A female Health And Fitness how-do-i-change-my-patterns How do I change my patterns? Relationship & Sex    age 51-59, anonymous writes:

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I have come out of a very long term relationship where my partner ‘parentified’ me. I’ve read a lot about how there can be a passive / active dynamic (or divide) between partners, where one acts like the kid and the other is positioned as parent, and I want to learn how to avoid this in future. Before that, I married young to a man who also turned out to be totally passive / lacking on proactivity. When we divorced, I was a single parent, so I had no choice but to be highly proactive and ensure a future for myself and my daughter.

Initially, I was attracted to my long-term ex because he appeared to be the opposite of my ex husband; he seemed very active as a person, really interesting, very funny and spontaneous, very sociable and seemed to want things for the future. I absolutely adored him. It took me some years to realise that I was with a total narcissist who was only very actively invested in his own future, but totally passive about working as a team to create a future together. I was simply his narcissistic supply – he used our relationship as a basis for him to feel good so that he could go off and do what he wanted, a bit like a kid who only takes from the parent. He expected me to do all the domestic work (he was filthy), all the organisation of absolutely everything and anything, all the suggestions about where to go and what to do – absolutely every little thing. His sociability was actually to the extent of it being an addiction on his part. Underneath, he turned out to be very shallow and lacking in empathy.I hated how this positioned me, but don’t know how to behave otherwise with men.As a kid, I had abusive parents. I learned very young that no-one would ever ‘be there’ for me, no-one would ever look out for me or proactively act in my best interests, quite the opposite in fact. I was positioned as caregiver to various family members who did not reciprocate, only used me, and as ‘the strong one’ in my family. If I did otherwise, I would be psychologically tortured with the idea that I was selfish and worthless. So I just gave and gave. I guess it seemed only natural to me to then extend these strong traits to caring for very passive, narcissistic men.I don’t know where to start re. changing this trait. I’m actually envious of women who act helpless and get so much support from others. How do they do it? I don’t have anyone supporting me. Even in friendships, I am positioned as the supportive, strong one. Any ideas how to change these patterns? Is it more than looking for positive signs in a man? Do I have to get therapy just to understand how to choose and be with a differently wired man?

View related questions: divorce, my ex

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A female reader, Honeypie Health And Fitness how-do-i-change-my-patterns-1 How do I change my patterns? Relationship & Sex     + , writes (29 December 2018):

Health And Fitness how-do-i-change-my-patterns How do I change my patterns? Relationship & Sex    I’m with Code Warrior.You need to learn to cut people lose. When you last ex started having ALL these expectations of you that YOU didn’t AGREE to or want – like being responsible for EVERYTHING, then you NEED to not only recognize it, but know that it’s OK to say no or I’ve had enough and then WALK away.Sure, you can’t build a healthy relationship by NOT putting in work and making compromises but you can’t build a healthy one when bending over backward either.So when it comes to partners, GO slow. Spend time with then. Set boundaries and limits, NOT because some or other person in you past did you wrong but because you don’t WANT to do XYZ. Like, MOTHER a grown man.Code Warrior calls it the inner Bitch, because we women have MOSTLY been raised with being polite, helpful, supportive and partly it’s in our nature to nurture. And the “inner bitch” is the one that help YOU find balance between wanting to help, support, do XYZ and to NOT be taken for a mug and feeling HAVE to do XYZ because it’s “expected”.Being the friend that is ALWAYS supportive and strong is OK. But if you don’t ALWAYS want to be that, then ASK for help when you need it as well as GIVE help when needed.We can’t control or predict strangers. Which means when meeting a new man, you take your time getting to know him. You don’t turn a blind eye to red flags, but you also don’t judge him for thing another man did to you.I don’t think women who are “helpless” or “act helpless” are any happier than you can be. Because with helplessness comes dependency and HAVING to do always be the one who follows others. IT is just not you. AND! that is OK!By now, I would presume you can actually recognize a passive/narcissist fairly fast, then thing is WHAT do you do with that knowledge? If you keep “serving” that man, you are ALLOWING his behavior. BE OK with walking away. and DO NOT live with a BF until you feel there is a PARTNERSHIP that works for you BOTH.

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A male reader, Code Warrior Health And Fitness how-do-i-change-my-patterns-1 How do I change my patterns? Relationship & Sex     + , writes (29 December 2018):

Health And Fitness 64af5b46-d671-4ef9-9508-1ea53e6e59c9 How do I change my patterns? Relationship & Sex    You’re strong and responsible, but you’re tired after all this time and all these people who took advantage of you and you just want someone else to be the strong and responsible one for a change. The thing is, you are what you are and being a strong and responsible person is something you should be proud of. What you need to change is your attitude toward others.You need to learn how to be a bitch. I know that sounds bad, but it’s necessary. First, you feel so guilty about not helping others that you really wouldn’t know how to go into full bitch mode if you tried. Second, you need the ability to cut people off when it’s clear that they’re taking advantage of you, and you have to be a bit of a bitch to do that. So, learn how to get in touch with your inner bitch and bring her out when necessary.Understand that I use the word bitch because if I just told you that you need to stand up for yourself, your inner guilt would prevent you from getting to the point where you’re really standing up for yourself. However, if you try to be a bitch instead, your inner guilt will limit your inner bitch and you’ll probably manage enough bitch mode to come across as just standing up for yourself.Don’t worry about hurting people’s feelings. They aren’t having a problem hurting yours, so when someone deserves it, just let them have it. You can do it.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE Health And Fitness how-do-i-change-my-patterns-1 How do I change my patterns? Relationship & Sex     + , writes (29 December 2018):

[EDIT]:Correction:”Everyone gets a break.”Post script:Yes, sometimes you might need to seek counseling when you seem to repeatedly place yourself in harmful relationships. When bitterness overtakes your personality to the degree you seem to feel you need to be with men you describe to be narcissistic. When you accuse everyone as out to hurt you.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE Health And Fitness how-do-i-change-my-patterns-1 How do I change my patterns? Relationship & Sex     + , writes (29 December 2018):

The first place to start is stop being so victimized. You’ve described everyone you’ve encountered in your life as detrimental to you in some way. Nobody runs into trouble so consistently. Everyone gets break. It seems you seek those who will use or abuse you; then cry poor victim.Let’s can the cynicism and give humanity a break. Women aren’t getting support for “acting helpless;” maybe they’re getting support, because they seek help when they need it.You’re full of bitterness and your outlook needs an attitude adjustment. Some light therapy might help you get past some of the trauma you’ve experienced; but you can’t maintain such a toxic view of everyone, and have people love you and want to help you. You talk about how nice you are and how much you give; then where does such bitterness and darkness come from? You’re trying to convince readers that goodness only begets abuse and mistreatment. You’ve apparently had a hard life; but you haven’t sought professional-help to deal with the trauma. You seem to be attracted to men who hurt you.You need to see people in a better light; if you want to love and be loved. Get some professional help, my dear.

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