Thursday, 24 November 2011

Andrea's Predicament - How To Stay in Control in a Relationship

Dear Babs

I am 32 and I work in the health sector. I have been having counselling on and off over the last year. What I mean by that is I have a couple of sessions, have a break and then attend again.

My counsellor is very good and I usually feel I've got something out of the sessions but, if I'm honest I'm still experiencing the same problems. The thing is I have had several relationships with strong women. I have started off feeling safe and ended feeling controlled. The endings have always been messy and I've invariably felt bad.

Now I've connected with this woman at work and I really want to take it further but I'm scared of losing control. I feel rather disloyal writing to you but just wondered what you would say? 

Dear Andrea

I was rather bemused when I read your eform because usually someone having sessions with a counsellor who 'is very good' would not be writing to me? I'm also interested in your on/off relationship with your counsellor and wonder just how useful it is?  However, I am happy to share my thoughts in the hope that it helps you.

It is not uncommon to be attracted to people who are different to us. I am assuming that the women you are attracted to are outspoken and unafraid of being disliked, perhaps they take the initiative and you feel protected and cherished? I am further assuming you are not outspoken and perhaps have a need to be liked? There are two things to think about (a) what makes you attracted in the first place and where does it come from? (b) what stops you from being more up front and sharing your thoughts and feelings with the significant others in your life? By the way if this has not been the thrust of the work you have been doing with your therapist perhaps you could consider introducing it? 

Now for the woman you have 'connected with'. If she's interested in you. I guess you could both share your past relationship experience with each other. That from the outset you could be more assertive or willing to share your thoughts, feelings and wants? It may be useful to set out the terms of the relationship from the beginning? I don't want to over simplify but a good relationship isn't rocket science it's two people getting their needs met in an appropriate way. It may be that you are not ready to have another relationship because you have unresolved issues? I strongly recommend you speak to you counsellor.

One last observation - you wrote to someone who could be perceived as a strong woman - what do you think that was about?

Thanks again for writing I do wish you well? 

1 comment:

  1. I'm probably a bit odd (nothing new there) but I do wonder why some people feel the need to be in a relationship at all costs, and especially what seems like very soon after the end of one that ends badly.  Being alone,like everything else, has its pros and cons but there needs to be a period of review before embarking on the same rocky voyage.  And I really don't feel "control" should be any part of a relationship - love,cherish yes but control can mean manipulation, another "No no". I loved your closing observation, so telling.

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