There are also resources to help you work through your feelings as the relationship ends:
The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick Carnes
Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott
If you're satisfied with my response, please rate me highly. If you're not yet satisfied, please reply to me. Thanks!Kate
Hi again kate, well its been a few weeks since I have given you an update. I did pull back from my boyfriend and even did break up with him. I told him to return the car and did not go up to his place for weeks. he actually came down to my house two saturdays in a row. He was extremely devestated with the prospect of losing me and he also told me how he did not want to.
We have sort of eased back into our relationship with me not doing half of what i used to and he has been really much better. More patient, more caring and much less selfcentered. He has told me how much I am his life and that he loves me. The question I have tough is that we still are having the issue of him making a formal committement and giving me the ring he has and showed me. he is still sticking to his guns that he it is just not the right time due to his state of mind due to finances and the state of his business right now not knowing a direction. I have made it more than clear to him that one thing has nothing to do with the other and while he agrees he keeps putting this off. he says he wants to wait until the legal issues with an old partner are resolved and he knows what is going to happen, this has been already going on for over 2 years and will be at least another 1-2 at a minimum. I do not agree at all. I am not sure why he is doing this and if it is even the total truth. I am really not happy with him telling me he is committed, he wants to marry me and I a his life but wont make a formal committment. I think that is very selfish as he knows how much that would mean to me and I have given him so much more.
Our three year anniversary is coming up on Sept 24th and I really think that if he does not do it on or before then I really need to make a separation from him eventhough I really cannot picture my life without him, I will just continue to be so unhappy and feel he cannot put me before himself. What are your thoughts?
I would be more than happy to continue working with you on any new questionsyou have. All I ask is that you remember to rate my previous answer before asking new ones.Thanks!
ok I will do that the reason it takes me some time is because I am having problems rating you at work it does not go through. If you answer my question now I will send a rating later from home OK? thanks.
Kate, thanks for the reply. I was going to wait until the end of the month to make the final decision to see what happened on our anniversary but it was moved up a bit. The reason is that I worked at his business all weekend a labor day party, cooked, dealt with all the customers, help at bar and also in restaurant. All weekend he told several people when they asked if I was his wife he told them no my future wife. He kept saying that to them and it was just eating at me. By Monday morning I could not wait any longer, I said to him why do you keep saying I am your future wife, you havent even asked me. Why do you do that you should be asking me. He said to be nice and then he said one day I will be. With that I blew up and told him I am not doing this anymore, he is wrong and I am leaving. I got in my car of course crying and he comes down and says I shouldnt leave all upset, I told him dont call or text me. Of course I could not do that and texted him later how upset I was and hurt. He said he was too but nothing mre. Today he says good morning baby XO as usual and I told him I cant do this anymore he is breaking my heart and I love him but he should never make me ask him for a committmnent it should be most important to him. He does not answer just sends a :(. Later he says thanks for lunch that I had left for him over the weekend. I said your welcome and asked him why isnt it important for him to make me happy?
He wrote back it is and NOW QUIT IT in big letters. I just made a sad face and he said Me too with a sad face.
I am so disguisted with myself that I just cant let him go. Why am I doing this to myself. Its obvious that he would rather lose me than propose so I just cant accept that? What is wrong with me? I guess because he keeps dangling the I love you, I dont want to lose you stuff at me.
Can you try and tell me what you think here, why cant I see what is going on, I dont believe that he would not do this for someone he really loved even if he was unhappy with finances and his business situation right now. I dont feel thats the whole reason at all do you. What do you think may be going on. He has been more considerate, nice and thoughtful with his words lately but has done nothing for me other than talk. I am sick of words they mean nothing at this point do they?
OK I did rate you excellent, paid and put in a tip. Can you work on my question I am very upset. thanks.
Thanks. I'll reply as soon as I can.
Kate,just so you understand me a little better, I do not really want to rush to get married this is about his ability for him to really commit to me and be unselfish. This is what I want to see if he can do and put my feelings and needs before himself. That is the quality I really want in the guy I will spend the rest of my life with, nothing that I havent done already for him. So basically if I really do walk away and give up the idea that he could ever realize and show much I mean to him will just let me go rather than give up the control? Why does he want this control, what good does it do for him when I leave him, does he care if I do, is this a game to him to see who wins? If so what am I dont here in the first place, I dont want a guy like that. What is the control giving him? Is he really happy making me cry and be so unhappy, what is the ultimate prize for him here, is he going to just string me along for another few years until I quit?
It is the same thing, commitment and marriage. At least he probably sees it as the same. If you do walk away, he may try to get you back just because for some reason he likes the game he is playing. And he may not think you will leave. It would really benefit him to seek therapy so he knows why he wants to do this in the relationship.
Kate, he wont go for therapy he doesnt believe in it. He would never let anyone give an opinion on his methods of thinking because he knows he is probably wrong but doesnt really care, he thinks he can have his own opinion and basically if you do not agree thats too bad for you. Thats whats he is doing here he is saying that he thinks this is not the right time to get married and yes he does see them both the same engagement and marriage because he is not happy. I know now that there is nothing I am going to say to convience him and that is probably the control thing you are saying. I dont even believe what he is saying is or could be true at all anyway if you really loved the other person, he sees how I am so broken up and crying and he sucks to allow me to do this. YOu are right he is probably enjoying someone torturing themselves over him, what a macho sick attitude. I am not going to answer or write to him at all. I need to get passed this. I am kidding myself, I just dont understand people like this and it is really abusive without the visual scars right?
Yes, what he is doing can be considered emotional abuse.
Kate, can I ask you one more question? I think the biggest issue I have with my boyfriend not making formal committment to me is that I cannot understand how someone says all the right things like I love you, I want to be with you forever etc then they cannot actually follow up with the actual actions. He shows me at the ring and actually lets me try it on then says he wanted to do that so I know he is serious and its mine at the right time. He says that since so much is up in the air right now where he may not even have a business down the road he does not feel like celebrating such an important event. Is this type of thinking even possible considering what I am supposed to mean to him and how much I have given to him and done for him over the last three years? This is what I absolutely cannot accept. If he had some reason that made sense like he could not afford a ring or something like that I could see why he would feell bad but he has it sitting and wont give it to me. How do I stay with someone like this? Why would he want to see me so broken up and unhappy an still continue to stick with this reasoning, is he totally self absorbed and selfish enough to feel this is OK? I have shared alot with you and maybe you can just give me some of your insight to what I have asked you here, It really helps me to get through this. thanks.
When someone manipulates, it usually indicates a personality disorder. And if he has a personality disorder, he will put his needs first before anyone else's not matter how much he says he loves you or cares. Also, playing games with your feelings might be part of that, like leading you on so you stay. It is a way people interact when they have been hurt or damaged in their past. They don't understand healthy relationships because they never had one as a child so they react in hurtful and dysfunctional ways instead of healthy ways.You are trying to make sense of dysfunctional behavior which is not going to make sense. It is motivated by things that happened to him and how he processed whatever he went through. So the only option you have is to either stay and deal with how he acts, or to leave.KateI would love to continue to work with you if you could rate me for my time and expertise on the answers I have provided for you. If you are unhappy with my responses, I can opt out and let other professionals help you. Let me know what you wish to do.
Kate, I know you are right and there are so many things that do not make me happy with his behavior or the way he lives his life. His business is also a major issue with the people it attracts and their behavior and ethics. Since my boyfriend lives at his business he is with it 24/7 for the last 15 years. It has to eventually take its toll and make you into a different person than you were before you were involved with all of this. I have never been around such uneithical, low class people since I have been with him. I did not grow up like that and either did my boyfriend and I certainly do not intend to become like any of them. I dont think it was the way he grew up I truly think its since he came here. I really dont understand why I let myself be treated this way, I know in my mind I deserve better but for some reason I keep putting up with this. I know I have so much invested, time and major amounts of money but yes it is my fault if I continue to accept this type of person and environment. It really is not his fault he can do what he wants but I am the one who keeps accepting it. You can only be manipulated by someone as long as you let them. I just have to be stong enough to move away from this and realize that most likely he will never be the person I want him to and even if I do wait until he says he is ready that may be a manipulation as well. Kate, are you saying with all this that he just wants me there but does not want to really make a formal committment from what I am saying to you? Does he just want to keep that ring for his needs? Why keep me there just until he does not need me anymore?
I just rated you the best. If you could answer my last question I would appreciate it. I know I am probably driving you crazy but you are giving me invaluable support to make the changes I need to. thanks.
He is probably enjoying the game that you both are playing. You may want to talk with a therapist face to face to work through your emotions around this relationship and help you leave. A healthier relationship would be better than putting yourself through this.
Kate, you are really right on. After all of this talk with you I sent my boyfriend a text and told him,
" This up and down thing is not good for me. When you are ready to fully commit then let me know, if you ever want to. Until then I would rather be alone. :( Xo
Eventhough in the past I have broken down and let him manipulate me to coming back without this committment, I am not going to do it this time. I know now it will never end and I am helping fuel this issue. I am giving him the ammunition. He is being selfish and self serving like you said and maybe even enjoying it but I am soooo done. I cant keep going on like this, I am just broken.
Thanks and do you mind if I keep in touch during this time for some moral support?
Hi Kate, I just wanted to check back in with you. Its been a few weeks since I wrote to you and this is what has happened. This past weekend was our three year anniversary since we started dating. I decided that I would take the opportunity to really give a hard look at our relationship and if I really was ready to end it for good. We went away on my boyfriends boat from Sat to Sunday for a short trip. We bought each other cards and had a nice time but once again there was no mention of him proposing. He has know for almost 2 years of our three years together that this is what I wanted. As i told you he has told me I am the one but its not the right time. I have tried everything to make him understand how important the committment is to me and he just says its not the right time, he is not happy with his business and finances so he does not want to celebrate. Well, I decided Sunday that I was going to end it for good. It told him that his reasons are totally unacceptable and selfish. I told him that if anyone should not be happy its me with all the sacrifices I have to make but I do it to make him happy because I love him. He basically said that he wont or cant. I told him not to text or contact me anymore but of course he did Sun night and Mon morning, the text thing as usual like we were still together. Now I blocked my cell phone from him texting me. I have not heard from him now for two days.
Of course he could email me or call but he wont, he always hides behind the texts. His last words to me were dont do anything permenant and if we get back together the clock starts over. I am so disguisted with him al realize I wasted so much time. I dont know what his problem is but he just wants everything from me and cant give me anything real back. yes he can fix things and hang out but when it comes to really committing he just wont. I can never be sure he ever will, who knows if this happy thing he is talking about would ever happen.
Can I have your thoughts? thanks.
I am going to opt out to let other experts assist you.
Why are you doing that I really appreciate your help
Hi! Kate has opted out and I'm not sure if it's because she feels she already gave you the advice to leave and that she would be repeating herself.
You write that would like more help, but you have rated the previous answer. The question, then, is if you want further help, which the other experts would be glad to offer, but only if you are prepared to start over. And the other experts would expect that you would give them a rating as well for their answers if the answer is helpful. This would mean you would be paying again. I am a psychotherapist in private practice and would be glad to help here. But I would need to know if you realize that you will be starting over again and want to do that and pay for your answer. Let me know, okay? Thanks, Dr. Mark
I would like to keep working with someone on my issues with my relationship, If its you that is fine I would just like some additional help
First, let me say I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You were clearly so patient and gave the relationship such effort and he was not on the same page as you. That is distressing but it's the reality: he wasn't ready and was indeed keeping you strung along. I agree with Kate that you need to make efforts to help yourself get over the initial heartache of disappointment. That's really what I want to focus on here.
Because, you see, to move on always involves two parts: there's the disappointment that it didn't work out and then there's the finding your future. And this is so important: you can't get past the disappointment part unless you take practical steps to move toward your future. Because if you don't have practical steps you're taking to find the real Mr. Right, then you'll just keep facing backwards: toward your disappointment at him. So let's start out with what you need to do to find Mr. Right.
Now for your life. Why do I say your life? Because you are not going to find Mr. Right by just looking for "a guy". You've got to treat finding Mr. Right as part of living YOUR life. You are clearly a woman with values. You are not looking simply for sexual gratification. You are looking for a human being who wants to share his life with you and who values who you are.
That's why we're going to focus on goals, strategies, and plans. I want you to take a sheet of paper or on the computer if you prefer and on that paper write your Healthy Relationship Goals. Examples: make 3 close friends in the next 3 months; or go on dates with interesting men at least 4 times in the next 3 months, etc. So you see they don't need to even be goals for just relationships with men, but can be social relationships. Because the more social you are, the more you build your ability to express yourself socially instead of just career wise, the more you will feel comfortable expressing yourself to Mr. Right on a date. You need to feel comfortable sharing your inner self with other people on lots of different levels: acquaintances, friends, confidantes, and dates.
Next, I need you to take another sheet or underneath the goals in the same sheet write Strategies for my Healthy Relationship Goals. For each of the Goals, I want you to write strategies. For example, if your goal is to go out 4 times in 3 months, strategies might be: I want to identify the type of interests men you'd be interested in would have. Then I want to ask yourself where would they go to fulfill those interests. For example, if an interesting man needs to be someone who is into fitness, then he would be a member of a fitness club. If he needs to like art, then he would be a member of the Art Museum and go to gallery openings. If he needs to be spiritually oriented, then he might need to be attending church or a meditation class.
Then, you need to write on a separate piece of paper or underneath each Goal and Strategy: Plans for how to succeed with your strategies. So to continue the example above, you might write: my plan is to go to the 6 most popular fitness studios and check them out to see what their membership looks like and what kind of activities are there. Or for art, I plan to join the Art Museum and to go to an art opening at a gallery at least twice per month and maybe 3 times. Or if you are interested in religion, checking out 3 congregations for active ones that have social events.
These are examples of strategies and plans. I'm trying to focus you on your life interests. What do you want to do to further your having a meaningful life? Remember, Mr. Right needs to fit into what's meaningful to you, so look for him in activities that bring out what's meaningful in your life.
Okay, I wish you the very best!
My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue now or in the future, just put "For Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, Dr. Mark
Hi. I see you've viewed but haven't responded yet to my answer. I would be very interested in hearing back from you on whether you thought my response was on target or if we need to continue with further clarification. My goal is for you to feel like you've gotten Great Service from me and the site. If we need to continue the discussion for that to happen, then please feel free to reply and we'll continue working on this. If the answer has given you the help you need, please remember to give a rating of 5 (Great Service) or 4 (Informative and helpful), or even 3 (Got the job done) button. This will make sure that I am credited for the answer and you are not charged anything more than the deposit you already made by pressing any of these buttons.
Let me know, Dr. Mark