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How do I get over being hurt and used by a man?

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Question - (2 February 2008) 15 Answers - (Newest, 5 November 2012)
A female United States age , anonymous writes:

How do I get over being hurt and used by a man? He has used me to do things for him and he never do anything for me in return. I fell in love with him and not sure if he feels the same. I am a widow and am really hurting.

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A female reader, Kanji United States +, writes (5 November 2012):

All of the post I've read helped me. I too have been used and I am stuck. It is safe to say that the sole mistake we might have made is loving the wrong person over ourselves. The safer bet is to begin loving ourselves more as we move away from these elements that cause harm.

How do we move away from the thing we see in our minds eye as a picture perfect romance marred by our own imperfections? We need to switch the images and change our lenses. This was NOT a picture perfect situation. This situation FELL SHORT of our expectations. This situation FAILED to fully represent the beauty that we are and the wonder that we hold in lovin others. God did us a remarkable solid.

I say this because right now...at this very moment a man 8 years younger than me lied to me. He selectively manipulated me. He gave me a STI and told me he dosent sleep around. Yet I discovered that he was in a 4 year friends with benefits with my neighbor down the street. When I confronted her she shared with me her story and that she KNEW he slept around. But she didn't care. It was obvious that she too was in love with him and was willing to wait for him. I don't want to wait for him. I needed him to change, immediately. It hurt me to my very soul and it still hurts me because I thought I loved him.

So I can not tear myself apart. I must fully embrace myself and repair my worth, because it exists. I cannot cry over what was not. I can only hope to be free for what is to come. And I pray to God that I continually build and not destroy my future through self hatred and self abuse.

Please be safe and strong everyone.

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A female reader, Kanji United States +, writes (5 November 2012):

All of the post I've read helped me. I too have been used and I am stuck. It is safe to say that the sole mistake we might have made is loving the wrong person over ourselves. The safer bet is to begin loving ourselves more as we move away from these elements that cause harm.

How do we move away from the thing we see in our minds eye as a picture perfect romance marred by our own imperfections? We need to switch the images and change our lenses. This was NOT a picture perfect situation. This situation FELL SHORT of our expectations. This situation FAILED to fully represent the beauty that we are and the wonder that we hold in lovin others. God did us a remarkable solid.

I say this because right now...at this very moment a man 8 years younger than me lied to me. He selectively manipulated me. He gave me a STI and told me he dosent sleep around. Yet I discovered that he was in a 4 year friends with benefits with my neighbor down the street. When I confronted her she shared with me her story and that she KNEW he slept around. But she didn't care. It was obvious that she too was in love with him and was willing to wait for him. I don't want to wait for him. I needed him to change, immediately. It hurt me to my very soul and it still hurts me because I thought I loved him.

So I can not tear myself apart. I must fully embrace myself and repair my worth, because it exists. I cannot cry over what was not. I can only hope to be free for what is to come. And I pray to God that I continually build and not destroy my future through self hatred and self abuse.

Please be safe and strong everyone.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (22 February 2011):

First off I feel for you.. I can only say that like so so many women, I also have gone through a horrible experience. Those two words "It's complicated" are the best way to describe it..

I am going through it right now and I keep asking myself why, why why?.. It will stay with me (the sting and the memory) of what he did and had absolutely NO remorse or accountability either. But if I can lend any thoughts or even comfort please know that the best ( i feel) way to recover is to live a life knowing that you are good and decent and that for whatever reason it happened and maybe, just maybe even though it was painful and crushing, you will grow and he (sadly) will stay stuck in his lies, deceit and manipulations. YOu will rise above it and move on to healthier and greener pastures while he will still be the same toxic human being.. I hope that your pain eases and that you find yourself in a much happier place . It will happen, you will get through this because in the end, you are just better off without the burden of this man near you.

I have cried, I have been confused, I have asked myself why is he doing this and it was all so draining and just not healthy. I am getting through it and ( not going to lie), it hurts and I will never not remember , but ( and this is huge) I will beat it and move on.. YOU will too and there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. Maybe he thinks he "played" you but in truth, he "Played" himself. HOw wonderful is anyone when they are texting women, ( by the dozens), whispering on facebook (sexual posts), and phone calls and getting up in the morning to face your wife and children with no regrets?.. --- The player that played me ... I can understand, and I can empathize with you. Don't let it overcome you and never let it beat you. YOu will move on and happiness will be waiting for you. Best for you!

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A female reader, SUNSHINE352 United States +, writes (19 May 2010):

im going through this right now,never thought i would be so sad and unloved,my parents always showed love to each other.im a very loving female and never thought i wouldnt get loved back.yes he works hard but hes off on the weekend and still wont spend time home.the way im getting over it is i go out on the time more,spend time with family and friends,and oh yes shopping,shopping.hes starting to realize that im gone more,and not paying attention to him,not packing his lunch,fixing his dinner plate.i take a shower or bubble bath and go sit in the living room,to remind you hes in bed wating to get some goodies,but i changed my routine at night to only when i feel like it.then when its over no cuddle time i take a shower and walk around the block,girl you got to show them yes they wear the pants but we wear the panties,and its going to be my way or the highway.

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A female reader, forever friend United Kingdom +, writes (25 February 2010):

forever friend agony aunti feel everyones pain especially because ive been there and only just got out of the situation of being used by someone a few months ago, i want to share with u all to hopefully encourage someone to get out of an bad relationship/ situation because ive realised its damaging, worst thing is it can certainly lead to physical abuse. im a 26 year old young lady and i came from a broken home were i watched my mother deal with incredible amount of pain that my father caused he made her feel worthless and cheated on her several times and never made her feel loved, unfortunatly my mother never had the strengh to leave him she had too much love for him so she handled the pain over the years, he finally left a few years ago, dealt the final blow and left her for a younger modal, i thought i wuda never do this to myself but unfortunately i’ve attracted the wrong kind so far. Anyway my first ever relationship at 19 was with a manipulative, possessive guy who used my naivety to get what he wanted sexually and made me feel worthless by telling me i didn’t deserve to be happy, he used to make me feel guilty if wanted to see my friends (a simple pleasure that everyone needs sometimes) after not seeing them for ages because i was studying full time and after knowing i had a tight financial budget he would say “if u spend any money on seeing my friends i wud have to spend same amount going out on the town with him and have plenty of money to spend on drink for both of us”, this was just a couple of the manipulative ways that i put up with for 3 years. I left him as he kept on becoming progressively worse over the 3 years, he even had the arrogance to manipulate me and keep me away from my family. He especially wanted me to move halfway across the country luckily i never did. when i was 22 after i left college i finally snapped inside and thought why am i doing this to myself he clearly only gives a dam about himself he just doesn’t love me. It was hard to brake it off in fact, i went back with him a couple a times because he made such sweet talk u wudnt believe, he said things like he made such terrible mistakes he loved me so much and couldn’t live without me all the things i wantd to hear ,but he never did change when i took him back so at least i know it was all just talk. Unfortunately it wasn’t long before i met the guy i was originally referring to, i was relieved to meet the next guy he seemed nice and definitely not manipulative he was also good looking ,he was too cool really and for a time i was happy with this as i had a possessive guy before, but unfortunately after a time i settled for being what was a fling to him a friend with benefits , which looking back made me feel more worthless than my first boyfriend especially cuz he was the only one benefiting from sleeping with me (i didn’t need intimacy i told him i just wanted real love )i shud have left him at this point when he said he was happy just having friends with benifits ,i was with him 4 years,, i thought it wud turn into a real relationship cuz i was starting to fall for for him he never did of course want anything more except when his visa was running out i nearly ended up agreeing to marrying him to renew his visa last year but luckily last year i decided enough was enough, i lied to myself and pretended to everyone and myself that i was happy because at least he wasn’t possessive manipulative he wasn’t nasty at least, i knew deep down i had a self esteem problem when i saw my brothers in healthy loving relationships in fact i cried alot when i saw people who were really happy, how could i be my own worst enemy. Im sharing this with alot of vunerabilty and embarrassment that i did this to myself , i want anyone to draw strength from this and get out of it while you still can and take care of urself. At least now ive left him and im working on raising my self esteem and loving myself and things are looking up there is light at the end of the tunnel,

a book that has helped me is alot is ‘women who love too much’ by robin norwood recommend it

all the best to all of you

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A reader, anonymous, writes (2 September 2009):

well first of all you need to stop showing him you care so much love is a horrible game i have just had my heart broken from a man iv loved for a good few years now and i also have a child with him but you need to keep busy stay strong go places meet peoople show him you have a life to let him worry about you your doing let him think why is she not calling anymore who she with why is she not answering turn this around babe you can do it i am

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A reader, anonymous, writes (27 January 2009):

all i can say is that i feel your pain, and sadly it is comforting to know that i'm not the only person who has dealt with such a horrible situation blindly. i don't think i for a second realized how much i was being used by him. he said he cared about me as a friend, but i was not a friend. i was with this guy for only a month or two. we went out, i thought we had the perfect relationship and that he was the perfect man. i thought i could never replace those feelings we had for each other ever again. i thought he felt as strongly. we lived miles apart and broke up because of distance. there were some things he did in our relationship that i think really made me get so unhealthfully attached thinking it was completely normal. he only talked to me via text messaging about once a week whenever we weren't spending time together on the weekends. at this time, i would not do things with him beyond kissing. he would always try to get me to do more though even though i didn't want to. one night i did more and felt like garbage. the following weekend we broke up. i tried to save our relationship, but he wouldn't hear of it. he was completely mean to me and made me feel so worthless. i couldn't get over him for the longest time. i ended up transferring to his college like an idiot. anyway long story short, i came here, and we got together one evening for him to show me around. that night i ended up in bed with him drunk. i did far more than i should have. a couple of nights later we repeated the episode with me having sex with him. i confessed that i had a boyfriend. for some reason i felt good about myself like i thought he liked me. i found out that night that he didn't. that should have been my cue to cut off contact coupled with the fact that i had a boyfriend. it continued though. we kept in touch continually for sexual activity and nothing more. i was not a completely innocent party in this given the fact that i had a boyfriend. i realized my wrongs and asked him not to contact me anymore. a month later he did. i thought maybe he felt bad about things before and talked to him fully intent on doing nothing sexual. each time i thought we'd be getting together to talk though, i'd get suckered. whether i had a boyfriend or not, he didn't care. and whenever i lost my boyfriend from the wrongs i'd been doing, he didn't feel the least bit guilty it seemed. i asked him if he was just using me, and he said that he wouldn't use that word but something like it. i asked him if he even liked me. he said not like someone he'd be in a relationship with. i asked why he couldn't have found someone without a boyfriend if sex was all he wanted. he said i always try to blame it all on him. he was defensive. when i said i needed to stop talking to him because it was bad for me, he asked why it was bad. i told him that i'm already attached and it would lead me on if he kept talking to me. then we began talking about dirty stuff, and he wanted me to send him pictures of me. even though i was tired, i did. then he told me he would leave me alone. i feel so vulnerable to him because all i did was sexual things with him to please him. i thought sometimes that maybe he would end up liking me. he never did though. i got used.

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A female reader, lonely n confused United States +, writes (11 April 2008):

Im also going through a similiar issue but the problem with me is i actually work with this person and i work under him so i have to see him everyday. We had something for about a year and a half, he would always tell me what i wanted to hear without actually commiting to me i think he would just say things so i wont bring up the subject anymore about having a relationship. I did so much for him he just used me and and didnt appreciate me. He has this way of by looking at me and giving me this vibe and replying to me in this manner that made me feel like nothing. I tried looking for another job but i enjoy where i work and my work environment and that is sonmething hard to find. i jsut feel like i shouldnt give up someting i enjoy because of a mant that treats me as nothing. THe bad part is i fell in love with hima now i dont know what to do. all i do is cry and i cant help is anymore i am really devasted and dont know what to do i keep fasllin into thses depressions and sometimes i cant help it that i end up crying at my desk. I need help i am starting to think that soemthing is wrong wit me.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (11 April 2008):

Im also going through a similiar issue but the problem with me is i actually work with this person and i work under him so i have to see him everyday. We had something for about a year and a half, he would always tell me what i wanted to hear without actually commiting to me i think he would just say things so i wont bring up the subject anymore about having a relationship. I did so much for him he just used me and and didnt appreciate me. He has this way of by looking at me and giving me this vibe and replying to me in this manner that made me feel like nothing. I tried looking for another job but i enjoy where i work and my work environment and that is sonmething hard to find. i jsut feel like i shouldnt give up someting i enjoy because of a mant that treats me as nothing. THe bad part is i fell in love with hima now i dont know what to do. all i do is cry and i cant help is anymore i am really devasted and dont know what to do i keep fasllin into thses depressions and sometimes i cant help it that i end up crying at my desk. I need help i am starting to think that soemthing is wrong wit me.

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A female reader, bluey` Australia +, writes (21 March 2008):

hi,

ive been thru the same thing - worst thing is i lived with the guy, slept with him and yet we were not in a relationship like i thought. He would point out women all the time around me and not really care about me and ignore me- hed go off to his dance classes..

he would never stop criticizing me about my shyness or this and that... i would do things like bake and all that kind of stuff but he would see me upset all the time and call me selfish. He would always walk away from me when ever we went out among other things..

He even kicked me out of his place i was living because of things - he is very specific like redoing all the dishes after me because of a tiny spec on one among other things..

I was living in a totally new area with him and was lonely cause he would go out every night dancing.

I ended up having to fly all the way back to my state and now living with my parents again and very unhappy.

Even in contact with him and he is still very insensitive and rude among other things.

There is a good book i just got called 'Dont be that girl' by Travis L. Stork MD. which is about guys like this and what we can do to better our chances at never letting this happen again.

I have a broken heart and having to handle emotional abuse too - esp all the criticism about my social cues, my looksetc..

its really hard and i found myself nearly wanting to sucidie over it ~ but you know what im still here and im better than him ...

i hate tho that i am still in contact - it hard to let go for me as i have alot of issues regarding my shyness and other stuff and where i am at the momment.

i hate it whe he tells me i will find a guy soon ~ after what he put me thru?? and yet he thinks its all because i am mentally unwell..

well i could go on ..

hang in there x

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 March 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I am taking It one day at a time. I know that God will help me to be free one day.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (29 February 2008):

The same thing has happened to me and I am in your age group and this was a much younger man....when I met him I truly thought he was the nicest man I had ever met in my life and he told me I was the best person he had ever met in his life some months later...we got along great never fought, he did do things for me and was a good friend, however, I was doing a lot more for him due to some health problems he was having as well as legal, he has lots of issues and being a caring person, I wanted to help and take care of him that is what love is after all, action....

Sad thing was that he did not appreciate me, that and his lack of ability to see things from anyone else's perspecitve when conflict arose, made him leave the relationship....and actually it was after I discovered he had a history of using women, married women at that (I am single) but he has had a couple of affairs with married gals, and he basically is a player, and a convincing one at that.....It is hard when you really like a person to see the red flags, but eventually they start waving in your face and when I called him on it he dumped me in a heart beat afraid that I would tell this woman's husband and tried to make me look the crazy one to protect himself even though I never had any intention on contacting her or her family....he is just nutso, a normal person would not trash a close friend who has bent over backwards for them, if they do they simply have something deep in their core that isn't normal....that is what I believe....goood people that care and are capable of love don't do that to others....ever. It isn't your fault, you are just one of the good guys.....there are good people out there, hopefully one of them will find you.....for some reasons opposites really do attract so my tactic is going to be not being so nice next time, more of a challenge and more of a stickler for what I want....and maybe someone nice will want to bend over backwards for me, what do you think, will it work?

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 February 2008):

This is verified as being by the original poster of the question

I would like to thank you for your reply. I am getting out of it and yes, I will take it slow and watch as well as pray. I am a christian and I believe God will help me through this horrid pain.God Bless you.

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A female reader, DrPsych United Kingdom +, writes (2 February 2008):

DrPsych agony auntNot clear if you are still in a relationship with this man...but you have to recognise that there are different ways to respond to the situation. The positive way is to learn from your mistake of adopting a user - everyone makes mistakes! The key to surviving them is to be sure not to repeat history with someone else. I understand you may feel lonely and vulnerable right now being a widow etc but it comes down to self respect. People will only treat you badly if you let them and you have recognised this guy as being a taker.

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A male reader, johnc342345 United States +, writes (2 February 2008):

you go out and find a man that is with you for you obviously he just wanted something for him go out and find one that wants you for who you are and one who isnt selfish and dont let your love for him force you to do things your unsure about doing in matters of the heart take it slow it will avoid alot of pain and suffering believe it or not there are good men out there still that do want women for who they are and not whats between their legs so good luck and next time dont do things for him unless you really REALLY know he would do those for you GOD BLESS AND GOD IS THE ONLY REAL THING THAT CAN HELP YOU GET OVER SITUATIONS LIKE THESE

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