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Dr. Keane
Dr. Keane, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1379
Experience:  Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
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For the first time in my life I have not been to answer my

Customer Question

Hi, for the first time in my life I have not been to answer my own questions and find my own solution to a relationship problem that probably seems so significant but for me it is doing my head in!
My Q is: WHY do I only want my partner AFTER I push him away and he starts to move on???
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Hi! You know, to give you the best answer, I think I should ask you a few questions first that will help define the problem and the situation.

Your question is very evocative that there is so much behind the simple few words you write. Has this been a pattern in your life or is this new with this particular partner?

Was there trauma or abuse in your childhood? What about alcohol or dysfunction in your family when you were growing up?

Can you share with me what you think of the advice you've received so far?

Any extra information that will help, feel free to share.

I see you are offline at this time and I may be logged off until later tonight (US time) before you reply, but go ahead and reply to these questions and I’ll answer as soon as I log on again. Okay?

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr. Mark,

What i think of your advice so far...I always find it amusing when our childhood comes into it. Isn't supposed to be that now as we are adults we are responsible for our decisions and actions?

In answer to a couple of your questions... my mother was killed in a car accident when I was 5 year sold, if that's what you are referring to regarding childhood trauma? For sure that caused dysfunction. My father went on to remarry a couple of years later.

No alcohol abuse. My Father was a very strict but loving man though very UNCONVENTIONAL and religious.

My stepmother I hated she was very mean to us at time inflicting what I felt was some mental and physical abuse, things I would never do to my own children or anyone else's. In the past few years as I got older I can not stand to be in her presence or even the same room for very long now. She annoys me and repulses me. She seems sickly sweet, kind of oblivious to the past, domestically useless and very inept now. Although I know through other things that she does in her life that she's far from it. Very unlike the Nazi we knew her as when growing up. The person who made me very tough in a lot of ways for lack of a better description.

This is the first time I have experienced in a relationship- RE the Q I asked you.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I also want to add- my stepmother blamed us as she has said that we were "just so naughty". Yet friends & family had nothing but praises for us whenever we were in their care. Always good school reports on our behavior etc.

I also wonder if it all seemed worse then it was being we were just children. But have to wonder why my contempt for her is still so strong after all these years, to this day. I often have conversations with my younger sister, she remembers everything and often raises the past and things that happened. I don't remember half of what she does. I think i just choose not too as I am stronger and have more of a relaxed nature then she does.

Anyway don't know if any of this relevant.

There is also quite a story behind my now on again off again partner due to my indecision.

Look forward to your reply.


Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 4 years ago.

Melanie, I know you want an answer as quickly as possible. But this is your life and I want to make sure that the answer I give you is the most fitting to your specific situation and who you are. So I need to ask just a little more:

So, this is a new experience in your life. In previous relationships you did not find yourself pushing the person away only to want him as he moves away. You then hint that there's quite a story about this relationship involving a lot of indecision on your part. Right?

It's therefore no longer clear what this might be about and I don't want to give you just a generic answer. Is this wanting him part of a whole situation that's specific to your relationship with this man?

As for the questions about your childhood, they were aimed at understanding how this desire as he leaves situation might fit into your life. But that seems questionable now (refer to above).

In general, though, the question of how our adult lives are influenced by our growing up and child lives is the subject of a whole lot of psychological literature. And therapy. In fact, I'm working now in therapy with a person via Skype about her sense of self and her sense of ambivalence in relationships based on her growing up with a father and stepmother much as you describe.

I'll await your reply and respond when I log back on.

Dr. Mark

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Dr Mark,

As i didn't know this was not a private discussion. I will be terminating contact.