If He’s Keeping You Off Balance, Do This

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If you’ve been putting up with confusing behavior from a man, and it doesn’t feel good, I know how you feel.

You know many of my most embarrassing, humiliating stories, and how I stopped allowing that kind of “man who feels good but makes me feel bad” into my life – and I want to help you stop allowing that kind of bad-feeling man into your life, too.

Here’s a letter from Sheri, who’s going through that right now. Let’s help her, and you – with a totally new idea:

“Dear Rori, I met a great guy…we clicked. two weeks of wonderful. and then gone….he left to go back to his ex. then two weeks later back to tell me he was sorry…that he made a mistake…..then I had to leave the state. While gone he was attentive for the first week via phone…..then poof…..he was gone…..went back to ex. Then he found me having fun and he just had to talk with me. he pleaded and begged for me to talk with him. He even cried that he was lost without me….and again….he had made a terrible mistake.

This time he had put HER name on his body in two places with tattoos…….I put up with that. Then just as the first two dress rehearsals went…..viola……he was gone again.

He calls now and I don’t answer the phone. I want my heart to be done but there is something about this guy I like…..or maybe something about me I dislike as this is really torture and punishment.

What the heck is my problem? Sheri”

Here’s my beginning answer and help for the HUGE issue Sheri brings up:

Sheri, you’ve given yourself your own answer – and I’m going to just point it out:

You say, “…this is really torture and punishment.”

And – that’s it.

You are drawn to men who torture and punish you.

You are drawn to “punishment.”

You feel, somewhere deep inside, that you DESERVE to be punished.

It comes from habit – from the atmosphere in which you were raised where your WANTS (check out the entire series here in Power & Self-Esteem) were dismissed, in fact – where you were perhaps PUNISHED just for WANTING.

It could have been subtle. People calling you “little miss high and mighty,” or rolling their eyes, or showing you by example that wanting something only gets you punished.

And then we internalize that, make it a part of ourselves, so that everytime we do something nice for ourselves we feel ashamed and guilty. Every time we feel PLEASURE, we feel bad, and yucky and ashamed and guilty.

And so we go out and punish ourselves. We’re accident-prone, or we go out and hire some guy to hit us over the head with his lack of love.

AND – it can come from the only way you knew to protect yourself.

In order to keep yourself emotionally, and for many of us physically, safe in BIG ways, you may have had to punish yourself in “small” ways.

When you live thinking that the “other shoe” is ALWAYS about to DROP, you start dropping shoes yourself, in order to take the edge off the constant anxiety and feeling of dread.

And when there are no shoes dropping, we can feel really SCARED of what’s about to happen. And so we CREATE the punishment we’re used to, the punishment we can tolerate, the punishment we think of as “us.”

This guy is fine just the way he is. He’s working through stuff, he’s confused, he wants you – then he wants her. And know this — he doesn’t experience EITHER of you – you or his ex – as real people, with their own needs and desires. He sees both of you only in terms of what HE GETS.

So, whichever one of you gives him the most of what he wants – sex, love, encouragement, fun, no pressure…that’s where he’ll land.

He’s not a good guy. At least not now. He’s actually “Toxic” right now. And for many reasons (my Toxic Men program will help you terrifically with all of this) – you are attracted to, and attract Toxic Men.

For right now – see how you like him because he punishes you. He keeps you off balance. He torments and tortures you. And there’s a part of you that WANTS this.

There’s a part of you that feels most comfortable like this.

Well – you deserve better. You deserve great things. Great love. Great devotion.

Focus yourself on this, and love the part of you that wants punishment so she can no longer “run” you while you’re unaware of her.

Now you know her. Embrace her, and tell her you’re in charge.

Let me know how all this lands with you.

Love, Rori

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  1.  #1Daria on October 10, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I often like guys who don’t show me attention… I guess a part of me wants to feel not good enough… so I can prove myself good enough…

    This sounds like masculine energy and perhaps its best focused on a different area of my life?

    any thoughts…

  2.  #2alias girl on October 10, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    it seems i continually choose my father. my father LOVED me but the relationship was complex and he was a sensitive man yet very gruff and 100% incapable of tolerating any sort of emotions from himself or those around him thus he was a very ANGRY man as a consequence from so much stuffing. also he was very unavailable. what i remember most about my relationship with my father was the coninual unending WAIT for him to be available to spend time with me or want to get to know me or really SEE me or experience me. my father was very critical of me and i grew up feeling very unattractive and not good enough. ok it’s decades later and I am still picking my father as a partner and it is VERY unsatisfying and painful. granted the men i pick are better versions of my father and the older iget the better i pick but at my pace i fear i am going to run out of time before my dreams of romance and a wonderful relationship happen. i feel like i am living in fantasyland. also i donLt like that many men it seems. some of them are so gross ewww or unevolved or have only their own agenda and not interested in partnership. so i pick what feels the best to me but it’s not enough of the best. maybe i am too needy or have unrealistic expectations. but i know there are people in the world experiencing the type of relationship i dream of. wow. i really went off on a tangent here. ok so how can i step out my door today and into the life of my dreams? xoxo 🙂

  3.  #3tina on October 10, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    You are a blessing. Question, how long to wait for a man to step up, after you have not spoken in 3 weeks, seen each other in 5? No fight, just no communication. I am trying to hold of calling . Is it at 8 weeks that a man is gone from relationship. In meantime I have re aligned self. What Power Speech should I do to maxime
    making it whole and committed etc.

  4.  #4Rori Raye on October 10, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Tina, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this…and, yes, the best thing you can do at this point is move on and forget about him. He may show up again – they often do – and if you’re Circular Dating, and having FUN – going places, doing things you enjoy, pleasing yourself as much as you can – he may pick up on that, even from a distance, and come forward.

    And what I wish for you is that another man – a much better man who would not let you go for 1 DAY, let alone 5 weeks – will show up in your life and sweep you off your feet – tomorrow!

    Love, Rori

  5.  #5alias girl on October 10, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    yeah! thanks for saying that rori. that’s how i feel i want it to be. i can’t believe sometimes men will let me walk away without getting my number. i can’t beleive it when some of the men in my life have let me slip away. only to be replaced by aman who treats me better. so good for them if they can’t step up. and i think it literally is a CAN’T oft times. they want to but are unable to so it would have been a disaster of a relationship anyhow. it’s a matter of timing. and i will give of myself fully to the man who steps up. not the other ones who can’t.and maybe the one who CAN will show up when i CAN. timing. i feel more ready and and willing than ever.

  6.  #6tina on October 11, 2008 at 4:20 am

    Thanks, I have been opening up, gong places, no new dates yet but would say yes.
    However, this is a 10 year relatinship, this has happened before, including last year, where after broken dates, unreturned calls etc, he came forward, asked for my ring size etc. everything great for a few monthS he did not follow through with ring.
    I let too much go, too easy. Fantastic when we are together don’t feel good in between. Working on self love and esteem, What do I do with feelings that want to reach out to him. Part of me feels shaky and wants to end non communication, give little speech and put onus on his shoulders, this has woked before when I have done it within a few days of whatever felt bad had occurred, I too wish for a fantadtic man to come in.
    Your feelings, Rori?

  7.  #7Erika on October 11, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Synchronicity here, Rori! Your entry resonates so much with the experience I just had.

    One thing that helps me is to start my day with the mantra “I’m going to feel good today no matter what.”

    So I’ve been seeing a guy and I like him a lot but he wanted “space.” Much to his credit, he continued communicating clearly with me during this time, which I enjoyed a lot (all dating is practice to me, so any kind of deeper exchange like that helps me grow).

    However, I made it clear the situation wasn’t feeling good to me. He then sent me a long email that said he would “check in” with me next week before “flying to London.” As in, we won’t be seeing each other for several weeks.

    Back in the old days, I might’ve felt uneasy for the next several weeks while he “sorts things out.” But now, I checked in with my feelings and the answer that came from within me was … no way. I told him that I like him a lot and I’m glad we crossed paths, but his response was a “non-starter” for me. And then I immediately went on a date with another guy, who said he would happily have a baby with me. Lol 🙂

    I blogged more about it here: http://awakeningfromthedream.blogspot.com/2008/10/full-circle.html

    It’s just much easier for me to stay centered if my focus is on enhancing my own state of happiness rather than trying to control what a guy is doing.

    I also try to stay away from focusing on what is “wrong” with a guy because guys can change, and fast. Instead, I look at the specific factual situation and whether it feels good to me or not. I may leave the situation, but I still focus on what I like about the guy (law of attraction) and always keep my heart open to the possibility that the guy may reemerge in a form that feels good to me at some point down the road (which I think is along the lines of what you were saying, Rori).

    – Erika (www.awakeningfromthedream.blogspot.com)

  8.  #8Linda on October 11, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    My heart goes out to Tina… I know we love our men. And we do want to be happy again with them. However…. even with all the tools we learn …. and controlling our selfs from calling them… and all the energy that takes… sometimes I just want to go over to his house
    and just slap him across the face/ like the way Carrie did in the sex and the city last movie when “Big” could not get out of the car for their
    wedding day. .. (did you see it.)….when the 2 Limos met in the street..! unforgetable !
    The look on “Big”s face.. I saw on my man’s face when he hurt me big time in the past..and I went bolistic . He never stayed away long.. and once when he called 3 days later.. I told him.. I found someone else more suitable for me. I kept him away for 3 months… and when we did get back to gether.. he said.. that was the best thing I could of done.. as it really woke him up. ( 1st year of our 4 years )
    These men see our love as weekness.. and they think they can do as they please.. and maybe our love is weekness cause we have to love ourselves much more than we love them.
    so lets just love ourselves… ! And then maybe
    just maybe. we might allow them back in.
    Lets hope not… 10 years.. 4 years.. all too much time.. and they should know better by that much time of having our pressious love.
    If there was a pill that would just keep us in our heads and block our big hearts for a while.
    There are good men out there… just waiting for good women…. all we have to do.. is want
    them…. I beleive its the women that picks the man.. she wants.
    Rori, your thoughts?

  9.  #9Erika on October 11, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    hi Linda,

    My heart goes out to Tina, too, and to any woman who is in pain over a man.

    You said: “These men see our love as weekness.. and they think they can do as they please.. and maybe our love is weekness cause we have to love ourselves much more than we love them. so lets just love ourselves… ! And then maybe just maybe. we might allow them back in.”

    Men want our love, they just want it to be strong love. They want to be able to trust that we will always take care of our own needs first, because we can’t really give anything to anyone until we are first taking care of ourselves. They want to trust that when push comes to shove we will always choose our own happiness over being with them. They want to be with us, but they also want to know that we are strong enough to walk away if necessary.

  10.  #10alias girl on October 11, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    i would agree with erica. i have heard so many men say they like a woman who can out them in their place if necessary. it is human nature to test our boundaries with people see how far you can go with them. esp men it seems are like that. they’ll push until you say no that’s not ok with me. i know i do it with others too. it may not be so obvious (women are more subtl or sometimes the appropriate word might be sneaky with me) i won’t come right out and disrespect someone or take advantage of someone but i am observing them and people with weak boundaries and low self esteem seem less safe to be around. i like strong people bc then i can be strong and authentic and not worry about weird blaming entanglements that might ensue with people who don’t have a strong sense of self or are unwilling to declare their boundaries. i’m going to a singles event tonight. i hope i meet someone i am interested in.

  11.  #11Rori Raye on October 11, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    What a fantastic discussion! Thank you all so much for helping with this, and for your amazing, insightful thoughts.

    Here’s my take in a new post:

    This is what my Modern Siren program is all about…

  12.  #12Linda on October 11, 2008 at 2:54 pm

    I enjoyed your comment so much I printed it out. I couldn’t agree with you more..!
    My question is once you have proven to your man that you are strong.
    You have proved to him that you will not allow yourself to be with a man that is careless with your feelings..
    He promises he will be better.. cause he does not want to loose me..( instead of just wanting to love me better) Then he doesn’t really change… for the long hall… in my case.

    I realise that its a lot of good lip service, which
    feels like he loves me at the time he says it.
    feels so bad when its happens again.

    Lets face it…. its a lot of work.. to walk away and find love again….but I will.. and next time
    I will be wiser.. and not repeat the same mistakes…. this last love felt like the best love of my life.. and now is just a painful mistake again.., and each love in my life has been so different… except for one thing.. it ended with much pain. however this one.. I can see I over functioned.. due his long work hours. and the freedom in my own job.
    My (X)man still has a closet of clothes at my house and many other things… we are no longer together.. he is still giving me lip service, without the action to back it up..
    I am furious today … and I hope tomorrow
    hoping I will never ever fall for his false promises, again. I have had a good talk with him about false promises and how it feels to me.
    and his answer was.. he was sorry.. however
    that promise can still be arranged.., and he still loves me.. and also he said.. we never broke up.. !!
    I really feel he is toxic at this time. I have to stop wondering why he chooses to be this way.
    and I need to just take care of me..
    am I missing something important here. Does he need me to inspire him again. I just am tired
    of this dance with him. We are close to 60 years old… I was hoping, to be settled by this age.. love should be easier.. I don’t want to be a girlfriend any more. ever !!
    I know I always wanted to build together with my man.. I wanted to be a necessary piece of the relationship.. now I can see…and feel.
    I was acting just as a wife would.. act… and what a mistake that was.. and He Loved it.
    praised me for it.
    Wish I meet Rori years ago,.

  13.  #13Erika on October 11, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    hi Linda,

    I share your admiration of Rori’s work 🙂

    You asked about this: “He promises he will be better.. cause he does not want to loose me..( instead of just wanting to love me better) Then he doesn’t really change… for the long hall… in my case.”

    I think what Rori says about being in touch with your feelings really helps here too. To avoid falling back into old patterns, it’s really important to catch it as soon as you are not feeling good about the situation … and SPEAK UP. And then if he’s not listening or responding in a way that leads you to feel good, it may be necessary to TAKE ACTION. This does not mean trying to control his actions, but rather taking some action that doesn’t depend on him but makes you feel better (such as taking a time out, going out with friends, etc.). Sometimes for me to shake out of longstanding patterns, I find that I need to take drastic action, like getting out of a situation altogether, in order to be heard. That’s how I was feeling with this guy, like I wasn’t really being heard or taken seriously despite my attempts to communicate in a feeling-based way.

  14.  #14alias girl on October 11, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    linda i send love your way. (and to all you wonderfulwomen on this site) we are all making progress and begin to make self loving choices and so that is shaking things up and who can say what will be once the dust settles. but you are ONLY sixty years old. people find love, get married, go on honeymoons etc at seventy or eighty. you could find a new better man tomorrow get married in a year live to be a hundred so you could still celebrate 40 years with your hubby. now this guy your with may step up. but i think rori has the right idea… keep circular dating until you FIND WHAT YOU WANT. and you will know that not by how you feel about the man but BY HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT YOURSELF WHILE WITH HIM IN RELATIONSHIP TO HIM. Oh rori says it better than i am saying it….but don’t give up bc of scarcity thinking. after every break up with aman i loved i thought there wouldNEVER be as good as him. and always it got better. so now i kind of chuckle to myself and think…itLs going to get BETTER? how can that be? and i just wait and see. i think it won’t get better than my last guy. (i let go of him with no contact stipulation over a week ago.) if he’s not the guy to step up then next guy will be better. pretty yum. i can’t wait. but anyway hang in there with all your feelings you must be feeling. you are powerful and beautiful and worth having love and being treated well not just with words but actions too.

  15.  #15Carmela on October 14, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you, Rori! I was dumped by my off and on boyfriend of 4.5 years and one child together. He didn’t say it but I see it, he went back to his ex-girlfriend, again. When I get more involved with myself he always want to leave. I thought he had changed from the last couple of times and I do see some improvements, but I still feel bad when I see him and I spent a lot of time the last 3-4 months feeling bad in the relationship before we broke up. So now I am going to work on embracing the part of myself that wants to be punished and stop punishing myself with this man or anyone else that is not making me feel good with how they treat me.

    It is scary for me to be treated well. I just realized that, I always dump the good guy then look back and go “what the heck was I thinking?” when I realize I dropped a keeper. So I am totally going to work on keeping the keeper by looking at why I feel bad, is it because I am feeling my fear of being treated well or am I just off balanced and confused by bad treatment.

    Thanks again, all the tools I have purchased from you have helped me so much. My life is changing and I am starting to feel better. Thanks again and God bless.