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Maybe relationship therapy was a mistake and made things worse?

Community Member

Hi Everyone,

I am seeing a therapist about friendship issues. I wanted a relationship but he wanted to be friends. Sometimes I feel like he's not being true and I can tell that he's hurting too for the way he is acting after going no contact. The therapist said we are not right for each other. I went along with the advice at first but now my heart is pointing back to him. Am I in denial? I miss him so much

5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Recoverywoman~

Welcom to the Forum, it sounds a confusing situation for you, and I can see you are hurting.

Let's look at what you are saying: You have a friend and want a relationship with him. Somewhere along the line he has told you he just wants to be friends. Your impression after a period of no contact is that he is upset.

OK so you have been to a therapist and when you set the circumstances out the judgment came back, even just relying on what you said, that you were not right for each other.

I hate to say it but the only thing you have said that might indicate he wants a relationship with you is your impression of him after you have been separated. It's not as if he either said he wanted a relationship at that stage, or that he went to the therapist with you in an effort to bring the relationship about.

If it was me I'd take his words at face value - he wants you as a friend, and that's it. He may miss your friendship during the no-contact period - however that may only be a rather limited feeling.

When you fall for someone it is extremely hard if your feelings are not returned, and in many cases there is a bit of disbelief, after all your love makes you feel so close.

I'm sorry I cant give you a more positive message. I'd suggest occupying yourself with other things and socialize. You never know when you may find someone else to fill the gap in your heart.


Thanks for the reply Croix.

Indications that he wanted or was heading towards a relationship was from things he would do to string me along. e.g., asking if I could be there for him and his career, sending flirty emoji's and kisses, telling his friend we'll see how it goes etc. I did a lot of journaling today about him and now I'm finally seeing the light again. We actually aren't friends anymore because I stood up to his behaviour and he didn't like it and that resulted in him going no contact.

After the journalling I feel really silly and embarrassed about being taken advantage of and letting it happen and not even realising it. The therapy I went to was for personal as well. I'd had the same pattern with guys, friends and family and I wanted to know what was going on with me. I live in a small town and I'm too the point where I do find it hard to go out because I run into people who have walked all over me and they treat me like a joke. How do you get your self esteem back and not care what people think of your past with out having anxiety attacks when you see them?

Somedays I slip back to default mode again and think they weren't that bad and then other days I wake up to it again. Does anyone have suggestions of how to get it to sink in?

Dear Recoverywoman,

I can remember some strange times in my 20's when a man wanted a lot of closeness from me, we'd do everything together on weekends and nights, he'd call me all the time, act flirty and touchy, get involved in my life, thoughts, creative work, and we even had sleep overs.

It confused me a great deal. When I tried to nail down what he wanted, where things were headed, he did what your friend did and said `we're just friends'. But I knew he was demanding more of me than a regular friendships and he was encouraging an emotional dependence between us- just not exactly a real relationship I could hold onto either. When I decided to end that, he was very, very hurt too.

Then some years later in my 30's i started to learn a bit about certain personality disorders, especially narcissistic PD. This was because of one of close family members. And during all my reading , something clicked with me- Narcissistic men like to recruit what they call `hand-maidens'. These are women who provide them with attention, devotion and love, kind of like backup narcissistic supply while they hunt down what they regard as perfection. They string hand maidens along because it someone in love with them is better narcissistic supply than a normal friend with boundaries.

Anyway that explanation resonated with me, so I steered clear of ambiguous relationships after that. I definitely don't want to be some guys hand maiden! Nor should you, you deserve a real relationship.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Recoverywoman~

Did I say I liked your user-name?

Look, I've no real instant answer for the idiots you have to deal with in a small town, I'd imagine the best approach is to value yourself more, feel more in charge and have wider horizons.

As I started to get involved in a different sort of work I started getting towards the stage where I could judge people and not see myself as part of the equation. I'm probably not putting this very well. When my anxiety was (is) at its height I tend to see things solely in terms of how I fit in, this colors my judgments and reactions to others.

When more confident I can more closely reflect on others and see their good (or bad points) more accuracy, and with less personal involvement. - Oh dear I'm still not explaining well:( I guess you have to adapt what I say to your circumstances.

I live in a small country town and it very much can be a small universe. Having said that the on-line world makes a big difference, from employment to dating to personal interests.

The journalling sounds good, though if you are feeling down it can read like a long list of mistakes and failures. Not the case, journaling as much reflects the writer's mood and state at the time. This can have a big up-side when looking back later and seeing current improvement - something quite hard to do without a reference mark.

I think I mentioned before being open and caring in a friendship is never bad or silly, it is always needed for the start of something good. If the other person is to shallow or self centered then in the long run they are the losers. When you read of what you did try to think on their loss and pat yourself on the back for being you