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On And Off Relationship For Almost 10yrs

Question:

It has really come to this for me, to seek on line help. I don’t know what else to do.

I met him in 2003 and we automatically fell for each other. Long story short, we have two kids but he has never really been there for us and it hurts! I am now 28yrs old. My kids are now 7 and 8. It brings a lot of pain and tears to me but somehow we have managed to still maintain a sexual relationship and nothing more!

He always makes excuses about seeing our kids. I really don’t want to go through this anymore. I don’t know what to do. He has never really committed to me but once when we lived together for about six months and that was about 3 yrs ago. Sometimes he disappears from 3-8 months and 8 being the longest amount of time. He calls like nothing and wraps me back to him for a couple of months. 

I’ve done this parenting stuff alone with the help, of course, from my parents and brothers! I need help with moving on from him. I’d like to know why I still let myself fall for him all over again when he has gotten so unattractive. He has gained so much weight but still I’m there!

I have done so much for myself and the kids with out his help. I have my own place, my own vehicle and I am going to school for nursing! But it pains me that I don’t know what he’s doing or what is keeping him away from me and his children. All my friends that were going through something similar with the father of their kids have moved on with their lives with some one else. I’m still stuck in the same place where he expects me to be. I don’t want to do this anymore.

Please help, I need advice! Thank you.

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  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
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Answer:

Some people become addicted to a lover who is like your boyfriend. There are many reasons why. For example, some people hope that they can change the other person. Or, there are those who incorrectly believe that there love is strong enough to bring change. Then, too, there are those who have very low self esteem and fear that this is the best they can do because no one else will ever love them. Perhaps you can figure out which category you fall into. However, the bottom line is that you really do need to cut ties with this absentee parent and partner.

Clearly, you do not rely on this man for anything. You have your own place, your own car and your own career that you are working towards in school. Becoming a nurse is a worthwhile occupation that will give you a good salary and the chance to meet many interesting people. In other words, you have a great future in front of you.

Of course, it would be understandable if you wanted to keep ties with this man for the sake of the kids. However, you report that he never wants to see them and does nothing for them. He does not even live with you and the kids. So, why bother to keep him around? You have nothing to lose by ending this very empty relationship that, it can be argued, is not even a relationship.

In fact, you have a good support system. Your family is there for you and the kids. It is not as though you are alone in the world. You have good friends who have had these types of men but who have ended their unhappy relationships and moved on with their lives.

If you need help in putting an end to what is really no relationship at all then psychotherapy might be a good thing for you.

In the end, there is no reason for you to continue to do this. There are other men who could be more satisfying for you. You need to believe that you and the kids deserve better than this.

Good Luck

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