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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience:  Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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I have a question, and I hope I will not be judged for asking!

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I have a question, and I hope I will not be judged for asking! I want to be completely honest, and I would like an honest answer in return. I have been married for 22 years, and have grown very unhappy. My children are grown. My husband is an alcoholic, and I have grown so tired of dealing with that, and going to Alanon Meetings just to cope with life. My husband is also an airline pilot and gone most of the time. I have become lonely and isolated in my marriage. Anyway, 2 months ago I joined a dating site just to see, and just looking for male companion ship . I happened to meet someone who is much like me, in the same situation as me.He told me he was separated, but a divorce was not in the works as of right now. He told me they have set of twins, age 9 He told me he was lonely in his marriage, and there was no emotional or physical intimacy whatsoever.He said they had been sleeping in separate bedroom for 10 years. We started chatting through email only because of what we do have in common. He seemed to be very honest and nice.We developed an emotional relationship because he told me how much my emails meant to him, and he told me I had given him happiness just through my emails. I felt he was honest and truthful to me and he answered all my questions, without hesitation. I think maybe he just needed a listening ear. After about a month and a half, he asked to meet me out for a drink only, and I found him to be so nice, and open, and a feeling that I knew him well. I felt special for a couple of hours, mostly because my husband can be abusive to me. We met again last weekend, but he wanted to meet me at a hotel. He told me a hotel because he wanted to be alone with me to talk, and to be close with me. I was a little disappointed with that idea and began to think he just wanted to use me maybe for sex because it is not there in his marriage. He told me he has resentment issues toward his wife and chooses not have sexual relations with her.He told me this information by his own choosing, when we first started to chat on line, before he knew what I looked like. I went ahead and meant him because I like him, and also because he verbally interacts with me in a way my own husband will not do. He was so nice and sweet to me. But I did have more questions for him, regarding his intentions, and wanted to know one more time about his wife and children because of the guilt I was feeling in the hotel room. After I asked a couple of more questions for information purposes only, he became upset, and I think he felt interrogated, judged, and he did tell me he felt I might have hidden agendas with strings attached. I just wanted to ask and share again with him to get to know him a little better. He was frustrated with me, I told him I had better go. I explained to him I had no hidden agendas, or no stringed attached to him.After not hearing from him in a week or so, I emailed him to apologize for misunderstanding my intentions. I have not heard a word from him since then. I feel hurt, and again, I feel I can not trust men All I wanted in the first place was just a male companion, maybe to go out to eat with, just someone to make me feel special for a couple of hours. Just someone to give me some hope that there are men out there that are stable, and not complicated. I hurt now more than ever, because I have not heard from him since then, and it has been over a week. Maybe I am just selfish. Maybe meeting him was a mistake, and maybe he just wanted a fling with me. I am a Christian, and have so much guilt. Please help me with my self esteem. I am feeling so sad. Thank you, Elizabeth
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Ask Eleanor replied 2 years ago.

Ask Eleanor :

Hello, I am here for you and am happy to respond. Give me a moment to carefully read over and consider your question.

Ask Eleanor :

I understand, Elizabeth, and certainly will not judge you. This is what therapists are called to do, seek understanding, not judgment. Living with an active alcoholic who will not seek treatment is horrible and extremely lonely.

Ask Eleanor :

I am sorry you are feeling so sad and guilty.

Ask Eleanor :

You are so vulnerable and starved for attention that you were easily fooled by this man. You are not the first woman to fall for a man who will listen and seem to care.

Ask Eleanor :

Do you have any emotional support other thatn ALANON?

Customer:

not really, I work outside the home. Iam acttive in my church. But other than alanon, no I dont. I have a close friend I talk with about my husbands drinking. I dont talk to my parents, they just worry.

Ask Eleanor :

And your husband refuses to get help for his drinking?

Customer:

I have seen therapist for about 3 months. she basically told me I was reliving my past, because Iam an adult daughter od an alcholic family of origin.

Customer:

he says he has no problem. he does what he wants

Customer:

How can I be so fooled?

Ask Eleanor :

How terrible for you! How long has this been going on with him?

Customer:

my husband, or the man I met?

Ask Eleanor :

Your husband, how long have you been enduring his drinking and lack of affection?

Customer:

for to long. most of my married life,

Ask Eleanor :

You were fooled because you were starving for emotional intimacy. When we are starving, we will take food from anyone who promises to feed us.

Ask Eleanor :

Do you feel you have a good relationship with your therapist?

Customer:

yes, I have not been in a while, because I was beginning to feel ome happiness from meeting someone I had a connection with. I wish I knew what happened. I know there are others out there that feel like I do. I feel like I was being conned. I dont know how to discern what to believe or not to believe. Iam a Christian, I do no harm to others, I have raised to wonderful children who I adore. I am a Deacon in my church, but at the same time i feel so unloved.

Ask Eleanor :

I know. You are lonely in a crowd of people, aren't you?

Customer:

yes, And Iam tired of it. I give and give.I feel maybe something is just wrong with me.

Ask Eleanor :

I am sure you have heard the word Co-Dependent at ALANON or in therapy. Has anyone really explained it to you?

Customer:

I believed someone was really hurting like me, I wanted to help, I needed a friend, I thought he felt like I did, .How can a man tell a women so much, and gain her trust, then just disappear. I feel so used.'

Customer:

yes, Iam codependent. But Iam beginning to feel that is the only way I can receive any kind of affection

Ask Eleanor :

Because he is a user and wants no real emotional connection, like your husband. Until we work through our co-dependency in therapy, we will keep chosing men who are unhealthy and will hurt us.

Ask Eleanor :

Let me explain a bit more about Co-Dependency.

Customer:

To tell you the truth, I can not tell the difference between someone using me, or just needing a friend

Ask Eleanor :

I know. When we grow up in an alcoholic family, we learn to put our feelings and needs behind those of our addicted parent(s). Their feelings and needs are always the most important thing and the family revolves around them. When lose touch with our feelings, we then have no idea of who we really are and we lose the ability to perceive other's motives.

Ask Eleanor :

So we end up thinking that we need to be in a dysfunctional relationship in order to be safe and happy, for this is how we survived as a child.

Ask Eleanor :

I imagine that this is why you have stayed with your husband for so many years.

Customer:

Right now, i need some help to get over this man. How can a man tell a women over a period of 2 months, and tell her how much pain he is in, how much Happiness I had brought him, and then get upset with a couple of questions. Do you believe all of that was for just using me for sexual reasons? Why did he not go to a prostitute, or choose someone that is easly. Why go to all the trouble/

Customer:

I dont know who to trust anymore

Ask Eleanor :

Well, he may be just as confused as you. And he may have truly meant what he told you. But unlike women, who can be satisfied with emotional intimacy without sex, men cannot. Men have high sex drives. He was courting you and his goal was sex. That's what most men do.

Ask Eleanor :

Does this make sense?

Customer:

ok, well that explains it. i fell for something I thought was true. He got what he wanted. I do feel used. I believed what he told me, I guess with our age, 48 years old, I had hoped those types of games were over. He told me he was not looking for a fling, a one night stand, or anything like that. I quess it was all a lie

Ask Eleanor :

Well, I am sorry to say this is probably true. Maybe there is a good thing to come from this bad experience. You said you stopped therapy because you found someone to make you feel better. That is what Co-Dependency is all about. Perhaps now you can return to therapy and really get interest in you and discover who you really are and what you truly want out of life.

Customer:

ok, thank you

Ask Eleanor, Therapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience: Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience
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Ask Eleanor
Ask Eleanor
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Marriage & Family Therapist with 20 Years Experience