Back in the good ole days, relationships were pretty cut and dry. Oh women swooned and sang songs about being hopelessly devoted to someone who wasn’t giving it their all, there’s no question about that. They were confused in their own right, but their confusion just wasn’t the same as ours is today. Today, there are advice columns in every newspaper for women that are hopelessly devoted to someone that is not giving it their all, and today, we have millions more ways for men to confuse women. So many, that the term “players” has been coined for those men that keep women on the yo-yo. This is the topic we are covering in today’s column on relationship advice for women. Players. The easiest tip I can provide is to just…cut them loose. But it’s much more complicated than that when our hearts are in the mix, isn’t it?
See, here’s the little secret that players don’t want you to know. As long as you keep going back to them, they will keep playing you. Whether their intentions are real or not, they will always, always, always keep playing you.
Many of you are already saying, back right up there, lady. Players do not have honest intentions.
Not true. Some do. But some are so wrapped up in their own baggage, that they think and feel and want the same love that we do, they just don’t know how to do it right. Then along comes this sweet, innocent girl, who thinks they can change their insecurities into something beautiful, and develop a love that will last a lifetime.
That’s just not going to happen. When you are dealing with players, no matter what their intentions are, they are never going to change until they make that choice for themselves. They will never figure out how to do it right, until they make that choice for themselves. Unless you are a Ph.D. and have them on your couch once a week, you can’t help them change themselves. No matter how full your heart is with love for them.
This is today’s reader’s question. She sent a rather detailed and lengthy letter on the subject, with the bottom line of her question being, “How do I get him to stop playing me?” Let’s have a look and break it down. As usual, I have bolded the necessary items.
My boyfriend (unbeknown to me at the time) has been really keen on me since we met at school. We had no contact for over 20 years then found each other online. He said he had never stopped thinking about me over the years. He has had some terrible experiences in his life (parents divorce hit him hard, homeless at 16, raped by someone at school and later in life by a stranger, as well as some mental health problems). He also has 4 children by 3 different mums. He has had trouble accessing any of them despite trying, but for no clear reason from what I can see. Unfortunately, he is very insecure and never thinks he is good enough for me. He struggles with anxiety and is upset about the difficulties in arranging contact to see his youngest. We have only been together since November, but it was an immediate attraction and most of the time we get on well. He was keen to see me as much as possible and had great plans for the future.
Unfortunately, when the slightest thing happens, he can’t deal with it and leaves. He then says he’s not good enough for me or that he feels pressured. I have a responsible job and my own house and he does not work or have his own house. He keeps disappearing to his friend’s house as he can’t cope with things. His ex has stopped him seeing the baby, but doesn’t seem to mind when she knows he isn’t with anyone. He doesn’t want to go back with her but misses his baby a lot.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a lot of patience with my children. My youngest is mildly autistic and my 14 year old is going through the typical teenager stage. He is controllable but grunts a bit and isn’t forthcoming with help. He is polite and friendly to strangers but has an attitude at times at home. I have a structure of discipline in place which I usually feel is successful, but my boyfriend feels that my son should speak nicely to me all of the time and should want to help for love not pocket money. I think this is a bit unrealistic so this causes us a bit of an issue.
Unfortunately, I don’t cope well with being run out on or ignored as this makes me feel insecure and I panic and get very upset. The children’s dad was physically and emotionally abusive and I struggle when I don’t know what is happening in a relationship now. Unfortunately, I have had two further relationships since I split up with the children’s dad nearly 7 years ago which have been emotionally draining and my feelings didn’t seem to matter until I stopped chasing after them when they left. I do wonder if because I am such a rational and calm person usually if any partners discover my Achilles heal (being left and ignored) then they act on it as it provokes a reaction in me. I need to stop the cycle somehow if this is the case. Is it me? Or is it coincidence?
I do want my current relationship to work. We both love and miss each other and there is no one else involved romantically. I would love it to work between us but feel at the moment that I am trying to bend over backwards for him whilst he is wrapping himself up in protection. I am upset whenever he walks out and try to contact him repeatedly. The last time he left was 3 days ago and sometimes his texts are loving and other times they are quite cold or he ignores me. I know he isn’t intentionally playing games but feel like he has learnt to protect himself too much. I have suggested counselling for self esteem issues and have bought him books. He says he will do it then says he’s not sure he needs it.
I really want us to live happily ever after as despite this it feels so right for both of us. But this inconsistency isn’t doing me any good. Please give me your advice?
Here is my first area of concern, dear Reader. Your children. As a mother, it pains me to see you wanting to be involved with a man who does not treat your children right. This is no brainer dating advice for women 101. A man that does not treat your children well is not the guy for you. You have a history of emotional abuse in your life, and by trying to stay with this man, you are going to continue that cycle. And what, one of your child has special needs? And are you STILL considering going back to this guy? Many other readers are shaking their heads sadly for you right now, dearest Reader.
Before I say anything else about this relationship (and I use that term loosely), let me give you a little wake up call. As their mother, it is your job to protect your children at all costs. No matter what. No matter what. No matter what.
That means, no matter what your own needs are in this present moment. Or in any future moments. A man that does not treat a special needs child well, is CERTAINLY not going to make any efforts to treat his mother well either.
You also tell us that he has four children by several different mothers. That again should tell you that his respect for women is on the low end of things. And all you are doing by staying with him is teaching him that it is okay to disrespect you the same way that he has disrespected all of the baby mama’s before you. If he respected at least one of them, my bet is that he would still be with her in an effort to do right by his children, right by their mother. But he didn’t make that choice, did he? So what epic defining moment in his life has happened that you think warrants the belief that he is going to make that choice with you??
There isn’t any epic moment for you to refer to, and there won’t be until he does meet that Ph.D. and do the couch time.
Now, onto you for a minute. I will tell you that the reason you are putting up with this is because you have a history of abuse. You have been sadly taught by other men that it is okay to be treated this way. That you deserve a “just enough” approach to love. That you have earned the methods of being treated poorly in love. So, being brainwashed in that by the father of your children, you are allowing other men to do the same thing.
I am here to tell you, and our readers are here to tell you, that’s all a lie. You deserve better. Period. And the only way you are going to break that cycle is by pulling up your socks and not allowing others to treat you that way any more. I know that you can do it, you already did it with the father of your children. You said, that is not okay and you nipped it in the bud. You can do it again.
If you want to know how to get your boyfriend back, that’s what you have to do. But honestly, I wouldn’t even touch this one until he HAS done the couch time. It is not your job to change his insecurities. If your love isn’t enough for him to overcome his insecurities, it is never going to be enough, until he gets the help he needs.
BUT you say….. “I know he isn’t intentionally playing games but feel like he has learnt to protect himself too much.”
That’s where you are wrong. He IS intentionally playing games with him, because you’ve taught him he can keep coming back to you after his childish behavior. Now you need to teach him new lessons in love. That this behavior is anything but okay.
I KNOW how desperately you want to live happily ever after. We ALL want that. But your happily ever after is not with this guy, until he changes his ways and really starts putting you first. And when a man is dating a woman with children, how he shows that he puts her first is by putting her kids first. He hasn’t done that. So why are you letting another emotionally abusive man in your life?
For this woman, and all other women reading the story about the player who keeps toying with her emotions by feeding her his insecurities, please please listen. The best dating advice for women in this situation is to cut him loose. When you do that, it sends him the message that he isn’t good enough for you, that you are worth more.
One of two things will happen, both in your favor.
1.) He will realize he is not good enough for you, realize that he is madly in love with you, realize that if he wants you in his life he needs to change, and then he will go out and change his life to become the man that you deserve.
2.) He will not realize any of those things and storm out of your life in a huff because you, like all of the other women in his life, wouldn’t put up with his childish behavior. This will then empower you with the realization that you are in charge of your destiny and that you are better off without him, freeing you up to open your life for the love and the man that you truly deserve.
What do you think, readers? Did I miss something? For any of you that have experiences with similar situations, please drop ‘em in the comments to support our reader who clearly needs to see the light at the end of this tunnel. I would love to hear your updates on this, so please, drop me a note in the comments or send me a message and let me know what you decided to do here. Remember, girl power, YOU are in control of your children, your love life, and your own romantic destiny. So take charge! And keep us posted!