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82 Responses to “Are You Dating a Loser?”

  1. avatar image
    James
    61

    Dr. Carver. Thank so much for getting back with me. Because of your paper it open a door for me. But as I do more research on these personality traits (*common sociopath, Compulsive lying and characteristic of narcissists) it is opening only more doors for me. It is allowing me to heal by understanding what happen and why it happens this way. But it is also causing me great concern. What I didn’t state is when she left my two boys and I. She left with my youngest (he will be 2 early next year) taking him to another state. My fear is that he would not be a fit mother to care for my son. This person left us in a very bad financial time. I lost my job soon after she left because of my mental state. It was a temporary job and asked to be let go because so much was happening so quickly. I know now that was a bad decision on my part, but I was afraid. I didn’t know what she would do next! Being away from my childrent was terrifying. We were behind on our bills and rent. When my family needed her the most she left. Most of our money problems were due to the fact that she refused to work or help to support our children. I can’t afford a lawyer at this time. I know that I need to be in this boy’s life fearing that her negative attributes (characteristic) might hurt my son in the long run. I see how living with a Controller/lose affects our lifes. But because my two older boys (12 and 15) are at a age were they can see what is happening, how she treated them before she left and based on that was able to make decisions concerning their own lives for what they wanted and who they wanted to stay with. But a Child at a young age is depended on their Father and Mother. Question: Can children learn to become controller/loser if they are raised by a person will these *personality traits? What is the possible long-term affect(s) of being raised by this type of person on a child?

    My two oldest children didn’t have a problem choosing to be with me then going with her. In the beginning (that was before I read your paper) of this mess I gave my two boys the option of staying with me or going to live with they mother. Of course this was before I knew that she was leaving the state. Leaving the state like that was a Hugh emotional blow to my family and I. And I believe her leaving the state hurt my two teenagers very much. Not only did she leave them but betrayed them as well.

  2. 62

    Dear James: Having a controlling or abusive parent can have a significant impact on the personality of a child. This has been the subject of many books and theories. Most children develop a survival strategy or personality that helps them cope with the situation. Some coping strategies are helpful, others are dysfunctional. According to Anna Freud, some identify with the aggressor (abusive parent) and develop similar behaviors and characteristics. Others develop a stressful reaction and exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD, physical complaints, etc. Children often emotionally detach themselves from the parental abuse and control – often taking a hostile position. Still others take up a position of dependency and helplessness – trying to be less a target for rage or control – trying to be the “perfect child”. There are also those who are strong survivors and basically parent themselves and continue on a positive course.
    While your teens may have issues related to her behavior, they will also have a sigificant reaction to the departure and divorce in general. Rather than focus on the departed parent, it may be important to focus on the mental health of the two teens. They will need support from adults around them. Sadly, in a divorce or break-up situation, the remaining parent is often so hurt and overwhelmed that they have a difficult time supporting their children. Be careful. You’re going through a tough and complicated situation here. Dr. Carver

  3. avatar image
    James
    63

    Dr Carver.
    Thanks for your reply. I will follow your advise and am spending as much time with my two children that live with me.
    I want them to know that I will always be there for them. I let them to know how much I love him. Being a supportive parent is what I did before. But now as a single parent, I have increased my efforts. I know I am not perfect and will make mistakes, but when I do I ask for their forgiveness and try explain my actions, why I am upset. I ask for their advise, trying to bring them into the discussion, giving them a voice and validating their feeling and desirers. I want to instill in them how a responsible adult learns and deals with problems that is part of everyday life. I need to show my children how to be a “good” parent. Role models that they can learn from. So that when they have family’s, children and a wife. That they know the different between what a “good” parent does and what a “poor” parent does. I can’t live my children’s life. I can’t make them as men and fathers choose the right decisions. But it is my prays and hope that they will learn from a good role model and/or me. Thank you again, and may God Bless!

  4. avatar image
    Polly
    64

    Hi Dr. Carver,
    I was involved with a abusive man for 6 long years. During that time, I became a total mess, my mind was in a constant fog, I was depressed and suffering anxiety attacks, I dropped out of school, got into trouble with the law, fought with my parents, and basically destroyed my own life. I did not care about myself or my own well-being and I became extremely isolated and lonely as well. When I got out of the relationship I got involved with a couple other abusive men who used me for sex and who would berate me.

    I am now completely out of any involvement with any man and go to therapy once a week. However, could you write an article which specifies more on how a former victim can rebuild her life? I have suffered so much emotionally, mentally, financially, socially, sexually….in every aspect of my life, there has been nothing that hasn’t been touched by such pain…..

    I feel so much guilt, shame, humiliation, embarassment as well as the need to rebuild all the aspects of my life over from scratch.

    What would you advice be?

    Also…..since you mention that losers keep their victims on the backburner…I feel very scared and anxious that he will try to come back and hook me in. I know for sure it would destroy me….how can I protect myself from this person permanently?

    Thank you.

  5. 65

    Dear Polly, “Rebuild and Repair” are the key themes in recovery from an abusive relationship. Some suggestions: 1) Repair your emotional damage, often with a combination of treatment for depression and therapy for self-esteem. 2) Rebuild your self-esteem by educating yourself about what happened. 3) Slowly Rebuild your damaged relationships with true loved ones. 4) Repair your personality defenses and confidence as people tend to choose what they think they deserve. 5) Repair yourself financially and socially.
    As for the backburner issue, I have a friend who keeps his credit cards in a personal box at the local bank. Doing that makes him think about purchases so he never buys on impulse. Ot tales effort and time for him to buy something. With any contact, make no instant decisions. Abusers and con-artists use impulsive decisions to their advantage. Caution, time, deliberation, as well as a solid position (no meeting, no calls, no nothing with a prior abuser), can keep you safe. Dr. Carver

  6. avatar image
    Straightupquestion
    66

    Alright doc. Based on your definitions, I’m technically a loser.

    What you’re telling me is that there’s no way to undo my situation and undo my psychology as a loser?

  7. 67

    Dear StraightUp: If you have the majority of the behaviors I’ve listed in the Loser article, you are likely to have a personality disorder (PD)in mental health terms. A PD is a long-standing pattern of attitudes and behaviors that are maladaptive and create as many problems for the individual as for those around him/her. Those with PD may be helped through counseling/therapy and some PD folks have printed off the Loser article, circled those indicators they have, and gone to a therapist and announced “This is me. What can I do to change?” It’s important that you seek a permanent personality and behavior change – not a temporary fix for a social problem or crisis. Dr. Carver

  8. avatar image
    Nancy
    68

    I’ve been in my current relationship for just over two years now and I’m finding myself wondering if I’m with a loser. His behaviors fit at least half of the ones you’ve mentioned but have been getting better as we have been together. I don’t know if love is clouding my judgement in thinking that thinks will get better because he has identified some of his problems and has expressed a desire to work on it.

    A few months ago I found myself feeling like I was falling apart. I am a smart, caring and rational person. Yet I found myself thinking about harming myself and actually getting to the point in arguements of hitting my head against the wall. I realize now that it stems from my inability to communicate effectively or rather not having him listen to me when I try to express my feelings. I’ve never acted like this before even though I’ve always been an emotional person. I feel torn between wanting to believe him and believing my friends and family who tell me he is no good for me.

    There are many things about him that I admire. But often it is the extremes of those qualities that I hate. He is a strong and passionate person but often has violent outbursts and will go from being a best friend to a viscious enemy at the first perceived offence.

    I feel lost and confused even about my own thoughts. He has told me that others influence my thoughts negatively agianst him but by that same token he is also influencing me. I feel like I’ve lost the ability to make the decision I need to.

  9. 69

    Dear Nancy, From your description, things aren’t getting better – you’re becoming emotionally exhausted. The violent outbursts and intimidation are taking a toll on you. It’s like being in a combat zone. After exposure to combat for many months you become emotionally numb and “burned out”. It’s not that the situation is getting any better – it’s that you’re getting worse and can’t notice it. Your family and friends can probably tell it. Your comments about thoughts of self-harm suggest you’re becoming depressed. Love is supposed to make us happy and secure. He’s emotionally burning you out…and probably blaming you for it. Sadly, your family and friends are correct. My sense is he won’t protect you and will allow you to slip deeper into depression and emotional exhaustion. Your family and friends aren’t trying to negatively influence you…they’re trying to save you. I’d recommend seeking mental health treatment before you become more depressed. Dr. Carver

  10. avatar image
    James
    70

    My testimonial:

    After reading Dr. Carver’s paper on Controller/losers traits. It gave me a door to walk through. Being an educated person, I started researching more on Personality disorders. The more I learned about this issue the more I began to heal myself. It’s been 6 months now that my controller/loser left the children and I. I still have “good days and bad days” but they are fewer and longer in between times. Dr. Carver, it’s only been 6 months and I can’t believe were I am emotionally and mentality. I feel good and I am now ready to move on with my life. I am beginning to love myself again. To forgive myself. And feel that I can get to a place were I can forgive her! I knew that I would heal but thought it would take years not months. I know that I still have a long way to go. As soon as I can I will be starting my therapy. Because I learned what happen in my relationship with her. I know now that nothing I did or would do could have change our relationship and how it ended. She refused to get help for us (yes, I begged her to go with me) I am no longer asking myself what more could I have done to save this relationship. Dr. Carver is right. You can give and give to this type of relationship and it would never be enough! I also knew something was wrong with our relationship but didn’t know what to do. I wish I knew about this paper years ago. Dr. Carver there is no way that I can thank you. Please keep up your work, you may never know just how many people you are helping. But Dr. Carver you did help my children and me! God Bless you!

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