Is He Deliberately Hurting You?

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The Question:

“I’ve been exclusively dating a man for 2 years, we are both divorced and have children. We maintain separate residences and see each other twice or so a week.

We’ve broken up several times in a year because he wanted to get married in 8 years after his child was out of school and I told him I wanted someone to share a life with now – and so we broke up.

But then he would come back and tell me we would get married sooner than 8 years and then eventually things would revert back and no talk of marriage.

This last time we broke up a week later we start talking marriage and its been 6 months of talk but still no ring and I’m frustrated and feeling resentful – and on top of it, a year and a half ago he hired my previous ex-husbands mistress as his secretary, knowing the pain she has caused me and my family and contributing to my marriage breaking up.

He told me it was just temporary but its a year and half later and she is still there.

This woman does not like me and the feeling is very mutual and I can’t take it much longer, I feel betrayed and know in my heart this relationship has to end or it has to drastically change but how do I do it.

He is leaving on a 10 day trip with his son. Do I wait until after the trip, he is going to be gone on our official 2 year anniversary 07/22 and of course I thought I might be getting a ring…not, but even if I do get one, there is still the secretary situation that is a source of major conflict with us.

I’m a secretary as well but don’t get paid near what he pays her and have wondered why I was never offered the job.

I have a very tough time financially and barely get by, and he owns his own corporation.

I’ve never asked for help from him but he has offered help, he did fix my central air and gave me his old washer and dryer, but for my b’day I told him not to get me anything because he did get my air fixed and so he didn’t get me anything, just a card and dinner… and for X-mas he bought me propane gas to heat my house.

I told him not to worry about getting me a X-mas gift but he said he had already gotten me something and I told him to take it back and he said No way but when X-mas came I had nothing to open, him and the kids all had presents but I had nothing…

He is good father, doesn’t drink or do drugs goes to church but how long do I wait for something to change… and I don’t know what to do, I’m sick of breaking up and getting weazled back in.

We have been arguing a lot about his secretary, and then he asks me if I want the job and I tell him that is not my motive…. but it’s because I don’t want anyone that I love around this woman.

She has broken up a lot of marriages in her lifetime and I’m sick of getting burned by her and I tell him what person wouldn’t want her job she gets paid really well, gets full family health benefits.

Then, a month later he tells me he offered me the job and I said No…. I told him that was not true, but that I told him my motive for arguing was not to get her job but to have some respect and consideration for me and how this past hurt is brought up in my face everyday as a reminder of what she did to my children and me.

I just need some advice, I’m sorry if this is too wordy…Lorie”

My Answer:

Oh, there’s so much in this letter!

I’m going to pull it apart line by line, but first let’s look at the overall, general feeling Lorrie’s expressing and the general situation:

She’s been with a man exclusively for 2 years.

She see’s him 2 times a week.

He is DELIBERATELY hurting her by employing as his own secretary a woman who caused her enormous pain in the past.

She is angry and WANTS a lot of different things from this man – affection, attention, quality time, a commitment, and for him to value her and cherish her feelings – but here’s a fascinating thing – she tells him NOT to give her birthday presents and Christmas presents.

She tells him NO – she doesn’t really want the JOB the ‘evil woman” has with him (which she actually DOES want – so she’s lying!), that she just wants him to understand her suffering and be more sensitive.

And so here Lorrie is – stuck.

Stuck in EXACTLY what she DOESN’T want – time after time.

So – let’s unravel this and see how she can turn it around.

Bottom line – I know you can see it and feel it – Lorrie has low self-esteem.

She feels at bottom that she doesn’t deserve love and commitment and cherishing, so she pushes it away “Oh, don’t worry about that…”

And yet, at the same time – she gets angry, starts arguments, etc.breaks up with him, and then takes him back.

And yet – he never CHANGES!!

And what’s the reason he never changes?

Because he doesn’t HAVE to.

Lorrie never sticks to the break up, she always takes him back.

She makes a stink about something – and then can’t tell the truth about her true feelings.

I personally understand all of this, Lorrie, because that was me. It’s classically so many women I talk to.

Lorrie – your motive about the secretary is to get respect and consideration. Yes, that’s true – but no one is going to give you that if you don’t give it to yourself – and the idea is to get to a place within yourself where you simply wouldn’t WANT to be with a man who doesn’t WANT to treat you with respect and consideration. On his OWN!!!

Without you even having to TALK about it much less ARGUE about it!

Actually – he DID offer you the job. Sort of. He asked you if you wanted it, and you DID say No. You said you weren’t interested in the job, you just wanted respect.

I really get that.  I was like this, too, never willing to say things I wanted. Sort of denying that I had needs and wants at all. Like that was a bad thing.

And – far as I can tell, he asked you if you wanted it – but he didn’t “offer” it to you.

I can totally understand your not wanting to share that you wanted something, and then feel at his mercy about whether he was going to give it to you or not!

Here’s a script for a really good way to begin a discussion:

Honey, I’m feeling so upset, and I know that I haven’t been clear before.  So – here’s what I want: Yes, I would like the job as your secretary, at the same salary and benefits as come with the job now.

And, even more important to me, if, for any reason my working with you doesn’t feel right to me or you at any point, what I absolutely do NOT want is to have that woman, who is a painful part of my past, in that job, or anywhere near you.

I feel jealous, angry, and horrible about her being in that job near you, and jealous and angry that she makes more money than I do.

I would like this change to happen quickly, where she is no longer in that job, within 3 weeks.  I would feel more than happy to begin working in that job for you within those 3 weeks.

In a far-fetched concept of this situation – perhaps he’s just a guy being insensitive, and he has no idea that you mean business.

For me, however, to believe that he doesn’t know yet how bad it makes you feel to have that woman from your past around him day after day – and in a better financial situation than you are – is not even possible.

He’s just not a very caring person.  At least, he doesn’t care that much about you.

He takes what you give, tolerates the anger and arguing for sex and whatever else he likes about you and the relationship, and has absolutely no ability to “care” what you might be feeling, or what you want.

And – like so many of us women, you’ve encouraged this dismissal of you.

So – with this script, you make it absolutely clear what you want and don’t want.

Then he chooses.

He either chooses this woman, and the convenience she offers of him not having to go out a find a new secretary (or give you the job if he’s somehow not sure it would go well to work together) – Or he chooses your well being, happiness, and request.

So far, he’s pretty much chosen. The person he chose is the other women.

I understand how frightening it is to imagine that this is the end of your story with him.

With this Script, if he wants to come back after you leave him, it’s without the other woman as secretary, and it’s with a ring in his hand for you.

The problem is you have no one else to date.

Without other options, it’s hard for a man to get that you mean business.

It’s hard, because it’s so difficult for YOU to FEEL like you mean business, when you have no other options!

To go even deeper, and more tough-love:

Most men just want to do what they want to do – they want to do what’s easy and what works for them – and this woman is clearly a good-enough secretary, and reliable enough that he doesn’t want to fire her.

I’m here to tell you even a STUPID, INSENSITIVE, CLODDISH man would know better than to hire a woman who was involved in his current girlfriend’s prior love life.

Just a mention from you about who this woman is should be enough to send her packing.

And if it isn’t – the question is NOT why isn’t he paying attention to my needs and taking good care of me, all that…the question is what are you DOING with this man?

There is nothing to do with this man that is worth your effort to revive the relationship – EXCEPT what you can learn from it.

And if you can learn from it – and increase your self-esteem – then, and only then is it possible for HIM to change.

I’ve seen men do 180’s when a woman stops being a doormat – yes, Lorrie, you are not only a doormat, you are an ANGRY doormat – and thank goodness you’re angry – because all that angry energy is what will SAVE you!

So – let’s use Lorrie’s ANGER to get her – and you, too, if you’re stuck in a similar (and hopefully not as extreme) situation – out of this awful place and into something much better.

Here are the basic truths about the situation:

1. This man has money, and Lorrie does not.

2. He has power – and he has all the power in the RELATIONSHIP. Lorrie’s given UP all her power to him.

3. He doesn’t want to marry Lorrie, but he wants to help her – and she allows him to help her in some ways, and then tells him NOT to GIVE to her in other ways (telling him to take back his Xmas gift).

4. He knows his actions (hiring and continuing to employ a woman who has caused Lorrie serious pain in the past) are causing her pain, confusion and anger right now, and yet doesn’t feel moved to change the situation.

5.He seems completely insensitive to things EVERY man knows about women – or is CREATING this jealous, angry situation because of issues of his OWN. This is a no-brainer situation, and it’s hard to find ANY kind of excuse for it.

6. Though Lorrie seems able to express her anger in some ways, she is still afraid to tell him straight out what she wants and doesn’t want, and she’s as afraid as any of us have ever been to endanger the relationship and “be alone”. So she lets him slide.

The Script is only the beginning of how this will unfold.

And Lorrie, you are a dear, lovely woman – and I KNOW you can pull out of this!!!

Yes, I’m going to say: Get a coach!

Either go to Siren Island and get lots of brilliant Scripts in writing (many times a day if you need it!) from the great coaches… or get private coaching in the Siren Circle Private Coaching program.

I feel you so strongly, because I’ve been there.

I’ve got a past where I would have done exactly as you have.

Put up with things it’s hard to believe, once you really look at it, that anyone would put up with; kept hope alive without ever truly expressing, at least not clearly enough for the man to know, absolutely, what I wanted and didn’t want, and what my feelings were; let time go by, feeling miserable and angry and scared.

It took me a long time to actually see what was happening in my mind and in my life, and turn everything around.

Because I did it, and so many of my Siren School coaches came from that same place you’re in and turned things around for their lives, too – I KNOW you can do it!

What will help you is your anger.

It’s just enough spark and energy to help you override your fear, feel brave enough to say the truth and begin to Circular Date – NOW! – and stick to your committment to yourself.

Love, Rori