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TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3028
Experience:  Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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Hi I am hoping someone can give me some perspective on a relationship.

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Hi I am hoping someone can give me some perspective on a relationship. If I explain the situation could you tell me what you think?
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.

Dear friend,

I believe that I can help you to understand and deal with your situation. I am a relationship expert, a licensed psychotherapist with a private practice, and over 6000 accepted answers on JustAnswer in various categories.

Please give me as much detail as possible and I will respond in a timely manner, and you will be able to have feedback responses on this question as well.

I am here to serve you and await your reply.

Warm regards,

Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Relist: Other.
I am hoping for a woman's perspective
Hi and welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

I would love to support and give you my perspective on things. Please provide some details and I will be happy to respond.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Hi, my names Mike, and thank you for replying. I'll give an overview on the relationship and then discuss the issue and ask for your perspective.
The Situation:
I had a longterm relationship with a woman I love very much for four years or so. Things weren't always perfect but we had a life together and had a lot of love. Sadly the woman I still love, Liz, has had issues since I've known her. She suffered from anxiety to a point where she couldn't finish school (college) or be socially productive. Long story short, we dated for a few years and then got engaged about two years ago then she left me right when I started a very challenging job at Merrill Lynch a few years ago (supposedly her father who helped me get the job said she and I shouldn't be together), Liz came back to me after much pleading and several trips across the country (we live in Montana and she moved back to New Hampshire where shes from), so she moved back and we formed a good relationship (ive hurt her in the past, when we've been on separated I've spoken to other women about dating and even got back with an ex at one point). despite the problems we had we made things work. Her interests led us to move to Southern California last winter and I gladly followed her out there. While I was in California with Liz, she was there to complete an interior design course, we both struggled. I struggled to get a job and to get out of a funk I was in and she didn't complete her course and wasn't very happy. So then things got worse. I went through a bit of a midlife crisis. I made a big mistake and hurt her very much, I started talking to other women on a prepaid phone I bought, it was terrible of me. She found out and was accepting of my apology and loved me despite my selfishness and unfaithfulness. My parents are currently going through a tough divorce and my father said I should go back to montana and sell my townhouse. I took his direction and left liz in CA with the intention to come back to her once I figured out what was going on with me and what was going to happen with the townhouse. She didn't take the temporary move well and for months she was very very upset. Right when I started to get over my funk and get to understand what was happening with me and I realized my problems were my own and had little do do with anything going on with liz I told Liz that I wanted to come back. At this point she said she didn't want this but wouldn't say that I should get over her. That was in August. Since August I have more or less been waiting for her to tell me she wants me or doesnt'. Our last contact was this weekend, she has told me she has moved on and that I should do the same. I know this summary is a mess its just hard to type this all out. I've also refrained from going into anything she has done to hurt me.

What I would like to know:
I realize that I have done some things that have hurt her very badly and have to live with the consequences. Liz says she is happy and dating and that life is good. She still loves me and always will but can not be with me. DO you think she will ever want me in her life? I would do whatever it takes to make our relationship happy and healthy.

Hi Mike,
Thank you for giving me some more information about your relationship and some of the pain that you have experienced. At first glance as I read this my gut says, yes they felt a connection but in the long run the fit isn't right. Why does my gut say that? Well, it seems as if you have been on parallel courses in life and not together on many things. More than just timing issues and more about a true fit that has longevity to it that makes it seem like the timing is always off.

Even if you spoke, dated and were intimate with other women during times when you were not together, that is not enough to prevent a deep connection if you both want it. When the fit is off and you both may have been fighting against that underlying knowledge then hurtful things may happen from both sides. Yes, I believe I hear that love is there, but love, by itself, may not have enough staying power to work through some of these issues. What I also hear from her is that she begins things and doesn't finish them whether it be school or her relationship with you and is easily directed by others...in this case her father.

I suggest that you might try and reach out to her once more and let her know how you feel, how you have grown and have gotten some deeper insight into things and would love the opportunity to try and work on things. If she comes back again and says that she has moved on and that you need to, I would take her at her word and mourn this loss. It will be hard for you as I hear how you are punishing yourself, but feeling the pain will allow you to move on at some point. My gut also tells me that even if she tells you to move on now, that she might reach back out at some point. But, that comes more from the place of her inability to truly connect to something and someone and is searching for that place to land. At that point, it will be up to you to decide how to proceed, but I would suggest that you proceed cautiously as your hurt could continue.

I think she loves you but I am not sure she is capable right now of deeply connecting evidenced by your telling me her inability to stick with things. So, you have a choice now. Try reaching out one more time and letting her know again how you feel? Or let things be and give her the space to come back if that is what she will do. But realize that even if she does that it can still be fraught with this kind of indecision and wishy washyness. I also think your funk is telling....when we get into funks it can often be because we are not truly happy but have a hard time acknowledging that and living that truth.

Tell me how you feel hearing all of this. I will wait to hear from you.
Jen

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your candid insight and honesty. You are spot on about her tendencies and habits. I hear you loud and clear and your answer has given me some comfort and a refreshed perspective. I'm going to take your advice and reach out once more, but I feel like I have to wait a good period of time before I reach out to her. When I do reach out I think I'll try to approach her like you recommended too.
During the past few weeks I've turned down a few other women who have been interested in dating, is it fair for me to see anyone else when all I want is Liz and I still completely love her? Is it unhealthy to do this? or is it healthy for me to move on? LOL, do you think I should wait till I try Liz one more time?
I'm a mess..... lol
No worries about being a mess....emotions are strong and can make us all feel off kilter when we care deeply. I want you to think of you now and what will help you to feel good in the world. If that means going on some casual dates then I say go for it. you can always try one and see how you feel while being out, but if you go, then truly allow yourself to have fun and open your mind to new possibilities. You re not doing anything wrong by doing so nor is it unhealthy. She has ended things and you are left with your powerful feelings. You can sit on your own with those feelings or you can engage with the world and people around you while still having your feelings. You may enjoy someone elses company and it doesn't mean you have to marry them, but it may be good to experience some new people and allow yourself to feel free.

If we take Liz at face value and assume for a moment that she is truly done, then you beginning to heal is not a bad thing and i would want that for you. I truly hear your care and love for her and the pain around being away from her. If it is over, then your healing will take some time. Try to go easy on yourself without judging or punishing yourself for living your life. The goal right now is to care for yourself and however that is for you, then I am all for it. I remember a break up of mine many years ago....I read a book, who knows what it was, but there was one line it that has stayed with me. It went something like this...." I am so alone and free to do as I please and so I will." So if you feel desirous of going out and enjoying someone elses company then allow yourself that pleasure. If you feel like being on the couch reading or watching tv, then that is fine too. It is about nurturing what you desire and need.

I am here if you need and will always be happy to support you whether it is more now or any time in the future. If you want to work with me again just put for Coach Jen K Only at the beginning of the question and it will come to me.

But again, I am not rushing you tonight; if you need more support, I am here.
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3028
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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