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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 have spoken with Dr. in the past and would like to speak

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I have spoken with Dr. Michael in the past and would like to speak with him again. Dr. Michael, I spoke to you much last summer when I was having relationship problems. My significant other was working 2 hours away and living with his narcissistic mother. I didn't take your advice, and had found him on many dating sites. He kept working down there through December, and I put up with it. I finally told him he needed to quit and find a job up here. Well, while I was working ten hour days, supporting him, he wasn't looking for a job. He had written a very romantic letter to a childhood sweetheart, after spending much time searching for her online. He had looked up an old girlfriend, and had signed on to He was furious that I had once again snooped on his computer, though he had looked me up on spokeo, and of course found nothing of interest. I believe he is a sociopath, and once again he has moved back in with his mother. He has left a lot of his things here, taking up most of my basement. He wants me to mail his mail to him. I told him he could get his mail when he comes and moves the rest of his things out. I don't want to be vindictive, well maybe a little, but I know he will keep them here until he's good and ready to move out, so I need that for leverage. I guess I really need help, because my history with the men I pick is very bad. I was raised to see the good in people, give everyone the benefit of the doubt, and that everyone deserves a second chance. I have been married twice, my first husband physically abusive, my second one a sociopath. Do you think this recent one is also a sociopath? I have no intention of taking him back, and feel embarrassed that I didn't take your advice last summer. I hold onto bad relationships for way too long. I guess it's a lonliness and self esteem problem. Though this relationship was two and a half years, the last was six, and the first marriage was twelve years, so maybe i'm making a little progress. Any suggestions?
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

I'm glad you wrote back. I think you were actually wise to give him another chance to grow up and prove himself to you; now he has failed miserably and you 'know for sure' what sort of man he is. Better now than later of course. I can surely appreciate the effect this failure has had on your sense of confidence in your ability to judge men, and how it causes you to question whether you are attractive and 'good enough' to interest a high quality man. Here is one problem: You are now at an age where most of the really good men have been attached for a number of years and have already gone through a 2nd or 3rd wife. The population of single men in their late 50s or early 60s is growing but it has a much higher proportion of 'problem men' i.e., many of the single men are single for a reason!! I don't think there is likely ANYTHING wrong with you in terms of picking men but unfortunately, you are going to get more problem men on your hands as you date, than really good guys---maybe far more. It really is a big task to slowly sort through them because it takes time to "trust and verify". Which ones are really decent guys? Part of the answer has to do with their history. If they are tied to their mother still, if they have already had 3 failed marriages, seem to drink too much, seem selfish or unwilling to give quite as much as you do to the relationship then these are all BAD signs of course. They should be stable, at the peak of their career success at this point. If they are still looking for work after a year or two in this bad economy, chances are they won't find suitable work---they don't appear to be very attractive to employers. AND they aren't willing to simply keep working at something until they find a proper position---a good man will keep working at SOMETHING. So I don't think this last guy fit the template for being a really good guy. He was in fact, a really high risk man, if one looks at his overall profile. You wanted to see the 'good' in him in terms of how he treated you and what he said to you, his 'assurances' and promises, but words mean little when looking at the quality of a man-----it is his objective profile as I mentioned above----and I don't think most women would have considered his profile or 'resume' to look very attractive, would they?

So, Peggy, I don't think there is likely anything 'wrong' with you. We exchanged quite a few posts and I really can tell a bit about people when I exchange this many; you have a sincere heart and are prepared to be a very loyal partner or mate to someone. You have considerable empathy, patience and are trusting. But you aren't doing a very good job of taking a hard look at a man's overall resume (history, work history, relationship history, watching/observing how he treats women, his willingness to 'climb mountains' for you) .You probably trust men's words and promises, more than you do your cold, objective assessment of their ACTIONS and truly, their behavior is the only thing that matters.

What do you think?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr. Michael, thanks for getting back to me. I believe you are right in what you said. Most people would look at his work history and rule him out immediately. I hoped for the best, ***** ***** wasn't there. I'm not sure he was ever into work much to be honest. As far as his relationship history, it was very suspicious that he was engaged and she broke it off three weeks before the wedding, because he got upset about having to sign a pre-nup. She made a lot of money, and spent a lot of money on him, paying to fix his truck and car, helping him pay for a larger apt. so when she came to visit they would have a nicer place, airline tickets, gifts, etc. I think that was part of the draw. His explanation was that he was insulted that she didn't trust him and therefore wanted the pre-nup. He had also mentioned that he had started a my space page, and her friend had seen him on it. Just recently I had asked him if it said he was single, and he said yes, because there was no place to put engaged. Both of those things should have given me cause to suspect he wasn't a good guy. He did eventually pay her back for all the money she had spent on him. I think you're right about all the good guys being married. I think I'm fairly attractive for my age, and keep in good shape. I think I'm a good person, intelligent, and kind. I know I was a good Mom, as my kids always tell me that. My son saw through Bill. He is very adamant that he is not a good guy. My son is a very good judge of people, and is also very kind, and accepting of most people. I felt sorry for Bill, especiallly after meeting his mother, but as my son said, she raised him, and he learned a lot from her.
Peggy, I'm not sure if you have written prior to this post and I overlooked it. Hope not, anyway. I'll give you another contact link below in case you want to use it. Just copy/paste and download, save, open use as you wish. Well, your last post shows a good ability to use your 'wise rational mind' and allow it to dominate your thinking, relative to your 'emotional' mind. Your post reveals a pattern in his life: NOTE: He is looking for a well-off, self-sufficient woman to take care of him and take partially assume the role his mother has played in his life.

And, the link:

So what do you think of this idea that he both dislikes his mother dominating his life, but is actually looking for a woman/wife to take over his 'care' so he doesn't have to work---much like a mother would?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi again. I wrote the one other post which you responded to needing more info. I will copy and save the link. I think he's lazy and a user. I feel very used. Is it wrong of me to hold his mail until he moves the rest of his things out? I think I can listen to my head more. In the past I have ignored red flags if things seemed good, even when deep inside I knew there was something wrong. I guess I need to listen to my self better. I'm going off to bed now, early day tomorrow. I really appreciate your input.
It is not wrong to hold his mail until he moves his other stuff out. Another thing you can do is to tell him that you are going to put his stuff into a storage unit and will pay for only one month of storage. You will give the storage unit owner his name, address and phone number as the 'owner'. He can pick up the stuff from there anytime, but if he fails to pay the storage fee in month #2 and beyond, he may face having it sold at auction.

I'm glad you are using your 'wise mind' more going forward. I'm very sorry you have been 'hoodwinked' by this guy! You are obviously a very nice, giving and sincere woman.

Let me know if I can be of further help. Please click on the green Accept button at the bottom of the screen. thanks.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr. Michael, his sister emailed me on his behalf, saying both his mother and brother are very sick and he's been busy with that. I will send his mail off today, as I'm not heartless, with a request that he get his stuff as soon as he is able. If it goes more than another month, I will use your plan b. I'm sure my son will be happy to help me get his stuff into storage. Thanks so much for your help. Peggy
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi Dr. Michael, regarding the above posts. I just can't seem to shake the very sad feeling of being tricked and used. I keep wondering about everything now, what he was lying about, what he was doing down in Greenwich for the ten months down there. Also it HAS done a huge number on my self esteem. It's like he was looking for ANYBODY, because there had to be someone out there better than me. I guess I feel not loveable, not attractive, not smart enough, etc. If I can't even get a 60 year old unemployed Mama's boy to love me, what hope is there for me. I'm remembering things I questioned him about, such as that he had made a file of all his profile pictures from dating sites, and i had asked him why. He always had an answer for everything, and I always tried to believe him, but doubt stuck in my mind. I guess none of it matters anymore, but how can I shake this feeling of being unloveable and not good enough? The anger seems to be letting up but the sadness is really setting in. I feel like I will be alone the rest of my life. I've always wanted a really good solid, loving relationship, and have never really had that.
Peggy, I think that one of the healthy aspects of your 'self' is that you are very interested in trying to self-assess and discover what your weaknesses and shortcomings are; you are obviously feeling quite lonely and isolated and REALLY want a healthy relationship. So the good news is that part of your distress is concern and self-derogatory ideas that there must be something wrong with you since you can't be successful with men in recent years. But here is a key point. You say that, " If I can't even get a 60 year old unemployed Mama's boy to love me, what hope is there for me." I want you to try to re construe this or re frame what you are saying here. In fact, unless you were wealthy and willing to TAKE CARE OF HIM so he would not have to work, he is hell-bent on finding someone who WILL fit this template. You simply weren't 'good enough' for him in the sense that he knew you wouldn't take care of him, not demand steady employment from him; you were only good enough as a non permanent partner---he is looking for women who WILL fulfill HIS expectations of what a woman should do for him. So you can safely infer the worst----in Greenwich, he was doing a bit of work but also hunting down women on the side, hoping to find one who was very well established and thought he was such a great 'catch' that they wouldn't feel the need to have many expectations of him in 'steadiness', 'work history'. In other words, he wanted a woman who met his needs and would not have much of a template for a paper resume on men. THIS GUY DIDN:T WANT TO love only you because you weren't able to 'do for him' what he expects----he MUST have someone take over his mother's role in his life. He doesn't want an equitable relationship, or one in which he has to show leadership. What he demands and what you wanted in the relationship are completely different.

To sum it up, you are making a number of thinking errors in this. This break up, this sad relationship you had with this guy are not related to your deficiencies as a woman. THEY ARE related to your failure to protect yourself in the first place, by not scrutinizing this man carefully, making sure he fit your basic 'resume' criteria for a good guy.

Make sense? Does this re framing of the issues seem reasonable? THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU and your deficiencies, but a severe mis-match.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Hi Dr. Michael. Yes this all does make sense. It's a pretty ugly picture of him, but it is what his mother taught him. She wanted her "boys" to be with rich women, and made no bones about that. His ex fiance tried to find out if he would accept a job at home depot or something similar if he couldn't find other work, and he was adamant that that would be too demeaning for a man of his caliber. His one brother died of alcoholism recently, and the other one is seriously ill for the same reason. It's sad, but she ruined all of her "boys". Well, she got this one back, so I hope they're happy together. thank you for putting things back into perspective for me. I'm feeling better today. I'm concentrating on work, friends, my family, and looking to get another horse. Mine died during this relationship and that was so devastating. The though of getting another one is exciting to me, as I always loved horses and riding. I just need to get a horse I can trust. I think I take more care picking out horses than I do men. Probably because horses can't talk, so you can only base your judgements on their actions. It's funny, but I think true.

Recently when he was making my lunch in order to get me off to work, he mentioned that he could be a really good house husband. He was keeping up the laundry and often making dinner. I told him I didn't need a wife, I needed a partner. Also that house husband didn't count as a real job unless he was also taking care of a few kids. It seemed like joking at the time, but in retrospect, and with your input, now I guess he really wanted that. He was looking online for a 25-40 year old woman near where we lived. He'll have a hard time finding one that would accept his "resume". Thank you so much for all of your help. It will change my way of evaluating men in the future, If I ever even want to try again. It has also helped me not be so down on myself and blame my shortcomings for the failure of this and other relationships.

Come to think of it, though, there have been 3-4 men in the past who "adored "me and would "climb mountains for me". I wasn't attracted to them, though, not just physically but personality. How can I get myself to be more open to a "good man" and somehow allow myself to be attracted to them? I know other women who weren't attracted at first, but gave it a chance and eventually fell in love with men they weren't initially attracted to. I usually would date someone about three months, but If I wasn't feeling it would break up rather than risk hurting them more. I WISHED I could have loved those guys.

You are on the right track in some ways, if you can identify guys with the correct profile, and they will climb mountains for you. The other part has to be there too i.e., you need to be attracted to them and want them, so you've actually come 'close' to getting the right match. And, I think you will if you keep making yourself available, maybe spend more time placing yourself in situations where you can meet men of quality---I don't know WHERE that might be in your locale but you might want to brainstorm with female friends you know---"How can I make myself more available to men situationally, and then, I can work on making myself more available emotionally with the right guy" So with this last guy, you just exercised poor judgment---hoping he would 'not be' the guy you knew he was deep down inside. Keep me posted. Let me know if I can be of further help.

Please click on the Accept button before you log off. Thanks.
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