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Hi again kate, well to bring you up to date. Over the last

three weeks I have not...
Hi again kate, well to bring you up to date. Over the last three weeks I have not gone to see my boyfriend and he came over one time. We really were battling since I told him that I was done and he refused to say that he read my last email which explained all my reasons for the last time. I know he read it but this is how he has traditionally handled things. Now since he realizes I am serious and I also want the car back that I bought him of course he is now realizing that it will be over for good. He is now coming around and saying that he has been depressed and unhappy for along time and has not been very nice to anyone, me, his daughter,his employees or even with his customers. He basically for the last few weeks has worked and then stayed in his house like a hermit, no bar no fun he says hes just very sad. He keeps telling me he does not want to lose me and I mean everything to him. I dont know what to think at this point. I dont see him making a complete turnaround and really as of today I feel my feelings for him slipping away. I am not missing him so much any more and I dont really feel the major saddness like I have to see him or get his validation anymore.
My son is also home visiting and he really does not like him at all, none of my family really does either so maybe that is part of what is making me feel like I am moving away from him. Can you give me your thoughts. thanks Jodie
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8/1/2012
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5,896
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hi Jodie,

It sounds like your feelings and those of your family are accurate. He is trying to manipulate you into coming back probably just to hurt you again. He might be making excuses so you will feel sorry for him and take him back. If he valued your relationship, he would have put more energy into keeping you happy when you were with him. Instead he waits until you leave then tries to manipulate you.

You are on the right track with what you are doing. Keeping your distance and focusing on getting back your things from him is a good way to handle it. He may keep trying to talk you into pitying him, but as long as you focus on what he did to you when you were with him and how miserable you felt, you should be fine. You may also want to consider blocking him from contacting you and provide him with a final notice in writing asking for your items back. That way, you can protect yourself from any more of the manipulation.

It can be difficult when you are hurting and faced with the very person you really wanted to pay attention to you suddenly doing the very thing you wanted him to do. But you are right, I don't think he will be doing a 180 all of a sudden and become a different person. He will probably be the same exact person he was all along. You are smart to stay away.

Kate
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
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Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Jodie,

 

There are also resources to help you work through your feelings as the relationship ends:

 

The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships by Patrick
Carnes

 

Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You by Susan J. Elliott

 

If you're satisfied with my response, please rate me highly. If you're not yet satisfied, please reply to me. Thanks!


Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Hi again kate, well its been a few weeks since I have given you an update. I did pull back from my boyfriend and even did break up with him. I told him to return the car and did not go up to his place for weeks. he actually came down to my house two saturdays in a row. He was extremely devestated with the prospect of losing me and he also told me how he did not want to.


We have sort of eased back into our relationship with me not doing half of what i used to and he has been really much better. More patient, more caring and much less selfcentered. He has told me how much I am his life and that he loves me. The question I have tough is that we still are having the issue of him making a formal committement and giving me the ring he has and showed me. he is still sticking to his guns that he it is just not the right time due to his state of mind due to finances and the state of his business right now not knowing a direction. I have made it more than clear to him that one thing has nothing to do with the other and while he agrees he keeps putting this off. he says he wants to wait until the legal issues with an old partner are resolved and he knows what is going to happen, this has been already going on for over 2 years and will be at least another 1-2 at a minimum. I do not agree at all. I am not sure why he is doing this and if it is even the total truth. I am really not happy with him telling me he is committed, he wants to marry me and I a his life but wont make a formal committment. I think that is very selfish as he knows how much that would mean to me and I have given him so much more.


Our three year anniversary is coming up on Sept 24th and I really think that if he does not do it on or before then I really need to make a separation from him eventhough I really cannot picture my life without him, I will just continue to be so unhappy and feel he cannot put me before himself. What are your thoughts?

I would be more than happy to continue working with you on any new questions
you have. All I ask is that you remember to rate my previous answer before asking new ones.
Thanks!

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

ok I will do that the reason it takes me some time is because I am having problems rating you at work it does not go through. If you answer my question now I will send a rating later from home OK? thanks.

It sounds like he is doing what he did before with you and has not changed that much, maybe only enough to get you back into his life. For some reason, it seems he still wants to maintain control over the relationship. The relationship is about both of you. And if you want to become engaged and he does not (and he cannot offer a valid reason why that should not happen), then he is either trying to control the relationship or he has a hidden agenda and is not telling you what it is. Either way, his actions are creating hurt for you and trust issues between you.

It is often a sign of a personality disorder when a person will change just enough to make their partner happy but not enough to give up the control of the relationship. And that seems like the case here as well. He has been more attentive, which is good, but he still holds onto his control over the engagement and any commitment in the relationship. This shows that he is willing to go so far to make you happy then his wants and needs become primary again, even if those wants and needs hurt you.

It is important for the long term survival of your relationship that he puts your needs first, as you have done for him. It creates an imbalance when he chooses to withhold any commitment and not provide a good reason why.

It sounds like your plan to see what he does before you decide is a good one. Your anniversary is a good opportunity for him to make a commitment and show he is serious about the future of your relationship. If he chooses not to do that, then leaving may be the only choice. It's not easy to make that choice but in the long run staying in the relationship will only hurt you.

Kate

PS If you do have any difficult providing a rating on each answer, just let me know what you intend on rating and I can have the moderators provide a no click accept for you. Thanks!
TherapistMaryAnn
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Kate, thanks for the reply. I was going to wait until the end of the month to make the final decision to see what happened on our anniversary but it was moved up a bit. The reason is that I worked at his business all weekend a labor day party, cooked, dealt with all the customers, help at bar and also in restaurant. All weekend he told several people when they asked if I was his wife he told them no my future wife. He kept saying that to them and it was just eating at me. By Monday morning I could not wait any longer, I said to him why do you keep saying I am your future wife, you havent even asked me. Why do you do that you should be asking me. He said to be nice and then he said one day I will be. With that I blew up and told him I am not doing this anymore, he is wrong and I am leaving. I got in my car of course crying and he comes down and says I shouldnt leave all upset, I told him dont call or text me. Of course I could not do that and texted him later how upset I was and hurt. He said he was too but nothing mre. Today he says good morning baby XO as usual and I told him I cant do this anymore he is breaking my heart and I love him but he should never make me ask him for a committmnent it should be most important to him. He does not answer just sends a :(. Later he says thanks for lunch that I had left for him over the weekend. I said your welcome and asked him why isnt it important for him to make me happy?


He wrote back it is and NOW QUIT IT in big letters. I just made a sad face and he said Me too with a sad face.


 


I am so disguisted with myself that I just cant let him go. Why am I doing this to myself. Its obvious that he would rather lose me than propose so I just cant accept that? What is wrong with me? I guess because he keeps dangling the I love you, I dont want to lose you stuff at me.


Can you try and tell me what you think here, why cant I see what is going on, I dont believe that he would not do this for someone he really loved even if he was unhappy with finances and his business situation right now. I dont feel thats the whole reason at all do you. What do you think may be going on. He has been more considerate, nice and thoughtful with his words lately but has done nothing for me other than talk. I am sick of words they mean nothing at this point do they?


 


 

I would be more than happy to continue working with you on any new questions
you have. All I ask is that you remember to rate my previous answer before asking new ones.
Thanks!

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
,OK
Customer reply replied 5 years ago

OK I did rate you excellent, paid and put in a tip. Can you work on my question I am very upset. thanks.

Thanks. I'll reply as soon as I can.

Kate

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It sounds like he is using the engagement to hold power over you. As long as you want to be engaged/married, he has all of the control. He can say and do whatever he wants and you will still be there. And his control is creating an imbalance in your relationship as well as making you feel needy and bad about yourself. And he uses things like treating you nicely to keep you interested just enough so he maintains control.

This has a lot to do with self esteem and what you feel you deserve. You want to be married and that desire is overriding anything else including how he is treating you. If you can let go of the desire, at least in this relationship, he will lose his power over you.

One way to look at this is to see your time with him as time away from finding someone who you can marry. It may take a while to find another person, but the relationship you are in now is at a stand still. He won't let go of the control and you won't leave. And it is making you feel bad. Also, try not to see this as the only relationship you will have. There will be more.

If you are not already talking to a therapist about this, you may want to consider it. It can help you get out of the relationship by offering support and an easier transition.

Kate
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago


Kate,just so you understand me a little better, I do not really want to rush to get married this is about his ability for him to really commit to me and be unselfish. This is what I want to see if he can do and put my feelings and needs before himself. That is the quality I really want in the guy I will spend the rest of my life with, nothing that I havent done already for him. So basically if I really do walk away and give up the idea that he could ever realize and show much I mean to him will just let me go rather than give up the control? Why does he want this control, what good does it do for him when I leave him, does he care if I do, is this a game to him to see who wins? If so what am I dont here in the first place, I dont want a guy like that. What is the control giving him? Is he really happy making me cry and be so unhappy, what is the ultimate prize for him here, is he going to just string me along for another few years until I quit?

It is the same thing, commitment and marriage. At least he probably sees it as the same. If you do walk away, he may try to get you back just because for some reason he likes the game he is playing. And he may not think you will leave. It would really benefit him to seek therapy so he knows why he wants to do this in the relationship.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Kate, he wont go for therapy he doesnt believe in it. He would never let anyone give an opinion on his methods of thinking because he knows he is probably wrong but doesnt really care, he thinks he can have his own opinion and basically if you do not agree thats too bad for you. Thats whats he is doing here he is saying that he thinks this is not the right time to get married and yes he does see them both the same engagement and marriage because he is not happy. I know now that there is nothing I am going to say to convience him and that is probably the control thing you are saying. I dont even believe what he is saying is or could be true at all anyway if you really loved the other person, he sees how I am so broken up and crying and he sucks to allow me to do this. YOu are right he is probably enjoying someone torturing themselves over him, what a macho sick attitude. I am not going to answer or write to him at all. I need to get passed this. I am kidding myself, I just dont understand people like this and it is really abusive without the visual scars right?


 

Yes, what he is doing can be considered emotional abuse.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Kate, can I ask you one more question? I think the biggest issue I have with my boyfriend not making formal committment to me is that I cannot understand how someone says all the right things like I love you, I want to be with you forever etc then they cannot actually follow up with the actual actions. He shows me at the ring and actually lets me try it on then says he wanted to do that so I know he is serious and its mine at the right time. He says that since so much is up in the air right now where he may not even have a business down the road he does not feel like celebrating such an important event. Is this type of thinking even possible considering what I am supposed to mean to him and how much I have given to him and done for him over the last three years? This is what I absolutely cannot accept. If he had some reason that made sense like he could not afford a ring or something like that I could see why he would feell bad but he has it sitting and wont give it to me. How do I stay with someone like this? Why would he want to see me so broken up and unhappy an still continue to stick with this reasoning, is he totally self absorbed and selfish enough to feel this is OK? I have shared alot with you and maybe you can just give me some of your insight to what I have asked you here, It really helps me to get through this. thanks.

When someone manipulates, it usually indicates a personality disorder. And if he has a personality disorder, he will put his needs first before anyone else's not matter how much he says he loves you or cares. Also, playing games with your feelings might be part of that, like leading you on so you stay. It is a way people interact when they have been hurt or damaged in their past. They don't understand healthy relationships because they never had one as a child so they react in hurtful and dysfunctional ways instead of healthy ways.

You are trying to make sense of dysfunctional behavior which is not going to make sense. It is motivated by things that happened to him and how he processed whatever he went through. So the only option you have is to either stay and deal with how he acts, or to leave.

Kate


I would love to continue to work with you if you could rate me for my time and expertise on the answers I have provided for you. If you are unhappy with my responses, I can opt out and let other professionals help you. Let me know what you wish to do.

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Kate, I know you are right and there are so many things that do not make me happy with his behavior or the way he lives his life. His business is also a major issue with the people it attracts and their behavior and ethics. Since my boyfriend lives at his business he is with it 24/7 for the last 15 years. It has to eventually take its toll and make you into a different person than you were before you were involved with all of this. I have never been around such uneithical, low class people since I have been with him. I did not grow up like that and either did my boyfriend and I certainly do not intend to become like any of them. I dont think it was the way he grew up I truly think its since he came here. I really dont understand why I let myself be treated this way, I know in my mind I deserve better but for some reason I keep putting up with this. I know I have so much invested, time and major amounts of money but yes it is my fault if I continue to accept this type of person and environment. It really is not his fault he can do what he wants but I am the one who keeps accepting it. You can only be manipulated by someone as long as you let them. I just have to be stong enough to move away from this and realize that most likely he will never be the person I want him to and even if I do wait until he says he is ready that may be a manipulation as well. Kate, are you saying with all this that he just wants me there but does not want to really make a formal committment from what I am saying to you? Does he just want to keep that ring for his needs? Why keep me there just until he does not need me anymore?

I would love to continue to work with you if you could rate me for my time and expertise on the answers I have provided for you. If you are unhappy with my responses, I can opt out and let other professionals help you. Let me know what you wish to do.
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

I just rated you the best. If you could answer my last question I would appreciate it. I know I am probably driving you crazy but you are giving me invaluable support to make the changes I need to. thanks.

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago


Kate, you are really right on. After all of this talk with you I sent my boyfriend a text and told him,


" This up and down thing is not good for me. When you are ready to fully commit then let me know, if you ever want to. Until then I would rather be alone. :( Xo


 


Eventhough in the past I have broken down and let him manipulate me to coming back without this committment, I am not going to do it this time. I know now it will never end and I am helping fuel this issue. I am giving him the ammunition. He is being selfish and self serving like you said and maybe even enjoying it but I am soooo done. I cant keep going on like this, I am just broken.


 


Thanks and do you mind if I keep in touch during this time for some moral support?

Good luck to you!
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago

Hi Kate, I just wanted to check back in with you. Its been a few weeks since I wrote to you and this is what has happened. This past weekend was our three year anniversary since we started dating. I decided that I would take the opportunity to really give a hard look at our relationship and if I really was ready to end it for good. We went away on my boyfriends boat from Sat to Sunday for a short trip. We bought each other cards and had a nice time but once again there was no mention of him proposing. He has know for almost 2 years of our three years together that this is what I wanted. As i told you he has told me I am the one but its not the right time. I have tried everything to make him understand how important the committment is to me and he just says its not the right time, he is not happy with his business and finances so he does not want to celebrate. Well, I decided Sunday that I was going to end it for good. It told him that his reasons are totally unacceptable and selfish. I told him that if anyone should not be happy its me with all the sacrifices I have to make but I do it to make him happy because I love him. He basically said that he wont or cant. I told him not to text or contact me anymore but of course he did Sun night and Mon morning, the text thing as usual like we were still together. Now I blocked my cell phone from him texting me. I have not heard from him now for two days.


Of course he could email me or call but he wont, he always hides behind the texts. His last words to me were dont do anything permenant and if we get back together the clock starts over. I am so disguisted with him al realize I wasted so much time. I dont know what his problem is but he just wants everything from me and cant give me anything real back. yes he can fix things and hang out but when it comes to really committing he just wont. I can never be sure he ever will, who knows if this happy thing he is talking about would ever happen.


 


Can I have your thoughts? thanks.

I am going to opt out to let other experts assist you.

Kate

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago


Why are you doing that I really appreciate your help

Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5,334
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology helping with relationships
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Hi! Kate has opted out and I'm not sure if it's because she feels she already gave you the advice to leave and that she would be repeating herself.

You write that would like more help, but you have rated the previous answer. The question, then, is if you want further help, which the other experts would be glad to offer, but only if you are prepared to start over. And the other experts would expect that you would give them a rating as well for their answers if the answer is helpful. This would mean you would be paying again. I am a psychotherapist in private practice and would be glad to help here. But I would need to know if you realize that you will be starting over again and want to do that and pay for your answer. Let me know, okay?


Thanks, Dr. Mark

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Customer reply replied 5 years ago


I would like to keep working with someone on my issues with my relationship, If its you that is fine I would just like some additional help

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Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

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