Our beautiful friend Michelle is dealing with a situation that so many of us loving, caring women find ourselves in. She knows in her head that he's a commitment phobe and he's going to continue to break her heart over and over again, but she just can't seem to let go.
Here's her story:
I wrote to you about a year ago regarding a three year relationship I was in with a "great" guy who just wouldn't commit - the typical commitment-phobe narcissist who we all know and love!
He broke up with me three times. Each time he cited the "you deserve better" rationale. I was devastated each time I was discarded by him. It felt as if the rug had been pulled out from under my feet. I let these experiences severely impact the way I felt about myself and the value that I brought to the table in any relationship. It turned into a pretty bad self loathing project for quite a while.
Ironically, to the outside world I looked like a very accomplished, fit, pretty, confident 43 year-old single mom who had it all together. But on the inside I feel like a worthless, desperate woman who's not even good enough for a 46 year guy with plenty of problems of his own. I had convinced myself that I would never feel about someone the way I felt about him. Never have that kind of connection again, especially at my age. He ended up moving to a different state and I asked him to not contact me any more.
Here's where the story gets good. After the devastation really sank in and I let myself feel the loneliness, I started to get myself to a really good, strong place where I felt confident and in control again. I knew what I wanted and who I wanted to be. Things were looking very sunny.
But then, as if he could literally smell this confidence from afar, he came back into my life. He appealed to me on every emotional level he could think of and slowly but surely I let him back into my heart. Once again, I believed everything he said. We made arrangements to meet up in different places. Always very romantic and exciting. Always involving sex. In the year that we've been broken up, I've seen him at least 6 or 7 different times. I even spent Thanksgiving with his whole family. Each time he would say that he loves me and still wants us to be together and was going to find a way to make it all right.
And I believed him. All the while, still putting my life on hold and living in this state of limbo. Only this time, there was no real commitment so he didn't have to feel bad about what he was doing. The most recent contact happened only a short two weeks ago. We met up, had sex, great conversation, real connection and then poof! He's gone. There were a ton of emails and phone calls leading up to the encounter but now that it's done, the contact has all stopped. And I get the impression that he is actively dating other people, although he will never admit to that. This is a man who will attempt to eternally keep his options open.
So long story short, my question to you is HOW do I stop myself from letting him back in? How do I keep myself from feeling like such a loser? I'm a smart girl who knows better. I see the signs. I have the intuition. I know what is really happening here and what the best course of action is, and yet, each time he attempts to creep back in, I LET HIM! It's my fault, not his. How do I end this once and for all and not get consumed with all the thoughts about what he's doing, who's he dating, what does she have that I don't. etc. etc. etc.
I don't want to waste another second of my precious life on him or this, but I just don't know how to get there once and for all. Any help or advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
I’m never surprised when we find ourselves right where you are, right back where we promise ourselves we’ll never go. It’s because this is not about him. This is about you. And that’s the best possible scenario there could be! Do you see how powerful you are? You draw him to you by that power, by that beautiful metamorphosis that occurs when you’re finally finding your wings and ready to fly. And there he is; he’s back. He knows.
The most simple answer here, Michelle, is that when you find out why you believe you need to have someone like this in your life, you will be able to say no to him and let him go. He will no longer hold such power over you.
But you have to love yourself enough to do exactly that. To be able to let him go, to not go back to him, to stop thinking about what he’s doing who he’s doing it with, you have to be willing to stop playing his game. You have to want to. And few of us do.
There’s something drawing you in. There’s something he’s got that you need on some subconscious level that is worth more to you than the pain of the heartbreak and the havoc it wreaks on your own beautiful life.
I’m willing to bet it’s in your story.
There’s something there that says you need someone like this to try to convince of your worth to prove you’re worthy. There’s someone you’re trying to prove this to.
And while you may have created this package of all that you are and all that you have to offer that someone who’s truly right for you is going to love about you, there’s a belief system that says the opposite going on within your thoughts and the words you tell yourself without even realizing it.
Find those words. Find that little girl inside who’s so drawn to someone like this who can’t love her or give her what she deserves, but she still keeps trying anyway. Who’s telling her these lies?
It’s deep, Michelle, because it’s our conditioning and our beliefs that shape our behavior and cause us to do the things we do as if someone else was controlling our actions.
Whether it’s the fairy tales we innocently absorb as children, the media with all its misplaced messages equating hurt with love, the drama of the one person you could never quite get to love you, or the epic love story tragedy that you believe belongs to you, it competes with your own logical reality for your response to him.
It ends when you take back your own power. When you take that outdated story, those old tapes with their permanent setting of repeat, and you refuse to be a tragic heroine any longer.
He doesn't deserve you.
You deserve to be loved.
You have to love yourself enough to choose you instead of him this time, Michelle. He can’t give you what you want. You have to find it in you. It’s there. But until you change what you’re telling yourself, he’s the one holding the power in your own mind.
Make a list of what he offers you. And what he doesn't.
Make a list of how he treats you, and what you deserve and compare the two.
Write a letter to him that you don’t send of everything you want to say to him but never do.
You can’t wait for him to release you. The releasing can only come from you.
Do you have any ideas for our friend Michelle? Please share them with us in the comments!