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The Upper Hand

I began dating a man who has been legally separated from his wife for almost 2 years.We've only dated for a couple of months, but since the beginning of our relationship, he would "one-up" me using his wife. Example, I told him I have a bachelor's. He would respond with,"That's it? Well, my wife has two bachelor's...." It was anything I can do, his wife can do better. It went further and involved my family and her family.I had always addressed the issue and he would back peddle and say I misunderstood him.He would then reconstruct what he said, or simply, same something else.It was annoying and I developed resentment towards him.I began verbally attacking his wife and he would get mad and defensive.In reality,I have nothing to do with his wife. I realized he saw me as some type of opponent. It got so bad, I began using my ex in our verbal combat with him using his wife.It was ridiculous and I knew this was not a relationship to be in.I wanted out, he said he would stop mentioning his wife and that we start anew. However, I now have distaste for him. He suggested counselling, I considered it very briefly and realized it was his issue I had to deal with.....he wasn't over his wife.He and even some of my friends told me that I was being hypersensitive, that I was miscontrueing things and that I was being selfish to his needs.I think he wasn't ready for a relationship and he wasn't for me.Are my critics right?Was I in the wrong?


You were being selfish to his needs?

What about your need for respect and consideration?

When your friends say that you're being hypersensitive, your friends are actually attacking you, just the way he did.

His problem goes way beyond his not being over his wife.

Plenty of people are still attached to an ex, but they don't use the ex as a club to put down their current partner.  

In other words, this guy's problems run way deeper than a lingering attachment to his ex.

I sense that he has a deep sense of resentment toward all women.

That’s not all that’s wrong here.

When you tried to tell him how you felt about his puts downs, he wouldn’t listen. In other words, he was welded to using this operation to vent his anger, and nothing was going to stop him. His needs took precedence over yours.

I’m most interested in why this pattern is exhibiting itself in your life.

Have you noticed that your friends are doing a version of the same thing!

They should be backing you up, not encouraging to stay in a relationship that feels damaging to you.

I suspect that you are familiar with people putting you down. If I’m right, you grew up with a parent who did this to you.

This would explain why you would be drawn to and draw to yourself friends and a boyfriend who would continue the familiar pattern.

If you want to break free, my book Kiss Your Fights Good-bye: Dr. Love’s 10 Simple Steps to Cooling Conflict and Rekindling Your Relationship has an entire chapter on identifying your own Old Scars. Another chapter shows you how these Old Scars get played out in our adult relationships so that you can work backwards, if you will, and use the common relationship impasses you get into in order to decipher your Old Scars.

I encourage you to begin identifying and healing your Old Scar. You deserve to be lifted up and not torn down.  Healing this Old Scar is the path to endorsing yourself and drawing others who do the same.

Keep in touch!


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