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Help! I Feel SMOTHERED!
September 9, 2005
10:37 am
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StronginHim77
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Met a man two years ago. We have been dating for 7 months. DATING. NOT SLEEPING TOGETHER. This man is emotionally smothering me. He demands so much attention! If he does not see me every, single day, he gets anxious and insecure. If I have dinner with a girlfriend, he gets anxious and insecure. If I choose to stay home, hang out in sloppy jammies and relax, (instead of going out with him), he gets anxious and insecure. Sometimes, his anxiety bubbles up into sulking and resentment. I know that he has BPD and is currently in treatment for it. Actually, the guy has alot of good qualities: humor, brains and an enjoyment of fine entertainment. But the possessiveness and need to have me around 24/7 drives me away. The more he "clings," the more I feel myself pulling away. Is anyone else out there going through something similar?

September 9, 2005
11:53 am
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Anonymous
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don't want you to feel like you are being ignored!

unfortunately, most of us here are the ones that do the smothering!

being codependent myself, I can see how he is feeling and why he is latching on.

have you tried discussing it with him?

maybe he is not just BPD, but codependent too.

but the bottom line is - his problem does NOT have to be your problem.

you may enjoy the good things he brings to the table - but the reality is, he brings some other baggage too - and the baggage may offset the balance of all that is good.

getting rid of him would be hard - but dragging it out would not be fair to you or him.

I have no doubt you could find someone more balanced. But you can't make this one more balanced. If he is in therapy already, and it's not working - chances are, it will be a long hard road for you.

if you have no commitment with him or no future together, it's probably better for everyone if you cut ties.

it's going to be hard, and it will hurt - but realistically, he can't be the total package you need - he is only part - and because of his mental capacity, he may only stay this way forever - there is no guaranatees of him healing this - he can try - but are you willing to wait and see if it happens?

ultimately, it's your choice.

are you codependent or anything yourself? I have seen you here in other posts but forget your story.

September 9, 2005
12:16 pm
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gofigure
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Strong--I don't have any real advice, but I am in a similar situation. When I am on the phone my husband stands there asking me who it is, and usually gets angry if I am on for more than a couple of minutes. Often when I go to the bathroom it's as if he's timing me (cloaked in concern: 'are you all right?'), half an hour later than I said I'd be (the two times a year I go out with friends) and he's calling my friend's cell phone--'course he can be hours late and it's o.k., calling (literally) 10 times a day on my day off, and if I get up out of bed he ALWAYS asks 'where are you going?'--C'mon, where the Hell do you think? to get a sip of water, go pee...I mean what does he think I'm going to go do at 11pm before I go to sleep--have a 30 second affair on the washer???

Sorry, didn't mean to go off. Guess you struck a chord with me. Feeling smothered? You bet!!!

September 9, 2005
12:37 pm
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taj64
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Hi ..my friend dated a man exactly like that. She ended up breaking up with him because he only got worse. He called her all the time, gave her gifts all the time, paid for everything, sounds good at first unless it is overkill. He was pushy. Always wanting to be with her to the point where she wanted to be alone more. At that point, he asked her to marry him because he didn't want to lose her (only a week of saying she needed a break from him. They were only dating for a month. She said he was too needy and crowded her. She liked the fact that he paid for everything (including her groceries at the store), dinners and all expenses when going out and going out a lot. Other than that she only cared for him, not really love him. Do you really love him or just want him to take care of you? Just wondering. Sometimes at first this all seems so wonderful but after awhile is exhausting and draining.

September 9, 2005
1:50 pm
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Matteo
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You've said that you know this man for two years and are dating him for seven months, and you are not physically intimate with him; neither you've mentioned any other kind of connection and intimacy.

If I were in his situation, and attracted to a person I'm dating, I would be very insecure! He is clinging to you, because probably for him this is the only way to get some reassurance, that you want to be with him and only with him, that you are not playing around. I wonder if you were talking about how far this relationship might go? He must obviously be attracted to you if he is "finely entertaining" you for so long, otherwise, why would spend his time, money and effort? It would be honest of you to ask yourself if you have any feelings for him, or if his brains, sense of humour and the entertaiment he provides are the qualities sufficient for just dating him and have fun for indefinite period of time? If that's the case, I would check with him if he is aware of it; otherwise is not fair to anyone involved, and especially for him.

September 9, 2005
2:10 pm
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kathygy
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No wonder you feel smothered. I would too with a man like that. He sounds way to insecure for a healthy relationhsip. A relationship needs to be between equals to develop real intimacy. You don't have that with this man. I would not invest anymore time or energy in the relationhsip. You can find someone who is more secure than this.

love,
kathy

September 9, 2005
9:42 pm
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StronginHim77
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Matteo....Nope. I am not "playing around." Because of my personal beliefs, I would never enter into a sexual relationship, outside of marriage. He knows this. I am not dating anyone else and have told him quite openly that I would let him know, if I were. BEFORE doing it, rather than AFTER. I want to get to know him, before making a serious commitment. I also have a son, 16, whose feelings must be considered. Getting tangled up in a troubling relationship would certainly affect him, as well. So, I am doing very realistic appraisal, before jumping into longterm commitment. And this guy's insecurity is overwhelming to me. To me, such a need for constant reassurance is not healthy. He is in therapy (has been for over a month), but it will be a slow process.

September 9, 2005
9:48 pm
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StronginHim77
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Alicat....

Thanks for your posting. I am a widow (married for nearly 20 years) whose husband committed suicide two years ago, following a long illness. Having discovered this website, I began therapy myself, two months ago. In the course of that therapy, I have discovered that I am codependent. My doctor tells me that I am recovering....rapidly. That accounts for my dilemma. At first, I found his attention "comfortable and familiar." But now, it is becoming wearisome. I long to be truly free. I find myself preferring to stay home quietly, rather than have to see him. In fact, I limit my time with him because his "neediness" and possessiveness (which I really didn't notice as much before therapy) are beginning to make me exasperated and even ANGRY. He tells me he loves me. I translate that as "I NEED YOU." Huge difference. He wants to marry me. I want to step back and see how his own therapy progresses. He also has a drinking problem. I am not willing to be around his mood swings when he drinks, anymore. (I used to tolerate it. Now, I stay away from him when he is drinking.)

I welcome your input. You are a really kind person. I have seen you online here alot.

Thanks!

September 9, 2005
10:00 pm
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lost and found
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stay away. you would have to have very strong boundries to enter a relationship with this man. he will cause you alot of pain and anguish if you aren't careful.look up bipolar disease.not saying anything bad about bpd. but mixing alchohol or any other drugs with it only makes it alot worse. i wish you well.this is my opinion anyway....

September 9, 2005
10:01 pm
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StronginHim77
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Taj...

You ask very good questions and make very clear points. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my posting. I do not think I love this man. I like his "good" side (the sober, alert, relaxed one which doesn't come out too often, due to his BPD), but I have come to dread his "dark" side (he gets very moody when he drinks which is OFTEN) and he is extremely insecure. I care about him, but (as Kathy sees) I think that true intimacy with him would be impossible. He is just too damaged. I don't know if therapy will help him stabilize enough to recover from the heavy drinking or the borderline personality mood swings and anxiety. There is no way I could handle a longterm relationship with him right now. He drains me, emotionally. I feel myself easing away from him, more and more. I know that he feels it, too. I am spending more and more time at home in PEACE, rather than be with him and endure the tension his presence can generate.

He does pick up most of the tabs for our dates because we are older and that is the way it works for us old geezers. (I am 55; he is 61). But, I occasionally pick up the check for lunches and dinners, just to maintain some independence. I pay for all my own groceries, even if he is eating with us. (

September 9, 2005
10:01 pm
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StronginHim77
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Taj...

You ask very good questions and make very clear points. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my posting. I do not think I love this man. I like his "good" side (the sober, alert, relaxed one which doesn't come out too often, due to his BPD), but I have come to dread his "dark" side (he gets very moody when he drinks which is OFTEN) and he is extremely insecure. I care about him, but (as Kathy sees) I think that true intimacy with him would be impossible. He is just too damaged. I don't know if therapy will help him stabilize enough to recover from the heavy drinking or the borderline personality mood swings and anxiety. There is no way I could handle a longterm relationship with him right now. He drains me, emotionally. I feel myself easing away from him, more and more. I know that he feels it, too. I am spending more and more time at home in PEACE, rather than be with him and endure the tension his presence can generate.

He does pick up most of the tabs for our dates because we are older and that is the way it works for us old geezers. (I am 55; he is 61). But, I occasionally pick up the check for lunches and dinners, just to maintain some independence. I pay for all my own groceries, even if he is eating with us. (

September 10, 2005
11:35 am
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Longstreet
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Oh my gosh, I just read these posts and feel the same way! I had been dating a woman for a year and a half. My therapist said from what I told her, she has Borderline PD. I feel like she was smothering me. I had no friends. I had to email her at least every couple of hours during the day otherwise I didn't care about her. Had to arrange weekend plans in detail, otherwise I didn't love her, never had sex enough to make her feel loved. She would get very critical of me whenever she felt like I wasn't doing enough to show her I loved her. We broke up several times and got back together and went to counseling, but I didn't really feel like it was helping much. Mostly because she hadn't even started to address severe childhood abuse issues. So couples counseling was like putting a bandaid over a huge gash. She could not see the tie in to the emotional void created by her childhood and how it created a hole too big for anyone, even a loving partner, to fill. So I ended it this week after much screaming and heartbreak. I was always the "bad" one, so mean and unloving and unable to commit. But it got so that anything set her off. I arranged a surprise birthday party for a friend and called old college classmates and she was hurt because she thought I would find them "more sparkley" than her. She could find a way to imagine I hurt her just by the sun coming up. It was exhausting always having to say I'm sorry for everything. Other times, she was so generous (paid for everything), and concerned. My head is spinning. Did I do the right thing by walking away?

September 13, 2005
12:30 pm
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kathygy
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Strong,

I don't underdstand why you are bothering to stay with this man. You say he drains you and you have to get away, you don't even love him and he drinks. Why put up with this? If you think therapy is going to make him better that's a big if. Also, therapy that makes a difference can take years. You deserve a man that is in good shape now who nutures you and loves you, not smothers and drains you. I don't get it????

love,
kathy

September 13, 2005
1:39 pm
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taj64
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This man sounds more like a friend than anything. You like your life the way it is. Maybe set him free to find someone more compatible with him and can return love to him. He probably knows that you do not love him therefore he is insecure and codependent. He has too many problems. You need a man that you will make you feel good, one that you love, one that can develop into marriage and into true intimacy.

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