She Still Loves Bad Match
Q: I was engaged to a man on and off for a total of three years. He took back the ring and broke off the relationship because he says I did not want to be submissive to him, I did not respect him, and I would not put my mother in a senior citizen home. Nor would I put my children in foster/adoption services or marry him in one year. Also, I would not allow him to move into my home until we were married or co-sign for a car that HE said he was buying for me. Lastly, I would not combine my saving accounts with his. Why do I still love and want this man back after all of this? -- Bernadine, 49
Dr. Susan: He would have been the worst marriage material I can imagine. He wanted you to give up your family, sign over your money to him, and generally do whatever he wanted. And he accused you of having no respect for him?! He needs someone truly submissive, like an actual doormat. You stood up for yourself and lost him. While that's sad for you temporarily, it's so much better than a lifetime of misery that would surely have been your lot with him. So why do you still want him? Because habit is deeply ingrained. You were with him for a long time and got used to the craziness. Keep telling yourself what a mean guy he is, how much better off you are without him, and get used to the idea that you have to start over. Think of him and his endless demands as arsenic. Give yourself time to recover from the poison that is still circulating in your bloodstream. Get out there and meet some normal men who won't make you crazy.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.