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”) That gives the partner ammunition to say “Jorge has never liked me, why would you keep hanging out with someone who is so hostile to the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with?
When your friend tells you another story about Darth (or makes excuses for crappy behavior), answer like a therapist would: Don’t talk much, and when you do, ask only questions. Maybe the things he does activate your own personal peeves and triggers that you assumed your friend shares but it turns out he doesn’t and the things don’t bug him the same way.
If your friend feels humiliated and judged he will withdraw from you and cling to Darth Vader. So when he tells stories about him, what kind of affirmation is he looking for? BREAKING UP CALLED AND LEFT YOU A MESSAGE, HE SAID ‘BREAK UP.”” And then I think about Darth Vader and my friends sitting through another brunch and my very nice therapist sitting through another session and saying “Do think think that’s okay?
Is he looking to win you over and using these stories to convince you that “There’s good in him, I’ve felt it? ” and you could do this every time you see your friend and he could still not break up. Asking questions takes care of your friend, and it also takes care of you by helping you be a safe, nonjudgmental presence for your friend.
If they are living together this can lead to a great deal of upheaval or financial hardship, and you can help your friend by being a place of safety and non-judgment while he goes through Love Rehab. The worst-case scenario is that the guy is an abuser and that he will use your dislike of him to help isolate your friend socially.
When people are unsure of themselves, they use a surrogate to point out problems, like “I told Jorge about our bike ride, and he said that you were being inconsiderate by expecting me to keep up with you” (Or, “I wrote to Dear Abby and she says that you should stop doing that!