Relationship Decisions that Bind You

Relationship Decisions that Bind You
Part of you wants to lay on the beach, get a tan, or just relax and do nothing.

But another part of you wants to work hard, live out your life goals, and make a difference in the world.

Part of you wants to get lean, but another part of you would rather eat brownies and ice cream.

Part of you wants adventure, but another part wants security and routine.

Motivational speaker Tony Robbins calls this “an internal civil war.” It’s a war that can trap you in limbo, getting none of the things you really want.

These internal conflicts sap your energy. We end up stagnant, never really committing to either side. When that happens, you miss out on living up to your potential. And you miss out on some of the best things in life.

This dynamic can really cripple a relationship.

There are so many uncertainties when it comes to romance. If you focus on those uncertainties, something terrible happens. You forget to go after anything specific. It’s easy to let your passion wither away and die.

That’s no way to live. Personally, I want to embrace passion. I’d rather be wrong sometimes, but live all out.

So here’s what I do. When I’m not 100% sure that I’m making the right call, I give myself permission to be wrong. Instead of waffling in limbo, I make a decision and get behind it. I don’t want to waste my energy. I want to live.

The fact is, you’ll never have all the information you need to make the perfect decision. As Samuel Butler said, “Life is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.”

That’s one of life’s hard lessons, and sometimes it’s scary. But not making a decision takes away your power. It stops you from taking action. It robs you of motivation and sucks the passion from your life.

That’s not what I want for you.

I want you to seize life. I want you to have adventure, passion, fun, fulfillment, and peace. I want you to live all out.

When you begin to feel the tension of the internal civil war, remember that the best you can do is draw from past experiences, gauge the current situation as well as you can, and go for it.

Don’t sit around worrying that you might have to change direction at some point in the future. That’s inevitable. Change happens. You’ll learn from your mistakes and press forward.

But that’s the key. You’ll be pressing forward. You’ll be learning and growing and living.

Don’t let life pass you by while you’re trying to decide which path to take. Call an internal cease-fire. Make a decision, and run with it. Live all out.

James Bauer

What Men Secretly Want

After consuming this short-guide, you will possess a secret that men cannot express well because it is so foundational to their view of the world that they don't even realize it is there.

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35 thoughts on “Relationship Decisions that Bind You

  1. Karen said:

    Live all out. I like that! It’s so much better than the annoyingly ubiquitous YOLO. Thank you for not saying that, hahaha.

  2. Kath said:

    Hi there,

    This has come at a moment in my life where I’m feeling absolutely sickened with indecision. Have been living with a guy for 15 yrs and I’ve been yearning for my freedom for 14 of those years. However, now it’s come time to actually leave, I’m feeling paralysed with fear that I might be making a mistake.

    He is a lovely, gentle man however, his inability to stick up for me over the years has sucked the passion right out of me. He has the ability to stick up for others because he has stuck up for the people who have been unkind to me eg his mother who has notoriously been unkind to his girlfriends in the past has been really awful to me every time I see her. He chooses to do nothing about it, even sticking up for her when I get upset.

    Our neighbour has been really, really awful to him and he’s often saying awful things about her. However, if I say awful things about her he tells me off…in front of her. There are many other examples which I won’t bore you with.

    I am a very protective person and I need a man who will be equally protective of me. Otherwise, my guy is totally besotted with me.

    So, we now have a passionless existence, I hate it when he tries to kiss me. However, I feel strangely secure with him… I think maybe I feel strangely secure but at the same time, NOT ‘in love’ or ‘devoted’.

    Totally confused and fearful.

    Your article about being in ‘limbo’ has come at a majorly appropriate time for me.



    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Kath. It sounds like you are really good at loving those you draw into your inner circle. I’m sorry your man has not learned this important aspect of your love language (sticking up for you). Your question is one I hesitate to weigh in on without knowing a little more background so I’d encourage you to submit your question to our relationship coaches. The form for submitting your question will guide you through the process of providing some needed background info.


      • Danelle said:

        I would like to see your response and thoughts for Kath. I am in a separation from my husband and I am in this turmoil of not being able to make a decision and my thoughts and feelings seem very similar to hers. I think this is the also same feelings he has, but he will not admit to it. He is not a passionate person nor does he care to be. This is not his desire but it is mine. He has done some things during out separation that we did not agree to. I would really like to see your advice for her. Thank you.

        • James Bauer said:

          Hi Danelle. Our private responses are kept in strict confidence per our agreement with the person who submits the question. I’m sorry I cannot share that exchange with you.

          However, I think this article spoke to you for a reason. Some part of you likely recognizes something stirring inside of you, something that tells you a decision needs to be made so you do not spend your life living in an uncomfortable state of limbo.

          Wishing you the best,


  3. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    Oh my goodness, once again you have hit the nail well and truly on the head, James. Your articles make so much sense. I am doing exactly that – procrastinating – worrying about getting it wrong – whether my health will be strong enough to do the things I still want to do before I am too old. At almost 67 years young, I have not got that much time left now to allow myself to procrastinate. My father used to say “You are a long time dead”. And doesn’t that say it ALL. In his memory, I will try to take the bull by the horns and get on with life. But it is not EASY when you are a natural worrier. However, your articles do help enormously. Thank you, once again, for your wonderful wisdom. It always seems to come at the right time for me. Lorna (LaLa)

    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      PS – I have found that sometimes listening to other people and taking their advice can be the WRONG thing to do – they will usually try to tell you to hold back and not do the scarey things you want to do. They will even do this when you don’t ASK for their advice and even ask them specifically NOT to get involved. They just can’t help themselves. So that just makes the internal conflict even worse. I think we have to close our ears to external input, and listen to our heart and instinct. As you say, if you get it wrong, you always have the option to try again. Lorna

  4. DJ said:

    James, this came at the perfect time. I have been seeing the same guy for 4 years. We are exclusive, however he is ‘elusive’ about where this is going. I have made it clear I will not simply live together. He makes comments about the future and that has caused me to put my goals on hold, waiting for a decision. I want to buy a house, but have been waiting for him to make a move with us. I guess I should continue to plan my life as a single person until he decides he wants something else.

    • James Bauer said:

      I think that’s best, DJ. You’ll feel more relaxed and happy in the short run and though it’s counterintuitive, he is more likely to pursue you with a more serious commitment when you are not just waiting around for him.

      • Lena said:

        This is the answer I was looking for my own situation!
        I have to move on and live my life as a single girl now.
        Thank you DJ and James for saying it out loud here.

  5. Rozzy said:

    Hi James!

    I need your advice.
    I just want to share my situation right now. I’m gonna start by saying that I’m in a long distance relationship with a guy for more than a year now. When I say long distance, I meant oceans apart. I’m in the US and he lives in the Netherlands. Like most relationships it started with a lot of voice mails, facetime, Skype, Line you name it we’ve done it. We met in a group of musicians. He plays professional piano and sing and I play guitar, ukelele and sings as well. Long story short, I’ve found a guy who finally gets what I like and love doing and he loves it too. We fell both inlove with each others individuality and special traits. But in the past couple of months I noticed it would take him a day or two to reply to my messages the longest is three days. I didn’t bug him or nag at him for doing so. I didn’t say a thing. That’s after I found your lessons of what men really thinks. I slowly incorporated it in how I communicate with him.
    We met last November when the group that we are in had a “Meet-Up” in NY. We immediately connected like we’ve known each other for a long time.
    This coming June we’re supposed to go to Vegas. I’ve reminded him a couple of days ago that if we want to get a cheaper air fare, we better book now or else it’ll be costly.
    So, then yesterday he called. I wasn’t expecting the topic that was brought up.
    For the first time he opened up. But not the kind of talk I wanted to hear. He said he’s confused of what he wants. He’s really not sure what he wants right now. He said I’m the sweetest and the most wonderful he’s ever met and he doesn’t think he’d be able to find someone like me. By this time, my heart is just about ready to explode. I kept my calm and my voice. Emotions are strong and wasn’t able to hold it. I broke down into pool of tears still trying to come it back the whole time because I don’t want him to hear me. He heard the trembling and cracking while I speak. I asked him if he wants to break up with me and he immediately said no. He doesn’t want to break up with me but he can’t decide what he wants. He said doesn’t see himself moving right now.
    I’m also confused. He kept saying how much he loves me and he wants me to be happy and that he can’t imagine me out of the picture. Because he said everytime he thinks about it, everything turns black and sad and lonely.
    What can I possibly say or do to save our relationship?
    Please help us….
    I can’t imagine my world without him…he pulled me out of the darkness of everything I’ve been through. He’s the one that I’ve really fallen inlove for the first time. I’ve never felt so much love for a guy until I’ve met him.

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Rozzy. If I understood your question correctly, it sounds like you’re saying you both love each other but he is not ready to leave his country and culture behind to move to the states. So to answer your question, it sounds like the thing you could do to save your relationship is to move to the Netherlands. Maybe you’re not ready for that either, but it sounds like the only way your relationship will work in the long-term is if you find a way to actually integrate your lives by closing the distance.

  6. Charlene said:

    Im in a three month commited relationship after one month. He mentioned to me that i drew him close to me. I didn’t draw him close intentionally. I tried to let him know what i was looking for. After getting to know him a little better I liked him more and more. Know he wants to marry me. Im feeling insecure because i don’t know if i can believe him. Is he just saying this to keep me tagging on. How do i know he is telling the truth. There also have been times when i feel he is pulling back. Sometimes he is different around me from the way he was in the begining. He sometimes show negative body lauange. On the phone is still the same. He is always available. His home is always open to me. Am i putting to much into this relationship. Help!

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Charlene. A relationship is based on both the present interactions and also the sense of continuity regarding commitments and expectations for what the relationship will be like in the future. It sounds like you feel good about the first part (the relationship experience right now) but uncertain how to respond to the changes he is suggesting about commitment for the future.

      Listen to your instincts. If he loves you he will be happy to continue a relationship with you rather than demanding you rush toward a commitment you don’t feel ready to make. Some of his body language confusion could be related to shifting mood states that make him prone to impulsivity or emotional sensitivity. I would recommend you let the relationship unfold slowly to watch how his way of relating to you changes (or remains stable) over time.

  7. Julia said:

    Hi again James! I’ve been reading your blog constantly, and appreciating your wisdom! Thank you for all the insight that you share!

    This particular post really hit a sore spot for me right now. I’m in a situation in which I’m battling indecision, and also struggling to understand what I really want. And while this article helps (in that it motivates me and reassures me it’s ok to just take a decision and stick with it), it still doesn’t quench my anxiety… In a way, it’s silly, because it’s not a dramatic situation, nothing bad happened so far… And still, I’ve been spinning in my head for days, trying to come up with a solution to avoid destroying a good thing by trying to ask for something greater…

    Here’s my story: last summer, while on holiday, I’ve shared a fantastic fling with an wonderful man. There was chemistry and connection, and I felt safe and taken care of; I also made a point of showing interest and respect and appreciation for all the attention and entertainment and pleasure he provided (yes–ever since I bought What Men Secretly Want more than two years ago, I’ve been successfully using the Respect Principle with anyone from my Dad to my co-workers to my dates, and it always helps). It was wonderful, and what started out as a casual sex-date turned into a 3-day romance with lots of beautiful memories to cherish. After we parted, we haven’t really kept in touch, but there were some small signs of continued interest (he found me and connected with me on various social media; I found him on a dating site where we have a freaky 99% compatibility score; and when I messaged him on his birthday, he said he “remembers our summer days quite often” and that I’m amazing and he would love to see me again). I’ve been thinking of him as well, and I firmly believe that we’d make a very good couple; but I haven’t really “waited” for him in any way (I had plenty of local dated in the meantime).

    Now, it gets tricky, because next month I will be in his country again, and I chose to spend some days in his city. I messaged him to ask for advice on transportation, and when he replied helpfully, I confessed that I would feel very happy to meet. He said it would be great, and invited me to stay at his place this time, which I accepted gratefully. Rationally, I know I should just go and be light-hearted and just enjoy the moment and make some more happy, relaxed, passionate memories. And the irrational part of me wants more; this part of me insists that this is a great man and that we could be happy together, and wants to just tell him that I would be very interested in more than a second fling, and that I’m open to getting to know him better in (for starters) some kind of non-exclusive long-distance arrangement. And I’m afraid, James. I’m afraid that this internal civil war will make me feel like a tense and anxious and tentative mess, instead of the luxuriously relaxed, zero-expectations, enjoying-the-moment vacationing goddess that I seemed last summer. I don’t want to freak him out, or change his opinion of me, or disrespect him in any way…. What can I do? Can I shut up the future-thinking part of me, and get to a point of just enjoying spending time with him again? Would it be worth it to confess my deeper interest?

    What do you think, James? Do you have any insight you can share here? Would you or my coaches be able to provide more advice if I asked this as a private question? I’ve also just re-read What Men Secretly Want, and I was thinking of trying a version of the technique in Module 6… and I’m not sure that would work, given that he’s not my boyfriend, he’s not invested in me, I’m just a girl he had an amazing time with last year… Any thoughts? Thank you!

    • James Bauer said:

      Wow, Julia. That’s quite a story!

      It sounds like much of the attraction is based on the successful application of being fully relaxed and present, which reveals your best qualities. I can see why this new turn of events makes it hard to stay in that state of mind.

      I recommend you let go of control. Instead of trying to make something happen, go there with the intent of learning (an open and inquisitive state of mind).

      Learn about his vision of the future and whether it includes a desire for a committed relationship. Learn more about what makes him happy and what he wants to focus his life on. Treat it like an opportunity to learn more about him and much of your anxiety will decrease. Naturally, you will be more relaxed with this mindset which increases the odds that he might be the one to bring up the possibility of going after something more.

      Here are two more sources for more ideas for insights:

      Sending your question to one of the relationship coaches who can spend more time brainstorming ideas for you, or

      Checking out some things I wrote on a very similar topic: destructive abundance


      • Julia said:

        Thank you so much, James! This is wonderfully helpful, I will keep it in mind. Yes, I think I was in a mindset of “destructive abundance”, and it feels useful to realize that. Saying “let go of control” sounds much more reasonable and doable when reframed in terms of learning. Learning, curiosity, being open and interested. Yes!!! I can do that. Thank you!!

  8. Simone said:

    OMG, I think I’ve lived in limbo for most of my adult life, I quite liked limbo and choice to stay there, till 12 weeks ago when my husband of almost 20 years and 28 year relationship, since we were teens, left me. I feel my life now is in turmoil. I’m struggling with the fact that he’s not coming back, wanting him to come back and nothing happening. At the moment I am in a state of fear and anxiety. I need to make a decision to move on, as he has given me no indication that he wants to come back, in truth the opposite. I want to seize my life, I want to live all out. How do I do this?

    • James Bauer said:


      You already have the motivation to seize life and move forward. Now you just need to make that your reality through daily actions.

      A good way to start is to consider the price you will have to pay in order to live your life full tilt ahead. Then resolve in your mind to pay that price. For example, that might mean you decide to let go of any remaining hope for this man to return into your life. Be willing to pay the price. That will dissolve any remaining internal ambivalence or resistance you feel about moving forward.


  9. Carolyne said:

    Hi James
    I have been in a long distance relationship for 2 years now. We met as a blind date and I was very reluctant to go and he is one of my best friends old roommate from their college days and we didn’t quite hit it off right at first but towards the end of the evening I finally decided to just let go and relax and I really ended up having a great time we continue to keep our relationship going and then I didn’t hear from him for a summer.
    We reconnected again after a period of time and have been staying in contact and seeing each other back and forth and he says that he really likes me loves spending time with me would love to have a future with me always talks about the future plans but when we start a good dialogue sometimes I do not hear from him for two or three days maybe a week which I know that he genuinely works a lot! I am self-employed so of course I work a lot too and I am able to adjust my schedule around his when we want to go do things I’ve given up on trying to get him to go with me on some of my family trips because of his work schedule which is fine I still live my life completely and fully like I always have but he indicated last time that he would like to come down and meet my parents I was so excited and when I asked him what he’s doing this weekend is it okay if I just come up what would he do if I was just to show up and visit because when we are together we are like one unit the whole time until I leave and then I always feel so good about it but then I start to get the feeling that was I mistaken was it really that great am I correct in assuming that we both have the same feelings which we do when we are together I know that for sure. Maybe it’s just me overthinking the situation but sometimes I feel like I should just say hey I can’t do this anymore I need more than this and I don’t want to do it through text message or over the phone I would prefer to do it in private when were together but then when we are together I don’t want to ruin the moment I seriously need some help here obviously lol! I’m not actively dating anybody else it’s not like it’s interfering in my everyday life but there is a part of me that would like a sense of belonging and some sort of a commitment monogamous commitment and I’m not sure how to say that to him and I want to know if I say that perhaps it will scare him off but maybe that’s the chance I have to take. On the other hand I tell myself I’m always working anyway or with my children and my grandchildren so it’s not like it’s a real big deal and I have nothing better to do what would be your advice on this?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Carolyn. We discuss personal questions like this all the time on the private, member’s only forum. Maybe you’d like to join us? Here’s the link if you want to join.

      My opinion? It sounds like you are enjoying the relationship, but not enough for this to continue indefinitely. You won’t be happy if the next step never happens in this relationship, right? If that’s true, then live your life on purpose. Be willing to take a risk to go after the life you REALLY want.


    • Lorna (LaLa) said:

      Hi again Carolyne, I’ve just re-read this comment from you. It sounds as though you are in exactly the same situation as me with my long-distance relationship (apart from the booze aspect – see below). It is not easy being apart and long-distance. You are constantly wondering what they are doing and how they feel about you – I know. And some of it stems from our own insecurity, from the hurt we have experienced in the past. And, of course, he will have baggage, too – which we tend to forget about sometimes. I think men are MUCH more sensitive than us. I read recently (not sure if it was on here or not) that you have to work EXTRA hard on a long-distance relationship to keep it going. I think this is true, or else it just withers and dies. Why don’t you try to find the strength and courage to talk to him openly about what you want? I know it is super-scary, as you don’t want to rock the boat and lose him (I have felt exactly the same way), but carrying on as you are is not really ideal, if it is making you anxious – it makes him anxious, too, and you want your time together to be fun and relaxed. Try to just lean back and be super “cool”. Otherwise, your only option is just to accept things as they are for the time being (no expectations) – maybe step up the connection if possible, and see what happens. I have read that men are much more direct than women in their communication and prefer an honest talk to beating around the bush with hints, which they are unable to take on board in the same way that we are, as women – we are much more intuitive and pick up on body language, looks, hints, feelings, etc., whereas it just goes straight over their heads. You have to spell it out for them in capital letters!! Have you thought of moving to be nearer to him? How would that go down? I wish you well. Lorna x

      • Carolyne said:

        Thankyou Lorna! I have actually been doing just that and it’s amazing how much more open our communication is!
        It does require extra work. Since I’ve politely calmly and firmly been able to just faceci things he has been more open and receptive and we are spending a lot more quality time together 😀
        I hope you are experiencing the same outcome!

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Carolyne, I am so glad that things are improving for you – it makes my heart glow to think that you have found strength and support from accessing this forum. Onwards and upwards!! Long may it last! These men are not easy, are they? I’m sure you will have, but did you read Colleen’s comments below – very wise!! Thank you for your concern regarding my situation. Sadly – things are still pretty much the same. I have spent some time today re-reading my diaries for the last four and a half years. I kept a record of every phone call and text and my thoughts – to try to make some sense from chaos. I think things HAVE improved considerably since first knowing him, he has opened up quite a bit, but the last few days he has gone “AWOL” again. He was very busy over Easter playing organ for all the Church services. Just before that he had a terrible operation on his eye (corneal transplant) and the last few days until yesterday had his Mother staying with him over Easter (she is 87, so very, very bossy and he finds her difficult) – so I imagine he just wants some time on his own to re-wind. He will be drinking, too, I know – although he did say he knows he must not drink to excess as he has to look after his new eye – he has to medicate with 4 different drops four times a day. I just hope he is being sensible and doing that. However, I have decided not to get anxious. I am “leaning back”, being “cool” – doing my own thing – giving him his space and waiting for him to contact me – when he is ready (well, that is the theory – but not easy – I imagine him in a drunken heap somewhere!!). Time will tell. I just hope I can gently lead him into a better way of life. I’ve tried the carrot and stick method – but that seems to make him anxious and angry, as he is very sensitive and feels rejected when I get angry, back off, and give boundaries and ultimatums. I believe he may have PTSD. Good job I have experience with wild, ferrel and farm animals – there is quite a lot of similarity!! Although I never encountered a wild bear, which might have helped. “Softly, softly catch ye monkey” is the theory. Love and every good wish to you for your future. Lorna x

  10. Colleen said:

    Hi James, your blogs are helpful and informative as always..

    Would you not agree fear is part of this too? We so fear the unknown, we tend to let fear from past experiences and letting go of instilled beliefs rule our need for making tough decisions. Or rather, what we think are tough decisions.

    We fear being alone, what others may think, and as you so rightly suggest that “inner” civil war. I have made a commitment in the last few years to open myself to being consciously aware of the now, and to receive with open appreciation and gratitude. Not as easy and as simple as it sounds. I came to realise how the anxiety we unintentionally feel in relationships is instead of living in the moment, enjoying the present, we tend to allow our minds to jump ahead to how this current date, or relationship is serving us.

    Since making this firm decision within my own relationship, I’ve come to experience an easier flow of interaction, because I’m listening, I hear about his desires, wants and needs. I am now more keenly in tune if the nuance of his tone changes. Meaning, when I do feel a little unsure of him, I actually get the answers without having to ask or make a big deal of it.
    I make a concerted effort to not think beyond the here and now with him.
    It really does take away a lot of stress and tension.

    It helps too when we have to overcome the difficult topics. We tend to do it conversationally, allowing each other to express individual view points. It’s not always easy, granted. But even when either of us are resistant to a new direction in our relationship, it doesn’t mean we are parting ways. It just means we must respect and allow some down time for thinking, no matter how tough it is, fighting the urge to intervene to further convince that our point of view is the correct one.

    Once again thank you

    • James Bauer said:

      Yes, that’s a very good point, Colleen. Thank you for bringing that up.

      Fear is often a factor that affects our decision-making and our communication. And ironically, the more we care, the more we tend to fear the ramifications of our decisions.


      • Colleen said:

        It’s all you James, 🙂
        Being part of your community has been instrumental in me refining my thoughts and attitude towards love and relationships.

        Happy Easter to those that celebrate!

        • Lorna (LaLa) said:

          Colleen, yes you are right. Fear IS at the back of it all – on both sides. Don’t forget that HE is terrified, too, sometimes. Men are just little boys inside, in the same way as we are still little girls inside – our inner child will always be there, deep inside of us – and sometimes needs to be comforted and, yes, loved. Sometimes we have to put our big-girl panties on (my friend and I remind each other of this often!!). And, yes, practising “Mindfulness” really does help. I have been trying to do this recently – just living in the moment – not stressing about “What if”. Being grateful for what I have. Keeping a “Gratitude” Journal to remind me of it. But I find it hard. I am SUCH a stress-head. I think in my case because we are long-distance and he has a lot of mental-health problems (as well as drinking to excess to cover them up) – it causes a lot of anxiety on both sides. I wonder what he is up to. I know I should give him up, as he makes me feel so ill at times – but living “in the moment” does help. And reading James’ articles, which make such a lot of sense. I know he needs me. He has no other “real” friends – just the two alcoholic neighbours who take advantage of him and drink with him. (He gave one of them his bank card the other week, to buy some food, and she went out and bought booze with it). What do you do – I constantly ask myself? Live for now is the answer, I reckon. We all have problems of one sort or another – and we all need each other. Thanks for your wise words, Colleen (such a pretty name!). Lorna

          • Carolyne said:

            Lorna you ate a very brave person and I have been in your position. Don’t forget your happiness is very important as well! I had to make the choice to move on because he didn’t want to change for the right reasons of his health and happiness and even in the moment I found myself more of a caretaker not a lover or best friend….
            I made the choice to remain friends but not the enabler. I was married to 2 alcoholics and I realize I needed to Value myself more and appreciate my quality as a loving friend but realize I deserve to be happy.
            You are obviously a very loving and caring person and I wish you the best!

    • Carolyne said:

      Omgosh! I really needed this! THANKYOU!

      • Lorna (LaLa) said:

        Carolyne – thank you so much for your response. Yes, believe me, I have spent lots and lots of time (over 4 years) soul-searching and wondering whether to move on from him or not. I have read countless books, taken lots of advice and had counselling, and have come to the conclusion that as long as he is still being open about his problems (which he is – he does know he needs to give up the booze), and he still wants me around, which at the moment he says he does, then I will be there for him and do my best to point him in the right direction and be supportive. I have made the decision that I cannot just “be a friend”. I could not sit back and watch him destroy himself, and have intimate relationships with other women – that would kill me more than what I am going through now – I love him too much. I would have to make a complete break and let him go on his way. Everyone tells me to let him go, so I have very little support from others here – I have had to go it alone. However, people DO manage to come off the booze, with support, and live a better life (I hesitate to say “normal” – what is normal?). So I know it is possible. But they need a lot of loving support. I am also doing this for me, in a way, because I know I would feel terrible if I gave up on him before I had done everything within my power, and he ended up killing himself. I am not a Christian or religious, and hate all that empty rhetoric about God (we don’t do that so much here in England), but I was brought up in the wilds on a farm, live close to the earth and nature now, am vegetarian, hardly ever drink alcohol, and am very emotional, and you might say spiritual. I believe that we all need each other, and for me, if I cannot reach out a helping hand when needed, then I would have no self-respect. I would hope someone would do the same for me, if necessary. The Good Samaritan springs to mind. We simply cannot survive without each other to lean on and be there in a crisis, otherwise we go under – end of story!!! It is as simple as that. People in isolated captivity go mad. “No man is an island entire of itself”. And thank you, once again, for your concern – it is appreciated, and I’ll bear it in mind. I would end by saying that I am actually happier knowing that I may be able to be of help to him, than I would be by walking away. I do live a very full and satisfying life, apart from him – and feel miserable when I am not in contact with him. What does that say? And I HATE that expression co-dependent. We are all co-dependent on each other, surely? I cannot get my head around that concept. Strangely enough, all my life I have come into contact with people with an alcohol dependency problem – so in a way I feel that is my mission now, as I move towards the end of my life. Maybe I can make a difference. I am planning to do some training to become a counsellor, maybe start a self-help group which is not God-based, as the best-known one is (I believe we have to dig deep and find our strength within ourselves), and am thinking of how I can target the Government to stop advertising alcohol as a glamorous commodity. It is POISON, as you and I know so well. I would be interested to know your story in more detail. Keep strong. Kind regards. Lorna

        • Carolyne said:

          You are a very heartfelt and wise woman! I do not listen to others opinions much in my own circle because I feel theyour don’t understand me…..I also am a caregiver and nurturer and II’ve to see people succeed! I’m very spiritual but not God fearing……although I truly believe in a higher power and the power of support and unconditional love!
          If you feel that strongly in your heart than you are the only one who knows and has the right to judge! I admire your strength!

          • Lorna (LaLa) said:

            Carolyne, thank you again for your response. It means a lot to get feed-back. I certainly know what you mean about not feeling “connected” to the people around you. I, too, am very spiritual and intuitive. All my life I have felt “different” to my family. And that is quite normal, I think – and should be embraced. We are not all clones, and within a family, there will be many, many genes floating around in our make-up. I think the only ones I could probably relate to were my father (who was too busy to give me much input) and his sister, who we rarely saw. My mother was rather closed-off and unemotional, and also very busy, and my brother and sister not that close. I was the middle child and felt rather alone – I used to walk for hours with the dogs in the country, collecting flowers and listening to the birds – bringing home sick animals to care for (sadly they rarely survived – but I tried) !!! All I ever wanted to be was a vet, caring for animals, but that was not to be. My husband (who has Aspergers) did not understand where I was coming from and two of my daughers take after his side of the family – I believe now they have a mild form, which happens with women – his Mother, too, was a difficult woman. My third daughter is much more like me, so we can relate to each other. I daily thank whoever sent her to me – otherwise I would have been lost going through my very traumatic divorce, with no-one loving me!! Strangely, she was a “happy accident” – a surprse, and I believe she was meant to be born – she is a beautiful person – an Earth Angel! She is a teacher and reaches out to everyone with love. Like you, I absolutely believe that some of us are programmed differently and are meant to be care-givers and nurturers. Otherwise, where would we all be without all the doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police, social workers, counsellors, (vets!), etc. Thank goodness that some people have that quality in their genes. And whoever came up with the expression “co-dependent” deserves to be punished. It must make many, many people doubt their innate goodness. Lastly, I have read that it is not always good to seek advice. Well – I guess we can seek it, but should not take it as gospel. Take the time to sift through what people say, sleep on it, but then go with your own gut instinct as to what is right for you. Love and hugs. Lorna x

    • Lena said:


      Thank you for your thoughts here.
      I like your “I make a concerted effort to not think beyond the here and now with him.”
      What do you think about the situation, when it Is time to decide the future plans?
      I am in this type of situation right now. My man is moving several states away from the town, where we were dating each other for a year.
      I asked him to talk with me about his adjusting location and how we can handle the long distance. He agreed with that. But can I be really “not thinking beyond the here and now with him”? How to get into this state of mind or state of heart not to think or not to feel beyond?
      Any advise from you?

      • Colleen said:

        Hi Lena
        Do you know one of the most common mistakes we as women make? And, it’s due to past instilled lessons and beliefs…
        We tend to leave the “leading” to our men.
        We make the mistake of placing “leading” and “chasing” (hunter) in the same basket, defining it as the same thing.

        We fear “suggesting” something or rather stating what we want, as being forceful or taking on the hunter role that as young girls we were told we were to leave to men, as it’s their role. Which places us women in this place of limbo, when they’re not “suggesting” or making clear definite decisions about where the relationship is heading or where it should be. We’re left feeling they don’t care enough for us, because they did not state clearly enough what the relationship is, or rather what it means to them.

        The thing is Lena, if you love your man, if you’re wanting a committed relationship from him, even if he is moving out of state, have you clearly stated this to him?
        If your relationship for the last year, has been a good one, with a solid foundation of mutual respect, honesty and loyalty, to state what you’re feeling, what you want and certain aspirations you have for seeing your relationship to a fruitful, fulfilling partnership should be of no issue.

        In fact, you will more than likely find your man is expecting this from you. Men need to know we love them too, not just words of love, but with actions and shows of your own value and worth. When a man is shown how you value yourself, his true colors come to light very quickly. Just because he is a man, it doesn’t mean he has all the answers or even knows the right direction. He needs to feel he is in a relationship too.
        The way to show him this, is to share your own feelings, fears and wants. If you’re expecting him to share with you, you have to do the same. Not just blindly follow and hope for the best.

        If you’re planning on continuing a long distant relationship for a time, ensure you both agree it’s what you both want. Place some boundaries, for example, you will set a time aside each evening to chat. Then there will be real time visits, how often will they happen? What are the cost implications?

        If you leave him to make all these decisions, you will become disappointed. He will make them based on how it suits him. Whereas if you make certain suggestions, make mutual decisions, and truthfully acknowledge that it will be trying at times, even unfulfilling, commit to being honest with each other – you will have a place of measure, rather than being left confused and trying to analyze his actions or lack thereof.

        Hope this helps you

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