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TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Kate, thanks for your last answer and I did have a long conversation

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Kate, thanks for your last answer and I did have a long conversation with my boyfriend last night. I was calm and to the point and I told him that I think there is more to his reluctancy to give me a ring that he already has than the fact that he is not settled in his business right now. I told him that it makes me think that he is making me feel that he does not want to formally commit because based on what the outcome of the lawsuit is with his business may determine what he wants for us as well. He stated that I was completely wrong and that he has said many times we will stay together no matter what and that he has stated that we will move away together when it is all settled. he said that giving me a ring has nothing to do with the commitment he has, he just said that when he does that he wants things to be settled one way or the other. Either he keeps his business or sells it or something but he feels how can he do this now when he feels so bad about himself. I told him I cannot understand that at all, what would change, how would things change between us now or then. He just keeps stating he needs closure and to know what is going to happen before he can celebrate us. He will not budge, it does not matter what I say or what I do. I do love him and want to believe him but does this make sense at all to you.
Hi, I am a Moderator for this topic. I sent your requested Professional a message to follow up with you here, when they are back online. If I can help further, please let me know. Thank you for your continued patience.

It sounds like he is still putting you off with the excuse that he needs his business settled. He has yet to give you a reason why his business issues interfere with being engaged. As we talked about before, there is no reason why being engaged would change anything. You love him and would marry him regardless of what happens with his business but he won't do the same thing. It shows that you put him and your relationship first and he seems to put himself and his business first.


You also made a good point. You feel that the outcome of his business is what is driving his motivation and decision to be with you. That does not sound like a person who is putting anyone else first but himself. It also confirms your feelings that the relationship is based on his use of you and what you can offer him, like the boost in status, rather than the love between you. Given your suspicions, you may want to consider protecting yourself financially if you do have any connections with him like his name on your accounts or any access he may have to any of your financial accounts.


What you talked to him about are very legitimate concerns. But he is not addressing your questions or your feelings about this. He holds the total control over your relationship. That leaves you with no control and all of these feelings that you don't know what to do with. If you did end up getting married, this type of treatment would most likely continue, along with his ability to use your assets for his own gain, which given his past behavior is a possibility. And what happens if something goes wrong with his business or job while you are married? That is something to consider as well.


This relationship is hurting you and not providing anything for you to hold on to. You are left with no options in terms of having a say so in your own relationship. You are not being treated well or your feelings considered. And marriage may make this a whole lot worse. Very few people change for the better after marriage. So what you see now may either stay the same or get worse. Because of that, you may want to consider moving on. You tried to talk with him and you have been making all the effort to keep the relationship more even and fair. But he is not doing the same. Staying with him will only get you more of what you already have- a lot of pain.



TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Kate, one more question, when I ask him to explain the reason why he is not willing to give me the ring he says that it has nothing to do with the committment he has but rather that he does not want to celebrate something so important right now because of how terrible he feels about himself. The title to his business was stolen by an ex business partner through fraudulent means and basically that is what the last 3 years of litigation has been about trying to get it back. It is almost bankrupting both of us with legal fees just to get it back in addition to the terrible economy. This is why my boyfriend says that he does not feel like celebrating something right now with us because he feels so horrible. While I dont really understand that at all because like you said there should be a separation between his business and our relationship he says that the way it is related is only that he feels like everything is so up in the air right now and is a disaster financally he does not feel happy and he wants to feel happy when he proposes. Does that make any sense.

I want to believe him but does that make any sense to you? It really does not to me at all. The other issue is that he never makes love to me, all he wants is for me to satisfy him. I know he has a cast on his arm right now but it does not stop him from working? Wouldnt a real man want to satisfy his woman as well? The two factors together make him pretty self centered right? Is there something just wrong with him like he is emotionally disconnected or maybe his problems are really affecting his whole life? What is going on? I need to know before I make my final decision, thanks.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Are you going to be able to answer my last question soon?

Sorry, I was out for the day for an appointment.


If he is unable to separate his business issues from the relationship with you, then anytime he has problems at work he is going to put his own needs first. It is ok that he feels down about his work, but being engaged would bring something happy in your life. If he waits until he is happy to decide personal issues in his life, then he will wait a long time.


If you are contributing financially to his company, then you are making a commitment to him. He accepts that, so it doesn't make much sense that he won't commit to you.


And the fact that he doesn't care about what you want sexually or even satisfying you may be due to selfishness. Any person who does not care what their partner wants, whether that be an engagement or sexually is saying that they put their own needs first. Both of these things are signs that he is unable to think of you first but instead prefers to put his own needs ahead of yours. And that is not good for a long term relationship.


He could be narcissistic, which given what you have told me about him makes sense. He seems to use you and then refuse to give you what you need in the relationship. And your description of his actions indicate that the relationship is very one sided, which is also a sign that your boyfriend is narcissistic. Without talking with him directly it is hard to be sure. But the behaviors he has had in your relationship do indicate something is wrong and that he is unlikely to ever change it.



TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
TherapistMaryAnn and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Kate, thanks for replying. The information you are giving me is very useful and scary at the same time. I did some reading on this narcissistic type of personality and there are so many traits that my boyfriend has that fit that description. They are below:

1) I give him money and work hard at his business and he takes it

2) He does give me gifts but never pays much attention during the year what it is that I really want or like. He asks me but he should know if he really cared about what I want.

3) He has a business that makes him the captain and feeds his ego but it never really made any good money and is worse now. He says its for the future payout when he would sell it but its really a loser. He takes services and money from others to keep it going and uses people like me

4) He wont show me or talk to me about anything sexual or emotional, he hates talking about that and usually will change the subject or avoid it at all costs unless he is trapped

5) He wont explain why he wont get engaged he just uses the excuse that he does not feel good about himself right now, he says he is different than most people but wont explain why. He would sooner let me walk away than be forced to make this committment

6) When he tought I was firing him ( breaking up with him) he went onto the internet to look for someone else. I assume to feed his ego because it was bruised. he now says rather than accepting responsbility that it was my fault for firing him, meanwhile I did that because of his inability to make a commitment formally

7) When I want to talk about something emotionally upsetting to me he makes me text or e mail him and then he usually wont answer with any substance. he just deals with the outer issue and wont really give any clear answers.


I am pretty sure that he fits most of the traits of the narcissistic personality disorder that you are talking about. The only thing I dont understand is that he says he loves me, he includes me in every aspect of his business be it good or bad and he does include me in almost everything he does. So what is he going to do then eventually with the ring he has? Does he think I will just wait around forever for him to give it to me or is he just waiting till he no longer needs me then hope to break up with me before I do it to him? How can i test this? Just tell him that this relationship is now what I want? Do I give him any reasons?

I am really emotionally scared at this point and really need your input. thanks.

I am glad to help. Dealing with someone who has symptoms of a personality disorder can be very confusing, distressing and make you really question what you are seeing and even question yourself.

The fact that he is willing to take your money says a lot. He is basically using you to keep his business going. And he doesn't show any sign of paying you back or even acknowledging what you are doing for him. Not that the goal is making sure you get anything for it, but a person who cared would at least make the effort to acknowledge what you are doing, be very thankful and try to make the effort to pay you back.

Giving gifts has to have meaning to the receiver. It sounds like he is just making a gesture without the meaning behind it.

Using others and having no regret about it is definitely a sign that he most likely cares only for himself. He hurts you then hurts others. He takes advantage and benefits himself first. Not a sign of a giving and caring person.

If he will not talk to you about anything emotional or sexual, then it sounds like he is not willing to make the effort to even listen to what you feel.

If you feel he is willing to let you walk away rather than commit to you, that say it all. He most likely has no intention of furthering your relationship and is probably just using you and what you can give him.

When he seeks others on the internet, that is also a sign that everything is about him. He does not care that you are hurt enough to break up with him. A healthy response would have been to ask you why and even to feel bad about it. But he just moves on to someone else, hurting you even more.

If he makes you do all the contact through text and email if you feel upset, that is a way to put distance between you. Face to face is harder to deal with but email and text is easier to ignore. That sounds like control and cruelty.

He may include you in every aspect of the business, but he is not including you in every aspect of his personal life. Because he is only willing to let you in when it comes to business, then he may have an ulterior motive for keeping you in a relationship.

He may just keep the ring or sell it. If he is narcissistic, he probably will do something with it that benefits him in some way. He does not have the emotional attachment you do to the ring and what it means so he options are probably to find a way to deal with it that helps him.

Given his behavior, he will probably stay with you until he no longer feels it benefits him. He most likely counts on the fact that you accept his behavior for what it is and you won't go anywhere. He is probably also using you so he may do just enough to keep you around for that. I am sorry. This is sounds very harsh. But a person with a personality disorder can be very cruel and cold hearted. Dealing with them can make you doubt yourself and feel hurt most of the time. They know how to manipulate so you always feel there is just enough hope to hold onto the relationship. And sometimes the good times can be very good. So you don't want to leave. But the longer you stay the more they can wear down on your self esteem, to the point that you feel horrible about yourself and can't leave.

For those reasons, it will be hard to test him to see if he does intend on leaving the relationship. If he does have a personality disorder, he is going to be very good at manipulation and getting you to believe whatever he wants you to. Leaving this relationship is probably your best bet. And staying away with no contact even better. He doesn't sound like he is invested in anything but himself so he may just look for the next opportunity to take advantage of someone if you do leave. But the next person will be no better off. He is the issue here and not you.

I am sorry. I know this is painful and very hard to cope with. You may have had hopes for the best and he has shortchanged you at every turn. At this point, taking care of yourself is the best way to get beyond him and move on.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Kate, I have to tell you that when I was reading your last reply I had tears in my eyes. It was so hard to hear the reality finally. After I calmed down I send my boyfriend the following message:

Our relationship is not what I need or want. I have been giving into you for along time and u do whatever u want. U have committment and intimacy issue and I realize now that I cannot fix that or accept them or your excuses. Im not going to be used anymore and would rather be alone than feel like I do.


That was at 12:30 this afternoon and now its almost 9pm and I hear nothing. Not surprised. Now the hard part is to stick with it and dont reply if he writes. I need to be strong.

Please give me some words of wisdom thanks.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

One more thing he did finally text me back and just said:

note nice :( good night baby XOXO. thats crazy right

It sounds like you did the right thing. You told him how you felt and that you are moving on. His reply makes no sense. It shows no concern for you or any care about what you feel. It even seems like he is not taking you seriously. That just confirms that you did the right thing about ending it with him.

It will be hard to remain strong but you can do it. Try to write down the reasons why you left him while you are still feeling strong about it. Keep the list nearby and read it and re read it every time you doubt yourself. Also, share this with someone like a friend or family member. Have them remind you as well when you feel like going back. The more you can keep the reasons why in front of you, the easier it will be to stay away.

I am sorry this happened to you. But you did the right thing. You deserve better.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Kate, as I explained I did write that e mail to my boyfriend as he has consistantly ignored it. He just sends me good night baby XO texts and things like hows your pool etc. I told him finally that we are not on the same page as how we define a relationship and he should just let it go and make up to me financially for all I gave him. His response was not his call do what I want and he will pay me back . He is just willing to let me go. I even told him to go dangle that ring infront of someone else, that I was willing do do everything for him but he cant do it in return. He just said sorry you feel that way . I told him hes too proud or selfish to put himself second for anyone. I am so done. What are your final thoughts?

I think you are right, he is putting himself first and ignoring your feelings completely. His responses are cold and self centered. He is staying very unemotional with you which fits with how he has treated you all along- ignoring the emotional aspect of the relationship. You have tried to get him to respond with what you said, but he still refuses. The relationship is one sided and that leaves you holding it up emotionally without his participation. Treating you like that causes you pain. And the fact that he doesn't care about that says a lot. It is good you have decided to move on. It may take some time to work through this and mourn your loss, but in the long run leaving him is the healthiest thing you can do for yourself.


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