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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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Have been in a relationship with a man 18 yrs older, for about

Resolved Question:

Have been in a relationship with a man 18 yrs older, for about 2 1/2 yrs. I need to get away, there were so many red flags when we first met-yet I felt sorry for him. After all this time together I actually developed feelings for this person. He is self-centered, a liar, in denial, not very bright. I believe that last statement applies to myself, I don't know why I continue to see him. He has a habit of saying very hurtful, stupid, embarrassing things, it had gotten to the point of him staying in the car if I had an errand to run. In reading over my question to you, I just realized I need to get away from the person I have become.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 1 year 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 serious and painful situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

It seems you have found a very distorted person, with narcissistic tendencies, who has been manipulating and abusing you so much, to the point you feel truly depressed because of allowing this to get this far.

Customer:

Yes, there are times I have been depressed.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When a person exposes to any form of abuse or neglect, and it is perpetuated for long, instead of an isolated episode, it could show there are serious self-worthiness issues, poor coping skills, codependency and other problems enabling the abuse.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

People who expose themselves to abuse and stay into the destructive relationship, most times develop a real dependency or addiction to the abuse, and that's why professional psychological support becomes very important if not essential to break the vicious circle.

Customer:

This is not the first abusive relationship I've been in. I had been divorced for aprox 10 yrs before I had agreed to go out with this person

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know that, what would mean that you have these core unresolved issues leading you to expose to very dysfunctional and abusive people, attaching to them and enabling the abuse, and as long as you do not commit to work on rehabilitating from codependency and any other serious personal mental-emotional problem, you coudl continue to perpetuate this pattern even longer, and that's something you do not want to afford for sure.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

He doesn't have premature ejaculation, right?

Customer:

Of that I am aware, which is why I waited so long to date after my divorce. I do see a professional as I was diagnosed with a mood disorder 20+ yrs ago. I am diligent with my meds and drs. appts. Although I do not see this as just a byproduct of the illness, as I've noticed many relationships are one sided.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What's your age, and what have you tried all these years to rehabilitate from thsi pattern of self-sabotaging , exposing yourself to abusive people - relationships?

Customer:

I am 53, I have tried CBT. I work and volunteer with NAMI. I have gone back to college

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This problems are not times related to past experiences of abuse, neglect or trauma, leading the person from young age to develop serious self-esteem and self-confidence problems, codependency and this tendency to choose and attach to abusive people. This is why competent psychotherapy pointing these specific issues is so necessary and consistency in order to truly rehabilitate from it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

CBT could be very helpful, but could be ineffective by itself if not complemented with other therapies addressing core issues requiring a real therapeutic process, otherwise you could promote repression and avoidance, denial and self-sabotage while convincing yourself at an intellectual level that things are fine, which is a very common problem with CBT.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Besides of individual psychotherapy, actively participating of a support group for codependency would be necessary and make therapy much more effective, while allowing you not to relapse that easily.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is all tough work, but necessary and absolutely worthy.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Your support system, namely , healthy family member s and close friends, should play an active role helping you not to relapse, this is essential and should not be disregarded.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

These are two very good books for you to consider reading: "Codependent No More", and "Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life". But remember that while good books could be helpful, they cannot and should not replace effective psychotherapy, your support system and the help you should get from a support group to keep you from relapsing.


Customer:

Which is why the "Cognitive Behavior Therapy", is such a useful tool, along with the work I do with The national alliance for Mental Illness. I realize this is not easy, I live it every day. But I also have a job and I am a functioning member of society. Now, I am doing my best with my struggles, what about men like him. Why is it that it seems to be more socially acceptable for men to be apathetic and women are deemed "too emotional"

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is because of cultural ad social biases, stereotypes, rooted in religious beliefs and morals, promoting alienation and discrimination at multiple levels, and this is why we all need to work on taking good care of ourselves, otherwise we would end tolerating and enabling abuse, neglect and manipulation. Limited and dysfunctional values and beliefs should be confronted, challenged and eradicated, replaced by healthy and assertive ones, otherwise we end fueling this slavery society and groups promote and protect.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Our first need, right and responsibility is to respect, support, protect, love and take good core of ourselves, since ti is from there that we will know how to set healthy and clear boundaries and limits, and not to allow anybody, under any circumstance to use, abuse or neglect us. Nobody can do this for us, as adults we need to take full responsibility for our own feelings, choices and actions, in that way even when he chooses to perpetuate his abusive role, you do not have to be even more victimized by him, since you would come to terms with the fact that there is nobody and nothing that could push you to suffer even more, that you can set and end to this nightmare, and start taking good care of your life right away, around people able and willing to support and respect you.

Customer:

I respectfully XXXXX XXXXX you. The statements you posted may be applicable to the older generation. I have noticed in the younger people, there is a healthy respect for life. As I had stated he is older, 53 vs 71

Customer:

I wish to Thank You, XXXXX XXXXX been an interesting exchange.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please tell me more about the way you think then? I thought you were feelings overwhelmed by being in to a long term destructive relationships with a very abusive and selfish person, who uses manipulation, denial and dishonesty to manipulate and perpetuate this relationship, and that you feel you have to literally transform yourself from he person you have become, allowing and enabling all this abuse.

Customer:

Yes, you are correct on some points. I am feeling more "embarrassed" than "overwhelmed", that I had allowed myself once again, to be put in a situation where I am made to feel less than. Where I am told " Men don't really like smart women". I have to learn to be me again, not to "dummy down". To learn to smile and laugh and talk to anyone and everyone, as I used to do. I need to learn to TRUST again, first in myself-then in others. I realize this will be a slow process, mistakes will be made-I do believe I am ready to make these changes and be happy once again

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Wonderful then, I support you and feel hopeful you will take consistent actiosn to make of these changes your reality.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Is there anything else I could assist you with?

Customer:

Not at this time, I think I needed to vent. Thank You

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible. Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
Rafael M.T.Therapist and 3 other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you

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Rafael M.T.Therapist
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MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach