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He doesn’t spend weekends or holidays with me

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With WAYNE A POWELL MA Counselling Psychology Relationship Counsellor

Monday, June 11, 2012    

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Dear Counsellor

I read a quote that said “a woman is like a cop; she will have all the evidence but still want a confession”. I believe I am faced with this situation.

The man I’m involved with says he is no longer with his child’s mother. He said they had lived together but are now living apart — with him in Kingston and she in their old community.

But where he now lives, he only keeps the exact number of outfits he needs for the workdays. If he needs anything at all, he has to return to the community where she lives. He also has a picture of him and her which he can’t get rid of. He simply turns it down when I’m there, or says I should get rid of it or give him a picture of myself to replace hers. He visits his old community often as his child, parents, and this girl, are there. I can’t go there as he says she is hostile and he fears for my safety. He doesn’t spend weekends or holidays with me and doesn’t include me, yet he says he wants to have a baby with me.

I told him that it’s best that we part, as this is not a healthy relationship, and he agrees. He says he needs to do better, but nothing has changed. How do I get him to leave me alone?

Based on the trend of the letters I have received in recent times, it appears there is a great deal of issues relating to the man-baby-mother-girlfriend/wife scenario. The common denominator in all of them is trust or the lack thereof. All the women report that they are most uncomfortable with the situation and most would want out.

In your case, even though the man does not live with his child’s mother, he does make regular visits to the home where he no doubt has to interact with her. It would be interesting to know how his parents feel about her. The fact that she resides at the family home could very well mean that they accept her as the one who should not only be mother of their son’s child, but his committed partner as well. You could be seen as the misfit that is distorting the perfect family picture. This could be one of the reasons that he is not keen on you visiting the family home.

So what’s the story with the couple portrait? Surely removing the picture can’t be such a strain unless it’s a gigantic one hanging on the wall. Could it be he has no problem with the picture and you are the one who has a problem with it? If he in fact has no objections with this picture sitting prominently on the dresser, suggest sensitivity on his part. No woman would want to be greeted with a picture of her gentleman and his ex as she enters his room. What is the purpose of the picture, to keep the memories of him and his child’s mother alive? After all, memories don’t leave like people do.

A bright red flag that you should not ignore is contained in the statement, “he doesn’t spend weekend or holidays with me or includes me”. If you are involved in a relationship and your partner finds it impossible to spend time with you on weekends or holidays, assuming that he does not work on these days, it does not require rocket science to figure out what’s going on.

If he agrees that the relationship is dysfunctional then why would he want to bring another child into the picture? There is this misconception that the introduction of a child into a failed relationship will suddenly make things right. Do continue to hold your ground as it would be unwise to further complicate matters by getting pregnant for this man in what appears to be an uncertain future in this relationship.

The question women in your position always ask is, “how do I get him to leave me alone?” The answer is simply to not only say what you will do but do what you say. In other words, once you have evaluated the situation and made up your mind to walk, you have to keep walking and don’t look back. You should not send mixed signals to the gentleman. You can’t tell the man it’s over today and then call him next week to come and look for you. The mistake many women make when they are terminating a relationship is that they fail to be decisive and consistent both in word and action.

The truth is, any life-changing decision you make will present some challenges but if you take a defeatist approach you will certainly always be overpowered.

You have to empower yourself and remember that the strength to make the change resides in you.

Send questions to crisscounselloronline@gmail.com.

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