Letting Go of Your Ex

letting go of your exEllen and Jim dated for six months. In the beginning, their relationship was wonderful. The attraction was strong, and they shared many common values and interests. By month six, Ellen realized there was one red flag she could no longer shove under the rug. Jim had unresolved anger issues, and his last outburst was the final straw. He wasn’t in therapy and didn’t think his anger was a big deal. If he wasn’t going to take responsibility for his anger issues, Ellen wanted out. She got together with Jim and told him it was over.

He was devastated and shocked. He said he didn’t see it coming, even though Ellen had discussed her concerns with him many times. He wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and began stalking her. He wrote her long emails, professing his undying love, pleading with her to take him back. Then he began to text her daily. His obsession with Ellen had the exact opposite effect than the one he intended. Ellen felt annoyed and unsafe. She told him to leave her alone, but he wouldn’t listen. That’s when she reached out to me for support.”Help! My ex won’t leave me alone! What can I do to make him stop?”

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What to Do When Your Ex Finds New Love

your ex finds loveWhether you left him or he left you, it can be upsetting when your ex finds new love  and you’re still single. Recently, my client “Doris” learned that her ex got remarried. Even though she left him, she was filled with many mixed emotions: Shock that only a short time after their breakup, he was getting remarried. After the initial shock, she felt joy for him, that he found a woman who seemed like his perfect match in so many ways. And she felt a sense of peace and affirmation that she had made a good decision by breaking up  with him. They were not a good match at all, which is why she left him in the first place. But when you watch your ex move on and find love, it’s easy to second guess yourself. Am I too picky? Why is everyone falling in love but me?

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How Much Is Your Relationship Costing You?

how much is your relationship costing you(This article was first published in Better After 50 September 4th.) My client *Annie has been seeing someone for about six months. If you’re imagining a hot romance, think again. The person she sees once a week is a warm, loving therapist. *Lisa is helping Annie get over an abusive ex-boyfriend.

Well, boyfriend is a bit of a stretch. Annie may have been in love with *Joe, but Mr. Hot and Cold was not in love with her. He sent her sexy texts and slept with her when she came to his place, but hardly ever made the 40-minute trek to see her. He bought himself $600 suits, but refused to pay for coffee or a movie. And Annie kept coming back for more.

They dated on and off for over a year. To complicate matters, they were co-workers. What began as a flirtation on an online dating site ended up causing Annie considerable emotional damage. Two years later, she’s still ruminating about why he broke her heart. She spends her evenings stalking his online dating profile. Her anxiety has led to a dependency on sleep medications.

How much is your relationship costing you?

When a person needs to heal from trauma from their past or any form of psychological dysfunction such as addiction, I recommend that they see a therapist, often while continuing to coach with me. Annie’s obsession with her ex is a form of addiction. That, combined with the negative experiences she’s had with most men in her life (including her father), are holding her back from opening her heart to a healthy loving man, someone who will treat her with the respect she deserves.

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How Do I Deal With a Deadbeat Dad?

deadbeat dadDear Sandy,

I have a 14-month old baby girl with a man who left when she was only 6-weeks old. I wouldn’t agree with him on certain things, and he was hurtful, cruel, and very vindictive. He came back when she was 6-months old. But now he’s moved out and left me with the baby again to chase success and the millions he says he’s going to make. Of course he blamed the parting on me. I now know better than that. I know now that this is a good thing, but I’m so sad for our daughter. Before he left, he admitted that he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder and ADD. He has no compassion nor empathy. How do spend the next 18 years dealing with him coming in and out of our life? I tried being kind and nice so we wouldn’t fight. I even asked him to sign over his right to her so I wouldn’t have to go back and forth with him, but of course he said no. How do I deal with a deadbeat dad for the next 18 years?

Thank you,

Lucia

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How Can I Get My Boyfriend Back?

get my boyfriend backHi Sandy,

I’m 51 and have been dating online for about 4 years. I’ve met many quality men and had two serious relationships. The first lasted about a year. He is a very nice person and treated me well. He gave me a very nice birthday gift. But one week later, he wrote me this email:

“I don’t really think I am able to be in a relationship.  It just isn’t working.  I will never be the person you both deserve and will be happy with.  I thought we could get there, but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. I am so very, very sorry for my actions since you are one of the most giving, honest, kind people I have met.  Please forgive me for wasting your time and causing you the pain that I have”. 

The second man was someone I dated 7 times. Every time we saw each other, we were very happy. Then I hurt my right foot in a skiing accident. I had surgery and couldn’t walk or drive for 6 weeks. He came to my house and cooked me food. We slept together on those visits. I really like him. He called on his business trip and told me that he got a gift for me and would see me on Friday. On Friday, he texted me:

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