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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
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I have been dating a man since February 1st of this year.
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I have been dating a man since February 1st of this year. We get along very well.....great friendship, great companionship, great chemistry....we have seriously talked about getting married within the next couple of years. I am a widow of about a year and a half and he is divorced about the same amount of time. He is partially disabled....as he had a stroke about 7 years ago. He is on Social Security Disability and has very little money. His disability is related to short term memory and his ability to recall things that have happened within weeks or months. He recalls with help...when you remind him of the environment, setting, people, etc.....not a big deal to me. I am an executive of a business and have resources that he has needed to find the right doctors, medicines and medical help to make him healthier. I was with him during a period of seizures....we got the right help for him and the right meds and he is doing well....no more episodes. I love him for who he is....I know he wishes I were more physically fit....I do have a few extra pounds but I am kind and generous, loving and beautiful. He used to compliment me all the time....telling me how incredible I was....lately, not so much....occasionally he says I look nice or look like a movie star but not often. He works out at the local YMCA daily and has a past relationship there that has caused us a littte hastle as she continued contacting him....she is married and I am disgusted with the whole thing...but he told her not to contact him again in Juy and to my knowledge, she hasn't. I met her at an event this past week and I do believe that his relationship with her is over. There is a new employee at the Y that he talks about all the time though....he says he really likes her. He and his buddy went to lunch with her on Friday. He says he didn't know she was going to be there....she was also at the event last week and he did not directly introduce me....I knew who she was and introduced myself and of course was classy and professional...laughed and taked to her awhile....and it did feel weird. His buddy made a big deal that both this girl and the other one was at the same event with him and I.....which I thought was weird as well. Finally, last night I asked him if he had a crush on her. He said no. I asked him if he wanted to date her and he said she was so nice and kind to him but that she has a boyfriend and his buddy likes her. Nothing about being in love with me or my existance in his life. I was really hurt by that....and his hesitancy to answer was unnerving. I asked him if he wanted to get married again....he said he is dating me in hopes of marrying me someday. Which is completely different language than any discussion before...it was always just going to happen. I reminded him that no one is as kind and nice to him and I am and he agreed....then acused me of starting shit and being jealous. I told him that the conversation was not jealousy....that it caught me offguard to hear him speak of another woman so fondly XXXXX XXXXX have been with him through improving the quality of his life and helping him live longer....that my committment to him was devoted love and I felt a little disrespected. I've been with him through repairing the damage his actions because of his stroke had caused his family...even his ex wife has been included in the information on his health. His sons forbid him to bring anyone around them at first but we all have dinners at my house, go on weekend trips together and family events now. My 17 year old daughter and I are meshing into his family. His mother was ill during Thanksgiving and I hosted their family of 51 at my house and did most of the cooking. His family loves me and they all let me know how much Gary has changed for the good since he met me. I stopped by his house this morning to see him as I do most every morning and while getting ready for work and he for the Y he was paying real close attention to shaving, grooming etc....a little out of the ordinary....I told him I loved his smooth face and kissed him...he said yeah, it looks so much better and I said yeah, that's important when going to the Y...never know who you will see, huh? He smiled and told me to stop. He told me he loves me very much and loves being with me. I have a weird feeling about this....I'm not normally jealous or bothered by much of anything....I am confident. Maybe it is because I am scared....or the losses of the recent past 18 months(my husband of 22 years and my mother) have made me soft....but his actions and words puzzle me.....am I being paranoid?
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Elliott, LPCC, NCC
replied 3 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
I believe that I can help you with this situation.
I think that his short-term memory is NOT the reason for his behavior. He is evidently an attractive man with a roving eye.
He has not broken his old ways of possibly being a womanizer and likes the attention of other women.
He is declining cognitively and he should be grateful and feel extremely blessed to have such a wonderful woman in his life. A few extra pounds should not mean anything. After all, you are the more able, and you are becoming more and more his support system.
You are NOT being paranoid. His behavior is insulting and hurtful and inappropriate.
Relationships have to be nurtured and encouraged, and he is doing neither. Rather, he seems to be taking you for granted now, expecting that you will be there for him and continue to nurture him.
You need nurturing as well. If he is flirtatious at the Y and acting as if he is completely single when in fact he does have some sort of relationship or commitment to you, then he is disrespecting you and humiliating you.
What is worst is that he is making you worry and feel insecure and somewhat betrayed.
I understand that he is not acting outrageously, but he is not respecting your feelings and you have cause to step back or be more alert to him.
He has raised red flags and it is time, at least to be observant.
If you confront him you will have to choose your words and timing very carefully. As a professional person I understand that you know how to do this. Of couse it is bit more difficult when it involves your emotions, but you deal with this in a way that can ultimately lead to his understanding and respecting your needs and you do his.
Towards that end, I shall keep you in my prayers.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
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