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12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

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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

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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 Push & Pull

Comments: Push & Pull

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 1998-2001. 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

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B1: Submit
Date: Sunday March 10, 2002
Time: 11:13 AM

S1

Thanks for your comments. He always called me; he seemed to like it that way and I don't want to intrude. It was so bad, I'd understand if he didn't, so I'll consider it. One my issues with him was the roller coaster, I understand that's caused by fear; that may or may not go away as time goes on. The breaking of promises is a more serious issue; without trust, I don't think you have much. Is that also a "new relationship"/fear issue? Trust takes time. Trust is earned. I've not seen it before. I think he's a good guy, but his behavior caused me to question his integrity. Your biggest problem is how you REACT so quickly; speak too quickly; move too quickly. Sit still and center before you act, speak, etc. Doing that will be good for you. Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday March 10, 2002
Time: 07:19 PM

S1

Anne, If you approach relationships with fear, you will make certain you don't have any. Yes.

 B1: Submit
Date: Monday March 11, 2002
Time: 11:38 AM

S1

Anne, I think he is very scared of commitment right now and all his behaviors are a result of this. If you read the book Men who Can't Love. you will see the pattern so clearly. I'm not really fond of that title. It's really about men who can't or have difficulty making a commitment, but it seems to mirror your experience. He talks about how these guys usually come on so strong in the beginning, but in the middle of the relationship, when the notion of being with you for a while hits, and the fear of your expectations hit, he starts backing out in little ways. He also gives some good advice for how to not handle or not handle a commitment phobic person.  It's a good book. He's Scared, She's Scared: Understanding The Hidden Fears That Sabotage Your Relationships by the same authors might be an even better choice for Anne.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday March 11, 2002
Time: 10:11 PM

S1

Wow! Way to go Dr. Irene and way to go Anne...I am angry at my ex right now so I don't feel she should apologize...maybe tomorrow I'll see it the dr.'s way...Anne seems bright and careful...I would focus on my insecurities and fears (80%) and date him on the side (20%) instead of the other way around because it does seem emotionally scary!!!! Good Luck! Pineapple   I think each owes the other an apology. The reason for the apology is for one's own integrity, not for the other person per se. It would be nice if each apologized to the other, but if only one apologizes, the one who apologized is likely to feel internally good about themSelf while the other is likely to feel "right," at least for a while. This is about ego vs. Self.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday March 12, 2002
Time: 05:15 PM

S1

To the Lady Anne:

Madam, I entreat you to take heed of the Doctor's good counsel, which here I deem admirable in all respects. Refreshing it is to the Soul, and a goodly change from the accustomed course of events, to encounter on this Site some discourse upon a partnership which is not yet abusive, nor bodes likely to be so; and while you should be watchful for the evils of strong drink, and other flaws of the character, yet should you take notice that this man's moods and habits are unto himself alone: they reflect not upon yourself, nor upon his sentiments toward you; and if he blame you not for them, I pray you only to explore them with compassion and understanding, for at such times he still may be yours: then you may make bold to show him what is in your heart, and discover both your samenesses and your differences of need and of attitude. Be of good courage and not wanting in patience, and perchance you will have the prospect of a future one with the other. In the matter of TV, I know not what this creature is, though it must be a fearsome thing indeed if it be in need of constant watching. In times of trouble such as this, I pray you not to prevail upon your suitor for insistent attention, but to join him with quiet companionship in his vigil, and presently he will unbend. In matters of this kind I nourish the wish that my book " The Compleat Angler" may be of some slight assistance to you, in the hope of which I offer this passage:

"Then, gently take one of your three rods, and bait your hook; casting it over your ground-bait, and gently and secretly draw it to you till the lead rests about the middle of the ground-bait. [...] Then when you have a bite, you shall perceive the top of your float to sink suddenly into the water: yet, nevertheless, be not too hasty to run to your rods, until you see that the line goes clear away; then creep to the water-side, and give as much line as possibly you can: if it be a good Carp or Bream, they will go to the farther side of the river: then strike gently, and hold your rod at a bent, a little while; but if you both pull together, you are sure to lose your game, for either your line, or hook, or hold, will break..."

I observe that your suitor does go to the farther side of the river betimes, but this does not signify of itself that your line is not secure; yet if you pull too hard and it break, then must you cast your bait again to lure him back, lest he swim away.

I remain, Madam,

Your most humble and obedient Servant,

Izaak Walton

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday March 12, 2002
Time: 05:21 PM

S1

"And next let me add this, that he that likes not the book, should like the excellent picture of the Trout..." --Ibid.  Yummy! Uh, can you please tell me exactly where the Fresh Trout you photographed is? Love, Trubble

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday March 14, 2002
Time: 03:29 PM

S1

Get a grip!

B1: Submit
Date: Friday March 15, 2002
Time: 10:01 AM

S1

Anne,

When we are not sure what we want, we must be careful. For it is so easy to do what we think will please another. If I want friendship then I need to see if this person is a good friend. Is this person able to support me by hugging me when I am down. Can I laugh with this person. Laughter is food for the soul. Can I enjoy the present moment without being so concerned with the future? For the present moment is all we have. It is the journey each step that is important (the process) not the destination. For we don't know what the destination maybe.

It is about sharing, but we have to decide how much to share, and how fast. It is like many levels. For me there is the level of sharing fun, laughter. The next level is sharing dreams and wishes. The next some present things that are close to my heart that I want to discuss. The next after I feel emotionally in a friendship it will be sharing my body and having pleasure.

Before I worked this out I would jump to the last level of sharing very early on. Each time I felt angry and used. As DOC says TRUST takes time. TRUST is brought when we feel comfortable sharing each level.

I to wanted to rush things, At times when he didn't ring I wanted to, just so he'd respond. Say send a text message saying "RING ME" (how desperate that sounds), isn't it better to say "Hi how are you doing?" and give the other freedom to reply. I wanted to know where we stood. GOODNESS we'd only been going out a short while. BUT although it seemed I was expecting too much. SO was the other person.

He didn't want me pressuring him to tell me what would happen next. For he didn't know until we both knew each other better if we wanted to maintain things. Though I pressured me because I wanted to make him happy. I guilted me, I wanted to rescue me from feeling anxious.

It was about anxiety and rescuing.

I didn't know how to enjoy the moment and slowly reveal and share at a comfortable level. Without pressuring myself to give it all at once. Even before I knew whether I really wanted to be in the relationship. Anyone can appear well behaved but are they really wanting to truly share? or just get what they can?

DOC I wondered when we rescue ourselves with excuses how do we stop our fears ruining our chances?  Ah yes... Jonathan Swift explains it much better than I can: "An excuse is a lie guarded." Hi Theressa. I'd know you anywhere!
 

 

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday March 16, 2002
Time: 01:02 PM

S1

Anne, I hope you'll post an update about what's happening with you and Brian.

B1: Submit
Date: Sunday March 17, 2002
Time: 05:31 PM

S1

Is he an abuser? Does he believe he could be an abuser?

B1: Submit
Date: Monday March 18, 2002
Time: 02:01 PM

S1

Update -- I felt better about Brian after reading the doc's comments, and called to apologize. He was very happy to hear from me and apologized for his part. :) We were totally on different pages; he thought I'd met someone new and didn't want to see him any more! When he learned that was not the case, he immediately asked me out. Gee whiz... Ain't communication super?

Anyhow, we resumed except that without my saying anything more, he's gotten much better. I think that when we were apart he realized what the problem was from my side and has taken steps to fix it. He told me that he was done "being weird" and that things will work out fine, he's not scared now -- good thing, because I am! And I told him that. He agreed that we have to schedule our time together. He hasn't made any more promises and he's been great about actually doing things. I haven't felt him withdraw either. Thanks to everyone for the comments and I'll keep you posted, Anne  Talk to each other and allow yourself and other to feel frightened. If you didn't have feelings, you would not feel fear... 

B1: Submit
Date: Monday March 18, 2002
Time: 08:29 PM

S1

My relationship mirrors Anne's. I can't believe the similarities, it's uncanny. I haven't got the guts to tell him to go blow, but it's slowly coming. Let me ask woman out there, who would wait around for a man (and I have a daughter who is four, who grew up with him since she was two years old). They are both attached to each other. In addition, my daughter is also very attached to her father who lives about 15 minutes from where P, me and T live. One time we used to be so close that he asked me to look at rings - he's got nice taste. Now that I'm ready to settle down again, he keeps making excuses. We both party, he more than me and never in front of my daughter. Lonely in Md. What should I do? I've tried to talk to him and he blows me off and says not now..., the little comments are coming out... "you call me 20 times a day..." He doesn't compliment me anymore, he constantly criticizes me and our past mistakes. I have tried so hard, but nothing is working. The sad thing is I do love him (or loved what he was and am hoping it will return.)

B1: Submit
Date: Monday March 18, 2002
Time: 10:08 PM

S1

I read "He's Scared, She's Scared." While I thought it was good, it was very discouraging: it seemed that there's no hope for many of those people, even if they marry they'll later have big problems. I'd hate to believe that's prevalent.... The key to change is knowledge...

B1: Submit
Date: Friday March 22, 2002
Time: 03:12 AM

S1

What if you know what you need to do but Your FEARS stop you? You procrastinate even though you know the consequences will be big. BUT it is as if you are just destabilized and can't even begin?

I know I have a tendency to procrastinate, and I know what I do with this tendency. BUT even though I have this knowledge I can't get moving.

How can one overcome such a deep engrained fear? What is the fear about? I know what my goal is, I know I have to work to reach my goal. I have even written it down and visualized it BUT nothing seems to budge my FEARS that are like iron walls that I can't get over.

I know from doing psychology how powerful cognitively FEARS are but it doesn't help me to move forward and stop procrastinating.

Any tips on how one might get going?

(How did you know it was me who posted the other day Doc???? was it my computer number. DID I tell you I got the new job so I can finally eradicate the last toxic people out of my life. I know there may be more, but I have grown so much, I know there is no need to stay in a toxic environment that one doesn't deserve) There are no numbers here. Just your style. Ps on the above: Why don't you answer your own Q?

B1: Submit
Date: Friday March 22, 2002
Time: 02:36 PM

S1

I'd agree with the Doc's analysis, and her advice. You were pretty hard on him, and it would be a good thing for you to make amends. He doesn't seem abusive, just scared and maybe a little intimidated. You yourself may be little hard to figure out (quite possibly because you are a bit at a loss to understand yourself and what you want.) Early in a relationship it's tough to decide what to do. Trust your instincts, but be mindful that you and he are both unsure, both scared, both stuck in approach/avoidance. Be a friend. Be kind. The promises he keeps making and not keeping might be because he never comes through or they might be because he wants to do things and, as Dr. Irene pointed out, just doesn't have the wherewithal. You might try a little structure--meet one day a week for lunch or something low key. Maybe you could take a class together and get a feel for how compatible your work habits and thinking are. Your being better educated isn't necessarily an obstacle but you need to be intellectually compatible for the relationship to go anywhere.

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday March 23, 2002
Time: 07:43 AM

S1

Anne again – things were great; however, it changed again. He appears to have a pattern of being able to sustain an enjoyable relationship for 2 weeks, then gets weird. The first few times were partially masked by his travel schedule, but it’s happened twice since. We had a lovely 2 weeks, couldn’t have been better. The last time we were out, we were with his friends and had a great time. I’d tried a new wine and liked it so he bought several bottles the next day. We had plans for this weekend. Last night we were to attend a function that started late. He told me he’d take a brief nap after work and then have me over and fix a snack for us. I was to call between 6 and 6:30 when I was done with work. He’s a deep sleeper so I would not drive all the way to his place without being sure he was awake (he missed seeing me once because he fell asleep and didn’t hear the phone or doorbell). I left a message around 6:15, that I hoped to hear from him, or would see him at the event. My friends called and told me where they were meeting and I decided to meet them if I didn’t hear from him. Just before I left at 7:30, he called and asked me to come over or we could meet there. He confessed that he’d turned his phone off as he gets so many solicitations. (Wasn’t I supposed to call then??? Say that to him! Don't make assumptions. ) I said I could come over although it was late, was he still going to fix a snack? He said no, so I said I’ll fix one here and meet you there.

After hanging up, I decided that since I was ready to go, I’d meet my friends for a snack. On my way, I realized I’d let him get away with making promises again and said nothing. So, I called and said that I’d been a little unhappy with our conversation. He said he’d sensed tension and wanted to know where I was. I told him I’d decided to meet my friends first. I said that I was not happy that he didn’t answer my call when we’d planned. An hour later wasn’t the worst thing in the world, but I thought we had an agreement. However, I didn’t understand why he’d offered to fix a snack and then had withdrawn it, again, I'm capable of feeding myself or having a snack with my friends, but I just didn’t understand. Why had he done it? For the same reason you offered to fix a snack and meet him there and then changed your plans. He said “I don’t know why. Just go have fun with your friends.” I said fine, thanks, see you later. He did not show up but I wasn’t surprised as it sounded final. I don't expect him to show up for our plans this evening, so will join friends. (Both evenings are inexpensive but are things I belong to that he wanted to attend; I ordered tickets).

I wouldn’t be surprised if he calls in a few weeks, last time he said he was so sad and blue when we were apart and he doesn’t want to meet anyone, etc. He was even going to attend a function 2 weeks after we last talked to see me or see if I was with someone new (but apparently he needed 2 weeks apart). I have lots of friends and other men who would ask me out, so my social calendar will remain full. But this push/pull hurts and it’s not propelling me forward in life, it’s draining (yes, I know that I'm responsible for my attitude towards it and am a pretty positive person, but still....) He had said that his previous relationship was off and on, and that he’d broken up with his ex-wife before marriage a couple of times (then got back together and he married only after she became pregnant). Maybe he’s only capable of a roller coaster relationship? I am fond of him but I need to stop the roller coaster. He’s seemed to be delighted to be together and I have not seen any sign of temper or anger, no fights, just this withdrawal (passive aggression?). Maybe it’s a “He’s Scared/She’s Scared” thing, but it seems that my choices are to get on with my life (which I will do) and let him bounce around (maybe he’ll get better, maybe not), or just end it. Is there anything else to do? Pay attention to why it is so important to stick with the agreement, but it is OK for you not to... Thanks, Anne

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday March 27, 2002
Time: 07:46 PM

S1

Hi folks, "Brian" here. Hi Brian. Wow, I never knew everyone was talking about me like this. It just goes to show how stressful it is getting back into the dating pool of the 21st century after so many years out of practice. If I made the best of a dull marriage to a complaining wife, at least I learned to tune it out and build a life by myself: a career, friends, hobbies, travel. Now as a single man I feel I'm being kept on my toes, expected to "perform," constantly measured up by women. And I am being measured up, aren't I? Look at all this talk about me. It's not like dating as a teenager where everything's so casual and fun. I'm a casual kind of guy really. Women pile up this experience of their men in the intervening twenty years, and then they start using it to grade you. Mind you, I can't blame them entirely. I suppose I'm doing a bit of the same.

I've had a great time dating Anne, but it's all been so frenetic. That intensity never lasts. Any relationship settles down to something more comfortable sooner or later. But Anne seems to like structure and formalities. Everything has to be done "just so": restaurants with reservations, postcards and little gifts like some Japanese ritual. When I was in my teens my father said to me: "How come you always want so much money for taking girls out?" Then he said those words known and hated the world over: "When I was a boy..." Hey, that was back in the Middle Ages! It was way back in the Depression anyway. "When I was a boy," he said, "we'd go out for a walk with a girl. And on special occasions we'd share a packet of potato chips." Autres temps, autres moeurs! I hope I spelled that right. Women seem to like a bit of "culture."

But now I'm nearer the age my father was at the time, I'm starting to sympathize with him. And as much as I've enjoyed Anne's company, I often feel I'm getting picked on for not doing things "just right." Besides, over the years I've learned to enjoy time on my own. That upsets Anne; she feels neglected. Would I feel stifled and constrained in a marriage with her, always trying and never quite up to scratch by her standards? Or would she get fed up with me and go off with someone slicker and more sophisticated than I am? I've been thinking about a future with her, but if I'm going to take a commitment seriously I've got to be sure it will work, for both of us.

I couldn't think what to get her for Christmas. I felt that only something expensive would be proper. I couldn't find just the right thing, not something I could afford anyway. Since she likes good wine, I settled for wine and a card rather than buy something she might think was cheap and chintzy. I guess that wasn't right either. Then I called her up after vacation and hoped she could come over. I didn't have any food, and apparently that mattered to her because it was "dinner time." To me "dinner time" is whenever you feel hungry, and if you do you can always call out for a pizza. What did it matter? Then there was the other time I called her up and she came round and I didn't formally usher her into the room. It's funny she thought that was a "booty call." If it was a booty call, wouldn't I have been all over her the moment she came in the door? No, I was just trying to set a casual tone, like "hey, you're a friend, join me when you feel like it." She got offended instead. But I won't go into all that again.

I was glad when she called me and we got back together. I figured there were some things I could do better for her. We had a great time the past couple of weeks. Then on Friday it all blew up again. I was pretty tired after all the effort I'd been putting into everything, including my job, so I knew I could use a nap after work before Anne came over in the evening. I turned the phone off so the pesky telemarketers wouldn't disturb me, and set the clock radio to wake me up. I wish manufacturers would standardize something once in a while. You know the way some clocks have a little light to say "AM" and others have a little light to say "PM" instead? I see so many different clocks in hotel rooms when I travel that I get mixed up. Wouldn't you know it, I had my alarm set to AM instead of PM, so it didn't go off! Being tired, I woke up an hour late and missed Anne's call. I was sleepy and groaning at myself because it doesn't matter how good a time we've been having, any little thing like that can set her off if I don't do it "just right."

Sure enough, when I called her at 7:30 I could hear that if not actually disgruntled, she was far from being gruntled either (as another famous bachelor once put it). I apologized for being late, of course, but she kept grilling me about why I'd woken up late, and why I hadn't picked up the phone, and there was still this tension in her voice. I was starting to wonder if this was going to be an enjoyable date after all. I'd planned to fix her a snack before we left, so I tried to get her reoriented toward the future instead of the past by asking her if she still wanted to come over or if we should just meet where we were planning to go. She said she *could* still come over, although it was late--so was I still going to fix her that snack? I was pretty sure what that meant all right. There was heavy emphasis on "I *could*," but... she was pointing out how late it was (no thanks to me), and how was I going to fix her a snack now? One that was up to par, at any rate. I had to admit to myself that she was right. While there was time for a snack, it wasn't going to be the relaxed occasion I'd hoped for. And with that edge in her voice, Anne sounded stressed already. There was no sense in rushing it even more. Better for us both to save the time, and catch up on our schedule later in the evening. So reluctantly, I said no to the snack. Anne said she'd fix one at home instead and we'd meet later.

I thought we had that settled. I was surprised when the phone rang a while later and it was Anne again. She sounded more irritable than before. She said she was unhappy with our conversation earlier. I told her I'd sensed the tension, and asked her what was happening. She said she was going to have a snack with her friends instead. Then she started raking up this stuff again about being late, how I broke promises to her and whatnot. I thought we'd gone through all that. Why do some women have to go away afterwards and work themselves up into a worse mood than ever at us, instead of letting it go and looking forward to a good time? A guy can't relax because we never know where we are with them. And as annoyed as she sounded, it seemed as if Anne was now slapping me in the face by saying "If you're not going to give me a snack, I'm going to have one with my friends instead, so there!" She didn't invite me.

Then she started in about why I hadn't given her a snack myself. Gee, I thought she was the one suggesting that there wasn't enough time for the snack! Why do women go changing their minds and then blaming it on us? Talk about confusing! If she had wanted to come over for a snack anyway, why didn't she contradict me clearly at the time and say she'd still prefer to do that, instead of digging it up now when it was too late to do anything about it? But it's no use trying to explain all this, because then women get all huffy and say we're trying to blame them instead. It's all about bad feelings and who's to blame, instead of what we can do to fix it. So I just said I don't know, and I hoped she'd have fun with her friends.

But however hard we keep trying to steer women away from these futile emotional upsets and toward practical solutions, it was too much to hope that she would go and have a good time with her friends and that would put her in a better mood for the evening. She snapped back: "Fine, thanks, see you later!" I knew what that tone of voice meant. "Thanks for nothing, buddy!" It sounded final to me. So I didn't see any point in showing up. I didn't think I'd be very welcome.

As much as I'm attracted to Anne (and she is very attractive), it sounds as if she's done with me, and I didn't like all this up-and-down stuff anyway. I do hope she finds someone who's right for her and has a good life. Maybe I'll keep my eye open for a nice plump easygoing widow to settle down with eventually. I like a spontaneous life with plenty of activity, but I also like a peaceful one.

I must mention that I'm not the only Brian in the world. Many other Brians exist, and maybe there's another Brian who's got something different to say about all this. I'm only pointing out that while "He's Scared, She's Scared" at times, on other occasions it's more a matter of "He Said, She Said."

All the best, "Brian"  Brian, I don't think you did anything awful. Neither did Anne. Both of you made the same mistakes: making assumptions about the other and then acting on them. You didn't see any point in showing up, so you didn't - well, maybe you should have... All you did is confirm Anne's belief that you are irresponsible.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday March 28, 2002
Time: 02:31 AM

S1

Hi Brian, Hi Anne,

I can relate to what is being said here. I agree with both of you. Anne wants to be treated special and sees evidence of being treated special by the effort put in. Time keeping etc, material gifts, the bottom line is we all want to feel special.

Brian seems a laid back type of guy. He wants to just go with the flow. If he is late etc, or whoever is late, he wants to concentrate on just having a good evening whatever has happened previously.

I guess I am feeling in the middle of these extremes. I am a laid back sort of girl. I am not always punctual. This is not done on purpose, some of it is because I don't like being too structured. The other is it is the way I am.

However, as with me and many others there is a contradiction. I don't like to be structured BUT I do like to know where I stand.

I don't like to be too structured but I try to control things. URM? What is this about??

Is it about I don't like to control ME but I do like to control things external to me? I think it is!

So what is this about? For me it is about wanting to be free but also wanting to feel special. I think this is the same for Anne and Brian.

I want a guy to make me feel important. No I don't want flash gifts. I actually want their attention. When we set a date I want to know we will go on it. I feel upset when I've been looking forward to going out and then for some reason it doesn't happen. I don't feel valued.

I also however, feel controlled when others make such a big deal out of things I do. They lecture and go on and on about things as if I could change what has happened. Why not just enjoy the rest of the time and make the best of it. Why keep using guilt to make me feel bad for not being on time etc.

Part of the time I am late because I am tired, so I see it as taking care of me. Though i guess if I was more organised I would get to bed earlier and be less stressed and thus, would sleep better.

Maybe I need to make sure I am deeply relaxed before going to bed. So I feel more refreshed. perhaps?

Anyway the conflict for me is Taking care of me (sleep) vs trying to make you feel important.

I don't see a problem with me being laid back. BUT Brian whenever someone is laid back with me I don't feel special. It is like I do it but I don't like it done to me.

I think it is about effort. Though I also think it is about expectations about what I need to feel special, important to a guy.

I have my own ideas about what it takes for me to feel special as do others. For me it is others making the effort, giving me some of their time (attention).

It is about balance I want to be alone but I also want to make time to share.

I have a friend and he is very laid back. He rings when he has time. I used to feel angry at him. Then I realised he rings when he is not working or doing some other planned activity.

If I text him, he always texts me back. Though he doesn't always think urm I will ring Theressa, or text her.

I understand he must be interested in being my friend otherwise he'd not reply or respond to my texts. In fact when I didn't text him for about a week, he did text me.

I think it is also about people just being in the habit of playing different roles, being a certain way.

It is also about who feels hurt, let down. As I said before if others don't pay me attention I feel hurt but I don't lecture them, I in fact feel needy and try to get the attention by ringing them. Sort of reminding them "I am here"

When others feel I am not giving them attention they lecture. They try to make me feel guilty. e.g "You are late, you don't care about me Yak yak, yak etc"

So as you can see both ways a distorted. My need to force attention, others need to guilt attention.

The solution really is I could choose to balance the efforts. If I feel another values me I will be able to get on with my own life and if they ring I will know they value me and want me in their life. If they don't ring me I know they are not willing to make the effort and I move on.

I do not threat or try to force them to speak to me, or try to guilt them. I am valueable so I can always find others who want to pay me attention.

I to find it hard not to want to know what is planned for the future. I to want attention from others. Though I guess the trick is I have to believe I am valuable enough so that if others do not make joint effort then I must love myself enough to move on.

However, on the other hand being laid back and going with the flow leaves me asking: If this person is so important to me, and I want them in my life, why am I not willing to give them attention.

OR rather why do I not tell them "I need some sleep so it is not personal if I cannot make it tonight, we can go out another night".

You see it is okay taking care of ones self and it can be done without hurting another. I guess it is not that I am late as a one off. It is usually that I am disorganised and am late frequently that is the issue.

To summarize for me the way to sort out the conflict is to see that if I want to be in a relationship I need to make effort. I also need to see if others are willing to make joint effort without me needing to force the effort.

In addition I need to work out what I need to feel that joint effort is being made. I also need to see if others truly want to give me attention. And are also prepared to tell me when they need to rest or need some space.

I need to ask myself can I allow them this healthy space?

The truth is sometimes others are just living life and are not trying to hurt us. They at times just don't think about how what they are doing will effect us. It is just out of habit that they behave as they do. It is about them.

The solution maybe to point out how it does not work in the relationship, if joint effort is not made. This does not involve attacking.

It does involve each being honest. "I am tired, I need rest so I won't be able to make it to xxxxx. I am sorry if you are upset but I need to rest"

At times we don't do this and thus, end up by default doing it hence Brian falling asleep and not waking up.

These are my thoughts. Theressa

  B1: Submit
Date: Thursday March 28, 2002
Time: 11:17 AM

S1

Thanks, you've made your point, Brian. There are always 2 sides to every story.

I don't think I've been demanding and have actually let a lot slide. I've been more generous than you were; it's how I am, but it's also how the men I've been involved with (as well as my male friends) are when they care about another. It's not about giving and expecting something in return, although there are limits. You know (without my telling you anything) that you haven't done enough because you've told me that. Not having food in the house is not a problem, of course you can order a pizza or something; the point is that you didn't even offer to do that. You were hungry, too. I had to step in and take care of it. It's not a problem until it happens too many times. You keep telling me how good I've been to you and for you. I agree; maybe you could be good but you haven't, I sense that you're withholding for some reason.

I am a very busy person and understand about needing time alone. No problem. But when you are "up" or into the relationship or whatever, you demand to see me constantly, you exhaust me. Then, you withdraw, run away, distance, whatever you want to call it. You ask me to call or come over, then turn off your phone so I can't. That's not considerate, I'm sure the doc could tell us what that's about, but it doesn't feel good at all. And yes, I got annoyed when you did it again (right before your nap, we discussed my not seeing you a few nights prior because I was unable to reach you after you invited me over); you told me that you were turning the ringer *up* so that you could hear it when I called. Ooops! She's got ya here Brian... When you called, you told me that you later decided to turn it off; then, to compound it, you withdrew the offer of a snack. Maybe I'm wrong, it was simply circumstantial, but it's happened too many times. There is a pattern of you making offers/promises, then withdrawls or silence, then apologies; that is what drew me to this board seeking help.

If you need time, take it, no problem. I suggested trying to schedule things, but that seemed to annoy you, perhaps it inhibited your spontaneity, or perhaps you just can't commit to making plans. I understand spontaneity, I tend to be impulsive myself, but when you have 2 people, some things have to be scheduled or planned. I rarely call you, you call me when you can or want to. I've also been pretty flexible around your schedule, trying to make myself available when you were, maybe too much so.

I'm having a hard time maintaining balance in my life with you around. I know that's my problem, but it's hard to do when you're acting like a yo-yo. I don't feel like I can count on anything with you. Perhaps I should have put the "brakes" on more and not been so flexible but I've never dated anyone with a work schedule like yours; I didn't know how to handle it. Also, you sounded so disappointed every time I told you I was going out with my friends that I invited you along and you came; I seldom saw them without you.

Theresa's right, one must take care of oneself and it can be done without hurting another, if one wants to. I agree that one must value oneself enough so that if another does not make enough of an effort, one must move on.

There's a lot of good here, I hoped it would improve when the intensity quieted. Since you seem to have a 2-week "on" period and a 2-week "off" period, I was concerned that it might never have quieted; perhaps you enjoy the "yearning" more than a relationship.

Also, because of the things you've told me, it seems that you're withholding. I get the feeling that you can do more, certainly you say you should, but for whatever reason, you don't. The actions don't match the words. The last two weeks we were together I saw an improvement and I was happy and appreciative about it, but then you started to withdraw again. Maybe that was too much of an effort for you? Or maybe you have problems affecting you that you haven't yet disclosed? From the little you've told me, I know that your finances could be improved. Your drinking concerns me. Since your divorce, you've enjoyed hanging around in bars; it's not a trait I find attractive. Of course, you're inconsistent about that also, sometimes you tell me you hate it, you're tired of it, it's a waste of time and money. The last night we were together, I took you to a concert. You asked whether I'd like a CD, I said "sure." You later went up and bought one; you took it home. That's not life and death, but.... it is very inconsiderate and yukky acting out... If you feel criticized, etc., better to talk about it.

Maybe I'm just barking up the wrong tree. I've talked to some of my male friends about this; they tell me that you're simply not in my league and I should move on. Your anger is understandable Anne, but, please, despite his passive-aggressive stuff, no need to compromise your integrity with put downs...   

Anne  

Dear Brian and Anne, although "opposites attract," opposites don't pair well. The more a couple have in common (culture, religion,  interests, personality variables, etc.), the better. They understand each other more easily. I think you guys gave this a good shot. This structured/unstructured power struggle you're having unfortunately doesn't seem to resolve. Nobody is perfect, but the differences between you seem to become magnified over time rather than be bridged.  Bravo to you Anne for sending Brian to read this and to Brian for addressing same.  

B1: Submit
Date: Friday March 29, 2002
Time: 06:48 AM

S1

Run, don't walk, away from this as quickly as you can. Been married to one for 18 yrs. have 4 kids. He will destroy your spirit, and make you feel responsible. Janet

B1: Submit
Date: Saturday March 30, 2002
Time: 09:41 AM

S1

Doc, you're right, that last comment should have been made separately, not as part of my comments to Brian. As you and my friends pointed out, there is a socio-economic and education difference here. He may have more of a problem with it than I did, but perhaps my friends are right that I could do better.

Anyhow, I sent an email requesting the return of some items he had borrowed and a nice "it's best that we part, best wishes" message. He replied that he's "not ready to settle down or be committed to a relationship right now" and stating that he still wants to be friends, get together for a drink or bike together and "maybe we will still get back together in the near future." I think this is right out of He's Scared/She's Scared and that the best thing for me to do is say no thanks.

I tried to break this off several times in the past because my needs weren't getting met and each time he talked me into returning, he apologized and said he'd do better, he knew what he was doing wrong. There is a very clear cycle here and I was trying to learn about when it's abusive; it did not feel good to me. I've read that a definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Each time he's good for a while then starts over again. I just couldn't see a way of getting off the roller coaster with him, so I figured I had to get off without him.

B1: Submit
Date: Monday April 01, 2002
Time: 12:59 AM

S1

Annie I feel you are a convenience for him. I am in a marriage that sounds just like this going with you. He cheats in his mind and blames all on me. If he wants something, he usually gets it and if not it's my fault again. He has an excuse and answers quickly with the answer it's me again. I have been married 6 years and its heart breaking and hurts like h---. I say I'm through and still give him another chance. chances are for the man that goes to counseling and works out his problems that are a reality to us, but an excuse for him to push you away again, only to drag you down to his level of this thing called a narcissist(sp). I pray you run as fast as you can and avoid all of him. Look at the big picture, all the flags are up and trying to destroy you cause he was and is destroyed by his past and he is self destructive to anyone he touches, including himself, but, only when he wants it to include hisself. He has to be built up, but he'll tear you apart piece by piece and not think about it twice. God Bless you and please for your own sanity, RUN, as far and fast as you can away from his destruction, you deserve better,

Sincerely, Abused, Trying to run and can't! Perhaps, but you appear to be projecting your stuff on others.

Deleted by Doc. Way off topic.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday April 02, 2002
Time: 12:06 PM

S1

Anne, I noticed that Brian talked about women in general a lot instead of just you which supports my original feeling that he is afraid of commitment in general and he is especially afraid of your expectations of him. Right now, for him you are too much of heavy. I know that to you his behavior speaks of disrespect and lack of caring because you see consistency in his behavior as a way to show you he cares. He on the other hand doesn't see it that way. I think he really likes you, but he can't handle too many requests for consistency, timeliness, structure. He doesn't think he can live up to it and doesn't think he should have to. That is his prerogative. If you read the Mars and Venus book you would see that men often have a need to pull away from a relationship periodically that has nothing to do with how they feel about you, it is a natural cycle. I highly recommend you read that because it may give you some insight into that aspect of his past behavior. I agree with the Doc's assessment in general. That the way both of you see the world and what you value are not eye to eye right now and that is making it very difficult for you to really understand where the other is coming from.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday April 02, 2002
Time: 12:14 PM

S1

After leaving a long relationship which was verbally abusive (he started it! ;) and spending near two years alone, figuring out what the hell I was doing there, I found a wonderful man that I think might be excellent for me to be involved with. I care about him a lot, he cares about me. He's told me he does. We have a lot in common, both being the oldest child in our family, both of our parents are still together, from the 'burbs, into the same kinds of music, occasional drinkers, no drugs. He's very calm and tolerant. However- I'm not sure I'm ready to be deeply involved with him. And he says he's not sure either. My last relationship was a constant battle for power and attention. My ex was extremely verbally abusive and used withdrawal as his main punishment for my "errors". I, on the other hand, acted out by arguing, nagging, and cajoling. We ended the relationship after almost six months of constant arguing about my anger and his infidelity. (we were together for five years.) My current bf and I have been together for about six months. He and I met about two years ago, lived in different towns, and were friends. We would have good intellectual conversations, but I never really thought of him as someone to be involved with. I liked him; I didn't see anything wrong with him, he was just my friend. He had been involved in an abusive (both ways-I'm friends with her also and have heard both sides of their story) relationship for about two years. They broke up nearly two years ago now. He dated in the meantime, only one woman that was a "steady" gf. Their relationship tapered off, she met someone else, and he moved here to my city. I invited him to be my 2nd roommate. Once he was here we hung out together a lot. We get along really well. He is easy to be around, he brings me flowers and tells me he loves being with me. We became involved romantically after he'd been here for about a month or two. My problem is that, like Brian, he withdraws. I understand that since we live together it's hard to get space. We have different work schedules and groups of friends, though, so it's not at all hard to go get some room to breathe. He says he's not ready for a heavy relationship yet, or even to put effort into one. He will be intensely sexual with me and then avoid touching me at other times. He also will sometimes do little things that are inconsiderate, like leave in the morning without saying g'bye (we share a bed now) or being late to pick me up from work when I've let him use my car. However, he will run errands for me if he can, will cook for me, does the dishes. I know that I'm probably not quite ready to be involved deeply yet, myself, so the fact that he says he's not ready shouldn't bother me-but it does. And the inconsistency bothers me too. I don't know what to do for myself that would make me feel better-I haven't had any relationships before that progressed this slowly emotionally and physically, but that isn't the root of it, I don't think. am frightened as I am very interested in being involved with him and sometimes his withdrawal makes me very angry. (remember the ex?) angrier than I feel I should be. I then get angry at myself for overreacting. He takes a walk and then we both apologize. I'm glad to have met someone who can cope with my healing anger and their own confusion without attacking me or being mean. But the distance seems to hurt me. What can I do?

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday April 02, 2002
Time: 07:35 PM

S1

I'm responding to the last poster.

One thing that strikes me is that both of you are physically involved and living together, but not really sure of each other. It seems like to put the physical together too quickly without the emotional and both of you are ambivalent. I'm wondering if you are really as unsure of him as you say or if you are saying that to protect yourself. I say that because it bothers you that he withdraws and is not more involved with you. That does not suggest a person who is unsure about commitment. He can only give what he can give right now, just like you. Accept him as he as because you have no other choice. I would recommend the fear of commitment book He's Scared, She's Scared and the Mars and Venus book for better understanding of some of the differences between men and women. Sometimes the withdrawing is natural for men, its called being like rubber band and has nothing to do with his general feelings for a partner. I would also suggest thinking hard about your present arrangement and whether or not this is a good thing for you emotionally.

B1: Submit
Date: Wednesday April 03, 2002
Time: 04:05 PM

S1

Thanks to all for your comments.

I decided against further contact with him so did not respond to his email; to do so might have started a p***ing contest that would serve no purpose. A few days later, he dropped off my belongings to my lobby. I was surprised that he kept his promise to do so since he made so many others that he did not keep.

Perhaps it is rubber banding; that's what I thought in the beginning and I tried to back off and give him space and not impress my expectations on him. When he disappeared several times, I didn't call; it felt like taming a wild animal by giving it food. But there were too many incidents like the CD he bought for me and took home for himself; that type of action hurts. Whether he meant to hurt me or just changed his mind after he bought it, I don't know. I didn't say anything because I didn't know what to say and didn't want to let the disappointment show.

I think another factor here was that he was infatuated and did not want to enter the "imperfect stage" in Mars/Venus.

The credit card bills and drinking heavily are red flags; he drank less around me but I don't know that he made a permanent improvement, and I know nothing of the bills except for a passing comment he once made. Someone with those issues has some work to do before they can love anyone. Anne  You two were oil and water in too many ways. Not a good mix; best to cut your losses. 

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday April 04, 2002
Time: 04:04 AM

S1

Hi all,

I also fear commitment. I don't know if it is possible to just give a little, without getting too over involved and making another my world. 

Anne I think one of your issues is being over responsible. When Brian had no food why was it your job to make sure there was some? If Brian offered to make you a snack, why did you not leave him with this? Why did you go out of your way to rescue Brian when he had no food?

You know when you rescue it feels good but puts the other in a one down position.

Also I think like me you find it hard to just let things happen. It is as if we need to make sure things happen. I get confused with making plans and goals vs just letting things happen.

I guess it is about controlling the things you can. YOURSELF but not being too involved in others THE THINGS YOU CAN'T CONTROL.

I find it hard not helping others incase they stop helping me. I find that if I need help others are reluctant. Such as my uncle said "anything you need honey" that is until you ask for his help and then he has excuses for not helping me.

I can't get my head around, it being okay to not be good at everything, but being expected to become self sufficient?

I am a person who is more academic. I am less good at diy, car maintenance, plumbing etc. My sister is very practical. She seems to naturally know what to do. She always has been this way even as a child. She was able to get her head around practical tasks.

Therefore, how can one be so self sufficient?

Being alone seems the easiest option. Then I don't need to change me! I really can't be bothered making all the effort. On the other hand I really wish I could meet someone who really loved me.

Depression heh? I just wish I could be normal!!! It is like there is just too much to work out!!

Thanks Theressa

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday April 04, 2002
Time: 12:54 PM

S1

Anne, I think what is comes down to is that Brian did not want to be in a committed relationship except when he was having fun and when no demands or requests were being placed on him. He is a very casual kind of guy and he wanted a very low maintenance casual kind of girl. On his post he spoke quite extensively about woman and used that a defense and explanation for his behavior with you. His general position is that most woman want too much from him and expect too much from him. The cards were stacked against you from the get-go. For him you had to prove you were not the typical woman he is used to and instead you pretty much fit the bill for all the things he doesn't like about women. You need someone who is not casual about you and he needs someone he can be casual about. You both made the right decision.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday April 04, 2002
Time: 08:03 PM

S1

You might try this:

Set a time frame for dating this guy. You don't even

have to tell him. Make your decision at that time and

ask for a commitment or go on your merry way...

 

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday April 09, 2002
Time: 01:55 PM

S1

Anne again - to the poster above, I'm not seeing Brian any more, so am not in a position to even think about commitments from him.

However, I recently ran into him at a club. I was there with Jim, a guy I was fixed up with, who is very nice. For most of the 3 hours we were there, Brian sat either near us or across from us and stared at me (or us). Neither Brian nor I spoke to each other. I didn't feel comfortable initiating a conversation so tried to ignore him. It started with Brian standing behind a friend of mine who was talking to me and staring at me from a few feet away.

Later, Jim and I sat at the bar for a long time and talked. Brian came over and sat next to a woman next to Jim for a long time, then moved to one chair away from me for a long time (no one was next to him on either side). I turned my back to him. When Jim and I danced, he either came near to watch us or danced with someone. Later, Brian sat directly across the bar from us, no one anywhere near him, and stared at us. It was very strange. Jim had met him at a party when Brian and I were dating and knew who he was.

Brian will not stalk me, that is not a concern at all. But it was a really weird evening. I can't imagine why he would go through 3 hours of staring but not say anything. It wasn't subtle in the least. I am probably the first woman who didn't chase him.  And that's one excellent piece of advice to pass on Anne. Doc.

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday April 16, 2002
Time: 05:53 PM

S1

It was interesting reading Anne's email and Brian's reply. I actually found Anne to be over the top and I would have suggested Brian be the one running the other way. From what I read, Anne was unclear in her communications with Brian as to what her expectations were in their dating one another. From what I read, Brian's expectation was that things be casual between the two of them. He told her where he had been, his uncertainties and his worries that she wanted something serious and that he could not reciprocate at this time. I am still unsure what Anne's expectations were. I would be totally confused by her and wonder what the heck was going on. I have no doubt that her behaviour drove Brian's ambivalent behaviour of seeking her out and then withdrawing and questioning what the heck he was getting into with her. She seemed to be anything but casual and frankly that is scary when you are just starting to see someone! I also don't understand her issue with the gift and food situation. Selecting a gift for someone you have only dated for a short period of time is always difficult to do. It is a matter of selecting the right balance of appropriateness and is always subjective to the recipient and the giver. To one perfume may seem too personal a gift while to another impersonal and without heart. Anne also seems to suggest that regular gift giving is mandatory. Something she does and expects other to reciprocate. Again this is subjective and may point to Anne's need to buy or have her affection bought or reassured by this kind of gesture. Anne should have asked if Brian was going to fed or tell him that she would like them to eat together. I would never show up at a friend's place never mind someone I was just dating and expect them to feed me just because it was my dinner time. Nor, would I jump down someone's throat and beat them up because they slept past the clock. He apologized. He asked her what she wanted to do. He said he would still make a snack if she liked. She told him there was no time and that she would make something on her own. He said ok he would see her later. She then called back and went off on him again about the snack, his sleeping past the clock and told him she was meeting with her friends for a bite to eat. It is not his job to beg her to come over and have cook for her or grovel for forgiveness. If I was Brian I would have thought she wasn't going to show up either later on and I would be recluctant to go round three with her harping about my error once more in person.

Allison

B1: Submit
Date: Tuesday April 16, 2002
Time: 06:15 PM

S1

One last comment about the "bar scene". I am not surprised Brian was staring at Anne in the nightclub. He was probably still in shock about her character and wondering whether she followed him and was giving him another parting shot.

He learned through an email that Anne and his dating life was being analysed and debated online by strangers. Anne, instead of trying to solve any relationship issues she had with Brian directly, chose to seek out the solice and advice of strangers to second guess what was going on with Brian. She should have talked to Brian!

As a parting shot it seems she sent him along the URL to this site when she sent him an email to ask for some things back. I am sure that alone would put most guys over the edge, particularly if they were new (again) to the dating scene as Brian was and believed they were just casually dating someone to see if they wanted it to go any further.

From what is said, it seems Brian to tried to talk about it but was shut down. I am sure if seeing her in the bar was the first he had seen of her since all this he expected an explanation or an apology or just wondering what the heck is with this woman and her head.

Allison

B1: Submit
Date: Friday April 26, 2002
Time: 10:29 AM

S1

Anne again -- I'm not going to try to justify my actions, other than to say that I believe that I acted appropriately under the circumstances. I don't think it would have mattered what I did anyhow. He seems to have some problems that have little or nothing to do with me and he'll have to resolve them on his own, when and if he's ready.

As an update, Brian emailed me that he was "heartbroken" to see me with my date. He also later wrote that he was not ready for a relationship, but would like to get together. I replied that I appreciate his honesty but that I'm looking for a long-term relationship; however, I would agree to see him on a non-intimate, casual basis. We've spoken a few times since. He actually asked if I wanted to get married -- I said "how could you ever do that, you can't even talk to me two days in a row!" (Note that his question was not "will you marry me?" and he'd had a few drinks). From what I can see and what he has told me, he is terrified of me and/or a relationship.

After a few drinks, he said that he wants a relationship and he's lonely. But, after I saw him, he left a message when I wasn't home that he's "confused" and "scared." I also get the feeling that he's no longer infatuated and doesn't know what to do about it. It appears that he's been drinking a lot, in fact, that's about the only time he can talk to me! He tells me how much he cares, wants to be with me, doesn't want to lose me, but only after he's had a lot to drink. The rest of the time, he has trouble talking to me at all, he mostly just sends one-line emails. He told me that he's never had such strong feelings for a woman (when he was probably legally drunk); when he was sober, he said that he'd never really cared about anyone except one woman when he was very young and it didn't work out. Not sure what that's all about, but I don't think it's a good sign.

He said he now thinks that maybe he's got some problems because he cannot seem to maintain relationships. He's run away from several women in the past few years since his divorce (something he hadn't told me when we started dating!). He feels that I'm the best he's met, he wants to stay in touch.... He's considering counseling. I told him that's a good idea and told him what I knew about some local services. I'm continuing to date others; I'm receptive to him but I doubt it will ever work out. Maybe someday we'll be real friends.

B1: Submit
Date: Friday April 26, 2002
Time: 04:43 PM

S1

Anne again -- I'm not going to try to justify my actions, other than to say that I believe that I acted appropriately under the circumstances. I don't think it would have mattered what I did anyhow. He seems to have some problems that have little or nothing to do with me and he'll have to resolve them on his own, when and if he's ready.

As an update, Brian emailed me that he was "heartbroken" to see me with my date. He also later wrote that he was not ready for a relationship, but would like to get together. I replied that I appreciate his honesty but that I'm looking for a long-term relationship; however, I would agree to see him on a non-intimate, casual basis. We've spoken a few times since. He actually asked if I wanted to get married -- I said "how could you ever do that, you can't even talk to me two days in a row!" (Note that his question was not "will you marry me?" and he'd had a few drinks). From what I can see and what he has told me, he is terrified of me and/or a relationship.

After a few drinks, he said that he wants a relationship and he's lonely. But, after I saw him, he left a message when I wasn't home that he's "confused" and "scared." I also get the feeling that he's no longer infatuated and doesn't know what to do about it. It appears that he's been drinking a lot, in fact, that's about the only time he can talk to me! He tells me how much he cares, wants to be with me, doesn't want to lose me, but only after he's had a lot to drink. The rest of the time, he has trouble talking to me at all, he mostly just sends one-line emails. He told me that he's never had such strong feelings for a woman (when he was probably legally drunk); when he was sober, he said that he'd never really cared about anyone except one woman when he was very young and it didn't work out. Not sure what that's all about, but I don't think it's a good sign.

He said he now thinks that maybe he's got some problems because he cannot seem to maintain relationships. He's run away from several women in the past few years since his divorce (something he hadn't told me when we started dating!). He feels that I'm the best he's met, he wants to stay in touch.... He's considering counseling. I told him that's a good idea and told him what I knew about some local services. I'm continuing to date others; I'm receptive to him but I doubt it will ever work out. Maybe someday we'll be real friends.

B1: Submit
Date: Thursday June 13, 2002
Time: 12:26 PM

S1

You are terrified for a good reason. This guy will suck dry your life spirit. Always trust your gut instinct. Although psychologists may offer advice, no one can crawl into your mind, your heart, your body and your soul, and thus "know" what you're feeling.

What you're feeling is real..it is your truth.

He's an escape artist...always escaping from himself...thus looking for his own happiness or to get better in anything and everything that is external to himself.

Yes, you might make him feel better temporarily...and trust me, he will thank you profusely as he walks away once again. And, he may even appear again...when he "needs" you. Yet, he will never be there when you need him.

Guys like this are whiners, complainers and chronic excuse makers. They are little boys...looking for "mommy" to give them unconditional love.

And, in my opinion, he is a narcissist, and while there may be degrees of narcissism...all narcissists have one thing in common..they do not feel...thus, they lack the ability to empathize with another human being, and without that ability, one cannot possibly love another human being.

The only question a narcissist ever asks is: What can I get from this person, this situation? He will never ask, "What can I give?"

Run away and stay away and act as though he never entered your life. Just sever the tie and never look back.

 

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