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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 number of issues, but only one question. 1)My wife

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I have a number of issues, but only one question. 1)My wife died of lung cancer 3 1/2 months ago. I have been very lonely ever since. 2)I have vascular dementia and am reluctant to divulge that to anyone I might pursue as a love interest. I'm afraid the dementia is making me paranoid. 3)My wife was unable to avoid spending money in our 30 year marriage causing 2 bankruptcies and no savings. I am a 63 year old CPA. I have begun meeting people on an on-line dating site. I am concerned about continuing. Im worried about people googleing me and discovering I've filed bankruptcy and avoiding me as a result. I'm also concerned about my ability to handle rejection this soon after my wife's death and this long after (32 yrs) after having to confront that issue. I am conversing with 3 women on-line, all of whom I like very much. One gave me her phone number and we had a long conversation, at the end of which, she offered me her last name. I took it and reciprocated. Later I became paranoid she had only wanted my last name to do research on me. I accused her of that and broke off further contact. I was so upset, I canceled a date scheduled the next day with another of the three and told her I was not ready to face any potential rejection yet and was going to stop on-line dating. There is one lady left with whom I have yet to communicate since this all started coming unraveled a week ago.
Finally, my question. I hate what I have done in sabotaging the two promising relationships. I'm reluctant to sabotage the third. I don't know if anything I'm doing is right, wrong or indifferent. What should I do next?

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

I can imagine how distressing this situation must be for you. You are being honest with yourself and this is a tremendous trait, first of all, that you have the ability to do so and also it is the most encouraging aspect of the situation. You are an honest person and you don't want to hurt someone else.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about.You are torn between wanting to connect with someone else and not wanting to hurt someone else and be hurt. And so the stress between these two conflicting desires has led you to the worst of both: you have started to connect with these women and then you've pulled the plug and sabotaged the relationships to avoid pain and causing pain.

The antidote is honesty. You must be honest from the start. Vascular dementia can be slow to develop if steps are taken; financial difficulties in the past are in the past if steps have been taken.

You need to be honest with this lady from the start and by doing this you will avoid that debilitating anxiety that will overcome you and threaten the relationship and lead to the self sabotaging behavior. Treat her with respect and yourself with respect. If your past is something that scares her off, well, you want to know that before you get serious anyways. If your future is something that scares her off, the same is true: you want this known so you can move on to meet the right lady.

Remember: the truth allows you and her to know if you're right for each other. And if not, then it allows you to move on and find someone who is right for you and someone for whom you are right.

Okay, I wish you the very best!

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