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Dear Dr. Romance: He Takes Advantage of My Affection for Him

Love, Sex

When a man takes advantage of your affection, it's time to get out and get going.

Dear Dr. Romance:

I don't want to be here anymore. Be here on this earth that is, be here in this ole' body of mine. Perhaps you can help. I think I'm simply looking for some inspiration. Also, when I think about no longer being "alive"... I am comforted. This feeling of calm comes over me. That's not a good sign, is it? I'm over fifty years old. I would have to admit I am sad and perhaps frustrated, and yes, maybe a little angry. I'm sure there are people out there who do love me, however, they seldom show it. I've even "tested" my relationships and broken off all contact with loved ones just to see how long it would take them to make an effort to get in touch with me. The results were sobering to say the least. I'll never do that again.

Regretfully, for over a year I've been involved with a married man. I try not to judge myself because he is by far the most astonishlingly passionate connection I've ever had with a man. I know it's not a relationship. But I feel that deep, soul burrowing kind of love for him, so very familiar, so comfortable... but I'm certain the feeling is not reciprocated. He's simply taking advantage of my affections for him. I know I need to stop, but I can't seem to find the strength or the will. Sometimes I think fate brought this man into my life at just the right time, so that I wouldn't go into some deep, dark depression and actually do something to hurt myself. So I hold my breath as he leaves, literally putting my life on hold, until the next time I'm able to see him. As the book says, "I'm thrown scraps of his affection cloaked in shame." *sigh*

The frightening part is, I don't believe this will ever happen for me again. This just doesn't happen twice in one's lifetime. So, I have a loveless life to look forward to. I am unemployed and have no purpose in life; and I live like a refugee because it's cold where I live and I have to walk around the house in my winter coat, hat and gloves; and not being able to afford food, I think that now would be a good time to die.

Dear Reader:

All this drama only means you're sad and angry but turning it against yourself, which is probably an old habit. Dying doesn't fix anything, and suicide is a very nasty thing to do to yourself and the people who love you. Instead, you could work on how you handle your feelings and learn how to take care of yourself and create happiness for you. Your life is far from over, and you could make it really worth living.

No wonder you're angry about this relationship. I've been there myself -- thinking the love of my life is gone, and there'll never be another. Then I found out what real, mutual love is like, and I've been happily married for many years. That can happen for you, too. The first step to happiness is to get yourself out of the doldrums and get moving physically, mentally, financially and emotionally. You've put your life on hold for this guy who definitely isn't worth it. If you do insist on having whatever you can have with him, you need a different approach. Being miserable isn't the way to tempt him. Instead, let him know you're moving on, and he'll let you know how interested he is in keeping you.

If you can't find work, then get out and volunteer -- you'll be in a warmer setting, probably be able to get some meals, and be around people. People will care for you in direct relationship to how you care for yourself. So, begin there. You can't control this guy, but you have total control over your relationship with yourself. "Where is Love?" will help you redifine what love is, and "Your Bestest Friend: You" will help you learn to make yourself happy. "Four Steps to Success" is a simple plan to help you learn how to set goals and achieve them.

Your attitude toward yourself often comes from a childhood environment. It Ends With You: Grow Up and Out of Dysfunction can help you change the negative self-talk that is holding you back.

I wish you love and happiness, and the courage to go for it. I know you can.

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