MMmmm….. Don’t beat yourself up over falling for this Lisa! There are so many ‘predators’ out there whose ego is more important to them than another person’s feelings. I am in my fifties and although the actual circumstances were different, I fell for a similar sort of man. Like you I was recently divorced, feeling vulnerable and felt overwhelming compassion for him because his former partner had been physically violent towards him. This, and certain aspects of his personality, hooked me in initially and I quickly got involved. I made excuses for some extremely hurtful behaviour from him and four years later realised that he was still strongly attached to another former partner he failed to mention until two years after our relationship had begun. The rest is history but basically I have given him time, love, support when he needed it, and loyalty over nearly five years.
Having read about committment phobia and the strange behavioural traits that go with it, I will be in a better position to spot it next time and I would suggest that you look into it too – some of the signs are much more subtle than the man in your situation showed. I’m also trying to release those hurt feelings rather than stuff them down inside me, because that just stores up problems for the future.
Be glad that you are yourself and not someone like him – you can find a loving and fulfilling relationship with someone else but I doubt very much that he can. I wish you lots of luck in the future.
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