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82 Responses to “Are You Dating a Loser?”

  1. 11

    There is a difference between abusive behaviors and an abusive/loser personality. Abusive personalities have a long history of loser behaviors that were present before their current relationship. Because abusiveness is part of their personality structure, it’s very difficult to change. On the other hand, emotionally healthy individuals can become abusive when depressed. Depression produces irritability, insecurity, agitation, negative/suspicious thinking, and a change in personality. Depressed folks take everything very personally and are easily offended for example. If abusive behaviors have only recently developed, depression and stress are the most likely causes. Treatment for your depression should restore your normal personality and decrease abusive behaviors. I typically recommend a combination of antidepressant medication and therapy/counseling. Printing the Loser handout, bringing it to therapy, and saying “This is how I act!” helps the therapist understand your current behaviors. I also recommend educating yourself on the social side effects of depression.

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    Great article. My girlfriend (for 7 years) was such a loser. Yes i still have some contact with her, i will follow your guidelines. I was attracted by her kindness to me (in the beginning) and her violent behaviour to others…maybe because my parents were (extremely) violent to me and very generous (apperently) to strangers…that made me jalous ? But soon, as you wrote, she did all those horrible things to me and i ran away.
    Thank you very much (sorry for my poor English-i am a Belgian man 50 years old – not an university student)

  3. 13

    I am currently in a two and half year relationship with a guy that I am pretty sure fit into every single one of your categories. We are in college and he is a “man’s man” Loves to drink and party with his friends and has spurts of extreme alcoholism and violence. He and his friends will hunt down any guy that I am friends with that he does not know and if they dont beat him up they will threaten to beat him up. My friends and family hate him, he hates all my friends, saying they are a bad influence on me and is constantly telling me I dont love him enough or I am too overly ambitious with my studies. Telling me my education is not important and “will never love me back like he can.” Writing about him now, I sound like an idiot for still being with him, but he manipulates me back everytime, telling me he’ll sleep with my friends, and do whatever he can to hurt me. He is crazy!

  4. 14

    Jessica has described what life is like with the “Loser” in my article. Rather than a “Man’s Man”, he’s a social predator – aggressive, threatening, violent, and intimidating. The longer you stay in this relationship, the more emotional damage you will receive. Don’t worry about how he CAN hurt you – but rather how he is already hurting you. You may want to use some of the methods I describe in my article to detach from his abusive controller before it’s too late. Dr. Carver

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    I’ve used the term “Loser” describing the man that prayed on my daughter when she turned eighteen. He soon started serving a light sentance for theft and started wooing her from jail with poetry and art. He was a friend of her best friend’s boyfriend. He was older, a highschool drop out, but somehow “cool” in thier eyes. The relationship has continued for two and a half years and now my daughter is pregnate and the “loser” is in jail again. I read your article on Love and the Stocholm Syndrome: The mystery of a loving abuser. I found it very helpful. I get it. I have been reacting to the relationship as most parents would, the way you descibe a normal reaction. Almost the complete opposite of how I should react. I have a lot to learn. Where can I find more good reading? What books should I look for?

  6. 16

    Further reading on personality disorders might be helpful. It sounds like this Loser is actually an antisocial personality, an individual with criminal behavior. Be sure to read my Loser article to see the technique being used by the daughter’s Loser.
    In dealing with your daughter, remember that we are often attracted to people by the way they make us feel. Losers, abusers and con-artists make their victims feel worshiped, loved and valued. They promise all the right things. Family and friends, seeing the situation, often make the victim feel incompetent or “stupid” for their behavior – making the victim move toward the abuser and away from the family. Focus on your daughter’s talents and future. If the Loser is the only person making her feel valuable & worthwhile – she’ll remain connected to him longer. Keep in mind that she’s embarrassed, upset, and distressed about her situation. She needs a feeling of security – and he’s making promises. I’d emphasize that “the family” is having a baby, showing lots of support. Remember, your daughter is overwhelmed by this situation and is very frightened. Dr. Carver

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    I found myself identifying many of these characteristics in my former partner. Even though we’re separated, I often find myself in binds because if I act in ways that extract me from control, our children end up getting caught in the crossfire. And I still often feel as if I’ve deserved whatever it is that is happening. I find myself feeling as if I’ve biased people unduly when they say “How could you have dated/married/had children with this person?

    How do I protect (from uncomfortable, derogatory, but not physically abusive situations) both myself and my kids at the same time? How do I step back from the emotion and history to get a look at the true situation, rather than automatically feeling guilty? And how do I answer those questions that begin “How could you” ?

  8. 18

    While we often can’t completely detach from an abusive partner (custody, visitation, other issues), we can emotionally & psychologically detach. We can maintain an all-business approach. We do that by ending our involvement with the abuser’s game. It’s like watching a boxing match but not stepping into the ring (where you’ll take a beating!). Watch the abusive partner’s strategy and techniques. Use the techniques I’ve recommended in the article. When guilt is used (and it always is!), remind the partner that separations are very difficult on everyone. Keep an emotional distance and remember that every contact is seen by the abusive partner as an opportunity to intimidate or guilt you.
    As for the “How could you?” questions, you’ve been trained to explain everything you do, think, and feel. In truth, you don’t owe anyone an explanation…at least a full explanation. I advise memorizing a “press release” that’s use for 90% of those How Could You folks. Something like “I guess all relationships seem good when they start out. You never know how they’ll change over the years. Mine just changed in a way that’s no longer good for the children and I. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. How are you doing?” Only family and true friends receive a heart-felt response. You don’t need to explain why you went to the grocery or why you’re five minutes late anymore.
    For additional information on those relationships, I’d recommend my article on Stockholm Syndrome on this website. Dr. Carver

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    Thank you. I’ll go read your Stockholm Syndrome article.

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    My partner is a bipolar loser, and his mental condition makes it even worse.I was stupid enough to waste my time trying to fix him up.Nonsense, it will never happen.and as i’ve had enough, i m going to fix me up with a break up.BECAUSE I’M WORTH IT!!!:)))

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