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I have an issue with the man I love. We are apart for a few

I have an issue with...
I have an issue with the man I love.
We are apart for a few months when I go and run a lodge 1200 miles away for the summer.
he has a hard tiIme spend one on one time w/ a man , but not women,
i 'm 54 he's 55
i have always had male friends and feel I cannot give that up just because he feels its not right or makes him feel uncomfortable. He thinks it's wrong. I think he's wrong. I feel if I give into his paranoia, it will only be something else .
it's tearing us apart,yet I can't succumb. I cannot be editing my actions based on gender. It's just backwards to me.
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
8/2/2013
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10,643
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Verified
DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I understand that you do not want to change and nor should you if these men are just friends.

DoctorZ :

Has he explained to you why he feels it is wrong, besides them being men?

Customer:

No, just because they are men

Customer:

Because it's just wrong he said.

DoctorZ :

If that is the only reason, may be it is a cultural reason why were he practices traditional values that men should only be friends with men and women should only be friends with women

DoctorZ :

I think exploring a more detailed reason why would help you understand why he has these feelings about your male friends and it can help you reassure him that he has nothing to worry about

Customer:

it's frustrating, iI'm not going to change. How can iI convince him that my actions are innocent, my heart is pure and my legs are closed?lol. He, as an experiment of his own, last night, ended up talking to a woman and then walking and sat on the beach after sunset talking to see what that would feel like.

Customer:

Yes, he was raised in the south I'm a yank. And the strong daughter of a single mom.

DoctorZ :

So he wanted to experiment what it would be like to talk to a woman on a purely platonic basis?

Customer:

yes, he said it felt wrong.

Customer:

my friends say, u don't need to tell him everything...but , I'm not into being decietful.

DoctorZ :

Well have you considered seeing a couples therapist? Maybe hearing a neutral viewpoint will help him understand that just because you have friends of the opposite sex does not mean you are going to end up being sexually intimate with them

Customer:

No, we haven't. I have suggested it and perhaps he would be open to it.

Customer:

iI do think he needs to hear from others that its okOK. But it also can''tcan't be me being right

Customer:

do they have phone therapists? We are 1200 miles apart.

DoctorZ :

It is not about being right or wrong in this instance, it is about understanding the other's viewpoint and coming up with a compromise. So far your viewpoint has been explained, but his viewpoint has been more terse and just says that it feels wrong.

DoctorZ :

They do have e-therapy and phone therapists yes

DoctorZ :

Let me get you the website for you, give me a second

Customer:

he can't explain any more than it's just wrong.

Customer:

what can iI ask him? How should iI get him to explain deeper why it bothers him. He just thinks if iI love him , i'dI'd want his feelings to be ...? Paramount.

DoctorZ :

You can ask him if when he talks to other women does he have sexual feelings towards them?

Customer:

iI know that he has trauma from his mom who was a looker, would dress provacitively .

DoctorZ :

If he says no, then you should ask why you should be any different.

Customer:

really scarred him when men would whistle and make comments.

DoctorZ :

Well that is one thing that can be causing this behavior. He may think that you are going to be provocative like his mother, you can try reassuring him on this issue

Customer:

iI try to tell him, his mother was in divorce she needed to feel love, she was getting attention...

DoctorZ :

Maybe he feels that you are seeking attention from other men too, when in fact you are just being platonic

DoctorZ :

In past relationships was he ever cheated on by the way?

Customer:

his wife left him with a baby boy to raise when he was 17

DoctorZ :

So he has trust issues, and probably some self-esteem issues too, which is why he reacts this way with your male friends

Customer:

his second wife had a perimenapausal event lasting too long. For anyone to bear

Customer:

possibly, of course, why would he even fall in love with someone like me,,,unless..

Customer:

iI seem to be always apologizing

Customer:

hmmm

Customer:

i said to him last night...u r in love w/ the person u want to see and not iI as iI am

Customer:

i'm very...out there

Customer:

verythere very self assures

Customer:

assured

Customer:

iI belly dance on the beach,

Customer:

i'm self reliant

Customer:

areliant a sea captain,

Customer:

i'veI've had lots of lovers

Customer:

i'm just getting out of a 13 year marriage

Customer:

whichmarriage which was

Customer:

good but not fulfilling in intamacy

Customer:

i was faithful.

DoctorZ :

I think his issues are that he is self-conscious and this causes him jealousy

DoctorZ :

It sounds like that you are very independent and confident, and that he may not be as confident at least in the relationship area

Customer:

his reactions are almost high school. Elemental iI said.

Customer:

iI guess he hasn't had many or any successful relationships.

DoctorZ :

It is like high school, but remember most high school kids have low self-esteem and get jealous often

Customer:

he seems to be drawn to children and older folks. Women specifically.

Customer:

how does one grow up?

Customer:

i know, iI cannot give into him

Customer:

it goes against everything iI believe

DoctorZ :

It takes time to grow up for him because I think his mother's issues and his failed marriage regressed him in certain ways, which is unfortunate

Customer:

won't be chaperoned.

DoctorZ :

He has to learn to trust again and not go straight to his automatic negative thoughts that he has.

Customer:

I know, he is self aware and rather estute

DoctorZ :

I dont think you have to give in, you should be yourself. Being you is who he fell in love with

Customer:

veryestate very sensitive and iI love that

Customer:

true that.

Customer:

well? he wanted me to move in w/ him . I said not without counseling.

Customer:

we both agree we need to change the mechanics of our arguments

DoctorZ :

I definitely think he would benefit from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) it is designed to help him change his negative thought process to be more positive, which will end up changing his behaviors

Customer:

ok cbtCBT, i'llI'll check into that.

Customer:

iI want him to be secure w/ me.

DoctorZ :

It works really well for individuals with self-conscious issues and jealousy, I can give you a link to a good technique

Customer:

great

DoctorZ :

So this link may help him, it contains a technique I use with patients called a thought record. It will help him keep track of any negative thoughts he may have. He puts the negative thought on paper, the emotion accompanying, the evidence to support it, and the evidence against it. Then I want him to come up with an alternative thought for the situation (more positive and plausible). This will help him change your way of thinking to be able to think more positive and not automatically go to a negative type of thinking.

DoctorZ :

This is a very good and effective technique that helps my patients with similar symptoms

Customer:

I get very busy... he wants me to be in touch... more than I can. I lose track of time. He freaks..

DoctorZ :

Well when men get jealous and have low self-esteem, they get more controlling, which is going to be a problem for you and your relationship

Customer:

iI think this will be good.. any advice for me?

Customer:

i have a hard time being controlled. Like NOT

Customer:

i'mI'm nervous about moving in w/ him ...giving up my freedom

DoctorZ :

Reassure him at first and remind him that you are not like the other women in his past relationships and that you love him very much. Also tell him that he is alone too and that you trust him

Customer:

home is on a boat out in the middle of a bay

DoctorZ :

I think after he goes to therapy, then you two can revisit the moving in. I am afraid that one of his motivations to move in is to control you a little more or keep tabs on you.

Customer:

yes, iI think so , too.

DoctorZ :

Its not for malicious reasons, its just a coping mechanism he has to help relieve the self-esteem issues he is experiencing

Customer:

iI have suggested that he fly here and he'll also get to see the way iI live, where and what i'mI'm doing friends iI have , that might make him feel better about me being here w/out him.

DoctorZ :

That could be a good idea and help reassure him. His worst enemy is his imagination

Customer:

also , he has been abstenant from drugs, alcohol and cigerettescigarettes for well over 15 months now.

Customer:

iI have been drug and alcohol free for 29 years

DoctorZ :

That is good for both of you

Customer:

know last year there were physiological stuff going on.

Customer:

and he needs to replace his whole world.

Customer:

his bar life style wasn't good

Customer:

no healthy relationships there

Customer:

ok you've been really helpful, and iI feel validated... honestly...iI start wondering if he's rightsometimes, then iI come back to my senses. And if iI give into that then what...my world would just get smaller and smaller

DoctorZ :

I agree, if that his past relationships were unhealthy then another reason why he may have trust issues too

DoctorZ :

I understand your feelings, and I do think you both can work this out it just takes some communication from him to help you understand his point of view and for him to understand your point of view

Customer:

thankssmaller thanks for your help.

DoctorZ :

Anytime, I am always happy to help

DoctorZ :

If you have any future concerns or questions, please feel free to contact me at anytime

Customer:

do iI have access to this converstionconversation or does it dissappeardisappear?

Customer:

how do i Contact u?

DoctorZ :

No you will definitely have access to this conversation after you rate me. There should be a link in your email that goes directly to it

DoctorZ :

In the future you can put For DoctorZ before your question to make sure that you only want to speak with me

Customer:

OK, I'll see how this goes.. I know it can't continue. We are both too miserable..and in love ..horrible combo...

DoctorZ :

I understand, I wish you both the best of luck with everything

Customer:

thank you

DoctorZ :

I hope I provided you with excellent service today

Customer:

yes u have

DoctorZ :

I am glad that I helped you :)

Customer:

Me too

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10,643
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
Verified
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Dr. Z
Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10,643
10,643 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.

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