Would love some advice please!

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    Great to be here!

    In a nutshell…

    After my marriage break up with kids I met a man who I connected with in a very special way- never had I ever opened up and felt completely my self and secure with ever before, and same goes with him it was truly amazing for 2 years. The fact he was 20 years older and in honesty I was anxious about this and we both very anxious about the fact we together he had a lot of personal things to deal with we were very secretive about our relationship.

    In time I was getting over us a bit as I wanted to be my true self and not hide away anymore. I broke up with him for several months and had a bit of a fling it was fun and beleived my man had come to my life for 2 years for a reason as we’d both learnt so much about ourselves and life. It was very special but over.


    He did not take it well and become very much heartbroken, and not accepting this at all flowers money letters everything declaring is absolute love for me and I was so stupid to let something so special go away. He promised me the world for me and my kids. He is so kind and an absolute heart of gold.

    After 5 months of his perseverance and at times I missed our life chats his kindness so much I said we could start slow with friendship again. He could now sleep again and function properly he was the happiest man again like before. The only thing is its just not the same for me anymore. I just wish I could love him like I did. I don’t know I can’t. I hate how much sadness and kills his heart if I were to tell him this.I’m so confused. Why can’t it go like before? He treats me like an angel and wants nothing but happiness for me and my kids. He thinks I’m just pushing him away for all the wrong reasons. I have no ideal. All I know is I just didn’t feel the same love I did before. I can’t hurt him again it’s just so horrible that I could do that to him. Any advice or support I would appreciate soooo much thank you.


    Dear Kara:

    I think the following may be the reason you don’t feel love for him like before:

    You feel guilty for having hurt a kind man with a heart of gold. And you are afraid to hurt him even more. (“I can’t hurt him again it’s just so horrible that I could do that to him… He so kind and an absolute heart of gold”)

    Guilt and fear kill the feeling of love.

    I hope to read more of your thoughts and feelings.





    Thank you so much.

    Yes I most certainly feel guilty and it makes me feel confused and hurt he can do that to me, he constantly talks of how much he loves and adores me and how he pretty much says he cannot live without me. I feel so much pressure.

    Most people would love to have someone love them that much so it makes me guilty for being ungrateful too!


    I do have issues around him being so much older than me too-especially what others think. I have worked so hard on myself with self love and not letting what people think effect me and it’s been an amazing jorney-but with him I do worry about that.

    I see men my age and I wish he was my age I’m physically more attracted to men my age. I know that’s very shallow.

    If I choose not to love him and not be with him will I regret.

    Im the most unjudgemental and unshallow person so it does not sit well with me at all.


    He says I focus on the negative when it comes to him and I should focus on his positives. Rereading this yes I’m totally focused on the negative.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by Kara.

    Dear Kara:

    You met this man after your marriage broke up. You had kids then and freshly out of a marriage, correct? It may be that this relationship fit you at that time of transition, something or someone to hold on to while experiencing distressing changes in your life.

    Maybe when you broke up with him, you really were over that relationship, not needing him anymore. Only he still needed you.

    “He is so kind and an absolute heart of gold”- but is he kind enough to let you go when you no longer need him or want him? Or is he willing to pressure you- with … kindness- to be with him knowing you are suffering for it?

    You wrote that after you got back with him “He could now sleep again and function properly he was the happiest man again like before”- were these your observations alone, or did he tell you these things? If he told you these things, then he put a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, clearly communicating to you that if you leave him again, he will not sleep, he will not function properly and he will be heartbroken again.

    And wouldn’t that be cruel to do to a kind man with a heart of gold?

    You wrote that “he wants nothing but happiness for me”- is it true?

    You wrote: “I can’t hurt him again it’s just  so horrible that I could do that to him”- trapped in guilt, you are, aren’t you?

    I figure he prefers you would be happy with him than not. But if you are not happy with him, he prefers that you stay with him anyway.

    In your recent post you wrote: “I most certainly feel guilty… he constantly talks of how.. he cannot live without me… I feel so much pressure”, so if you leave him, he will not only not sleep, not function properly, be sad and broken hearted, but he will also die?

    You wrote: “Most people would love to have someone love them that much”- I can’t think of a single person who would love to have someone pressuring them, trapping them in guilt, holding them hostage.

    Regarding the age difference, it’s a personal preference. It bothers you, so it bothers you. You feel what you feel.

    You wrote, “He says I focus on the negatives when it comes to him and I should focus on his positives”-

    You are the one to decide what is a positive and what is a negative. His very many expressions love for you seem positive on the surface, but if those expressions are intended to keep you with him happy or not, then they are dishonestly manipulative, guilt-tripping you, trapping you in guilt, holding you hostage.

    If you agree, can you possibly be happy with him?




    Thanks yes that is right I needed and loved him through that transition of me leaving my ex husband and taking my 3 kiddies with me. Our connection was absolutely amazing first ever for me and him.

    Though he isn’t really holding me hostage- many times he says don’t be with me if you feel sorry for me – he says if you don’t love me don’t be with me he reassures me and says he will be fine and cope . And he just want me and kids to be happy.

    Yet he will say other times how he couldn’t sleep eat or function, he lost 15kgs! And he’ll never love anyone ever again , and I make him so happy and I’m his everything forever.


    So yeah it Def confuses me ! He believes our connection is very rare – but that connection seems to be not as strong for me now I wish it was but it isn’t.  I miss so much how it used to be .He doesn’t seem to believe me he thinks I have no idea how rare it is and to not push him away. As no one will ever love me as he does. I do wonder if he is right.


    I don’t like to be alone to be honest, I don’t want to be single forever and I love myself enough to know not to settle just because. The more I write the more clearer it’s getting, thanks anita.



    Dear Kara:

    You wrote, “many times he says don’t be with me if you feel sorry for me”- so he knows you do and yet he keeps telling you “how he couldn’t sleep eat or function”-

    He tells you to not be with him if you feel sorry for him and then proceeds to encourage you to feel sorry for him, and he does so many times.

    When he says: don’t be with me if you feel sorry for me, it may mean: feel sorry for me more because I am so nice that … I don’t want you to stay with me for that reason.



    Thanks again. I guess deep down I know this.

    Interesting that when I’m unsure of my feelings I look for others to tell me what to do. I can’t seem to trust my own thoughts I get advice from my friend my sister I look up on Google and come to forum like this!


    When talking to my friend she said to give it a chance give it a go love might come back you only live once etc better than being single so I did with her encouragement full on!! but then  I didn’t feel it. Then I write to you I’m pretty clear I don’t want this. Mum is against this relationship re age gap which caused me much anxiety as she’s my best friend .

    He said I’m always 100% influenced by everyone else maybe I am.


    I can’t imagine telling him it’s over again he will be so upset I honestly don’t know how to do it. I tried friendship but it was way too hard on him and very intense. If I breakup again am I going to get months of flowers gifts money again? I can’t go thru that again I felt like I murdered his soul! Last time he got very dark and had suicidal threats to me where i involved police. It was very tough . This time I cannot and will not take on the guilt I just can’t.

    Right now he’s under a lot of stress with some personal problems he always wanted and needed me to counsel him thru it all. I used to love that but I think now it’s too confusing for him I’ve told him he needs cbt therapy which he is going to try but he believes no one can help him but me….actually he used to say that but now he wants to give it a go which is huge for him.


    I’m feeling scared to tell him- he takes my boy to soccer weekly does that mean that has to stop so confused. I’m very willing to be friends but I doubt that will be possible with him . We will see thanks anita u are so amazing giving your time and listening to me and my thoughts.


    Dear Kara:

    You are welcome.

    You wrote: “when I’m unsure of my feelings I look for others to tell me what to do”- let’s look at how and why you are unsure about your feelings.

    You wrote: “I’m physically more attracted to men my age. I know that’s very shallow”- you feel attracted to men your age, this is your feeling. In the second sentence there is your judgment about your feeling: shallow.

    Feelings are never unacceptable. They are neither good or bad and we are not good or bad people, deep or shallow for what we feel.

    Only our actions are a matter of choice and we are good or bad, deep or shallow, perhaps, for what we do, not for how we feel.

    Your attraction to men your age, is like I wrote earlier, a matter of personal preference, there is nothing shallow or deep about this preference. A woman who is attracted to older men is not deeper than a woman who is not.

    The value in feelings is in the information they provide us, and to live better lives, we better figure out that information.

    When people give you their input, their advice, a portion of their advice is based on their feelings, their experiences and that needs to be taken into consideration. The decisions you make need to be based on your feelings and your experience because it is, of course, your life. Others’ input can be helpful if you figure what in it is the other person’s experience.

    You wrote: “When talking to my friend she said to give it a chance give it a go”- your friend may be so charmed by this man’s attention to you that she believes it is true love. Maybe her experience is with men who does not pay enough attention to her, and her response to you is out of that lack.

    You wrote: “Mum is against this relationship re age gap”- maybe your mother’s experience is that she hates her own aging and aging bothers her. Maybe her response is out of that dislike of aging.

    Both advice are of value. But notice: your friend, being motivated from the lack I mentioned as a possibility, may be blind to the alarming suicidal threats by your boyfriend, missing that point somehow. Maybe your mother is focused on aging and is missing this very point as well.

    Your boyfriend, “He said I’m always 100% influenced by everyone else maybe I am”- well, you are very influenced, although I don’t think it is 100%, but you have been. Notice: he is trying to influence you as well, to take advantage of this weakness of yours.

    In the first two years of the relationship you “felt completely my self and secure”- I don’t think it is possible anymore because of his may expressions of his misery when you broke up with him, culminating in the most extreme: suicidal threats. You wrote: “(he) says he cannot live without me…Last time he got very dark and had suicidal threats to me where I involved police”

    I personally don’t see how you can feel yourself, and feel secure again after these developments. I say so because I cannot see myself being relaxed enough with him to be myself nor do I see myself feeling secure.

    This is an opportunity for me to evaluate my input right here, that I don’t think that you will be able to feel comfortable and secure enough to be yourself after these developments because I won’t. Is my projection here an accurate one (true to you), or is it inaccurate (not true to you, that is, you can feel secure with a man who tells you he can’t live without you and has threatened suicide before)?

    * I have more input, but this post is getting too long and I would like your response to what I wrote so far.




    Thanks again Anita.

    Wow yes its come back to me about feelings, im allowed them! no right or wrong, and its triggered me in the fact how much i hate to let anyone down, my ex, him , I hate the thought that i can cause them pain and hurt. it does not sit well with me at all. i really struggle with this actually, even at work i hate to let anyone down, im scared to upset anyone , its the people pleaser thing , but hey ive come along way compared to how i used to be!

    remembering my self love i am who i am, no right or wrong i am who i am and thats perfect for me, and gods got my back 🙂

    Reading this I realize the power that guilt has over me, When I left my marriage I had a huge amount of guilt feelings, I did alot of work around how this feeling made me feel, It wasn’t serving me any purpose to have a happy life. It was a pointless feeling to have as it kept me stuck in ruminating thoughts.

    So with this man this guilt has come all back again. I was strong when i ended it 4 months ago, it was a very hard decision to make but I did because it was over for me, I believed he was there for a reason but 2 years had gone by and now it was the end. He just could not understand this, he thought it was because i cared too much of what others thought eg my mum. and i wasnt being true to myself.

    Obviously as you know he did not take it well at first suicidal threats, constant contact, visiting, letters. money, gifts, flowers. wanting to buy a house for me , promising the world to me. Finally after 2-3 months he slowed down but it never stopped. My family and friends were very worried calling him crazy but i knew it was because of his issues and his ‘love’ for me.

    This did get me down, it was intense, I was unhappy, i felt huge guilt what i had done to him, he was a mess, i started missing what we had, wondering if i had made the right decision, he was my best friend, will any one ever love me again, will i regret this forever.

    So  we kinda got back together, letting him know im confused and not sure if i love him but willing to try…I was very firm and honest about my feelings, i said you make me feel pressured slow down, of course he understands and is very embarrassed and regrets the way he acted after the breakup and he says hes working on himself…i never told my family, my mum ….i was low i wanted that happy feeling again. Being with him i realized my happy feelings didnt come back. Now after talking this over with you and getting friend opinion I cannot expect anyone to make me happy and make my decisions, thats my own job from the inside you know. I feel complete calm and peace again. I really do, its been a while 🙂

    I cannot be with him because I dont want to feel guilty, thats just plain dumb.

    The last 2 days ive had not much contact with him, I know he will be freaking, hes going to think I used him, he will think he swrewed it up again, maybe he might take it well this time, maybe he wont? But those are his feelings and thoughts I can only control my own, im scared to hurt him again, but its his choice how handles it , i will try not to feel guilty as i said before its pointless.


    Dear Kara:

    “about feelings, im allowed them!”, you wrote. Yes, you are. There is nothing more fundamental than our right to have our feelings.

    You wrote: “he thought… I wasn’t true to myself”- I think that his overriding, dominant concern is you being with him, not you being true to yourself.

    You wrote: “he understands and is very embarrassed and regrets the way he acted after the breakup”- if this is true then he will not act the same way, or in a similar way if and when you break up with him again, correct?

    “he says he’s working on himself”. Did you ask him how he is working on himself? (if he has enough money to buy you a house, I hope it means he has enough money to finance quality psychotherapy for himself).

    “he’s going to think I used him”- maybe better not take his money gifts anymore, or gifts that cost money.






    NOT HEALTHY!  Actions of manipulation: Suicide threats, gifts, money, trying to buy your affection, declaration of love, saying he cannot live without you and cannot love anyone ever again, talking both sides of his mouth: don’t worry about me/I cannot sleep or eat because of you, being involved with your boy.

    Bless him and stop contact with him.  He won’t let go.  He does not know how to be “just friends.”

    You had it right the first time when you parted ways.  He was great for your transition but now you need to stand on your own two feet emotionally and with yourself.



    Thanks very much Mark and Anita, you both write some home truths.

    I talked to him about im not feeling the connection and love like before and im sorry but I dont want to be back in a relationship or friends as its too hard. I apologized for coming back as it may have been because of guilty feelings.

    Its been up and down with his responses all in one day.. he was very upset with lots of tears saying dont be sorry if were were sorry you wouldn’t do this, he hates his life, i messed up his life, how could i do this to his heart because i know how he feels about me, then he came over saying how sorry he is and wont ever make feel guilty and he is fine and ok and he understands he said he will be good this time,, then he saw me out and said how stupid i am and i didn’t give us enough time, he believes ive made a mistake, im just too immature to understand, he told me how much he loves me forever and hell never want anyone else. He said i dont believe in us enough, im so special, i should never have come back, very upset saying that i dont care at all, saying hes so upset and cannot believe what i have done and he only wanted to ever have me as a friend in be in his life, and he is not going to get counselling etc anymore. He misses me so much. Then he now said he totally understands and only wants me to be happy and said he will stay away and said goodbye.

    Quite intense. I didnt get caught up with answering back everything, i kept my cool saying we ‘were’ good but not anymore, and I wont take on guilt, and im sorry you feel this way but i cant fix you. Most importantly I didn’t take on all the guilt, he has many issues to deal with that i cant be involved in.

    Im quite proud of myself for not taking it all on, like i did last time – i can see how i took it all on last time he just made me feel so bad last time, but not this time hopefully, i feel much stronger. I really prayer and hope he means this goodbye for real, ive blocked him.

    I need to be myself focus on myself and kids, as you said mark stand on my two feet emotionally. It scares me abit as im so up and down with my feelings these days. I hope he just leaves me alone properly now. I do feel abit of guilt i guess but i think its a normal amount.




    Wow! Good for you!  You are being strong, setting and keeping boundaries and focusing on what is good for you.  You are well on the way of being an emotionally strong and independent woman who does not depend on or care take someone else.

    You are not being sucked back into his drama or manipulation.

    You are teaching your children well for children learn best from their parent’s example.  It is not what they hear from you but what they observe and experience.  You are teaching them about what makes a healthy relationship and a healthy you.

    You had attracted your teacher and now you have learned what you needed to learn and moved on.

    Best to you,




    Thanks I love how you wrote this…You had attracted your teacher and now you have learned what you needed to learn and moved on.

    I really wish for his emotional wellbeing he really got this such a shame his heart got broken in that process.


    I’d like to learn for the future not to depend on others for advice thanks anita re reading about others opinion has helped me.


    Dear Kara:

    You wrote above that “his heart got broken in that process”- I don’t think his heart got broken in the process of the relationship with you, or because of you. I think he came into the relationship with you broken.

    He changes too quickly, from tears to anger, from promises to blaming. Taking into consideration his suicidal threats and the police being involved in a previous incident, as well as his personal ongoing problems outside the relationship with you, I think that he may very well be dangerous, not only to himself but to you and to your children.

    You wrote earlier: “he takes my boy to soccer weekly”- I think it is important that he no longer has any contact with any of your children, that you notify schools your children attend, the soccer coach, etc., that he is not allowed to visit your children or leave school/ soccer practice with them. Make it very clear to relevant personnel that needs to know this.

    It is very important that you do not change your mind and connect with him, that you do not accept gifts from him, that you do not encourage him in any way, shape or form to reconnect with you.

    I hope he withdraws from your life and that you will not have to involve the police or the courts on the matter (restraining order and such).

    Post again anytime.





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