“I’m Too Damaged” 2 Reasons to Believe Him

Too damaged 2 reasons to believe himIf a guy tells you he’s too damaged, too depressed, or too anything else, take him at his word.

Do you remember that Cold Play song, “Fix You?”

The chorus said, “Lights will guide you home, and ignite your bones, and I will try to fix you.” That was the most popular song from Cold Play’s third album, X&Y. It still gets radio play, and I can understand why.

It sounds sweet. The basic idea is even romantic that you could care about someone so much that your love overcomes the broken condition of their heart.

Unfortunately, it’s also highly unlikely.

But in spite of that, this is one of the questions I’m asked most frequently. Women want to know how they can rescue a guy who is neurotic. Someone who claims he’s broken or insists that he’s just not good enough for her.

So, I’m going to tell you what I tell all my clients. When a guy claims he’s messed up, you should be very cautious about moving forward. The same thing goes for a guy who goes on and on about how you’re out of his league. Sure, it’s flattering to hear at first, but it’s a significant red flag if he keeps at it.

Here’s why. When a relationship begins with that kind of dynamic, you’re more or less signing up to be his emotional guardian. Get ready to be his one-woman support network. You’ll spend untold amounts of time and effort working to protect his fragile self-esteem. No matter what you’ve heard about snagging a guy who’s a ‘fixer upper,’ it’s not a fun job.

It’s work. A lot of work.

The feeling that you’re always taking care of him will wear on you. Trust me. Most guys who see themselves as damaged aren’t all that great at returning love and support.

But there’s more.

As nice as it might be to think a romantic connection could redeem him, that’s rarely the case. The best relationships happen when two emotionally healthy people come together and form a truly intimate bond. Even if you’re willing to put up with his need for constant emotional reassurance, there’s a better than average chance it won’t pay off.

Insecurity can be a black hole. You simply can’t give enough assurance to another person to make up for their lack of faith in themselves. That’s something that has to come from within. Telling him what he wants to hear won’t make him better. In fact, it’s more likely to encourage him to continue to be needy!

Besides, your relationship shouldn’t be all about fixing another person. Romance should be fun and exciting. It shouldn’t feel like a second job.

If you’re with a guy who claims he’s not good enough for you, don’t argue. Whatever his reasons, accept them and move on. Find someone who is less focused on their own deficiencies and more focused on you.


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52 thoughts on ““I’m Too Damaged” 2 Reasons to Believe Him

  1. Romantic Status said:

    This article is so good. Some times every body will miss statistics for romantic time member.

  2. Elizabeth said:

    If you ever fell in this trap you know this is dead on. This is exactly how I felt with my last guy and he did warn me in the begging. He even said something must be wrong with me to stick around and he was right. I am no LONGER catering, mending, babying another grown adult who I need support from. This was not the first time I did this but it will be my last. A Codependent like myself must learn to be more selfish and up their standards.

  3. Denise Kihle said:

    Good advice on the fixer upper. I dated someone for four years amazing man all the qualities I was looking for except one. He said after about two months into the relationship I don’t think I can marry you or anyone ever. I had told him from the start I don’t date to date I’m dating to see if the connection will lead into marriage one day so we didn’t waste each others time. I stayed on with the relationship after he told me no marriage and in the end my heart was broken four years later because I settled for non commitment when my dream was to be married again one day. So ladies if a man confides in you he needs fixing, can’t marry whatever run don’t walk. You’ll spare yourself unnecessary heartache and sorrow.

  4. In love said:

    I loved this article. Your love of another, no matter how great, no matter how spiritually perfect it may seem, cannot conquer all things, it cannot conquer emotional instability, it cannot conquer addiction, it cannot conquer the others lack of self love, or self abandonment. Only thier own love can do that. Their own devotion to unearthing the beauty within themselves can begin to do that. If a man, or woman for that matter, isnot doing that because they don’t know how or they feel like they can’t, your love no matter how great or strong can’t help them.
    Listen when they tell you they are not ready, listen when they tell you they are too messed up, to heartbroken, or like the booze a lot. Listen sweet friends, they are giving you a golden key. They are giving you some truth to unveil your eyes that have been misted in love.
    If you listen you will save yourself years of energy and attention on a person who cannot show up for you in the way your heart both yearns for and most importantly deserves.
    You will meet many soul mates in your life time, friends and lovers alike, a partnership comes not from being “soul” mates, but from emotional health, no matter how deep and profound the connection may be.
    So my feeling if you are un-partnered yet want one is often not that there is something wrong with you, but a time to really learn to love yourself and be the partner to you that you so deeply want another to do. That way when one shows up that does not show up in the way you deserve you can kindly and gently say no thank you until the one that does arrives.

    • angela porter said:

      thank you so much for these wise words! they are timely for me, and confirm what i know i must do….tread my own path and be patient x

    • Sin Tien said:

      What happens when the one that you believe in is diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer (prob 7 month or longer) and wants out coz believing that I should find happiness in another relationship rather than he be a burden to me . I am still trying to fight to be with him for almost 2 months but it seems he still insist I move on and forget bout the 2 months fleeting romance we once had coz he believe I can move on now rather than if he does not make it after 7 months it will be too devastating for me ..

      • James Bauer said:

        If under these circumstances you still want to be with him, then it is my belief that you will be unable to “move on” so long as he is living.

        Make sure he understands that. Make sure he understands your suffering would only be doubled if he continues to reject you.

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Sin Tien, I absolutely agree with James on this. Your man thinks he is protecting YOU from suffering on his account, but you will suffer far more if you walk away and are not there to support him and help him through this crisis. You will always wonder how he is, and torment yourself. If you truly feel you are really strong enough to handle this (and we don’t always know until we are actually faced with a situation and living through it), then tell him that you WANT to be there for him, it is YOUR choice, and you WILL be there – either as a friend or a lover. Something to also bear in mind is that sometimes doctors get the diagnosis and prognosis completely wrong. I read recently that it is not possible to predict how long someone still has to go. Many, many times they have got it completely wrong, and people have survived way past the predicted time. Cling onto this – be there for him. He will need you and probably does really want you, in his heart of hearts, but does not want to see you suffer. That is a truly loving, kind reaction from him – he wants to protect you from future hurt – but you should be allowed to make that choice for yourself. You will be hurt anyway by his loss, whether you walk away now or not, but probably much LESS so if you feel you gave him everything you have to offer in the way of love and support. You will have that thought to comfort you. It is not easy to live with regret after the event, if you feel you did not do the right thing at the time. I wish you the very, very best of luck with this. Maybe if you show him these replies, he will change his mind, and just allow you to love him and care for him and enjoy what time you have together NOW. I hope so, for none of us knows what is around the corner – now is all we have – tomorrow is out of sight. Try to keep that firmly in mind, and take one day at a time. With love to you both, and every good wish. Lorna x x

  5. Sophie said:

    So true. Thank you for this confirmation.

  6. Anette said:

    Sometimes it is the opposite. When I met my Boyfriend I had recently left an extremely abusive relationship. I hadn’t had any therapy, only a couple of session with a hypnosis therapist.
    I had been damaged so deep that today – three years later – it’s only now I am able to open up to therapy.
    My scars on the inside were severe. But with time – and a boyfriend who has a master in psychology/specializes in PTSD – I did better. He did not “save” me. He listened… And told me about the psychology og PTSD.
    It was ME that had to do the work, since I WANTED to be better, do better, heal my scars. Alone. Not by using him, but a little support from his side WAS nessecary.

    I can’t say I would recommend it to anybody doing what I/we did.
    But somehow we’ve been improving the relation more and more. We’re more connected now than we’veever been, like all that crap (well, he had some skeletons too which I helped him release some of too) brought us even closer combined with mutual respect, love and honesty. Somehow we managed to have a good grip in who we were individually and not loose ourselves.

  7. Karina said:

    Thanks for the article. I’ve been involved with a man like that for about 3 years. Since the beginning he said something like that “I dont want a girlfriend right now, I can’t be in a relationship right now….” but that made me want to care for him even more, show him my love even more, because I though that would help him and he would see me as The One. It was like an addiction. Deep down inside I had a feeling he was wrong for me, but I kept going back like for a drug. We didn’t talk for some time, and I always found a reason to contact him, to see him, to see if maybe something has changed and we could be together like a regular couple. It was the same every time, it left me really sore 🙁 I always felt bad after seeing him. Even today when I ended any contact with him and I made a conscious decision in my heart and soul that I don’t want to see him, a month goes by and I have thoughts like “maybe he wasn’t so bad, maybe, maybe, maybe…” I was thinking about him today and I came across this article. Someone above is looking out for me not to go back to the “drug” again….

    • James Bauer said:

      Be strong, Karina. You deserve better.

      James

      • Marjorie, said:

        Thank you so much Mr. Bauer,

        This article helped me understand myself better and the guy that I was just with. Just like Karina, I just ended a relationship with a guy I dated for five months, who told me that “he is so messed up”. First month the relationship, he told me that I am good for him, and things went on so good for few months doing everything to please him and for him to love me because I really hoped and though that he was the, ONE. But big mistake! I should have listened to him when he said “I’m so messed up.” At the end he acted so weird and I felt like he wanted me to be in his side but DON’T, he is so far away, even if he was with me, I felt so alone and I often felt in my heart that he is not for me, I found myself telling me to run away at the end. I broke up with me, he got so mad, and just like Karina, I thought that maybe he is not so bad! I contacted him again….like a bad drugs, maybe I needed it to feel good about myself, but he ignored me….Then I read this article…..Oh my….. I’m so glad that I am not alone and left him for good. I don’t feel so bad, now thinking that……. it wasn’t me!

  8. Kat said:

    This article came to me at exactly the right time. I married two of these types of men in a row. Husband#1 was the “I’m damaged and I’m angry but I love you and don’t mean to be abusive to you; info it because i love you and I am scared to lose you,” and husband #2, whom I am leaving this week after almost five years of living with a man who is a workaholic, is extremely avoidant and anti-social. In the past six months, his behavior (he is usually mild mannered and quiet ) has escalated to unfounded tidal waves of extremely intense abuse : emotional/mental/verbal:physical . He refuses to allow me to see the bank account and has from the get go, does nothing to help me at home…goes to work , has in the past year become paranoid enough to refuse me access to his phone, plays passive aggressive games.

    I had an extremely abusive childhood , but did have a woman who took me and raised me as her own , so I had someone to help me not become as shattered emotionally as I could have been. I have been going to therapy and now see the difference between a good man and one I should run from. In fact , the more I overcome codependency, and the healthier I become, the angrier and more aggressive he gets.

    I started this program to save my marriage because i thought I was pushing him away, but now I see through therapy and other eye opening situations, where as I am not perfect and this course has helped me know what to do when I finally enter into an emotionally healthy relationship, I now know I fell into the trap of assuming the role as “fixer” again.

    First husband was always a moody jerk, second husband is a “nice guy” with a hidden monster inside. Neither of them ever really got to know me, but I knew everything about them. Been married to second husband for almost five years and he is gone all day and into the night at work, I take care of two kids six and two alone, I do all of the housework , yard work, maintenance on vehicles, schoolwork obligations, etc and my husband never says thank you or even helps. He comes in, takes a shower, goes to the back room shuts the door and gets on his phone. He doesn’t want to talk or discuss problems ever, doesn’t want me to text or visit him at work, told me he doesn’t care about my stupid business, doesn’t do anything romantic…been years since he held my hand, hugged me, held me, really kissed me like a lover, refuses sex and when he does want sex, he is rough and cold , and keeps his life a secret. He doesn’t even know my middle name.

    Second husband has sabotaged any jobs I have had and even a great startup business idea revolving around 3D printing and a radical new approach to mentoring and job/career placement and training for all ages. I had been working on this part business part mission part ministry for a year before I decided to launch. For the past six months, he has done everything he can to sink it.

    This “nice guy” abuser is one of the more dangerous ones and easiest to fall victim to if you’ve had esteem or codependency problems like I had had until now.

    I’m currently making plans to leave but I am currently stuck. No money, no job, nowhere to go (my family is made up of abusers and addicts…I’m blessed to have gotten the power and knowledge to break this cycle ), and no options at the moment.

    I’m going to start an Indiegogo tomorrow and sell some small trinkets for Christmas presents. Hopefully I can make enough to afford a small short term lease apartment until I can renovate my Grandmother’s small farm cottage.

    The point I’m making is…James is right. There is a difference between a man who had an unfortunate upbringing but has made a commitment to himself and anyone he chooses to be with romantically to work toward having an open, honest and healthy long term relationship with and with a man who had an unfortunate upbringing but chooses to embrace and continue the cycle because they enjoy punishing people by confining them to a lifetime of servitude, rough submission and literal hell on earth.

    Sending blessings to all of you who have struggled. Please send me good vibrations as I do my best to get away and on the road to financial independence and emotional healing from both husbands’ abusive ways.

    Be Blessed and Happy Thanksgivinf, everyone!

    • Marjorie, said:

      Kat,

      YOU are not alone, there are so many programs out there for someone like you who needs helps.

      God Bless You!

    • palma said:

      I feel so bad for you. None of this is your fault. One suggestion I have and this is something I would do because I can’t stand being trapped and forced to stay with a man that acts like your example. I wouldI move onto that cottage. Just fix up say the bedroom to where you can be comfortable read or yang our lusten to music etc. Feel like a princess. Then you can fix up the rest a little each week. Make a promise to yourself that you will not call or text or even think about him in your room. If you start giving in go to another dirty broken part of the cottage and fix something (like the toilet) hahahaha..I have actually done this thing when I broke up and left a very similar relationship..it works! I even live like that now my room is my temple abd nothing can invade my space there. Remember the key is do not allow anything bad in there even if you have to leave 100s of times at 1st. It helps to admit to yourself that you made a mistake and hurt yourself. It’s really difficult at first but it helped me so much. Go in a unfixed up room and call him every expletive known to man. I’ve done this and I was really amazed at the words that came out if me….and BTW ashamed. I really pray that you make a move and l I ve yourself enough to do it. You’re worth it.

      • palma said:

        Love yourself to do it. Damn autocorrect. Grrrrrrrrrrr

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Yes, Kat, love yourself enough to do it!!! What a lovely reply from Palma. What a good idea to set up a room in your granny’s cottage where you can get away from your present situation and not allow it to be violated by the bad vibes from your past. At my worst, during and after a painful divorce, when I was so tired and drained and feeling alone, helpless and hopeless so that I could see no way forward and felt suicidal, I set up a “moon alter” with lots of little “icons” which reminded me of the good times and things in my life – photos of my children, parents, pets and memorabilia of nice, positive things in my life. I surrounded it with candles and nice smelling incence and music, and went there whenever I needed to find the strength to carry on, and also every “New Moon” phase every month, when I would set my good intentions, burn the bad things in my life and ask the moon and spirits for strength, guidance and support to carry on. It helped me enormously, and I now hardly every need it. We all know YOU have the strength of character and will-power to get through this. I can also say that James’ articles, and the replies, have helped me so much – keep on reading them for insight into how other people cope – it really does help to feel connected to others who understand. Love and Peace to you – you can do it! Lorna x

  9. Vicky said:

    Thank you for the article. It is a good reminder for all of us that when a man makes a definitive statement beginning with “I am,” we need to listen! I met a man a few months ago and during one of our initial phone conversations he said, “I am broken.” I sort of dismissed it, telling him that we are all “broken” and unconsciously thinking I could probably “fix” him. I say unconsciously, because I am way past thinking that I can “fix” someone even though I am a counselor. I was focused on my own desire to connect with someone, my physical attraction to him, and our mutual interest in traveling. We have both traveled around the world and our conversations were mainly focused on that.
    One thing I learned this time was to truly honor my intuition instead of my thoughts. I never felt truly comfortable around this man but I kept thinking that it was because he was shy, just needed more time, etc. He would say things like I was the most amazing woman he had ever met, how much he wanted to travel with me, how he was open to learning from me, etc. But, whenever I tried to have a deeper, heart conversation with him, he would pull away. Finally, one day I invited him to my house and we talked about “surface” stuff like work, the weather, traveling, etc. Then, I said I would like to have a deeper conversation with him and speak to him about where I was coming from. He said I was ruining a good time and got up and left! He e-mailed me a week later and said he was hoping I would apologize!!!! WOW, what was that about?! I simply wrote back that surely, he must be being facetious and that I could never apologize for wanting to connect with him on a heart level.
    So, yes, to summarize, we really have to listen to EVERYTHING a man tells us and trust our own hearts to guide us. It can be confusing . . . this man even said (in a text) that he was falling in love with me . . . but he also said that I was too good for him. We need to listen to and believe whatever a man is saying, not just the things we want to hear : )
    Again, thank you for the article. I hope it steers many away from future heartbreak.

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks for the example and useful insights, Vicky. I think it’s helpful for others and appreciated by many.

      James

  10. ledona said:

    This is so true,we need to listen to what men say and pay attention to their actions.I was in a relationship for eleven long years with a man who couldn’t really Love me back,he said he Loved me even though it was hard for him after growing up being mentally and physically abused by his father and then his mother abandoning him around age eight leaving him and his sister with their sicko dad while she ran away with another man and saved herself. Over time he became more and more abusive,mentally,emotionally and physically but he was the Love of my life and for years I couldn’t break away when he would sense I was almost done he would start being loving and attentive for awhile until I just wanted to try to make him happy again but the torment finally became so bad and he started cheating on me almost openly after eleven years together I was almost ready to commit suicide but got the strength to leave him instead and save myself but it had a lifetime effect on me,it’s been nine years since I left and I haven’t been able to date or be involved with a man since. I am now ready to meet someone new after learning how to Love and Like myself but I’m not sure how to go about it yet.Ladies listen to what men say and if they say they have issues ( like his mother leaving him made him hates women) I found out the hard way RUN from them as fast as you can,you can’t help this type of man

  11. Sandy said:

    What are thoughts on those who say “You deserve better?”

    • James Bauer said:

      Ah…that’s a different story. That can reflect several different mindsets. One is, “So now I’m going to try to do better since you deserve it.” Another is, “I say that because I’m so in awe of who you are as a person.”

      • In love said:

        I think sometimes it is an indication of low self esteem or self worth. Which could cause some future problems unless they are actively on a path of self discovery. Sometimes it’s also a sort of a way of telling you the truth, what you deserve is more than they are capable of giving right now. Either way ask in to it a bit and things may be clearer

      • Rose said:

        What if YOU’RE the damaged person? :/

        • James Bauer said:

          I guess you need to decide if you are “too damaged” or just “damaged.” We are all damaged in one way or another. Life is hard. But “too damaged” is when you don’t have the capacity to love someone in a way that makes them feel good.

          • Rose said:

            I have severe anxiety and depression which manifests as insecurity, jealousy and control issues along with a lot of unexplained and unpredictable rage and crying and Sub conscious attempts at self sabotage. I’ve lost two long term relationships to it in ten years, now in the third. He is loving and understanding and says he is here for the long haul no matter what. But I feel he deserves better and I can’t return his love in the healthy non destructive way i want to.

          • James Bauer said:

            You are a brave person, Rose, to face these difficult interpersonal impulses with such honesty.

            If you want to love him, and he wants to be loved by you, then do your best. Don’t give up.

            Use this as powerful motivation to turn your insights into action. You cannot always control your feelings or emotions. But at least you can choose your actions (most of the time). Focus on what you can control.

            James

          • Lorna (LaLa) said:

            Yes Rose, you ARE a very bave person. I believe that the first step to healing yourself is actually realizing and then admitting that you HAVE a problem. That is what you have done here – such a brave step forward. Now, keep up the momentum. You’re a VERY lucky lady if you have a loving man by your side who understands you and is prepared to stick with you. That is so important, and must tell you that you are worth loving, BUT you need to keep on working on yourself, too, for his sake – he can’t take it all on himself – that is too much to ask. Only YOU can change yourself and make yourself stronger, with time, and the love of your man. As James says, we are all damaged to a greater or lesser extent. I have found that by reading numerous self-help books and looking at forums like this one, I have gradually come to understand myself more. I now know that we have to learn to love ourselves, first and foremost. That sounds like a shallow, empty thing to say, but it is all about understanding yourself, looking deep, deep inside, being honest about what you find there and your feelings this will bring up. Not denying or pushing down these feelings and then facing head-on what causes those feelings – going way back into your childhood, if necessary – and letting them out. Learn to forgive yourself for any wrong-doings and forgive others for any wrong they may have done to you – of course this goes back to the Lord’s Prayer, which I am sure most people chant without even thinking about the words.(I am actually not religious, but the Bible has a lot of good common sense in it!). I find it easier to forgive others if I think that we are all frail human beings, all damaged and all capable of doing wrong – in other words, to walk a mile in their shoes, and try to understand what made them do wrong – something in their own past they were unable to control, perhaps, which had a lasting effect. We all have an inner child that needs comforting at times. I have a soft cuddly dolly, which represents my “inner child” (LaLa from the Telly Tubbies (LA were my initials as a child) – now I am being honest!!), and when I feel sad and lonely and scared and unloved and despairing, I cuddle her in bed and tell her it is all alright now – I am a strong, capable, grown-up, confident, independent woman now – I can do it – all by myself. You can, too, and especially so with the love of your wonderful man. Rejoice in that, tell yourself over and over that you are so “Very, very lucky” – and live life to the full now, one day at a time. That is all we have. With love and every good wish. Lorna (LaLa)

  12. Carmen said:

    I’m so sorry you are suffering for this issue, Rose. My recent relationship ended as he had the same problems you describe and did not trust anyone would be with him, for the long haul as I told him I would. The difference Rose, Is that you are aware of your issues and therefore, can work on loving yourself. His insecurity and running away broke my heart… I’m working on healing and do feel better. I will get there. Maybe I will find a man sure of himself and confident one day. You deserve love, so forgive yourself and trust your partner. Be happy.

  13. Krystyna said:

    So, my situation is he says he’s messed up but wants to be with me and is actively working in therapy to address the issues he’s got.

    He’s saying he’s messed up. He’s saying I’m better to him than he deserves, but he’s also making efforts and actively working on changes. Not for me, for himself, because he doesn’t like who he’s allowed himself to become lately.

    • James Bauer said:

      In that situation, you should stick with him (assuming you like him already…before any big changes). It’s different because he’s not saying you should leave him. He’s saying, “I don’t blame you if you do…but give me a chance to improve.”

  14. Paula said:

    I’ve been in a relationship with a man who has some rather serious health issues for about 9 months. Our second or third “date” was me visiting him in the hospital and it was weirdly enjoyable. Since then he’s had health ups and downs, and he’s been recovering slowly, Sometimes he tells me I ought to find myself a younger, healthier man and over the months I’ve had varying responses while consistently letting him know I’m choosing him. I am 9 years younger than him, though my mom was 10 years older than my dad and since she passed he’s been with a woman 10 years younger so age difference isn’t a factor for me. Attitude is. I don’t think my guy is trying to push me a way, though I’m starting to wonder the more he says it if he’s right. After reading this about agendas I thought of a response I haven’t used, and that would be to ask him if he wants an older, less healthy woman. I’m at the point as we near a year of relating to each other to make some choices about my life and my commitment to him, and to know what his is to me in a realistic way. Just writing this has helped me reframe my process. Thanks for your insights, James.

  15. Angela said:

    My relationship of 18 months ended recently, he claims he is incapable of love! He says he would rather be alone than be with anyone else. At the outset he thought this time it would be different and it was for a while. However, he is the kindest, most thoughtful, caring person I have ever met and made me feel more loved than ever before even though he never actually said the words… I am absolutely heartbroken and just don’t understand how anyone would choose to be alone rather than being in a loving relationship?

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Angela, Maybe you should just TELL him how you feel. What have you got the lose now? Tell him he has already given you all that you need from him. Open up your heart to him. Perhaps write a letter or a poem or send a lovely card or a song in an email – or all of the above!! Tell him exaclty what you have told us. Men like to feel that they are needed and are giving something. They also need respect rather than love. Respect is much more important to them than love, I understand. Tell him how much you respect him, and all that he offers you is all that you need. If he feels he has nothing to offer you, maybe that is why he wants to back off and go into his cave. And James will tell you that words are just words – deeds speak much more loudly. The way he treats you. Don’t forget, also that he is probably harbouring somethng from his past that makes him want to hold onto his heart. We all have baggage we should leave behind. Good luck!! Lorna

      • Angela said:

        Hi Lorna, thanks for your response. However, I have already told him exactly how I feel and that what he gave was enough. He seems to just want to be alone and continue to do his own thing. He doesn’t seem to want to put any effort into a relationship, although he’s still wants to be friends and to do things for me. The situation Is impossible, I don’t want to lose him from my life but seeing him and not being able to be with him is just too painful for me. I just wish there was something I could do so he would change his mind?

      • Angela said:

        Hi Lorna, thanks for your response. However, I have already told him exactly how I feel and that what he gave was enough. He seems to just want to be alone and continue to do his own thing. He doesn’t seem to want to put any effort into a relationship, although he’s still wants to be friends and to do things for me. The situation Is impossible, I don’t want to lose him from my life but seeing him and not being able to be with him is just too painful for me. I just wish there was something I could do so he would change his mind?

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Thanks for your response, Angela, and I am so, so sorry for your situation. I know how you feel. I have struggled with my relationship for over four years, with a man who drinks to blot out his past – and I just keep on going – just because I do not want to lose him, but I also do not want to be “just friends”. We are also 3 hours apart, so it is not easy to see him much.
          I don’t know how long it has been for you since you broke up (you say recently), so it may not be too long. There is still hope, I think, if he still wants you in his life and does things for you. No-one said that relationhsips are easy – and once the honeymoon period is over (at about 18 months, apparently), you have to work hard on them – they don’t just cruise along on their own. Make sure you give him his space. All the advice I read suggests that you should tell him that you will still be “friends” (strictly without the benefits, of course,) – make it clear that you still want a relationship, if that is possible at some point in the future, but that you will start to date other men. Do not be a doormat and run to him whenever he calls – be unavailable some of the time – out there having a good time doing whatever YOU want to do for yourself. Don’t weep and wail and beg – just leave it to the Universe that it will work out, if it is meant to be. Who knows, with time you MAY start to feel better and find someone else.
          You do not say what reason he has given you and whether he has any unresolved psychological issues, or how old he is. I have read that men need us women to open up their hearts FOR them – to be the soft place for them to land in a difficult world – but without being clingy. They need to be told how wonderful they are – how you need them – in other words to be appreciated and respected. I think modern women forget this – and I am not knocking women. I have 3 daughters, but because women have to be tough now in a tough dog-eat-dog world, perhaps they forget to also be soft and gentle and feminine. I never understood this when I was married for almost 40 years – and we drifted apart. My ex-husband has Aspergers, so could not express his feelings, but I know now that he still HAD feelings and was probably heart-broken thinking I did not need him or appreciate him – even though he was an excellent husband, provider and father in lots of ways. I just thought he would automatically know it. You sound like a lovely lady, so I am sure you have been doing all this – but if he thinks he will lose it unless he steps up – maybe he will have second thoughts. I hope so. Just keep on in there – hanging around but not being always there. Just be glad for what you have at the moment, without pushing for more. Allow him his space and to be your Knight in Shining Armour – and allow him to MISS you!! There are lots and lots of self-help books and forums on the internet where you can get advice. I have found them invaluable – but I am still struggling. However, for me there is no rush – I am not going anywhere at my age, and I would rather have the devil I know than the devil I don’t. Good luck!!! Lorna xx
          P.S. – I hope James agrees with me!

  16. Jacqueline said:

    Broken people should be separated from the general population and put in their own state. All they do is drain themselves and the people around them, then live in depression until their life spirals out of control and leads nowhere. Honestly we need to stop all this absurd romanticism about “fixing” people and “healing” them. Broken people are broken for a reason. They’re losers. Winners cant be brought down by trying to help losers. If a winner doesn’t want to end up a loser their only choice is to about face and stride in the opposite direction. Defiantly never date them, don’t even be their friend. Its like trying to clean all the muck out of a swamp. Its endless and you’ll just get dirty. Leave the filth where you found it and move on!

    • Yvrose said:

      Wow. What an outpouring of vitriolic gunge. Lets hope you yourself never end up damaged or have kids who had any issues or struggle with mental health issues. although maybe being born to someone as hatefully judgemental as you would be cause enough for them to be broken to begin with!!

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Hear, hear, Yvrose. Well said. I was also appalled at this reaction. As you say, let us only hope that she does not have any influence over some poor, unfortunate, vulnerable human being. Who is the damaged one here? Lorna

    • Paulette said:

      The word fix seems to create the problem. We all get damaged or broken at some point, physically, emotionally, spiritually, or other ways. Fixing seems to imply make all better forever. That to me isn’t a realistic expectation. We have scars physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. They don’t just go away so fast. We learn to live with them, cope, move past and we sometimes still have the scars and sometimes the damage seems like it happened yesterday. It’s how our brains and nervous system function, and our guts, as protection from being further harmed.

      So when I accept I can’t 100% fix someone, I have a choice to accept them for who they are and be supportive of the positive changes they want in their life or walk away if I can’t accept them. Not everyone is hopelessly broken, even if they feel they are. To those people who say they are too damaged, I’ve felt that way before and I don’t feel that way anymore. I was blessed with relationships with people who cared and knew I was doing my best. Healing is a process that is ongoing and take practice. And I had some not healthy relationships I learned from, too.

      Thanks to James for being clear choosing guys wisely in the messages he sends out.

      BTW, I love the Cold Play song. I don’t take it literally. “Fix” can have nuanced meaning.

  17. Barbara said:

    Thank you James, true words- always listen.
    Personally I’ve only experienced the opposite problem, and I haven’t come across any writings about fatal flaws that render a relationship fruitless and exhausting. Men who just come right out and say they’re not great relationship material haven’t crossed my path.
    Women I’ve been close with and I myself have had long relationships with men who have hidden much of their real selves, who won’t talk about, admit, or act aware of how damaged and destructive they are. They act likable at first, but become cold, critical, abusive, and blaming of the woman in their lives for any problems he may have. It’s always something- the complaining and nagging never stops. I was never good enough, constantly jumping through hopes, and told I was undeserving of love. I know women who’ve experienced major trama in relationships, and they are ironically gentle, warm, tolerant, accepting women which is shocking, yet part of the problem. I agree with the women who wrote about the broken and unfixable. James talked about it as well. When you’ve spent your best years trying your hardest with someone, praying for a miracle, and you keep getting dumped on, having more and more understanding doesn’t do the trick. Sometimes we women must grow a spine and face reality. For the one women above to tell the other woman to not give up hope when he’s left and says he wants to be alone is irresponsible and borders on stocking.
    We need help not only finding the right, safe person for us, we need help disengaging ourselves from dangerous males who prey on kind, loving, and generous women. Unfortunately, we can be gullible, naive, and much of the time in denial about who we’re really with. When wanting to support other women we shouldn’t push false hopes, adding to the confusion. Do what James said- listen,find someone who’s healthy and I’ll add, let’s try to see reality and accept it, not try to mold him or the relationship into something it can never be.

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Barbara, I wonder if YOU have ever suffered from depression or any other mental health issue – when you could barely see the way forward and did not even WANT to go forward or CARE whether you did or not – and needed someone to be there for you, to love and support you and guide you onto the right path again? Well. I have. And I can tell you that when you are down as far as you can possibly go, all you need is someone to be there for you to give you love and support and encouragemnt to help you back onto the road ahead. And I thank Goodness for all my wonderful friends who were there for me when I needed them. You cannot put all “broken” people into the same box, close the lid and throw it away. We all have very different problems. Many, many people have been helped back to good mental health with the love and support of others. Of course, there are some who are SO “broken” that they will NEVER be well again – but do they deserve to be hated and left out in the cold? Never forget the saying – ” There but for the Grace of God go I “. Put yourself in their position, and thank God that you are not one of them – or indeed that you never become one of them in the future – no-one knows what lies ahead. There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with giving someone a second chance – or, indeed, however many chances it takes, and give them a helping hand to get well again – not everyone is strong enough to make it on their own. In any case, we all have a CHOICE as to whether we decide to be that loving, helpful person or not. Just as long as we keep our eyes wide open when we are helping them, keep strong ourselves, and do not get taken advantage of, there can surely be no harm in it – only good. We all need each other – “No man is an island entire of itself”. Lorna

      • YvRose said:

        Hear hear Lorna. I wouldn’t be alive today if it weren;t for people giving my broken self a chance.

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Thank you for your support, YvRose It is good to hear that you agree with my philosophy. I hope that you are continuing to enjoy life and good health, and that 2017 will be good to you. I am going to try to make it a special year for me, too, and try to move on away from my “broken” man, since he does not seem to want my help any more – he is an alcoholic – brought on by low self-esteem, becoming bankrupt, losing everything that matters to him and now being in debt again. But I will be there if he should change his mind and ask for help, in spite of his angry outbursts. I do know from this and other life experiences that old-fashioned “forgiveness” is the only way forward. “Bearing grudges only hurts the hands that bear them”. This does not mean that we have to continue to have people in our lives who have hurt us, but that we can try to understand them and forgive them and move on with our own life. Harbouring bad thoughts and feelings about someone only makes us bitter and angry. Far better to try to understand WHY they act the way they do, forgive them for having human failings and move on with love in our hearts. Easy to say, but not so easy to do!! Lorna xx

      • Barbara said:

        Looks like to you my story illustratrating another side of the same coin and James’ point of taking a man at his word meant something other than what we were talking about.
        Of course women should be helping women, why do you think I went to the trouble of writing that comment? I was telling my story and many other women’s, looks like it’s you who has no compassion for them or me. I talked about giving an abusive male, who isn’t the type who sees his own flaws, years of your life, and you are at the bottom, you have no more to give, you are suicidal, there’s no help. Did you not read my words? It’s sending a woman back into the flames of the fire that could kill her. That’s when she needs friends, therapy, her religion, all of it helps, not never giving up hope. Not suggestting things that make no sense. Maybe my second description closer to my reality is understood.
        When a man and women with problems are barely seeing each other has the man say he isn’t interested in her anymore and doesn’t see a future maybe you think he means – hey don’t give up on me, keep trying, there’s always hope. Most people would take him at his word, you don’t, that’s your opiinion. If you were to ask ten men what a man is saying when he says that I doubt it is – no, he doesn’t mean what he says.
        In any of the described situations the topic could be applied, the male who says he’s flawed don’t stay with me, the abusive male who has nothing but hateful things to say, and the male who said he’s done with the woman.
        Listen to what a man is saying, said James. And I agreed. If you aren’t seeing his or my point clearly there’s not more to say. I hope everyone out there gets sound advice, even if it contradicts James’ point. Good luck and God Bless.

  18. Christina said:

    I have to start off by saying, I myself have suffered depression and anxiety for probably most of my life to be honest. I’m currently taking meds and in therapy. I’m so AWARE of my issues, and work hard on them. I think I myself feel too damaged at times, but depression lies to you. I met a wonderful man…quiet, quirky, intelligent, romantic etc. We had so much in common. Since I’ve been living with my own issues so long I have become a fighter. But as time went on I noticed depression and anxiety in him. I truly never dated a man with similar issues. In one aspect, since I had not shared my issue, I felt a bit relieved when I did tell him he would understand. His issues from physical to mental overshadowed out entire relationship. But I told myself love and support is what I would need. I did everything I could. Angry outburts, self absorption, withdrawal etc. Even if you know its not you it directly affects your psyche. He got medicated…wonderful difference..and quickly gave up. He blamed me for his anxiety. Due to some old issues of my own I did convince myself it was for a bit. He lost his job, moved in with my boys and I….and the dictator arrived. His rules, mood swings, he starting going downward. The weight of his issues caused me to start slipping. Had he shown me an ounce of effort…therapy, meds, job search, walking, etc. I would have felt less frustrated. My needs were never met. I came home one day to an empty bedroom and family room. He said he was having dark thoughts and needed to just go. I understand, but depression does NOT constitute bad behavior. As I would know myself. He came back 6 months later seeming to have changed, 2 weeks later back to withdraw again. He made the decision. Never was it a team. I’m depressed, YES!!! But I’m not a selfish human being. Its been a month and half and right now I have no desire to communicate until he can take this illness seriously. I love him, and want him well. But if you enable it gives them no reason to take charge and get help. Every situation is different, but it pains me everyday that I lost my best friend to this monster. A relationship for him is too much, I love him enough to let him go so he can find his happiness. There’s nothing more I want for us to be healthy and whole and make it work. Only time will tell. If it belongs to you, even if you throw it away it will always come back. I believe that. In meantime I work on my stuff…and I do know love doesn’t cure what’s deep inside. It helps tremendously, but you have do the work. Support is amazing…from friends and family. Relationships are very intimate and take work. Its his right to want be alone and get his happy. I love him so much and always will. Love is not enough sometimes, it takes work. Two people who WANT to work together and make it work. Otherwise you may be spinning your wheels. I still have hope. But also am improving myself in meantime. I can’t fix anyone but ME. I struggle everyday with the should of could of…but I did my best I knew how. It would be nice to have someone pick me up when I fall down too. I also kept believing I would keep picking him up he would eventually stand. But I think he will teach himself, and know my love is always there. Best of luck to everyone.

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks for your life example, Christina. And thanks for being a fighter who treats others well even when you don’t feel well. You are an inspiration.

      James

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Christina, What a beautiful, beautiful letter – and it could have come word-for-word out of MY mouth. I feel so very, very sad for you. I have struggled for over four years to understand the man I love. But added to all the above, he is also an alcoholic (which he obviously uses to cover up his anguish). And, yes, I have suffered in the past from crushing depression myself, and still get depressed now, trying to make sense of it all and cope with him. None of my friends understand. They would have given up ages ago, and secretly think I am mad to stand by him. And his friends and associates would NEVER believe me – he covers it all up so well. Have you heard of Borderline (Emotional) Personality Disorder? It explains a lot to me regarding my man, and may do in your case. There is psychiatric treatment for it, but, as you say, they have to want to go for treatment. Or you can go together as a couple. Yes, I too would love someone to be there to pick me up when I fall down. But I am strong – probably more so than most people, otherwise I would have given up years ago. As for you – we are all here to pick you up when you feel down. Believe that. I am sending you a great big hug and tender, loving thoughts over the air waves. Look out for them – they’re on their way!! And James is always there for all of us, with his wise words of wisdom. You area a beautiful, loving, caring person – never forget that. There are actually not that many people in the world like that, I have discovered. It is a very rare and precious attribute. Most people just walk away when things get difficult. Yes, you are an inspiration, as James says. Give yourself a big loving hug, and keep on going on. You are doing the right thing – there can be no better thing than extending love and understandig to another human being. Do not allow anyone to tell you otherwise. But, as you say, it is not good to enable. You have to set very strong boundaries and stick to them. I wish you luck and love. Know that I am thinking of you. Lorna xx

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          PS – Do you believe in Angels, Christina? I have found a lot of comfort in the past in believing that my Guardian Angel is sitting right on my shoulder – always there to comfort me and guide me. And I am NOT religious, but we all need to have faith in something. Look out for feathers – you will start finding them in the strangest of places. Just a reminder that your Angel is always right there beside you – not far away. Talk to them – it helps!! Love, Lx

  19. katarzyna said:

    I’ve been in the abusive relationship for over 3 years.
    Before that I was married for 18 years where I was sexually abused.
    When I met The Guy I was so hungry for love and adoration, that I ignored all the warning signs.
    He said I was too attractive for him and that his marriage left him damaged.
    On top of that he was short tempered, verbaly abusive, emotionally manipulative and physically aggressive.
    After the arguments he was apologetic with the excuse that he forgot I’m not his diabolical exwife. I’m a good woman, but at the same time he was a master at twisting things around.
    It was always my fault.
    After almost 4 years , when I started to question his intentions and I wanted us to move to the next level, he broke up with me over the phone.
    Later on he said that his love faded away due to problems , but the desire remained, therefore he had difficulties to terminate the relationship for almost a year. He considered it but never shared a thought with me.
    He said though on many occasions that he was depressed, not good for me and that he made me sad.

    I ignored all of it , and tried to be even more loving and understanding.
    I gave him space , not bothered him with calls or texting.
    I was there for him when he needed me .
    Wrong!!!! He did not respect my time , my boundaries and ME.

    Now I’m healing from a broken heart:(

    PS He still initiates conversations, to start an argument that it’s all my fault, that we could be happy if I listened to him, if I did this or that…..

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