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How to Know if He/She Really Likes You/Confused on his direction & if it includes me...

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QUESTION: Hi Latoya..I've been dating this guy for a lil over a year now.  He's 10 yrs older (he 43 & me 32 turning 33 shortly) so there's no worries on whether or not our relationship is 'legal'.  He is divorced as am I & we both have 2 children from our previous marriage.  His children adore me, his dad adores me, his mom HATES me (her opinion of me is due to his ex gf slandering me to her bc in her eyes, I 'stole' him away even tho they were not together when we met) and I haven't met his siblings besides an occasional hi.  His ex wife even likes me, so much that she stated (in front of him & his daughters) that now that I know how to get to her house, I should come hang out when I am NOT with him. Here's where it starts to get shady.  His ex gf constantly contacts him & he finds some excuse to contact her.  I'm generally a trusting person, and give everyone the benefit of the doubt but I'd be point blank dumb if I turned my head on this.  He drinks EXCESSIVELY and recently was pathetic enough to 'hound' me at my family cabin when I was with my parents & children.  He was overly intoxicated & it resulted in him calling my mom the 'c' word (actually dumb enough to leave it on my vm).  He constantly is accusing me of talking to someone or being contacted by someone from my past when in fact, after a few more beers, he admits that SHE contacted him or vice versa.  I've told him how much that constant contact with her upsets me & if it wasn't for her behavior in the beginning of our relationship-I wouldn't feel that way.  I even told him that if he wants to keep me as his gf, the contacts btwn the two of them MUST end...and if he truly respects me, then he'll respect my position.  I even went as far as telling him that IDC if they talk as long as the calls/texts stop at 10pm (literally, she does it all night/day long)  Yet, they still manage to find a way to contact the other at least 1-2 times/mo.  She even left the movie "the vow" in his mailbox @ xmas time.  Am I blind or is the constant contact a way of trying to tell me without hurting my feelings that he'd rather be with her?  He has told me (as recently as a few hours ago before he went into work) that he loves me & IS IN love with me & no on else... but I don't buy it.  When he drinks, he's extremely abusive so I've shut down emotionally and as of this am-I cant even honestly say I'm infactuated with whats in his pants anymore.  I know that the only reason the ex keeps calling is bc He/She keeps getting an answer.  Should I just let it go?  My only true issue...we live across the court yard from each other right now. And when i've tried to walk away, he chases after me.  Right now, I kinda feel like he's using me to make her jealous so their relationship will be better when I'm out of the way.  I'd rather be told up front, than having to hear it from a neighbor.  Any advice?

ANSWER: Hello Kris,

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to answer your question. If you've told him how his actions make you feel and he hasn't made any attempts to change his behavior then you *must* see it as a sign that you're not being valued. Yes, some people can be cordial and still remain in contact with their ex's, but a line has to be drawn. Now, what must really be addressed ASAP is the fact that he drinks too much and can be abusive. Some things can be overlooked or worked through, but drinking/abusive - NO!! I honestly think he's being disrespectful in every aspect of the word. I can see why your bothered by him and his ex's behavior, but honestly Kris I think the thing that should be really addressed is the fact of him becoming abusive when drinking.

Have you heard the saying "A drunk man's words are a sober man's thoughts?" Does he say a lot of hurtful things when drunk? My suggestion is talk to him when he's sober and let him know how you truly feel. Let him know that you can no longer be disrespected. You can not stop him from talking to his ex, but he must know that his actions are bothering you. Ask him how would he feel if you were carrying on in the same manner with one of your ex's. Let him know that you care a lot about him and that you would never disrespect him in this way and that you are worthy of the same courtesy. Constant accusing can often be signs of cheating or insecurities. Please also address his drinking and abusive ways. If he can't work on controlling his drinking and abusive ways you should do whatever necessary to separate yourself from him. I don't know his temperament to know if he is physical or not - if so, tread lightly when having your one-on-one. If physical I suggest working as quickly as possible to distant yourself for good. You have to put you and your kids first no matter how much you care for him. You must demand your respect, if a man can't respect you then he must go. If he acts this way around your children think of what they may be absorbing. Children learn by their parents example. YOU DESERVE to be happy...YOU DESERVE to be in a healthy and loving relationship...YOU DESERVE to be treated with respect, but If you don't believe you're worthy of these things, then why should he or anyone else?

Please think about these things Kris, we as women put up with so much from the men who aren't even worthy of our love. There are great men out there looking for great women, but until you realize and accept you deserve more then what you're receiving the type of love and man you desire/deserve will never find you.

I wish you the best of luck in your situation and please know that you can contact me whenever you feel the need whether it be to follow-up with another question, vent or whatever (smile).

Latoya

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Latoya-sorry, I had surgery (hernia removed) and just am able to stay awake long enough to respond. Let me start off saying, you were right.  I ended things with him 1/26 & he had his girls for the weekend.  He did NOT take me ending the relationship well.  He was drinking (surprise surprise) and left his girls at his place & walked down to mine where he continued to 'harass' me until 4am. I finally got him to admit that he was 'dumping' his children on me so he could drink & talk to his ex the whole time they were in my care. Even after I kicked him out-he continued to text/call & harass me until 5am.  Fortunately at that point, I had turned my phone onto silent, hid it under a pillow & went to sleep. The following day was much worse.  It was a horrible snow storm up here (not sure where you are exactly & I'm in MI) and the roads were treacherous. I begged him to let me drive to pick up his oldest from choir practice. His youngest begged me to keep her company as she didnt want to be alone with him as she could tell something was up with him.  We made it there ok, with him verbally abusing me in front of his youngest the entire time. I whispered to her the entire time to keep quiet, that I'd rather him take it out on me than turn on her. When I picked up his oldest, I started heading back & was forced to pull over as their was ice on the windshield & I could no longer see to drive & that's when everything began. He started shouting at me, tried slamming the back door on his oldest when she attempted to get out & yell at him to return to the vehicle. He ripped open the drivers door, shouted for me to let him drive numerous times, when I finally gave up, I had to hurry to jump into the back as he was attempting to leave me on the side of the eway.  He started yelling again at me to 'shut the F up' & his oldest retorted with "SHE'S NOT SAYING ANYTHING"-he grabbed her arm & twisted it & only let go of her when I began punching his arm. When we got back to his place,we all grabbed our belongings & attempted to leave (the girls n I) to which he became hostile. He beat on my rear window attempting to break it, tried reaching across me to his daughters (at this time I had their mothers verbal consent to take the girls out of his care) and when I started fighting back when he was trying to get them, he started trying to pull me out of the car by my wrists & hair. When I didnt move (Out of habit I buckled as soon as I sat down) he took off his hat & hit me twice across the face. I grabbed his arms (to prevent him from hitting me again) and shouted "you are NOT right! I'm calling the cops & if you think its a bluff-call me on it. You'll see" The whole encounter was with the girls mom on the phone & she on the landline with the police. He finally backed off (not knowing she was on the phone with the cops already) and went into his place. I drove the girls to their moms & stayed the night there with his ex wife & children. The next day, a det contacted me & advised me that a neighbor called the cops as well & was giving a 'play by play' of the events as they were transpiring. I know I removed myself from the situation, but also couldnt live with myself knowing the girls were still in his care which is why I didnt remove myself completely & didnt really have any intention on doing so until I knew they were back with their mom. Which wound up being sooner than later. Assault charges are already being brought upon him in 2 different cities (the one with his daughter happened in 1 & mine happened in another)and i've already been photographed & given my statement. His daughters wrist was sprained by him. His ex wife did all the proper paperwork to prevent him from seeing/doing this to them again & it seems to have brought the girls & I drastically closer. so much so that they text me every day & now tell me (as well as their own mom) that they love me (as I do them or else I wouldnt have put myself in that situation) but I KNEW in my heart that I would be needed to help save these girls. After talking to my neighbor, he informed me that my ex had no memory of anything that happened from the night before...that he blacked out. Their mom & I stayed up all night talking & have talked almost every day since. In her eyes, I'm her angel that was watching over her babies...in mine, I was only doing what I would hope someone would do for mine if they were ever in that situation.And I'm blessed to now have their mom as one of my good friends.  I have only received 1 call from him, which i immediately called the det & they called him back lecturing him on what "do not have any contact with her" means. I know he's back with his ex & surprisingly, it doesnt bother me...too much.  And I've already made plans for the next couple of days as my moms been with me since my surgery which was on the 30th. I havent filed the PPO yet as they didnt want me to while I am still on my pain medication (which runs out Tuesday if I dont forget to take my meds on time but the pain's too intense for me TO forget.) But I did receive a call yesterday from a neighbor asking when my mom was leaving exactly & when I told him, he told me that (I'll call him Douche) Douche had asked when he'd be able to talk to me. Like I said, I've already made plans for the next couple of days & I know his ex gf (probably current by now) lives 45-50 min. away and he doesnt wake until late afternoon, but while staying with her, who knows. *sigh* I've given up on our relationship, wondering if he's really into me or not. Any real MAN wouldnt lay a hand on his gf in any other way than a loving way not to mention a REAL MAN wouldnt hurt his daughter. When he did that, I felt any emotion I had inside fizzle out. But I still feel guilty. Why is that? I didnt do anything but save his daughters & they still communicate with me & so does his exwife & I'm their angel in their eyes. But I cant shake the guilty feeling. If I didnt do anything wrong, why am I the one to feel guilty? ((sorry for any spelling/grammer errors, it's 2:15am right now & I'm still awake until my next med dose at 2:30a)) Any ideas why I am the one to feel guilty while he has no care in the world & WONT see his own children for a LONG time & when he does, it'll be supervised? I re-read your reply to remind me that I dont deserve any of this crap but I'm having the hardest time dumping the guilty feeling as well.  Please help. Sincerely, Kris

Answer
Hello Kris,

How are you feeling? I'm so sorry to hear about the great ordeal that you and those precious babies had to go through. I'm PROUD of you for breaking away from him for the sake of you and his children. You are definitely heaven sent for ensuring their safety. You should NOT feel guilty okay? When people make poor choices they must suffer the consequences of those choices. It is never okay for a man to touch or speak to a woman or child in the way that he has done time and time again. This is a man who you deeply cared for and when a man has a woman's heart we NEVER want to be the reason of their fall, BUT in this case one of two things was bound to happen. His temper was going to eventually get the best of him and someone would have ended up really hurt or worse or you would have eventually left - I'm happy that the first outcome did not play out, which was my fear when I read your initial question. You made the best choice. Despite how difficult it may be to not talk to him even, you MUST not do it. You've freed yourself, it's time to move on Kris. You should possibly consider moving away from him when your lease is up, because you never know what may go through his mind when he's on his drinking frenzy. We see/hear about it everyday - never thinking it can happen to us. I'm here to say that it can, so continue to be cautious - But I am so very proud of you because I know it was difficult for you to take the steps that you did. Sometimes when we know the right choices to make deep within our heart, but for whatever reasons we refuse to listen then a higher power will force our hands. We will have no choice but to make that decision we struggle with.

YOU'VE DONE NOTHING WRONG - Please remember that. Think of you and what you deserve, if you can't recognize your self worth then history can repeat itself when choosing your next companion. You've done the difficult part, now it's time to work on healing your heart.  You've got this Kris. Can you please try an exercise for me? I know this first hand to work which is why I'm sharing it with you. I want you to write down these affirmations on 3x5 index cards and I ask that you repeat them to yourself daily. Place them in areas where you will see them, tape them to the fridge or anywhere or just read them several times daily. You can even record them over meditation music and listen to them as you go to sleep - IT WORKS! Now the key to this success is to believe EVERY SINGLE WORD. Now you don't have to use all that I've listed, the choice is yours. You deserve happiness Kris and although I do not know you I desire that for you greatly. Please feel free to keep in touch if you like, may you have a speedy recovery and may the higher power that be, be with you ALWAYS (smile).


Affirmations:

I have a fundamental right to a nurturing environment. I seek to live a peaceful life, free from emotional abuse.

I am a valuable human being. I have the right to be treated with respect. If I allow myself to be mistreated, I am teaching that it is okay for others to abuse me.

I will not assume responsibility or accept blame for any abusive behavior. I am not causing the unhappiness in my abuser.

I am choosing to believe in myself whether or not anyone else does. Approval from others is not essential to my well-being.

It is my responsibility to guard my own safety. I can't force someone to change, but I can create more distance when someone abuses or violates my personal rights.

I am learning to take care of myself. I do not have to feel guilty for allowing others to take care of themselves.

I am developing my own character and identity rather than being submerged into what other people think I should be.

I am not a failure or less of a person because I make mistakes. I expect success and failure as part of who I am. I know that I am not perfect.

I can be powerful, creative, and assertive when necessary. I have enough confidence to believe that I can handle all kinds of circumstances.

I will confront my abuser when it is appropriate and safe. It is the only way to stop the abuse and restore healing to our relationship.

I am confident and optimistic about the future. I believe that my higher power is transforming my brokenness and gently carrying me from the darkness to light.  

How to Know if He/She Really Likes You

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Latoya

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Sometimes our vision can become cloudy when dealing with love and relationships, and sometimes a second voice is needed. Allow me to be that voice of reason. I will be able to provide you with advice, options & necessary steps to handle the situation at hand. I am not proclaiming to have all of the answers, but please know that I will try my best to answer your questions as affectively as possible. I can assure you that any questions you may have regarding love, relationships, If he/she really likes you, etc..will be answered in a timely manner.

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Each individual relationship I've been in has allowed me to gain a notch of experience that I have placed on my belt of knowledge. Through my many experiences I've learned how to recognize if a relationship is or is not a healthy one. My knowledge allows me to assist friends and family members when in need of sound advice.

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Experience from high school, college and life

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