My name is XXXXX XXXXX I hold a Clinical Master's Degree in Social Work with a focus on Adult Mental Health. I currently provide general Life Coaching.
please allow me a moment to read your question
I read your question and I am wondering if the reel him in and release him would actually work
You may not want to play a game with him, especially if he has a tremendous amount of anxiety
I agree that is what I've always believed. You are not the 1st professional to tell me that. But I read this on-line.
aside from his mental and emotion health issues, and other than the romance absent from the relationship, what other things has caused him not to want to be in a relationship with you specifically
I was told by a therapist that I may need to take more of a lead
I agree that you may have to carry some of the burden in this situation, especially because he has anxiety issues
After 3 years together, I will admit I fell apart emotionally "waiting" for him to get better and trying to get him to see a therapist with me. He has gone to therapy on his own and his prescribed 3 meds for anxiety and depression.
He also tried relationship counseling with a prior GF who was a psychologist but he felt ambushed
Have the medications alleviated some of the symptoms of the anxiety and depression
he finally went with me but it was too late and I melted down. i should have remained calm but on the on the day we were suppose to go to therapist 1st time, he moved out of my house and refused to talk to me
i was beside myself and did all of the wrong things, cried, followed him and insisted he speak to me and begged him not to leave me
i said and did things that are embarrassing but he said he forgave me
i continued to see therapist on my own and have grown
therapist tried to help me and get him to go back to therapist
but our last session did not go well and he does not trust our therapist
With regard to the prior relationship, did he share with you that the reason he felt ambushed was because his prior GF would analyze him?
he says that the meds help him but he has alluded to it impacted his libido
and he has moments where after a good day, he is on the couch crying
this happened a couple weeks ago
That can be normal with anti-anxiety and anti-depressant medications
he felt "ambushed" because the prior GF's therapist told him something to the effect "what is wrong with you, you have a wonderful woman here"
That was completely inappropriate for a therapist to say that to a client
and told him that bc of his relationship with his mom who told him he would be like his father and destroy relationships, he (Ron) would be a "destroyer" but Ron does not buy into that
that is why he felt ambushed .. . ex GF was a psychologist and Ron is highly intelligent and had gone thru therapy himself for his depression so he can see that
Wow! That is a pretty significant statement on behalf of a therapist to a client. It is inappropriate and unethical based on my professional understanding of a therapeutic relationship
so most recent therapist was suppose to walk us thru what worked, what didn't etc
Does he go to individual therapy now?
ron was looking forward to that but ron was anxious and walked into the office and told the therapist, i don't love her and I don't want to be in the relationship and therapist said nothing
i got upset and kept looking at the therapist for guidance and it got ugly and then therapist told me to leave
Does he go to individual therapy now? If so, how often?
after, ron was super upset and called me told me he was so sad bc he thought he'd never see me again and how angry he was at the therapist ... then we talked for 2 hours and felt closer
Ron said that i should find a diff therapist and doesn't understand why therapist didn't guide us as planned
you see ... i know ron and what he says sometimes is not what he really wants ... he says he wants out of the relationship and even the therapist suspected that ron is not sure he often said to me "so Ron says"
he needs to see psychiatrist to get his meds refilled and he does not talked about it often
During couples counseling, the therapist is their to facilitate a conversation between the two parties. If they feel that the session is not going well, and that there is on party that is vulnerable, they may stop the session.
the relationship therapist I saw with him felt that maybe Ron did not see him enough and that often psychiatrists don't do enough, see their patients for 15 minutes often over the phone and keep overprecribing
we were both vulnerable
Please tell me, does he see a individual therapist on a regular basis?
like i mentioned above, he sees/speaks to a psychiatrist to get his meds refilled
i honestly don't think he sees him enough and he needs to get relationship coaching
ron had been through lots of intense therapy in the past and now feels like he knows enough and won't benefit which is the wrong thinking
he talks about CBT but he needs more
i tried to read/study but i know i cannot be his therapist
i know i need to bear the burden and be the strong one
Normally psychiatrist are used for the purpose of medication management, and are not there to provide therapy services. A therapist is specifically train to focus on a person's strengths and to utilize the skills a person has to help them overcome there issues and struggles.
i read about men and falling in love ... what was once easy for me having been in past successful long term relationships, it was much easier for me
yes i understand what you just wrote
that is why i was trying so hard to get him to see a relationship therapist who specialized in depression ... i researched and found a very expensive one
Based on the information you have given me thus far, it sounds as though Ron needs to seek the guidance of a therapist and consistently meet with a therapist to work on ways to cope with the symptoms of his anxiety and depression. Medication only will alleviate some of the symptoms, but he must work towards learning coping skills and mechanisms that will allow him to make himself feel better
it might have been too late to see him and Ron was resistant yet he went ... he wants to be helped but puts up barriers
I think he has to work with a therapist individually first and foremost, and I think it would benefit both you and him to remain friends and put your relationship on hold for a bit
yes i understand that but he needs to figure that out and i have to be careful in gently encouraging him but he may turn on me and tell me that I'm the one that has a disorder .. he tried to do that but he no longer believes it and the therapist confirmed I don't have a disorder myself
is he projecting/
so now, what do I do? we see each other but I need to request it and he is agreeable.
with all that he is going through, I don't believe he would be able to successfully fulfill the role of a partner in a relationship until he has been able to build up some coping skills that will allow him to be in a better place
He may be projecting, it may simply be a defense mechanism
i did learn that if I back off, he will be more willing to be there for me like at a recent "event" (we are both triathlete) I told him that I will be ok and that I don't need him to support me even though a good friend of mine passed away a week before a big cycling event. He then made arrangements to find me on the ride and ride 2 hours with me.
i.e. "I am not crazy, you are"
yes, I am learning all this.
i am not ready to give up so I want to pull "all the stops" and do everything I can over the next 2 weeks. this is why it is important ... I will be doing my 1st Ironman and had some tragedy in my life over the past 6 months including losing him ... I am 45, of sound mind but sad. I love him and I need his love and support at the finish line.
Ok, so I would recommend that you try and simply be a supportive friend. Pursuing a relationship with him at this point may not be wise. He has to learn how to be comfortable in his own skin and environment, and until then, a relationship will most likely not work out between the two of you
I know but I want to try
I hear you but what can I do even if I fail ... I need to have hope in my life right now
we are meeting for dinner and a movie tonight and i was thinking of cooking him something healthy and maybe do a picnic (we've never done that) I heard you should do new things
I understand that you want to try and that you love him, but unfortunately it doesn't sound like he is ready to commit to a relationship. Try to establish a successful and trusting friendship with him. If that works, then maybe move forward from there, but based on the information you have given me, I don't suggest you pursue a romantic/intimate relationship with him at this time.
do i tell him, that I love him, and that I understand he does not want to be together but tell him flat out how i fell and that I am going to do what I can to win him over because the Ironman is hard enough as it is and I'd would like for him to be at the finish line for me?
But if I go into the "friend" zone, isn't' hard to get out of it?
In my opinion, for a relationship to be successful, both people must be somewhat healthy emotionally and mentally
I have 2 months until my Ironman so that is the critical date. It's really important to me
i know but he may always be like this
i would like to do whatever i can, over the next 2 months and then i'll walk away
I understand, but you are trying to get something from him that he most likely is either unable or unwilling to give to you right now
i know that
how can i influence him, however so slightly
to even open his mind to thinking it is a possibility?
it took my dad 3 years to get my mother back
Putting pressure on someone that suffers from anxiety and depression, and is symptomatic is not likely to work out in your favor. I realize that I may not be telling you what you want to hear, but I am basing this opinion on my professional experience with working with couples
yes i understand
I don't want to give you advice for the sake of giving you advice.
so no pressure so be his friend but be flirty
I want to make certain that what i say is appropriate and effective.
Treat him like you would any other friend
Give him time.
what can i do to increase the chances though so he sees me more than a good friend
When you begin to see that he is getting better and building coping skills, then you can begin to talk to him about how you feel and where you would like to see your relationship go
do i ask him about his hopes and dreams
dad said to treat him like when i first met him
give him positive reinforcement
No. Explain to him that you love him, and that if all that he can be to you right now is a friend, than you will take that and understand
don't give him a reason to feel anxious
Tell him its ok, and that you are not trying to pressure him into anything
ask him if he is comfortable with being good friends
don't try to manipulate his feelings. he is vulnerable
so don't ask him about his hopes and dreams etc or try to be close
are you suggesting to be more distant?
You probably already know what his hopes and dreams are. Don't be more distant, just make certain that you can retain good boundaries with him
and do i ever ask him, what worked between us and what didn't work, etc? we were suppose to do that with the therapist
don't set up the situation for him to become anxious or upset
I would say hold off on asking him that for a little while
i'm not sure what my boundaries are suppose to be anymore
He needs to invest some time in getting better
Boundaries - Be supportive, but don't be willing to do things for him that he is certainly capable of doing himself. Show him that you care, but be careful when expressing your feelings for him.
do i continue to initiate our get-togethers?
Be empathetic, not sympathetic
ideally i want him to reach out to me and he will by email which i hate
but do i cave and respond to him via email since that is what he is comfortable with. he has known for a long time since we first met that i didn't feel it was a good way to feel closer to someone ... you have to talk in person
I think it would be good to allow him to reach out to you. let him set the stage. Although you may hate waiting, he will contact you when he is comfortable
if he was a "normal" guy, that would be my expectation but with his illness, my sense of boundaries and "roles' is unclear
Yes, meet him where he is at. Correspondence with him can be by email if thats what he is comfortable with
so if i am not happy with just an email saying "how are you" and prefer him to call me and say let's catch up in person, do I tell him that is what i prefer and just wait?
We tend to want to help/fix people we care about. The nay person that can help his situation is him
Ask him if he would be comfortable with that. Don't demand it, and don't say that that is the only way you will communicate with him
Tell him your preference and see what he does
I think your willingness to make this work is admirable, but you really should take into consideration that he isn't doing this because he wants to. It is based on his level of comfort.
yes thank you ... i am learning that and it has been a great learning experience for me
So, with that said, what do you think. I wish I could have told you that you should go for it and push him but I don't believe that would work out for you. I think that you will achieve more with some of the techniques i provided
it is hard to separate his actions based on his illness versus taking it so personally
yes i think it makes sense ... it's been 6 months though and i have not done a good job of not pushing ... but probably better than most people
We are all different, and we all have different strengths. I think that you have remained strong in this situation, and the only way to eventually find out if there is something more to be had with him is to remain strong and vigilent
i've been patient with him for a long time even in our relationship i wish he can see that and recognize what he has in me
I think he will, but first he must learn how to deal with himself
thank you ... it is complicated but as a mature woman of sound mind and with intelligence, i believe strongly we can be happy together if he does get some help but i understand i need to get him to come to that conclusion on his own
It is difficult to deal with someone that suffers from anxiety and depression. Their feeling of uncertainty can drive anyone a little bonkers
i understand i need to get inside his head
and be patient
my therapist said that he could not be as patient as me and that the "no knowing" on my end is more painful that a clear breakup
have you seen examples where the guy comes around in a similar situation?
I agree with your therapist. You feel unsure of yourself and feel like you're in limbo
or even in a healthy situation, after 6 months and the guy is still seeing his ex, and "checking her out" and cares for her, there must be something there right?
i mean when i broke up with my 2 long term relationships, i wanted nothing to do with them really ... maybe spoke to one but not to see them or get together
I have dealt with situations like this in the past. I think that the reason that he stills hangs around with you is that he finds comfort in you, which happens to be a good thing
ok i'm being a baby here i know ... but he finds comfort in me which is good in a possible romantic way? :-)
I think that your therapist has probably given you similar advice to what I have said, and I truly believe that you will find comfort in knowing that although he may be anxious he is comfortable around you.
I can't be sure whether it is romantic or not. But either way, him feeling comfortable with you is a clear indication that he wants you around in any capacity
i know... despite me being anxious and causing him anxiety, he still comes to see me and runs with me and bikes with me and made sure i had sunscreen coverage on me at a recent triathlon and kept looking for me on the course et cetera ... he really cares!
when do i ask him the relationship questions so i can understand what he is thinking?
I believe he does. Stay strong. If you are willing to wait and see, I think you will know where you stand with him
i mean i want to know so i can improve or understand
I would ask him when he is willing to share that with you. I think you will know when the time is right.
i want to know for sure if he believes the meds impacted his libido
i mean he says what is the "killer in our relationship is the lack of romance"
I can tell you that those medications impact many men's libido
but he told me that his libido diminished with change in meds and he admitted to me that he rarely has an erection
Him being on three different medications is pretty significant
so sometimes he admits to it and other times he says it "us" which frustrates me
yes maximum dosage of limichtel, gababentin, cymbalta (I'm not spelling them right)
those are strong medications, especially lamictal
so if i can show him the romance is possible and convince him the meds are partially to blame i feel it would help give us a chance
so what do you know about them
he says he has severe clinical depression and anxiety but not bipolar but aren't those drugs prescribed for bipolar?
Psych medications are not my specialty, and as a therapist we learn basic information about them but I do know that the medications you listed are used for depression, anxiety, bipolar, etc
they are sometimes used off label, i.e. meaning they are used for something that they were intended to be used for
i feel like i need a coach to tell me what to do and say every step of the way
i;ve lost confidence
the point of a life coach is to help guid, not tell
i have a hard time controlling my emotions
its not normal for me
i don't want to lose him
It doesn't seem like you've lost confidence, maybe in this situation and circumstance but aside from that you are probably a strong person
i've never felt so certain
Less is more in this situation
yes, my last ex BF who i've consulted tells me so
ok so don't try to make the dinner tonight too romantic?
I would keep it simple
don't try to hard, just do
ok thanks ... this is really heard
do you think he understands what is happening? do you think on some level he may know that if he gets help things can be better? do you think he feels on some level that he still loves me and there might be a chance for us/
dad says he is highly intelligent and type of person who will never stop learning so don't teach him
I don't know him, but it seems as though there is obviously something that draws him to you. He is probably extremely frustrated with himself, and hates the way he feels
Having anxiety and depression is extremely frustrating
but i mentioned to him a book on EFT that i was reading and he asked me to share it with him on his kindle so he can read it ... maybe i keep on finding books for him to read on his own? do you know of any good books he could read that might have a possible impact and open his heart to me?
yes he has used the word "frustrated" many times in the past
I f i were you, I would suggest less books and suggest he pursue a therapeutic relationship with a counselor
so give him what he needs right now
i tried ... it';s not working ..
give him what he needs, and meet him where he is at
ron mentioned that "if he and i were to go to a therapist that it would be unethical for us to see the same guy"
i don't agree but i found a new guy and mentioned it to him ... do i mention it to him again in the future?
Maybe in passing, but don't place to much focus on it.
you see he doesn't see the point since in his mind, there is no opportunity for us to be in a romantic relationship ... and this is where my therapist will say "so he says"
I probably would not take on a couple and provide them with individual counseling
I would see one or the other, not both
therapist says that he still believes that he can help ron and i have a much better relationship and never suggested that we break up and that ron doesn't always know what he wants ... dad said the same thing ... if ron is in good mood, he wants one thing but if he is in a bad mood, he wants another
yes ron researched that and that is what he said ... but it is interesting that ron took the time to research it, don't you think
I think that you must remain supportive, and see where the relationship goes.
if i were younger, and trust me, i have been looking for other prospects, i would just leave him and look forward to the next relationship but at my age, i don't think i'll find someone i want to be with like ron
I am not too sure about that, but i would give it a bit more time and see where it leads...
i know i'm not suppose to think like this and you are going to tell me not to think like this ... everyone is but i live in silicon valley where there is suppose to be the best chance for a girl to find a guy but i'm 45, i look much younger, i am successful, and attractive, and have had good healthy relationships in the past but i decided to end them because i wanted a diff guy and i found him and his name is XXXXX XXXXX he is ill.
i am afraid ron will get better and fall in love with someone else
my dad and therapist says, he will have the same problems if he does not resolve them
Exactly. You must decide what you want to do with that. You realize that there is a chance that this may not work out. There is always someone else out there, but I think you have to see this thing through before considering moving on to something or someone else
ok thank you very much!
wish me luck
I hope I have been helpful to you. I wish you luck and I will be checking in on you in a few days.
You can always revisit the Q&A page to ask more questions and voice any concerns. Good Luck!
We will speak soon. Have a good day!
it's like yesterday. we spent some time together and there is a comfort in that because we know each other well and because things are more calm and peaceful. but are we holding each other back from processing our loss and moving forward? this is what i feel like what we're doing - taking comfort from one another, but not allowing ourselves to heal and move forward. and unfortunately it coincides with a really big event for you in imc."
In my opinion, we both have moved forward and our relationship is DIFFERENT. I reminded him that the therapist we saw told me that he could help us have a "DIFFERENT AND MUCH BETTER RELATIONSHIP" with each other and Ron doesn't want to discuss this nor acknowledges it.
I understand that Ron is fighting with his decision that he does not want to be with me but I know in my heart, he still loves me and we can both learn how to have a better romantic relationship with one another. I felt, but do not have the courage to say to Ron that I know why he was so confused after Vineman Napa triathlon and that is .... he is falling in love with me again!
1) I should NOT say that, right? I should let him figure that out.
2) It is so frustrating that he interprets these feelings as "inappropriate". It seems completely normal and acceptable to me.
3) It is more than just comfort. We are interacting as friends and he is drawn to me. I feel strongly (and I know I should stop playing psychologist here) that he is fighting with his intimacy issues. He is afraid to be in a relationship with me because of my behavior in the past and his as well but I know we are working to get beyond that and have made progress. He is also not able to accept feelings of love and intimacy due to feelings of abandonment by his father as a child and how his mother behaved after the divorce.
So, what do I say? I am trying to stay cool and be honest with him in sharing that it makes me feel anxious. I know I should not tolerate this but as I have told you, I know this is something I need to accept in him if I want a romantic relationship with Ron.
What do you think he is feeling? What do I say? Do you feel there is still hope we can work towards Ron coming to a decision in his head that he may want to be with me romantically? I'm certain he is attracted, that he loves me and he enjoys and respects my friendship. These are all good things to have in a relationship right? Do I remind him that it is good?
Ironman Canada was a success. Ron supported me very well. I had a moment where I was upset with him bc he planned to go for a run while I was there with the wife of a friend. I was upset bc he didn't discuss it with me and he was only there bc of me. I explained that to him and that i wished he asked me in advance. he understood and i told him to go running and we were fine after. but he never offered to pay for the airfare. dad says don't bring it up.
Ron insisted on sleeping on the pull out couch. There was too much going on for romance but he did go wine tasting with me the next day and we had fun although we were tired.
He seems shy to take pictures with me. I know its a slow process for him. I do believe he has intimacy issues but in the past he took very good pictures with me. I hate what his body language shows.
When we got back, he let me take him to dinner for his birthday last night. I got him a nice gift. He seemed appreciative.
He made plans this weekend with his friends and I just learned that one of the plans is a bike and wine ride which we had done for the past 2 years. It was my idea and it meant a lot to me. I just sent him an email telling him that I feel hurt that he planned to do this without me. After all, I am his friend. I told him that the wine ride meant a lot to me because of the challenges we had when we were dating and how I felt he put our relationship on hold while I stood in the sidelines cheering him on and so he could train and be successful. The wine ride was the one ride I did with him and his training group and it marked the end of may weekends he was away training. it truly meant a lot to me.
Did I make a mistake by sending him that note/?
Am I wrong to feel that way?
Am I wrong to tell him that i hope he would consider inviting me?
Am I wrong if I out my foot down as the last straw that this really pushes my boundaries?
He seems open to talking now and we are supposed to go for a hike on Monday ... but he only suggested it after I asked him what he was doing. I am gratelful that he wants to do something with me but am very hurt abou the wine ride.
I know I need to be patient with him and accept this is who his is. I want to tell him, "you have an intimacy issue" and this is what is hurting you and me. Do I do that? I know he needs to realize this on his own and want to improve. I feel that he wants to but is stubborn.