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How do I get this master manipulator out of my thoughts?

Tagged as: The ex-factor, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 September 2018) 3 Answers - (Newest, 14 September 2018)
A female Canada age 36-40, anonymous writes:

Hello. I am looking for advice on a bad breakup. I am trying to figure out how I let someone manipulate my feelings like this. And how I still feel quite sad. I became reacquainted with someone from my childhood. He was never aggressive or a trouble maker. Definitely attention seeking as he was an athlete and dated a lot in HS. He would do tricks and talk loud for attention. However this was almost 2 decades ago. I was pretty quiet and kept to myself. I played some sports and had a high school sweetheart that treated me well considering his age.

Well, basically I feel I got swindled by a Gigilo. We met up last year and at first, I thought to myself what the heck am I doing out with a former Mr. Popular while I focused on school and got ahead. Not to sound mean, but he’s not physically attractive and quite short. I recall thinking his attire was immature for our age. However, he got me with his charisma. He had a dazzling smile and told good jokes.

We spent every single day together after that first date for about 6 months. A huge sign I missed and still don’t understand.

I fell head over heels and thought he did too. I was cooking and cleaning for him which is something I’ve never done much of as I’m really busy with my career. I thought I found this man I really love. I also usually don’t date men with children but I was soon helping with pick ups and going to watch their games.

I overlooked his financial situation too. He didn’t ask for money or help. However, it really limited what we could do.

He also quickly became this insanely jealous person despite hugging a woman he just met on a group date which made me feel very embarrassed. I would get complaints if men wrote on my social media but he literally touched this other woman. He would go through my phone despite my first day warning I have two very close male friends for most of my adult life.

Another issue was a very long sexual history. He would casually mention people he had dated and since we live in a small town, I have met about 6 or 7 of these sexual conquests. Who knows how many more and I just don’t know. He even mentioned who he dated in our grammar school days!

I think the problem is I fell very hard for this toxic person. I can see now he had low self esteem and had abandonment issues from his parents. He said he’d get help then never did. He said I was a sociopath and would complain about me on social media like a child. I started planning my exit because as much as it killed me to admit I had problems and it was expensive, I went and got therapy for my childhood issues.

Here’s my problem. I am so very sad. The first two weeks, I was not functional. Thankfully I was off for summer from work, but I woke up and went to sleep with tears in my eyes. I slept for up to 12 hours, barely ate. I lost 5 pounds in the first week.

He quickly moved on and told our mutual friends how happy he was I was gone and sent them pictures of these women dressed in clothes that barely fit. I was shocked also because he’s very fit and these women are almost obese with crazy colored dyed hair that’s in style now. Women without a career. Complete opposites of me. He also tells them I’m crazy and snobby. I’m apparently crazy for not believing his lies such as the used condom I once found when I left him to stay with family to get a break from his narcissism.

I never went back after that. I pretended to laugh along with them but it was incredibly painful. It still is.

I do not understand how I felt nothing when I saw him recently in town. But still feel like shedding a tear once a day. I’m keeping busy with work and friends. Seeking new hobbies and such.

I dont know how I can still feel like this over someone that is not only bad for me, but for any woman. So far, 4 ex girlfriends reached out to say he messed with their self esteem and managed to get money from them. I’m glad he wasn’t able to manipulate me that far. How do I get over a master manipulator? It’s been 3 months and it is getting better but I am so tired of him in my thoughts. I’m tired of being sad.

View related questions: a break, condom, ex girlfriend, immature, jealous, money, my ex, self esteem, sexual past

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (14 September 2018):

That's it, it has only been 3 months! Writing a nice long post and venting your feelings is therapeutic; and the first-step to coming to terms with your grief.

You're tired of being sad. That's a good sign! It means you're on the brink of letting-go! I know that feeling well. Just purge your emotions now and then; but snap right out of it. Learn to control your emotions by will; so you'll prevent depression. These are little exercises you do; until you get through your period of detachment and withdrawal.

Sadness comes and goes. You should call a friend or a family-member, when you feel a spell coming on; and do something nice for them. Make their day. Fill that empty e hole in your damaged little heart. I know how it feels, because I've been there.

Read your letter back to yourself; especially the parts explaining what he did that hurt you. You'll build-up your immunity. You'll rise above the sentiment, and face the reality. You'll feel a calm come over you.

He humiliated you, called you a sociopath, and flaunts photos of sleazy-skeazy females in your face. Hoping to make you jealous. That should make you livid. Eventually you'll laugh through your tears. I did that lots of times.

My prognosis. You need a little time, but you'll be okay!

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (14 September 2018):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntSweetheart, you need to open your eyes and take some responsibility for what happened. Most of what happens in life happens by CHOICE. OUR choice.

You were not FORCED into anything. You say you were MANIPULATED but, really, you ALLOWED that to happen. You could, IF YOU HAD WANTED, have stepped back at any time. You CHOSE not to.

By putting all the blame on him, you are playing the victim in this scenario instead of accepting responsibility for what you CHOSE to do and learning from your mistakes. You CHOSE to get involved in helping with his children, you CHOSE to cook and clean for him, you CHOSE to contribute more financially to the relationship than he did.

Accept that this relationship was a 50/50 mix, not him controlling you like a puppet. Admit you were flattered that "Mr Popularity" was suddenly all over you. You fell for his patter and rushed into a full-on relationship from the start. Again, your CHOICE. Lesson learned - hopefully.

Can you not tell your friends that you don't wish to hear anything more about him? You are CHOOSING to laugh with them when you really don't want to.

As for mocking the women who are in his photographs, that is rather judgemental of you and your friends - don't you think? You are making out you are in some way better than them because you have a career and are slimmer? Really? You fell for his patter in exactly the same way as they are probably doing. Why do you think you are so superior?

Bottom line: take responsibility for your part in this relationship and learn from it. Once you stop acting like the victim, you will realize you do have control over what happens to you if you CHOOSE. You sound like an intelligent woman. Use that intelligence to make better life choices.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (14 September 2018):

Hey woman. You are not alone. I recognise this man you are talking about. I too have had to deal with a "narcissist" (another word for 'evil')

this is what they do to us women. Here's the thing; he is empty, he is devoid of Love, hope and truth. How miserable for him. he has to live with that every moment of his existence. Why cry over misery. "Do not fear". Real love is real. Celebrate and rejoice in this truth. Adious misery.

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