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Mark Manley
Mark Manley, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience:  Want help with your most important relationships? Licensed Marriage/Family Counselor.
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Need male therapist opinion. My boyfriend said we werent a

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Need male therapist opinion. My boyfriend said we weren't a match. But, then, after I explained how we were, and wrote him a long email, we had a great date the next day. He said he missed me. He needed time & space. He has serious financial problems right now and has had an unusually hectic schedule. He said he'd go for a hike with me this weekend. I made mistakes. I was mothering & needling him about his weight and eating. I want to change his perception of me when we get together. I want him to know I'm attracted to him the way he is today. An online author suggested I not have any contact with him to make him want and appreciate me since I removed the "chase" by always being there for him. I posted a new match profile, hoping he'd see it. Should I actually start dating and post my photo?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Yes for sure! I know you risk him taking less interest or saying good she got the message now I am off the hook. If this happens then you need to know sooner than later that he really isn't open for a relationship. On the other hand if anything will help him step up to the relationship you hope for it would be your plan described above.

From what you have described you are doing all you can, good for you.

In the end you can't force a relationship you can only foster it.

Best of happiness to you.
Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Mark. I need to ask you for details please. This is very important. The online author said it's best to put away his photos, etc. to act as if I've moved on for sure since he would pick up on my not moving on. If he thinks I have, then he'll be more interested in me. Can I compliment him when we're on our hike? What should I do and not do when we're together? What will help? I know not to talk about the relationship or anything heavy. I miss our physical intimacy so much! The author said don't sleep w/ him unless I get a commitment to the relationship. I agree w/ that. What can I do to get him interested in me again? I'm still in shock and didn't see this coming at all.

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Hi,
Could click on 'Accept' and I can help you some more.

Thanks
Mark Manley, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Want help with your most important relationships? Licensed Marriage/Family Counselor.
Mark Manley and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

HI Mark, I thought I accepted already, didn't I? My boyfriend & I are still together. He said sweetly, "WE" (he and the kids) have a xmas stocking for me. I connected w/ the kids to make sure he was covered on presents and the stocking. The kids have never done his stocking although he hangs it and he has filled it himself each year! I told his daughter that that's not right. So, I bought all the stuff for it and showed them so we could fill it together. He asked me to "spend the night" on Christmas eve. Very sweet and certainly round about way of asking me to spend Christmas eve/day w/ he and his kids. I'd like to provide a bit more update and obtain advice from you.. so, I will accept. Please let me know that you're interested in providing more advice. I feel we're doing well now.. however I did encounter a recent "speed bump".. I'd like your opinion on...

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Mark was helpful. But, he hasn't responded. I'd like to get an answer from a male therapist today. Thanks.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Hi there glad to hear things are going better.
What can I help you with?

Sincerely,
Mark
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Mark,

 

I'm glad you responded. I thought you might be on vacation. I'm assuming you read my update. Here's the twist that I'm wondering about. He drinks frequently. He'll have 1-2 hard alcohol drinks a couple times a week, or a couple glasses of wine a 4-5 x's /wk. He drinks much more than I do or ever did or ever will. I never drink alone. I never alcohol in my home. Never did. I only drink socially with friends to fit in and I like the taste. In the past few months, I've been on meds. After a few times where I got looped (w/ him of course), he wondered if I had a "problem". I don't. I was just having fun along with him. My tolerance is far lower than his. I'd have maybe 2 drinks.. possibly a 3 or 4th some times. At one point, a 6-8 wks ago, he broke things off giving me reasons that didn't make sense. None of which were related to drinking. A couple weeks ago, he said, "it's not going to work".. reason: I got looped when the kids were there. The kids didn't notice anything. He said I slurred my words a bit. I promised I wouldn't drink at all since that was an issue for him. I told him I don't need to have it in my life. I did remind him that he drinks a lot more than I do. Since that time, he has had his normal drinks, while I have had water or iced tea.. never alcohol. Never asked for it. When offered, I said, "no thank you". We were never apart after this last "speed bump". So, he has been drinking, while I don't. Weird. But, what ever. We went shopping together on Sunday. I had to wait nearly 20-30 min while he picked out 30 bottles of wine to restock his cellar. He had mentioned wine pairing events .. I said that'd be fun. He said, "then, you'd break your vow". I said, I'd go for the food. But, I wouldn't drink.

 

I'm trying to figure out what is the real issue here? Is he afraid of being emotionally hurt? He knows I'm comfortable in being emotionally vulnerable. I'm thinking that this is his way of trying to hang onto a bit of power since he feels himself falling in love with me and that's scary.

 

You're welcome to disagree w/ me. Just baffled on this one. I'm fine never drinking alcohol again if that's the deal to be w/ him.. all the while he drinks his usual. Weird.. but, as I said.. what ever. Too many blessings in my life to care if I drink alcohol again.

 

Can you give me a bit of insight on this? Let me know if you need more info.

 

Thx.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
Mark went off line. So, I'd like to open this up to another male therapist. Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I accepted Mark's answer so he could answer more of my question. Then, he went off line. So, I'd like to open this to a male therapist that is available now to answer. Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
Mark's off line.. so, I'd like to open this to another male therapist. Thanks.
Expert:  Dr. Norman Brown replied 2 years ago.

Welcome to my couples workshop. Seekers of all ages & many cultures & orientations

Mark's very, good but maybe I can add something. But if you clicked accept that your money is already spent. I think you can check on that.

 

My initial take (then I have to cook for my daughter, who's disabled by pain) and come back later:

 

His controlled drinking might be a bit precarious, since he's afraid of shaming himself in front of his kids. Did their mother drink--a lot? A relationship with unequal drinking habits is potentially a problem waiting to build up. If he sobers up more, then you're fine, but it doesn't sound like he's even thinking about that.

 

The financial stresses are everybody's creeping monster today. Does he say that he's drinking to relieve his job stress?

 

How long has he been divorced? If it's 3 years or less, then he could be very unsure about how deeply to get involved--to fall in love as you put it. He dives in and then climbs out. (Check out John Mayer's song "I don't trust myself with loving you" Lyrics online, but a smooth listen too. He could be shopping for the best fit, very wary of anything that triggers his memories of problems he had with his wife. Not really sure how to get what he really wants when he's strung out between what he KNOWS he doesn't want (even tho some of those features could be fine if he'd let himself find out) and what he IS unconsciously trying to replace. How many GF has he had between his marriage and you?

 

The tightwire between too much and too little drinking could get more difficult, and it sure does count as one of those fit/nofit issues. Gotta go now. Ask for me if you want to. I taught love relationships in college for 21 years until 2010, and I wrote the textbook. The divorce chapter has some interesting stuff on post-divorce dating.

 

Are you able to ask for what YOU want? If you notice you're mainly making sure he doesn't flee again, you might want to check on what you want.

 

however, children of divorce and recently divorced adults may creat a pattern of "serial divorce & remarriage" in their post divorce dating, and be very unsure of how to take the much bigger risk of committing. Perhaps you could ask him what he was most worried about that made him want to reconsider whether you fit what he needs or not.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
You got extra input from nphbrown above that's great. I especially like his 5th and 6th paragraphs (Starting at how long has...) .

Does seem to me he is looking for reasons and excuses to back out of the relationship. If you stay with your non drinking it will be interesting to see if he comes up with a third "reason" this won't work. I still think you are on track and you should just keep moving forward and see how he responds.

Sorry for the delayed response.

Sincerely,
Mark Manley
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm not sure which expert to accept. I just finished a long reply w/ explanation when my browser refreshed & I lost it all. The summary of it is why would I ever leave a man or relationship that brings me joy, love and happiness? I have searched my whole life and never found anyone or any relationship as meaningful and healthy as this one. My question was simply around his need to have me not drink while he did. I don't agree that he is a "controlled drinker". My mom's a "recovering" alcoholic. I've been in ACOA all my life. I know I'm not an alcoholic. I can take it or leave it.

 

He's a very sensitve, caring, loving, monogomous man. He was divorced 10 years ago. Then, he was in a committed 8 yr relationship which ended when he proposed last March and she said "maybe". It ended but he doesn't know why she didn't want to marry him. That tells me they didn't communicate as well as he thought they did. I don't know if his ex-wife was/is a drinker. She is/was a sex addict who goes/went to sex clubs, which is why they divorced. She's bipolar as well. I don't know if his dad was an alcoholic. His family does drink frequently, nothing excessive.

 

He has felt very overwhelmed w/ financial stresses due to the severe economic recession we all know about. He has a lot more responsibility than I have. Everyone has their limits. This doesn't mean that his need to not commit more emotionally has anything to do with me. I do truly feel he's afraid and stressed about his business. He has his teens to provide for, on top of dealing w/ the dyfunctions of his ex, mother and a few crazy clients.

 

It's perfectly normal for people to need "space" in relationships.. which doesn't mean that they're not a "fit". Life is not black & white that way. The only thing that's a bit odd to me is his need for me not to drink, when he does. I do feel it's a combination of him testing me, and keeping himself emotionally a step back so he doesn't feel controlled by his feelings of falling in love with me.

 

There are some things that we need to fill within ourselves that can't be filled by finding the "perfect" fit. If that void is there, within one's heart, the search outside will continue and that void won't be filled by anything else except self-love.

 

When he had to take percocet for his back, he told me (by mistake), that he felt he used to be "someone important.. and that now".. he feels he's "nothing". He quickly added that he shouldn't be talking while on medication. I do feel he has low self-esteem, especially due to his ex's and last lover's rejection of him as a man. That's a tall order to heal from all that "perfectly". I don't know anyone who doesn't have old wounds to heal in some way. That's where a loving, unconditional relationship can help both people heal their hearts in a healthy inter-dependent (no co-dependant) way.

 

Perhaps I misunderstood both of your responses; however, it seems as though your doubts FAR exceed any of mine.. which are very small. If someone wants a reason out of a relationship, do they include another in intimate family holiday celebrations as he has and is still?

 

If he left me today, I'd still be grateful for the joy, happiness and love he has shared with me. I'll never regret that. I focus on this moment. I am happy and in love. I'm more grateful than I can express in words. This feeling energizes me and brought such beauty to my world and my life. My day to day experiences are richer, more beautiful, more meaningful. I'd never walk away from that.

 

What ever precipitated or is causing this miraculous feeling I'm experiencing today, whether it's one or many things/people in my life today, I'm truly grateful.

 

Life's too short to keep questioning the beauty that is right in front of us, rather than simply embracing it and being grateful for our blessings.

 

The only reason I wrote was because I thought it was odd why he would want to see me not drinking when he is. I think I know. But, I'm interested in reading another's perspective on that.

 

I'm not flat out rejecting your responses. I honestly can't agree that he's looking for a reason out because he doesn't see a fit. His actions speak volumes. He has completely included me with his family by his choice. That tells me he wants me in his life in many ways.

 

Maybe the whole reason for the drinking disparity will be revealed in time and I just need patience. I'm happy today. How many of us can truly say that?

Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
You go girl!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks Mark. So, no opinion on the drinking disparity? Do you think it's odd? just curious.
Expert:  Mark Manley replied 2 years ago.
Yes I think it is odd. However he does hold so much more liquor than you do. Maybe he thinks he's is always in control and you are not, so it makes sense to him that he can drink while it's not OK for you.
I like your idea, that is just cut the alcohol out all together, but, for both of you. I don't believe alcohol brings a net gain over time to any situation.
Mark Manley, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 402
Experience: Want help with your most important relationships? Licensed Marriage/Family Counselor.
Mark Manley and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks Mark. I appreciate your addressing the issue I wondered about. I know the alcohol won't be eliminated entirely. I highly doubt it.

 

Then, should we give up all sugar? meat? dairy? artifical ingredients? where's the limit?

 

My guess is that over time, he'll ease up on his fears. He knows that I stopped my meds completely. So now I won't have the compounding effect that the meds plus alcohol had on me (3-4x's the impact). He'll also see for himself that I can truly take it or leave it. He'll admire that in me... seeing that he, himself, isn't doing that... that I'm happy to give it up if it makes him more comfortable.

 

If it is/was his "attempt" at slowing down the pace of the relationship, it'll simply remove that excuse. I'm convinced that it's only a fraction of his fear of the impact of alchohol on me (w/ meds), than it is about the fear of falling in love and fear of rejection.

 

Relationships will always have challenges. It's how we deal with them that will bring us together, or not. I enjoy challenging myself regardless. I pride myself in being an evolving being, rather than set in my "ways". I prefer to be open-minded, exploring new ways of doing things, seeing things, learning more about myself, others, my world... savoring the richness of life. (corny, but.. that's part of me. lol)

 

I welcome more of your insight Mark. I would truly appreciate it.

 

Regardless of how small it may seem to others.. for me, it was huge that he has included me in all his family holiday celebrations.. treating me as family. This is truly THE best xmas I've had.. I think, ever. Very sweet.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Other.
great dialogue before. But, for last question, didn't answer? maybe I missed something? I wanted to continue asking question w/ update w/ same therapist.. but, he didn't respond.

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