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
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
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.