry.

 

I will be in touch again very soon with my positive list & will be purchasing the book online tonight. It sounds like just the book I should be reading and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

 

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX Thank you!

Amanda

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

 

I've done the homework. I've written a list of positive attributes and also things I can and should be grateful for that I have in my life. Now to locate and buy the book.

 

Thank you.

 

- Healthy and Fit (No disabilities, illness, allergies, disfigurements)

- Attractive for age (good skin, petite & not overweight)

- No addictions (alcohol, smoking, drugs, food, coffee, sex, gaming, shopping etc)

- University Educated Disciplined & good work ethic Good Morals/Values Generous & selfless with the ones I care for and love

- Enjoy my career & have worked for some great companies

- Financially independent & stable

- Am independent

- Am someone people can depend on

- A caring & loving person (got a lot of love to give to the 'right' person)

- Bubbly personality (when not depressed or dealing with a break up)

- Have supportive caring friends

- Am a good cook

- Well Organised

- Have a clean and tidy home (a sense of pride)

- Well travelled and ability to do more travel

- Nice & supportive work colleagues without office politics

- Money in the bank (security)

- Ability to afford comfortable lifestyle & no credit card debt etc

- A loving grandmother who is still alive & shares my joy and pain

- Supportive aunties

- Convenience of working close to home

- A Property Investor

- Ability to redecorate home

- Live in a nice safe neighbourhood

-Member of a gym close to home where I can do fitness classes, feel like I am surrounded by people, do yoga & relax (perhaps make some local friends)

- Time on my hands now to do an MBA

- Time now to learn how to use my sewing machine & learn how to make pretty dresses reminscent of the old classic films etc

- Enjoy long walks and now have time to do them

- Can afford to do courses and better myself (i.e sewing, relationship courses etc)

- Ability to be able to seek advice and professional help when needed

- Time to read books

- Time to watch my favourite old films

- Time to plan how I can find a new home that is more of a sanctuary where I can have a golden retreiver (dog) as a companion

- Live in the internet age which may make acquiring future dates easier.

- Have escaped 2 unhealthy & unsupportive relationships - perhaps 3rd time lucky?

- Found Elliot online who provides great advice and has helped me through one of the most difficult times! Thank you :)

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
WOW ! ! ! ! ! !

Where have you been all of my life? :)

What a wonderful change you have gone through. Thanks for the kind words but I will have to give you credit for 90% of it. With your qualities and strengths, you can do anything you want to. You are just moving through the stages of grief. You have so much support, so many interests, so much enthusiasm for life, that you cannot help but living a happy and contented life.

Your letter has filled me with great joy and admiration and has been a most wonderful way to start this day. Looking out my window, I see a gloomy, dark and rainy day but I feel like the sun is shining.

I will hold you in my heart and prayers.

Warmest regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

 

This relationship ended because of substance abuse and the substance abuse also encouraged him to lie to me.

 

My other previous 'serious' relationships all ended because my partner cheated on me and found that there had been a web of lies and deception over the course of the relationship to obviously contain the reality of their behaviour.

 

I do feel I have trust issues now and if a decent person in the future, deserves a decent girlfriend, I am going to have to do some work. First I am working on me, to try and find a way to ensure that I find a decent person, but when I do meet him, how can I know that I am not still carrying around a wound from my previous relationships? What exercises or things can I do, to ensure I won't have trust issues with a deserving person? Is it a case that I'll just sense they have integrity and my trust issues will be non existant? I'm just afraid if a decent guy eventually does come along, I'll wind up making him pay for all the mistakes made by the men before him.

 

The real tragedy would be if I allowed myself to remain 'damaged' and then lost a decent man because I had my own baggage.

 

I know my most recent partner had substance problems and I did not trust him because I had caught him out lying on several occassions regarding the buying of drugs, the taking of drugs & seeing a psychologist, so feel I had concrete reasons not to trust him. This did not stop him for making me feel 2 inches tall and say that I am paranoid and that in his opinion I don't trust him because of my previous relationships. I did not feel this was the case. I felt I trusted him until I learnt of the lies he told me himself, but just in case there is any truth to his assumption, I want to make sure I do what ever it takes to not carry my past into my future.

 

Elliot, every man I ever truly loved, cheated on me. My most recent partner, did not cheat on me as far as I am aware, but he did lie to me about substances etc. Not one partner has been honest with me. What do I need to do to make wiser choices about men in the future? What signs do I look for? How do I get educated on the topic of what makes a good honest man with integrity, who won't risk our special connection with lies?

 

Thank you,

Amanda

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

You have asked an excellent and dificult question. There are men of integrity out there and there are many who will not be faithful and get away with it by deception. Our very culture, driven by the telly and by celebrity worship, promote this lifestyle and denigrate relationships. This attitude pervades all levels of society, from the royals down to the lowest classes.

Nevertheless, there are good men out there. Often these men are a bit more timid and less experienced, or may be observantly church-going or pursue an academic career that takes up a lot of attention and time, so they pursue knowledge, goodness, and truth, rather than pursue women or drugs.

This may be a clue as to where to look and what to look for.

The other issue, the one that you fear, is the re-establishment of trust. Once bitten, twice shy, it is said. You have been savaged and are naturally in defensive mode. That mindset has to have a balance between keeping your guard up and letting it down. How can you achieve this delicate balance?

Here are five principles to guide you.

  1. Establish honesty as a a key element of the relationship by verbally committing to the principle that honesty is an essential part of the relationship, without which the relationship will fail.
  2. Communication is the one of the most important ways to maintain honesty in a relationship by truly getting to know one another Good communication goes beyond words but includes body language, voice tone, attitudes, and the way you observe how he treats others in everyday situations, and how he communicates with others.
  3. Trustworthiness is another essential. You both have to be reliable, predictable, hold to your word, and do everything that you would consider a trustworthy person would be.
  4. Be trusting. This is the hardest one for you. This is the one you must succeed in doing for the relationship to work. The best way to do this is to communicate. Never be accusatory, but if you have questions and doubts, you must CAREFULLY address your concerns without putting him on guard. Sometimes you have to ferret out information or assess reactions (body language, defensive reactions, voice tones). You must never be overbearing, act suspiciously, or reveal your insecurities. An innocent and honest person does not want to be mistrusted or disbelieved. Neither does a guilty person, of course. You also must beware of psychopathic liars. They could fool anyone and pretend to be anything they want. These are that natural con-artists, and others with personality disorders who do not feel any empathy for the feelings of others. You detect them by seeing how they treat others.
  5. Actions should match words. Sometimes actions speak louder than words. If the two don't match the relationship will begin to fall apart. A person's philosophy is what they do and not what they say. Here is the test. If they don't match, then you must see the truth in the action and not in the words, no matter how slick they are.
You will have to choose carefully and try to basically follow these principles. There are good men out there who would be honoured and fortunate to meet such a woman as you.

I think you can boil it down to a phrase: A good man will treat you like a treasure, all of the time, and have the wisdom to know what he has and how to hold on to it. You will have the wisdom to know it when you see it.

God bless you.

Warm regards,

Elliott

Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Elliot,

 

I can't help but continue to reflect on things & it seems involuntary. I'll be looking at a page of information I am working on and it is almost as if memories are involuntarily broadcasted in my mind without my intention. One moment I am digesting something I am reading and the next my mind will be flooded with a memory of my ex and I think where did that come from?

 

The memories that come involuntarily are usually happy ones and they almost seem to pop up for no other reason but to upset me. We've been broken up for almost 2 months now and one night has still has not gone by where I have not dreamt of him. The dreams are always pleasant, but then I awake so upset and feel so alone & miss him terribly. Why does the mind do this?

 

Despite the last few weeks of our relationship being so very horrible with me trying to negotiate solutions to his drinking and requesting that he leave behind the druggie friends, there were so many good times. Looking back on it, I still believe the good times outweighed the bad.

 

I can acknowledge that I brought my own problem into the relationship. I don't really have perspective or any clarity however as to whether it is a huge problem that should be considered a 'deal breaker' or rather something a loving partner would be able understand and try to work through.

 

So to describe my problem..if watching a movie and there was a mainstream sex scene i.e Julia Roberts/Richard Gere style, I'd be fine. It's a normal movie with a normal sex scene and I wouldn't think anything of it. However, there was a show that he liked to watch called 'Game of Thrones' and it had a lot of sex scenes that seemed more like pornography. To me it seemed that they put these explicit scenes into the show for no other reason but to be controversial. I recall one of the scenes and it involved two women engaging in an activity together and you saw everything (lower body parts and all) and it went on for about 5 minutes and this kind of scene would ordinarily make me extremely uncomfortable if viewing in my partner's presence.

I recall during this particular porno style scene, he was very supportive. He knew this made me uncomfortable and so he opted for looking at me instead, he engaged eye contact with me, held me close and talked to me about the plot and storyline until this scene was over & then he returned watching. When he did this, he was extremely effective at making me feel at ease and I let him know it and how I appreciated how he handled the situation. See, he had his problems but he also had his positives!!

 

Even though I was uncomfortable with these kinds of scenes, there wasn't usually arguments surrounding them. If he did as I described above, he did make me feel comfortable.

 

I think the first time there was a scene like this however (when he wasn't aware of how uncomfortable it made me), I stood up and walked out of the room and as I was walking out I asked in sarcastic tone "So this is why you like this show?". He got very upset with me, and rightly so. I acted on emotion that felt to engulf me, rather than any kind of logic.

 

As mentioned previously, I've been cheated on many times before and my 1st fiance even went to brothels. I think this has left me feeling inadequate at times or easy to led to feel inadequate. As though I am in a state of constant competition with other women or sexually explicit images of women. I do imagine had I never been cheated on, or had my 1st fiance had never gone to a brothel, this type of porno scene in a TV show, would STILL render me uncomfortable if watching it alongside my partner wondering if they are comparing their 'girl next door' partner to this kind of fantasy.

 

There was one last final time where I got very uncomfortable and find fault in myself & have a great deal of regret. His father was coming to stay for the night. His father is a car enthusiast and so he wanted to try and find a couple of car movies he could have on hand to watch with is dad. I suggested that he google search the top ten car films. He applauded me for such a great idea. He found the list and then went on his way to get them.

 

That night while his father was visiting I had a work dinner. When I arrived home, he and his father were in the middle of watching one of the car films. As I walked in the door, I noticed that on the TV screen was a woman riding a motorbike. She was completely naked. She looked incredible, beautiful and svelt. Long flowing blonde hair.

 

They invited me to sit with them to watch the rest of the movie. I said my hellos and I sat down. I thought this scene might go on another 30 seconds or so, but it just went on at least another 5 minutes. The girl was then off the motorbike and leaning against a car talking to a man looking extremely provocative. I felt very embarrassed & unsure of where to look. There I was sitting next to his 70 year old father with this on the screen. I sensed he was an old fashioned man and may have felt a little uncomfortable too now that I was in the room.

 

I decided that I had sat there feeling uncomfortable long enough, so I stood up calmly and naturally as though I just wanted to get something from the kitchen. I could still catch a glimpse of the TV screen whilst in there and thought I'd return to them once the naked scene was over. It seemed to continue and I thought it would look odd for me to still be in the kitchen, so I decided to go and make up the father's bed so it would be ready for him when he was tired and then after that decided to go to sleep myself.

 

When the movie was over, he came to bed and laid beside me and tried to hug me. I pulled away, gave him the silent cold treatment and kept my back to him instead. (This I now regret very much). I just felt so very insecure at the time and again all those feelings of inadequacy. All I could think too, was how I had suggested the way to find the top ten car movies and how I had lead him right to this 'kind' of movie. I felt, I was trying to be helpful and all it served to do was throw my worst fear 'competing with another woman' in my face.

 

The next morning he had to go to work for a couple of hours. I was still in bed and he tried to lean over to kiss me goodbye and I quickly reacted and rolled the other way. Again I was cold towards him. When he got home we talked and I cried and explained that I felt uncomfortable, inadequate and how I hated that I suggested how he find the films & that by trying to be helpful had only come back to bite me. He then went on to explain things from his perspective. How he had no idea this scene was going to be in the film. That he wasn't watching the film because he knew this scene would be there. I felt absolutely terrible. I told him I was sorry. I cried, we hugged and we made up.

 

Unfortunately however, this final time of me being uncomfortable and acting on emotion, occured about a week or two before me coming down on him for his drinking and being invited to one of the drug parties where I finally requested that he decide to leave these people behind in favour of our straight healthy friends.

 

I recall him saying at one point that even if he gave up the drug friends etc, I would still always have something to worry about & he made reference to the sex scenes. In the 18 months we were together I can only recall 3 times where I felt uncomfortable with the sex scenes. The one where I walked out and was sarcastic, and a few others where I acknowledged he was focusing on me to make me feel comfortable and I thanked him and showed my appreciation and that last and final time where I went to bed and didn't hug him back and turned my back on him in the morning.

 

Elliot, I can't imagine ever feeling comfortable with explicit sex scenes that I think are more like a porno film. Like I said, if it is a sex scene in a mainstream type of film, I am fine. The woman still looks gorgeous, but usually with those films you can see how it fits into the storyline and it doesn't look like a porno. It is tastefully done and you don't usually see full frontal of the lower body and detail.

 

Do I have a problem? Was this a huge contributor to us breaking up, or rationale for why he wouldn't have wanted to make the changes regarding his drinking or choice of friends? Could he have thought that even if he gave up his druggie friends, I still had this huge issue of my own? That I was permanantly scarred from my previous relationships? If I am, how do I get past this? How do I ensure that I don't act on emotion in future. How does one stay logical all of the time?

 

And a last and final question for today... I rarely use facebook. I'm not really a fan of it, but I did log in for a moment today and noticed that he has not changed our relationship status which shows he is engaged to me or his profile picture of us together. I can see he is still actively using facebook as I can see he has written comments on walls. Why after 2 months, do you think he has not changed his relationship status, or picture of us together? Whilst viewing my facebook I saw I had a message. It was from another couple (his decent well adjusted friends) inviting him and I to their house for a lovely dinner. Obviously they are not aware we have broken up and why would they when his status shows us as still very much engaged. Could he just be lazy? Or could he too be hurting and not wanting to face pulling it down because that would be acknowledging that we are over?

 

I am obviously not travelling through the 7 stages of grief as quickly as I initially thought I might, because 2 months on and I still have hope that the problems we had could all be rectified and he'd come back for me a better person ready and willing to work on the required changes needed.

 

So disappointed.

 

Amanda

 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Elliot,

 

In addition to my questions above, why am I still hopeful? It's been two months since we broke up and not one iota of contact from him even in the smallest way. Am I in denial? I must be!

 

Is it clear as day from his actions that I'm not going to ever hear from him again? Might he never re-think what we had and recall my decent qualities & the many wonderful times we had shared together?

 

It was only January 2nd this year when we were having the times of our lives in Japan trolloping around as tourists and he proposed to me at Mt Fuji telling me he has never loved another girl as much me & that it would be an honor to share the rest of his life with me and would I marry him? When he proposed he was down on one knee and instead of saying yes, I replied with 'please, I would love to spend the rest of my life with you'. In just a few weeks time (Oct 22), we are meant to be getting married. Is he not thinking about any of this? Wondering if he's made the right decision or not? He wouldn't be second guessing himself too? Would his mind be torturing him the same way mine is? Would he be having the dreams also?

 

Other than the discomfort I had with the explicit scenes, I was so very loving and affectionate and doted on him. I constantly suprised him with gifts and had his dinner prepared every night. While playing his computer games I would bring him snacks and hot chocolate. I was very loyal, loving and generous. Even though I acted on emotion on those few occassions, I did make an effort to apologise later on when I had calmed down. I recognised my faults and tried to improve them. I want to be a reasonable person. It did however feel that when ever I did something right it was never remembered, but when I did something wrong, it was never forgotten.

 

Is it is clear as day that he is never going to look back? If so, how can I begin to believe this myself so I can stop torturing myself? Friends have said that if he wanted me back, he would have done something by now. Why can't I be so certain of this too, so I can start to forget...

 

When we did have disagreements over smaller issues, his typical behaviour was to fly off the handle at first, be very head strong and stubborn, but then he always seemed to go away and over a few days mull things over and would come back and say he was sorry and that after thinking things over he understands and then we'd reach a resolution. If I had acted in a way and felt it inappropriate I would also apologise. If he ever did something nice for me or made a change, I also made sure I showed him my appreciation. I never wanted him to think I took the 'changes' he made, for granted.

 

My request of him regarding these druggie friends was to move on from them. Remove every touchpoint that they could reach him on. Email, phone number etc. His response at the time was that this was too controlling. That I was controlling. Was it too controlling? How else do you move these druggie people out of your life? If he had of done this, it would have symbolised that he was actually serious about clearing them from his life and making a step in favour of a life of sobriety. Take away the temptation & the topic of drugs/drink being top of mind!

 

In those final weeks and in great haste to try and fix the problems, I poured vodka down the sink when he was not looking and thru the bottle away. I also hid bottles of wine under the laundry sink. I went as far as 'hiding' the druggie friend's contact details in his email account so that he would not see when they came online, thus not get caught up chatting with them - all with the intention of hoping that out of sight, out of mind! I was just so earnest about trying to fix the problems, to set things right, so we could go on with our lives together.

 

The pouring of the alcohol down the drain, I have since read is the wrong thing to do with an alcoholic after consulting AA websites. I presume I also made a very big mistake by hiding the druggie friend's contacts, because although we were both very open and shared passwords to all accounts it was a still a breach of his privacy and resulted in him losing trust and faith in me. I was at my wits end by this point however & just wanted all drug/alcohol references gone, but I guess there is no excuse and certainly it is not something he would ever forgive me for.

 

Additionally when it was all getting too much, I spoke with a mutual friend who has experience working with people with substance problems. I was open with him that I was talking to her and never went behind his back regarding this. She had been great help when he first was quitting pot. When she learned he had become physical with me during one drunken stupour, she became fearful for my welfare & completely unknown to me, contacted his sister. His sister was wonderful & very supportive and tried to ask him to change his ways.

 

Unfortunately he then went on to resent me for indirectly getting a member of his family involved. Of course the sister did not stop there, she then went on and told his parents. I myself would never have reached out to his sister for assistance, because I knew it would make him mad. He said that it's his life and he decides what he does with it. I understand this, I understand that he had to be the one to 'want' to make the changes, but I desperately loved him and thought I could 'help him along' by doing subtle things like remove the alcohol & hide the druggie friends, from the contact list so he would not be so exposed from the conversations about how wasted they got on acid at the last party, or even invite him to the next one. I thought I'd be removing some of the exposure.

 

Do these actions of mine justify that I was too controlling? A bad person? Not worthy of his love? I feel I only did the best I knew at the time. I have no experience with drugs/alcohol abuse. It is only after reading things and talking to people that Iearn I could perhaps have done things differently.

 

Elliot, I really regret I did those things behind his back. I breached his trust. I can't seem to forgive myself for doing this. I regret it to no end. I think if I had NOT done those things, then he might not have any reason to think poorly of me and perhaps he would eventually have come around. He migh have thought I was worth making the changes for all on his own accord! Perhaps if I did not do those things, he may have willingly wanted to do them eventually himself anyway, because I had never wronged him! I am so angry at myself! Did I take away his incentive to want to do it himself? To genuinely want to give it up? I can't help but feel, if I had of done things differently, he would genuinely have wanted to change all by himself.

 

I have learnt that next time, I won't make such an effort to try and change someone, because I do realise now that the effort has to come from the person with the addiction, not me. They have to want it. I can want it as much as I like but it's not going to change anything unless they want the change. If I have learnt anything, it is that. But will he go on resenting me forever and a day for wanting only the best for us? Will he never understand why I did what I did?

 

If there is no hope, I don't want to be hopeful! I keep imagining a fairytale ending where he has had time to mull things over like he used to and finally the penny has dropped for him and he then turns up on my doorstep and says he has finally woken up and is going to get help for his substance problems and leave those druggie friends behind because he has missed me so much. We would then go to counselling together, have wonderful dialogue and communication and actually work through the problems, find solutions, build trust in each other again and live happily ever after.

 

I wish for this more than anything! Hypothetically speaking, if he did do as I described in the paragraph above, would I be wrong for going back? Would it be the right decision?

 

I know I've asked a lot here. The bonus will reflect, so your time and patience with me today would be most appreciated. It's been a very hard day today!

 

Thank you,

Amanda

 

P.S I am very sentimental today. I have seen your photo on here, so I thought it might be nice for you to see who you have been talking to and whom I love dearly and am suffering so much grief over! Below is a picture of us just a few days before he proposed. I'm quite certain he's been 'the' love of my life despite the addiction problems. You can see even in this photo, his original happy and energetic dispostion I fell in love with. I miss this energy and his presence. Not only did I lose the one I loved for 18 months and a friend of 13 years, but I lost the man I was to share the remainder of my life with. It is debilitating.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you so much for the two letters and the picture. I see a beautiful young woman and a handsome young man. They seem like they have the whole world ahead of them. This image seemed to be the picture of reality - and it WAS, at least as far as you knew.

It turns out that this photo is an illusion, a delusion, It does not show the seeds of destruction already planted deep inside.

Your former boyfriend had a life that was hidden from you. As bits and pieces of the truth came out, you tried to change things by setting up resistance to him. You saw a terrible, destructive fire burning and you rightly tried to control it before it consumed everything. You took charge and did what you could instead of walking away and avoid being caught in the fire.

This is not controlling behavior; it is loving concern. You never realized the magnitude of the situation, and you still don't, even after being lied to, cheated on, and physically abused.

Everything about this man is a lie. If he hasn't changed his Facebook status, then it is probably it serves him some purpose to not change it, to continue misrepresenting himself to the rest of the world.

Amanda, you ARE in denial. You are hoping for the impossible. He is NOT the person that you are still holding onto in your mind. He is not a good person, is not really caring or kind,. He has a serious drug problem. He is potentially dangerous to you; he is a sociopathic liar and deceiver, and is so good at it (all sociopaths are good at it), that you ae still fooled, at least on one level, whilst you know how he really is at another level. You always choose the false man in the picture and see only your happiness in the picture.

Take a picture of yourself in the mirror, now, crying and feeling the terrible way you do. Hold it in your mind and tell yourself that is the reality of what your relationship has begun.

If you could see him as he really is, you would never go back with him no matter how much he begged you, because you would understand that this would never work.

Fortunately, you are not likely to have this opportunity. This relationship is finished, Amanda. It will never work, no matter what. You are fortunate that you never married and that it went no turther than this.

Please move forward. Throw out the old pictures, the mementoes, the gifts, and clothing that reminds you of him. Get rid of it all and of anything that reminds you of a time that was ultimately destructive to you, and is STILL destroying your life.

Make today the beginning of the rest of your life. Remove him from your Facebook and from every other aspect of your life. It is time to move forward. Make positive steps to remove him for good, and do it today.

May God give you the strength to move forward with your life.

Warmest regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you Elliot. Everything I need to hear, in this case read. Appreciate your time and your words. Amanda
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

 

It's a Friday afternoon here in Australia and it's the first weekend where I actually don't have any plans since the break up. I've thought of how I can spend my time. I will go and browse and window shop, I will get my wardrobe organised, I will go for walks, I will watch some DVDs, read some books.

 

It feels to me that the only 'real' pleasure I am craving in life is to be in a loving and meaningful relationship with someone, to share all of the above mentioned activities with instead of doing them on my own. Now that I live alone again I don't enjoy cooking for one. I never have. But when I am in love, it makes me SO happy to cook for them, spoil and do nice things for them. I don't put that kind of effort into myself, because it doesn't make me happy, it's just effort. I'll just spend 2 minutes preparing a meal if it's only for me.

 

All the activities I've mentioned above, I will do, to fill the time, but can't imagine I'll enjoy them as much alone. I've heard so many people say that to attract someone you got to love yourself first or enjoy your own company before someone else can. Does this desire to want to share life with someone, make me co-dependent, or is it OK that I feel this way & just a natural part of life? I just feel so alone & depressed.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

You never know when the RIGHT person will come along. While you're waiting, don't settle for less.

Cook an occasional good meal for yourself. Make enough so that you can have it two or three times. Sit down and eat it on nice dishes, with somthing good and appropriate to drink with it. Do some nice things with lovely Amanda, and use that as a little therapy to do on yourself, at least once a week.

The desire to want to share your life with someone does not make you co-dependent. Not at all. It means that you are a normal human with normal drives for companionship, love, trust, and perhaps having a family when you feel settled and ready.

One day you will find someone who is worthy of your beauty and talents and kindness. He will cherish you and do all he can to make you feel special and cherished. In the meantime, enjoy your life, with the understanding that one day the right person will come along and you will know that he really cares and really has your best interests alway in his heart.

To reframe what has happened to you, think of how horrible it would have been to be actually married to someone who was addicted to drugs and/or alcohol, some one who would deceive you, and actually be capable of lying to your face.

You can't make that magical person appear, but you can keep yourself pampered and enjoying life. Be patient and know that sometime, somewhere, someone will fall into your life, and he will be alays good

God bless you in your search for true and decent and appropriate partnership.

Warmest regards,

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Elliot,

 

I hope you are well.

 

In one of my previous emails to you, I asked about my discomfort experienced whilst watching at TV show that has extremely explicit sex scenes (more like pornography) with a partner and explained how I reacted at the time.

 

Can you please let me know how I can handle this situation if it were to pop up again in a future relationship. Am i best not to show my insecurity? Am I over sensative? If it's a Julia Roberts/Richard Gere Hollywood style sex scene I am not fussed.

 

In my last relationship my fiance's friends were all as I would describe as being addicted to porn. I over heard one of them saying how they no longer wanted sex with their girlfriend because porn had spoilt them. Sex with the girlfriend was now 'vanilla'.The guys would exchange their hard drives and swap porn. They would even send links to each other over Skype to some porno they had just watched online.

 

I remember being very anxious while in the kitchen making my partner his dinner if he was at his computer in the other room, because I thought it awfully unfair if I was doing something loving and thoughtful for him (making his dinner), whilst his mates may have been sending him porn at that same moment. It just felt really disrespectful. I never felt like I could just be at ease. Looking back on it now, that relationship had me constantly anxious, like a crazy person!

 

Perhaps if I find a decent and respectful man to share my life with, I won't have these concerns? I do recall my ex fiance telling me that 99.9% of men indulge in porn and I was living in some kind of fantasy land if I thought otherwise. He said he was the 0.01% that was willing to give it up for my comfort & I would never find that again. At the time I thought "It's the social circle you reside with, that makes you think that way ".

 

Thank you,

Amanda

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

It is so nice to hear from you.

I teach several Uni level classes in addition to my online and private therapy. In one Soc class I always spend a whole period focusing on pornography. It is a great destroyer of relationships, causes violence to women, and degrades women in men's eyes. Pornography addicts and users are chronic masturabators who spill their seed on digital or print images and have none left for real women.

I wouldn't waste my time with a man who has not advanced himself above this level. I would suggest you watch the videos that I let my classes watch and you will see what porno does and how degrading it is. The women in my class agree, burt many of the men just don't get it. There are those of us men who DO understand and there are good, decent men out there who will treasure you and never want to look at porno (or hopefully go out with other women). You have principles that you should be proud of. Stick to them and don't let other people tell you that black is white or that evil is good, just because everybody does it..

A Drug Called Pornography

1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALeRKvxrJjs

2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Q7PEDlbVXo&feature=related

3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkFF2VdXEhs&feature=related

4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LkKx0irYPs&feature=related

5 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ccG43znpOU&feature=related

6 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWWFx_dy6QI&feature=related

7 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcQjA2Rt0e8&feature=related


 

I wish you the best. A wonderful and sweet woman like you deserves to be treated with great respect and love. Don't settle for less.

 

Warmest regards

 

Elliott


Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

 

Thank you so much for your response. I feel better about this topic now and the more I question things and talk to you, I am learning that it is OK to want what I want.

 

The video you sent me to watch 'A Drug Called Pornography' was really interesting. The perception these young men have of what they think 'women want', based on what they see in the pornography is interesting. I don't think they could be further from the truth! If I am an average/typical woman!

 

I think there is a whole generation of men forming now where they really don't know how to be 'good lovers' because of the disillusionment pornography is giving them. The idea of 'intimacy' and 'romance' has totally been lost and forgotten! Even with my last few relationships, I've had to remind my male partners that it is not a one-sided activity! Pornography may be one-sided, but sex with a real live woman, IS NOT!

 

I love old classic films of the 1930s, 1940s and mid 1950s. I always wondered why my whole life, the cut off was the mid 1950s for me. Then last night while watching the documentary I found it fascinating to hear that it was the late 1950s when Playboy was launched and the influence it had from there onwards.

 

What I see and appreciate in the old films is a stereotype where men think of women as being mysterious creatures that they are so desperately wanting to understand, so they could win the affection of a 'special' woman for themselves & they would go about doing so by being gentleman i.e carry our books home from school etc.

 

Now the tables seem to have turned and I think women feel that if they want to win a man's affection, they have to imitate what they see in pornography and bring a fantasy to life for them! If you don't, then he's going to think the sex is vanilla and you don't stand a chance at competiting with all the digital images or in fact all the other real life girls who will eagerly strive to make the fantasy a reality for them and 'perform' in that way! I must say, this puts a lot of pressure on a woman, particularly if she is married, had children and her body is changing and she's trying to continue with work and manage a household (I don't know this first hand, but see my married girlfriends).

 

If a woman then turns things around and states she wants romance and intimacy, don't these men have even more incentive to go! I understand the real challenge here is finding a man in the first place that wants intimacy Vs. cheap sex but I do think it's becoming an extremely rare quality to find, particularly when all of the Sydney newspapers and news programs are constantly informing us of the male shortage we have here. Women are apparently turning finding a husband into a sport, it's gotten so competitive. How can a woman with values have any leverage when men are the rare creature with an abundance of easy women around? We can't entirely blame men you know. If women didn't act this way, then we might be treated with respect. If only there was a way to convince women to create porn, and that by doing so we are only robbing ourselves of real intimacy with me. However there is always going to be women around desperately wanting to earn money to keep a roof over her head, or in possession of drugs, that she will get involved in the porn business.

 

There is a section in the documentary where they mention the shame men feel after their interludes with pornography and the vicious cycle they get themselves into of having to use it more. I found this really interesting because I think a lot of men have actually evolved beyond the shame. I don't like using the word 'evolve' because it has positive connotations!

 

The lack of shame could easily have been witnessed by my ex-fiances group of friends.The guys spoke about pornography constantly all day long over email and even the girls in this group would send emails inviting the guys to join them to strip clubs as a part of their normal social activity and claim that they loved the excuse to dress up slutty. I couldn't believe what I was reading! It appeared to me that the girls had become insecure, accepting this as their reality and felt that the only way to convince the guys to spend time with them, would be to invite them to such a venue. The role reversal and modern girl's equivalent of carrying the school books!

 

When someone in that group gets married, the guys go to strip clubs (or even fly from Sydney to Las Vegas) for private shows & pool parties and the girls would also go to strip clubs and watch women strippers too & openly discuss what they had seen over group email the next day/week. To see the girls get involved in this activity I thought it was an "if you can't beat them, join them" kind of attitude that I was never prepared to buy into. I was always requesting my ex-fiance to not participate in any of this behaviour and he never attended the buck's nights out of respect for me, which I greatly appreciated at the time.

 

I should have just realised earlier however that I'd got myself caught up with the entirely wrong social scene which was not congruent with my kind of values. Sometimes I think that my kind of values are becoming so rare today, it would have been easier if I had perhaps never been instilled with them in the first place, because although it's better not to settle for less, it could mean that the alternative is to wind up very lonely. I'm fearful that people with stereotypical good values are becoming an endangered species!

 

The book you recommended me to read "There Goes The Bride' arrived from Amazon today, so I look forward to reading that this weekend. I must say, I've bought a lot of books and friends have loaned me a lot of books in relation to my recent circumstance and I can't put them down. I'm devouring them. They provide me with a lot of comfort and I think I am learning a lot too.

 

I also joined eharmony and have my first coffee date tonight. Hoping I've not plunged in too quickly, but my horse riding background always had me hearing the phrase "best to jump straight back on that horse and get back in the saddle". My wedding was meant to be the weekend after next, so hoping I won't be too harshly rejected or it could add vinegar to the wound. In retrospect, setting up a date was probably not my wisest decision.

 

Amanda

 

 

 

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

You are an amazing woman. You have so much heart and tenderness, so much understanding and intellectual curiosity.

I agree: you are a member of a minority,a dwiindling group of "old school" people who really value other people - and themselves.

You know what you are looking for now, and you know what will NOT suit you, and you will be more discerning in future.

In two weeks you can celebrate your good fortune as the past begins to fade away.

I am so glad for you. You will find someone who is decent and kind, and appreciates life as you do.. Thank you for getting back to me and giving me this wonderful feedback.

God bless you Amanda.

My warmest regards,
Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Elliot,

 

I have been feeling miserable all the weekend. It's now Monday and I'm back at work and I just don't know how to function. I have projects I need to complete and by deadlines (I work in marketing and it's a constant deadline driven environment). I have to present in front of a whole group of people today. I have found that if I allow myself to cry even just a little, then it is like the flood gates have been opened and I cannot stop crying for the remainder of the day, so I am doing all I can to not shed a tear this morning.

 

The only time I seem to get comfort or feel half OK, is if I am reading books. Self help books that continually reassure me that I've made the right decision to end that relationsship. When I put the book down and feel the lonliness I quickly forget all the logical decisions that were made for my long term benefit. This week I think is going to be particularly bad...

 

I am also scared that once the "wedding day" has come and gone, everyone is going to miraculously expect that I should no longer be greiving. In a way I feel a little safe and not crazy at the moment, because I'm technically allowed to be upset I suppose. My wedding was to be in a week's time and it is socially acceptable to be upset. What happens if I am still upset next week?

 

I have leave I can take. Should I take it? But then the projects will be left unclosed and I will feel like I am letting my manager down. I could probably finish the most important one if I could stick it out another couple of days. I feel like I am in a living hell. Then I feel selfish for thinking that way, because I know others have it much worse than I do. There are people out there greiving over the death of a child or are still caught up in abusive relationships etc.

 

I don't know what to do on the day. I know Friday night I need to be with friends because the last thing I want to do is wake up alone on Saturday morning (what was meant to be the wedding day) alone. Friends have suggested going out for a girl's night to bars in the city. But I don't think I will want to be in a bar.. and then what after that? Go home alone? And wake up Sunday morning (what was to be my first morning as a married woman) all alone. I just want to escape my life. Get out of my body, get out of my mind.

 

I really wanted to spend the whole weekend with my nana and aunt, and hop on a plane and get out of town, but it happens to by my aunty's birthday this Thursday and she will want to celebrate her birthday with her daughters/friends and with my nana.

 

I can't spend it with my own parents, I will one day give some background regarding my family, as it may be the reason I lack self esteem and have always wound up in bad relationships & you might be able to guide me how to break the pattern. Or maybe I just give an abridged version here...

 

Elliot, my mother was emotionally and physically abusive whilst I was growing up and beyond. Her own mother was an alcoholic and a single parent and was abusive towards her. Although my mother did not develop alcoholic tendencies, she did repeat her mother's abusive behaviour with me. My mother disliked cleaning & would go outside and play with the pets, whilst left me indoors to clean all the rooms as she had instructed. If she returned and things were not to the standard she expected, or she felt I had not worked fast enough, I would be hit, she would either throw me to the floor and rip at my hair and kick me in the stomach etc, or I recall on one occassion being picked up (my whole body weight) by my hair and carried to my bedroom and then thrown against the wall.

 

I've had my head rammed into refridgerators, glass sliding doors. If in the car and she lost her temper, she would hit me with the crook lock. As I got older, I'd lock myself in the bathroom and she'd then threaten to pour my goldfish down the toilet and flush them. I'd hear the water of the tank being poured into the toilet, but would still be too frightened to go out.

 

I had a CD player/radio device. One day when she lost her temper, she thru it across the room and it smashed (not because it was up loud playing heavy metal or the like. In all honesty it was probably playing the andrew sisters while I cleaned - that was my little tradition). A year or more later my father bought me a new one for my birthday present. I don't even think he remembered she had broken the original one. This infuriated my mother and she felt that a year or so later, his action of buying a new one for me as a birthday present had undermined her. The next morning I was asleep in my bed and awoke to a punch in the face. This was her way at getting back at me for receiving a new CD player.

 

One day I had friends over visiting. I had arrived home before they were due to arrive and needed to go to the bathroom. I had a bit of a stomach ache, and decided to use my parent's ensuite, knowing that guests would not need to use that bathroom. I made the mistake of leaving my car keys on the vanity. When my mother arrived home, she said hello to my friends and went to her bedroom. She found my keys on her vanity. She then came down and told my friends that if they were to hear loud drilling not to be concerned. She was having a locksmith come and change the lock on her bedroom door because her daughter is a thief and steals her perfume and belongings. I had never done such thing. Then I was humiliated when the locksmith did arrive and was changing the lock.

 

My horse had an accident in the paddock one day and I had a vet come and visit and also an equine chiropractor. The equine chiropractor who was registered with the Australian Vetinarian association told me that my horse would need a lot of rehabilitation if I was willing to put in the time and effort. He taught me all of the stretches and exercises I was to do with the horse each day. I had a great job at the time as a Marketing Manager for a children's Toy company and I was able to work from home at the time, so I was more than happy to treat my horse and give him a second chance at life. I spent three hours with him in the morning and another couple of hours with him in the evening doing all of the exercises. He was showing improvement and when the equine chiro returned he was happy with the progress. He said it would take between 6 - 9 months and to keep him in a small corale. He explained that when horse begins to feel better they will over exert themselves and then relapse again. A horse does not understand that it cannot run etc.

 

My mother let the horse out of his corale and when he was looking better, she went against instructions and forced him to trot. I was begging and pleading her not to go against the instructions. My horse then fell and hurt himself some more. Of course then my mother told my father I was torturing my horse and she would come to me alone and say "You should have your horse destroyed".

 

I then had to go away with work for a few days and asked my father to please give the horse his feed and keep him rugged and I showed him a quick version of treatmet (short massage he could do in the morning if he had time). My father handed the duty of care over to my mother who I knew would not comply. She is very good at pretending to my father that she loves animals and would do all and more than the horse needed. When I returned home it had been raining for the whole time and she never put the rug on the horse. He also was very skinny - all of his ribs were poking out. I don't believe she fed him. A horse standing in the rain for three days, with no food or rug.... he looked like death.

 

It was at this point she then called the RSPCA and claimed I was involved in animal cruelty and not putting the horse down. I contacted the equine chiropractor and he had met my mother a couple of times and he shared with me that he was no impressed with her and to do my best to ignore her and continue with the treatment. He told me that as he was registered with the Australian Vetinary Association that the RSPCA would not be able to do anything as he is evidence that my horse is receiving care and treatment. My mother made life a living hell over those months on a daily basis, constantly accusing me of mistreating my horse. My father who does not know much about animals, did not know who to believe and felt like the meat in the sandwich. I took video of my horse during the day to show his progress to my father. In the end my mother had my horse put down. I still don't think I have fully grieved that loss.

 

In my teenage years and beyond, my mother became very jealous of the father/daughter relationship I have with my dad. My dad is a very soft man. He likes to please everyone. He is a big softie and gets walked all over. My father had his own business so was working most weekends, leaving me home alone with my mum. When she would get mad and frustrated with me and I'd lock myself in the bathroom she would call him and say I had done something I hadn't. My father never had a real picture of what she was doing to me. She was very good at making out I was this terrible child who was driving her crazy.

 

I was a great child. My grandmother and aunties knew the truth. They could "see thru" her. I always studied hard. I never had to be told to do my homework. I genuinely wanted to do well on my own. I never took drugs. I always strived to do my best and hopefully please too. I am perhaps a chip of my father's block.

 

A part of my mother's insecurities with my father became explained in a 20 page letter she sent to me a couple of years back. She claimed that he was involved in emotional incest with me. Her belief that the reason I will never have a successful relationship with a man is because of my father. She has convinced herself that he loved me too much and spoilt me because we had a family trip to Disneyland when I was a child. She is convinced that I dislike her now, because my father convinced me to dislike her (not because of the abuse as a child I received from her). My father was just like any other loving father. If I had an issue at school with bullies he'd come down to the school and try and sort things out. When my first engagement broke down my father would talk to me to try and make me feel better. I think he was just a regular dad.

 

My relationships with men and I've had many, are all very similar when at the time I thought I was choosing someone very different. They've all been quite selfish. I've had 7 men from memory all cheat on me, or discovered that they were cheating on their partner to be with me. The last 3 relationships have all had men that were physically abusive with me. How do I break the pattern? Is this happening because of my childhood?

 

So many questions Elliot. A friend has recommended that I go to South Pacific Private. A Hopsital here in Australia. It is a private psychiatric hospital. http://www.southpacificprivate.com.au/ I could stay there for 3 weeks and apparently get to the bottom of the problems. I kind of like the idea of speaking about problems for 3 weeks and potentially breaking patterns, but wonder if I really need it. Also, if I ever wanted to adopt children in the future because I meet a man too late in life and can't have children of my own, will the adoption agency not allow me to adopt a child because I've been to a psychiatric hospital? I guess I can't really get past the stigma. And there I would be with people who are trying to rehab from alcohol and substance abuse etc. I just don't know if I belong there, or if I could work thru changing the patterns in my life, a different way. Do you think my relationships with men are even related to my childhood and relationship with my mother? Or have I just been unfortunate?

 

Matt - cheated on me with a girl at his uni, she contacted me online to inform me (we studied at different unis)

Jake - Cheated on me at his own birthday party (in another room)

Nathan - He was always talking about us getting married. Then one day I found him in a car with a girl. They had just had sex as there was evidence of it all over the seat. When I asked him about the girl, he revealed her name was Lily. Lily was the name he has suggested we name our first baby girl, when we have kids.

Lucas - Became engaged to Lucas, but then discovered he was sleeping with prostitutes. When I got upset with the news and called him dirty and a few other names, he then beat me for half an hour until I was black and blue.

Benny - A Dutch man I had worked with on a sponsorship agreement. He would come to Australia for meetings and I had to go to the Netherlands. He said he liked me and was going to move to Australia and start a business here so he could be with me. He would fly to Australia for weekends to spend a weekend with me... and come for 3 weeks at a time to spend time with me all a part of the courting. I then was contacted by a girl claiming to be his defacto of 11 years - he was cheating on her.

Heath - He had a good job when we met and then quit his job. He was unemployed and never looked for a job or had any intention to. I wanted to support him how I could, to find work by helping him put together resumes etc and send him links to job ads I thought were a good fit for his background. When his money ran out and he had not gone on one interview, I refused to hand out money. At which point he moved north to live with his father so he could stay unemployed. We then started a long distance relationship, and then I found out he had at least another 3 girls all on the go at the same time, at which point he became physical and hit me as well when I got upset he was cheating.

Then there was my most recent fiance, who I learned had the substance problems and who also was beginning to become physical with me.

 

Elliot, I am 32. I want to stop all of this hurt and pain. I can't take anymore. I want a simple, non dramatic life, with someone I am attracted to and who is attractive and compatible with me. I also don't want to grieve anymore over someone who does not deserve my tears, but I don't know how to stop. My self worth is thru the floor. I have no confidence.

 

I really want my own family and to have a well adjusted marriage. One where we are best friends. There is no substances, no violence, no cheating. Where he is eager to come home to me at the end of the day and our family. I want a family man! I want to have several children and create my own beautiful family to replace the mess of a family I had when I started out.

 

What is wrong with my mother? Why is she the way she is? My father and her are currently getting a divorce because since I moved out of home, she has not allowed him to have contact with me. She has placed tape recorders around the house hidden under towels, in the hope of catching him make a phone call to me. My father has had to secretly visit me at work during lunch just to see me. He wanted to be honest with her, but she would become so abusive and angry, that she made it hard for him to be honest about being in contact with me. She has held knives to his throat in the past. I think he has finally begun to see her for who she really is.

 

When my most recent engagement fell apart, she lost the plot again. She said to my father "you must be glad that her wedding has fallen apart. Now you will be the main man in her life again". Of course my father was devastated for me that I was going through this hell. More than anything he wanted to see me happy. He had even put calls thru to my ex trying to fix things for us. My mother so upset that she would have to fight for my father's attention again said she wanted to kill herself, or kill him. She ran around the house smashing plates and just went crazy.

 

My life feels like an absolute mess Elliot and all I've ever done, is try to do my best. I really have. I really nurtured and cared for my fiance. I can't believe this is how things always turn out. I feel I am cursed or something. I could not have been a better partner. And now I am going thru hell again. I don't know how to fix things! I don't have time to waste on more mistakes with wrong people. I have bought about 30 books off Amazon and have started by trying to educate myself. I am reading books like 'Big Red Flags', '51 things to consider before getting engaged', '1001 things to know before getting engaged', 'The Manipulative Man', 'Find your soul mate'.

 

I feel I am learning things already. The Big Red Flag book was great. I wish I had read it 10 years ago, and already feel things would be different for me, had I known then, what I think I know now from reading it.

 

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for revealing so much of your tortured early life. You have survived and you must be, in many ways, a very strong person. You are going to come out on top of all of this. There are some good men out there (and I must admit there seems to be a lot of men who never seem to grow up), and you are going to meet one. You will have the discernment to know and to see. You are such an outstanding woman in every way. Intelligent, resourceful, kind, generous of spirit, and physically beautfiful as well. Perhaps your neediness prevented you from exercising the best judgment on your previous romantic interests, but with your experience, and your study, you have surely learned a great deal.

You mother sounds like she has an Antisocial Personality Disorder. Her behavior is quite destructive and hateful, and she has no remorse, because psychopaths are incapable or remorse or having empathy for others. I cannot see why you would ever want her in your life anymore, in any way whatsoever. You only offer yourself up for further abuse.

She has hurt you and made you used to victimhood. You have perhpas even sought out negative treatment in your relationships because of her. You are more like your father, even to the extent that he also allowed himself to be a victim and to be continuously abused by her. What she did to youl, and to your horse (I LOVE horses) is unforgiveable and horrific. She doesn't deserve the time of day from you, as she would find a way to use it against you.

Perhaps, in your collection of books you have collected some on assertiveness training. This is something you need to work on. You have been bullied for so long that you have lost some of your will and abilitiy to resist. Some training like this would help you very much. I recommend the following book:

The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships
by Randy J. Paterson

I looked through the South Pacific website, and thought that the program dealing with codependency and self-esteem might be very helpful to you. You should talk to someone over there about it. Of course they will devote a lot of time to trying to get you into the program, because they run a business. However, you have discernment and can read through the lines and make up your own mind.

You friends and coworkers, and supervisors/bosses at work will definitely undertand that you have had a painful experience. I'm sure that they know you are strong and stoic, despite your deep pain. They will give you plenty of room because you are a valuable asset to them. I suggest that you talk over the possibility of a short leave of absence with the supervisor who works with you most closely and try to get some kind of arrangement made.

I have great confidence in your ability to be able to accomplish anything. You impress me in so many ways, and I am sure that you can get by all of this and wind up stronger and more confident.

I am here any time you need me.

My warmest regards,
Elliott


Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi Elliot,
Thank you so much for your email. It's nice to see that perhaps I have some strengths as a result of all of that mess. I am going to do everything I can to overcome any issues I may now have a result however so I can really change the course of my life for the better. I suppose stage 1 is to realise I do have the power. Not to think like a victim anymore. The future doesn't have to be the same.
I think you have really hit a nail on the head regarding the 'assertiveness' side of things. I've had suggestions from previous managers to do some kind of assertiveness course, but for some reason I have never made it a priority until I read your suggestion yesterday. That is when the bell went off for me and realised, if you are acknowledging that as an area of opportunity I can grow in, and I've heard it from other's before, then it must really be the case! I just assumed that a lack of assertiveness might be a handicap at work, but I could overcompensate for it by working harder.
I didn't for a moment think that it may be a reason I am attracting the kind of men into my life that I am, and having the relationship problems I've been having. I'll be finding myself a book or two on the subject, but will also see if I can enrol into a community college course where you interact and perhaps role play different scenarios. I've heard that sometimes it's good to actually put things into practice by acting things out.
In your email above, you mentioned that perhaps I even sought out negative treatment in my relationships because of my mother. Are you able to expand on this some more? I am guessing I must have done this subconsciously? Because I certainly would not have knowingly would have tried to do that?
Can you explain why I would have done this so that I can concentrate on now allowing myself to do it again? When my most recent fiance and I were courting, he was so very happy, optimistic, energetic and bubbly. I would never have imagined in a million years that he would have substance problems, a temper or would harm me physically.
Thank you,
Amanda
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for your reply. I am so glad that you are going to pursue assertiveness training. I like the hands on, role playing method the best, XXXXX XXXXX use it in my therapy. Learning to be assertive will help you to unlearn being the submissive person that you were trainined to be by your dominating mother.

You had the habit of being submissive to an abusive person, and so opened yourself up to this kind of treatment from others who had a bullying nature. They were naturally aggressive and sought out women like you, rather than you having sought them out. You were passive and they sensed it. Bullies never choose assertive people to pick on. Your training will keep them away like garlic repels vampires. This is how you will break the pattern of abusive relationships. They won't even want to begin with this kind of relationship because they will sense your strength and self-confidence.

I wish you continued growth. You are so intelligent and capable, and you will surmount this hurdle as well. You can accomplish anything.

Warmest regards,
Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Dear Elliot,

Everything you have said makes so much sense to me!

Thank you!
Amanda
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 3 years ago.
God bless you, Amanda.

Elliott
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7663
Experience: 35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
Elliott, LPCC, NCC and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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