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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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Dr. L, Hi, again. I really dont know what else to say, except

Resolved Question:

Dr. L,
Hi, again.
I really don't know what else to say, except that I want to do what's right.
it also feels weird to me to end the relationship when it has just started, although I know that postponing it will be more painful.
Is there any way I can diminish my pain? You know I have feelings for him.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. L replied 1 year ago.

Dr. L :

Hello,

Dr. L :

Yes...postponing it or going on will only make matters worse I am afraid. By staying with him you may be creating more opportunities for him to treat you badly, for him to get angry over nothing, for him to pressure you about a job, and so forth. While you may enjoy his companionship, the sexual intimacy, you also feel terribly guilty and that destroys your sense of worth and ultimately will take its tool on your life.

Dr. L :

Ending it now keeps you from getting more and more entangled with him. That entanglement has consequences at work and in your family life. He is not free to be the man who becomes part of your son's life, your mother's life and your life. Whomever you date - and whomever you come to love - must be able to be part of your entire life! ... not just stolen moments here and there.

Dr. L :

How you can diminish your pain is by accepting what you wrote recently...that there are too many issues that keep this from being a healthy relationship. If you take out the emotional aspect...and look at this logically you can see that this is an impossible relationship the way it stands today. There are far too many red flags. So...from that aspect alone the relationship is going nowhere towards meeting your life goals of being in a healthy, permanent relationship.

Dr. L :

You must be selfish here...you must consider what is right for you and for your son. This situation does not support your longer term happiness.

Dr. L :

The part that keeps hooking you is your feelings. You care about him. You want him to care about you. And you don't know how you can stop caring for him. But sometimes we care about the wrong person...a person who cannot return that devotion...that commitment...that kind of love. And, unfortunately, this guy does not appear to have the capacity to care about you in the same way that you care about him. And...that is something you have always known. You have wanted more from him then he could give. You have wanted him to be gentle, understanding, honest, even tempered, compassionate...but he has not been able to sustain - or at times even obtain - these emotional states. This is NOT him. This is who you wish he would be...and you desperately want to hang on to hope that he can be..but this is not him.

Dr. L :

So..you can diminish your pain by logically accepting that this relationship does not have the necessary elements to be successful.

Dr. L :

Then..you can grieve that your heart has been trampled on and grieve that this man is not the man you need him to be.

Dr. L :

I truly wish that he had not come back into your life. I can understand why you did not resist him - you tried very very hard to do that - but he overwhelmed you and took advantage of your vulnerability.

Dr. L :

Perhaps this time he will see the futility in pursuing you.

Customer:

you are right.

Customer:

All your words are perfect.

Customer:

I need to think about what you said.

Customer:

What are the consequences at work and in my family life that this entanglement can bring me? I mean, what are you referring to?

Customer:

I don't think it has brought consequences YET, but are you referring to something in particular that I am missing?

Dr. L :

I was talking more in generalities.

Dr. L :

I worry that co-workers/boss/other company people will find out about the affair and that it will cause harm to you in the workplace. I don't know the specifics of your company policy on such matters...but may companies frown on employees dating or otherwise being involved with each other. I worry that he will say something purposeful in the office to harm your reputation. I worry that he will say something to a co-worker or superior that hints that you have done and will do "favors" for him to keep him employed.

Dr. L :

As to your family life...I am concerned that he will try to force his way into your family life...insist that he meet your son or your mother. I worry that he will call your house and attempt to talk to your mother.

Dr. L :

These are the entanglements that I am referring to.

Dr. L :

And yes...you use the correct work...YET...nothing has happened yet...but the potential exists. I believe that you realize this as well.

Customer:

I worry more about the work things... although, he could potentially do that even if we are not together, right?

Customer:

Meet my son and mother? He once offered to pick up my Mom and go pick up my son at school because I was very busy at work and had to leave to pick up my son. I refused his offer because I don't like to have my son picked up by anyone but me.

Customer:

but why would he force himself into my family? How can that benefit him?

Customer:

Not that I am willing to find out, I just wonder why i haven't thought about these things.

Customer:

Work? I feared all the things you mentioned the first time we were together, but he didn't do it in the past, why now?

Customer:

actually he told me he wanted to protect my reputation at work

Customer:

hi!

Dr. L :

Hello,

Customer:

thanks for being there for me in this moment

Dr. L :

The reason he would try to force himself in your family life is to create a stronger bond of control...building a relationship with your mother or son would make it harder for you to leave him...it would also give him leverage to know things about your comings and goings that right now are private.

Customer:

wow!

Customer:

he is a control freak!

Customer:

and all this just to ensure a "toy"?

Dr. L :

Why now when he didn't cause problems in the past at work...because this time he might become more volatile...and more desperate. He wants/needs a job...how is he going to get one.

Customer:

he has a job, actually a better one than before

Dr. L :

Yes...as a toy you are valuable to him...you support his ego...you give him something/someone to control...

Customer:

it is still not permanent, but he just renewed his contract

Dr. L :

Oh boy.

Dr. L :

For how long?

Customer:

I believe he thinks I can help him get a job, but that is why I don't think the job is his main motivation

Customer:

the contract is usually for 6 months to a year

Dr. L :

Why?

Customer:

because he has one

Customer:

not permanent, but he is not on the streets

Customer:

his worse moment was when I broke up with him

Dr. L :

Is that how he described it...his worse moment?

Dr. L :

Do you really believe that's true?

Customer:

no, I describe it that way because he was left with no contract at that time

Customer:

we haven't talked about it

Dr. L :

And is it his worse moment because he saw control slipping through his fingers? Did he see himself losing ego?

Customer:

No, I mean at work, his worse moment at work was when I broke up with him the forst time

Dr. L :

I understand now.

Dr. L :

I think you are putting entirely too much focus on him....

Dr. L :

stop rescuing and protecting him...

Dr. L :

he is not the one who is suffering here...

Customer:

you said he is worse now because he doesn't have a job, and I was explaining that he actually is in a better position than the first time I broke up with him

Dr. L :

Yes...I am understanding that he now has a better job and is, for the time being, in a secure position so the worry of a job is gone.

Dr. L :

But what I meant is that you rescue and protect his feelings...

Dr. L :

This is part of your caretaking...

Dr. L :

You would rather suffer than have him suffer...

Dr. L :

He disappears, he gets angry, he punishes...

Dr. L :

These are not healthy actions or attitudes...

Dr. L :

When you say that you have feelings for him...it is more about not wanting him to be hurt and wanting to take care of him...

Customer:

he asked if I had done anything to buy a house

Dr. L :

Oh my! As if you should run out and buy a house immediately because he wants that?

Dr. L :

Because he thinks its a good investment?

Customer:

what is it with this house-buying thing?

Dr. L :

He has no business trying to direct your finances.

Customer:

he thinks I am wasting money on rent, which is true but it is not his business

Dr. L :

He wants to spend your money! Wants to be able to say that he "helped" you buy a house.

Customer:

Why?

Dr. L :

Absolutely...it is not his business. Sometimes renting is the smart thing to do...

Dr. L :

Ego. That's why.

Dr. L :

Bragging rights. Bravado.

Dr. L :

Helping the little lady with a big decision...a man's decision...

Customer:

exactly, I have my reasons to rent... reasons tied to my son's school and other things

Dr. L :

His motives are not pure.

Dr. L :

Tell him to stay out of your finances and you will stay out of his.

Customer:

I am sure his motives are not pure but they sound absurd to me

Customer:

too much work just for... ego?

Dr. L :

But what else does he have to do?

Customer:

it sounds like he has issues

Dr. L :

Absurd...that's a good description!

Customer:

jajaja... you are right

Dr. L :

Yes..he has issues and one of the ways to handle that is to get busy putting your nose in other people's business!

Customer:

I see... he avoids his problems by meddling in mine

Dr. L :

He is not going to make any attempts to get emotionally healthy. So...yes meddling in your life is a way to avoid his own problems.

Dr. L :

And then he can brag to you and others about what a great guy he is...

Customer:

still, everything sounds like too much work to keep a toy handy

Dr. L :

And he can say to you...how dare you leave me...look at all the spectacular things I have done for you...helped you buy a house...blah blah blah

Dr. L :

He is trying to keep you tied to him...

Dr. L :

Make you dependent on him...

Customer:

I know he is trying to tie me to him and make me dependent on him

Customer:

he once even mentioned having a baby!

Customer:

what I don't understand is why

Dr. L :

Really. Oh my...that is a terrible, terrible idea!

Customer:

Don't worry

Dr. L :

It's sick. It's a way to manipulate you into thinking he cares and loves you.

Customer:

I made it very clear that I am not having any more kids

Dr. L :

Whew! Having a baby with him under these circumstances would be unthinkable.

Customer:

but it will take work from his part too

Customer:

Don't worry, I haven't lost my mind

Dr. L :

I would wonder if you took his idea seriously!

Customer:

not at all

Dr. L :

It is so ridiculous....

Customer:

he was trying to conquer me again, we were not together yet

Dr. L :

But it does give you a sense of how far he is willing to go to get his way...

Dr. L :

And what he will say to entice you...

Customer:

yes, that is why I am telling you... because I am just realizing that now

Customer:

I don't think the baby was a serious idea, but the house is a very serious one

Customer:

and he already made me promise I was going to celebrate my birthday with him (February)

Dr. L :

Yes...I agree the baby stuff was just cheap talk...

Customer:

and that we are going to do other stuff during the year

Dr. L :

Talk is cheap.

Customer:

that is why it sounds like he plans to be with me for a long time

Customer:

I know talk is cheap but men don't make plans with women they don't want in their lives

Dr. L :

But that's what anyone would say in a relationship! We always act like the relationship is going to last forever. We don't say...well, I think we will only be together for a few weeks so in that few weeks lets do thus and such...

Dr. L :

No...you are misguided. Men and women make plans acting as if everything is going well and that there is a future. That's human nature. That's the way we talk. But it doesn't always work out that way.

Dr. L :

There is an "assumption" that the relationship will work..and therefore we make those plans and talk about futures. But it's just an assumption...it's not reality.

Customer:

i see

Dr. L :

There is nothing carved in stone that says that you will be a couple by the time your birthday rolls around.

Customer:

hahaha... I know

Dr. L :

Talking about the future is just another way of sucking you into his lies and having you "see" down the road to your birthday or this summer or whatever. It's a mind game.

Customer:

but I always heard from my male friends that when a woman they are just having fun with, talks about the near future they feel terrorized

Customer:

and it works!

Customer:

I almost feel I have ruined all those plans and that I will feel bad when those holidays come around!

Dr. L :

But these men probably aren't trying to manipulate these women necessarily. They just want fun and then the woman takes it too far...

Dr. L :

But he wants you to be convinced that he means for you to be in his life for the long term.

Dr. L :

It's back to control and dependence. He wants you to dream about a birthday together...or a vacation...or a house...or a baby...or whatever.

Dr. L :

You haven't ruined them! You've saved yourself from being manipulated and used!

Customer:

why? why does he want to convince me that he wants me in his life for the long term?

Dr. L :

And you are giving yourself the opportunity to spend those occasions with a serious man!

Dr. L :

So you won't leave him...so he can control you.

Customer:

Actually, he does that and two weeks later he tells me he is not in love with me

Dr. L :

If you thought he was going to be gone in a month or two months...then you might decide it's not worth it and you would break up.

Customer:

so I feel like I am so flawed

Dr. L :

It's not about you! It's about him!

Dr. L :

Your feeling inadequate or flawed makes you a victim!

Dr. L :

And..you certainly do not want to be that!

Customer:

what you are saying is that he may be thinking short term despite of what he is saying?

Customer:

the lie is just for me?

Customer:

it sounds like he believes these lies

Dr. L :

No...what I am saying is that he is working to get you to be dependent on him...so dependent that you cannot even imagine life without him.

Customer:

yes, even I can see that

Dr. L :

Yes...the lie is so that you will become more and more entangled with him and less and less able to stand on your own two feet.

Customer:

wow!

Dr. L :

And...from time to time you do seem to fall into that trap of believing that your life will be terrible and awful without him.

Customer:

yes, I do

Dr. L :

And..it is not true. You will do just fine without him. In fact, you will do better. You will stop feeling guilty and cheap and used.

Customer:

I just don't want to fall for him again

Dr. L :

Did you feel like that when your marriage ended? Did you feel that your life would be terrible and awful without your ex-husband?

Dr. L :

Exactly.

Customer:

I want this to be the end of it

Dr. L :

You cannot continue to let men decide your future and to control your emotions.

Customer:

when I broke up with him I remember I was sad but felt peace at the same time

Dr. L :

You absolutely must learn to control your own destiny...in all facets of your life. You do that at work...but you have not managed to do that in your romantic life.

Customer:

little by little (in about 3 months) I felt normal again

Customer:

but I kept worrying about him

Dr. L :

Yes...that peace was because of how destructive the relationship was. Perhaps you will come to this same place again...realize how destructive and harmful this guy is for you.

Dr. L :

And why did he deserve your worry?

Customer:

I realize he is destructive and harmful

Customer:

I was still thinking of him

Customer:

I despised him, but I felt hurt if I saw him with another woman

Dr. L :

Yes...it is hard to stop thinking about someone you once cared for....

Customer:

my heart jumped if he came to my office

Dr. L :

That is jealousy and envy...the desire to have wanted things differently.

Dr. L :

Very normal reaction...

Customer:

and he used the chasing-chasing-chasing-disappear act several times

Customer:

I just don't want to care for him anymore AT ALL

Customer:

I wish I could forget he exists

Customer:

do I explain myself?

Dr. L :

Yes...

Customer:

even though I broke up with him, he was still in my mind

Dr. L :

I can understand what you are saying.

Customer:

I don't want that to happen again

Dr. L :

Yes...he was in your mind because you wanted things to be different...you want to belong and be loved..and you thought this was the man who could provide that for you...

Customer:

I wish I could purge whatever makes me accept him

Dr. L :

Partly you will have to change the picture in your mind of him....

Customer:

can you help me do that?

Dr. L :

From someone who had the potential to bring you happiness to someone who forced you to compromise your values and beliefs for him.

Dr. L :

Yes...I can try to help you with that.

Dr. L :

That is really what I have been trying to do the last few days.

Customer:

hahaha... I know! ANd I am very grateful to you

Dr. L :

I have been trying to help you get a crystal clear picture of who this man is...what he has done...and the potential for harm that exists if you continue with him.

Dr. L :

I have been trying to get you to see how much you rescue and protect him. How much you put his needs before your own. How much he bends the truth or lies in order to have you see him in a good light...to have you be dependent on him.

Customer:

one thing that helped was listening that this is not the first time he has treated me poorly, and that it won't be the last

Dr. L :

Some of what he does is very subtle and very seductive...and you lose your way.

Customer:

I don't see myself rescuing and protecting him, why do you say that?

Dr. L :

And that is a true statement...he did treat you poorly the first time around...and he has done it very recently with his disappearing and punishing....and he will repeat this pattern whenever he wants to...

Dr. L :

Because you say things like...he is in a bad marriage...there is no intimacy with his wife...

Dr. L :

That is protecting him. You do not know anything about his marriage. All you know is what he says..and he cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

Customer:

I see... I pity him

Dr. L :

Yes...and you support his rationales for why he is having an affair.

Customer:

and there is a lot more that I pity him for

Dr. L :

Pity has no place in healthy relationships! None!

Customer:

he had a son when he was 19 years old, and the woman banned him from her life and he has never been able to meet him

Customer:

he has made me cry telling me how cruel that woman was to him

Dr. L :

You must see that he has made choices...and some of those choices are very unhealthy...even harmful. He is in control of his life...there is no doubt about that. The only area that he has had trouble in - and which has dismayed and upset him - is in securing permanent employment. And remember how he thought about...he thought he would have no problem...and then no one wanted to hire him.

Dr. L :

I would not believe one word of that story. Not one.

Dr. L :

I'm sorry. But he is not believable. He has told far too many stories and lies.

Dr. L :

He wanted you to pity him so you would give in to him and again...that he could control you.

Customer:

actually I am now wondering how the story really went

Customer:

I think I will be okay

Dr. L :

Yes...you will be okay. You are stronger than you think.

Dr. L :

You have been left to think you are weak and needy by him...he has punished you and then you feel guilty and bad...

Dr. L :

But you can stand tall...you can take back your dignity and say NO to him....no to his control...no to his secrets...no to being a mistress and a toy.

Customer:

Until now I have been worried about what he believed about me: that I am selfish (according to him) and that I only care about me

Customer:

I don't want to be a mistress, it is humiliating and makes me feel ashamed

Customer:

I never agreed to it, I was very clear

Dr. L :

Yes...that is not the role you should be in.

Dr. L :

You are a dignified and respected woman.

Customer:

but suddenly he is not leaving alone like he said before

Dr. L :

How dare he compromise your values, beliefs and self-esteem.

Customer:

I will let you go now, you have been wonderful Dr. L!

Customer:

I can do it

Dr. L :

Yes...you can.

Dr. L :

I will say good night as well.

Dr. L :

Take care!

Customer:

thank you!

Dr. L :

We can chat whenever you need to.

Dr. L :

You are very welcome!

Customer:

Thank you!

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
Dr. L and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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