Since the age of 21, I’ve had this bad habit of dating men who needed therapy after our relationship ended. I don’t really know what that says about me. Was our relationship so bad that I sent them straight to the doctor’s office? Or am I just so talented and lucky that I make these men see the light. It’s never been for my benefit but for the next gal; she has always received the fixed version.
Many moons ago, I was head over heels, first true love, thought he was the one, my best friend forever and my longest relationship of six years. We were young, naive, stupid and dumb but we made it work because we became friends first and everything else fell into place as we matured together. However, after a few years it was becoming apparent that he was developing big time issues. I could probably write entire blog just about that relationship but I’ll skip to the end and say it didn’t work out. He never proposed, I never got engaged and our relationship ended on bad terms. Although, the breakup devastated me, it was easier to move on because he didn’t live in the same state and as the old cliché says time heals everything. When I finally listened, he apologized and admitted all his faults. I decided to forgive him and remained distant friends with him. We still had a connection, it wasn’t easy to just throw away six years of friendship. Years later he told me that he had gone to therapy in order to understand why he was never satisfied by one woman and why he was so scared of commitment. He wanted to change and never put another woman through what he put me through. Today he is with the love of his life (whom I’ve met) and I couldn’t be any happier for him. His hard work paid off!!!
At another time of my life, I dated what I like to call the angry man. I didn’t know he had anger issues when I met him but it didn’t take long before he started expressing himself very clearly. He never disrespected me in any way and his anger was towards the world. I wasn’t with him for to long to figure out his baggage and what was causing him to behave this way. But I also had my radar up and smart enough to recognize that we would not work. I couldn’t be with someone whos anger overshadowed his other amazing qualities. I walked away and never looked back. I never kept in contact with him but after 3 years something made me reach out to him and make my peace with him. He accepted my invitation and during our meet and greet he disclosed how he screwed up his last relationship and how he was to blame. He admitted and recognized he had issues and decided to seek a professional. I never kept in contact with him after that rendezvous because I could still see that his tendencies to snap were at the surface. In his case, I think he needed more therapy.
The next man, takes the winning prize for being the most complex person I’ve ever encountered. Although I’ve never met anyone who suffered from bipolar disorder, I would say this ex was pretty close to it. He needed to be on medication because he definitely had some type of mental of issue. By far, the worst relationship of my life but at the same time the most self illuminating one. I’ll leave the horrid details out about what type of man he was or what he did or didn’t do. The relationship crumbled but not fast enough because it dragged on for a year. After some time I had very serious wake up calls that allowed me to slowly peel away. He was probably the first man where I recognized he needed to seek professional help because there was nothing I could do or say to help him. I used to beg him to get therapy and towards the end of our relationship he took my advice. Although he seemed to have gotten a little better he was no where near normal. Our relationship was way beyond damaged that nothing could save it, not even therapy. For a short period, I tried being his friend but sad to say, him and I could never be friends. I just couldn’t keep surrounding myself with negative energy that could easily affect me and bring out the worst in me. For his own sanity and happiness, I hope that he continues therapy.
Last but not least, a relationship that ended abruptly without a verbalized reason. I say verbalized because I know there was a reason but it wasn’t disclosed to me until months later after the breakup. Bottom line, he just couldn’t or didn’t want to be in a committed relationship. I can’t even begin to guess why noncommittal guy couldn’t be in a long term relationship. I’ve reached no concrete conclusions other than maybe “he’s just not that into you”. Although, I don’t know if he will ever get therapy he may be a good candidate for it. So in a few years, through the grapevine I may hear that he got married. And then I’ll get that wonderful text message from him that says, thanks…I went to therapy!
I’ve questioned myself if there is something about me that draws these men with really deep rooted issues or why I’ve accepted them in my life. With all my experiences, I’ve learned to identify the red flags from a mile a way. However, some have continued to try and mask it but eventually I’ve pin point it and run for the hills. At other times, I have fallen for the wrong one but managed to get myself right back up and do it all over again. I think therapy is a great tool for anyone even if you don’t have deep rooted issues. Sometimes speaking to an unbiased person who knows nothing about you can help tremendously. And in the end if you are not happy with who you are or what you are doing in life…then do something about it to change it. I’m an advocate for therapy. It’s changed my life and I’m happy that at least these men were proactive enough to seek help and that’s a plus in my book. So if you are second guessing yourself and debating whether you need therapy, follow your instincts and make an appointment at a therapist near you!!!