YOU CAN'T FIX HER...
He thought was great but unfortunately you can't fix her if she's broken - it's impossible - don't fall into the same trap that he did!
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Dating Women Podcast #087 & #088
087: He's dating a woman that has a boyfriend that lives out of town - not good
088: Remember - you're there to date her - not psychoanalyze her
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I’m 37 years young and I’ve been going out with an extraordinarily attractive woman by the name of Samantha, 31, for about six months now. We love spending time together. We’re both friends and romantic partners and from the beginning I envisioned a future together for us.
Unfortunately, as you might have already surmised, there is a “however” involved. Samantha is plagued by issues that I don’t know how to handle. She was abused both emotionally and physically by several ex-boyfriends and her Self-Esteem is hovering around zero. This is a shame because Samantha is beautiful, intelligent, witty, and caring. But she doesn’t believe a positive word I ever say about her because of the mind games she has been subjected to by these other men.
Now I’ve always been one of those “knight in shining armor” types who is faithful, doesn’t throw temper tantrums, remembers to put the toilet seat down, gives my lady fresh flowers every week, etc. But whenever Samantha and I talk about our future, she ends up breaking down in tears. I’m totally baffled by what happens at these times. She tells me that she doesn’t deserve to be treated so nicely and runs away because everything I am as a man is so foreign to her. Sometimes she won’t be available for days on end after these incidents. It’s as though she’s waiting for the other shoe to drop and for me to break up with her – a shoe I don’t have in my hand. After this stuff happens, Samantha leaves my head spinning in confusion.
Doc, I want Samantha to know that she is a valuable person and worthy of the love I want to give her. But I am not a psychiatrist and don’t have any idea of how to deal with Samantha’s more deeply embedded psychological issues. Have any of your students ever had a woman who has been abused by old boyfriends and were then able to have a normal relationship with her? I don’t want to lose Samantha, but I have grave doubts about our future together if Samantha can’t even discuss it together rationally. Any ideas for what I should do? Should I stay with Samantha or try to move on to someone who is less damaged? The problem is that I’m so in love with her that the thought of leaving her behind deeply pains me.
Austen - who is deeply frustrated
DOC LOVE'S ANSWER
First of all, Samantha’s boyfriends were not the source of her Self-Esteem issues. Those guys didn’t take her when she had high Self-Esteem and then went and lowered it. She came to them with low Self-Esteem. This all goes back to what happened to her in childhood. Think about it: why else would she pick these losers? So what really happened is that the true damage to Samantha happened prior to these old boyfriends. As the great Doctor Freud once said, “She saw something in them she liked because of that damage.” Her boyfriends were jerks, and some jerk took advantage of her as a child.
You talk about Samantha being beautiful, witty and caring and intelligent, but you don’t talk about her emotional condition. This poor woman is damaged goods. She’s like the bulimic woman who is five-seven and 95 pounds but sees herself as five-seven and 160 pounds. She might be a brilliant doctor or scientist or model, but she has a problem and doesn’t see herself realistically. The same with Samantha. She might have some great qualities, including looks, but she doesn’t believe that she has them. And that’s sad. You can talk to her until the cows come home and she’ll never believe you when you tell her something good. So like my cousin Rabbi Love says, “This is the type of woman you don’t want to spend the rest of your life with.” Eventually her problems will affect your Interest Level and you’ll leave.
You say that you’re a knight in shining armor type, but it’s obvious to me that you also want to play Samantha’s babysitter and psychiatrist. You can’t do it, dude. And you spoil Samantha, too, by showering her with things like flowers. That’s another problem you have...
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