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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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I have had a short (two week) but nevertheless intense relationship

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I have had a short (two week) but nevertheless intense relationship with a recovering alcoholic. He is expressing undying love and a desire to be with me for the rest of his life and a the very least I need to slow everything down. He has also suffered from depression and I believe he has previously made an attempt to end his life - or at least make a desperate cry for help by cutting a wrist. He has just met my mother who although she does not know any of the above about him has taken an instant and extreme dislike to him.
I in all honesty do not know how I feel about him but if I were to end the relationship I would need your advice as to how best to do so, please help.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

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).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this sad, distressful and concerning situation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Could you please tell me for how long have you known this person before you started dating for these two weeks?

Customer: I did not know him prior to dating him
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

All the issues, behaviors and disorders you describe here are very alarming, even more because of being present at the same time, too many red flags already.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see. Then it's been truly intense, and that does not help here specially because of the nature of his disorders.

Customer: Yes, unfortunately I only found out about his alcoholism about 5 days ago and the scars on his wrist 2 days ago
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Alcoholism, depression, and self-harm, when together for a long period of time, use to show personality disorders, like borderline personality disorder...

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know that, the best way to approach it is to start lowing things down, setting healthy boundaries and limits, otherwise it could get very overwhelming and dysfunctional based on what you have already seen in such a brief period of time.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

The fact he is "expressing undying love" this fast, is very, very concerning, because of the presence of all these serious mental illnesses. Manipulation and codependency could be at the core of them, what would not allow a healthy and mutually fulfilling relatiosnhip to evolve, unless he happens to be really well into his rehabilitation process from all these disorders.

Customer: Ok, I don't know how far in to rehabilitation he is, I suspect not very far as he is not that willing to give me details or specifics
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right. be aware that denial, avoidance, secrecy, repression, justification and other core issues are common in these disorders, then it would be self-sabotaging to trust him this fast, even less to attach to him without long term sharing allowing you to truly know about him and his reality.

Customer: I understand, what would be the best way for me to slow it down?
Customer: Everything you have just said has been of concern to me!
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

just showing consistent actions expressing him through words your need to gradually work on knowing each other better, without pushing things, specially because of his need to work on his rehabilitation process. It would not help to use any denial or codependent passivity here, since it would only enable more unhealthy attachment and dysfunction

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am afraid that he would act out and get into a "crisis" as soon as you try to pull back, because of all these issues/disorders, and if you fall into his manipulative game, you would get really trapped into it, making things much more complex for you.

Customer: Can you give me some examples of denial or codependent passivity?
Customer: Your last paragraph is what has really worried me and led me to contact you
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

So better to face a conflcitive episode-crisis level 5 now, than having to afford a crisis level 50 later.

Customer: ah, indeed
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If you being aware of all these serious issues, do choose not to clearly talk about them with him, addressing your concerns and finding out more about his real situation. He avoiding or using excuses and you just playing a passive role trusting him, while fueling further intense attachment this fast when aware of all the issues involved.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

A person unable to take good care of himself as an adult, could never take good care nor play a god role in an adult relationship,

Customer: Ok, so I should slow it all down first - is it all right to say that he could not possibly know the strength of his feelings this quickly?
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

If he is not actively attending regular individual psychotherapy sessions, and participating of a support group, beside of not using any alcohol and acting out in other ways, then it would be unrealistic to believe things would be just fine, even more knowing of these recent episodes, ad his openly intense attachment and passion towards you.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Sure it is, it is necessary an reasonable

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

otherwise you would be reinforcing and enabling irrational and impulsive thinking, feeling and doing, what could just intensify his addictive and compulsive behaviors

Customer: Good, I shall do that. If he does not start to open up more about his problems could I then tell him that is why the relationship can not continue?
Customer: i know he is attending SMART meetings each week
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I agree. You need to set clear and healthy boundaries and limits, otherwise you would be engaging in a very destructive situation that would become harder and harder to handle. remember that he could use words and feelings to manipulate, so do not trust them but only concrete actions.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Keep it real, both feet on the ground so you would not self-sabotage nor expose to manipulation, neglect, abuse or serious drama

Customer: so just to recap, I need to slow things right down, if I decide to finish the relationship how would you recommend I do that?
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

To be gentle, empathetic, compassionate, supportive, but also clear and direct, telling him about your core needs and expectations, concerns and hopes. that you can commit to take good care of yourself and play a healthy role in the relationship, but he would nee to be able to do the same in order to work as a real team to build something together, otherwise that it would not be possible.

Customer: if I need to come back to you again, is that possible?
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely. Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You can contact me using this direct link to my profile , just make sure you state "For Rafael only" in your request, for other experts to know you want me to reply, and I will respond in less than an hour most of the time.

Customer: is there anything else I need to be aware of just now?
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Let me suggest a couple of books that may help you

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself

Customer: The other issue in all of this is my mother, I don't believe she will ever come around at all so I think that would make it so much harder for the relationship to continue - what do you think?
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

And here you have a directory of local codependency support group, which could help you better understand his disorders and problems, and the risks of engaging in them:

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I agree, but you are an adult, so the decision is yours if you want to invest here and afford what it takes. If you choose to do that, just be very careful and mindful of all the issues and challenges it is already presenting and that could arise

Customer: I think just while I have been talking with you I realise that the relationship does not really have a future - should I still bring it to a close gradually?
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Yes, I do think that would be the best approach in order to reduce the impact of his reaction. to protect yourself and prevent a bigger crisis he could present.

Customer: right, thanks very much for your advice it is much appreciated.
Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care and consistent action.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

and remember to rate session. Thanks.

Customer: Thank you
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