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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5334
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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I have a problem dealing with someone. He is a pack rat and

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I have a problem dealing with someone. He is a pack rat and everything he touches seems to fall apart, break, rust, or somehow get destroyed. He is a great guy for the most part but has the skin of an onion. If you walk in the same room he is in he'll hurry out because he doesn't want to be cramped. If he is on the computer and you walk in he immedigately jumps up and insists you sit down even tho you might assure him you don't want to you only came in the room for some other reason.
You never know what might hurt his feelings and if something does he sulks for days even tho you might say you're sorry many times (and don't even know what you are saying it for) sometimes he'll share you said something that made him feel put down or embarrassed etc but you can never know for sure.
This is driving me up the wall as we are in a relationship that I hoped one day would lead to marriage. We are both older and I'm not of a mind to get back in that single scene but I do need some advice as to how to handle this situation and perhaps some kind of diagnosis as to why he is the way he is.

Hi! I'll be glad to be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating this situation must be for you. You are clearly a kind and caring person. And on the one hand, you are trying to be as nice as you can and you hope this will help the situation. On the other hand, it is so frustrating that it doesn't seem to matter how nice you are and how many times you say you're sorry or be compliant, he keeps repeating the same behavior.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. His behavior is not because of something about you, which you recognize. But you need to also recognize that his behavior is now an ingrained behavior pattern. It's his patter, his way of being. And to change it would take a very concerted effort on his part to look into the causes of his behavior and deal with the underlying problems that have created this pattern.

I, of course, can't diagnose any specific issues without actually doing some initial therapy with him. There are many possibilities: one would be that this is characterological, meaning it is built into his personality traits. Another is that these behaviors, this pattern, is based on past trauma, a type of long term reaction. Another is that there may be a slight developmental problem in his social and emotional development that has been there throughout his life. And there are other possibilities as well.

No matter what is actually driving his behavior pattern, though, I hope you can see now that to change it would be difficult for him even with commitment on his part to change. And getting him to have commitment to change behavior patterns that are so entrenched in his life at this stage and age can be very difficult.

It may be more practical, if you are going to maintain the relationship, for you to accept this is who he is. Then you can try to see if fine tuning your responses makes it just a little bit easier. But not expecting big changes or for him to be very different than how he is now.

I wish it were different. You sound like you really are a very giving person and are trying very hard. But it sounds as though he has these problems and they are part of him, so if you take him, you're taking the problems with him.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

My thoughts regarding this have changed and I won't be needing an answer right now. Thank you for your time anyway.

You are most welcome and I wish you the very best.

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you