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TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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I am 66 years of age in a one year relationship with a man

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I am 66 years of age in a one year relationship with a man who is not yet divorced. They own a house and he lives upstairs. When I met him, he told me the divorce will be over shortly. I know he is not lying for I spoke to his lawyer. If I would have known in the beginning, I wouldn't have gotten involved. The real problem is that he wants to be with me constantly. It seems that I can't breathe. He stays at my apartment from Friday night until Monday morning, which is really bothering me and I told him so. Now he wants to meet me twice weekly for lunch and I told him point blank - NO. I went to lunch with my co-worker yesterday and there he was waiting for me. He tried to insinuate that I said "I would meet him". When I called him on it, he said it was a misunderstanding. I feel like he is becoming a stalker and maybe that was a problem in his marraige. I like company, but this is getting too much. Do you have any suggestions because I like his company, but not on top of me.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like this man is becoming a problem because he is not listening to your needs. Whenever you are in a relationship, it is important that both people feel their needs are being met and you have a right to want your own space. That includes when you ask for time away you get it. As long as both partners are being honest and have each other's best interest in mind, you should be able to get whatever you need.

However, this man is using your relationship and your guilt about asking for time to yourself as a way to deal with his own needs. He does not need to stay with you all weekend unless you want him to. And waiting for you at lunch when you told him no is bordering on obsessive behavior.

You can try to set limits and see if he is willing to listen, but you have tried that and so far he is unable to put your needs before his own. But it may be worth one more try. Be firm with him and when you do give him an answer to his requests, be sure he repeats your answer back to you. So for example, if you say no to him coming over on Saturday, ask him to repeat your answer back to you. Make sure he is aware that the answer is no. If he still shows up you know you have a problem that may not be able to be addressed without therapy on his part. Sometimes with someone who is pushing their own needs like he is with you, it might be best to cut off all contact especially if you try many times to get them to listen and they refuse.

I hope this has helped you,
Kate
TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
You might also want to try taking a short break from the relationship to see if it helps this man get more perspective and to let his divorce progress further.

Kate




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