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After experiencing several traumatic events over a relatively

short period of time, both...
After experiencing several traumatic events over a relatively short period of time, both heartache and loss, I fell into a deep depression for several years. When I recovered, I essentially cut myself off from the dating world and focused on work, a few friends, and my family. I have never been married or had children. I just resigned myself to the fact that I never would have that life for myself. A guy I occasionally ran into socially, finally convinced me to date him. He was nothing I was looking for. But, everything was so fun, easy, and comfortable. He is currently dealing with the type of issues I once did and was very open about them. I accepted that and he said I made it so much easier because I understand. Early on and often, he brought up intimate subjects: how easy it is for us to be together, how much his family loves me, how his friends are thrilled about us dating, that I am the type of girl that he can have a future with, how amazing it would be to have a child with me, that I am so easygoing without being a pushover, etc. I couldn't believe how lucky I was to stumble upon this guy! Then I stumbled upon him telling a really stupid lie. He had been out partying with friends the night before and told a rather elaborate lie to cancel a planned lunch date the next day. Since this lie included him not being home, I stopped by to leave him a note and caught him at home. He says a guy and girl he introduced and who occasionally see one another had stayed the night. These are friends I had heard about often. But, her coat was still there, which looked suspicious. I asked and he said she a few things because she had to go to work and that he is friends with her and her mom and it's no big deal. I don't know if I am overly suspicious because my ex cheated or if I am being naive. I chose to believe him. The next day, he said he doesn't need a relationship right now and wants to take a break, even though his feelings for me are unchanged. I thought he was just running away from the awkwardness of the situation. He says he needs to work on himself and he is starting counseling, something he had been thinking about and I had been encouraging to deal with his grief and anxiety.But, he seemed so detached during the conversation, as if he resented having to talk to me. I was hurt, but not angry and there was no argument. I just don't understand. What happened? To compound the situation, dating again has brought up a lot of feelings that I had locked away for years. I now feel so dissatisfied with my life. I keep trying to look at the situation realistically. Was it really that great with him or was I just thrilled to be dating? When we were together, it seemed so easy and comfortable.
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
2/1/2012
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,687
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Verified

JenK :

Hello, thank for joining me. Please forgive any typos as I get very immersed in my work with you and sometimes my brain goes faster than my fingers.

JenK :

I think the feeling you feel for him are real...when you say things were so easy and comfortable is because it was. I do wonder that since he decided to take a step away from the relationship so soon after these friends stayed at his house that something else is going on for him. I am not saying that he has cheated but such a sudden change in feelings and responsiveness to you is quite curious to me.

JenK :

As you have said you have dealt with a lot in your life and things are coming back up for you now. I would suggest that getting some support through this time and to deal with some things in the past would be a good way to go. You deserve to feel satisfied in your life and to experience all that you desire.

JenK :

The situation has not been made easier due to his lack of communication about all of it and you are left confused, bewildered and sad which is totally understandable.

Customer:

A very reasonable response. I think this is all compounded because I don't date and haven't for so long. I am simply not accustomed to having to place trust in someone in a romantic relationship. So, dealing with it is so awkward and new. I am embarrassed because everyone talks about how different I have been and how happy I am. But, word is spreading among my family, friends, and coworkers, and people are starting to notice that I am not beaming anymore. I feel humiliated. They know, as I know, how difficult it is for me to date and that my chances of having children are dwindling rapidly. I don't know what I will do if he contacts me. I am even worried about him. I just feel foolish.

JenK :

I am hoping that we can alleviate some of those judgments you are adding to things such as foolish. There is nothing wrong with caring for another person. A lot has come up for you around this and it is bringing up a lot of old pain. Has all contact with him ended or are you still in touch but he is taking a step back? What would you like for your next step?

Customer:

There is no contact. He kept saying he wants to "take a break." But, that his feelings are unchanged about me and he still cares. He said, he needs to work on himself and that there is no once else. It would have been easier if he just ended it. His conversation made it sound like he would get back in touch with me. I see his father at my gym and my brother-in-law is one of his close friends. So, there will be some overlap in our worlds. I don't want to contact him and have him think I gave let go. I have more dignity that that. As for my next step, I want to make some plans to move. Dating him (he lives in a large city, 1.5 hr away) has made me realize how unhappy I am living in my very rural, small hometown. There is no one to date and nothing to do. I need to work on making that happen so I can have a life whether he is a part of it or not.

JenK :

I do like your strength and although you may not be feeling it now, i can hear that you have a lot of it. I respect your space and would really like to see you get in touch with a professional and have a safe place to process your feelings. you are entitled to that.

JenK :

It can be very sad when two people are in different places and so my goal is to support you through this and get you the support you need locally.

Customer:

Thank you. It has been about 11 years since I was in counseling and it did me a world of good. It wouldn't hurt to go back since so many of those feelings are resurfacing. What I dealt with before was much worse. This situation hardly compares. But, I have been so careful to avoid the possibility of emotional pain, that this has blindsided me. By dating him, I also allowed myself to admit that I do want a child, something I would have adamantly denied before. I just kept convincing myself I did not want that. But, the truth is, I thought it would never happen. Now, I have to deal with the likelihood that I won't have that opportunity. My age is a serious factor at this point. Thank you for the advice.

JenK :

It has been my pleasure and please let me know if you need any more supporIf you feel our time together was helpful please hit accept and provide some feedback too.

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,687
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
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