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Hello, I am available to assist you. Welcome! Thank you for your post.
It's much easier for those on the outside to see clearly that in what you describe their is a double standard and he's rationalizing his behavior with a variety of excuses. You are 50, you are a "young enough" woman- I just so happen to be a 50 year old female myself :), midlife in your life, when it's natural for you to evaluate your life. I get a strong sense that your intuition is telling you this is not right, that you are not comfortable with this.
Even if those relationships are not sexual/physical in nature it is still a relationship, making him less available to you- being occupied with other women.
He may be using this contact with other woman as a numbing or high of sorts. He may be seeking ways to self medicate, especially if he struggles with the up and downs of manic depression.
He may be genuine when he tells you he stopped, or has a desire to stop, but if this is compulsive in nature, as it sounds like it may be, it maybe difficult for him to control these impulses. A symptom of manic depression/bipolar disorder is being reckless in relationships, taking risks that may have damaging consequences. Is he treated for the mood disorder?
If he has to delete texts he's hiding something- a clear indication of deceit.
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I'm sorry for this struggle in your life- sounds very difficult- confusing- hurtful etc.
Love is a verb- like you said, you value actions vs. just words.
This can be all consuming for you- so much time, energy, and focus goes into wondering what he's up to and if you can trust him. One can lose them self in a situation like this. Do you know what I mean? You start feeling "crazy", and question yourself, especially if he's so "convincing". You love him, but worry frequently about what he's up to, especially with this recent contact with the girl from work.
Yes- it sounds like he finds another way- somehow. It's sort of like an addiction- and the internet, text, etc. is so accessible to people- easy to get carried away.
You start feeling like you are playing a "detective", and must be consumed with worry and fear about this. If it is compulsive and addictive in nature, like I mentioned, he may have a desire or intention to stop, but he's losing that self control. Similar to an addiction he will need to recognize it as a problem- surrender that he has lost control. How can you not take it personally when it hurts you so much?
He tells you one thing- and again- a true desire to "stop", but repeats this over and over again- compulsive. If it's become addictive it will progress, he will have more and more trouble "hiding" this. Sometimes a person has to hit bottom before they admit it as a problem- a bottom can be the behavior causing a relationship to end, trouble at work, going in debt on a dating or porn website- some sort of significant consequence for his behavior. In his case he's risking the relationship with you. Right now it sounds like he's "playing" but the concern is- this can progress. It's slippery territory where something more can happen. He's working hard to convince you it's "nothing". If it's a true and real problem it will become obvious to you over time. I think you realize you deserve more in a relationship. It's important for you to have support, someone you can talk to. Try really hard to focus on your life, finding things that make you happy.
Sounds like he qualifies for an addictive personality. This can be all consuming for you. If you intend to remain in this relationship- find a way to live your life- get some sort of support. Have you considered counseling for yourself? It's difficult simply to leave, and having someone to talk to can help you sort through this. Yes, it's a classic symptom of addiction, dishonesty, even to those they love.
Alanon may be a support for you- it's for those who love the alcoholic/addicted person. Are you familiar with Alanon? Those in Alanon work their own healing steps. I know it is not as simple as "walking away".
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Thank you for your post tonight.
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