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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7662
Experience:  35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I need advice on my current relationship.

Customer Question

My ex broke up with me in June since he wanted to be alone and he did not want to be a burden to me. Since then we've been in touch almost everyday and he still comes to me for help. He knows I still want to be with him but he said he's not in the right place of mind to be in one but he still loves and cares for me. I'm just torn as to what to do. He needs my help and I'm not the type of person to walk away from someone who needs help. On the other hand, I feel sad and angry everytime we see each other since I know he doesn't want to be in a relationship. I just need an outside advice as to what to do. Thanks!

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I understand that you are a loving and caring person, but you are, throwing away your good energy on a no-win situation. You may be consoling him, but at the price of bringing yourself down. He wants your support, but he is not willing to give you the same back.

This is a one-sided relationship, and it is not working for you. I would ease out of this relationship since it is only dragging you down and preventing you from moving on with your life. Just slow it down and fade it out. Reduce the number of contacts, or if that is too difficult, you can just tell him that this is not the kind of relationship you are looking for and it has become a dead-end and you want out. He needs a counselor or a mother or a sister or a pastor, and you are none of the above.

Yes, it seems sad, but the relationship has already ended, and you must let the wound heal over, instead of rubbing salt into it every day.

I wish you the strength and courage to back away gracefully from the remains of this former romantic relationship.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC
Elliott, LPCC, NCC, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7662
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 2 years ago.
Hi,

I know what you mean. Deep down I know what I need to do. I've heard it from friends and family but I am having a hard time cutting the cord. I tried it for a few days and it helped me a bit but then he comes again. He just recently loss his car so I pick him up every morning to take him to work. I know he's depressed and doesn't really have anyone to talk to. I can't be that person he can talk to since I'm not an expert and part of the depression is our relationship. Part of me feels bad cutting the cord especially knowing that he needs me. I think that's what I'm having trouble with.
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Dear friend,

You dilemma is clear. As you pick him up, he pulls you down. Sometimes you cannot save a drowning person without drowning yourself. Compassion has its limits, and once it begins to cause your own depression or other dysfunction, then it is no longer a helping process.

I understand how much you wish to be a support to this man, but the load is very taxing on you, and you may break under the strain.

This is tremendously difficult. I truly understand. However, if you do not consciously put an end to this, you will risk having your own psychological break. He does need you, and you are there. You do need him, but alas he is NOT there for you. This is a one-sided and rather selfish relationship. If this is what you are willing to accept, then keep doing what you are doing. If not, then you will have to do something that is not generally in your nature. However, I believe that it is essential for your own self-preservation.

I wish you the courage and strength. You are a good and faithful woman, but you deserve a lot more than what you are getting.

Warmest regards,

Elliott
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

 

I understand what you are saying. He broke up with me when I needed him the most. My former roommate was keeping our rent money for the last few months and I did not know about it so we had to leave our apartment, I quit my job of 10 years to start a new one, one great friend passed away and it was my birthday. All those things happened in a two weeks span and he ended it right in the middle of everything. I buried myself with my new job and did not really deal with it until now. I'm sad most of the time and it is not me. I've always been so happy go lucky and my friends are worried about me since it is not the Ria they know. I know I need to let it go to move forward. I just need to find the strength to do it. Part of me does not want him and our mutual friends to think that I turned away when he needed me but he did the same to me and right now I am thinking of me for once. I hope I'm making sense.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

 

I understand what you are saying. He broke up with me when I needed him the most. My former roommate was keeping our rent money for the last few months and I did not know about it so we had to leave our apartment, I quit my job of 10 years to start a new one, one great friend passed away and it was my birthday. All those things happened in a two weeks span and he ended it right in the middle of everything. I buried myself with my new job and did not really deal with it until now. I'm sad most of the time and it is not me. I've always been so happy go lucky and my friends are worried about me since it is not the Ria they know. I know I need to let it go to move forward. I just need to find the strength to do it. Part of me does not want him and our mutual friends to think that I turned away when he needed me but he did the same to me and right now I am thinking of me for once. I hope I'm making sense.

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Dear Ria,

You sound like you are making GREAT SENSE! It is about time that you think of Ria and stop pandering to a man that abandoned you when you needed him the most. In his heart he will understand, but he might want to make you feel guilty. You can't help him; you can only prop him up by giving up little pieces of your own spiritual and emotional strength. It doesn't matter what he says or what your friends think. If any of them says a word to you you must tell them that that must not judge you because they have not walked in your boots or had to deal with this disappointing and self-centered man.

Be strong and let the chips fall where they may. You have a life to lead and you owe it to yourself. No one else cares as much about your life as you, and you need to get it back on track.

Best wishes,

Elliott
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Elliott,

 

I think the hard part for me is backing away graciously. I'm in limbo whether to bow out slowly and take baby steps or just go cold turkey. Deep down I know what I need to do get the old Ria back but for some reason I'm still in denial no matter how much this person has caused me pain and sadness. The acceptance piece is what I need to get to in order for me to move forward. I know still seeing each other everyday and talking everyday is not healthy for both of us but we still do it. For him cause he needs me and is worried about me. For me cause I know he needs me and I am worried about him to.

 

Ria

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Dear Ria,

I understand that you are both "addicted" to the daily reinforcement of concern, but this is a dysfunctional relationship. Hearing what you have just written to me makes me understand that a clean break would be best.

Perhaps a well thought out letter, edited, and mulled over until you got it just the way you wanted to, would leave no room for him to misinterpret you meaning and intention.

Yes, it will hurt, but it is inevitable. If you want the old Ria back (and it will actually be the new, stronger, more resilient Ria), then you must allow yourself room to become whole again, without holding on to the skeleton of a failed relationship.

He will have to fend for himself, as you will, but in the end it will be for the best.

I wish blessings and resolution for both of you. It is your job to take care of Ria first, second, and third, however.

I wish you the best.

Warm regards,
Elliott
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Elliott,

 

So the how would just be stop any contact with him, yes it will hurt at first but thru time it will get better. I need to concentrate on me instead of him. I need to surround myself with people that truly care for me instead of those who are there just for themselves. I always bury myself at work and try not to talk about things and ignore my friends which I know is not a good idea. I know what I need to do and with help I can do it. That first step is the hardest.

 

Thanks,

Ria

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

So the how would just be stop any contact with him, yes it will hurt at first but thru time it will get better. I need to concentrate on me instead of him. I need to surround myself with people that truly care for me instead of those who are there just for themselves. I always bury myself at work and try not to talk about things and ignore my friends which I know is not a good idea. I know what I need to do and with help I can do it. That first step is the hardest.

 

Thanks,

Ria

Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 2 years ago.
Dear Ria,

The best way to get closure is to sit down and write a final letter to him. Be short and to the point. Don't beat around the bush. Just write a few sentences. Tell him that you are done and that the relationship is over. Tell him that you don't want to discuss this with him, nor talk to him, nor see him, and you will not respond to him if he tries to confront you.

Write the letter carefully, and reread it and edit it before you send it. Make is real letter and not an email, in your own hand and not types. Once you send it, then you should be done. If you backtrack or allow one more meeting or discussion then you will be lost again.

Be strong. Make your stand and stick to it. A door will close, and new doors will open.

Warm regards,
Elliott

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