I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t had some bad taste in guys in the past, but I realise when I get emails from readers asking for advice on their relationships, that actually, I’ve been pretty bloody fortunate. Caroline has asked for some straight talking advice about the manipulating excuse of a man that she can’t quite shake.

Carolines story: I would like some sharp talking advice in order to be able to understand where I’m at, why I’m acting as I am and why my ex is. We were together for eight months, it was a very intense relationship from day one, it was long distance and he phoned/visited very regularly. He spewed his undying love for me very quickly, he said he’d never met anyone like me, loved me, wanted me to have his baby right from the word go.

He was emotionally very diverse, one minute he’d be crying, telling me he felt insecure and was petrified of losing me, other times he’d be quite volatile, shouting and swearing etc. After six months, he wanted to move to be with me, I told him I thought it might be too quick; he threatened to kill himself that his life would be over etc. He had a car accident and moved in. I did everything I could for him but things seemed to go from bad to worse. We both had problems, but in spite of it all I loved him to bits, and him me. In the end though, I asked him to move out because we seemed to be arguing constantly and I didn’t feel happy. I guess I really believed he’d try and fight to keep me and he did for months, however, I kept letting my hear rule my heart and keeping him at arms length until I could take the pain no more and went back to ask him if he wanted to get back together.

That was in July, he told me he had to concentrate on his son etc. who was coming to live with him. Its worth mentioning at this point that he has two children: one the product of a one night stand years ago, whom he does not really know and the second with a woman he was in a relationship with for 10 years on and off – it was conceived during an off. The latter he missed growing up as most of the time he was in prison for armed robbery. He was also a drug addict etc, but has come out all fresh and a ‘changed’ man. After a few months of texts etc, I found out that he is seeing somebody new , a young girl with a few children, she is pregnant and when I texted to ask him why he was still texting me when he was seeing someone else, and that he had used and sponged off of me, his answer was, ‘whatever’. I was heartbroken, and after all the things he had said to me, I couldn’t accept it was over and that what we’d shared wasn’t real.

I tried doing all the stuff you should do; going to work, going out with friends, looking after my child and faking that I was ok, until he sent me a text. Then I started sending them to him, culminating in us talking on Sunday, him telling me he wished we could be friends, that he loved me, he missed me and my child, that he had moved on because I didn’t want to have a baby. This was untrue, I had told him I wanted to but we were no longer secure. He said the pregnancy was an accident, but like I said, you seem desperate to just have a baby with anyone, not because I was so special. And so he seems great, getting on with life, new gIrlfriend, new baby on the way, and all of my dreams and plans are broken, am so heartbroken and seem to be having such a hard time letting go and moving on which is just so unlike me….any sound advice appreciated.

NML’s Response: The biggest lessons that you need to learn is knowing when things aren’t right and investing yourself in quality relationships that yield quality love. In a nutshell – ditch this loser pronto! From the get go, this guy had the hallmarks of trouble and that was before I even got to the part about his past. I know that it is easy to get drawn in by sex, emotions and someone professing their undying love, but you still need to learn to exercise judgment.

You are not alone in what you have experienced – Many women think that bad relationships are the right ones.

The reason why you are struggling to move on is because you have been drawn into the web of emotional drama and you probably don’t know your arse from your elbow. If you placed a higher value on yourself and had a limit to what you are willing to accept, you would have shed this guy a long time ago. Even now, you clearly have doubts about moving on and even described your relationship when it was volatile as ‘secure’. Trust me, there was nothing secure about this relationship!

Listen to your gut. Read your own words and think about what they mean.

The spewing his undying love, the intensity, the wanting a baby before he actually knew you say that there is something not quite right with this guy. Why is he trying to smother you emotionally and be so heavy rather than letting the relationship develop naturally? You should have been saying to yourself: Hey I know I’m great but am I so great that he should really be wanting to get me knocked up from the get go?

The emotional volatility only contributes to the conclusion that he is clearly unstable. The threatening to kill himself, trying to force your hand so that he can live with you, the convenient car accident or stroke of luck on his part – this guy is a manipulator and in need of more than a little help from a professional.

I don’t think I’m being hard in saying that combined with the characteristics and behaviour summarised above, the fact that he’s managed to clock up some prison time and a couple of kids in between, plus a drug problem, plus God only knows what else, should have been screaming to you – “Hold on, this guy has a LOT of issues. He may be claiming to be a ‘changed’ man but his behaviour is unacceptable and a clear indicator that in many respects he hasn’t changed.”

Just because he’s not behind bars or smoking a crack pipe or whatever his drug of choice was, doesn’t mean that the other issues are not important! You should also have factored in your own child and the impact of your child being embroiled in this situation.

There is no way on earth that reading what I have written so far could possibly have you thinking that there is anything remotely stable about this guy that should have had you considering having a baby with him!

Most importantly Caroline, this joker now has another girl who he has managed to achieve with her what he didn’t with you. She is having his child and now is the time, if any, for you to stop wanting this man and to start healing yourself. You need to have better dreams and plans for yourself where you achieve some of those on your own and when you do share your dreams and plans with a man, let him be one that’s giving you good love. Real relationships are not about feeling bad and the endless stream of drama and manipulation that you have experienced. Spend some time getting to know yourself and addressing your love choices so that no man like what you have described ever has the opportunity to treat you like this again. Oh and cut off contact with this loser – it’s the best thing you could do for yourself.

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