Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
I think I can support you with it.
Who can see it?
Anybody getting an account here, unless I block it.
OK. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts
Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX a minute
I am very sorry to know about this challenging situation.
I can see why you feel this concern and afraid of what could happen in the long run...
Siec what you already know and have been experinencing shows you that is what he is working on.
what is what he is working on?
I do think he is being selfish and insensitive by fueling this relationship the way he does
i think so too, which is strange because he is not that kind of person in general
On one hand, he is clearly working on deepening the commitment in his relationship with his partner, while on the other hand, he has been leading you to get more and more attached and hopeful about him and what you have
which is not the relatiosnhip you seem to hope for, but this kid of romantic friendship
do you think it's true that he is clearly working on deepening the commitment in his relationship with his partner?
what makes you say that?
That's very concerning, since it woudl show in such inconsistency how real and open he truly happens to be.
If you were in her shoes I think you would not like nor trust h him or his love at all, would you?
his actions in staying with her and continuing to live with her?
That's what tells me he has been doing that, and you have said you do not see any concrete and strong sign they are doing the opposite.
Right, that's what I meant.
I think probably I wouldn't trust him, no
but then, i think i probably expect a different standard from what she does
i mean, she knows about all the time he spends with me
if i were in her place, i'd try and stop him from doing that
He is obviously being dishonest and betraying his partner's trust, love and commitment, what shows you he is not trustworthy at all. At the same time he denies anything but a friendship between you, while it is obvious he has been working on getting you more and more attached to him, feeling the way you feel, and that's abusive in my opinion, because he disregards XXXXX XXXXX needs, expectations and reality, making it appear as if everything was OK. It is for him, no doubt, but not for you.
you think he is doing it on purpose?
Right, but this is not about her, right? But about you and him, and you have wisely acknowledged that this is not an isolated episode but a pattern you have presented, which is very concerning, sine it shows your tendency and vulnerability too get into these relationship, attracting people like him.
Absolutely, since he is not an infant nor has any serious cognitive deficiency. He knows very well what he's doing.
why would he want to hurt me like that?
I am afraid you could suffer of what is known as Love addiction, you were very accurate when using this word o describe your experience.
When people are immature and distorted in their ways they think and feel, in their personalities, they would do everything in their power to please their ego, no matter who wrongly they use and abuse other people, and for sure, the more distorted they get, the more manipulative they become portraying a nice image of themselves and intentions.
do you think his love and care for me is all just an illusion?
or do you think it's possible for him to be like that but still also love me?
You have been into this vicious circle for 5 times now, then people with any distortions welcoming this type of dynamics, would get right direct to you and work on finding out how far they could get.
I think he does not love you at all, or if you want to call it love, it is an unhealthy and destructive love, since it is selfish and does not even respect you, nor cares abut your feelings, integrity, health and well-being, but uses you for his own gain.
Does it make sense?
it does make sense but to accept it is so hard
i really did think he loved me and i loved that feeling
and thinking that maybe he never loved me at all makes me feel sad and worthless
Absolutely, it is tough! Acknowledging it could be overwhelmingly painful, but it is necessary or you would continue self-sabotaging exposing to more abuse and extra pain you would have to afford sooner or later.
Just think how much more vulnerable and wounded you end after each one of these relationships, have you got more empowered, happier and fulfilled, stable and healthier with them?
i don't know really. i don't think I feel any more or less any of those things
What do you feel from those previous 5 relationships?
in a couple of cases I believe they were a waste of time
and in others, I remain very good friends with the people concerned
perhaps better friends for how i felt for them
I see. Was it your plan and expectation to build a friendship only with these people, or you had hopes around love and romance, commitment in the future?
do you think it's possible to move this relationship into a "safe zone" where we really are just friends - because I do think we could be good friends and I do think we both care for each other - and where I don't get upset by him?
I only had that expectation with one of them. With the others I knew it wasn't possible.
I do not know, no way to know for sure but from experience, but based on your story I'd say that I do not think that would work, being realistic, because of the way he denies his own actions and what he's been doing, justifies them, and manipulates you to get even deeper into it, trying to make you feel guilty if doing anything but enabling it even more.
the fact that he's managed to stay with his girlfriend as well suggests to me that he must have been quite manipulative with her as well
These behaviors show me this person does not even respect you, and that's why I do not think a healthy friendship could grow from it. Your vulnerability and addictive tendency to engage and enable those relationships would undermine your plans for a healthy friendship too, it would be like self-sabotaging to believe that.
This does not look good at all
ok. so - next steps?
also, where does love addiction come from? do you know?
I do not know if you have had counseling or psychotherapy before, but I strongly suggest you to consider consistent individual psychotherapy in order to work on yourself, to effectively cope with this situation, to heal and grow from it, and to be able not to get deeper into this addictive pattern.
Attachment, sense of self-worthiness and self-image issues.
i have had therapy before, but for anxiety. not for this.
i didn't really know this was a problem
Most times from bonding/relationships with parents/caretakers
Codependency is a core issue always present there in these situations, fear of abandonment, loneliness, rejection and more. Past experiences shape this distorted ways of thinking and feeling about yourself and of developing relationships, that'w why you need professional support.
Denial, avoidance, repression, justification, secrecy and other core issues are very serious and present, deeply undermining the person'a ability to change for better, this is why we talk about rehabilitation as a process, that requires a good support system and professional help.
how is secrecy related to it?
Addictions use to lead people to hide their feelings, relationships, plans, for them not to be obvious to those around them, since that would not help them promote and perpetuate what is obviously dysfunctional or unhealthy. Does your family know about these relationships, your close friends? They know the impact they have in your life, do you trust them to talk to them about it?
yeah, i've spoken to lots of people about it
What have they told you?
most think that he is in love with me but doesn't have the courage to leave his girlfriend
but they also think that the way he has behaved is bad
That is a simple way to see it, but without much insight about it
do you have any suggestions for how i should end it with him? what you say sounds really plausible, and if it is true then i agree that i should stop seeing him, as painful as that might be. however, just in case we are wrong about him, I want to end it in a way which shows precisely why I feel I need to get away from him and how he has made me feel. if we are wrong and it is the case that he truly loves me and wants to have a healthy friendship or relationship then he has the chance to put things right
A good friend would know very well how destructive this pattern has been and never reinforce it.
yes, but not that many people know the full extent of the pattern, they just know about a couple of the individual cases
Do you see then what I meant when I mentioned the "secrecy" -denial issues? This is what I am talking about and only you can break this circle with the right support.
If you expect him to approve or feel fine and content with your decision to end it, it will not happen. I think he will do his best to manipulate you, to make you feel responsible and guilty for everything, using the emotional and psychological power you have given to him, what would make it so easy for you to relapse and self-sabotage even more. You should rather be very clear and objective, letting him know that you feel this is no healthy for you, nor something that is consistent with your core needs and expectations, that he is in a committed relationship, living with his partner, and that it is incompatible with you to keep fueling more attachment to him, while he denies it.
Many times people in your shoes re not able to effectively break the addictive circle alone, and have to end it by a latter or email message, making it safer for them, since aware of how easily they would engage in the addictive process.
i can understand that
this discussion has been helpful, but i must admit it's made me feel terrible about myself. why can't i cope with relationships?
Apparently the chat did not sent my last input
Can you still read my words?
The core of your work should be about learning to unconditionally respecting, understanding, loving and supporting yourself, in gentle and compassionate ways, since it is from there that you will know how to take good care of yourself, set and keep healthy boundaries and limits, and build fulfilling relationships.
I will continue to be here to support you as possible, but please look for professional individual psychotherapy to work on it.
You're very welcome.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care and consistent action.
how do i contact you?
You could directly use this link: http://www.justanswer.com/relationship/expert-rafael-morales-toia/ and include or direct your questions to "Rafael", and i will reply in an hour.
thank you so much! i really appreciate it. your answers have been so useful.
You're welcome. I am very glad to hear that.
If you ever want to try online confidential counseling, just let me know, since I am willing to support you that way too.
is there a charge for that?
Yes, this is a new program that JustAnswers just started, which allows a few experts to offer this services not limited to JustAnswers public interface. Thus it would be a charge for confidential counseling session using face-to-face Skype or though a secure and confidential chat interface.