Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Breaking the mental connection between

(148 Posts)
SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 22:06:36

I've come to realise that I have a very strong mental connection between my own self esteem/self worth and the views of one man. It's more subtle than self esteem connected generally with opinion of others. Does anyone have any advice how to break this connection?

The whole story is a long horrific tale of low self esteem. The too long/didn't read version: I have had an on and off relationship with an emotionally abusive man for years. It wasn't really a relationship it was more a fall back girl type thing. Every post I've ever read on here about FWB/limerence/obession chimes with me. I finally made the break properly and did really well with no contact for over a year. One time he got lucky and contacted me in a weak moment. I saw him. It was all perfect and he said he'd changed and wanted to be with me properly. Like a fool I fell for it. Saw him again. He was so lovely. Slept with him. Since then not heard anything. We slept together on New Years Eve so it's now 4 weeks.

That is not actually why I'm posting. I've done no contact with him and I can do it again. It's getting back on the wagon.

My problem is that since then I've been really depressed because I keep thinking it's my fault that he doesn't want me. That if I were better, thinner, had more money, more social status, more charming, more social contacts that then he would want me. The detail doesn't really matter.

I feel like I must be a worthless person because he [a man who professes to like me, who I have great sexual chemistry with, seem to get on so well with] doesn't want me. And not just "doesn't want me" but actually can't even be bothered to type an email, text me or pick up the phone. I feel sick when I think about it and am torturing myself imagining him with other better women.

How can I break this connection between his dissmissal of me as a human and my own self worth?

(I'm limerent or obsessed with him so see him as a far better person than me. )

SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 22:09:45

When I see him (and this was always a problem for me) we both seem to have a great time. I honestly have had the best dates of my life with him. We get on so well and the sex was amazing. He has always said we have a really strong sexual chemistry. That can't all be just in my head can it?

This makes it worse because I feel like "if he doesn't want me, who ever will".

AnyFucker Tue 02-Feb-16 22:12:06

You have posted about this before, yes ?

You recognise it as limerance. You appear to have a lot of insight.

So the only thing that will sort this is time

Hassled Tue 02-Feb-16 22:16:17

1. Stop overthinking this. You had a thing with a man who wasn't as in to you as you were to him and who was emotionally abusive to boot. It sucks, and it hurts, but it happens.
2. Give it time. That sounds like a platitude, but it's a platitude that's true. Keep yourself relentlessly busy and just let time pass.
3. See what you can do (counselling?) to address your self-esteem issues, which aren't caused by him and can be fixed by you.

Sorry if that sounds too "tough love".

HandyWoman Tue 02-Feb-16 22:25:28

You are in love with the 'template' of him. You are in love with what he represents. That's what limerence is.

Time and no contact are the mainstays of recovery.

You can speed the process up by having proper, skilled psychotherapy to address the missing bit of you that seeks completion in 'what he represents'. It could be deep-seated - and sorting it could make a big difference to your life.

You can have sexual chemistry with someone else, someone decent. Once your done with this limerence you can find it.

hownottofuckup Tue 02-Feb-16 22:28:20

Did you write a post about your last date? Sorry if not, it just rings a bell!

remembermewhen Tue 02-Feb-16 22:33:36

I'm in a similar situation,
Last spell of no contact was over a year,
He's back
Still an arse
Can't seem to / want to shake him off,

You need to make a final decision & go through with it..
Make it , stick to it.
If you're unhappy with the situation don't respond next time he tries to contact you,
It'll hurt like a bitch but you'll end off better in the long run.

SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 22:42:33

>>>So the only thing that will sort this is time

I had no contact with him for 12 and a half months. During that time I thought about him every day. During that time, I also felt pretty worthless. I'm not sure that time is helping here. I've been involved with him for a lot longer than that.

I want to feel better about myself and get past this idea that the fact he is rejecting me (given our chemistry) is a fundamental problem with me as a person.

I have posted about this before yes (I've name changed as honestly embarrassed by the whole thing and how he has treated me and that I couldn't say no) but not about our last 'date'. That was new years eve and turns out don't think it was a date.

I do think I have alot of insight and I do think that for some very f*cked up reason I am clinging on to him mentally as a way of avoiding facing up to some stuff including fear of being rejected and being open to a real relationship. That doesn't help my present problem though.

This has been going on for years and years including a long break as well as lot of shorter attempts at no contact. I feel like I will spend the rest of my life feeling as if I've been branded with a big WORTHLESS stamp because he doesn't want me, doesn't even act like he even likes me.

I don't get why he keeps coming back to me and I don't get why I let him. I really just want to get my self worth back. I used to be very confident and happy.

SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 22:45:32

I've just read back my last post - and you know, it's got to be right hasn't it?

If he thought I was "a great catch" he would want to be with me. If he even thought I was "nice but not the one" he'd probably still want to be calling me and seeing me.

He really must think there's something really wrong with me to be doing this pitching up, all keen and intense and then disappearing. Hot/cold stuff.

bb888 Tue 02-Feb-16 22:47:41

Or he is selfish, not really bothered what you think, and just doing whatever suits him.
This has nothing to do with your worth.

remembermewhen Tue 02-Feb-16 22:55:05

Love it's not you its him.
Adults are responsible for their own actions & no one else can control that not you not anyone.
He's just being a dick, because you let him.

I could have written parts of that myself !

To fuck with settling for some bozo,

You won't find Mr right while you're wasting time, energy & emotion on mr wrong !

Even Mr nobody is better than putting up with a tosser.

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 22:56:46

OP, it sounds like he is the only man in the world you ever meet. What happens when you don't see him - are you ever attracted or friendly with other men? Has anyone showed interest or asked you out - and have you tried online dating?

I really think it could be as simple as starting to meet other men, you will then see that some of them can be seriously interested in you even if you are not in them, which at least will prove something to you, i.e. that he has HIS OWN issues (commitment phobia or a greedy ego) and that he only comes back because you don't reject his issues.

I've been hooked like this on someone for years a while ago - there is no other answer apart from getting involved with others, moving on, also finding other joys in life - and eventually it does fade. BUT don't meet him again. Thought your thread was about pre-Christmas date but possibly another one happened then - I was thinking about your situation as I know how it can be.

SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 23:16:25

LovePGTips - I've tried seeing other men but my heart isn't in it.

I end up comparing them with Him. He is very handsome, male and sexy.

The last guy I had a drunken kiss with but all I could think when I kissed him was how it wasn't this other man and how kissing him lacked the sparks, fire and chemistry I have with Him. It was ok as a kiss but there was no fire so then I felt disgusted with myself for kissing someone just to try to make myself feel better. I felt a bit dirty to be honest.

That again isn't my problem though. I want to mentally "get" that the fact he doesn't want me doesn't mean I'm of no value but I literally can't get past it.

I keep thinking "well if you had everything (looks, personality, social status, fame, wealth, kindness and charm) then of course he'd want you". I feel like a complete failure.

Destinysdaughter Tue 02-Feb-16 23:18:54

I was extremely depressed when a relationship ended after I'd been living with a guy for a year and a half. My reasoning ( which was faulty ) was, ' if someone knows the real me and rejects me, then I'm worthless'. However, this same guy went on to have other relationships with perfectly nice women, including getting married to a stunning, intelligent Brazilian woman whom he had a child with. He left her too! So what I'm saying is, it was him not me.

No one can determine your self worth but you. And again, it's faulty logic to say, well if the sexual chemistry is so great and he still doesn't want me, that must mean I'm worthless. It really doesn't. There's actually no connection at all!

I know it's confusing and painful but you need to break that link in your head. I'm still the same lovely person whether some guy wants to be with me or not. And so are you!

I recommend 'the feeling good handbook' by Robert Burns to help you examine your thinking and get more objectivity about yourself and this relationship.

Good luck and stay strong!

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 23:24:06

did you feel all this about him immediately though? some new men deserve a few dates to get to know them. I think you are focusing on sex/physical too much. I know it's important but often it's the personality that makes you fall in love (I mean you need SOME chemistry but it can grow unexpectedly once you know someone values you and makes you laugh etc).

So it's not your value to others, it's your value to him ONLY that bothers you? obv others show interest so you can't claim yo uaregenerally of no value. To him - maybe he doesn't want commitment to anyone (he isn't married is he so there you are) - he may have several women on rota because he is so male and with a high sex drive, and they (and you) aer of value to him as sex partners and a regular reliable fallback, but he just doesn't value anything serious or commitment, that's all.

How do you know he'll commit to some perfect woman? he may just want to be playing the field so doesn;t want to be trapped by anyon, perfect or not. Plus perfection doesn;t exist.

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 23:27:24

oh and maybe instead of trying to perfect yourself for him, you should try being a little nasty! I'm kind of joking but you catch the drift, I hope - some men fall not for perfection but for challenges, not that I recommend staying with him anyway as he sounds bad. It's just to point out that perfection is not what many men go for.

SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 23:32:51

^So it's not your value to others, it's your value to him ONLY that bothers you?

Yes. This was the point I was trying to make in my OP. I see him as exceptional and I really rate him. The other men seem sub-standard compared to him. It's like if I can't have him then I am "settling" for something less. And the fact he doesn't want me means I'm not good enough for an exceptional man like him.

This is the root of the problem.

getting married to a stunning, intelligent Brazilian woman whom he had a child with. He left her too! So what I'm saying is, it was him not me.

This sounds like what I think though - that the woman he chose to commit too was a "better woman" (not getting at you at all and just really talking about me and my perception) but your description of her makes her sound like you think she was more attractive, intelligent and sexy. Whether that is is rght or wrong, I just can't get past this up that if I was more worthy he'd choose me.

It's whacko but I fantasise about making myself a better person (losing weight, making more money, plastic surgery, whatever) in the hope this time he might want me properly. THIS is what I want to get away from. The fact he and his opinion lives in my head all the time even though he doesn't care about me at all. I want free of this but don't know what to do. I wonder if hypnosis would help? (serious question)

SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 23:36:00

The other thing is that I know all of this sounds absolutely insane. If I explained this to people in real life (particularly the full details of his bad treatment of me and the on offnees) and how upset I am about someone who I have basically had minimal contact with for a year - they would think I should be certified. They might not be wrong about that.

Even I can see this is irrational and really obsessively strange. That also makes me hate myself more.

SirisSister Tue 02-Feb-16 23:37:15

No contact didnt really work.
Seeing other men hasn't really worked.

What else can I do? Maybe this is it for me.

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 23:47:29

BUt OP, that man didn't commit to the stunning/better Brazilian woman in Destiny's post - he's LEFT HER TOO. I don't think you'd feel any better if he married you then left soon after for anyone younger or just different. You'd be back to square one - even though he'll be like that with every woman.

My point is, some men can NOT commit to anyone, perfect or not, so no point tjhen going through torture making yourself perfect or fantasising - it will not get the result. He may not be capable of love, may be supremely selfish and self loving. He may just despise women. You have no proof at all that he can commit as he never has done for any length of time going by your old thread(how old is he?).

Some men really like all sorts of women but they want VARIETY and freedom, so it's not that they think women are not good enough for him - they are good for his purpose of quality shagging on/off with regulars, or short flings/relationships which isn't really different as the result is still no commitment. Can't you see that? It's his own aversion to relationships (unless he's 20!).

Hypnosis can help! Mainly to knock back your ridiculously high opinion of him. He's not great at all - a player, a liar, and a user! hypnosis may also work if you ar hooked on sex as such.

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 23:52:18

another thing, don't beat yourself up about it. You are really not the worst obsessive - I was hooked on someone after sleeping with him just twice and it wasn't great but I was emotionally completely hooked. If the sex was mind-blowing it's not hard to get hooked if especially you also share interests and can talk to him. Subconsciously he may be reminded you of someone you loved as a child but who was unavailable or some other deep-rooted cause that a therapist can unearth. So it's not your fault - you just don't remember or can;'t make the link, hypnosis can help if a therapist can't find that link.

LovePGtipsMonkey Tue 02-Feb-16 23:54:39


Isetan Wed 03-Feb-16 05:58:16

Actually, it's you and not him. The only power this man has over you is the power you've voluntary surrendered to him.

This man would be perfect if he wasn't such a bastard. Do you really think you're the first woman who thinks like this? The first woman who thinks that lacking x,y and z are the real reasons they're on the receiving end of a twats twattery. That sexual chemistry trumps everything, including basic kindness.

It's not the man you want but what he represents and until you can answer 'why do I want him?', you will remain stuck in this 'why doesn't he want me?' loop.

forumdonkey Wed 03-Feb-16 07:24:20

the full details of his bad treatment of me and the on offnees

^ this needs to be the focus of your memories. Write a list of incidents and moments where his behaviour hurt you. Every time he pops up in your thoughts look at it and remember that moment, and the feelings of how hurt and upset you felt. You'll be surprised once the rose tinted specs come off and you are recalling the actual reality of this man and your relationship how you will suddenly feel WTF was I thinking.

Every shitty behaviour and incident you recall - write it down!

SirisSister Wed 03-Feb-16 08:59:23

>>'why do I want him?'

I know exactly why I want him.

I want him becaues he turns me on like no one I've ever met before. The sexual chemistry is amazing. The sex is amazing

I want him because he seems perfect to me. He has everything I have ever wanted in a man. And he has everything I have ever wanted for myself (achivements, materially and confidence wise amongst others), I admire him and his success and operational charm and I wish I could be like him. I feel like I want to worship him.

I want him because I feel safe with him. I feel safe to fall in love because I know he doesn't love me and is emotionally unavailable so I won't get really hurt because I always knew the score. On another thread here someone posted a link to an analogy with scuba diving and emotional unavailability (wanting to go diving and your diving partner just sitting in the boat becaues they don't like diving and you trying to persuade them how great diving is) - that is me exactly. I'd rather be in the water splashing about on the surface pretending I'm going to go diving (so I can talk about nearly diving and feel like I'm trying) when the truth of it is I don't want to go diving either. I think if he turned round and said "I love you; let's get married" after a short period of utter ecstasy I would freak out and be terrified.

I want him because the challenge of trying to win him round, persuade him that I am right for him is somehow stimulating to me. I often have got bored with relationships in the past. He is exciting and not boring - the cost of that is emotional pain.

I want him because for all the reasons above, I have in the whole of my life never met someone I have such a strong reaction to. It is like he is a perfect yin-yang match for me and my insecurities. I think I also fit with him because he is so emotionally unavailable and I am trying to win him round and will take all this calmly, quietly and not make a fuss(to him or on the surface) he will keep coming back. I expect most women would have left a long time ago. Becaues I have such a strong reaction to him I am obsessed with him.

Every shitty behaviour and incident you recall - write it down!

I've tried this as wellf as I've heard this tip before. During the year of no contact, I made a long list of everything and used to read it every day, every morning and night. That has obviously made no difference either.

I feel utterly stuck and very depressed. It's like the rational part of my brain knows I need to end this but the emotional part is stuck in this loop of "until he wants you, you are worthless, he will never want you, you are worthless".

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now