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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 seeing a man whos 3 wives and 2 girlfriends cheated on

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I am seeing a man who's 3 wives and 2 girlfriends cheated on him. He has low self-esteem, thinks he's ugly and is afraid of being hurt yet again. I have healed from 2 abusive marriages, and I'm wondering whether I should pursue this relationship or back out as I'm leary that due to this man's past, I'll be hurt again. Any suggestions?

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Be very careful!!! This is not the history of a man who is capable of healthy relationships. Sometimes men with low self-esteem are the ones who turn controlling and /or abusive, as having a woman under their thumb makes them feel better about themself, in a twisted way.


With your history of picking men who end up being abusive, I strongly suggest you consider walking away from this man. Don't take it to a sexual level, as women bond by having sex, and you'll lose your ability to be objective about whether he's right for you or not. When you walk away, be prepared for him to try to manipulate you with guilt.."see, I told you I was too ugly..." The fact that he keeps saying this points to the fact that he's fishing to be told he's handsome. He's looking for someone else to prop him up. That's not a characteristic of a healthy man.


Can I recommend a book or two that may help you avoid picking another abuser?

The first is Temptations of the Single Girl This book should be required reading for women before they start to date. The "temptations" are thinking that we can change a man or his behavior, settling for a man who doesn't want a commitment when we really want marriage at some point, and wasting time with the wrong man because we're afraid to be alone.


The second book is a bigger commitment. It's seven weeks of daily reading and writing and self-exploration. It will help you get clear on what you really want from life and relationships, and increase your self-esteem. Don't just read it all the way through. Do it the way it was designed--daily--and you'll be amazed at how much clearer this all seems at the end of the process. Calling In The One: 7 Weeks to Attract the Love of Your Life.


But most importantly, I hope you'll think about getting an experienced therapist (get one your age or older) and work on the issues that make these damaged and damaging men so appealing to you. Usually when a woman finds herself ending up in abusive relationships, there are some childhood wounds that need healing. Until those wounds are healed, you are likely to keep attracting men that are damaged in some way. Everyone has "baggage" but if you want a healthy relationship, you need someone with a history of healthy relationships, someone with a healthy self-esteem, etc. This current man is not the one. I think you already know this on some level, and that's what made you write to us. Trust your instinct and pull out of this relationship before it goes any further. Get into therapy, and give yourself a little time to heal and to figure out what you really want and need before getting into another relationship.


Suzanne and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your answer and I am going to buy the Calling in the One book. I am looking forward to reading it. I have had counselling twice at a time when I was at my lowest and contemplating suicide. I will not allow myself to go there again, and that is why I wrote to you.....I am so afraid of picking another abusive man, and by the sounds of it, the man I am seeing just that. I have another question for you; how do I handle this without provoking him? Do I tell him up front or should I be evasive? I don't think he will be violent or coming pounding on my door (he said he's never been abusive to women).


Pertaining to damage during my childhood. My mother was not affectionate in any way, and I was close to my dad who died when I was only 20. My mother hit me a few times, berated me, called me fat, and I don't remember anything beyond that (maybe I buried it) and now she realizes what she did and is affectionate to her grandchildren. I am still angry with her, can't communicate with her. I suspect that the way she treated me has everything to do with my problems. I'm hoping that this book will give me the answers. Thanks

I'm so glad to hear that you're going to try that book. My clients who have really done it day by day, journaling for each chapter, have really gotten a lot out of it.


To get yourself out of this relationship, it would probably be really good practice for you to stand up for yourself and be fairly direct. Tell him that while you've enjoyed getting to know him, you've come to the conclusion that there isn't a connection there for you.


Whatever you do, don't get dragged into a big discussion. He may want you to give reasons--but you are under no obligation to do so. That's why people try each other out. Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't. The kindest thing to do is to make a clean break--don't give him hope that you may change your mind.


He may also try to evoke pity with the "I'm so ugly" stuff...just be a "broken record" and say the same thing over and over. You have the absolute right to decide whether or not to date has been women's prerogative forever. Just because you've told each other your pasts, doesn't mean you somehow owe him anything. Get yourself very strong and focused before calling him to break it off, and do not let him try to talk you into "trying again" or get sucked into reassuring him that he's wonderful. Everybody gets that there has to be a special connection and chemistry for a relationship. It can't be forced.


So just reiterate that you enjoyed meeting him as a person, but you don't feel any special connection or chemistry. Wish him the best, and end the conversation. Don't accept phone calls or emails after you break it off. Sometimes men really step up their game when they've been rejected--it's the competitive part of them. Don't get sucked into thinking that it somehow means you made mistake. End it cleanly and clearly--leave no room for "someday" or "maybe later." It's hard to do, but kindest in the long run.