Why Can’t My Ex Let Me Go?

woman nagging and overwhelming her boyfriendLast night, I had a brief but interesting chat with a gentleman who approached me after hearing me introduced as a Love Doctor.

“I wonder if you can help me with my situation” he said, drawing me aside. “It’s about a woman I’ve been seeing on and off for the last four years”.

For 20-or-so- minutes he told me about the woman he loves. The story began with how much he loves her… she is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen, etc… midway she was the most manipulative B-word he’d ever met… and by the end of the story, I’d have sworn I’d just been introduced to the profile of she-devil incarnate.

“If you really think that of her, why do you still want her?” I interjected almost knowing the response. I’ve heard this same script over and over.

“What I want to know is why she can’t just let me go? I am tired of not knowing where I stand. If she doesn’t love me, I’ll be okay with that and will move on.”

“May be she has told you in her own way, but you don’t want to let her go”.

“Told me what?”

“Told you how she really feels about you.”

“What do you mean?”

“Her actions and the way she treats you is inconsistent with someone who loves you. Love is supposed to make you feel good about yourself – and life in general. You obviously aren’t feeling too good”.

“You’re right about the not feeling too good part. It’s been like this for years. Every time I decide to move on, she contacts me, asks me to come over and stirs my feelings, then disappears. She just won’t let me go.”

“So why don’t you let her go instead?”

You should have seen the look of anxiety, worry and fear on his face. You’d think I just asked him to kill himself!

“Does he/she or doesn’t he/she love me” is a manipulative ploy that both men and women use to keep the other person confused, uncertain, insecure and second-guessing him or herself. It usually works because there are men and women – young and old — who confuse love and manipulative control – and sadly just as many who will use love as a manipulative tool.

Any time someone exerts pressure/force to get what he or she wants from you or intentionally says or does things to generate anxiety or insecurity or worry, you’re not being loved, you’re being manipulated.

It’s all about control and power – one of the worst forms of emotional abuse.

The most dangerous part of this guessing mind game is the unhealthy link between love and emotional abuse. The little “tokens of love” the other person throws your way once in a while may seem like expressions of love, but in reality are tools of manipulation and control.

It’s like a physically abused woman saying “But he apologizes and treats me really wonderful afterwards”. In her mind, she’s made an unhealthy link between love and abuse.

You are enabling and feeding the sickness and the other person is most likely controlling and emotionally abusing you in ways you are not even aware of. No wonder you feel like crap.

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  • Ruth says:

    Wow, I just recently went through a breakup totally due to my own insecurities and self emotional sabotage and reading of these responses is like looking into a mirror. That comment on not becoming attached to mask the needy-clingy tendencies and subconsciously sourcing out people that are not unlike us .. Just wish i had realised it earlier so I was able to amend my behaviours before ruining what I had :(

  • isaiah says:

    My wife of 7yrs decided to tell me she wants a women, leaves and comes back asking me to forgove her crying and what not. She left me 2 more times, the last time i kicked her out. She comes back on new years asking to work it out, i took her in but i knew she would just revert back to her old self and sure enough she. I called her on it and now im trying to decide what to do. I send her out and she just won’t leave me alone. She’ll keep saying i love you and i tell her she loves the things i do for her not me. Should i really hammer the nail in the coffin or just wait it out?

    • Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng Love Doctor, Yangki Christine Akiteng says:

      If you really wanted her to leave you alone, you’d not take her back. It’s not like she comes back holding a gun to your head.

      What I think is going on here is that you genuinely love each other, but the relationship part just isn’t working out… because She WANTS women. As long as you are NOT a woman, she’ll keep leaving. The heart wants what the heart wants.

      Only YOU can make a decision as to what you should do. You can accept that your woman also “loves” women (some people have and are happy with their relationships), OR you can accept that although you love each other very much, you have differences that can’t be reconciled.

      OR… there is a third choice… you can keep doing the same thing over and over.


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