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93 Responses to “More Personal Replies from Psychologist About Relationships with Losers”

  1. 61

    Dear Ann2: The guy seems to have a lot of Loser traits. At the same time, your sister seems willing to participate in these manipulations and games, perhaps in the hope of making money or receiving gifts. Skillful manipulators – Losers often offer what they know you want or need. The house deal is actually a way of legally obligating your sister to a relationship – which by the way will ruin her current relationship. You are correct to be concerned but at this time, your sister may be an active participant in this situation. I’d offer your opinion and cautions and maintain your support from a distance. You could caution your sister about the legal and long-term implications of the house deal. Most people won’t invest in a business that has failed four times before; and the house deal has this same issue. Unsuccessful dating between breakups may have also convinced your sister that she can’t find another relationship, making the live-in deal more attractive. Once she moves in with him, he’ll gradually work to allow less contact with you so it’s important that you establish a good connection with her now. Use the “hold on loosely” strategy I’ve outlined in the Stockholm Syndrome article. Again, discussing the business aspects of the “deal” will be more effective than discussing the relationship. Dr. Carver

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    Thank-you for your advice – I’ll definately hold on loosely! I just have one more question which I really don’t understand. Why would a man, who wants control of my sister, sit around and listen/encouirage her to talk about her sex life with him?
    (This doesn’t seem normal to me, although he whole situation is odd.)

  3. 63

    Dear Ann2: One of the most important items to have under your control is information. In the military, the side that controls the information controls the battle. He’s allowing her to provide information that will be used during the rest of the relationship. Anytime he wants to make her feel bad, redirect a conversation, or shame her – he now has information to use. She can confront or question him on any topic and he can now redirect the discussion with “I suppose you’d be better off with Billy. Afterall, you two were so close you …….”. Sadly, she’s providing information that will later be used against her. Keep in mind, a Loser has shallow emotions and like you suspect, they don’t have the type of love that would make such an intimate discussion uncomfortable. Instead, they look at the discussion as information that may be used to manipulate or intimidate in the future. Losers often encourage such self-disclosure in their partners for this reason. Dr. Carver

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    Thanks so much for shedding some light on this situation for me.

    As a general question now, does the manipulator usually know what they are doing, and consiously plan all of this out, or are some unaware of why they do the things they do?

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    Dr. Carver,
    I have been in a relationship with a man named Mike for the past year. Mike was in his late 30′ when he finally had children and loves them dearly. His kids are 4 and 7 Mike tries to do everything he can for his kids and I understand. What I don’t understand is why if he wants to take his children out of town his ex wife must go along or she will not allow the children to go. His ex wife cheated on him and he says he does not care about her but wants to spend any time he can with his children even if it means spending time with her. Twice now he has gone on overnight trips with her and the kids. I catch him in lies all of the time, he drinks every day because he misses his kids so much. I love him more than anything. He never comes to my house I always have to go to his. He does not involve himself with my children or family but when his ex wife will allow it I am at every game etc for his kids. Do you think he is still in love with his ex wife (who I might add is also his like 4th cousin) or is it really for the kids.

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    Sandra Carroll

    I just found this site today, and the comments were very helpful. I was in a relationship for almost 2 years with a man that I now know was NPD and abusive. He was so sweet and charming when I met him first, I feel madly in love with him. I always had a feeling something wasn´t quite right?? and I stayed thinking I could help him sort out his mess of a life, his marriage was gone, his business was going badly. I even put up with his constant contact with his ex wife and children??
    Its a long story, but after I became invovlved he started to change toward me, and I just could not work out what I was doing wrong.
    I just could not take any more, and I walked away from him, I wasn´t gone a month when I found out he was in a relationship with the woman he was renting a room from?? It has taken me almost 18 months to get over how a man could have treated a woman (me) like that. I still get panic attacks and have had to do a huge amount of work on my self esteem, which was left shattered after what he did. I loved him and only wanted the best for him. I still find myself missing him and wishing he was different. When I tried to contact him he accused me of “stalking” him and has totally ignored any contact I tried to make with him since. Thanks for listening

  7. 67

    Dear Ann2: Do manipulators know what they are doing or are they unaware? The answer – a little of both. Many have developed a lifestyle that uses manipulation as their major social skill. Many use lying, controlling, intimidation, and manipulation as a daily skill. After many years, it becomes rather automatic. Under stress or when confronted, their behavior becomes more purposeful and intentional, increasing the severity of their normally-manipulative behavior. Controlling individuals for example, can increase their behavior to stalking, physical intimidation, or threatening manipulations when they feel they are losing control of the relationship. Dr. Carver

  8. 68

    Dear Diana: You are involved in a controlled and partial relationship. He is controlling your access to him and is limiting his involvement in your life. While he uses his ex-wife as an excuse for many of his controlling behaviors, I suspect he is controlling her as well, actually keeping her on “back burner”. His frequent contacts with her will effectly keep her from having another relationship – and he knows that. He doesn’t drink because he misses the kids – he just drinks a lot. You’ll find he has a justification for all his behaviors – and none of them are really his fault. He’s controlling everything, not the ex-wife. Keep in mind, he probably uses you as an excuse against this ex. His total lack of interest in your life is a real red flag warning. People who operate like this give everyone in their life an assigned role. They control the who, when, where, and how of every social activity. I suspect you’ve sensed there are a lot of odd things about the relationship and you are correct. This relationship is not likely to go far as he currently has you assigned to the “girlfriend” role and shows little interest in additional involvement in your life. It’s not the kids – it’s him. While I may sound harsh, I also suspect I’m not saying anything your friends and family haven’t already said. Dr. Carver

  9. 69

    Dear Sandra: You may be about a year ahead of Diana in one of these limited relationships. These situations are emotionally destructive. You may find that you are emotionally exhausted and your self-esteem has taken a beating. You should consider treatment for depression as part of the recovery process. As you have experienced, a healthy relationship makes us more healthy. A bad relationship can make us depressed and emotionally burned-out. Both this website and my professional website at have articles on depression and dealing with stress. Contact with this individual will only increase your depression and anxiety. Dr. Carver

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    Dr. Carver, It has been three months since I broke up with my ex and two months of no contact with her. I find that I have periods were I feel I have moved on and the periods were I fall back. I know this was a toxic relationship and in the end my life will be better for moving on. I know she was not the one for me, little by little, I am healing, but what are some of your other recommendations for healing faster. I think one of my biggest problems is that when I wake up, I think of her and this is bad because it tends to ruin my day if I let it, another of my problems is that if something goes wrong, instead of thinking of God and asking for his help, I think about her and that makes me a little sadder–So I will start thinking of God when I do need help.

    I no longer feel like a zombie or my body always stressed. My body is finally healing. Sometimes I feel lonely, when I allow myself to think about her. I find it interesting how I only tend to remember the good times and forget about the bad times. But from this break up I have realized how mentally weak I am and how I need to be more proud of myself and be happy with life and grow as a person. With her in my life, I was content with life, but never satisfied and always feeling stressed.
    I did start seeing a psychologist, but I realized that I know already everything she tells me. I think I am just to critical with myself, and expect to much. I know the answers of how to get out of my situation, however, I need to believe in myself and realize that this is a bump in the road that i will overcome and be a better person for. Thank YOu

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