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CounselorJules, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 786
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor
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I thought I was in a committed relationship with a divorced

Customer Question

I thought I was in a committed relationship with a divorced minister until February 2016. ( we both have been divorced @ 20 years we are in our 50’s. After valentines day her sent me a text telling me he wanted no more communication with me. Three weeks later he texts me and tells me he wants me back in his life as a friend. We talk almost everyday. I found out in march that he had been on an online dating service since January and was dating/ chatting/emailing potential interests. When he and I talked he would never tell me why he broke it off with me. To this day he still will not discuss it with me and says lets talk about something else, its too late, etc. He seems to delight in telling me about his dating adventures and women that contact him-I have told him that it hurts my feelings and I really don’t need or want to know. I think its an ego trip or some other psychological high he gets, he has multiple women he is interacting with at a time. He has no intention in marrying again, and all these women I am sure are looking for a mate. He says he is about open honest communication but very vague, secretive when asked about anything. I have a open honesty policy. I tell him exactly what I think. He says he has friends he goes and meets, but when I ask hime to meet me –he is always too busy or has another woman hes pursing in another town across the state. I am tired of the deception/vagueness. He sees a therapist for his depression, but I am sure he does not tell her about this stuff. He has a 20 year old daughter, I don’t think hes a god example to his church, students or daughter. Let me describe him to you-5’4, balding, @ 200 pounds, just average joe-nothing extra. He is not respectful or thoughtful, never remember any occasions, likes to talk about himself and his accomplishments. I m sure he is leading these women on. What do you think, I have tried to tell him he shouldn’t do this and I think it’s a detriment to him being a minister/school teacher in a small community, as it can lead to wrong impressions.?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
Good evening. I am happy to help you. Please bare with me while I provide a thorough answer :)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I dont see an answer
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
Okay, I am sorry, I was commuting and we have been in severe weather. I am now able to be online. First, thank you for your question and all of the background information. It sounds like there was definitely a bit of deception occurring with him and his actions do not sound to be congruent with his belief system. I do agree that it is difficult to pastor when our interests appear to be more of the "flesh." It sounds like right now he may even be distracted by all of these adventures and I wonder how he is able to focus on spiritual growth right now. I believe that life is often a "recursive" pattern and when we are living inside of God's Will we are more inside the middle of the recursive pattern, but when we become distracted or fall outside of His will, we move away from our spiritual gifts. We become more tempted to engage in behaviors that are not in line with our values and we lose our spiritual discernment. He may be so wrapped up in the attention he is receiving that he does not see the err of his ways or how his actions are actually harmful to those he is leading. It is often a "slow fade" when we fall outside of God's will and it is that moment that we wake up in the middle of our problems that we all of the sudden realize exactly how far we have moved away from what we mostly want. No one is immune to falling away from congruence but it is our job as Christian brother and sisters to maintain accountability in a loving manner without criticism. My encouragement would be that you not allow his role or pastoral job to affect how you view spirituality. You can establish your boundaries with him so that he understands that you are hurt by his actions and do not want to hear of his trysts with these women.
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
I have a book called "Soul Love" by Sanaya Roman and it talks of relationships. In one of the chapters it talks about "changing or releasing a relationship." It offers little tips about understanding the purpose of a relationship, even the painful ones. I really like Sanaya Roman, but she is "outside of the box" but we sometimes minimize our abilities in our finite beliefs. Basically what she says is that we can focus in remembering and affirming that nothing ever leaves unless something better is coming. Biblically, I think of sorrow in the night, but joy comes in the morning. In order for us to receive the gifts of experience, we have to be okay to accept that pain is a part of our emotional spectrum. I think of it like working out in the gym or exercising. We tear our muscles down when we lift weights in order to become stronger. I think that is an analogy for how we operate in relationships and through tough experiences. We cannot know real joy without knowing the real pain of heartache. You have to affirm that you are a lovable, worthy person and that the dissolution of this relationship is not a reflection of you that caused the separation. Leaving and changing the form of a relationship can be challenging, but try to leave in a harmonious way by speaking positively about the other.You have to remember that you can establish the boundaries necessary so that you are not affected by him and that may involve your focus on your own affirmations.I am an optimist and tend to believe that I can use positive self-talk to affirm who I am regardless of what or how others may say or treat me. That is where Louise Hay comes in. She teaches affirmations and talks about recognizing our worth to help us get through the pain. I make lists of affirmations and read through them every day- especially at the beginning of the day or before bed. It is a great way to start and end. It is somewhat like the serenity prayer for me. I think of the blessings I received through that hurt and how I am going to focus on being a better woman tomorrow. I have quotes all over my clinical office to inspire me, and others. Some of them say things like "courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow." I have had to learn to be patient with myself also. And accept that there are times when I am weak and hurt. God gave us a spectrum of emotions-- those emotions, even the painful ones, really are a gift. You have to remember that you are created for a purpose and you are the daughter of a king-- that kinda makes you a princess. HA. But, what I mean by that is your worth is far greater than the acceptance of another person.Please remember also that there is nothing wrong with using a bit of self-talk and self-love to reaffirm that. It's not self-indulgent- in fact it is appreciative for the blessings you have been granted. Try being patient with yourself but also telling yourself things such as "I am totally adequate for all situations." "I choose to feel good about myself. I am worthy of my own love." "I can stand on my own two feet. I accept and use my own power." "I take a deep breath and allow myself to relax. My entire body calms down." Some affirmations about relationships may be "I release the need for love, and instead, allow it to find me in the perfect time-space sequence." or "My heart is open and I speak with loving words." Even something like "I am comfortable looking in the mirror, recognizing who I am, and saying "I love you" to myself." For pain or forgiveness try "I am ready to be healed. I am willing to forgive. All is well." Or "I move beyond forgiveness or understanding. I have compassion for all." "Each day is a new opportunity. Yesterday is over and done. Today is the first day of my future." Even "the past has is over, so it has no power now. The thoughts of this moment create my future."Something that I learned about, after going through my own divorce to someone who had a pornography problem was that there was a difference in "forgiveness and acceptance."I am typing the following from the book “I Can Do It” by Louise Hay. I think it offers an amazing explanation.“Forgiveness is a tricky and confusing concept for many people, but understanding the difference in acceptance and forgiveness is important. Forgiving someone doesn’t mean that you condone their behaviors. The act of forgiveness takes place in your own mind. It really has nothing to do with the other person, The reality of true forgiveness lies in setting yourself free from the pain. It is an act of releasing yourself from the negative energy that you’ve been holding on to. Also forgiveness doesn’t mean allowing the painful behaviors or actions of another to continue in your life. Sometimes forgiveness means letting go. You forgive that person and then you release them. Taking and stand and setting healthy boundaries is often the most loving thing you can do. “You have the freedom to make your life anything that you want it to be because you have freedom of choice.
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
I would love to hear from you and receive your feedback. I hope that the information was helpful. Please let me know how I can continue to support you or if you have been satisfied with the answer.
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
I just wanted to follow up with you about the answer given. Let me know what you think :)
Expert:  CounselorJules replied 1 year ago.
Just wanted to follow up and ask you to provide a positive rating so that credit can be received for the answer given if you felt that it was helpful. A positive rating does not mean that our communication on the topic has to cease :) Thanks, Jules