How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Juliet Cooper Your Own Question
Juliet Cooper
Juliet Cooper,
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 48
Experience:  director at Temple Emanu-El Parenting Program
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Juliet Cooper is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My bf and I have been together for almost 3 years, amazing

This answer was rated:

My bf and I have been together for almost 3 years, amazing relationship in so many ways... unfortunately every week or so something comes out of left field and he accuses me of various things such as looking at other men trying to get their attention, that I dress provocatively, that I can't be trusted, that if my phone is on vibrate its because I'm trying to hide calls or texts from him from other men. That if I have to travel overnight for work I must be cheating and he'll break up with me over it. All of these accusations are so out of character for me, I've never been remotely accused of such things before. A little background... I'm 40 he is 45, he lost his wife 8 years ago to cancer, she was 38... they had 3 very young children. He lost his dad to cancer 2 mos prior to his wife. He is the primary caregiver for his children and has a very strong connection to his Greek culture, which is great, however does include many obsolete beliefs such as women not being equal to men. We have broken up more times than I can count, our communication is not great, although improved a bit... He wanted to live together early on but then backed away and we both agreed it was too soon given we have 7 children between us. We have started and stopped an addition on his home several times. An addition I had apprehension about as we don't need to for financial reasons, it is because his kids and he are connected to the home and the neighborhood and he doesn't want to start over. I have agreed to compromise and sacrifice to move into his home despite what all the books say to avoid that for several reasons. He never got grief counseling for himself or his children, it's not his way... he also refuses to believe that his irrational behaviors that have devastated us are a real problem. I've read alot online about grief and loss of a spouse and abandonment issues and paranoia, psychosis, mania.. etc... I'm not a clinician but he refused to believe me when I tell him I am not disrespecting him in any way. He has major commitment issues to the point that we aren't friends on social media because he is concerned if we were to break up that it would be awkward... so in one breathe he loves me so much... wants to live together but in the next breath he's always thinking when it ends... I have literally been a doormat and allowed his kids to treat me like crap for the first year or two by just ignoring me trying to break us up, etc... all because of their loss and I read as many books as I could find to help me be supportive and understand that complex situation. I have nothing left to give in this relationship and now he is continuing to be verbally and emotionally abusive towards me. I see the writing on the wall but I just wish and have begged him to go to counseling to understand why he is this way. He is such an amazing person and no one would believe me if I told them how he behaves when he gets into these fits of truly believing he's watched me try to make eye contact with random guys walking down the street... or if I have a random unexplained bruise on my body he accuses me of sleeping with another guy who bit me during sex... the irrational behavior and accusations go on and on... He refuses to go to counseling... keeps saying I'm the one with the problem and won't change... yet he will not leave me alone when I block him on the phone and beg him to leave me alone since he is the one always breaking us up. I met with a counselor I've seen over the years and he agreed that this is something I should absolutely run from... is there any chance this is salvageable? I don't know what else to do and I fear he has BPD and would benefit from DBT but again he won't even consider the idea that he could benefit from counseling... this is someone that has the means yet won't take his kids to the dentist because he believes they will just try to charge him for unnecessary services............ I'm so emotionally exhausted, what should I do? thanks
Hi and thank you for choosing Justanswer about your concerns. I'm Dr Ted Manos M.D. and can respond shortly.
You are "emotionally exhausted" and you need some peace. From doing the math, you have four children and he has three. I'm not sure what role your children play in this but you might spend more of your energy and time with them. Are there grandchildren yet? Your Greek man can be charming when he feels like it, and self-absorbed as a rule. For some reason you are in this relationship and either accept it or exit from it. I've known the Greek culture all my life with the pros and cons. My grandparents were called YiaYia and Papou so I can understand your situation.
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you
Hi, I am Dr. Juliet and will he happy to try to help you think through your decision ab
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Hi, I would prefer the answer via email. It looks like it's only giving me an option to speak by phone.If you responded via email I can't see the response, thanks.
Regarding your relationship. It sounds like a difficult decision and you have tried with the help of a professional to sort it out ( good for you). As I read over your narrative there are a few things I would like to highlight. All relationships have aspects that are wonderful and areas of challenge. It sounds like yours does as well, but the challenge and pain are outweighing the positives of the relationship. The balance is not what you want it to be and has become overwhelming. You describe your boyfriend as not willing and unable to look at how his behavior is negatively impacting you and the relationship. His jealousy and insecurities sound routed within him and not based on anything that is happening in realty. Unfortunately you are limited in having him see the need to change this behavior. I hear how much you have tried and it is naturally frustrating to have your efforts met with such resistance. So the question becomes what can you have control over...and that is you! It is actually quite an empowering idea that you can decide for yourself how to live your life and the choices you make. I do get that this idea is not easy to implement, but the great thing is that being in control of yourself gives you choices. So one choice you have to think about is can I live in a relationships that makes me feel incomfortable, frustrated and confused? People have to decide for themselves what they are willing to tolerate. Reading through your narrative, it's actually clear that you have already made the decision that you can't be in a relationship where someone else's issues are having such a negative impact on you. You have healthy instincts, so the focus should be on ttrying to implement them! Let me know your thoughts.
Excuse the earlier brief sentence, I just hit the send button by accident!
Please let me know whether you have received my response as I am not sure you have since I see your narrative reposted
Juliet Cooper,
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 48
Experience: director at Temple Emanu-El Parenting Program
Juliet Cooper and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you, ***** ***** helpful. I agree that every relationship has its good and bad and that's how I've typically looked at it. I've considered just apologizing for something I know I'm not doing just to move past the argument but that's not right and if I do that there are so many other things that he also accuses me of that it will be never ending. It's devastating that in the end he doesn't love me or us enough or himself really to address these deep routed issues that I know have plagued his other relationships. Added in the widower piece it is magnified. With all the reading I've done on the subject I thought maybe it was more about unprocessed grief and fear of abandonment from his loss and maybe it is but he refuses to even consider he has any emotional scars or any areas of opportunity in terms of changing his behaviors. He strongly believes he's seen me disrespect him by looking at other guys... I've offered lie detector tests..have someone follow me and video record my ever move.. I realize these things all seem crazy and I know I need to walk away and ignore his attempts at connecting with me unless he's willing to get support. I wondered if there were any thoughts or tactics you could offer that I could try for him to get some support. I know men tend to be more disconnected from their emotions and willingness to talk about feelings..even I could get him to read a book it would be a start but nothing.. thanks
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
received thank you
The difficult consequenc of this type of situations is that there tends to be a certain amount of self blame. So just to validate an important point, this is not about him not loving you enough, this is a problem inherent in his own personality. When you say you've considered lying to just appease him it is a sign you need to take care of yourself. I do understand this feels like an easy short-term strategy, but as you know in the long run it will not help. What concerns me for you is that it must feel terrible to have to consider compromising yourself in fear of his response. Inevitably this will only lead to you feeling worse about yourself and ultimately very angry at him. From what you write I know that you understand this. I appreciate that you are trying very hard to offer evidence to him with the hopes that it will lead to him thinking more reasonably, however unfortunately it does not work like that. You see you are approaching this with a reasonable rational mind set and he does not share this mindset. So no Amount of evidence is going to matter. I know it is so frustrating!
You are trying hard to understand his complicated behavior. Your boyfriend has been through a lot of trauma and I'm sure he harbors a great deal of pain. However, in relationships empathy and understanding is essential, but at a certain point when it's hurting you too much you have to reconsider.
I do want to address your question about whether you think there's anything you can do to move him in the direction of getting help. First off when he spirals into a jealous rage try not to engage him in conversation about it i.e. trying to prove yourself giving him evidence etc.. try to remain as neutral as possible with the hopes of having a discussion at a time when he is not emotionally stirred up. My guess is that you probably have tried to do this...what has his reaction been?
Second, I am wondering about whether there are other people in his life with whom he feels close to? You might try to engage others in helping him to seek out help. Is he involved with communities where he feels connected i.e. Religious institution?
Finally, he might need to feel the impact of losing you before he is willing to think about his own behavior.
Thanks for accepting my response but I wanted to add these few extra thoughts .
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
Thank you, we've agreed to set aside the accusations for now and try to work on developing mutual trust in the relationship. From what I've read if we can learn how to trust hopefully the insecurities and fear of abandonment will also subside. Is this something you could help us with? Either by phone or email or combination of both? Thanks
That is a great move in a positive direction! Try to keep your expectations realistic so you don't end up feeling disappointed. Change takes time and effort. I would be happy to support you. However, it would be most effective if you two could see a couples counselor together. See if that is a possibility.