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By September 29, 2014 27 Comments Read More →

Is this man insecure, a jerk or a sociopath?

Editor’s Note: This letter to Lovefraud is submitted by the  Lovefraud reader who goes by the name “Shanmoo.” Donna Andersen’s comments follow the letter.

I can’t believe I’ve had to come back here after five years. I had a spath boyfriend in 2008-2009, and spent many a night on this site. However, I did move forward, and I believed I had dealt with all the issues, karma and justice happened and in fact I met a decent guy. Unfortunately we went our separate ways because of my illness, at that time.

My relationship with co-worker “A”

And that brings me to this guy, we’ll call “A”. We are broken up now, and he is basically being an absolute jerk, I work with him, and I need your help to deal with him. I’m having to find another job and it’s just not right.

Two and one half years ago I had to move back to my home country after a life abroad, due to illness. I have fibromyalgia. I took a job here in the UK, well below my qualifications. It was better than fighting the disability benefits system. About 16 months ago I met my now ex — “A” — in my workplace. I used to walk past him, and I remember him just staring at me; watching me as I went past, almost obsessively. He is quite attractive.

Anyway, I used to see him in the work kitchen and one day I figured, just talk to him. So I did. Well that was that. He used to watch me from his desk. He could see to the kitchen, and every time I went in there, he would turn up, and talk to me. This went on for weeks. I wondered, when is he going to ask me out? Then I got collared by his friend’s wife, who also works in there, and she said he had been talking about me and if he asked me out, would I say yes, well of course. She told me that in all the years they had known him, he had never gone out with, or been bothered about any woman. She assured me he would treat me well. Anyway I engineered things a bit. I asked him along to a mutual night out with friends. That night he asked me to go out the next night and I said yes and that was that.

We started seeing each other, and honestly, it was really good, although he wasn’t your average man. He was a bit useless. A very long term bachelor, and didn’t really have any home skills. I was decorating my flat at the time and I was shocked that he had never held a paint brush in his life. I had to teach a 41 year old man how to paint. He also didn’t drive, which I found a bit odd.

He used to message me and be with me loads though. I can’t complain. However after about five or six weeks he landed a bombshell. He sat me down and told me the relationship wasn’t working for him. I didn’t understand this as we had been getting on great especially in the bedroom but he told me he felt that we were just friends. It brought me to tears. I was really upset. He apologized and said he didn’t want to upset me and asked me to forget it. He said he had just misunderstood stuff. Women had previously treated him like second best…. etc.

Anyway we just plodded on and really things were good.

An invitation to move in

Four months into the relationship and he was asking me to move in with him in a new place, and have his baby…. which I thought was a bit soon to be honest. However I am 45 years old.

The one main thing however that bugged me was the driving license. Now admittedly I wasn’t in a great place as in March this year my fibromyalgia flared up and it was really bad, I was in so much pain and I started to feel resentful. He had promised me that he would learn to drive, and in April, he told me that he had never wanted to learn to drive and just said to avoid an argument.

So I took him out at the car park in work, and told him to basically f*** off and be single, for lying to me. I didn’t really want to break up with him; it was a cry for help. I couldn’t manage everything. However, he just walked away. I tried to work things out with him two days later and he told me that he had wanted to break up with me months ago? He said I had been so negative for months and he is a laid back positive person.

I found that a bit of a joke; as most nights when he had been at my house I had been listening to him complain about various people at work incessantly, also just before going to sleep!

The breakup

To cut a long story short, the last five months have been absolute hell. He has treated me like complete rubbish since our breakup.

Initially after the breakup I tried to get things working again. I went to see him, accepted my part, that I had been wrong to push him to learn to drive, and we talked loads. It was good. At one point his barriers came down and he held my hand. But then he said “oh we will just be friends”. I thought this a bit odd?

Friends didn’t work. He basically treated me hot and cold, as he wanted. Would be nice to me, then just ignore me and blank me. So I went to his flat about three months ago and had it out with him big style. It came out in the row that he was very angry about the way we had broken up. Ok, fair enough. However I told him never to speak to me again. So what did he do? Two days later in work when he saw me, sparked up a conversation with me, as if it had never happened.

A difficult work environment

We didn’t speak for three weeks, and it was just awful. Being in the same workplace and having mutual friends. I could see from going by him in the office that he was bothered. The atmosphere was terrible, especially around mutual friends and when I needed to go by him. Someone suggested that we go out for a coffee and put the past behind us. When I suggested it, he seemed up for it, and then went weird, so we ended up falling out about that!

However eventually we met up and you know what, we had a great afternoon. We spent three hours together and it was great. He left with a big smile; walked with me towards my car. Next day in work he was beaming. We had loads of contact. He was protective. He was interested in me. He cared what was going on. After that there has been some chat, often consisting of him following me to the kitchen, then hooking me into conversations, wanting to know what was going on, and asking question after question.

We went out again three weeks ago… same again, for most of the night. After our coffee he asked me to stay out longer which I did. He walked me to the car park, which was quite a way, but then went weird on me like “bye”… huh? I hadn’t asked for anything. He didn’t even see me to the car and make sure that I was safe. His excuse was that the lighting seemed good.

Since then he has just got more and more distant, and now he has completely cut me off again. He blanked and ignored me the other day in work!!!

Doing my head in

It is so doing my head in. I have been wanting to leave my job ever since we broke up and now I’m getting desperate.

I raised it with my supervisor today. It is emotional control and abuse. I don’t know what I’m going to deal with in work — will he be nice to me, and talk with me, or will he ignore me and blank me, stick his nose up like he can do better ? He ignores me in front of other people that we work with? It’s horrible.

It’s upsetting me and I can no longer work in this environment. You can’t work “around” an abusive relationship; the only solution is to get away. However to do that, I need another job. In the meantime, I have to deal with this ****head in the office, five days a week. It’s killing me. I am going home most nights in tears. I’m either drinking or on sedatives.

This guy is actually very insecure, but hides it well. Right now his ego is boosted by having had an attractive girlfriend who chased after him.

My life is in tatters, as I’m having to leave a secure job because of his behavior, and my mental health is a mess. He walks around like he is the bee’s knees. I try to knock him off his pedestal but nothing works. I’d so like to punch him!

I should tell you that he loves his money. He is obsessed with work and saving, but spends it on nothing. He is a total commitment phobic.

Can you help?

Donna Andersen’s comments

Shanmoo, I welcome you back to Lovefraud, although I am sorry for the circumstances that have precipitated your return.

You’ve asked for help in dealing with “A.” Here are my thoughts.

The basic issue is that “A” has been indecisive, ambivalent and sometimes cruel in his involvement with you. Some of his behavior, such as the following, is typical of sociopaths:

  • Blaming you for being negative, claiming to be positive, then complaining incessantly
  • Breaking up and treating you like rubbish
  • Being hot and cold with you
  • After a big fight, talking with you as if nothing had happened, then cutting you off again

So is this guy a jerk, insecure, or disordered? Although his actions certainly feel abusive, based on the information you’ve included in your letter, a clinician might say “A” doesn’t quite meet the criteria for a personality disorder. (For more on how to determine if someone is “a sociopath,” read, Sociopaths range from sleazy to serial killer.)

Guess what? For you, it doesn’t matter.

More healing

In my opinion, the fact that “A” came into your life means only one thing: You have more healing to do.

This does not mean that you have failed. In fact, it may indicate that you’ve made very good progress.

Here’s how you started your letter:

I can’t believe I’ve had to come back here after five years. I had a spath boyfriend in 2008-2009, and spent many a night on this site. However, I did move forward, and I believed I had dealt with all the issues, karma and justice happened and in fact I met a decent guy. Unfortunately we went our separate ways because of my illness, at that time.

I’m sure you did a lot of personal recovery work. If you saw some measure of karma and justice for your sociopathic ex, that’s terrific. And if “A,” as miserable as he was, wasn’t as bad as your previous sociopathic boyfriend, it means your emotional state has actually improved.

But you’re not finished.

Deep emotional wounds

Throughout our lifetimes, we can suffer many, many emotional wounds. Some are far worse than others.

Often, we are not in a position to deal with them when they occur. During childhood, for example, we may have had to endure abusive or neglectful parents. Or perhaps our mother and father were simply too exhausted trying to make ends meet to give us the attention we craved. Either of these situations plus anything else that may have happened can create deep wounds.

But as children, we often can’t do anything about it. We lock the pain up in a corner of our psyche, and do our best to survive.

Then we may have had previous romantic relationships especially with abusers that created terrible feelings of disappointment, betrayal and fear. But at the time we may have felt trapped, so again, we stuffed the pain into a psychological closet.

Even romances that end amicably create wounds. You mentioned meeting a “decent guy,” but that didn’t work out. It’s still a disappointment, and you may still be carrying the residue.

Your involvement with “A” was legitimately painful. But I think it has a hidden blessing. As you release the negative emotions of this experience, the pain of other, deeper wounds may also rise to the surface, so you can release them as well.

Be patient

So what do you do now? Cut yourself some slack. Recognize that you are in the thick of this experience, and it will take you some time to recover.

If you’re arriving home in tears, that’s okay, because that’s how you release the pain.

I would advise that you lay off the alcohol. Alcohol is a depressant, so it will make you feel worse. I’d also advise being careful, and consulting your doctor, on the sedatives.

About your job don’t do anything yet. Give yourself some time to process everything. You may soon feel better, and discover that “A” is easily ignored at work.

You may also come to the conclusion that you’re better off without him after all, who wants a man who can’t drive and can’t paint?

 


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27 Comments on "Is this man insecure, a jerk or a sociopath?"

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Agree with Donna in that it doesn’t really matter what this indiviudal’s diagnosis is, just that he is completely twisting you around like a pretzel, on one day, off the next. That behavior, in and of itself, is abnormal, unhealthy and most importantly, making *you* miserable. If it means anything, I do think this punk is a socio, and you need to get as far away from him as possible. He is poison and feeds some addiction you have so in order to be free of his toxic influence, you need to find another job if possible. I’m not discounting that Donna is correct and you may be fine there if you stay away from him. I think distance is helpful in speeding up the separation process and keeping no contact as your MO w/this guy.

I had a similar type of “relationship” w/my boss who was thankfully fired after turning my life upside down. He used the same tactics, the same “get away closer,” BS. As you noted several times, it was so terribly devastating when he’d act like he was enamored of me, then disappear completely, emotionally and physically. I had NO idea why this secretive, closed individual would act neutrally for a period of time, then out of nowhere, ask me to go away with him, followed by ignoring me for weeks. I made excuse after excuse for him because well, he was the big boss and having problems at home, so he had to be discreet. I wouldn’t let myself see what as really happening. I’m the type of person who’s always confused love w/hurt, hurt w/love so this type of treatment was like home cooking for me.
This guy is scamming you all over the place and you need to find a way to get that to stick in your gut and to realize you are not in it for healthy reasons. This is not a good relationship, it isn’t even a relationship. It’s a psycho with no conscience or ability to feel anything using you for whatever and whenever he wants. I can tell for certain you a a decent human being, worthy of being treated well and intelligent enough to know that that is the opposite of what is happening with this sick excuse for a man.
The one thing I still cling to (been 3 yrs since he was walked out of the office) is something I read about socios that fits these monsters like a glove. That is that they have the emotional maturity of a 3 yr old. I just re-read your story as I read it first time this morning and didn’t have time to respond.
WOW! You have taken a beating from this brazen creep and please, keep trying to find another job. I really think you need to get away from him completely. I can’t believe how many times he’s sucked you in, then spit you out. I think you are too susceptible to his punishing ways to stay in the same workplace. I would highly suggest therapy as well to help you gain perspective and have a supportive, competent professional to count upon seeing on a regular basis. I couldn’t have made it through without my therapist. I was already going to see her when I met him and she was sucked into it too! Then slowly but surely we both began to see his sickness seeping out like pus from a sore (sorry for being gross, but I think it’s helpful to see these slimy non-humans for what they are.)
Once again, realize you are dealing with a 3 yr old, who wants what he wants when he wants it, has no conscience or empathy (ie, he walks away from you after an evening together like it meant nothing, and believe me, it meant less than nothing) and takes no responsibility for his actions.
I surely hope you get over this swine and move on to a life that holds peace and some happiness, free of this punishment you seem to think you deserve. You don’t. I wish you love and life.

Thought there was an edit button at one time on this blog…but anyway, wanted to make sure you know that I’m not suggesting you give up and great job and that I’m still at mine. I tried like mad to get out of there and wanted to be out before he did. Unfortunately, he was dumped off before I found something else. I knew I had to get away from him physically because of that part of me that relished seeing him, no matter how degrading and awful he was. I think there is something empowering and therapeutic about leaving him behind. I wish I had been able to find something before he was fired. It felt like I was left behind with no answers, surrounded by his ghost, his aura. Before he left, I never talked to anyone about him, but afterwards, I tried in a quiet way to find things out. I was obsessed to figure out what his story was through others’ eyes but I had little success. No one seemed to know or care. He NEVER got in touch with me to explain his sh*tty behavior because I was meaningless to him. Maybe you see things a bit differently than I do because I wouldn’t have been able to stay there if he was flaunting a girlfriend around the place. That would be too punishing even for me.

To All:

http://www.thetappingsolution.com/

Here is one of many links to EFT tapping. There is a video clip that shows how to tap and where to tap and there’s information about how it works. EFT tapping is like a magic wand except it’s better because you don’t have to keep up with a wand — no looking around saying, “Now where did I put that wand?” How great is that? All the tools you need for tapping are your hands, head, chest and torso. This is the simplest technique you have ever seen and the bonuses are that it works and works quickly and it’s FREE. There is a tapping solutions book and a DVD that you can buy but you can learn tapping without those things. This is so helpful for calming your mind and emotions and it really works for pain, too. I know it sounds too good to be true but it really is true. Try it and prove it to yourself. I am very passionate about this and other alternative healing because I dislike the medical profession. I am getting older and have no desire to be at the mercy of the medical profession like most older people are.

If the information on http://www.tappingsolution.com does not satisfy you, just Google EFT tapping and there’s tons more information on the Internet. Tapping can be used on anything! ..pain, stress, confusion, emotional upset, anger, regret, feeling stuck, feeling disappointed, not knowing the solution or answer to something, not knowing what to do, feeling left out, feeling unwanted, feeling overwhelmed, etc., etc. You name it – you can tape on it. It’s so exciting and has changed people’s lives. Check it out. 🙂

So sorry to hear about your fibromyalgia. I had that too, along with CFS, in large part I think due to the stresses of living with a narcissistic psychopath Dark Triad for so long. Now that I have been divorced a while, and after a lot of work on my health, I am recovered.

“A” sounds like a strange bird, alright. But he does not sound to me at all like a sociopath, or even abusive. He has hurt you, and so for you, that is not OK. According to one relationship expert on men, sometimes when men feel like they are getting close and fear the intimacy, they will pull back into their own corners, and pull away from you. This happens when the relationship is going very well, rather than poorly. This insecurity may explain your situation with “A”.

I agree with Donna. I would hold your head high, ignore A, and continue on in your job. Give it some time and see how it goes. Sounds like most people at work are more likely to side with you, if it comes to that.

Its meee!
Dear Donna, and everyone…. Thank you soooo much for reading my story and all your helpful comments, advice and insight. I thought I’d wait a few days before coming on site and replying, as I’ve been spending some time thinking, based not least on some of the things you guys have said.

I’ll start with an update.

2 weekends ago now, after the last “cold spell” with A, I had a breakdown, on the Saturday night. I had seen photos of him out, posted on Facebook, with his friends including female friends, and I just felt utterly unimportant and rejected. When I had put stuff on Facebook about me enjoying myself, whilst some “liked” it others from my workplace said “oh we all know you are just putting that on to get at A”. So I can’t even do my own thing trying to move on without it being about him. I simply couldn’t take anymore. This breakup, and him, was in my face, nearly every single day.

I had put on a brave face in that job, every day for 5 months. Done everything the books tell you to, make yourself look better, etc etc. Smile, be happy, never beg, have positive things to talk about. Date other men. Did it all ”“ but it was just false. Inside I was broken. I feel humiliated, embarrassed, rejected… And that everyone in there knows my business.

I called the wellbeing service at my employer and told them the situation and that I could no longer return to my workplace. Not as things were. I could not go back to this. The counsellor I spoke with was actually one that dealt with domestic abuse. She suggested that I consider taking some time off ”“ as in sick leave ”“ but when I see him I have to establish boundaries with him, which would mean talking to him about it. No way! – he would just get defensive and see that I’m bothered about him still. She wondered if I could put a grievance in but what for? Him and the managers would simply find things to blame me. And I don’t want constant argument over this.

Anyway I decided I’d just go off on sick leave and find another job. I’d go back when I’d found something and hand my notice in on my return. So my doctor signed me off for 4 weeks, of which 2 have now passed. I also closed down my facebook account for the time being.

I actually had an interview for a job but it was going to work out as a serious pay cut and I wouldn’t be able to survive. So I had to turn that down. However I’m waiting on a second interview for something else. Of course none of these people know I’m off on the sick, and its hard trying to hide it. For example a call to me “are you at work?..”

I have actually now spoken with A and established some boundaries, in a round about way. I do not want him to know that I know his game, and that I’m bothered by him. So I asked him if he would do me a favour. He has always used my ongoing job searches as an excuse to “chat” and then hook me, seem interested in me, etc etc. This has gone on for months. I asked him, when you see me at work, would you please not ask me about my job applications… He was about to butt in with something defensive… I interrupted and said you will be putting your foot in it as I’m in the process of having been offered another job, and they will want me to leave soon, so it will be a bit sensitive…. Oh ok, he says, great… I know he won’t say anything about that. He then asked if I had been away the last couple of weeks, I said the last week, and explained I was on the sick the last week but that was from mental exhaustion from overdoing it with job applications and interviews (which he knows its been so, so Im only white lying). He then said he hadn’t seen me the week before…. This was the week that he had not bothered contacting me and ignored me when I’d walked past him…. I said yea, I was in the office… So now he knows that I’ve stopped chasing him. Funny but he was SO enthusiastic and chatty on the phone… Made me want to wet myself with laughter….

So then he tells me that he has a job interview this week ” which would mean a move away. That would help me for sure although it wouldn’t be for some time. I’m gonna say a bit more on this later.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m trying to get another job whilst I’m off, and if not, then I have to have a serious strategy in place for when I return. Under no circumstances can it be how it was before I went on sick leave

The past and not being fully healed

I think this is indeed the case. When I broke up finally, for the final time with my spath “R”, it was an incredibly difficult time. I had had an adopted family including his daughter and parents, and a life with them, abroad. Suddenly I was left with nothing but a mess, distortion of reality and pain,, and then later faced with him “enjoying a great new life” with a new significant other. I was told by his friends that she was the best thing that ever happened to him…. He had also gotten a job in a school, as a teacher, when he liked young girls and teenagers, who I had found on his msn, he had a drug habit, and had lied about his employments and psychiatric condition. I tried to do something about this, but it failed and instead came back on me :((. However, true to form, he couldn’t stick out the job nor the relationship and ended up back where he had always been. However for me whilst the pain subsided, the sadness never did.

Then 18 months later I got ill with fibro… Not at that time knowing what it was… And then I met a good guy, T. I didn’t go out with him for the sake of being with someone, cos although I don’t like being alone, I don’t intentionally go as far as that. He was a truly wonderful person and I don’t regret being with him. However his lifestyle ”“ he was a bit too “free” and decided to go live in a caravan ”“ and my illness were not a good combination and in the end I decided to go home to my family to get well. It was incredibly tough because he has a young son so I effectively had to break up with 2 people.

When I met A

When I met A, at work, I was only just starting to build up my life again. I had just moved into my apartment, which needed painting, and I also needed to get furniture and bits and pieces. I had not had the time to build up a social network and life again, plus I was unwell a lot of the time which made it difficult. I didn’t like going out as I always seemed to have problems with either pain or headaches, got tired easily, and lacked confidence. I think he picked up on this ”“ he told me clearly that my illness didn’t bother him and he would never leave me!!

Before we were even together he was buying me presents and offering to help me with making my apartment. Despite the fact he had never picked up a paintbrush or bought a piece of furniture in his life! However once we got together he did start helping out, although I was having to teach him what to do…!!! And we spent a lot of time together doing things either in the apartment, or cooking together, or out and about.

So this is where a problem came in, I can see now. He was part of the foundations of the life I was having to rebuild. And then I made the mistake of making him my life… I didn’t really have much else on other than him and work. However he did not make me his life in the same way. He was in fact, always making other plans…. I say more about that below.

When things went wrong and we became broken, I also became broken because the centre of my world was gone and didn’t want to know.

I’ve made a commitment to myself that this will never happen again.

What is he ”“ does it matter – ?

Its fair to say that he does not have an antisocial/violent streak like my spath R.

However, I do think that he is a narcissist, and he has some quite serious issues that he needs therapy on. Whilst these are not my problems and I’m certainly not going to make any suggestions he go seek help! – it does help me to understand a bit more and not take things so personally.

What I didn’t mention, and may be of some relevance, is that A is an identical twin, and I think a lot of his issues stem from this. The boys separated after school and went to live at opposite ends of the country. Brother established himself in a capital city, albeit he has also been single for most of his life like A. A’s relationship with the girl he had met at uni and was going to marry, broke down, and A was forced to move back to his home area, which he has done ever since. As far as I know, he has not had a serious relationship since ”“ he even lied to me about a girl he said he had dated at work!! According to sources, he never in fact dated her…! Now that made me LAUGH so much!!

Anyway brother has always been the more outgoing one than A who is very insecure. I think A feels inferior to his brother. When I was with A, he would regularly talk about going to live nearer to brother, although brother had asked him not to. Hs brother had said it was very expensive, and the life he gets as a guest will not be the life he has living there. However I think he sees brother’s life as better and more fulfilled than his ”“ essentially from social activities involving foreign friends and pubs ”“ and wants the same. I reckon, that it was always his plan to go live there. He asked me time and time again if I’d move there, and I said no, my qualifications would be meaningless there and also I had just settled in to my apartment, nor did I want to be isolated from my family.

And now he’s had a job interview there where his brother lives! You know what, I wished him all the best and positively… Cos he lives in a fantasy world and I hope he falls flat on his face!!

What I’ve learned about me and what I need to do

The time out and away from him has definitely helped. I do need another job ”“ I feel traumatised by this experience, and I don’t want to see him, nor his friends. Not only are the friends a connection to him, they very mistakenly hooked up a decent person with a man they knew had an issue with women!! And I’m sick of hearing “you just need to move on… it just didn’t work out…”

I do regret meeting him, and I want to put it behind me and meet new people to talk about and go out with. A new social circle. I think once I’m in a new workplace I won’t think a fraction as much about him as my mind will be focused on the new people.

I read a great book this week called “How to get over a breakup in a few days” by Farouk Radwan. Its definitely worth a read ”“ it helps you understand about how the subconscious mind controls so much of our lives and relationships, and makes things seem a bit more clear and less personal.

I have been in the bargaining stage of the breakup for too many months. I realised why. Yes, there has been the mixed messages and hope that I’ve been clinging on to.

But more importantly ”“ I realised that since I came home from abroad, I NO LONGER WANTED TO BE ALONE. This is what I said to myself when I had gotten over the initial shock of leaving T and his son, and a whole life to return home. I’d never been “needy” like that before.

So what am I doing now, or what have I been doing? Hanging on to a false hope with a man who is a very bad match for any woman let alone me… for the sake of not being alone. I am 45 years old, and tired of failed relationships. I’m childless, and thats not by choice. I compare myself to my own brother, his 15 year relationship and marriage, their daugther and a great life abroad, success in his career, and my world has been shattered so many times. I am financially insecure and lost my qualifications. I battle with my health, although its really doing fine now I just get the odd days here and there.

So I’d rather hang on to the thin strings of a bad relationship and try force a reunion with someone who is not suitable, and in fact is capable of emotionally abusive behaviour, than cope being on my own. Unfortunately society has made the term “single” so negative. People in long term relationships are always trying to get their single friends hooked up, and thats what A’s friends did with him and me, so that he didn’t have to come to dinner parties without a partner. The wives felt threatened by single guys hanging out with their husbands, and the husbands felt threatened by their single guys hanging around their wives.

My next step therefore is building myself back up to be happy ”“ or at least content ”“ being on my own and not feeling that I “have” to be in relationship to feel “whole” or “accepted”. This is hard going against years of conditioning. Don’t worry, I won’t go into a relationship for the sake of it….. But what I do seem to do, is hang on to a bad relationship.

As for therapy, I’ve been re-referred for counselling and am due to start Cognitive Analytical Therapy next week. I tried EFT by the way, but I couldn’t get into it last time. That was shortly after the actual breakup.

Again, I’d just like to thank you all for reading, and please feel free to comment more if you want to.

Cyber hugs from Me the Moo.

I worry that you’re making your life too complicated without intention to do so but none the less, that may make cost you more still.

Oops! I meant to cancel…but the cat walked over the key board and the comment was sent. And the edit button nowhere to be found anymore, I guess.
Correction “… that may cost you more still”.
Explanation of my worry: As appealing as it may sound, are you trying to bite off more than you can really chew? Getting a new job has its challenges and downsides to manage when, as it appears right now, you’ve hit a rough spot and your stamina on the low ebb. The point of physical distance is really to achieve psychological distance.

I’m afraid that you’re not going to get it for a location change because you’ve identified what is actually working on you: A sense that your dreams are unattainable. He’s a straw dog to that issue but it makes sense, though, why this romantic break up broadsided you for that fear. (Yee Gads! I humorously echo the red flags waving that he can’t paint, hasn’t bought furniture and doesn’t drive…I imagine some dorm life hold out living with curbside cast offs in a dingy white apartment/cell.)

At the risk of reading too much into what you’ve reported, I think it significant that it was some 30 paragraphs into your second entry when you shared about yourself: That you were 45 years old, wished to have children, had enough relationships that didn’t flourish, etc. etc. The first entry (and the majority of the second entry) neglect you. What can you make of this observation?

I’d like to see you embrace you in all your fears that your dreams are not going to be attained and say “Like hell, I’m going to give them up” and get yourself doing whatever you need to do to have yourself what you want… which isn’t another job. Get a coach for helping you get the guy that makes the dream happen, not an analyst. Get whatever supports, aids, reinforcements you need to make it happen.

There isn’t much to learn about yourself vis a vis this break up that you haven’t already identified. (Except that when you overlook a rule or rules, they do tend to come around a bite: You know alot more reasons now why it’s not a swell idea to date a person you work with.) I hope my observation about neglecting to include yourself in this story serves to be of use to you. Who, what, why he is (or his brother) doesn’t matter a twit. What he was to you (A heartbreak) does matter.

In the break up with the partner abroad, is there material there that could help you get past this recent break up more quickly? Are there things you did then that you found were helpful or wasted your time which maybe useful guides?

Recent research has demonstrated that rehashing the break up story doesn’t gain many people the psychological distance that they need. However, since your rehash is memorialized here, if you reread it, it might gain you some distance… You have portrayed a suitor that doesn’t seem too competent in a lot of arenas, starting with getting behind the wheel of a car at his age. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he lived in someone’s basement either.

Hey there,
Thank you for reading and your comments.

I decided this weekend that I will definately not be returning to my job. I will have to find something else. I want to put this whole thing behind me – I don’t want to see him, nor his friends who hooked up up, knowing full well that he had a problem and just brush it off thinking its ok.

I got some info this weekend, which simply confirmed to me that my decision is going to be the right one. I had my suspicions that A’s best friend, who A works with, was influencing him very negatively, in fact they feed off each other. A’s best friend is in an unhappy marriage and spends all his time with A slagging off his wife and home life. A’s friend told me right after our breakup that A was quite happy being broken up…. Not very nice eh?

Well – there was a work social event a few weekends ago, not many people had turned up, but A and his friend for some reason went to it. A’s friend stated quite loudly some very derogatory comments about a group of younger girls who work in one of the “lower” departments of the office, and who were at the event. He said it to them in front of others. This was noted by various people and comments made as to how wrong this was however has just been brushed off, including by A’s friends wife.

Everytime A has spent some time with his mate, I get the mean/cold/nasty behaviour from A. When he has been away from him – he is the opposite.

When I spoke with my union representative last week about the situation she said that my workplace will not do anything – they will just say its a personal relationship and that I will get fired on capability grounds. Ive tried working since the breakup for 6 months now, and I cant do it anymore. I dont know what Im going to go into on a day – will he be nice as pie and pester me, or will I get ignored, frozen out, dirty looks or even growled at ? Whenever he is talking to his mate, I get ignored now.

If I do get fired, this will mean ultimately I will have to take them to a tribunal for constructive dismissal. They should really be doing something about the disrespectful behaviour that goes on in that workplace, but they dont.

I made the mistake of telling A that I had previously been in an abusive relationship – as I was explaining to him why I do not “fix” men or at least try not to! He knows exactly what he is doing. He instead gets his “fix” by upsetting me and dealing with me like I’m some stupid idiot unworthy of him, as thats the only way he can feel like a “man”. He happily does it in front of people at work.

All I want to do is put this whole episode behind me and forget about it like a bad dream. Keeping the lessons learned close to heart, of course.

Basically, I feel like I would be returning to the lion’s den.

My ex and his friend have become a couple of women haters, and I no longer want to be in that environment because it gets taken out on me.

**UPDATE**
HE’S A SOCIO!!

Theres been a few developments since this post.

First of all, I am still off on the sick but am leaving my job. I told my employer why I couldnt come to work, and they said they would try help me get a transfer to another department in another building. However Ive had to put a timeline on it, so end of this month, and if nothing happening, I will leave anyway.

Ive been going to Cognitive Analytical Therapy – if you havent tried it, do so. So far we are up to about session 7 or 8. Two things of importance, 1 is that I prioritise relationships over everything because I want a stable secure home and 2 to do that I will go to the ends of the earth for my man…..

Home in the socio!
And thats what he is.

I did not want any more conflict nor did I want to rise to him provoking me so I kept things neutral. However he suddenly started completely ignoring me, again, and wouldnt even explain why. He has now blocked all communication.

I have found out that he is seeing someone … Although none of his friends know. Guess what – he is doing exactly the same. Is just about living with her, using her computer, internet, food, bed… No doubt filling her with the same bullrubbish aka love bombing her.
I have now looked at all the facts that I have and I believe that he has been living a double life.
His friends said that he hadnt been out with anyone for 12 years. The man I slept with did not appear inexperienced but as someone who had bedded many women. However I reckon he keeps his sexual activities completely secret from his friends, as he can, considering he doesnt see them that often. They have families and other commitments.
I did of course get the Im a Victim of Women speech.
His personality type is passive aggressive, but unless you live with him you wouldnt know, so kind of a split personality. I think he has hopped from one woman to another over the years, using them, and getting them all to run around after him.
He didnt do the driving lessons because he knew he could just go out and find some other co-dependent woman to drive him about instead. Likewise cook for him, fulfil his sexual needs, and tie his shoelaces. He gets to stay at hers and save money. Remember this man has a LOT of money in the bank…. Yet chooses to live in rented accomodation and go on like a Scrooge.
He did not make any changes in his life to accomodate me, he simply fitted me in where he had nothing to do.

I saw him the other day with his overnight bag packed full, like it used to be when he stayed at mine for 2 or 3 days. I thought
YOU SAD LOSER
He can’t offer a woman anything other than what is in his trousers. I never stayed at his and I dont think any other women have, if they do, they wont go back because he has not made it an attractive place for a woman to stay, on purpose. He has nothing, and has achieved nothing.

Its horrible in a way to think that he is with someone else – because of course I think of the person that I dated. But thats not who he is. He is a fraud, a deceiver. His “love” was manipulation.
And now he is doing it all over again to someone else.

I cant even believe that he was faithful. I remember now that when I went to register on a dating site on my computer his email address came up in the sign in box.
There were all the times he told me he needed to be home to “make sure that nothings on fire”. The times he didnt answer my texts when he was away with work.

So I checked into the STD clinic at the hospital last week, just to be on the safe side. I will get the results back in about a weeks time.

Its quite a relief in a way to know. However, now my problem is the FRIENDS who blame me for the way things have gone, and say Im paranoid and needy. They dont believe he is seeing someone, as he only ever dated me.
Although one has now raised concern that he may be a “dark horse” then are still saying to me
“Oh come back to work. You just need to accept that its over. He moved on and doesnt care”.

Hmmmm, he didnt need to move on. He was never in it!

But its not about that. Its about that I dont want to be in the same place as a man who lied, manipulated, abused, and hurt me to the point I didnt want to live anymore.

Id love to expose him. Of course I know I need to move on with my life, and Im trying to do that, hard as it is especially around Christmas. But it would just make my day to see him fall hard after what he has done to me. I just wish his friends, at least his female friends, would find out exactly what a dirtbag he is.

Hi Donna and everyone
Unfortunately the plans have not gone to plan.
It looks like I may have to return to my job. Ive been for several interviews, to no avail.
In the last 11 days I went to 4, and all of them required intensive preparation and were long difficult interviews. I ended up completely exhausted.
The fallback work I had planned to take is also no longer available.
I haven’t slept more than a handful of hours each night for about the last month.
Yesterday I was so emotionally and physically wrecked that I was close to collapsing. On top of this my employer want an answer from me Christmas Eve – am I going at the end of the year or what?
I dont want to go back to that job, where he is. No way.
However the choice is leave and starve, or go back.

I have spoken with mental health professionals and employee support who both said Im in no fit state at the moment to make any decision.

I dont want to be off long term sick.. a new job really would help me so much. If returning to my office – nothing has changed, and he will do everything he can to make my life there miserable, because I found him out and told him so. He absolutely hates the ground I walk on.

Im currently trying to reach our Occupational Health people to tell them my situation, but as usual, they are too busy…

Watch this space.

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