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Ask Suzanne Your Own Question
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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I am a mature man that seems to be drawn to women with

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I am a mature man that seems to be drawn to women with emotional needs or
problems that will eventually cause severe problems to a long term relationship.
My hope is to establish a healthy relationship with a woman, but am drawn to these
'wounded birds.' This attraction is intense , and seems to pull me away from probably
healthier relationships.I have been married three times and have been single for fifteen years. I have grown tired of being single.
I am ready to embark on a full fledged, healthy relationship. What sort of work can I
take up that will hopefully reorient me to a healthier match up.

Thanks for bringing your question to JustAnswer.

You may want to read up on Co-dependency...the trait of putting other people's needs before our own. For some people, co-dependent traits start in childhood. If they grow up in a chaotic home,--( due to alcoholism, divorce,domestic violence, problems due to poverty or mental health)-- the child learns how to survive by pleasing others, and working hard to organize things, and to help keep the peace. This is a positive response in childhood, and necessary for survival.

The problem arises later in life, if the person still feels like it is his job to fix things for others, especially those who seem helpless or like victims. There is a subconscious pull of familiarity to helpless people...your wounded birds. They make you feel needed. Strong, healthy people don't give you the same feeling.

If this rings any chords with you, one of the best writers around on co-dependency is Melody Beattie. If you did grow up with alcoholism, in addition to therapy, you may want to try Al-anon. Even if there is no alcoholism in your life now, you will find a lot of help in breaking the habit of always needing to help, rather than being attracted to partners who can fend for themselves and be an equal to you.

If there was no substance abuse in your family, you could try Co-dependents Anonymous (CODA) instead.

There are therapists who specialize in this issue, and it may be well worth your time to seek one out!

Hope this was helpful. Please click on ACCEPT if it was, or if you need more, just reply. Best, Suzanne

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