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Hi all, although I am a regular on this site with my "When it gets dark.." thread, it has been a while since I have come here for advice. And I feel I should have done so a long while ago. In advance before I get into it, I know what you are thinking- "This girl is an idiot". And you would be right. But I'm helpless when it comes to spotting the signs of a bad relationship and I am pretty much incapable of loving myself enough to walk away.

 

So I guess I'll start from the beginning...

 

As some of you may have seen from my previous threads, the guy in question is "Mr Perfect". I know, I thought I had finally found a good one. Turns out I'm a magnet for toxicity. So like every relationship, it was amazing to start with. Better than amazing actually. But from early on things went so downhill. (Ive come to the conclusion that in order for this to be successful I need to be honest with everything so I won't spare any details). So, again from a previous thread you might see that I was a dancer, hence the profile name. I met this guy whilst I was a dancer. And obviously I am aware that is a very bad way to meet a person. He didn't like the fact I was doing this for a job and so after a while I gave it up and got a new job. He would always start over little things. Always get me to the point of crying my eyes out and ending up ill before he would come back around and say things were fine and that I was the one who needed to change. He started to get very secretive, he would hardly ever message me in the evenings, he would get mad over little things. He would follow loads of girls and make up excuses like it was an accident. (Fair enough following them but the excuses made me suspicious). Fast forward a year and everything was awful, I lost so much weight, I suffered with bad anxiety, I couldn't eat. I got really ill. I found out he was messaging other girls and so I ended it. I so stupidly took him back, I know, I'm and idiot for all of those who want to jump on here and slate me for that (Its yet to get worse so sit tight!!). We were slowly working through things and then he asked a girl to go home with him when he was on a night out, swore on my life he knew her from work and then I later found out he was trying to get into her pants. (Real charmer, eh?) so obviously, I ended it. That was it as far as I was concerned, I didn't want to know him after that. It was close to my birthday and he dropped a present off with one of my family members. Long story short, I took him back again. (You must wanna shake me and call me a complete idiot, right?! Yeah me too!!) Again, things were great to start with, as usual. But then it started to get bad again until a few months ago I caught him out messaging another girl, we had set him up but I had my suspicions as he was acting real shady, following and unfollowing her and liking and unliking her photos so I asked her and she told me that he had followed her around the gym, not talking to her, and then found her on social media that same day (Creep, I know!!). So I ended it again, and for the first time in forever I felt amazing. I started eating more, I made more time for friends, I woke up early in the morning to do stuff. I really was so so happy. Then he emailed me. Apologising and saying all the typical stuff of how much I mean and that he's realised what he has lost and that if he could do it again he would change everything and make it right. That he would spend more time with me and put more effort in and that I was all that mattered to him. (I know what you are thinking ;)) So, I took him back again. (I KNOW YOU MUST WANT TO LITERALLY SHAKE ME BY THIS POINT I KNOW!!!). As you can imagine, the effort was amazing to start with. I made it clear my trust would not come easy and he said that was fine. He was making more of an effort to see me and do things and I whole heartedly thought that maybe he has realised. Maybe he's finally grown up. Fast forward to now, hahahahahahaha. Yeah, he didn't change. He hardly ever wants to see me, he gets angry over little things such as asking if he is okay and then he has the nerve to say that I am the one pushing him away. He blamed it on me every time he attempted to cheat. Suddenly the gym is way more important than me again. I just feel like a guy of his age (28) surely should have different priorities of settling down and pulling his finger out to treat me better than he has previously? Am I wrong for thinking that?

 

I guess my question is surely this isn't right? I have been so good to him but its just like he doesn't see my worth. I have looked into narcissism and he fits the bill perfectly. He starts arguments and then blames me. If I'm not happy with something and I try to voice it I'm "arguing". No matter how calmly I say it he thinks that I am trying to start something. I know the answer is obvious, I know that, but I just need help settling it in. Today has been another bad day with him and I just said that I feel as though he is taking me for granted once again. (This all started over me asking if he was okay by the way). I just feel like he is very childish and surely this is not normal behaviour for a guy of his age? Before anyone jumps on here saying that I should have learned my lesson by now, I know. And I know I have been an idiot but I was so desperate for him to change. Do people like that actually change? Or does it take losing something for good to make them realise?

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People do NOT change. The day you wrap your head around that is going to be a great one for you. To put it another way, a snake does not morph into a cute bunny. When you keep hoping that someone will change, your hope is just as absurd and impossible as that - a snake morphing into a bunny.

 

To be clear - people can change to some degree when it comes to habits, career, surface things like that. They do not change on fundamental levels like character and values. This guy is a cheater - this is who he is. He is not going to change. Not now, not ever, no matter what you do or don't do, not for anyone, not ever. This is his core character and core character doesn't change. So you either accept his cheating and turn a blind eye to it, because you are fine with it, OR you dump this loser because cheating is not acceptable to you. You decide - what is acceptable to you on the basis that this is who he is and he never ever ever ever going to change and become a different person or a person you want him to be.

 

Honestly, if you want a guy who doesn't cheat, then dump the cheating loser and find yourself a guy who....well....doesn't cheat....you know...character, values...stuff like that.

 

Basically, if you want to ride a horse, don't buy a donkey.

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DancingFool, I actually ADORE the way you have put this so perfectly thank you so so much!! It makes perfect sense coming from someone else, I need to be stricter on myself!! I’ve been thinking back since I posted this thread today and honestly I’m sat here wondering why I entertain him when he’s such trash!! Thank you so so much!!!

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Exotic.

 

" Do people like that actually change? Or does it take losing something for good to make them realise?"

 

The quick answer is NO.

 

Another saying:

 

"You can't get anything out of an empty bag".

 

He can't produce what he doesn't have.

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In advance before I get into it, I know what you are thinking- "This girl is an idiot".

 

This sentence stood out to me right away. I wasn't thinking you were an idiot when I started reading this, for instance, and now that I've read the whole thing? Still don't think so, even though you sounded that horn numerous times.

 

I say that to get to what I find most alarming here, which isn't the nuts and bolts of this shady romance, this guy, the capacity for humans to change and evolve, etc. It's you finding and seeking comfort in the idea that you are an idiot. If in a post here, to a bunch of strangers, you're going to preemptive lengths to make sure we bang the you're-an-idiot gong then I can only imagine that, when it comes to men, you're looking for the same kind of validation. From that angle, alas, this guy is "perfect." Makes sense you're so drawn to him, because for all the pain and discomfort he does offer the comfort of mirroring back to you your more core belief in yourself.

 

So, what's that belief all about? Where does it come from? I think you need to find some answers there, perhaps with some professional help, so you can demagnetize the self-loathing magnet in you. We all have one of those, some more powerful than others. The trick is to get intimate with it on our own, so it's less mysterious and doesn't drive us in our intimate purists, be they romantic, platonic, professional, whatever, and so the loveliest of feelings we humans are hardwired to seek—vulnerability—doesn't come from feeling like another person is poking at our sharpest-toothed demons. That's just #basic, in the end.

 

In terms of some of the specifics? This might not land in a way the soothes, but at the end of the day it requites a level of self-absorption—or narcissism, as you put it—to think another person will change shape for us. The idea that a 28-year-old man should be x, y, and z, as opposed to a, b, and c? Well, that is narcissistic, to a degree, since it's putting your conceptions of a person at a higher level than the actual person. People can be whoever they want, make whatever choices they want to make at whatever age they want to make them, just as we can make the choice to spend time in their orbit, or not.

 

I say all this as your internet friend, someone who does not see any idiocy here and hopes to open up what I know is a harder route away from this. Yeah, I can sit here and talk about how awful he is, because he is, but you already know all that, and I think you've found a lot of comfort already in that story. And ultimately? Bashing him till kingdom come just gives him way more power, as some kind of horndog boogeyman, than any human being deserves, be it a perennial cheater or the pope.

 

You're better than this whole story. I know that without even knowing you. But until you know that? You're going to be at risk of measuring yourself by others, particularly men. You're not great if a great guy is great to you, or an idiot if an idiot treats you like trash. That's surface level stuff. You are great, as you read these words, and I think you owe it to yourself to date yourself for a bit, and fall in love with yourself, so you can reset the scales a bit and make connectivity predicated on people validating that greatness, not poking at the embers of self-hate.

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I'm sorry you're feeling so low. It happens and you have to be ready (for yourself) to move on without someone who treats you badly.

 

When two people are incompatible it brings out a lot of bad traits and qualities in both. I don't think it's a good idea or healthy for you to nitpick what type of psychosis he has. Relationships that are bad for two parties generally bring about some sort of imbalance. Focus on you. I think you already know this and have an idea that all of this is rooted in more self-love. Focus on getting to know you better and loving you.

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Instead of trying to diagnose him, it would be a better idea to think about why you're so desperate for that man to love you.

 

I was in a relationship with someone just like that. I HAD to get him to love me, I just HAD to!! Well, he didn't. He just liked how I'd fall all over myself trying to get him to love me. I finally left him behind when he dumped me for someone he'd been cheating on me with but still wanted to sleep with me occasionally behind her back.

 

You can't get better until you leave him behind for good. Forever. Then work on why you believe you love a man who treats you so poorly.

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I'm sorry you're feeling so low. It happens and you have to be ready (for yourself) to move on without someone who treats you badly.

 

When two people are incompatible it brings out a lot of bad traits and qualities in both. I don't think it's a good idea or healthy for you to nitpick what type of psychosis he has. Relationships that are bad for two parties generally bring about some sort of imbalance. Focus on you. I think you already know this and have an idea that all of this is rooted in more self-love. Focus on getting to know you better and loving you.

 

I agree. I also wouldn't focus on the self-love label. Or any label or psycho analysis. Simply take basic actions that are positive and reflect healthy behavior and attitudes.

 

Example - I scrubbed the bath tub today which I do about twice a month or when needed. I noticed that that is one cleaning task that makes me feel accomplished.

I did my daily sunrise workout today. I do it every day unless I am very sick or doctor's orders. So far this year I have skipped 3 days because of oral surgery. If I challenge myself to do it even when I am tired or sore I always - always!! - feel awesome about myself. Every single time.

I threw out a few chips today after lunch that were leftover instead of treating my body like a human garbage can and eating them. I felt good about doing that.

 

It's simple, basic stuff IMO.

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Turn over a new leaf and leave people from this past in the past. He does not have integrity or a good character. Enjoy your new job and new life and new people in your life and old friends you can trust.

I was a dancer, hence the profile name. I met this guy whilst I was a dancer. I am aware that is a very bad way to meet a person. I gave it up and got a new job.
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I know what you are thinking- "This girl is an idiot". And you would be right. But I'm helpless when it comes to spotting the signs of a bad relationship and I am pretty much incapable of loving myself enough to walk away.

 

You are absolving yourself of responsibility here... and before I continue, I don't mean you are responsible for his $hitty behavior. What you are responsible for is your choices, and how you react to your emotions.

 

I don't say that because I lack empathy for your situation... I've been there and it was for a very long time that I thought the way you did about myself. What I have since come to realize is that while it can be scary to make difficult choices, it is even more empowering and courageous to do so and doing so has built so much confidence and self-esteem.

 

The reality is, somewhere in the back of your mind you felt you deserved a man that treated you like $hit... that you weren't worthy of having the relationship you have always wanted. Have seen this thousands of times on this site, as I am sure have you... at the end of the day if you learn to believe in yourself and your worthiness you WILL be able to spot the signs of a bad relationship before it ever happens and you WILL be able to make good decisions about relationships going forward. You may need to be patient with yourself and with the universe until that relationship comes along, but believe me when I say no one deserves to be treated like crap and that we all deserve to have a relationship that is fulfilling and rewarding.

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It sounds like he is a narcissist indeed. Since he's good at the blame game, twisting your words and accuses you of arguing starting something should you express your feelings, he sounds like he's a master at gaslighting. Unfortunately, I've been on the receiving end of gaslighting my entire life. Google "gaslighting." It is psychological warfare at its finest. Once you fully comprehend what gaslighting is, learn to walk away forever. Never engage with tricky gaslighters because it is SENSELESS to have relationships with manipulative types. They will send your head to the chopping block every time and WIN. It's a repetitive lose lose situation. Gaslighters will defeat you every time so get out while you can and win by taking control back into your life!

 

Some men (or people in general but referring to men with this topic with your guy), never grow up, never mature, never learn anything about relationships and they are permanently, emotionally immature. :upset:

 

I'm sorry to tell you that the answer is a resounding NO. Most people do NOT change. "A leopard can't change its spots" means a person is who they are from birth to throughout life. My poor mother told me long ago: "You can never change a man." It took her almost 20 years of a hellacious marriage to arrive at her own very realistic conclusions and God knows she tried. :upset:

 

Trying to change a man is like beating a dead horse. It will get you nowhere. You are only wasting your precious time, energy and resources on a person who doesn't matter.

 

A selfish, self centered person only thinks and cares for himself / herself. You are not even second rate. You're beneath a second class citizen in their eyes. You are beneath zero. You will never be treated with respect.

 

However, the only person you CAN change is yourself, your trajectory and destiny in life. That you CAN change and control in a positive, healthy way. You CAN change the way you navigate your life. This is something YOU need to realize NOW. Change starts with you and your wise decisions; no one else. You change.

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Spot on, Cherlyn!!

 

"A selfish, self centered person only thinks and cares for himself / herself. You are not even second rate. You're beneath a second class citizen in their eyes. You are beneath zero. You will never be treated with respect."

 

"..never grow up, never mature, never learn anything about relationships and they are permanently, emotionally immature"

 

One is merely an object to these beings.

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Spot on, Cherlyn!!

 

"A selfish, self centered person only thinks and cares for himself / herself. You are not even second rate. You're beneath a second class citizen in their eyes. You are beneath zero. You will never be treated with respect."

 

"..never grow up, never mature, never learn anything about relationships and they are permanently, emotionally immature"

 

One is merely an object to these beings.

 

Thank you, LaHermes!

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Yes unfortunately people really don't change. I'm not sure how to say this without sounding like I'm judging your previous job as an exotic dancer (I'm honestly not). If this guy looked down on your job, it's possible he didn't respect you. That's why he thought he can treat you like this and keep cheating on you. Which you really didn't deserve, especially as you even quit your job for him.

 

I think you have all the evidence right here. The point of being in a relationship is to be happy. If you feel horrible, you can't sleep, you don't eat. Are you happy? I think all signs point to "no". Do not keep taking someone back who hurts you over and over again. It doesn't matter that you were a dancer. You deserve real love and respect just like everyone else. Please like yourself more.

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A person isn't who they are the last time you spoke to them. They are who they have been through your entire relationship.

 

People can change. The world would be pretty bleak if they couldn't. But they have to want to change. And no one can make them want that, it has to come from within them. This guy doesn't see that he has problems and as long as he finds someone to enable him, he will keep doing it. He's done it to you, he's done it to other girls. As much as we might care for someone and want them to be the person we see in them, that doesn't always happen. And if it reaches the point where it's constantly causing you harm, you need to get away. You know his behavior is unacceptable at any age. I would never treat a woman that way and most guys won't. But every time you take him back, he knows he can get away with it.

 

You deserve better. You deserve to have someone who will treat you with love and respect. You deserve someone who won't put blame on you or put you down. Call him out on his games and selfish and end it. Then focus on you. Do what you enjoy and what makes you happy. You don't need someone else to make you happy, you should enjoy your own life for awhile. And the next time someone special comes into your life, be honest with yourself on who this person is. If they start to play games, deal with it right away so it doesn't become a pattern. If they can't see how special you are and how they should treat you, they don't deserve you.

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