How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5220
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
50444359
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have been dating this guy for 5 and half years and he is

This answer was rated:

I have been dating this guy for 5 and half years and he is showing me mixed signals. He states he wants more passion, but when I initiate and show him he rejects me. Could a person being intense in this actions about way of life push people away. He has psychological issues dealing with his mom mistreating him emotionally and feelings that people are out to get him. Realistically, he cannot give me what I want because he has to work on himself. Is it best to continue to support him through this difficult time or is it best to have him work on himself and if he comes back to us then it was truly meant to be. Any advice would be much appreciated.

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

I can imagine how confusing this situation must be for you. You are clearly a person with a very strong generous giving nature. This is a wonderful trait: it's only people like you with a giving nature that keeps the world functioning as well as it is. And your giving nature recognizes totally how much he needs. And so you are drawn very strongly to help, to give to him, to help him feel good and to see that life is good and to be loving in return.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. He is not right now in a position to reciprocate, to give. Emotionally he is closed off.I am concerned, therefore, for you in this relationship. Because love is a two way relationship. Both people have to give and to receive. Otherwise you become his therapist, someone who is there to help him.

And this cause a lot of burnout in relationships. Because you're not his therapist. And it's going to take work on his part to change, as you recognize. And that work takes time even if he were to start therapy. And so I'm concerned that you will be "used up" at some point and feel like you gave, and you gave, and you gave. And time has now passed and you're still not receiving. Yet you are also a human being who has needs and deserves to have those needs met. Therefore, my concern is that you make your needs important as well and seek someone who can reciprocate your giving with his own giving.

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, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


For Dr. Mark,


 


Based on our conversation earlier, is it very likely that he is self sabotaging this relationship because his feelings for his abandonment with his mom, not wanting to get close. Would you agree. To be honest, we had broken up earlier couple years ago and he was unresponsive and he did not fight for me at all. he did not say anything, it hurts. because he is not really expressive and whenever I talk about us and reverts back to his mom saying "my mom just makes me mad" and I get mad because were talking about us not his mom. Hes dodging the question and makes me feel like he's not emotionally ready to continue to be in this relationship. It has affected our relationship.

Yes, you are right. He isn't emotionally ready to continue in a close loving relationship. It's very sad and he is indeed sabotaging every positive step that is important.


You are thus pulling the weight, so to speak, for both of you in the relationship. The perfect example of this is that he did not say anything or make any effort to get you back. You had to make the efforts for both of you.


That's why I'm saying my concern is for you. I know it's hard, for two reasons. You've invested a lot of your heart in him. He's clearly a good person, and you've tried so hard to make things work. That's a big investment. But more than that, your desire to give makes you feel like you would be somehow abandoning him and being selfish in some way.


But that is not the case. If you don't isolate yourself socially; if you go out there where people are and fill up your life with relationships that are more reciprocal, you will be okay. And he needs to work on himself.


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, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Hi! I'm very glad that I was able to help you with this and thank you for your positive rating. If I can help you in the future in any way, please don't hesitate to let me know.


All the best,
Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Hello Dr. Mark,


 


I am back :) I Guess in not a good way. Well, I thought long and hard about what you said the last times we had talked and I decided to end things with my BF. Since then it has been a month of inner turmoil and hurt due to the breakup. Its been hard in the sense that I am not getting closure.


 


One of the things that it was a deal breaker was that he was not emotionally supportive, he could not communicate with me and share his feelings. The last time I spoke with him I told him my feelings of what I just stated and i asked him was there anything else that he wanted to comment on and he said no. At that moment, I realized it was over. I deserved better. Unfortunately, he did not realize I broke it off, even though I said should break up now. later that night did if through text. " This is an official breakup".


 


For the first week we were still texting everyday things and not talk about the relationship. I asked him a week later what his thoughts were on this relationship, what has he learned. He stated I want to love myself more and other people. Its something more internal than what I can help with. I wanted more of a response from our relationship instead of a general view. He texted stating if you ever want to work on things then let me know. I told him when I get back from my trip then maybe we might get together and talk about it. . I returned and nothing has happened. We have not talked for a week since I got back.


 


Im sticking to what is important to me and I need communication and I need for him to fight for me if he wants this to work. Honestly I want him to feel the abstance of me in his life to want and need me. That's why I am giving him time, but I do not want to make the first move. I want him to initate. I feel like he is playing a game with me. He saids he wants to work on things but hes not fighting for me. I know its hard since I broke up with him, but I know if you really want to be with someone you would do anything to make it work.


 


I have been really depressed and feel like I want to wake up from this dream but its not happening. Im distracting myself, but its hard. I don't understand him.


 


I need advice on how to understand him. I know I have made the effort it is his turn.

I can imagine how frustrating, sad, and disappointing this is. I'm sorry he's being such a knucklehead.


Help me understand: is your desire to understand him because you want an opening to get better?


Or, is it that you realize that he will take years to get to an emotional place within himself that would allow him to be a healthy partner and you really don't have those years to wait and wait and wait; but you want this "closure" so to speak?


Dr. Mark
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I am having trouble understanding him because his actions speak louder than words. If he really wants to get back together then he needs to find ways to win me back and communicate. He should text, call or even try to see me if he really want it to work. I don't know if he just does not know how to communicate and share his feelings or that he is just scared.


 


I feel like the breakup was one sided since he was unresponsive. He did not know or understand what was going on. Given the time of this relationship all the feelings I felt remain true, but what was it for if he cant reciprocate. He is better communicated through text then in person but that's not good either. I bend over backwards to make us happy and he was and may still not be at that place to be emotionally ready for a committed relationship. He said all the time lets talk about our goals, I want us to be happy, but when it came down to the real issues he cannot communicate it with me.


 


If it is the case that is truly over then closure in the sense of moving on and not always wondering what is he truly thinking and feeling. He stated he wants to open up more.


 


I would say option 2. Its also a burden that I always told him I want kids and a family and talked about that with me, but when it came down it in maybe he was happy or more comfortable as life is now.


 


As you can tell I am all over the place in my thought process because I do not have closure. I don't want to call him because I don't know what I would say and I don't want to jump back in to the relationship because I know of the problems.

First, let me address the understanding him part. I certainly can't diagnose here. But we can make some statements that might be helpful:

We don't know why he is so emotionally closed off and unwilling to pick up on social clues that would seem to be rather clear and obvious. Is it an emotional development problem? Is it a psychodynamic problem (stemming from his childhood and youth)?

It is not clear. However, it seems apparent that he needs to work on this. Would therapy help? It would probably be necessary. But it is not your place to suggest it or facilitate it. It's time for you to move on and not try to fix the "project". You need a partner, not a project.

The first thing is you will need to recognize that you will also now be grieving. You'll be grieving this relationship. And that is real grief. Something that was very real and precious to you will have died: love is real and precious.

But even as you grieve you will soon need to switch focus from exclusively grieving (looking back at what was lost) to where you wish to head toward. And that will be to look for Mr. Right. Part of your grief will be that you thought he was Mr. Right and now you see he was someone on the way toward finding Mr. Right. So let's get started on that phase:

Now for your life. Why do I say your life? Because you are not going to find Mr. Right by just looking for "a guy". You've got to treat finding Mr. Right as part of living YOUR life. You are clearly a woman with values. You are not looking simply for sexual gratification. You are looking for a human being who wants to share his life with you and who values who you are.

That's why we're going to focus on goals, strategies, and plans. I want you to take a sheet of paper or on the computer if you prefer and on that paper write your Healthy Relationship Goals. Examples: make 3 close friends in the next 3 months; or go on dates with interesting men at least 4 times in the next 3 months, etc. So you see they don't need to even be goals for just relationships with men, but can be social relationships. Because the more social you are, the more you build your ability to express yourself socially instead of just career wise, the more you will feel comfortable expressing yourself to Mr. Right on a date. You need to feel comfortable sharing your inner self with other people on lots of different levels: acquaintances, friends, confidantes, and dates.

Next, I need you to take another sheet or underneath the goals in the same sheet write Strategies for my Healthy Relationship Goals. For each of the Goals, I want you to write strategies. For example, if your goal is to go out 4 times in 3 months, strategies might be: I want to identify the type of interests men you'd be interested in would have. Then I want to ask yourself where would they go to fulfill those interests. For example, if an interesting man needs to be someone who is into fitness, then he would be a member of a fitness club. If he needs to like art, then he would be a member of the Art Museum and go to gallery openings. If he needs to be spiritually oriented, then he might need to be attending church or a meditation class.

Then, you need to write on a separate piece of paper or underneath each Goal and Strategy: Plans for how to succeed with your strategies. So to continue the example above, you might write: my plan is to go to the 6 most popular fitness studios and check them out to see what their membership looks like and what kind of activities are there. Or for art, I plan to join the Art Museum and to go to an art opening at a gallery at least twice per month and maybe 3 times. Or if you are interested in religion, checking out 3 congregations for active ones that have social events.

These are examples of strategies and plans. I'm trying to focus you on your life interests. What do you want to do to further your having a meaningful life? Remember, Mr. Right needs to fit into what's meaningful to you, so look for him in activities that bring out what's meaningful in your life.

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

Related Relationship Questions