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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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I separated (temporarily?) from the man who was with me for

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Hi Dr. Michael,
I separated (temporarily?) from the man who was with me for the past year. However, I still feel guilty that he has put so much into the relationship and I feel that maybe I am selfish.
In this relationship, he stayed at my apartment but kept his apartment rental because I would not tell him to give it up--since I was not convinced the relationship was right for me.
He helped me deal with family issues--my family of origin--since my father died.
Also, he did the cooking for us and he drove me anywhere I needed or desired to go. He did most of the grocery shopping.
I never asked him for anything but he kept doing and insisting on doing more things for me.
I took care of his dog who was diagnosed with cancer early in the relationship , for months, until she died. Now I have been taking care of his puppy since he leaves early in the morning and comes back around 6PM or so.
I did not offer much in the bedroom. I lost my libido a week after I met him and kept seeing him as reminding me of my father in different ways (I loved my father but never wanted to marry or sleep with him!) I did think he was attractive but the smoking made him look older than I was comfortable with...
Now I feel depressed because I miss him, I miss my father, and the dogs are sad now.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

You are starting to sort out why this relationship was important to you and what was wrong with it. First, you benefited from companionship and division of work roles i.e., you took care of his sick dog and he helped with cooking and transportation needs you had. Now, any guest who stays in someone's apartment actually does 'owe' them some shared work responsibilities. And you benefited from the companionship. On the other hand, the more important EMOTIONAL and romantic relationship elements of a long-term, committed relationship are missing in this one e.g., his differences in core values and beliefs, his rejection of these and determined attempts to 'change you' to be more like him, the physical attraction issues and health threats he will surely have to face in the future due to smoking. You do need to continually and repeatedly hold an internal conversation with yourself, an internal debate if you will, involving the depression you feel, the loneliness, the emotional stuff; and the other side of the debate would be your wise rational mind that would deal with the values stuff, the nonacceptance of you and your core values, and the fact that he is more self-centered than you (e.g., imposing a puppy on you and your apartment without proper compensation for damage etc.) and the fact that you are really not romantically attracted to him as a partner. Were you in therapy with me, this is the debate I would encourage you to express and grapple with, because at some point, after repeated trials, you would come to a better resolution than you have now.

You are going through fairly normal bereavement, painful as it is. You really don't appear to have any material social support and you are lonely. This can fade with the passage of time and you certainly can, given time, form new relationships, if you put yourself in positions to do so. I have a sense you are a fairly 'private' person and aren't terrifically gregarious, don't put yourself easily in social situations, prefer one-on-one encounters, etc.

You didn't ask a specific question in this last post but I took the liberty of assuming what you wanted support and help with. But you may very well need to correct the path I took with you on this last post. What do you think?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear DoctorMichael,
Please follow up with my 1/19/2012 accepted question.
Original Question URL:
You'll have to help me here. I went to the original question listed in the link you cite above and re-read everything. I felt I was clear in understanding that post, and this most recent one as well. You've follow through with what your 'wise rational mind' told you to do and separated from this man---this was my understanding in what I posted last to you (above). So help me follow up further at this point. Additional question?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am trying to "Accept" your answer but am having a technical difficulty finding where to "accept" it.
Your responses are very helpful.
I have been living back on my own for almost a week and in spite of the mood swings I am doing quite well. I shopped for food, cleaned, and cooked for the first time in over 10 years. I can't remember the last time I cooked. It's a phobia because I did not like my mother's cooking.
I cooked fish and chicken and veggies and was not afraid to taste it myself! It was truly good!
I looked at apartments for sale since I have never owned and have been renting here in Jerusalem for almost 4 years. A couple of close friends will give me their opinions on any apartments about which I am trying to make a decision.
I met up with another man friend I met walking my dog and we spent an hour walking this morning and talking. He is quite educated, professional, and has a traditional Jewish background and obviously is attracted to me.
My guy friend wants me back but really wants a decision soon in any case and will stay friends with me he said even if I back out of "the" relationship. We talk daily but when he repeated that he does not like to get together with people he doesn't know and I like to socialize with people and I want more friends and acquaintances I saw another issue--which was a similarity of my father as well. I am feeling stronger and more confident now though because thankfully I do have a lot going for me. Thanks!!
Wow!!! I'm impressed with what you've accomplished in this past week. This sounds very 'solid' and right for you!! So far, so good, as they say. Feel free to keep me posted or alert me if you have an questions in the future.

Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. Thanks.
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