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Tips On Dealing With Difficult Men

ďDon't Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting GoĒRhonda Findling M.A.,C.R.C psychotherapist and author of ďDon't Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting GoĒ, ďThe Commitment Cure, What To Do When You Fall For An Ambivalent ManĒ and ďThe Dating CureĒ. You can visit Rhonda's web site at

Sometimes we fall in love with men who are difficult to get along with. However, there are things you can do to have a relationship with a difficult man and protect yourself from getting hurt or taken advantage of. Here are some suggestions:

1) Thereís nothing wrong with changing your phone number.
If youíre trying to end a relationship with a man who is ambivalent or traumatizing you, then changing your phone number is a way for you to set firm limits and boundaries. Thereís nothing wrong with it and in fact, I suggest doing this if you have difficulty saying no to him. Also, you wonít have to know or wonder whether heís trying to call you.

2) Donít be passive-talk back.
Donít just take what he says at face value. If he comes up with a ridiculous reason or excuse for what he says or does, then say something. Donít just passively take it.

3) His reality isnít your reality
His reality may be a case he builds up to support his fear of commitment. For instance, he tells you itís better to date more than one person at a time or itís better to see each other on Sunday night rather than Saturday night. Thatís his opinion. You donít have to agree with him. Stick to your own reality.

4) Donít let him downgrade the relationship.
If youíve been dating and he wants to break up, and just be friends, donít do it. Why would you anyway? Arenít you insulted that he doesnít want to have sex with you anymore? His changing the nature of the relationship might mean that he met another woman or just isnít that interested in you, or canít sustain a relationship. Itís a waste of your time and will end up traumatizing you. Cut your losses and leave.

5) Doting on him wonít make him love you.
Catering to a man and being his ďlove slaveĒ (cooking for him, doing his laundry, giving him money), just makes you look codependent unless he is reciprocating all your giving behavior. Itís human nature to take advantage of people. So youíre setting yourself up to be exploited and used.

6) Donít tolerate ďpartial relationshipsĒ
Partial relationships are:
> You only see him during the week, never on the weekends.
> Relationships with men that never go anywhere.
> Relationships with men that are involved with other women.
> He only wants to see you when he is in the mood, at his convenience
Partial relationships are a way for him to get his needs met (sexual, companionship, etc,) without his having to deal with his anxiety or issues about commitment. Itís nothing but a compromise, and you get the raw end of the deal.

7) Stop analyzing him.
I know heís an orphan, his mother left him when he was three, his wife cleaned him out, yada, yada, yada. Although itís sad and your heart goes out to him, if he dumped you or sees other women behind your back, etc., his traumas are no reason to accept his bad unloving treatment of you. The damage he incurs by other people in his past could be targeted towards you, if it doesnít go untreated. Although it is beneficial to understand the reason behind the inconsistent rejecting behavior, if you use it to rationalize his bad treatment of you youíre setting yourself up for a wasting a lot of precious time on a man whoís just not going to come through for you.
If a man is in a deep committed relationship with you, with a future and has a traumatic past then itís appropriate to feel sorry for him and be empathic and understanding. However, if heís hurting or traumatizing you, refer him to a shrink and wish him luck.

8) Donít waste time.
I understand how much you may want to be in love and how much you adore the man youíre seeing, but if he starts playing head games with you and is not genuine and authentic about wanting a serious relationship with you:
> Remember that you will squander time which can be detrimental and even self destructive if you are in your childbearing years, and want a family.
> Every breakup is a trauma so the longer you stay with him the longer it will take you to recover.

If a man breaks up with you and wants to just stay friends or have a partial relationship, the relationship will most likely not go anywhere, or completely deteriorate. Get out. Drop him. Donít let him waste your time, traumatizing you for the next man whoís out there, who may be genuinely looking for a relationship and not a narcissistic man who is wasting your time with a self serving arrangement that he wants at his convenience.


Rhonda Findling "Don't Call That Man!"

© 2006 Rhonda Findling

Rhonda Findling M.A., C. R. C. is a psychotherapist with a private practice based in New York City and Atlanta, Georgia. She does phone consultations with clients all over the country. She is the author of ďDonít Call That Man! A Survival Guide To Letting GoĒ (Hyperion, 1999), "The Commitment Cure, What To Do When You fall For An Ambivalent Man" (Adams Media, 2004) and "The Dating Cure" (Adams Media 2005).Her website provides a message board for registered members which is utilized by women to support each other when struggling with relationship issues.


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