by Rori Raye
If you’re feeling totally frustrated by a man who “says” he “loves you,” and that he “wants to be with you,” but just can’t seem to follow through and move the relationship forward, I know how hard it is to know what to do. When a man puts out “mixed signals” it’s difficult to “get” what’s really going on – especially if we’re all bound to him with our hormones and our hearts.
If you’ve ever found yourself in an “impossible” situation with a man, where you just KNOW that the relationship would be fantastic if there wasn’t something or someone ELSE constantly making it hard and painful for you, you are absolutely NOT ALONE, and here’s some help:
First up, here’s a letter from Cheryl, who’s stopping her love life cold by hanging onto a man who’s pretty much humiliating her publicly:
My name is Cheryl. I’ve been in a relationship with the same man for seven years. We’ve been separated for four years and I am still deeply in love with him. When I do see him it is like the first time I saw him all over again.
I am not really sure what happened to us. We used to be so close. Like “thicker than thieves.” We were in a car accident he had several broken bones and the memory of it all and I had a couple of broken bones and a head injury and I lost my vision for a couple of years and no memory of it at all.
I felt that we had gotten even closer through all of this some how until I started to get my vision back enough to go back to work. Then all of a sudden he changed. His step sister from a couple of marriages back moved to town and started hanging around but only when I was at work. I had only met her one or two times briefly before all of this and now when I would come home in the morning she was leaving my house.
He would swear nothing was going on but couldn’t say why she was here, and after that it seemed that I could do nothing right. Even the way I was standing was wrong.
So one day I got home and we had a disagreement and I said that “it has gotten to where I don’t even want to come home anymore” and the next thing I know he moved out and that was four years ago.
We still see each other and he says he loves me but we have had no romantic involvement at all and he and his “step sister” live together. Every time I ask him to talk to me or at least tell me it’s completely over, that there is no chance of an us any more he gets upset and tells me that he loves me and nothing is going to change that and then he leaves and I don’t hear from him for a couple of days.
What really kills me is that my kids miss him just a much as I do. I do know that he had a past history in drugs and sometimes I wonder if he is back into it.
All I do these days is wonder because he won’t talk to me anymore. I do know that I am not the only one at fault here but I don’t know how we can get back what we had. Is there any advice you can give me?
It’s easy to read Cheryl’s letter and think that she’s not even seeing the reality of her situation. But, sometimes, when you’re in the middle of it all, you really can’t see. And that’s why you need someone else to help you see it.
I’m happy to be that tough-love friend for Cheryl and perhaps, in her story, as extreme as it is, you can see some similarities to a situation you may be in yourself, right now.
First, let’s use Cheryl’s very difficult situation as an extreme version of an Imaginary Relationship:
Cheryl – this is what’s really going on: This man and you have been apart for 4 years. He is living with another woman. He does not demonstrate in any way that he cares for you. (Saying “he “loves” you is meaningless under these circumstances, and just shows how you must be a wonderful woman and OF COURSE he doesn’t want you out of his life.)
He likes you exactly where you are – pining for him and making him feel like a big man, while he continues what seems to be a REAL RELATIONSHIP – with the woman he lives with.
I know that sharing a trauma like the car accident can be a deep and profound bond, and that, earlier, your relationship was strong. I also hear that the moment you became independent, he was gone. Perhaps he had some guilt about the accident, and taking care of you was part of his healing. Being dependent on him for so long would make any woman feel deeply bound to the man she depended on. I know this is difficult, and still, you must break these bonds.
You must stop seeing him altogether. End contact, and begin a new phase of your life. There are many men in the world – you must make yourself available to them. And in the process of discovering these new men and how they actually want to be with you – without obstacles like another woman in the way – you will discover yourself.
Once you start finding the deep wells of strength you TRULY do have, you will also find the love you want.
Please be open to the new men (some will be “dates,” some will be behind the cash register or the deli section at the market), who will help you along the way. They’ll love you, give to you, and make you feel safe enough to love yourself in their presence.
Good luck, and please let me know how you’re doing.
Here’s a letter from “Want My Soulmate,” who keeps going back and forth – breaking up and making up with a man who can’t commit to her:
I was dating this man recently (for 16 months) that I had dated briefly in high school. He was hurt very deeply in his younger years and has sworn that he would never let his heart go there again.
We had an amazing relationship together. We got along like best friends. We shared so many things in common and needless to say, I fell head over heels in love with him.
The problem: he never shared how he felt about me. I told him a few times that I was in love with him (usually after a few drinks, cause I was too afraid he would reject me and the alcohol gave me courage) but he never said it back. This made me very insecure with where I stood with him and told him this, but he never did anything about it.
I broke up with him three times over this, but never really wanted it over. I just wanted him to see what he had and could possibly lose. We have not spoken in over 6 weeks and I miss him terribly.
He texted me last night, and while the text was not of any importance to us, I still am confused as to why he did it anyway.
How can I get him to come back to me and trust that I would not hurt him or his heart. I really love him and for the first time in my life, feel like I have truly met my soulmate and I want that back.
Breaking up with a man because he’s not committing to you, and then bouncing back to him when you can’t stand the separation, will never work to bring him closer. Men will call you and text you because they are lonely and miss you in their loves – but it doesn’t mean they want a serious, REAL relationship with you – it just means they don’t want to lose you from their lives.
What this man wants is to have you ON CALL. We think that if sex isn’t involved, and he calls, he must care. The truth is, men crave companionship and emotional connection just as much as we do. They can want to be with us just to be with us, but not enough to COMMIT to being with us.
In other words, they can like us and love us and still not be IN love with us.
It’s hard to tell from your letter if the problem is all his. Is it possible that your insecurities and need to hear “words of love” from him, and have a real commitment, was creating a “vibe” that pushed him away instead of bringing him close?
When you say you broke up with him not because you were unhappy, but because you wanted to have an effect on HIM, I hear you PRETENDING. Is it possible that there was actually a LOT of PRETENDING in your relationship? And that you found it hard to be yourself without, as you tell it, alcoholic fortification?
I’m not asking this to make you wrong – because if this is true – then you can CHANGE THINGS! If you work with my Tools this minute, and take your focus off of him and really, truly go about seriously falling in love with yourself, and treating yourself with love, affection and attention, you will be putting out a completely different vibe. And then, when he calls (which he will) you’ll be completely different.
You’ll be talking in feeling messages, doing the “Good Night Talk” from the Toolkit, doing the “Sensual Meditation” right smack in front of him – all the time, and being your real, true, softer self in his presence. And he will respond to you in a completely different way.
The bonus is – other men will start relating to you differently, too! You’ll discover it really is “raining men” out there. Your whole energy will be more positive, you’ll feel happier, and it will rub off on everyone you come in contact with. Men will want to be around you. HE WILL want to be around you.
Give it a try and see what happens.
Here’s a letter from Jean, whose man is still tied to his ex-wife in a very complex situation:
I have been living with my boyfriend for 4 yrs. He has an ex-wife, that during our first year together he talked about getting back with. I moved out and she moved in. It didn’t work for them and we are back together.
I now am hurt and scared of any kind of relationship that he has with her. He tells me that he will always help her, cause she is the mother to his daughter and grandma to his grandkids.
She is sick and on dialysis 3 x’s a week. I love this man but have lost trust. I hate myself for living like this, but I love him and truly don’t want to lose him. She causes trouble all the time, yet he won’t stop doing for her when she does.
I am now in a state of depression that I can’t seem to pull myself out of. I have no desire to go or do anything. He says he is being true to himself. Well what about being true to me and our relationship? I try to be nice to her when she’s around, but then I hate myself when I do. I am having so much trouble forgiving and forgetting.
He also has a tendency to say one thing, yet do the total opposite. I feel he hides things from me, in order to not cause “drama”.
One more thing, one of his children hates me and I have done nothing but do for her, over and over again. She wants them back together. I am 41 and he is 43.
Though there are many things in your letter I’d like to talk about, the first thing that jumps out at me is your frustration that he “hides things from me in order to not cause Drama.” What I’m hearing is that you believe YOU are the cause of “Drama.” And, most likely, you are.
You are also, and I totally understand this – ANGRY. It’s your deep anger toward your situation that is at the root of your depression. You’re just turning all that rage on yourself. So the question is – if this man is causing you so much pain, and he states that he has no intention of changing his behavior, WHY are you staying with him?
Loving him is not a good enough reason. If you truly loved YOURSELF FIRST, before loving HIM, wanting HIM and trying to effect HIS behavior, you would know exactly what to do. (Let’s stay away from talking about whether his behavior is “okay” or “wrong” or judging it in any way – because the truth is – IT DOESN’T MATTER. All that matters is how YOU feel about it.)
We are all different, and we all can tolerate, handle, and sometimes even genuinely don’t mind situations that would send another one of us screaming for the hills. So if I’m making HIS behavior OFF LIMITS in helping you, what are your REAL options?
One, you could simply say – “This doesn’t work for me.” He might argue, try to convince you, stand firm and tell you to take a hike if you don’t like it, and no matter what he says, if it’s not about NEGOTIATING the situation in a way that would feel BETTER to you, he’s not saying anything.
From where I sit, he will NEVER abandon his sick ex-wife. At least as long as she is sick, and it sounds to me like she has a life-long illness. You can either accept it, and accept her in your life (many women would – I wouldn’t, at least not the way he’s doing it), or you can leave, or you have a Third Way.
The Third Way is the Rori Raye Way – a third option.
Let’s look at Option #1 – Leaving. If you leave, and he begins to miss you, he may decide to do what he needs to do to get you back.
But, meanwhile, you’d already be dating other men and perhaps opening your heart to a new man who doesn’t have these problems. And if he Doesn’t come toward you and offer to Negotiate the relationship, including the ex-wife, then you’re STILL dating other men and opening your heart to a man who wants you and doesn’t have these problems.
Option #2 is staying and accepting things as they are. To stay and tolerate things as they are is what we do when we try to “understand” his side of things. Compassion and understanding are very good, wonderful, healing qualities, as long as they don’t come at the expense of YOURSELF, your values, and what’s important to you.
I can understand his difficulty here. To abandon his ex, who is the mother of his children, would feel to him like an awful thing to do. It would make him feel like a bad person. He might feel that he’s in an impossible situation, and by your unwillingness to work with him on it (from his point of view), he has no option.
Since you’re healthy, and she’s NOT, he expects YOU to make all the concessions. This sounds rotten, doesn’t it? These two options mean working very hard at trying to change this relationship, trying to change him, trying to change his ex-wife. And these are all things you have NO CONTROL OVER.
Trying to control these things can make any of us crazy. And the worst of it is, just even THINKING about trying to take control of these things creates DRAMA. And drama PUSHES a man AWAY faster than anything else you can do. So my advice is this –
Option #3, the Rori Raye Third Way: Before you try yet another tactic to get him to be truthful, to be trustworthy, to put you ahead of his ex – any of the things you want as a part of a REAL and good relationship (and yes, these things are SUPPOSED to be there – as a “given” – in a REAL and good relationship)- focus instead on YOU.
Work with your depression. Get professional help, or simply ask yourself powerful questions like “Why am I so upset? What do I want? If I could have this be exactly the way I want, what would it look like?”
You sound like a lovely woman who’s trying VERY hard to be a good woman and do the right thing. When you’re with a man who has children, grandchildren and a former wife who’s still in the picture – it’s very difficult to manage all the feelings that come up.
And this makes me think of a movie – it was called “Stepmom,” with Julia Roberts, Ed Harris and Susan Sarandon. Sarandon was Harris’s ex, and Julie Roberts was about to become his new wife. Harris and Sarandon have kids, and Roberts is a career-woman who is clueless about children. During the film, we find out that Sarandon is dying of cancer.
Julia has to endure the steely gaze, jealousy and constant reminder that she’s not a very good bet for being a great mom to the kids from Sarandon, and at the same time, realizes that she will become, when Sarandon dies, the full-time mom to these children. Not only THAT, but the kids will be grief-stricken and traumatized by their mother’s death.
This is one heck of a lot for a young woman who thought she was simply getting married to a great guy and being with his kids “occasionally” to all of a sudden handle. Her whole world changes. And of course, this being a movie, she rises to the challenge and becomes a good mom, and is accepted by Sarandon.
In a different way – this seems to be your situation. It’s a heck of a lot more than you bargained for. And yet – you get to choose.
Harris, in the film, is a model man, a model father, a model ex-husband and model new husband to be. Your man seems dicey. You don’t trust him. You don’t believe what he says. And so it’s harder for you to embrace what’s going on. And the truth is -if you can’t embrace it, then you pretty much have to consider leaving it. Before you make ANY DECISIONS, though – start with you.
Use my Tools for focusing on and Loving Yourself. That will make you feel better fast, you’ll feel stronger, your energy will shift from being so needy to feeling more independent. Once you’re able to express how you’re feeling in ways and with words that don’t cause DRAMA – you’ll see, things will get clearer.
When a man stops feeling pressure and the constant reminder of how he’s making the “wrong” decisions and “hurting” us, he often turns around “on a dime.” Learning how to focus your energy on YOURSELF, instead of on him – and EXACTLY HOW to DO that and TALK ABOUT it will get you AMAZING results.
Let me know how all this works for you in your unique situation.
From Sarah – Rori Raye rocks – even her sales pages are amazing, filled with information and help – she goes at this relationship thing and attraction thing in a different way than anyone out there. To learn how you can have the relationship of your dreams and get your free Rori Raye newsletters, go here-> Rori Raye’s Free Relationship Advice eLetters