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6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

Doc@DrIrene.com

Comments for New Relationship

Comments for New Relationship

Material posted here is intended for educational purposes only, and must not be considered a substitute for informed advice from your own health care provider.

Courtesy of Dr. Irene Matiatos  Copyrightę 2000. The material on this website may be distributed freely for non-commercial or educational purposes provided that author credit is given. For commercial distribution, please contact the author at Doc@drirene.com

 

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2000

S1

Ginny, It seems to me this gentleman James played the game of trying to control your emotions and reactions to his own benefit. In my opinion, He set up the whole tampon scenario just so he could control the outcome and feel the glow of short-lived goodness. He wanted you to see the tampons, have a jealous, insecure reaction, and (this is important) BE IN NEED OF EMOTIONAL RESCUING. He may well have had a mother who was this fragile, and helplessly replicates what he felt compelled to do as a child, ie rescue the insecure woman. He may feel "not OK" about himself, and need to pull these stunts to feel "OK". Back to the story: in James's head, you are jealous and reeling, and he MAKES YOU OK, (plays God, in his head) and scores mucho points on his mental scoreboard, points which he again needs in order to ward off feelings of insecurity. Additionally, he wanted to look good by being thoughtful of your sanitary needs, PERHAPS, although to this man (me) this is bizarre- what women would come to her boyfriend's house unequipped with tampons during her period? No one I've ever dated! So who knows? in this respect maybe he's just clueless, or perhaps the women James has dated in the past really were forgetful about their menstrual cycle and he thinks he's really doin you a favor, or any of his other female "guests". Whatever; like you Ginny, I too get a headache from endless speculation. Sometimes people just act wacky. In any case- it sounds like James stakes his ego in controlling people's reactions. I believe you did the right thing. I believe, additionally, that you don't ever have to verbally justify dating or not dating someone. Follow your guts! It's your life, not anyone else's. If someone says, "Explain why you dumped/ dated so and so" tell them "Because I wanted to, because I felt like it" etc., and if they persist, realize it's their problem, and politely end the conversation because you feel like it. By the way, about the fact that you reviewed your old relationships with him so quickly- ok to a point, but relationships are about the future, not the past, and this is true whether we are eighteen or eighty! Your journey........... D.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2000

S1

Dear Ginny,

I like everything that Dr Irene said about your relationship with James. He is bad news, my opinion. Most important--you were aware of, and trusted your thoughts and feelings. Good for you!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2000

S1

I just feel like if you have to ask all of these questions to begin with that something is not right. Good job not to be available to someone who can not give you what you need in a relationship....so many women would have continued the relationship just to say they had one...   Way to go.....Becky

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2000

S1

Good Job Ginny

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 23, 2000

S1

Everything Ginny says about this guy shouts out to me that he is not to be trusted. Sounds like he has some other things going on in his life that he does not want you to be part of If he really cared, a TV program should not stop him from talking. You were the one doing all the running and trying to keep in touch at the end. There was just too many warning signs and things not to ignore. Forget about him and move on with your life and look for someone who really cares and respects you for who you are, and doesn't ignore your feelings and bother with you only at his convenience. You deserve better, and somewhere out there, are some others that really care.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

Sister Ginny, This insident: >>Another time I called, he was watching TV. I offered to hang up and he could call me whenever; he said "no," and we had a conversation. But, I started feeling like I was an imposition or something, like a bother to him.<<

I can assure you was abusive, espically with the other red flags. I agree with Dr. Irene that, "this man strikes me as a withholding type as opposed to an aggressive type controller. He specializes in sins of omission." My ex-abuser was very covert, he could withhold attention while pretending AND appearing to give it. The FACT is you "felt" like an imposition or something. Most people are going to be doing something when you call. As are you when you get calls. Out of habit/politeness? we often ask "What are you doing?" to the person we are calling and most often people reply, "Oh, nothing", (unless what they were doing could be a conversation starter and of true interest to you also). Then you/the caller would begin to talk and eventually get around to why you are calling. During the phone conversation you usually won't even have a clue as to what the other person was doing before you called. This tactic also has the added benifit of throwing you off balance. That is what he was attempting to do with the tampons also. As Dr. Irene said, he was NOT being thoughtful to you. Why would you leave tampons out on display when you had a guest over?????????????? Who does that? Did he have guest soap, towels and other travel sized toiletries too? You should NEVER consider seeing this man again. He would likely take up several more months of your life; winning you back before repeating the push and pull cycle for you to "confirm" OR WORSE he would learn to be more covert with you and create endless different tactics. He gave you plenty of red flags. Reguardless, you did not appriciate the way he treated someone he supposedly cared for. That whole hospital thing was him witholding closeness between the 2 of you. For the iceing he has had visitors already and you wern't one of them. Get rid of him for GOOD and congrats on spotting so many things. Most of them could have been dismissed if it were ONLY one thing. A-

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

WOMANAZER !!!!!

From a man's perspective, it is strange he has never been married before. Also, I suspect he is playing the field... Watching TV is a poor excuse... ever hear of call waiting???? It is possible he was on the phone with someone else.

NOOOOOO GOOD !!!! VICTOR

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

she did the right thing sounds to me that he's a bit insecure relationships take time . how can or are more women becoming verbally abuse today more so than years ago with stressful jobs - family pressure- plus can self esteem have anything to do with being verbally abuse?ouoh

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

It is good to see Ginny's letter. The topic of how to form good relationships after getting out of an abusive one deserves more discussion and attention.

Having divorced an abuser in the past year, I'be begun dating casually and have realized how much my expectations of people were colored by the two years that I was married to T. I'm wary but enjoying meeting people who listen to my feelings and do not respond defensively if I bring up something. And who change their behavior so as not to bother me in the future i.e., remembering to call when they said they would.

It's a whole different world out there when you realize that you're worthy of respect and demand that others treat you with respect. I'm glad to see from her letter and your responses that indeed I'm on the right track-I worry about dating too early, but right now I view it as an opportuntity to put into practice some of the things I've learned when we went to maritial counseling and my own individual therapy. I also worry about what will happen if I find someone I really like, will I be able to trust again, but that's a subject for another article.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

Reading this reminds me of the good old days when I was dating my husband. The problem is, I excused his behavior and allowed me to be treated like a puppet on a string. When he pushed me away too far I would give up and say, the heck with this. This made him want to persue me and the cycle begins. I wish I had seen the "red flags" because in retrospect they were all their for me...I just did not know about them at the time. This is unfortunate because I ended up marrying this man (I think only because he thought I wanted another man I had met through business)and the consequences have been devastating. I am glad that you had seen the signs, if not you would have danced the dance over and over and perhaps ended up marrying him for some reason or another. You are annoyed with things as they are so early on in your relationship. Try doing the same thing with a few kids in the ratio. Good for you! Start with a clean slate, I think you will not have any problems finding a man worthy of you love!

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

I say that Ginny is 'one smart cookie'. I must have been unconcious or dead when I met my present partner. i didn't see the red flags. I sure see tehm now! I'm in pretty deep now and am trying to find a way to extricate myself from this mess in the best and least expensive way possible. The latest was just last night when he asked me what time I awoke in the a.m. --that shows how much he knows about me-- and would I please awaken him at 8:00 a.m. I didn't say yes or no. I just asked a little later. "Was it 8:00 you wanted me to awaken you?" He sisn't answer. Iwent to bed and he didn't come to bed gfor an hour. HE would be overtired and I had too awaken him? i didn't. He woke up at 8:20 and didn't say a thing. He is a big boy and can look after himself. He is a withholding, push/pull kind of guy.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 24, 2000

S1

WISH I WOULD HAVE DONE THAT. SIMILIAR THING. GOOD LOOKING GUY, RED FLAGS. 6 YEARS LATER I'M WITH HIM AND IT IS A NIGHTMARE. THEY NVER STOP.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2000

S1

Woe....that tampon box scenario he set up is something else. What unbelievable gall. This guy plays head games. Good for you for seeing him for what he is really all about. It's no surprise he came on so strongly and quickly fizzeled out. Such typical cad like behavior. Count your lucky stars, because you just avoided a misogynist, and saved yourself a lot of grief and heartache. Way to go girl...give your a huge pat on the back.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2000

S1

Great story and feedback from Dr. Irene...although I'm a little more suspicious than she was! I strongly feel that James may have been seeing someone else. The tampons make NO sense. If he cared enough to buy you tampons "just in case", he would have cared enough to always put YOU before television. Just not consistently thoughtful.... Clue #2 - the fact that he was not available at work (perhaps seeing someone at work?) is strange. If someone has nothing to hide, they are usually reachable at all locations. AND, the fact that he had major surgery and needed no help from you is very suspicious. Usually, we rely on our closest counterparts to help in those situations...he didn't talk to you for several days and had friends in and out?. Either way, whether he was seeing someone else or just emotionally unavailable, you did the RIGHT thing by listening to your intuition. CONGRATULATIONS!

Good luck with your next venture! LHW

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2000

S1

Bravo to Ginny! I feel that most people would have been totally sucked in and the cycle started all over again. It says a great deal about her strength and how far she has come in her healing. Good for her. The email and Dr. Irene's responses are excellent and point out some of the subtleties of this emotional disease. cc

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2000

S1

Way to go! :)

There are plenty of men in the world, and I don't think this one is for you.

I'm not religious myself, but I understand the religion is important to many people. I think that even if he wasn't controlling, you probably wouldn't not have lived happily ever after with this holding the two of you apart.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, April 27, 2000

S1

The guy is not interested in you. Plain and simple. Isn't that obvious? His actions have nothing to do with abusive or controlling behavior; to try to categorize them as such is no different than the current fad of trying to blame others (parents who raised you, etc.) instead of accepting the situation and recognizing that you can control your own attitude and actions without laying blame on others for your feelings. for the negative issues that everyone wades through in their life at one time or another. Why oh why did you call him back after you told him not to call you?. Let it go. Drop it. Move on. That is the best form of closure. Calling him to tell him you felt disrespected only opened the door to more discussion. Why would you want to do that?

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, April 28, 2000

S1

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who posted comments for me. I know a lot of this stuff is probably a "no brainer" for some folks, but when you are new the dating game after being married for so many years, there are lots of things to learn :)

....and as a side note, for some reason I forgot to tell Dr. Irene about some "real" red flags from this guy - geeez, how could I forget these things?

1. he told me that he had tried to kill himself about 10 yrs ago from a failed relationship, played Russian roulette w/ loaded gun....

2. he told me that he was considering "going back into psychotherapy because he had *issues*" (I didn't pry...) - AND

3. he told me that he burned up some of his ex-girlfriends belongings when they split up, he said he did some "bad things"....(again, I did not pry)

sometimes I guess I just really want to believe the best in people, to a fault ! :)

thanks again friends, Ginny

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, April 29, 2000

S1

Ginny, Whew! Good you got away from this guy!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, April 30, 2000

S1

You are lucky to have gotten away from this controlling man. My last boyfriend was a controller in both subtle and obvious ways, and when I broke up with him he started stalking behaviors. Had I been aware of the dangers of controlling behaviors when I started dating him, I would have ended the relationship much, much sooner, and I would not have given him a second chance.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

I have a comment on something Ginny wrote, or more to the point, what Dr. Irene responded. That is that Ginny had called and he had had surgery, and friends over and work was tying him up, etc. Dr. Irene said that he should have called even though he said all those things kept him busy. This is not a married couple. Work could have called and friends could have stopped by unannounced. I don't think he was controlling her (on this particular issue anyway). I think to assume that he should call her even though he just got home from surgery, had work to do, and had friends there is controlling.

Other than that, I congratulate this girl that she figured it out, although towards the end of her letter, I was seeing her as more and more co-dependent and I think she is lucky that he didn't call back, because I think she would be prone to continue to play his game as long as he continued. I'm curious to know if he has called back since she wrote this letter and what the status of their relationship is.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 03, 2000

S1

Way to go Ginny!!! Sounds like you have really learned a lot and are using it too!!! Great Choice!!! Take Care of Yourself!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2000

S1

I think that James was testing her to see if she was the kind of person who would put up with the abuse. I myself have been in that situation (5 years!) and I wish i would have payed such close attention to his behavior right off the bat! GOOD JOB, GINNY!

neilsonannam@hotmail.com

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2000

S1

His pattern of behavior is that of a man who is running several women at once. I agree with the withholding diagnosis. He's a shopper and a bargain hunter. You have been in this position before but,although discussed and questioned, fail to read the signals of another woman's presence.His time management for one then the issue of tampons. No man keeps tampons for just in case......not even a doctor's office. Either they are left over from his past, sister, mother or left over from the a weekend tryst but men do not stock up on hygine products. Your turn to run, run as fast as you can away from him.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

S1

are ya kiddin>>>>>> no two people get along all the time, some chose to leave.........some stay......no one is perfect.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, May 16, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, May 26, 2000

S1

This was an excellent and helpful e-mail. Thanks.

My question is, why is it bad when a relationship starts off quickly. I am working very hard on my own co-dependent behaviors so I won't end up with another abuser. I look back and always see quick starts.

Thanks,

Suzanne

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 12, 2000

S1

This example really hits home and I realized it can apply to friendships also not just romantic connections. I have a girlfriend who moved in really quickly calling me daily and wanting weekly commitments of my time. I felt consumed by her attention. Then she began borrowing continually and I had to repeatedly ask for her to return my things when she kept them long overdue. I have restrained the relationship to one visit about every 6-8 weeks which is fine for me but she continues to ask if I am mad at her and I continue to tell her I am a mother with 4 children and very busy and that is all I have time for. I feel many thoughts of guilt but I know I don't need to have that wasted emotion. I set my boundaries and if she continues to lay guilt on my path I may end the visits all together. Teri

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday, July 13, 2000

S1

Always listen to your gut! I was in and out of a similar relationship for 3 years...*YIKES* Basically being strung along with sporadic emails, and reappearances and disappearance. Finally, we got together a few months ago, he moved in right away, and went to counseling together, because he "couldn't go on in his life without me" and "you mean the world to me", etc. I was not sure, felt like I couldn't trust him, didn't want to believe he was really there, and hey, I was right! Turns out, and I am not trying to be dramatic--this is really true-- he is a sociopath, and can't tell the truth at all. He manipulated me so well, was the perfect actor, told the most incredible lies, proclaiming his love for me daily, etc. I knew there was something wrong, something strange, and when he didn't come home one night I told him to come and get his belongings. I found out how truly sick he was after that. I feel so good to know that I am free of him forever now. And it feels soooo good to not be abused anymore...AND it feels good to know that my intuition and instinct were RIGHT!!! :) ***hooray*** Thanks for your great site!

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, July 30, 2000

S1

This is a great story. I read and hear so much about respect and disrespect, but nobody really talks about what that means in the practical everyday sense. My couples therapist tells my partner all the time that he needs to be careful that he argues with "respect" to my feelings. But he goes on and yells at me, and when I tell him that he's being disrespectful, he screams "NO, I'M NOT!!!" Respect, as a concept, is used too much in the abstract. It's the nitty gritty of everyday life--calling when you say you'll call, speaking in a warm, or at least normally conversational, tone of voice, being direct, yet calm, about your needs--that communicates the real essence of respect.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, August 23, 2000

S1

Ginny, I think you made the best decision. If you feel bad at that point in a relationship then chances are that you are not going to feel much better after more pulling and pushing. Please don't dwell on this.Just focus on yourself and if any more relationships come along, take them slow and enjoy yourself (that's what love and relationships should be about)

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 26, 2000

S1

Almost exactly the same thing happened to me recently, also with a race car enthusiast. (I eventually decided the racing was just another type of arousal addiction, which was really a substitute for a relationship.) My "relationship" (or maybe it was just an "experience") lasted about one very intense month. The guy was the most extreme case of Jekyll and Hyde I ever came across -- extremely warm, attentive, flattering, and disarmingly "sincere" (possibly a sociopathic seduction) at first, and then, when I started to respond (although not totally believing it all), suddenly avoidant, hostile, and verbally abusive. I also noticed a number of red flags from the start but just filed them away until I had more evidence. When I started to really dislike how I was feeling (defensive, needy, and to blame for his apparent suddent loss of interest), I decided, in effect, to sabotage the whole thing. That is, I tried to discuss my feelings with him, giving him a chance to redeem himself, knowing this would probably result in more abusive behavior and the end of it all. He flunked the test miserably, showing virtually no concern about my feelings and acting like it was all an attack on him by some pathetic woman with a problem. He basically hung up on me, although implying he would get back to me after he ruminated for a while. His only eventual response was stalking -- a very specific pattern of telephone hangups on my machine and to me. The whole thing was very bizarre. He devoted a lot of effort to basically jerking me around, and I have a hard time believing that is very satisfying for anyone.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, August 28, 2000

S1

Ginny: I really admire how you've handled this. It is so difficult for me not to let my normal desire for a close relationship be preyed upon when a man is so charming and "warm." It's very confusing. And if the man is in a recovery program, as I am, and doing recovery workshops, and reading recovery books, and acknowledging some of his problems, it's really hard for me to know to what degrees his healthy/adult side and his damaged/immature side are controlling his life until I have enough information. My guy was very sweet and complimentary at first, but also scared me by pursuing me too hard. At the beginning, I found myself crying at work, I was so confused, so afraid of getting into another miserable relationship. Pretty soon I gave in. I wasn't sure what all the red flags meant, until I got more information. But, once I let myself get swept away, I also wasn't as cautious as I had decided I needed to be. Once it got more intense, and physical, and he opened up to me about a lot of really intimate stuff, and his insecurities, and I was very loving and accepting, he started to do the yo-yo push-pull thing. Then when I expressed concern at his sudden change in behavior, he got nasty on the phone, accused me of feelings and attitudes I didn't have, wouldn't listen, hung up, then called back later and said he was sorry, sounded like he was crying, etc. When I saw him next he was calm, and we had what seemed like a good talk. That pattern was repeated. But overall I got the feeling that my feelings didn't matter to him. Here are some of his knee-jerk, uncompassionate reactions to times I said (pretty respectfully, I think) that I felt hurt by or angry about something he did, or thought something he did caused a problem for me that I wanted to discuss: 1. "This is how it starts, pick, pick, pick, just the way my mother constantly picked on my father. She was always getting hurt." (angry put-down). I asked how his father reacted and he said "He would take it, and take it, and take it, and then explode." (bad Mother, victim Father) 2. "That's your problem!" (angry, closed). 3. "That's your interpretation!" (angry, closed). 4. "How long are you going to feel that way?" (annoyed, distant, defensive). 5. "I need someone who can take a gut hit and not fall apart." (self-righteous, scared). This one really freaked me out! 6. "I can't be held hostage to your feelings!" (panicky and hostile). "You're very much like my mother." 7. "I'm a compassionate person, but I can't be compassionate when I'm the one who's caused the pain!" (raising voice, acting hostile, claiming to be not angry but afraid). This one felt like my worst nightmare--as if my abusive father were speaking directly through him. I actually got cold all over and felt my body going numb. But at other times he's acted really reasonable, and showed some growth. When I met him, he said "I really don't want to mess up this time." He's had two failed marriages, and made it clear he wanted to get married again. Of course, his almost immediate idea that we were a "good match" was a big red flag. But I think he was really being sincere. Unfortunately, I haven't seen evidence that he's really willing to do what it takes, or even aware of what it takes, to really recover. I think to a large degree he's on auto-pilot, and he thinks that "recovery," adopted in a superficial way, is another magic fix. He thinks if he decides not to be codependent any more, he can fix it just by thinking that! At other times, he's said "That's just my (inner) little kid, wanting unconditional love, and I know that's not possible." I do love this man, but I hate his disease. I'm not into condemning all these people, because I think their behavior comes from being very wounded. But that doesn't mean I can afford to be their victim. So often I forget to ask the question "But what about ME? What about MY feelings?" I'm so conditioned to accepting crumbs of love, covered with tons of pain, because that's all I got as a child. This all came to a head the last time I saw him, four days. We had a wonderful time making love, and then, late a night, when we really needed to go to sleep so we could both get up at 6 am for work, he surprised me by picking a fight. He got verbally abuse about one of my sexual boundaries, which he wanted me to give up (I won't). He pushed me so hard I suddenly raised my voice and said sharply, "I have a right to have some sexual boundaries!" He was startled. In the morning (Thurs.), when he left, he was uncharacteristically noncommittal and offhand about when we could get together again. I asked "How about Saturday?" He said "Possibly, we'll see, my kids might want to do something with me. I'll give you a call." Our pattern has been to get together at least once on the weekend. He even said once "Saturday could be 'our night'" since Sunday's the only day we both have off. But no call until Sunday afternoon--a message on my machine when he knew I would be out doing some volunteer work. He acted as if nothing unusual had happened between us. "Give me a call if you feel like it." Well, I didn't like it. Ever since Thursday I've been processing all this, attending my 12-step meetings (Survivors of Incest Anonymous (SIA) and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), which I highly recommend) and reading the wonderful book "Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them" by Dr. Susan Forward. At this point, Monday morning, I have gotten the terror of him out of my head. I can admit that I love a very wounded, desperate man. And I cannot continue with things the way they've been. The only hope would be if he were so motivated to heal himself and "not mess up this time" that he made a really monumental effort to work on his stuff and not terrorize me. I think that's highly unlikely, but I guess I'm willing to offer that possibility to him as long as I don't have to get traumatized further. But how? Until I could exorcise the terror, I was twisting myself up in knots trying to rehearse how I would tell him my position without setting him off. Now I see that any reasonable, mature, respectful mode of communication should be good enough. If he can't respond maturely to such an ultimatum, there's no hope. Thanks so much for reading my very long letter. Any feedback will be appreciated. "Nutmeg"

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2000

S1

good for you Ginny! you are a strong person and did the right thing - i wish i could have done that when i was in my last 2 year relationship!

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2000

S1

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, October 08, 2000

S1

Dear Ginny, I have started recently to read and learn about sex addiction. After years and years of verbal and sometimes physical abuse, and after my husband had left I had much more time to educate myself and read Dr. Irene's wonderful site. All these years I believed that my husband's first problem was alcohol. He would always say "It's not alcohol" (the problem). I did not believe him and he was not commenting further. He was right. His first problem has been sex addiction. Some parts of your story take me right to our first years of dating and marriage. We also started quite fast and he was pursuing me often. The dynamics of your relationship reminds me of my relationship with my husband. Especially the part about not calling you for three days. My husband did exactly the same thing. After sixteen years of having a sex addict for the husband who was leading a double life and not being able to catch him in action ever, I can tell you what his motives were, based on sixteen years of intuition, observing details, doubts, suffering and unfortunately denial. The goal was to check out how hooked had you become. (A red flag). He called you back and said that he was with some friends. A huge red flag - read: I was with another woman. Fact that you felt politely dismissed-no. He was asking for some time to decide between you and another woman. Think: that situation coming out of the hospital is an ideal oportunity for him to ask compasionate female friends, girlfriends and prospective girlfriends for help and some sex on the side even with the cast on.(Believe me). A huge red flag for me was "the tampon incident". In my opinion he was trying to get you used to the idea that he has another women, all the time. My husband-sex addict has been so secretive that even his closest male friends did not know about that. Sex addiction was very embarasing for him because in order to have enough encounters he had to lower the expectations and he would usually choose unatractive, unsecure, unimployed women, divorced, never married single moms and believe me or not wifes of friends who were always much older than him. What does that mean? His older friends were not able to satisfy their wives, so here he comes! At the other hand, I, his wife am very attractive and sexy so he was able to keep the image alive. I, the attractive, sexy wife was suppose not to suspect his infidelity with all those unatractive women. When I was asking for explanations, he was always telling me that I was crazy, I was the only one. Your boyfriend's constant TV watching reminded me of my husband too. Now I am explaining it to myself as a "sobriety" phase when my husband was trying to stay at home, or recuperate or simply he was satisfied for the time being. He was allways mad when I asked him to turn off TV after hours of watching. That was his another drug, besides alcohol and sex. I started to relize the truth and to connect and explain all the details I remembered through all these years after I read Dr. Irene's respond to a guy on "antisocial behavior" site. The advice was "Try to put yourself in their shoes". So after I sat down and tried to put myself in his shoes I relized the truth; he was empty, cold, unhappy and lonely all the time. Let me get back to your boyfriend. He realized that your actions were not enough co-dependent to stay on his list for prospective wifes. His wife has to be very co-dependent (as I was to my husband) so he can get away with murder and have his numerous sick relationships on the side. My prognosis: when he becomes your ex-boyfriend, and after a longer period of time, he will call you and try to establish occasional sexual encounters with you. Good luck in trying to avoid him completely. P.S. If you ever become lonely and sex needy and if you call him he will jump to that opportunity "in the name of old friendship". A.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 08, 2000

S1

good for you. i wish i had been as aware in the relationship i was in, i did not see the signs( or perhaps ignored them) and got too involved too quickly.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000

S1

Wow! This is just what i need to read thanks for sharing this. I just ended a similar situation with a guy who would be oh so sweet but insecure, jealous. He would literally run away whenever I tried discussing how i felt. I always felt horrible. He would get close but then say he was sick and avoid me. I would go home for the weekend then he would complain that i was never around on weekends-however when i tried spending time with him on the weekends he could only stand to be around me for a few hours. Sometimes he looked so depressed around me & others he was cheery It was a rollercoaster! I tried helping him out too much-my rescuer issue. The last straw was when i showed up with a list of the bad effects Marijuana has on your motivation, health. He got up & left me there at the restaurant-luckily we arrived in our own cars- he was also upset that i did not give him a job reference-i didn't cause it was against company policy. This other time we went on a weekend trip-12 hour drive- he over reacted cause some kids dirtied our tent so he turned around & we came back even though i pleaded hoim not tooo. I should of stayed broken up with him after that but he said he was sorry.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000

S1

Wow! This is just what i need to read thanks for sharing this. I just ended a similar situation with a guy who would be oh so sweet but insecure, jealous. He would literally run away whenever I tried discussing how i felt. I always felt horrible. He would get close but then say he was sick and avoid me. I would go home for the weekend then he would complain that i was never around on weekends-however when i tried spending time with him on the weekends he could only stand to be around me for a few hours. Sometimes he looked so depressed around me & others he was cheery It was a rollercoaster! I tried helping him out too much-my rescuer issue. The last straw was when i showed up with a list of the bad effects Marijuana has on your motivation, health. He got up & left me there at the restaurant-luckily we arrived in our own cars- he was also upset that i did not give him a job reference-i didn't cause it was against company policy. This other time we went on a weekend trip-12 hour drive- he over reacted cause some kids dirtied our tent so he turned around & we came back even though i pleaded hoim not tooo. I should of stayed broken up with him after that but he said he was sorry.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, November 13, 2000

S1

Wow! This is just what i need to read thanks for sharing this. I just ended a similar situation with a guy who would be oh so sweet but insecure, jealous. He would literally run away whenever I tried discussing how i felt. I always felt horrible. He would get close but then say he was sick and avoid me. I would go home for the weekend then he would complain that i was never around on weekends-however when i tried spending time with him on the weekends he could only stand to be around me for a few hours. Sometimes he looked so depressed around me & others he was cheery It was a rollercoaster! I tried helping him out too much-my rescuer issue. The last straw was when i showed up with a list of the bad effects Marijuana has on your motivation, health. He got up & left me there at the restaurant-luckily we arrived in our own cars- he was also upset that i did not give him a job reference-i didn't cause it was against company policy. This other time we went on a weekend trip-12 hour drive- he over reacted cause some kids dirtied our tent so he turned around & we came back even though i pleaded hoim not tooo. I should of stayed broken up with him after that but he said he was sorry.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, January 13, 2001

S1

That last simple thing: to not want a relationship that makes one feel badly! This is genius.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2001

S1

I have been in a similar situation for the last two and a half years. He would provoke me, I would try and stay calm (to no avail usually), then I'd get annoyed, he would react to my reaction and shift the blame to me now and forget the original provocation by himself, then apologize, and when all was said and done, I would feel guilty like maybe it was all my fault or maybe I was too hard on him. This went on for a couple of years. I can relate and it is so frustrating and mind altering. For me, it took a really scary situation that he left me in to look clearly at the picture and see him for who he really was.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2001

S1

I would like some more information on controlling partners. i did a web search, butnot much came up. I guess I anm looking for the signs etc.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, August 26, 2001

S1

Here's a couple of things to think about: Regarding the "bathroom-tampons" incident, two thoughts filled my mind. First, he lied about the tampons. There were probably left by another woman, most likely a regular visitor. When he went into the bathroom after you and saw them, he panicked. The story made it sound like he was a nice guy. Second, when he was at your place and fixed the toilet paper roll, while he was looking for a "tool" to make the repair, HE SEARCHED YOUR ENTIRE BATHROOM! You should have felt violated, that was a correct instinct, you just didn't know why. The part about his ankle surgery caught my attention the most. After two knee surgeries in the past six years, I can tell you that he was drugged up for a day or two at the least. However, being drugged up would remove any possibility of "being busy". Sleepy yes, busy no. In addition, there's no way you can function on your own directly after the surgery. You NEED someone to take care of you. And, unless he had an over-proctective mother with time on her hands, the "nurse-maid" role usually falls to the significant other. Since you weren't there, that wasn't you. Bottom line: you call those you're interested in. After all the games, beyond the "should I call" questions, if someone is interested, they will call.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, October 08, 2001

S1

Ginny! That's who I want to be when I grow up someday!! Thanks Ginny & Dr. Irene for sharing. I start counseling (again) on Wednesday. God Bless You Both, Sara

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2001

S1

Hello and thank you all for wonderful input on these pages. One thing I've noticed is that some of us "recovering codepedents", often get out of an dysfunctional relationship, and then think we are supposed to find someone "nice". So, we swing to the other side, finding someone who we are not attracted to, or in love with, but who seems "nice". I think it is important to emphasize that physical and spiritual love IS important, and honoring the need to "have it all".It is not just simply finding a partner who is not abusive. Choosing "an opposite" is also somewhat codependent... Hope I am making sense... /Kristina

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, December 04, 2001

S1

I loved that story! what a lesson - i met a "push-pull" man on the web and he matched much of Jame's description - mixed messages & controlling - after he "dumped" me he continued to e:mail as if nothing had happened - (he never phoned) i just decided not to respond to his e:mail anymore - it felt like such a good choice but it was hard because i had liked him so well - but i know it was the right choice -

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, April 29, 2002

S1

MY NAME IS PAMELA AND I'M SO GLAD FOR YOU. FOUR YEARS AGO IF I HAD DID THE SAME, I WOULD NOT BE IN THE PROCESS OF GETTING OVER SOMEONE WHO IS SO SICK.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2002

S1

Way to go Ginny....what progress. Feels powerful doesn't it? hoorah!!!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, June 07, 2002

S1

Wow, wonderful story and wonderful replies! It is amazing to read through the stages in a relationship all at once and be able to see the progression in a confident woman to an insecure unhappy one, to be able to see the manipulation and how it starts off small and then grows and grows.

Someone responded that it is just a case of the man not being interested but those of us who have been involved with with holding controllers know that they go over the top in the beginning to be there all the time, to get you to believe they are intrested just so they can later use your investment against you. If they don't give you anything in the beginning then there is nothing for them TO with hold so it is not a matter of the victim getting it out of proportion.

Thanks to this site for teaching me so much.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, June 10, 2002

S1

BRAVO

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 25, 2002

S1

Ginny, I'm in a 8 year relationship with a man who is the "Push-Pull" type. He's a withholding controller. I've always sensed this about him, but ignored the little red flags FOREVER. We are now married (6 years) but separated right now, seeking marriage counseling because I can't live this way anymore. I do love him, but can't handle the emotional distance and cat & mouse games we've been playing. I've felt so lonely and insecure and have tried in vain to change him...to be good enough so that he'll love me openly. What a joke that is. You were smart to end it when you did (is it still over?). I tried to end our relationship several times in the beginning but he always made excuses that sounded good. And I ignored my intuition. Ahh, hind sight... And I've asked him to leave this time with hope that a good marriage counselor can help us. If not, the road I'll take will be the one that takes me far away from here.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, July 10, 2002

S1

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

I decided to end a 6-week relationship (an emotional rollercoaster one at best) and was having doubts.

This has helped me to reaffirm my decision. Although I have a lot to learn and things to heal from, this not the man or situation I choose to experience it in.

I believe we can heal and learn without destroying our SELF in the process. Sometimes I forget that and regress to the familiar...

THANK YOU FOR saving me from a lot of heartache and self abuse. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU!!!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, July 12, 2002

S1

As a Christian I support your (and the Bible's) view: "Do not be unequally yoked"! If he isn't a believer you will have one of the greatest challanges (other than finances) in a marriage to overcome. Even if the guy isn't abusive, if he isn't following the same roadmap as you it will be a rough road.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, August 10, 2002

S1

I love this site. I read it when I was going through a divorce two years ago. At that time I was working with a man I was interested in. He was giving mixed signals and had a hot temper. I read this site like the Bible and decided that man was not for me. The knowledge I have received from this site has just recently saved me from getting into another potentially very devastating relationship. Unfortunately I let this last one go further, ignoring the red flags. Why? Because this was someone I "knew" from my youth. Was I na´ve! It all started with me looking up an old admirer from college. This is a guy I steered clear of then and should have steered clear of now! (Red flag number one!) I should have trusted the instincts from my youth. I was 20 when I met him, the friend of a guy I was dating. This guy was a womanizer and was always chasing me. When I looked him up I saw he was now a well-respected professor who had become an advisor to presidents and had just written a major best seller. Surprised by his success I sent him an email just for fun seeing if he remembered me. He did and was so happy to hear from me. We started emailing and he asked for my phone number. The calls started coming and we joked and got re-acquainted. I loved the attention and thought of us as good friends. He was married to a very successful and intelligent woman. But he lived in the US and I lived abroad, so the chances of anything serious happening were not so great, I thought. After a few weeks we discussed meeting in the summer since he traveled a lot. I suggested he drop by sometime and I would show him around. He said he would be in Vienna in the summer. Why didn't I come to visit him? He would be there on business. Everything would be on the up and up. Very soon our "friendship" started taking a romantic tone. He started talking about us traveling together, about meeting my daughter, etc. My 20-year-old daughter warned me but I figured it was all talk on his part. The phone calls became more and more frequent with him spending 45 minutes on the phone three to four times a week. He sent me his best seller; he read excerpts from it. He told me right out that he wanted me to admire him. I was on top of the world and wondering if I was falling for him. He told me I was a beautiful person. I noticed his "take charge attitude" (red flag) early on but brushed it off. What I did not realize then was that my friend had actually been contemplating divorcing his wife for me! (He told me this later, after he had changed his mind.) Presumptuous of him, I thought, since we hadn’t been in touch in 30 years. I realized then that he was the one deciding the whole way the relationship would go. Anyway, after about three months he got "cold feet" saying we could be VERY, VERY close but that we could never be together. He said something about misunderstanding, etc. Please forgive him. He called three days later with his tail between his legs. After that he continued calling and said nothing had changed and that he was in love with me. I started to wonder what was going on and started to lose interest. The phone calls became a bit more bizarre. He wondered if I was into "biting" and "spanking". (Red flag) I thought he was joking. My friend was traveling a lot to isolated areas of the world and was not in contact more than once a week. Vienna finally arrived. What a shock! Mr. Wonderful (the joking, funny guy on the phone) was suddenly very serious and very controlling. I hadn’t realized it but he watched everything I ate. (I am about 30 lbs overweight, which I had warned him about; he was somewhat overweight and had been heavier, which he had a severe complex about.) It didn't take long for me to realize that he was probably either an emotional abuser and/or a narcissist. The first night involved some petting. When he hurt me a bit, he asked, "Does it hurt?" When I replied, "yes", he said, "Good". I realized that this was a turn on for him. When he wanted me to be nervous I refused and he withdrew emotionally for the rest of the visit. In fact, the next day he asked me to fix the ticket so that I could leave two days earlier. That was not possible so I stayed on. When I tried to kiss him he was stone dead. (Control, again, I realized.) He tested my intelligence. If I did not get a joke he smirked or indicated in some way that I was stupid. (He had done the same thing on the phone with me once: "It was a joke, dummy." (Red flag)) He had bought me a box of chocolates. I took one. I put the cellophane wrapper back on carefully but found it askew later. He must have checked! He implied that my husband had left me because I was too fat. (Too fat to love or have sex with?) I countered that the marriage had broken down as a result of problems with our youngest child who was autistic. He told me that before we meet next time I should lose 10 lbs and he would lose 20 lbs. He was doing this for my (our) own good. I would be pretty if I lost weight! In fact, we were handsome people, he said, so it was a shame that we were so heavy. My friend was clean, well groomed, and well dressed, as was I. We were middle-aged and some weight gain is to be expected. I was trying successfully to lose weight, but according to him I could not be trusted with food. Everything was attributed to my weight. My feet hurt---that was because I was fat. “No,” I replied. “It is because I bought my shoes three days before the trip and I hadn’t broken them in yet.” The last day we were there we went for a long walk. He made sure I got to sit down and rest my feet. We talked for hours. The ice was beginning to melt. I felt comfortable. However, before we left he checked his emails. He opened one right in front of me from a woman saying she had attached a sexy picture of herself and signing the letter, "I love you." "What is that?" I asked. "I am always getting this kind of junk mail," he responded as he wrote back, "I didn't get the attachment." In spite of the negative things we had great pillow talk. He confided in me in a way he could not confide in anyone else, such as how horrible for him it had been to be obese, that it had ruined his marriage and that his wife was right when she had that no one would take him seriously if he was so fat. (This man who is extremely successful financially and professionally! He is regularly interviewed on national television and local radio!) His wife had been verbally abusive to him and I could tell that he was resentful of her. He told me intimate feelings about how his weight had affected his self-esteem and how he was in therapy. He told me how he had pushed women who loved him away because of simple things, like not being able to hold hands with them, because fat men’s palms sweat. “This is what I live for,” he said about our intimate talks. So I felt very close to him, of course. This is what relationships are about for me. We were to meet again. He would even come to my place and wondered if I would be visiting the States. I told him my place was not very nice and he offered to give me money for furniture but I refused. My pride. He would send me money for exercise equipment at least. However, the morning we left he started harping on me. It was very early and I was hungry so I was eating a tomato. He told me angrily, "You are eating because you have nothing better to do." I protested that I was hungry! He later brought me breakfast but was very distant and did not return my hugs or signs of affection as we parted. I sent him an email thanking him for the nice week in Vienna. He replied that he had enjoyed our week and that he wanted to keep in touch after he returned from China in three weeks. Those weeks I could not sleep. Something was really bothering me. I had the feeling that I could not continue with this relationship. I was just plain scared. I could handle his attempts to control me but I could not handle the rest. I was just a part of the continual narcissistic supply of "love" or "admiration" or whatever that he needed from others to fill his ego. I received an email when he got that he would call me. I knew he was extremely busy that week since he was going to return to China. I sent him an email asking him, not so seriously, if he was still my Sweetheart, to which he replied that I was a "good and nice friend" and that he was too old to be anybody's sweetheart. After all, it hadn't clicked in Vienna. I wrote back saying, "This may be begging the question, but did you still want to come see me?" He replied, "Don't be dramatic. Of course we will continue to see each other." I flipped out! I called and asked him what was going on! It didn’t click but he still wanted to see me? He explained to me that he had planned on continuing to see me and that it would probably just die out gradually. But that he didn't feel that the feelings were there for such a long distance relationship to hold. If I had been closer so we could meet more often. I became enraged and told him, “Come on. You could get a divorce if you wanted. Or I could move to the States again. That was not the issue.” Several phone calls and emails and some hurt feelings later I ended it. I later sent him an email explaining my view of relationships--honesty, trust, etc. I told him I knew about the other relationship and didn’t he realize he was cheating himself and the women he is having these relationships with. It was cruel. It was not real love; just a “quick fix”. I did believe that he was unhappy with his wife. I heard the phone calls and her yelling at him. He had said she was verbally abusive and he never raised his voice to her or me. But I started wondering if he was the victim or the abuser. The psychological games he had played with me were mean and I told him that he was gambling with other people's feelings. I told him I had to end the relationship because of the all too obvious signs I had seen of an emotionally abusive personality. Victim or abuser? It didn’t matter, I said. The important thing was that the person recognizes him/herself and gets professional help. I may have denied the signals if I had not read about them here. I am sure I would have made excuses for his behavior and continued, hurting myself seriously in the end. But now I was able to cut it off and retain my dignity. I am embarrassed that I believed him. I had sworn to myself never to get involved with a married man. Fortunately I was too cautious to allow myself to get too emotionally involved. However, it does hurt because I feel betrayed. But that will go over in time. So, thank you for this site. You have surely helped many more people than you know. Sincerely, Edith

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, September 07, 2002

S1

I wish I would have been more aware of the warning signs.. I have doubted myself for the last time!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2002

S1

Wow! I've dated 'James'es' before and it sure does hurt! To all the gals that have dated James-men before, I reccommend that you get The Book Of Rules. It won't cure your codependency but it does tell you how to at least act non-codependent.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday, September 22, 2002

S1

Good for you. I am married to someone who makes me feel: disrespected? Insecure? Confused? Uncomfortable? Scrambled? Not easy to get out after you feel that way. I feel that I am in a whole I'll never get out of...

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

S1

It was clear to me that James was in the drivers seat during this relationship, and if it is clear to me, I am sure it was clear to James. Ginny came off very needy which is a turn-off to most men. Case in point: After leaving two messages in a row on his machine (without him responding to the first one) two weeks lapse and he then e-mails her and asks to get together. Her response that same day: Yes! Please - wait a few days. Think this one out. If you want to give it another try, why not see if he can tolerate a delay. Better yet, wait a few days and tell him you would love to but you have plans. Can he tolerate her having other activities in her life as he does? If not, then he is not a keeper. Then,some days later he responds: Hi, she e-mails right back: "are we still on?" Him: "yes" but no details. Her: Call me when YOU know what WE are doing. Him: OK. Let ME see how the day shakes out and I will let YOU know. There is absoletly no consideration for her schedule or what she wants to do. WOW! Are you looking for another abuser? Then, when he does not call back (perhaps her lack of self esteem and over eagerness has turned him off) she leaves a message on his machine. Why? Instead, she should have been out the door living her life and meeting new people. Ginny's first mistake was to only date him. That was big. She obviously lost her objectivity and left herself wide open for manipulation. For those of us who have been with abusive men, this is vital. If she had been seeing other men too, or at least had been attending events where she may meet them and involved herself with other interests instead of focusing on him as the center of her universe and the key to her happiness (and don't tell me this is not true because her letter drips of co-dependency) than good old James would have either learned to accomodate her needs and shown respect OR, if he is abusive in nature, he would have sought out a more attainable victim.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday, March 28, 2003

S1

Thanks for sharing!

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday, April 09, 2003

S1

Ginny reminds me so much of myself that it isn't even funny. its always hard to think about our feelings as well as others in fear that we may tend to become selfish. Ginny sound like a wonderful person i wish her good luck on future relationships there is a "good man" out there keep searching. never settle.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday, May 26, 2003

S1

good on you Ginny. I wish i was as strong

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, June 03, 2003

S1

Ginny, Wow, this is identical to my situation as well. This guy Wes and I were dating for about three months. In the beginning, he was very attentive as well, making references to the future, as James did, saying things like, "Yeah, when we live together..." and this was all said very early on (within 6 weeks). We spent a lot of time together. I told him in the beginning that I wanted to take things slowly, since we had both gotten out of long term relationships within 8 months before we started dating each other. He also said things to me like, "You are so addictive," and called me several times a day to see how my day was going. He told me in the beginning that he did not want to screw this up, or lose me. I also did not try to pursue him, allowing him to call me, and I only called him if I missed his calls and he left a message for me to. After while though, he began to act strangely, talking about his ex-girlfriend frequently, but also trying to reassure me that that part of his life was a closed book, and that although she had been calling him a lot, he felt sorry for her and was not interested in getting back together with her. He then started to say he wasn't sure how he was supposed to do all of this, (us dating), and I told him half jokingly/ half seriously that I wondered sometimes if I was just a rebound for him. He would immediately reassure me that I was not. He did admit, however, that he associated relationships with arguing, and that in his last relationship they had fought all the time, and that he just couldn't get hurt anymore, and seemed scared that he was starting to "care". There started to become this weirdness between us, and I asked him if he had some unresolved issues he needed to attend to. He said he had some unresolved anger. I then asked him if he wanted us to just be friends for awhile, to take the pressure off him, and he said no. He said he wanted to continue seeing me, reassured me over and over that he was not seeing anyone else, and then suggested that perhaps we should just not sleep together again until we determined that we were actually committed to each other. He said he felt like I was worth the wait, and he just hoped he was too. I took this as meaning maybe he wanted to get to know me as a person and spend time together just finding things out about me on a mental and spiritual plane, and took this as a good thing, and agreed. At least he wasn't trying to use me sexually. He told me he would not be getting it from anywhere else, and was not dating anyone else. He also told me if I wanted to see other people, that was fine, and if he wanted to start seeing other people, he would tell me. He said that he wished he had met me five years earlier, instead of his ex, and that if I was just patient with him, it would be worth the while, he promised. Then, he stopped calling. I called him a few days later to see if he wanted to meet up with me, and he said he definitely wanted to, and that he would after his band practice, at 8:45. I went out to the place we agreed to meet at, met some of my friends there, and he called at 9:30 to tell me he was with his friend Steven, and would call back later. Two hours later, he called (I didn't pick up the phone because I was pretty hurt that he had stood me up) and left a message saying that he had to take his friend Steven up to Conway, and to call him back. The next day he called and sent me an email saying that he was sorry, and that he didn't mean to seem like was boning out on me, and that he wasn't sure how I took unexpected situations popping up, but not to take it personally. I called him back and accepted his apology, but told him that I had felt like he had stood me up and it had hurt my feelings. A few days later he called, and we went out, but he was acting very distant. At the end of the evening, we kissed, and though I know I shouldn't have, I invited him in, and he declined, saying that he just couldn't. Then he repeated again to me, "You know, you are the only girl in my life besides my niece." and I told him, "Well, Wes, you are the only guy besides my friends and co-workers." and he said, "Well, that works out well." then he told me he was going to come up to my work, and call me the next day. He did neither. He also didn't call me on Sunday. I left a message telling him that I hoped he had a good weekend, and to call me back, but he didn't. Finally, five days later, he called, acting as if nothing was wrong, asking me what I was doing later that evening. I told him I was mad, that he had told me he was going to come up to my work and call but hadn't, and that I did not appreciate being told one thing and then it not happening. He asked me why I hadn't called, and I said I had, but I was not going to call him repeatedly. So then he said, "Well, what if I just stopped calling you?" I told him that I felt like he was dicking me around, and that he was only calling me when it was convenient for him, and that I was not playing games with him and did not appreciate having games played with me. I told him that it is just courtesy. He gave me some reason like he hadn't checked his messages, and had been very busy lately. He then asked me what would make me happy, and I told him it would be nice to see him more often than I had. He then said he would try to make more of an effort to open up his "busy schedule" for me. I asked him if he was just too busy, and he said he wasn't going to tell me he was, it was more a question of if I thought he was too busy. I said kind of. He said, "well, I'm not the one getting hurt here." I wasn't sure if he was being patronizing or not. He was definitely pulling away. I almost felt like he was testing me, for some reason. So I pulled away too. Two days later he wrote me an email, asking me to call him, that he hadn't heard from me in awhile, and that he hoped I was not still mad. I wrote him back saying that I had to work that evening. Then I explained that I was no longer mad, I was just one of those people where, if something is said or planned, I try to make it follow through. I told him that I am happy already within my life, and that I did enjoy seeing him, and liked him, and missed the fact that we had not seen much of each other. He then wrote me back, saying that he agreed, but that he did not feel right just seeing me for a little while, and now that he did not have a "girlfriend", he has more of the freedom to do what he had put on hold for so long. He said if he ever had free time, he would like to see me, and for me to consider him his back-up, he didn't mind!!! I wrote him back saying I needed him to drop my stuff back off at my place. That weekend he did not. After the weekend, I called and wrote him on Monday, and asked again for my stuff back that very day. It was not mean, it was just very matter of fact, like I needed to get it back because members of my family needed them. He wrote back, apologizing that he had not brought it back, and said that he swears he was not holding it for ransom, and promised that he would get it back to me. That evening after he finished work, I called twice, to see how I could get my stuff, and he didn't answer his phone. Later that evening, I left a message, saying that I was coming over to get my stuff. He never called back. I went once by his apartment, and he was not home. Later that evening, I went to his apartment again, and he was home, just watching TV. I knocked on the door, (this is the first time I had seen him in over a week and a half) and when he opened the door he completely avoided eye contact with me. He went over and picked up the books (my stuff), handed them to me, and asked me where I was coming from. I said I went to White Water Tavern with my friend, and when he handed the book back to me, I stuck my hand out. He took it, and shook it, and finally looked me in the eye, and started to rub my hand, and just said, "Girl...." His expression seemed to say that he was sorry it was not working out. I immediately said, "Hey, its all good, I just came to get my books back, but I gotta go, my friend is out in the car..." so I turned and left, and he told me to have a good evening, and I told him to have one too. And that was it. I sensed that he was playing games with me, and though I really liked him a lot, I think perhaps it may not have been a good thing. He did seem to have this withholding controlling thing, almost seemed like he wanted me to "prove" something to him, not sure what. Either way, it wasn't working. I would not be suprised if I never hear from him again. Warning signs are definitely good to watch out for. If I do hear from him, I will probably avoid him, as he seemed to want to play a power game with me. What do you think???

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday, July 26, 2003

S1

I read, and hope someday I can be that strong, and spot those "red flags"

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday, July 29, 2003

S1

ginny ur a very honest and strait forward woman, keep up the good attitude and ull find mr right, if u havent already.