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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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Hi again, well i just wanted to give you some updated information

Customer Question

Hi again, well i just wanted to give you some updated information as well as seek some help. I did ask my boyfriend about his timing to get engaged and move us forward and he replied by the end of the year he would propose. Well, the end of the year for our anniversary together is september and year end would be December. So I asked him which one of course he said end of 2013. I cant accept the fact that it just seems that he wants to push things off as long as he can. Why if you have decided you want to propose you just dont find the way you want to do it and just go ahead, why would he keep pushing this off, I find it very insulting. I do and have done so much for him and his daughter including alot of money and time devoted to his business and he just seems to take this all for granted. he does appreciate it but it appears nothing really matters. The other thing is the issue of the lovemaking. he never makes love to me, he just wants me to satisfy him. When I bring this up he just says why dont you just jump on. That is not lovemaking and combined with the proposal thing it just seems that this is a person who only thinks of himself and does the bare minimum to keep me. I really want this to work out and I have been doing this for almost 4 years but why am I letting him do this to me?
I am a successful, attractive smart lady eveyone tells me and I am looking like a fool. He owns a business where I have friends there and they see it too and cant understand why I put up with this stuff. I look like a doormat right? Please give me your thoughts thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you.Your theoretical question of: if he wants to get married, why would he be pushing it off in such petty ways is a fair question. I can understand why you would be insulted by this type of behavior.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. A doormat would mean that you are just being used, period. Clearly he is providing you some positives in your life that make it worth all the effort you have devoted to this relationship. It is not JUST a problem of low self worth on your part that keeps you attached to him and he's not JUST a user.

However, he does emerge here as someone who is self interested (example: his rather immature and unromantic and selfish attitude toward sex) and not caring in meaningful ways. I don't want you to beat yourself up, though. It's never useful. To say you should be insulted is extreme. But you might be right in saying that you are exhibiting low self worth here to keep taking these uncaring behaviors.

I understand you've invested a lot of your self, your giving nature, and your love to this relationship. And you're closer to your goal. He is at least saying December, though he might back out. I'm just concerned if he's caring enough for you to WANT to marry HIM in December.

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, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5154
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
Dr. Mark and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

To put it in basic terms, I think I really need to get some serious help. I did not give you the full story. I have made very bad relationship choices in my life. I tend to give everything to the men I am involved with because I have very low self esteem and just want them to love me. I feel that the only way they will love me is if they need me not for just me. This is another example. This man I am involved with gives me the bare minimum, he give me very little affection, has no class, no money, does not go out of his way at all for me unless pushed and will not make a committment because he knows I want it. He is a taker not a giver. He has accepted large amounts of money, tons of my time to help with his business and even my help with his daughter and his ex wife. He cant even find time to come see me during the week unless I ask because I live 1 hr away yet I got there every weekend and its 1.5 hrs from my job. I have a high level executive job and make a good salary with a lot of stress and still put him first always. He never does or will. I just cant seem to stop this pattern of accepting this type of person or this behavior. Why???? I am not doing myself or him any good by doing this to either of us especially me. I need to find the right person to spend the rest of my life with that compliments me not makes me feel so bad right? It would cost my boyfriend nothing after our 4 yrs together to get engaged as he has had this ring for 2 years and cant even do that ??? Why am I accepting this??? Please helpme.

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
Hi. I'm so glad you wrote back. Because in writing back you are now looking directly at what is going on. And that is so important. It took a lot of courage on your part to write this and it's so worthwhile and valuable.

Your question is WHY do you do this? Why do you do this to yourself? This is the number one most important insight:

You have gravitated again to a user, a man who is not ready and/or able to have a healthy give and receive relationship because YOU are doing it to yourself. This reminds me very much of a situation of a woman I worked with in therapy via Skype 2 years ago and last year. The term she had for it was this: why do I always tend to go for guys who are defective?

What she meant was that she had gotten to where she could realize that she let in only men who weren't healthy, who would use her. She eventually was able to realize why she did this:

That deep within herself she believed that the only men who would every love her, that the only men she would be able to "keep" would be men who need her. That if he needs her, he would stay with her. We had to work for a long time on what it meant to be "lovable", someone worth loving, worthy of being loved.

And so, I found your statement that you need "serious help" to be so profound. It's an important insight on your part. Serious help is more, though, than just a one time answer. It's a matter of working in therapy to gain more insight and more skills and more practice and more strength to become healthy. So I urge you to consider therapy to help you with this. You really are a fine person and working on your sense of self will prepare you for being able to be loved as well as to giving love.

I wish you the very best,

Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I actually did go for some counseling and it is so hard for me to change my behavior at this point in my relationship with my boyfriend. It has been 4 years and I have given him so much money and so much of myself I am actually lost in all of it. I think I am afraid of the pain of breaking up eventhough the pain of staying is almost as bad at this point. I feel like I am abandoning him with all his troubles and that hurts me as well. I have tried on many occassions but could never follow through an he knows that. In my mind I know what is right but yet I keep coming back. You would think I was not a smart person but yet in all the other parts of my life I am very smart and successful. I need to break away and for good. I really need to put myself first and if I do not do it now I will be in for a lifetime of saddness and dissapointments as I know a life with him will never be fulfilling. When he finally would propose that is if he ever does I dont see that I would really be winning anything would I. The person is who they are. Nobody can do this for me I am going to have to find a way, I know that. How did your patient finally fix things?

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
There was not one single act on her part or intervention in therapy that made a dramatic change like that. That would be magic, not real change. Remember: you are a human being. That means that the reasons for why you are heading into a relationship you know is a disaster and will be a bigger disaster are not simplistic. There were a lot of problems, hurts, pains, and mistreatments that led to your feeling this badly and seeking love where you know there is no love.

And so it will take slow progress. Change needs to be small changes so that they are not too scary. That's very important. And as you look for a new psychologist/therapist, keep that in mind. Look for someone who will help you with small changes in a positive direction.

For example, don't just break off the relationship cold turkey. Delay the day of departure until you are in therapy and have support.

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, ***** *****

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, well it has been a few months since I wrote to you and things have gotten better somewhat. I am still with my boyfriend and in many ways he has made much more of an effort to be considerate and caring. He has been telling everyone around us that he is going to marry me and he also has stated that he wants us to move in together and get engaged by the end of this year when my lease is up. He has had a ring for me and even showed it to me over a year ago but keeps putting off giving it to me. I asked him why he keeps telling everyone that we are getting married and when he is going to ask me and he says he told me by the end of this year and I should not ask. My problem is why would he keep putting this off. He says he want to plan how he is going to propose but we have been together for 4 years and he has had this ring for over a year or more but just keeps doing this tease thing. It is really ruining the whole thing for me. I spoke to a man a work that has been married for many years and he told me when he was going to ask his wife to marry him he had it all planned out but when the time came that he had the ring he was so excited to give it to her he could not wait. Thats the way things should be dont you think? Not keep doing this, it makes me think he wants to put if off as long as he can. How sad??? As much as I want this to work out it just seems for some reason that I cannot understand how my boyfriend thinks. He says also this weekend that everything he is doing right now, improving his house and being so considerate is because he only cares about me but yet he keeps holding back giving me a formal proposal. We have had several times when we were alone and he could have done it but he doesnt. What should I think?

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.

Hi! It's good to hear from you. But I'm so sorry to hear that things haven't changed that much. They are better somewhat, you write. And that's good.

In general, it sounds like the same situation as when you wrote a couple of months ago: he's doing what he wants to do when he wants to do it. And no amount of your trying to prod him to take into account your desires and needs is changing his determination to do it his way.

This is still making you uncertain, as before, if he truly does intend to propose or if he's just "stringing you along". That was very much hurting you a couple of months ago and it still seems to be something you're afraid of.

I wrote to you then that if there would be any changes, they would be slow. And that is what you are reporting: things are a little bit better, but only a little bit. Any improvement has been small and slow in coming. And so you're still left wondering what his real intentions are and whether his love for you is real or not.

This is very hurtful. And so I'm sorry you're going through this. But, the basic dynamic is still there: no matter how hurtful it might be to you, that does not make a dent in his actions and behavior.

Yes, you are right: the example you bring of the man who couldn't wait to propose and give the ring is more what a woman wants and looks for. But this is not what you've got.

It sounds as though you're resolved to wait it out and see if he's really going to propose before 2013 is over. That is a long time, I understand. But there are no words you can use that will affect his timetable, whatever it is.

Why he is the way he is there is no way for me to diagnose from this distance. It certainly sounds like it could be characterological or developmental. That is certainly a possibility. And if so, then this is something built in to him in deep ways and would be very, very hard to change.

It could be because of previous relationships. But whatever the cause, you need to recognize that this is who he is and that, when he does propose, other decisions very likely will follow this pattern as well. So, I want to make sure you recognize this is what you would be signing up for if you accept his proposal.

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, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5154
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
Dr. Mark and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks so much for your response and its makes sense to me. I must tell you that while I have been wanting and waiting for a proposal for almost 4 years now I feel really sad. The fact that someone who says they love you can hold onto a ring for over 2 years without giving it to you is not someone who really wants to make the committment. I also feel in my heart and it really upsets me that he tells me and everyone else that he is going to marry me but still he cannot make the proposal, why wait any longer, its like he want to buy any time he can so he does not have to do this. That is what I am feeling. This should be a wonderful time knowing that you have found the person who you love best and want forever and he is just making me so sick over this. I feel terrible about myself letting him do this. This is not the way I want things to be. I think maybe he just likes seeing me this way, him in control and me just dependent on his actions, that is really not right. What other possible reason could he have for doing this??? This is all just making me want to tell him he does not have to bother with this anymore :(

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
Your heartache comes through so strongly in what you write and I'm truly sad that you have to be in this situation. It is a very painful situation.

Your question is why would he behave this way? He must not really want to make the commitment is your best guess. And it's the most logical possibility. And so you ask me if there are other possibilities.

I'm very hesitant to say the other possibilities because it takes away from the important part of being a couple: each person has to give as well as take. Each person has to be responsible for their share of the giving in order for a relationship to work. And if we keep excusing the other person for not doing his share of the emotional giving, then the relationship is not healthy at its very core.

And so I'm concerned of saying the possibility that he may truly want to propose but internally, he just can't propose. That there is some emotional blockage there. The reason I'm hesitant is because, as I said above, it can be a way to excuse bad behavior. And that's not a good thing because then you begin to be an enabler (you can look it up on the , emotional enabling). And as I said that leads to unhealthy core and unhappiness ultimately for you.

So, you've invested a lot in this relationship and you're not ready to let go yet. Okay. Accept that in yourself. You can't enter his mind to know what's going on, you can only react to his actions and words. So, you'll see by the end of the year what happens and you'll go from there.

All the very best to you,

Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your kind words and support. I am not really sure what is wrong with him deep down or why he is like this. After four years you would think I would know him pretty well and not have to ask these type of questions wouldnt you? That is also a big problem, that I dont understand his thinking at all. I know that he will avoid emotional issues at all costs he just cannot seem or want to deal with conversations or questions that involve him really opening up his heart or thoughts to anyone. I am really nt sure where this all started with him because I met all of his siblings and they are not like him at all. His parents died when he was about 19 so I never me them. As far as enabling ths behavior yes I have been doing that for a long time. I do have arguments with him and have even broken off our relationship several times but I keep feeling sorry and sad and come back, I really dont know why, maybe its all I have invested in this relationship and I also feel like I am abandoning him. Too bad for me though a I am the one that keeps giving in. Well, now that I have waited all this time a few more months is not long. I am not really sure that I can live with the way he is for the rest of my life so if he actually does propose I think I will for sure not get married anytime soon, I need to see if this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. The funny thing is he probably thinks it will be so wonderful when he finally does propose but what he does not know is that he has ruined that already by doing what he has. I will be in touch and thanks again, J

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 1 year ago.
All the very best to you!

Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 9 days ago.

Hi there, I have not been in touch for a long time and alot of things have occurred in our lives and our relationships and I want to tell you about them and ask for your advice. We got engaged finally September of last year. My boyfriend is closing his marina as he lost the lawsuit he was involved in and is getting some money by selling all of his contents, boats etc. We are in the process of buying a house and planning on getting married in February in Florida. I am a little worried though. He is not affectionate at all, he is always consumed with work and his life, he never makes love to me and he drinks too much. I am not sure if alot of this is due to all of the legal stuff we have been involved with for most of our relationship and all the stress he is under. The other reason is that he has a terrible snoring problem and I cannot sleep in the same room with him. He has agreed once he is on my health insurance to find a cure for this. He agrees it is not a good situation. I am very sad right now and do not know what to do. I do love so many things about him and have waiting so long for us to have a life together but I need affection and caring and not sure he will ever be that person. Can you me some advice?

Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 9 days ago.
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