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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Last weekend I went to visit my long distance boyfriend. Everything

Resolved Question:

Last weekend I went to visit my long distance boyfriend. Everything was perfect and wonderful and romantic. We talked about the future and how he wants to marry me some day. Here's where the complications come in. We both have children but I would be willing to relocate after a more solid commitment was made (engagement/marriage) The day I was leaving he was begging me not to leave. To make things more complicated he is only estranged from his ex wife and he has been struggling with the guilt he has been having since leaving his wife and kids (he's a great dad) The day after I got home he ended things. Professing his love for me more, that he will miss me but he just can't do it, he's not strong enough. I'm at a loss and feeling crushed and abandoned.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 10 months ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this overwhelming situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Is this the first time that you face a painful and shocking situation like thin in current relationship?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

For how long have you been dating?

Customer:

Yes....we have been dating for about 6 months but we talked on average around 3-5 hours a day either by phone or facetime.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

(...painful situation like THIS in current relationship)

Customer:

We both feel like we are perfect matches for each other

Customer:

He also spends a lot of time worrying about what other people think

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see then it has been a young relationship and long distance, but it's obvious you have attached to it this strongly and his decision to end it has been overwhelming for you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then he may suffer of an anxiety disorder and maybe codependency too, which would explain his decision to end the relationship the way he did.

Customer:

I know he has a lot of anxiety and is in therapy for it. I'm just at such a loss because the day before he ended it he was so in love with me and not wanting me to leave

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Most people in your shoes would feel devastated when facing a scenario like this for sure, since you truly felt everything was working great

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, then it makes sense. A core concern here is that when a person has a serious mental health or personal issue like he does, around anxiety, codependency, guilt and more, he would literally undermine and self-sabotage his relationship because of his personal problems

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

and only after he rehabilitates from these disorders and effectively addresses these serious conflicts in his life,he would be able to develop and promote a healthy relaitosnhip

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Pushing him or the relationship would not help for sure. He needs time and support to work on his mental health and life situation before he could be truly present and assertive in another relationship.

Customer:

I agree and I have told him after the last email that I needed time before I can resume communication with him and for me to focus on me. He started going to therapy partly because he didn't want to make the same mistakes with me that he made with his wife. She bullied him.

Customer:

He is very sensitive which is great on the one hand since he is so free with his love and emotions but on the other hand it makes him a little weak

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Now you need to get all the help you can from your support system a,d if needed from individual counseling to effectively cope with this ending and to take good care of your mental health in case you find yourself grieving for too long, and that it affects your mood, functioning and relationships in ways you find tough to control.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then you have already taken the most assertive anybody in your situation could take about it.

Customer:

I am currently in therapy myself

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

He needs you work on his own rehabilitation process and you to take good care of yourself too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good, then please commit to it until you feel empowered, stable and healthy enough to continue coping with this and other life challenges. This is a process, you are grieving, and it would take time, but you would heal and become stronger from it, just need to stick to it.

Customer:

The hardest part for me is I am getting older. He really is such a perfect match for me. I loved him more completely than I did my ex husband.

Customer:

I know I can't help him right now

Customer:

You mentioned that he needed to resolve his issues and get stronger himself. I felt he was doing that and standing up to his ex wife but then the pressure took him.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I an see what you mean but only you know how it feels, and how hard it is to come to terms with the fact that regardless of how well and attached you have felt to this person, it would not be perfect because of his serious anxiety, self-esteem, codependency issues and unresolved problems around his children and ex-wife. Now he has ended the relationship because of them , then it is not even healthy for you to keep attaching to him even more and expecting something that is not happening in reality, and if it does, he would have to work very hard to rehabilitate himself, it would take a long term process, and only then you would see if he feels and is willing to reconnect and give yourselves another chance.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then reality shows you that what you thought and wanted was not truly happening, that his problems are serious enough to shape his life the way they do, and that attaching to your hopes right now around this person could harm you more than help, since he needs to go through a long term healing and growth process before he could play a healthy and assertive role in relationships.

Customer:

I feel like since he married his wife at 21 he has no idea how to be on his own. I know from my own experience that just making some firm decisions and taking control of your life can resolve a lot of the issues that I once shared.

Customer:

He was also a virgin when he married and he admitted that 6 months before the wedding he didn't want to marry her but did anyway because he didn't want to disappoint anyone.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The issues you describe he has in the present are serious enough that would require long term therapeutic work, since they seem to be engrained in his personality and life, then for hims to make significant improvements would truly take a lot of effort, work and professional support, and there is not guaranty he would be able to make improvements to the point you would feel happy and fulfilled in a long term relationship with him.

Customer:

I think deep down I know this but it's not helping with the loss and missing

Customer:

He was my best friend

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Codependency is a chronic addiction, and it would take individual psychotherapy and group therapy or at least active participation in a support group for him to have better chances of rehabilitation, otherwise it would not work.

Customer:

Do you think that is why he latched on to me

Customer:

I gave him unconditional love and support

Customer:

What should I do if he tries to reconnect with me before he is ready?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The pain is real and would not help denying or repressing it, you need to learn how to release your feelings and emotions, for them not to undermine your mental health and life even more, get stronger from it while healing, having all the support you can from your support system and therapy. It is not easy but necessary, possible and absolutely worthy.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Unconditional love and support are good as long as they happen to be healthy and constructive. If they become distorted by codependency or in other ways, they would become very dysfunctional and enable further issues. If you offered support but did not set and kept healthy boundariess and limits, then it would not have been healthy.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If he does under such circumstances you would have to set and keep healthy and clear boundaries not engaging in further sharing, being consistent taking good care of yourself, otherwise you would be fueling further dysfunction where he would negatively impact your life.

Customer:

What if he contacts me and I feel he has made big strides in improving his life. I know he wants to and is trying to do so.

Customer:

improve his life that is

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

B every mindful about your choices, feelings and actions and take full responsibility for them in order not to self-sabotage nor engage in something that would not be healthy or helpful in your life.

Customer:

By leaving his wife and even ending things with me I feel like he is taking some charge of his life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You are always free, have the right and power to choose what you want or not to afford, if you choose to take the risk, just be mindful about reality, in that way you would know how far you can go or not.

Customer:

I know that if I was ever to reconnect with him again he would have to prove to me that he has become more independant.

Customer:

Confident too

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think so, and that's why he needs to work on himself now, and this is about a long term process,otherwise he would just be making superficial adjustments to his ego, and fooling himself, what would lead to further pain and sabotaging his life and the ones of those involved with him.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I support you, that seems essential here

Customer:

So basically I need to let him go and if he can become a stronger individual than maybe we might have a chance but in the meantime I need to just move forward. Let fate take the wheel.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think so. Acknowledging reality and workinh on it is the best approach we all could take. Now you can only control and take good care of yourself and those who depend on you, while he needs to do the same. Time will tell how well he does or not.

Customer:

I can accept that. I have one last question. Was our love real then? I believed it 100%

Customer:

Still do

Customer:

We shared everything. Our pasts, our deepest insecurities, everything. More than I have with any other person nevermind lover

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think so. Love is not an abstract thing, but a very personal experience, unique to each individual thus how healthy and fulfilling it becomes, depends on how mature, healthy, functioning, assertive and experienced the person happens to be. Value and belief systems and concrete life experiences shape the experience of love in unique ways. It is also a skill that depends on all those previous factors. Then it's about how your skill and experience of love happens to be compatible and work with the other person's unique ways of experiencing love.

Customer:

Can you explain what self sabotaging is. I don't get why someone would let the best thing in their life go.

Customer:

I'm not trying to boast :)

Customer:

He used to say he loved how I loved him

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When you want or need something, but you do believe you do not deserve it, or that you can get it because of any reason, or you end not taking consistent action to make of it reality, out of fear, traumas, immaturity, lack of support or guidance, or because of any other factor, you would end neglecting yourself, undermining your very chances to built what you want to enjoy. This happens whether we were aware of it or not.

Customer:

His is definitely fear based

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

His statement could show his codependency and his neediness, wanting to feel loved and special, besides of feeling in love with you. Many time s people truly look for somebody who makes them feel all those good things they have not found in themselves or with other people, and as soon as they find them, they immediately attached and could think and feel that is love, while in fact it is more about attaching to how well they feel because of how the other person "makes they feel", or plays a role in their lives.

Customer:

He did say I made him feel special but isn't that how most people feel when they are in love.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is why a person could feel in love with another person who happens to be very incompatible or even abusive, but they still feel fulfilled because of the codependent role he/she has been playing, and that's why they attach even more and could deny the whole picture and deny to face reality around abuse, neglect or dysfunction.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Sure it is

Customer:

I know he loved other things about me. My personality, my humor, all the stuff we had in common.

Customer:

I've been in 4 major relationships. I know what love is. I believe he loved me for who I was.

Customer:

Not just what I was giving him

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Healthy love does not only promotes feelings of happiness and wellness, but supports the person to take good care of him/herself, addressing issues and dysfunction, to promote and support changes,

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then it was real for sure.

Customer:

He said that I made him want to be a better person, partly why he was in therapy. To be that person for me.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

As I said, the experience of love in unique to each individual and couple, and what makes the difference is how healthy and compatible this experience happens to be between two individuals.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's very good for sure.

Customer:

I guess if I truly love him I need to let him go find himself.

Customer:

I can handle that.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely

Customer:

Maybe someday but I won't stop my life.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That would be the consistent action from healthy love

Customer:

I know I will never stop loving him. I care so deeply and profoundly about him. I truly want him to be happy. I was just hoping it would be with me

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right, because your first need, right and responsibility is to respect, love and support yourself, then those who depend on you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then focus on what you can and should control, and hope for the best.

Customer:

It is so hard when a relationship ends this way. We love each other but it's not enough.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It is, but reality cannot be denied, otherwise love would justify and enable very unhealthy and dysfunctional situations, pain and suffering, abuse and neglect, and that could never be good.

Customer:

My parting words to him was to be good to himself, love himself, and listen to his heart. I love him so much

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think you said and offered the best anybody in your shoes could do taking into account all the tough circumstances involved.

Customer:

Thanks. It's hard taking the high road sometimes. I did write a pretty angry letter on my computer...LOL. I know this isn't really his fault but circumstance got in the way. Also washed the toilet with his t-shirt. HA!! My own type of therapy. I know I am only angry because I am so hurt.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I continue to support you even when knowing what you did.You are human and vulnerable, now it's time for healing.

Customer:

I guess that's it. Thanks for chatting and making me see that this was not my fault.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

:o)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for being this open here, for trusting me.

Customer:

You are welcome. Have a good day :)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX :o)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

(Please don't forget you rate the session, Thanks).

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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