This week we have struggles and heartbreaks, but through it, all the underlying message continues; when you nurture your own interests, goals and dreams you build your confidence and self-worth, making you a whole person. Feeling like half a person looking for your other half makes you vulnerable to being used and taken advantage of.
Dear Mary Jo,
I am 56, and finally ended an abusive and dysfunctional marriage 4 years ago. I am dating a 54 year old man whose wife left him for another man. We have dated 3 years exclusively, but now he wants us to date others. Is there a chance for this relationship, and what do you think I should do?
A relationship works if both people want it. He sounds like he doesn’t want to commit to you. Since you were only single for one year after a divorce with an abusive partner, I think you will make a better choice for a lifelong partner if you take time away from dating and invest in your own emotional needs. Abusive relationships cause low self-worth, and low self-esteem. Do the things that empower you and make you feel stronger; your increased confidence will attract a more respectful, and emotionally mature partner. I think you have given enough of yourself away in relationships. It’s time to give that time and investment back to you.
Dear Mary Jo,
I have a friend who is chronically angry. He lashes out at the ones who love him the most. I suspect his anger stems from his childhood when his mother died while he was very young. What purpose does it serve him to continue to hold on to anger?
This is a great question, and although we all see angry people, we react to the anger without reflecting on why they may use it. In the case of your friend, it sounds as though his anger helps him keep people away. My guess is he is afraid to trust or love again, and using his anger helps him not have to invest or learn to be vulnerable and trusting. He is most likely suffering from chronic depression as well, so my best advice is to encourage him to go to his doctor for a physical. Chronic depression is reflected in mood and one’s overall wellness. I am grateful he has a good friend who cares. Keep caring.
Hello Ms. Mary Jo,
I know you don’t know me, but I’m hoping you could guide me through this heartache journey of mine. I’ve been reading and loving all of your inspiration quotes. I’m so lost and feel used by the man I have crushed on for almost 3 years. How can I begin feeling better?
Dear Niki Luu,
Part of having a relationship is being honest and sharing with each other. A crush is more one sided, and in this case, it is your crush. You cannot make someone have feelings for you and although that may be hurtful it is part of being a mature adult. If you can be heartbroken over someone who doesn’t love you, imagine what you will feel when you find someone who does love you? Stop giving yourself to someone who doesn’t care about you. Get involved with a volunteer program, exercise or join a social group that has activities. Tell your friends you want to meet someone so they can introduce you to their friends. The only way out of the place you are in is to get involved with your life again. He broke your heart, but he did not break you unless you become a victim to his behavior.
Dear Mary Jo,
I have 4 kids and have been in this relationship 8 years. My kid’s father has cheated and I always find chat line numbers on his phone. He says he’s going to change, but until this day everything seems the same. I’m broken but it’s hard to let go; his kids love him! What should I do?
I want you to check out www.familyservices.org. They can help you with counseling. This does not sound like a healthy relationship. If he is a responsible dad he will always be a responsible dad no matter if you two are together or not. It sounds as though he doesn’t respect you, and he has the best of both worlds…a family and yet no commitment to the relationship. You will end up feeling more and more worthless if you allow yourself to be disrespected in this relationship. You need emotional support and guidance for getting your life together so you can be respected and mentor wellbeing to your children.
When you allow yourself to be used, you will be used by every person who feels they have a right to use you. Self-care begins with advocating and caring for yourself; you cannot love another if you don’t love yourself.