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Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7389
Experience:  Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
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I met a guy (long distance) few years ago

Customer Question

I met a guy (long distance) few years ago through my parents. Religiously, people conduct a ritual before initiating conversation of this sort and if this ritual's outcome is 'positive' then it means this match is recommended. Mine was positive for this guy. Having respect for this ritual, I felt a bit of obligation to make this match work out. We started communication via email/chats. I didn't like this guy from the very beginning. He was arrogant, boastful, disrespectful and ill-mannered. His mother had similar characteristics. Normally, I would not bear this and end the possibility, but due to this ritual's outcome being positive I kept 'bearing' it. Eventually, his mother did something which was very disrespectful to my father and she passed rude comments about me. That is where I drew the line. I stopped contact with him. I can't recall but somehow we started speaking again (over email/chat). I didn't feel comfortable with him. He would try to show me up and win me up all the time. At that time, I either didn't realize I was uncomfortable and should pull away or just ignored my feelings and misunderstood them. He was 'good' for me on paper, so at some point, we again started discussing the possibility of us being together. I told him my feelings about his mother and her disrespect. He said he would take care of it, but that never happened. I was not able to let that go. He mentioned to me that he would need another year to 'take any big steps' (towards marriage). I told him that I am not ok with moving on this way without any parents' involvement. We should talk again once our parents talk and give us positive signals. We decreased our talking and he said he would ask his mother to contact my parents. I kept waiting. After many weeks, his mother had written to my father. It was a weird email, almost like she was forced into it and was expecting us to carry the conversation, when she was the one contacting us. I also didn't like the tone in which this guy spoke to my parents. It was rude and too authoritative. Since I didn't have much contact with the guy, I didn't know the situation and I felt stuck on what to do. Several months had passed this way. I didn't expect it would be taking this long. Then we had some contact. We didn't directly address the parents' issue. That still seemed up in the air. He was looking for some jobs at the time, so I spent a lot of time searching for suitable job offers for him to apply. He was ungrateful in his response to that, and tried to do something for me 'in return.' One valentine's day, he sent me a simple greeting, and I responded and had a present for him. He never responded to me on that. That confused me a lot. We had very little contact after this. Then after a few months, I told him I don't want to leave things up in the air and I no longer interested in pursuing you further. He didn't respond. Several months passed, I asked him if he was able to find a job since I had suggested many options for him. He didn't respond to that either. He had a possibility of leaving the country if he couldn't find a job here, so I wrote him that you seem to have gone back. He immediately responded to that rudely and arrogantly that he got job and he also got into a relationship with someone. I felt weird about it, but I just congratulated him. After this, he would send me occasional emails to 'catch up' or just giving me an 'update' on his career. I didn't like it at all, but I kept responding to his emails, and kept feeding 'his ego' because I didn't seem to understand that I don't need to respond to him (I wish I had done this back then). Many months later, I wrote to him asking for his advice on something. His response was rude. This is where I understood and finally realized how ridiculous being in touch with this person really has been for me. I ended up telling him harshly that I don't have any interest in your life, how rude he was to my family, and arrogant. In addition, his mother was quite ill-mannered too. He sent me some messages but I never read them. Just didn't want his negativity anymore. So my questions are: 1. Why would this person not respond to me when I told him I don't want to pursue you anymore? Had he already 'moved on' and didn't care? 2. Since he told me that he didn't want to take any big steps until he got a job, is this part of the reason why he kept updating me on his career? 3. In the last email I read from him, he said that 'he had moved on, and he is sure I have too, and hopefully I'll find the same love his life is filled with now.' This seemed that he was trying to tell me how great his life is and I may or may not have reached it. Is that accurate? 4. I still think about all this and struggle. I second guess myself. I thought I should be 'done' by now? What should I do for all this to not bother me anymore? Thank you for your patience. I really need some perspective/help. I promise to leave a good rating/tip :)

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rev.Dr. August Abbott replied 1 year ago.

Hello Rose, I can certainly understand your frustration with this whole situation. Let's see about finally putting it to rest and far behind you.

Your first question about why he wouldn't respond after you told him you didn't want to pursue him seems to be that he was writing the possibility of a relationship off. You're sort of asking why, after shutting the door on someone, they didn't keep knocking. I understand that you might have wanted him to explain himself or even try to repair the relationship, but once you shut that door or tell someone, basically, 'it's over', you have to accept that they might not react as you may have wanted. Some people just don't care enough to fight for someone.

Your next questions about his career updates and saying he has moved on and wishes you well, yes, it could be that he's trying to save his ego and appear to be doing great. There is no point in even thinking about this since it will accomplish nothing. Let him have it. If it's just a story he tells to make himself feel better, then be kind and let him have it.

Finally, yes, you're second guessing yourself quite a bit, but it's perfectly normal. Everyone does it and anyone who says differently is fooling no one but themselves.

Let's go back and address the parents' issue. How his mother was or is; how your father was or is - absolutely has nothing to do with you and you simply do not have that kind of 'power' to be able or responsible for living anyone else's life but your own.

You have to accept that what you see in his mother is something he very likely doesn't see. How would you feel if he told you his opinion of your father and it was unkind? Keep this in mind for your future relationships. No speaking ill of anyone's family.

Now, as for this to stop hurting or bothering you so much? First, take the lessons you've learned and commit them to your growth.

Not just 'no speaking ill of anyone's family' but also, it's not your job to find someone else a job. Be supportive and encouraging and do what they ask, within reason; however, remember the 'rule' of not being entitled to live anyone else's life but your own and not willing to 'enable' others to shirk the duty of living their own life by doing for them what they should be doing for themselves.

--------

To move on and replace the bad feelings that linger, fill yourself up with something new, challenging and worthwhile.

Go to www.VolunteerMatch.com and find something in your area that needs you. I strongly suggest taking on a challenge. For example, if you usually do office work, volunteer for outdoor work. Do something outside of your comfort zone not just for the challenge and learning experience, but to meet new people and contribute your time and effort to a cause that means something to you.

You'll have the distraction you need and you'll be enriching your life AND making a difference in the world.

And you never know what's next. New things can lead to some very exciting life changes.



Rev.Dr. August Abbott, Clergy
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 7389
Experience: Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)
Rev.Dr. August Abbott and 2 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

This might be some miscommunication here:


 


1. I didn't speak ill of his mother. Rather his mother did that for us, and he made those comments from his mother known to me in the beginning. Maybe because he wanted me to 'address them' and 'please his mother,' but honestly, if she doesn't accept me/my family the way we are, then what can I do about it? When we tried to give it another shot, I expressed my these concerns to him and he said he would take care of it and convince his mother. That never happened. Like you rightly said, imagine how someone would feel if they hear such things about their family and/or them.


 


2. Can you recommend any books I can read? Maybe on cognitive behavioral thinking?


 


3. I didn't try to find a job for him, just suggested several links to suitable jobs that he could apply to. He would constantly express how desperate he is to look for something, and he's so busy in school that he can't find time to do it. He almost wanted me to do it. I didn't think that much about it and went ahead with the search. However, his response was quite ungrateful.


 


4. I have heard that you should write a letter but not send it. I however wrote my thoughts/feelings and sent it. He sent me responses, but I didn't read them. In this last letter, I mentioned that his mother was ill-mannered towards me and my family. I thought it's just my expressing how she behaved with us, but would you qualify this as speaking ill of somebody's family?

Expert:  Rev.Dr. August Abbott replied 1 year ago.

However, you did point out your opinion of his mother. If it was not his own opinion of her, imagine how it sounded and felt to him.

To be honest, there's an old saying about how we can say what we want about our loved ones, but if someone else says it, it's all kinds of wrong.

That is the point I am trying to make.

And sending him links to potential jobs is trying to find him a job. If he were to find those links himself, then he'd be trying to find himself a job.

If you could do it, so could he. And he's the one who should have been doing it. Given that he was completely ungrateful for your efforts surely shows you that it was not appreciated.

Rather than reading a book, it would probably be more beneficial to engage a counselor. Even just 4 sessions with a licensed (degreed) professional can be incredibly helpful in not just learning how to get through this, but some insights into yourself that a book simply cannot do.

One example is that yes, many counselors, psychologists and other professionals suggest the 'un-sent letter'. If you were to have heard this from someone in person, it would have been explained just how important it is to not send.

Yes, describing how his mother behaved (unless you were telling him how wonderful she was) was likely perceived as unkind or speaking ill of someone. Again, if he were to describe your dad using the same words you did about his mom, would you have thought he was being nice or speaking ill? You see?

I'm actually very much on your side. I just don't want you to hurt any longer than you already have (thus the recommendations for filling your spare time with new and challenging things that make a difference in this world and in your own life).

I also want you to find the positives in this whole thing. Even if it's just taking some lessons to apply in future relationships, like always finding something nice to say about boyfriend's mom's. Believe me, this will be the hardest thing to do in some cases, but it will be the thing that makes you stand out. In a really good way


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.


 


I respect your thoughts and opinion, and my intention is not to challenge it, but I seem to have a disagreement with you. I understand the point you are trying to make about the loved ones, and I already have that in my principles. This principle/rule is right, but how you apply the principle/rule and in what situation should also be right. This is where I have a disagreement with you. He and his mother said everything they wanted to about me and my family. It's their opinion, but they seemed to forget that just like they love each other within the family (mother-son) so do others (father-daughter). They have too much respect for their own feelings, but not feelings of others'. For example, his mother will think her son is too special. Thats not hurting anyone. However, if she doesn't respect the same thing about someone else's daughter and doesn't respect that other parents also feel their children are special and goes as far as hurting/disrespecting them and their bond with their children, then that is ill-mannered. This is a type of injustice. I could have done the same thing that his mother did but I only chose to point out what they did. And it's not wrong to point out somebody's injustice. I could have even let this go and done a favor on him by not pointing out her injustice, but it was my decision to not in this particular situation.


 


My father knows and understand how ill-mannered it is to speaks badly about somebody's child. So nobody would ever have the opportunity to call him ill-mannered. However, if I were in his position, and my mother acted this way with somebody, I would address that person's feelings (either talking with my mother or clearing any misunderstanding) way before he has opportunity to characterize my mother as ill-mannered. This way I have done a favor on my mother, which is part of love.


 


I also don't agree with you on the job. I did not do it without his consent. In fact, he wanted me to do it. Not once, but several times. There's no reason to ask for something if you are going to be ungrateful about it later, and pretend that it's no big deal. If you don't appreciate it, then don't ask me for it.


 


It seems from your messages that you want me to realize his (and others') feelings that imagine how they feel when I say something negative to them about their loved ones, but ignore my own. It's this exact rule: "we can say what we want about our loved ones, but it's all kinds of wrong when others do it" which they violated, and I believe I am allowed to point it out to them what they did, at the very least. I did it once, and instead of repeating it I chose to not read his messages from now that could prompt another such response from me.


 


I am getting married in a few months. And I thought it was a good idea for me to look deep down and resolve any unhealed feelings so I can start a fresh life. It'll also keep me very engaged in so many activities and I do feel that will help me put this behind. And I am happy to say that it has not been hard for me to genuinely appreciate my mother-in-law (not just say it to make my husband happy) because she is a remarkable woman and I have deep, sincere respect for her from within.


 


The positives I found:


1. Don't assume. Have clear and direct communication with others, so I can avoid these situations.


2. Try to resolve the situation earlier and not let feelings get to this point.


3. If somebody makes me uncomfortable, keep my distance.


 


 


Take care.


 

Expert:  Rev.Dr. August Abbott replied 1 year ago.
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Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Rev.Dr. August Abbott
Etiquette consultant
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Ordained minister: Counselor (spiritual/life)