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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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Hi, I have just split up with my girlfriend. We have a

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Hi,

I have just split up with my girlfriend. We have a little boy together, almost 2. We have known each since school, but had a period apart, we're now both 27. We have been together this time for about 2.5 years and were living together. She has found a new place for her a our son. I have got to find a new place; too expensive. Troubles started about 6 months ago. I told her one day, I didn't find her attractive and said she was basically boring. I felt like we started to be on different wavelengths. I tried to see a counselor to try and understand my feeling / save our relationship. Things seem futile and certainly from her perspective. I feel like I have trouble with love. I can't reconcile who I am with who I want to be, my dreams and fantasies. Life has become very hard since graduating. I lost my job when our son was born. I've had a job at the same place in the centre of London for a year and half now, so that's going reasonable well. I must add, my fantasies are to be a DJ/producer and to have a sexy gorgeous woman by my side, but one who sees me for who I am and loves me. i'm not the most easy person and have hardly any friends, combination of pushing them away for over a decade, perhaps thinking people aren't good enough. I don't know whether this is down to bullying at school, who knows. I want to be successful and I try and work hard. I did Physics-Philosophy at Uni and consider myself intelligent, with good potential. I'm really sad at what has almost seemed inevitable. I now facing a prospect of completely rebuilding my life. Thinking of moving closer to work, but rents are high, and times are sure to be difficult. I almost feel I've had a lifetime of almost continual dissatisfaction. I miss being in love, I miss her caring about me greatly. I frightened shes is the one for me and I've have hurt her too badly. This is all a big risk and how many times do big risks pay off? None too many. She just doesn't seem to be the person I loved anymore.

On the attraction side, she put on a bit of weight after child birth, she has recently dropped back again, spurned no doubt by my comments. She's an attractive girl 7.5 out of ten I say. Our sex life took a nose dive pretty much when she was pregnant, it was never as exciting or adventitious, as when we first got back together. I yearned for glamor in all areas. One further point, I have always had a difficult relationship with her parents, which has added a layer of pressure no doubt. Maybe it is me, maybe I am so awful. I think I just thought my life would be great full stop, I would shine. I'm not sure if that day will be. I miss being in love with that girl - the mother of my child. What advice would you give?

Scott

Essex, UK
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Dr Levang :

Hello Scott,

Dr Levang :

I would like to help you with your question.

Dr Levang :

It certainly seems that you are in a very tough place...your girlfriend and son are moving to a new place, you have to find a new home, you said hurtful things to your girl that certainly had a negative impact on the relationship, your dreams and aspirations are not moving forward at any rate, and you are having to rebuild your life because of your decisions and the dissatisfaction that has surrounded your life.

Dr Levang :

When I read what you have written I see a young man who seems to be struggling with adulthood. You want a life of glamour... a life of adventure and prestige. That's all well and good when you don't have a lot of responsibilities and when the only one you have to be concerned with is you.

Dr Levang :

But that's not the case. You have a 2 year old son! That requires a parenting commitment. You had a girlfriend who loved you and cared for you...but you pushed her away. You also have pushed away other people in your life because of what appears to be immaturity and even selfishness.

Dr Levang :

My suggestion is to get back into therapy and to work to understand why you push people away and how that can be remedied.

Dr Levang :

At the same time, I would encourage you to see if your girlfriend would be willing to go to couple's therapy with you so that you can address the hurt you created in the relationship and...to work on developing a mature relationship so as to truly appreciate the love that you now proclaim to have...and which you hope she still has for you.

Dr Levang :

You are no longer a teenager who can indulge in teenage fantasies. You are father. You are an employee. And..you were part of a relationship.

Dr Levang :

If you want to be a DJ/producer that's fine...then get the skills and experiences to be hired in that capacity.

Dr Levang :

If you don't think your girlfriend meets your fantasy of a sexy gorgeous woman who can be at your DJ/producer side...then either reconsider the fantasy or accept that she is not that person...but rather she is the one who loves you (or at least she did).

Customer:

I didn't really rate the therapy I had, and I expect good therapy is pricey. I think I am selfish, but only because, i feel like, if I can't focus on my aspirations, because I'm at the bec and call of others, I won't achieve anything. My girlfriend wanted to tie me down and sell my future away. I think it's very much beyond persuading her for couples therapy. I certainly don't think I'm am 'in lov'e with her now, maybe I love her, I'm not sure.

Customer:

I understand your point about immaturity, buit I feel I need to retain a sense of youthfulness, I want to fullfill to promises I made to myslef in my younger days,

Dr Levang :

Good therapy is not about a price tag but about the skills and abilities of the therapist and about your willingness to work in therapy to become a more authentic, healthy person.

Dr Levang :

Yes...I can see how you interpret her position as wanting to "tie you down" to a regular lifestyle.

Dr Levang :

The only way to understand if you are in love with her..is to put some time into thinking about how you feel about her and what it means to be with her. Therapy can help in this process of discovery.

Dr Levang :

And so it is that you have choices...

Dr Levang :

Stay immature so you can achieve the promises you made to yourself.

Dr Levang :

Agree to settle down so that you can have a love relationship with your girlfriend and raise your son together.

Dr Levang :

Or..???

Dr Levang :

It is your life. The choices are all yours. No one can make you do anything. You control your own destiny.

Dr Levang :

It would appear that she left so that she could control her destiny as well.

Customer:

I think I'm afraid of myself. I afraid I'm actually as incompetent as people might think. I don't want to be that. I'm afraid of my true self maybe. but I know I can do things. I feel it's a man's duty to achieve something. i don't want to waste my life. The problem is the time is ticking, and I've only got so far...

Dr Levang :

Right you are! You are the captain of your ship...just like she is the captain of hers.

Dr Levang :

If you have this fear of yourself...then therapy is really the direction you can take to understand why this is and work to overcome it.

Customer:

When we had Leo, our Son, though, that's was out of the blue, and something which was a massive impact, out of my control

Dr Levang :

And yes....we only get one life!

Dr Levang :

Yes...Leo's life would have had a significant impact on your life plans...

Customer:

in fact I feel like there is a mountain of stuff, outside of my control, unfortunately, the price of everything, the stability of my Job etc.

Dr Levang :

And, as his father, you cannot walk away from that responsibility without thinking about the consequences.

Customer:

I want to be there for him

Dr Levang :

Very true...there is only so much of our life that we can control...

Dr Levang :

Yes...I understand your feelings for you son...

Dr Levang :

Your son needs a father...

Dr Levang :

And...maybe...you need a son...

Customer:

He has a good mother

Customer:

And grandparents who love him

Dr Levang :

You need the love that only a child can supply...and the opportunity to be a man by raising a child.

Dr Levang :

Certainly, raising a child is an enormous contribution to the world.

Customer:

The funny thing is, I feel like this is all bringing me closer to Leo

Dr Levang :

Yes...perhaps you are getting clearer about what he brings to your life...and what a wonderful thing it is to be a parent...

Customer:

But, it feels, unfortunately, that we are on a treadmill of survival. In that, your primary purpose is to ensure your offspring survive ...maybe even flourish if things go well. I do love Leo, but I have to find a route in life myself, with or without her. I think he has turned the world inside out now, for better of worse

Customer:

I do really love him

Customer:

He is hard work though

Customer:

A time consumer

Dr Levang :

It sounds like you are very torn....that you love Leo and want to be a good role model and provider..but you are unsure if you can do that given that you have unmet goals and aspirations.

Customer:

Yeah, that's about the size of it

Customer:

I want to be a good person

Dr Levang :

And so...it is a dilemma any way you turn...someone will be let down, someone will be hurt...there will be no real winners here.

Dr Levang :

Yes...I understand that you want to be a good person...a loving father...

Customer:

I'm sure I can make Leo happy without being with her. I'm just not sure whether I can make me happy.

Dr Levang :

Yes...Leo's happiness does not depend on being with her...that is a separate issue.

Dr Levang :

And..it does seem like the biggest question here is just as you state: can I make me happy?

Customer:

The thing is with Amy as well, I felt like we could never really have a meaniful deep chat anymore, she just wanted to brush me aside, perhaps as a failure

Dr Levang :

This is a question that needs to be addressed and answered...absolutely.

Dr Levang :

Or...she could have been busy being a parent!

Dr Levang :

And pouring nearly all her energy into being that good parent.

Customer:

maybe

Dr Levang :

That's why I suggested couple's therapy...to explore what happened and if it was possible to reconcile.

Customer:

I think she would say, and did say, what are we going to achieve, when you don't find me attractive

Dr Levang :

And this is where you would have to say...if it is true...I am sorry. I apologize. Please forgive me for what I said."

Customer:

I thought, I could find a switch within me of something,

Customer:

or somethin*

Dr Levang :

The reason you don't want to be with her is not because you didn't find her attractive!

Dr Levang :

The issue is that you want to be happy and to achieve your life's ambitions...

Dr Levang :

She would need to hear that truth.

Customer:

I kinda thought, the sense of can't keep my hands off you, so to speak, was gone.

Customer:

I thought, it was symptomatic of the state of our mindset toward each other

Dr Levang :

Our sexual lives change in a relationship. Certainly, a pregnancy typically results in less physical intimacy during the latter part of the pregnancy and after birth.

Customer:

hmm, but near enough 2 years later, it was dead

Dr Levang :

But that often is restored at some point.There are other lows and highs to sexual intimacy that are natural and normal over the course of time.

Dr Levang :

Then I would say...what did each of you contribute to it's dying? And what are each of you willing to contribute to it's rebirth?

Customer:

I think she thought, I wanted her to be someone else

Dr Levang :

And...in a way that is true...

Dr Levang :

You wanted to a DJ/producer with a sexy woman on your arm.

Customer:

yeah

Dr Levang :

After being pregnant and birthing a baby very few women would describe themselves as sexy!

Customer:

certaintly

Dr Levang :

Can you see where she would feel that she could not be that fantasy woman!

Customer:

I can see it would be hard

Dr Levang :

Think about this for a minute...

Customer:

I just don't think I could reconcile the reality

Dr Levang :

What if her idea of a sexy man is someone with thick lush hair...and yours starts falling out because of heredity?

Dr Levang :

Just an example of how life changes...

Customer:

it's gone a bit grey...haha, only a little

Dr Levang :

So..you see...there are uncontrollable parts to our life.

Dr Levang :

And...there are things which we can control.

Dr Levang :

And certainly you are entitled to be in charge of your life and to life the best life you can.

Customer:

It seems, we're not in control of very much, and I take it as a failure

Dr Levang :

So..what you have is a dilemma.

Dr Levang :

But...it is not a failure if your hair turns grey or falls out. Or if you get pregnant and your body gets misshapen from carrying a child!

Dr Levang :

But...you can control how you feel about the grey hair, how you feel about the misshapen body..

Dr Levang :

You must be realistic about what can be controlled!

Dr Levang :

And you cannot put demands on her that are unrealistic ... or demands on yourself that are unrealistic.

Customer:

I keep thinking now, about what you've said about maturity etc. I don't want to be an awful person. I just wanted my dreams to come true

Customer:

The thing is, music has been a very big part of life

Customer:

It help me when I WAS YOUNG, TO FEEL BETTER

Customer:

It's emotive

Dr Levang :

And yes...I understand about wanting your dreams to come true...join the human race...we all want that...

Customer:

I feel like it should be a fixture of my life

Dr Levang :

Yes...music is emotive. Music is important to healing, to sanity, to many, many aspects of life.

Dr Levang :

And so...if that is how you feel..then make it happen!

Dr Levang :

Do the work to ensure that music is an integral part of your life today...and all days.

Customer:

I try, I do, I'm trying to be a producer, but it's harder than hard

Customer:

i feel like though, at 27 people are starting to write me off

Dr Levang :

And sometimes...that is the way it is...that we must work impossibly hard to reach our goals.

Customer:

And of course, I want to do other things one day, go back to Science, I like politics as well

Dr Levang :

I can understand how disturbing that could feel.

Dr Levang :

And many, many people have multiple careers over their life time.

Dr Levang :

That is very possible.

Customer:

i hope so

Dr Levang :

Many people would say that they are learning and growing at every moment of their life.

Dr Levang :

The would say that learning will never stop for them.

Dr Levang :

That growing and changing is a life's time work.

Customer:

I want to achieve something valuable in music, but of course, the world wants its share now, I have to earn and getting more money isn't a five minute fix

Dr Levang :

There are always new challenges and new joys in life...

Dr Levang :

We must stay open to these possibilities.

Dr Levang :

Yes...I truly understand.

Customer:

I always believe that I never stop learning, that's why I carry the faith! haha

Customer:

I wish Amy believed in me more

Dr Levang :

I am sorry that you don't think Amy believes in you more. That must be disheartening.

Dr Levang :

That would be a good topic for discussion...

Dr Levang :

Certainly her confidence in you would be important.

Customer:

The thing is, as I've place music arm in arm with sexy girlfriend, I suppose I wanted a sensory package.

Customer:

I suppose you can't just expect people to be things

Dr Levang :

Exactly...people are not things...

Dr Levang :

You are not a thing. Amy isn't a thing. Leo isn't a thing.

Customer:

yeah

Dr Levang :

Each of you has hopes, dreams, and a life to live.

Dr Levang :

Life is complex. It is a rollercoaster ride.

Dr Levang :

There is joy. There is pain.

Customer:

Do you not think though, that a little more willing from her side, would have gone a long way?

Dr Levang :

I would certainly thing that couple's therapy would have been a benefit!

Dr Levang :

*think

Customer:

I do too, if we could have found the right one. It was a difficult situation

Dr Levang :

Her willingness to have sat down and discussed her feelings with you in front of a therapist could have made a tremendous difference.

Dr Levang :

True enough.

Customer:

What baffles me somewhat, is if we are to accept people etc. how they are, then why would we preference anyone??

Dr Levang :

Good question!

Dr Levang :

It's about giving and receiving.

Dr Levang :

If we accept people where they are...that means we are likely to be accepted where we are.

Dr Levang :

It means that we don't try to make someone into something they are not.

Dr Levang :

We live with their imperfections..and they live with ours.

Dr Levang :

So...you have some thinking to do! And I wish you good luck as you sort this out more.

Dr Levang :

I do encourage you to get therapy and to ask Amy if she would be willing to reconsider couple's therapy. The two of you will be parenting Leo for the rest of his life...the better you can get along..the better it will be for him.

Customer:

It can be hard though, because you can lose a sense of self regulation etc. leaning on that person, not taking responsibility for yourself i suppose

Dr Levang :

Yes...that is true.

Dr Levang :

Is there any last thing I can help you with this evening?

Customer:

No, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX me a lot to think over. Thank you for your time.

Dr Levang :

I'm sorry I had the session locked. You are now able to rate and close the chat.

Dr Levang :

Take care!

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1166
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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