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09 Aug 2011

It''s not you?
I am a single mom (39) and have been living abroad in Middle East for the past 6 years with my daughter (18) She is now preparing to go abroad at the end of August to start with her studies. For 6 years we only had each other to rely on and the thought of her leaving scares me so much as I dont know if I will cope living all by myself.
Met a South African guy 5 months ago. He is 46, also divorced and lives with his son (17) about 150km away. We saw each other only on weekends and occasionally during the week. We both decided to get to know each other better before we get physical and we waited 4 months before things turned physical.
During the 5 months he broke up with me twice via sms.He has an incredible fear of being in a relationship and even admits that whenever he feels trapped, he runs. After the 2nd break-up we met up again and he suggested we try again. We discussed his fears and he promised me that he will work on it and not run away again. After this he was a wonderful partner, thoughful, caring, romantic.

A week after we slept togther I went on vacation to South Africa to visit my family. I texted him 3 times a day (good morning, sleep well and something nice during the day such as miss you). He initially replied but started not responding or being very short on his messages. I sent him a few sms expressing my need to hear a bit more from him. I fell very ill and I needed him during this time. He still didnt respond to my requests and eventually I stopped asking as he beacme quiter and quiter. All of a sudden he sent me a sms saying that we dont belong together and that he can not give me 24 hr dedication. I tried calling him to talk it out but he refused to take my calls.

Finally met up when I came back from holiday and he tells me " its not you, it s me" . He claims I am a perfect match for him and everything he wants in a woman and that he still loves me. In the same breath he tells me to leave him alone, that I shouldnt contact him. He cant tell me how long he needs to be left alone and he keeps saying stuff like " I am sure one day I will regret this"  and " rather hate me" . He keeps saying he has a mental block that he can not get over and everytime someone comes to close he runs away. He admits he has a problem and said he needs to work on it or else he will be alone forever.

For some reason this sudden rejection has hit me a lot harder than it would in the past. I think it may have something to do with the fact that I am afraid to be on my own when my daughter leaves and he was a distraction.What do I do? Leave him alone? See other people? I really love this man but he keeps pushing me away and confusing me with his hot and cold statements. He keeps sending me e-mails (jokes etc) and I dont know if that is his way of keeping in contact? I can''t sleep or eat and have lost so much weight. Some days I dont even feel like getting up.
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Expert
CyberShrink
cybershrink

01 Jan 0001

Being a single mother and apparently haing lived for long periods abroad and seemingly without family or other close support, its understandable that you'd have concern about your daughter's proposed residence and studies abroad. That would trouble most parents, and the more so where you have become to an extent dependent on each other.
Presumably this is the basis for your feeling the need to enter into another relationship with this man, maybe more hastily than you might otherwise choose ? What you reveal of your life story suggests you are a competent and effective person, and capable of being so without a man in your life.
This guys sounds sill psychologically and relationally damaged by his previous bad experience(s), and may not be ready for the sort of calm and sustaining relationship you may be seeking.
he may benefit from personal counselling, and is surely right when he says the problems are about him, and not about you. Indeed, your pleasantness and attractiveness may actually make it harder for him to acept his good luck in finding you, and to allow himself to enjoy a relationship with you. Don't allow him to become as important to you as you have - it sounds as though he has a lot of work ahead of him before he will be able to have a stable adult relationship with a real woman.
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