11
   

Mindgames: Is he or isn't he

 
 
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 02:17 am
@hawkeye10,
I haven't figured out how to use the quote feature, so please forgive the format.

I think you are spot on regarding what he is likely to do, how did you reach this conclusion? Why can you see it but I could not. He has done this before when I was very vulnerable to him.

I don't want to toy with him, I have been reading up on disordered personalities on a website by Dr George Simon who states that the only way to deal with someoone with these issues is to confront when you recognize what is happening. This is new to me and I am not at all skilled. Or else, he is just very clever, probably both.
0 Replies
 
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 02:29 am
@aidan,
I am so tired of the game. I never wanted to "play". I will explain shortly why I still give him the time of day.
0 Replies
 
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 02:30 am
@dadpad,
Hmm...food for thought.
0 Replies
 
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 03:31 am
@firefly,

I will explain the background.


Quote:
Is there anything overwhelmingly terrific going on between the two of you that makes it hard for you to give him up?


His teenage son and mine have been friends for about 8 years though we didn't really have much to do with each other apart from infrequent small talk dropping or picking our sons up. He started to pay me attention 1 year after my marriage of 15 years ended. My exhusband was very cold and distant and did not talk with me. I find my marriage very difficult to talk about but suffice it to say that I went from a man was not intersted in me to this man who was interested in everything about me.

It took time for me to feel comfortable in the realtionship, he'd told a few lies and when I wanted to break up after 4 months, he begged me to give him another chance and went to counseling. I did give him another chance and with the counseling his behavior changed and then I started relax and fell deeply in love with him. It was good while he had counseling. We could talk, we had similar interests, we loved being together and I felt safe and happy with him. I came to adore him. Then his counseling ended as he was happy and not long after it ended the relationship went downhill with him becoming distant and lying and cheating. By that time, I was well and truly hooked.

He claims that his problems are due to the fact that he was a ward of the state between the ages of 3 - 7 and never bonded with his mother when he returned home. I am sure they are a contributing factor, but I don't think it excuses his behaviour as an adult.
0 Replies
 
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 03:52 am
@firefly,
Thank you firefly, your post gets to the heart of the issue for me. I can't adequately reply at this point as my ability to articulate my response fails me just now.

All of the posts are have something to offer and I can't disagree with any. I am glad that I found this site. Thank you.
vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Sat 27 Mar, 2010 05:38 am
@Mislead,
Growth is evolution of who you are - eg. you are a good communicator and you become even better.

Change is a revolution in who you are eg. You have always found it hard to control your emotions, and are prone to violent anger...you change, finding in yourself a calm centre that allows you to sooth your emotions and not be violently angry anymore.

Granted technically 'change' occurs in growth, however, when most people talk about 'changing' they are talking about the latter example - if you look at what your ex is saying - it is in the form of the latter example. And as you can see...growth is much the easier of the two. Btw, few people see the need for change (even when they say they do - most such claims are little more than hot air), and those that can see the need for change, usually can't truly change (the reason why is a whole subject in itself)

....................................

If I were to sum up the sociopathy as a problem, I would say they lack connection with other people. You could say they lack empathy. Basically other people don't truly matter to to them, except for what they can bring into his/her life, because they can't feel any true connection with them.

But the results of that lack of connection can take on differing forms. 'Psychopaths' (serial killers etc) are one such. NPD can be another. I've little doubt that there are sociopaths who don't show any signs of NPD - having learnt to respect social norms. I'm sure there are a number of other forms that it would take on also - I haven't particularly look into it.

I would think also, that NPD can occur for other reasons than sociopathy (sociopathy btw, is currently called anti-social personality disorder, and has historically been called pyschopathy - they can't find a fitting name for the condition)

So they are often related, but not the same.
firefly
  Selected Answer
 
  3  
Reply Mon 29 Mar, 2010 12:08 am
@Mislead,
Mislead, I have some idea now of what you'd like to try to hold onto with this man.

After the type of marriage you were in, it must have been exhilarating to find someone who was so interested in you. And, when the counseling seemed to improve his behavior, you were able to feel secure enough to open yourself up emotionally and feel love for him. And you also must have loved him for the way he made you feel. That brief interlude, when things were good between you, must have been wonderful for you. But it was a relatively brief part of an otherwise stormy two year relationship.

This man does seem to have some deep-seated personality problems, which may well be rooted in his early childhood experiences. He has told you, indirectly, that he had inconsistent and possibly inadequate mothering very early in his life. If he was a ward of the state by the age of 3, I assume that there was something wrong with his mother's parenting even before that time, or his mother became unable to care for him at that point. But he experienced disruption in his primary attachment bond at a very early age. What went on when he was in state care between the ages of 3-7, in terms of his caretakers, might also have been inconsistent or less than adequate. And he never did reconnect emotionally with his mother when he was finally returned to her. So, by the age of 7, he very likely already had significant problems making and retaining emotional attachments, particularly to the primary person in his life, the person he had to depend on for his own security, his mother. If you aren't able to initially make these early emotional attachments in childhood, you don't have the developmental foundation to be able to make them as an adult.

While this sort of childhood experience doesn't excuse his adult behavior, it does help to explain it. Someone with a background like that often has significant problems with intimacy, attachment, and trust, and it may result in the sorts of behaviors (lying, cheating) that surfaced in his relationship with you. These are not the sorts of problems that can be effectively addressed in a few weeks, or even a few months, of counseling or therapy. Apparently he got something from the counseling that made some sort of temporary change in him, but it wasn't sustainable. Treatment for the types of problems he seems to have is a very long term proposition that would take tremendous commitment on his part--and commitment is one of his problems.

I don't think it's particularly helpful to tack labels, like narcissistic personality disorder, on him. And he might not be playing deliberate mindgames with you. The things you see in him--his charm, his manipulations, his twisting of things, his lying, his cheating--these are also his survival tactics, these are the sorts of maneuvers or defenses he uses to protect himself emotionally, to protect his own emotional vulnerability when he is in a relationship. He can't easily change these patterns of relating because they are self protective for him. That's probably how he copes with the damage of his childhood.

You've learned some important things from this man. You learned a man really could find you interesting. You learned you enjoy feeling closeness and warmth, and sharing things. You learned you are able to feel love, and that it feels good. Those are wonderful things to want to hold onto.

But you've also learned that this man really isn't ready or able to have a lasting relationship with you. As much as he might want it, or you might want it, he really can't do it. The alleged improvement after his counseling didn't last that long because he really hadn't changed. He can promise you that things will be better, but they really won't get better, because he hasn't essentially changed. And, even if he wants to change, and goes into long term therapy, change will be very slow and not at all easy for him. And, if you remain with him, you will be subjected to betrayals of trust over and over again.

You came out of an unhappy marriage. This relationship gave you a taste of love. Rather than sticking with this man, and hoping he will be able to change, so that you can recapture that, it might be time for you to move on and to try to meet other men. The kind of love you felt toward this man you can feel toward someone else, without all the destructive aspects that are part of this relationship. But, if you remain entangled with this man, you might not get a chance to find that out. Follow both your head and your heart, and let both lead you to a better place.







Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 08:11 am
@firefly,

Quote:
After the type of marriage you were in, it must have been exhilarating to find someone who was so interested in you. And, when the counseling seemed to improve his behavior, you were able to feel secure enough to open yourself up emotionally and feel love for him. And you also must have loved him for the way he made you feel. That brief interlude, when things were good between you, must have been wonderful for you. But it was a relatively brief part of an otherwise stormy two year relationship.


Firefly, I cried reading your response as you understand the situation perfectly. When it was good, it was exhilarating...words fail.

His mother does have psychological problems and this man and his siblings don't know what is true about their childhood and what is not as she does not seem to be able to tell the truth and their memories are fragmented. She was also physically and emotionally abusive after he was returned with his 2 younger brothers. His experiences in the boys home were also as bad as you can imagine.

As an adult, he has had counselling for a number of years during his last marriage which lasted 17 years (married twice). He became a facilitator for a mens group in his church after numerous training programs but his wife finally found out he was addicted to porn and forced him back into counselling in the form of S.A.A. He says that it was pointless as it didn't work. I think it's probably just too hard for him to change. He saw me as a fresh start as I am open, honest, accepting and forgiving and he says he knew that a good life was possible and he thought he could do it with me. I think he genuinely wanted that but wasn't able to maintain it. I hope that I am wrong and that he does one day find the motivation to change for himself. It hasn't happened yet.

I find in myself that one of my biggest faults is my inability to remain angry or hold a grudge. My mother says that it's one of my best qualities. I wonder if it's actually an impaired ability and I am frustrated with myself for still having any type of contact with him as I am finding it so hard to break away completely and keep getting drawn back in. I do love him, against all reason. Sigh. What makes it hard is that he keeps coming to my town (he lives a 15 minute drive away) everyday whether I will see him or not. I know this because he drives past my house.

Quote:
I don't think it's particularly helpful to tack labels, like narcissistic personality disorder, on him. And he might not be playing deliberate mindgames with you. The things you see in him--his charm, his manipulations, his twisting of things, his lying, his cheating--these are also his survival tactics, these are the sorts of maneuvers or defenses he uses to protect himself emotionally, to protect his own emotional vulnerability when he is in a relationship. He can't easily change these patterns of relating because they are self protective for him. That's probably how he copes with the damage of his childhood.


Absolutely. But he is just too hard for me to cope with, as much as I love him.

Quote:
But you've also learned that this man really isn't ready or able to have a lasting relationship with you. As much as he might want it, or you might want it, he really can't do it.


As sad and as hard as that is to accept, it's the truth.

Quote:
Follow both your head and your heart, and let both lead you to a better place.


My head is battling with my heart, however my head is slowly gaining the advantage. I know the truth of the situation, I just have to listen and act accordingly. And stop listening to him.

Thank you so much for your wisdom and thoughtful insight.
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 08:36 am
@vikorr,
Quote:
Btw, few people see the need for change (even when they say they do - most such claims are little more than hot air), and those that can see the need for change, usually can't truly change (the reason why is a whole subject in itself)


That would be an interesting subject. Are there any threads on this topic on this site?

vikorr
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Mar, 2010 07:28 pm
@Mislead,
Not sure that there would be - it's a tricky subject. I mentioned in another post that I have 200 or so books on pyschology related topics. The reason I have so many is that I went looking for the answer on how to achieve self directed, change & growth.

People of course do change some things on the spot, usually through a genuine life-altering epiphany, or a great emotional desire for change.

For others, they may see the 'need' for change, and still be unable to achieve it...I'd run into that problem myself numerous times, hence the time spent seeking to acquire purely the ability to change (that was about 2 years worth, and is in fact, for me, still ongoing. Others may have more or less natural ability than me of course).

As a short - our subconscious and our lives run hugely on automated programs...even when we believe we are consciously doing or saying something, we are rarely conscious of how we are doing or saying something (I first came across this concept while reading into handwriting analysis, and how accurate it is at profiling people, and why it is so).

For example, speaking : Why can't you speak Cantonese? (because you don't have a program that automatical translates the concepts you want to convey into Cantonese, but do you for translating that concept into English). How about your 'normal' volume -is that conscious? Why is it that you speak louder, or softer than some others? Why is your normal pace faster or slower than some others? Why is your normal voice deeper or higher than others, even though you can access deeper or higher notes? Do you add words to the end of your sentence by habit? (some people do). The structure you use is automatic also, even though you don't know it (there are rules to language, and you 'natuarally' know them, but they are a learnt program). The point being, how easy do you think it would be to speak in a different way 'naturally', even if you wanted to?

How easy is it for you to change perspectives on something meaningful to you? To feel a different way about something meaningful to you?

That's only scratching the surface on why it's difficult to change, but they are just a few examples. When you truly start digging into it, most people would be very surprised at just how automated our lives are (that's not saying it's completely automated, just that it's much more automated than most people give credit for...leading to why it is hard to change)
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  3  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 12:12 am
@Mislead,
Quote:
I find in myself that one of my biggest faults is my inability to remain angry or hold a grudge.


I don't see that as a fault. It's great that you don't waste your own energies by carrying around unnecessary negative emotions. But, just because you don't feel actively angry at this man, doesn't mean you go into a state of denial about his behavior patterns. Being angry might make it easier for you to let go of him, but I think you've got a realistic handle on the relationship and I think you could end it without being angry. What's keeping you hooked are the positive emotions you feel when you're with him, and possibly the fantasy that things could eventually work out between the two you.

Quote:
But he is just too hard for me to cope with, as much as I love him.


If I were you, I'd question whether what you feel toward him is even really lasting love. Take a rational look at your own emotions. What do you really mean when you say, "I love him"? Is it that you love the way you feel when you are with him? Or what he brings out in you? Or what you are able to do for him? Does he make you feel powerful? How much is infatuation? How much is sexual feeling?

Instead of just focusing on him, try to examine your own feelings, including the ones that keep you attached to him. What needs of yours are being satisfied with this man? What needs aren't being satisfied with him? These are important questions for you to answer for yourself. They will also help you find what you are looking for in future relationships.

You already know that this relationship isn't going to go anywhere on a long term basis. But try to learn something about yourself from it. Not just why you want out of the relationship, but why you are so conflicted about getting out of it. What are you afraid will happen to you if you let go of it? What will you lose that you are afraid you can't find again, in another relationship? Are your fears realistic? If so, how can you confront your fears and overcome them?

It's really irrelevant whether this man will change or not. You don't build a lasting relationship on the possibility that the other person will substantially change. You have to basically accept the other person pretty much as they are in the here and now. You have no relationship with him other than in the present relationship. The future does not exist. What confuses you is when he starts telling you he can change, or that things have changed, or you believe you can help him to change, etc. Forget all the talk about change. Just deal with reality--which is the here and now. You don't like his lying and cheating. You don't like feeling manipulated. You really don't want to keep subjecting yourself to this sort of abuse and betrayal of trust. In the present, you really don't want a relationship with this man--not the way he is now. But that's the only option you realistically have --to take him, just as he is, with no fantasy of any change on his part. Forget change, take him or leave him, just as he is now. The sooner you can do that, the sooner you will stop feeling confused.

If you can enjoy a fling with this man, with no thought of any future with him, or any expectation of change on his part, go for it, if that's what you want. Enjoy feeling good with him, and don't delude yourself that the relationship is going to be anything more than what it is right now. You can use him, and he can use you, and you can both make each other feel good for the short periods when you are together. Sort of like having a brief affair without all the intrigue. There's nothing wrong with doing that, as long as you both accept it for what it is and don't expect it to develop beyond that. You might both enjoy a very good time. But you have to be sure you can accept, and want, that sort of limited relationship.

Regardless of whether you stay with him, break it off, or simply have a fling, you should start trying to meet other men. And you should let him know that you are going to be doing that. There is no reason to remain in an exclusive relationship with him, and there are many reasons for you not to do that. Join clubs, take a class, get involved in some community activity, do anything you can think of doing to put yourself in a situation where you might meet some men. And, if you pursue your own interests, you're more likely to meet a man who shares those interests.

Reading through this whole thread, I noticed you've presented your situation with this man mostly in terms of what he's like, what's bad about his behavior, whether he will, or can, change, etc. You've mainly focused on him, and whether you should stay with him, given his behavior. My reply to you in this post mostly has to do with you, and turning the focus back on yourself--what you need, what you want in a relationship, what keeps you from finding what you need. Think about yourself more. Mislead, stop being so self sacrificing and start expecting a lot more from the men you become involved with. Love is a precious commodity--give it only to those who will cherish it and treat it with the greatest care.










0 Replies
 
sullyfish6
 
  1  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 07:19 am
Never mind what he SAYS.
Watch what he DOES.

And what he is doing is lying, cheating, verbally manipulative and seems to enjoy the challenge of trying to make you do what he wants. It's all so exciting!

And you? You need to figure out why you are so attracted to all this.
Is he really, really cute?
Any healthy woman would have run away from him.
What's the "hook" besides he plays with you, verbally?
He is filling some kind of need for you, too. But it is not a healthy need.


panzade
 
  2  
Reply Wed 31 Mar, 2010 08:08 am
@firefly,
Great post. I appreciate the effort as I'm sure does Mislead
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:32 pm
@sullyfish6,
I don't think the basic need to give, receive and feel love is unhealthy. It has been an intense relationship and in some ways, liberating. Yes, he is attractive. He is also intelligent, funny and charming. I have loved spending time with him, he is interesting. He has inspired feelings in me that I thought were long dead and some I didnt know I was capable of. Both good and bad.

I am at a loss to articulate the "hook". I think in pictures and feelings, very subjective. But I am working on translating it all into words for my own benefit. I am attending seminars on Self Esteem and trying to find a good counselor. I had one in the midst of the relationship and when I expressed my doubts, she said the issue was one of trust on my part as he was sharing information with me that he didn't need to and to take the risk and trust him. But it turns out my doubts were correct. She also said that when my son was physically abused by my ex husband that it was 30% his fault, that he should fly under the radar so that his dad won't explode and lash out. When our session were at an end, she said that I had good instincts and to trust them.

I think the main issue for me is that although I have good judgement, I tend to let my feelings guide me. This is something I am working hard now to reverse.

Thank you firefly, I do appreciate the effort that you put in to all of your posts. Very much appreciated.
0 Replies
 
Mislead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Apr, 2010 10:32 pm
@panzade,
Very much so Smile
0 Replies
 
respected85
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Oct, 2014 11:33 pm
@Mislead,
As a woman, I say go with your gut. Leave him where you found him. If ur relationship was based on lies its bond to crumple. For someone to change, that person needs to identify there own problem and want to change. Actions speak louder than words, and it sounds like he is gaming you.
0 Replies
 
Germlat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2014 05:12 am
@Mislead,
Sounds like a jerk to me. And the " is that better?" , sounds like a belittling remark. He lied and cheated for an entire year! Also-- textbook narcissistic traits. My question yo you is why do you want to be involved any further? I wouldn't put my trust in this individual.
0 Replies
 
 

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