Im in love with a girl who doesnt like me back

heidi January 13th, 2014of course thats whats going on, because we are unconsciously choosing people who will manipulate and control us with love-its not at all comfortable, but c

Im in love with a girl who doesnt like me back

heidi January 13th, 2014

of course thats whats going on, because we are unconsciously choosing people who will manipulate and control us with love-its not at all comfortable, but certainly familiar. reading your comment, i had a flashback to myself age 7 or 8, feeling rage and resentment at adults i was expected to be affectionate/polite towards, (and the adults who expected a reciprocal i love you when i didnt, and i really dont think they did either. ugh) having to smile through clenched teeth and fight an almost primal instinct to recoil from the requisite hug-and-kiss greetingseven recently, i found i was being told i love you at odd/inappropriate times, which sent my something is rotten in denmark meter into the red. (tried to pass off as spontaneous or romantic? right) on to discover that they were times the person had just done or was about to do something they knew would not make me happy. my response to i love you became, what have you done this time? love feels like, here, have an imaginary pillow that well hope cushions the blow of the really crappy thing ive done to you, but i love you, so its ok, right?Reply

Lisa December 4th, 2014

This is impossibly true Thomas! I am currently battling intense feelings of pure raw anger, and I have traced most of it down to exactly what you mentioned here. Growing up as a step child, I was told, still to the day that while my well being matters, my feelings / emotions / thoughts didnt. I was emotionally neglected as a child in an affection-less angry fearsome house. Whatever I felt or thought about my life was and still is irrelevant, the only thing I should feel and think about is gratitude for what I have and otherwise would not have had if my step dad had not taken my older sister and I in. Both my parents dish this out to us, to the day. So I could somewhat understand my fear of intimacy, however my hostile response to kindness and real well being blows my mind! It is as if if anyone close to me tries to help me or express genuine and spontaneous thoughtfulness to me they are saying I cant do it on my own, they are suggesting that I am inferior in some way. And sadly for me since my feelings were held down so long my spouts are more implosive than explosive, means I play them over in my head rather than express them to the people involved, or they come out in the most inopportune, irrelevant times and ways. As if that isnt enough, I fail to get angry and express myself adequately in the exact situations that I should feel normal anger and offended. In those situations, I shrink into my shell and think about what I have done to create the situation, what I have done wrong or how I am unable to defend myself in that moment and others. It is the most painful existence, and I can only thing that it is because my base needs were hung over me and used to guilt me, in a time that I had not power over my situation. Now I battle perpetual feelings of inferiority and powerlessness alike; and Im severely passive aggressive. Relationships are non existent, or are a fiery battle of power, even though I initially portray kindness, fun, laid back-ness, friendliness and understanding to people. Im a ticking time bomb in relationships! That is why your writing here has touched me, after years or research and some therapy I have pegged it as one of the fundamental root causes that I am having the worst time trying to move past. I am currently trying to decide if I should seek treatment again, and if so which one!Reply

Minni September 16th, 2016

If i could be your best friend.
We have the same upbringing, my parents are exactly like that but my life turn worst when Im entering an arranged marriage to the man I never loved before. I have no idea about my fear of love since I thought I can handle this marriage but Im in the middle of severe depression because this relationship traumatized me more than ever. I remember the first horror came when my husband whispering to me that this will be his first and last marriage and Im scared at that prospect. I hate it even more when he called me with sweet names. I want to address the problem with my husband so I asked him to get things slowly but he cant accept that. I asked him I need to learn first but he wont accept since we already married so its already late for me not to love him. He always angry and complaining if Im never initiated the loving act or if Im not showing enough gratitude if he showered me with love and gifts. What I feel is only raged and fury. He even including my parents in our marriage if Im not as much as happy, accepting and proactive as he is to make them scold me because Im not grateful enough having such a kind, patient, and handsome husband. I feel more and more angry because of feeling trapped into this relationship Im never volunteered into. Whenever he buy me things I feel insulted like he is trying to buy me with money. It is hard. Now Im traumatized so badly I cant even meet the person anymore but my parents wont let me divorce him since itll tarnish their image and turned me into ungrateful daughter that always making them hurts.Reply

Steve K July 9th, 2014

Being loved is far different than being manipulated and controlled. Sometimes the person that claims they love the other is really not showing them love. Period. Thus good intentions or in some cases a morbid and dishonest concern for appearances is NOT LOVE and this omission  (that this happens in real life)  is unforgivable for an article like this.

This article is in fact typical of the grossly misleading and manipulative false narrative that many people apply to actual human interactions in order to paint themselves as without fault in their dealings with the person who allegedly reacts negatively to being loved. Its shameful, actually.

Whats worse is it can become part of an ongoing con-game and an oversimplification by people who are not being honest with THEMSELVES or the person they LOVE and need to camouflage the fact that they are duplicitous, controlling, needy and duplicitous and thus need to offload responsibility for their own considerable failings on someone else.

Its for this reason that these ostensibly helpful self-help articles often reinforce the most unjust and dishonest tyrannical behavior in people who use this kind of self-help thinking as a kind of fig-leaf for absolutely abhorrent behavior, betrayal and character assassination.Reply

Dee Dee January 16th, 2017

Steve K

The unfortunate truth is the author cannot control how readers user his material. The hope is that the reader will analyze their own behavior and hopefully be better equipped to not only understand, but seek professional help. The unfortunate truth, with some exceptions, is most people who engage in the very egregious acts you mention dont feel theres anything wrong with them, or their behavior. So they continue to engage in it until their partner finally gives up in exhaustion and leaves.

For example, look at what girls are taught from a young age. If a boy hits you, he likes you. Really? And what about when that boy breaks her nose, or her eye socket? How much does he love her now?

Make no mistake, boys dont have it much easier. Boys dont cry. Small wonder boys grow up into men who cant express themselves.

Im a woman and I grew up in a very abusive household. Try defending yourself at all times from 3 individuals: both of my brothers, and my mother. Furthermore, during the small amount of time when my father was in the picture Id have to watch my back with all 4.

I wasnt allowed to cry or Id get hit even more. Im an adult now, both my parents are deceased, and no I refuse to speak to my brothers. Since my first language is Spanish, there is a language barrier with my memories. Sometimes I need to think in Spanish in order to truly remember things. Recently I was able to recall and piece together things my father did and said that had haunted me all this time (long story and Im going to get into it here). Ever since Ive piece all this madness together, Ive had nothing but peace of mind, and happiness.Reply

Merlin October 8th, 2021

I agree with you lately Ive been trying to meet someone like you all my life I lost my spouse three years ago she was so good to me I didnt realize how good she was to me until she was gone I still tried to treat her with fairness and kindness no Ive met someone that is divorced but does not wanna except long for some reason she was hurt in her life and always brings that up that she never wants to be hurt again I keep telling her that I will never hurt her but she doesnt want to believe that which I think is going to result in the end of us I cant keep going on with the person that doesnt wanna try and change she likes to drink gamble and smoke I know its gonna kill her someday but thats none of my business I dont understand why people cant appreciate life and what God has given him I feel sorry for her because I treated her with more love than anybody in my life but she still keeps pushing me away I dont know what to do anymore I think its time for me to make some other decisions and maybe move on with my life she is in her early 50s and I am in my 60s age doesnt really matter if you meet the right person its love that matters and how much we want to give-and-take Ive been through a lot of hurt in my life but I do seem to be over, if youd like to text me back I would love to hear from you if you dont have a great life and thanks for your comments it made me realize somethings in life that you never change people and I wouldnt want to change him I just want someone to be normalAnd learn to except loveReply

anon December 19th, 2015

Huh, this is interesting. I had a boyfriend many years ago now who became absolutely furious when I suggested to him we could move in together (we were both leaving the accommodation we had at around the same time). A simple: I dont feel ready for that would have been fine with me and I was baffled by how enraged he seemed as I really didnt feel Id said anything hurtful. I just sort of shrugged it off at the time as some kind of quirk he had.

Im not sure I actually get angry at people for wanting to be around me. I know plenty of people who do. Although I would say I agree with the commenters above that sometimes someone wanting to be around you is more for their sake than yours. I guess the reason I dont get angry with this is because I dont really see it as their fault that they feel so bad about themselves or need so much. I just feel terrible for them. They must be in such pain.

My personal problem seems to be similar but a bit different in that I find it difficult to be close to people because I believe they cannot really see me. I tend to believe that people will see in me whatever serves them, so a relationship is never really a relationship to me. Its all about them anyway.Reply

Sean ONeal January 25th, 2016


Enjoyed the article and its a good start towards a more in depth look in a book. Couple of thoughts.

I think there is a case to be made that sometimes the anger may be the result of feeling undervalued. Taking your first example of the man who felt anger at his wife worrying about him when he went out. Ive felt that and I can tell you exactly why. I hold two black belts, Im a spelunker, rock climber, and a fair shot with a rifle. Ive also never weighed more than 124 lbs in my life (and Im a guy so). Typically people take one look at me and assume that I need to be protected, thats tolerable from strangers who dont know me. But its even worse among those who know and care about me. For my perspective it often engenders feelings of resentment and irritation that eventually boil over into anger over time. At its base is that feeling that they never really see me for who I actually am, what Im actually capable of or the things Ive achieved (or at least survived, dont ask LOL) in my life. Compound that with the desire on my part that those individuals especially be the ones to actually get me and feeling disappointed that they still dont and you can see how that would lead to some irritation. While my case might be atypical in some regards, I think there are likely many cases where someone doesnt perceive the expression as love but rather its taken more as being undervalued, mistrusted, or their capabilities under-appreciated. Or simply put, not being seen and valued for who they really are.

Another point, again drawing on personal experience. I once dated a young woman whom Id been very fond of almost from the instant we met. Just one of those cases where you meet someone and immediately connect with them. For several months shed grown increasingly uncomfortable with it or with my expressions of affection. It wasnt that she didnt feel the same, she did. It wasnt that she didnt enjoy the affection, she loved it. So after a long and eventually very open discussion she finally realized her discomfort came from not knowing why I loved her. It wasnt that she didnt think she was deserving of being loved, she just had never really known why I specifically loved her. After spending some time telling her various reasons why, things I liked about her, things about her that made me happy, she felt better. I think here again it had its roots in the need to feel one is being seen for who they are, that I really loved her for who she was. Once she realized I did, she was happy with it.

Best of luck with the research and book.Reply

Bee March 24th, 2016

This has really helped me understand my ex partner. I also feel extremely sad. I remember the first time he asked if I had fallen in love with him, as though he was checking how intimate we were getting. Whenever talks of love or intimacy came up, he would run right away and not return for as long as two weeks. He ended it with me 4 times, each time I hoped it would be the last. The last time he slept with me and it was beautiful, but then when we woke up the next day, I told him I was so happy to have him back and he told me he didnt need anyone and that he was going to run again. He said himself he didnt even know why. Im really scared it has rubbed off on me and I too will be scared of intimacy, like him. Its been really hard understanding why he ran away from my love and support. This helps explain. Please if you could, can you talk about the effect it has on the partner? Will I have his issues too now from also being emotionally and physically neglected?Reply

Aydan December 22nd, 2016

I fell in love and am still very much in love with the person you so outlined in your post. For the past 8 weeks, I have been obsessively trying to understand the sudden ending of our relationship, and now it feels as though the inner child voice you have shared so has answered my question. My former partner experienced severe neglect throughout childhood and eventually abandonment but, somehow, raised himself into the person I didnt know enough to even hope for. Sensitive, gentle, affectionate, intelligent, calm, and funny. He was vigilant about every aspect of our relationship, and I was amazed by the mindfulness, dedication, and care he gave to the building of us. We had been together for 7 months when I decided to throw him a surprise party for his birthday. To the crux, the party was not appreciated. Instead it was interpreted as deception. Of the 9 guests who attended, he cut ties with all but two. He began to isolate himself further from others. And with me, although he remained affectionate, attentive, and engaging, he no longer trusted me, became suspicious of simple questions, became private, evasive, almost secretive, no longer said I love you, and seemed to not address our relationship with the vigilance he once had. I felt devastated that the gift I had orchestrated and intended to be a gesture of love turned out to be a traumatic event for him, causing him to distrust me and cut out relationships he had had for 22, 15, 10 and 8 years. I think out of embarrassment, he denied that the party was a problem for him still. But two weeks before he ended us (8 months after the party) the party issue was raised again by him. He proclaimed that he had been deceived by a room full of people and nobody understood how he was doing his best to keep the few relationships that he had chosen to retain. At the end of this lengthy discussion, he ignored the option of couples counseling but said he did want to navigate our problems together, to try to fix them. I accepted this as renewed commitment and believed we could resolve our issues. However, days later, after a lovely weekend, he ended everything abruptly and (I feel) quite impulsively. In hindsight, I see things that occurred throughout the relationship that indicate much of what you spoke of. It feels to me as though he never could quite accept or truly believe that he was loved. It seems to me that the vigilance he had given to the relationship was his attempt to achieve something I suspect he desperately wants but is afraid to achieve. Its saddening. Thank you again for sharing because your words are a rare window into the highly guarded inner thoughts of survivors of childhood neglect. A window if opened could help those who love them.Reply

Daniel January 18th, 2017

Raised by an abusive father who had himself been whipped with barbed wire, beaten with log chains, etc, love came conditionally. He desired not to be like his own father, but failed to ever get help. Fast forward to my 21st year and my first serious girlfriend. She was drop dead gorgeous and was head over heels with me. We started off awesome but as our relationship grew over a rocky two years, i found myself constantly testing for her love. i pushed pulled toward her, controlled her with a well crafted childhood coping mechanism of manipulation  honestly i knew it was wrong but the manipulation was so ingrained as a survival mechanism from my abusive father, i didnt know how not to manipulate. I often found myself swinging emotionally from rage to sobbing in our relationship and had no idea why. I THOUGHT EVERYONE DID THAT. It made me hate myself even more. A good looking guy, college football player, life of the party kind of guy, I never felt like i was in the right body, at least emotionally. I could walk into a room and turn heads but hated, loathed, despised the person inside. I was a closet self abuser and enjoyed the pain i could inflict on myself. I broke up with the girl on a whim even though it destroyed me. It messed with me so much I lost a bid to the NFL because i lost so much weight. I only dated casually until  I was 28. Now a teacher and coach, i avoided dating seriously, and chose prostitutes over a girlfriend  who knows why the hell i did it  most likely as a punishment. Most of the time i hated it so much i wouldnt make it and would just fake it and quit. My self abuse and become more severe and I was cutting  the exhilaration from cutting rivaled that of sex (which for me was almost nonexistent). Now the rest of the story. During these years I discovered that one of my peers lived in the same apt complex. Terrified of a serious relationship, although she liked me, we just became good friends. Hung out, played, etc. Unfortunately, or fortunately, she was a beautiful blonde and i was a mess. With slept together several nights and initially all was okay but then a cloud of fear hit me and i ran. I avoided her, but since we taught in the same school would still see her. I was conflicted and miserable. Six months later the following year, we had rekindled our friendship and  woops, found myself in her bed, again. I would look at her beautiful blonde curls as she slept wishing I could love her. I ran again, avoiding her. then a knock on my door. I opened to my dear blonde blue eyed friend and she told me in tears that she was pregnant. I cant say i wasnt happy. i really wasnt even nervous at least not right then. After a few months we agreed to get married. I found myself swinging again. At one point I told her she really didnt want to married to me as i was messed up. I am 56 now. And i am still married to her, or maybe i should say, because of her we are still married. I had so many addictions when we married i could have been a side show. I was abusive like my father. I manipulated and loved conditionally like my father. Basically i was the man i hated. Started and stopped counseling a few times and finally about a dozen years ago she kicked me out of the house and i entered rehab. Diagnosed as CPTSD (chronic post traumatic stress syndrome) which is basically cult type abuse I was able to get into a program called CR or Celebrate Recovery. I spent 3 years in this program and still go periodically, especially when those feelings come back. Meds do help, but keeping those addictive behaviors at bay is a daily battle. Thanks to CR and a wife who loves me unconditionally i am the happiest ive ever been, more each day. My kids watched me change and respect me more than i ever thought they would. Its a daily battle. But for me, realizing the key was in my thought life  and whether about my traumatic childhood or self hate , I have a choice about those thoughts. My mantra: JUST BECAUSE I HAVE A THOUGHT, DOESNT MEAN I HAVE TO THINK IT! If you can understand that phrase, and get your butt to CR, perhaps you can change and have a meaningful life and be able to love and accept love the way i can now!Reply

Seanan February 17th, 2018

Hi Daniel,

I dont know how long ago you wrote this message but similarly like you I feel we are two and the same, only difference is you say you are 56 whereas I am 31. I am actor, well want to be actor and like you a good looking fella, like you manipulation is a well crafted tool I use to getting what I want from my partner, crying to get them to feel sorry for me and when they show any sort of affection towards me I question their motives, try to understand why they are doing it and this ultimately has led me down the rabbit hole of seeking oral pleasures from other men, to cheating on my long term girlfriend with other women to isolating myself for days on end away from people in general until I want to feel something that is and then I put myself out on display. I dont see myself as a cheat or as a gay man, but feel that for much of my waking life I feel numbed and when i want to feel something I take it where I can get it and if thats with either a man or woman then thats how it is. But I know every time experience pleasure from one of these experiences I am actually just self abusing. Underneath it all, I dont feel I had an abusive father because I didnt know my father, I did however have step father who was emotionally impaired because of the relationship he had with his father. Looking back at my childhood I knew my step father wasnt my real father and always dreamt of people like my headmaster or my grandad actually being my real father, I used to also fantasise that I wasnt of this planet and that my father was like Kal-el (Supermans father) and I was in fact an alien on this planet. As time passed I found it harder and harder to talk about the issue surrounding the identity of my actual father for fear of hurting my step fathers feelings. Little did I know that by not talking about who he was I was hurting myself and what my own identity.
My issues although similar appear to be getting worse and not better. I have since split from my long term girlfriend and appear to have gone out an gotten myself a complete replica girl who I have sex with on a regular basis but still seek to punish myself by indulging in homosexual acts such as receiving oral from other men. I feel the problem lies in how I see myself, I must see myself as not being worthy of actual real love and when it is displayed in front of me i get angry and want to fight with whom ever is offering it. I feel the fact that (a) my dad was never around (b) he never came looking for me (c) I never talked about him I have developed symptoms of abandonment and an identity crisis. I have thought of therapy but the cost is a financial burden at present. Did you find that by attending therapy that you began to see yourself as a better person and with it your life began to take a turn for the better?Reply

Amanda parker March 19th, 2017

Its been amazing reading all the posts, I found myself hanging on every word. So desperately hoping for the answer to my problems. Its a weird sort of situation and Im not sure what to do to make things better.
Im a mother and a successful analyst in a senior position. My daughter got married to a charming young man who I got to know from the local youth service. Thats how they met due to my work with him. I got along with him extremely well as he was funny, charming, entertaining and a good listener. I found myself mothering him at times as he confessed how he didnt have much of a relationship with his mum and I was instantly drawn to his vulnerability being a mum myself.
In any case they married and things are up and down as he pushes and pulls constantly. Their relationship has the classical hall marks of insecurity as he is very controlling and suspicious at times.
In addition he pushes my affections away as soon as I do the mum thing and treat him like a son or show affection. Its upsetting me to say the least as I do dote over him but sadly I feel he hurts me constantly by pushing me away when he feels its all a bit too close. I have read countless posts and a friend of mine who is a counsellor has sent me lovely book on insecurity. But I find myself feeling hurt and broken as part of me just wishes he would just be warm, kind and loving back.
Truth be told I think Im a little insecure as I wasnt a boy child for my parents and I remember from an early age I would think they dont need / want or live me. Maybe thats why I want to care for him and love him.its all about our childhood I think and the way we were raised.Reply

amber Villarreal April 3rd, 2017

Hi maybe you could give me some feedback. I am one of those people that reject love affection compliments ect. I married a husband like my mom. He makes put down remarks to me​, doesnt show love or affection and has outright told me he thinks I am disgusting. I have been with him for 23 years and I cant find the courage to leave. I know Im only staying with him because of the familiarity that I have experienced my whole life. But I have been on the path of true Discovery and healing and I realized the time has come to separate from him. I found a man that is everything I could ever want loving kind sensitive emotionally available and I am scared to death of him. I keep finding ways to push him away and doubts to keep me from getting too close to him. he insist he loves me and that its a true love and thet I am the only one he wants and I dont know how to handle that. To me there has to be a motive of some kind. I am fat disgusting ugly what could he possibly see in me plus Im older than him. Just last night he begged me not to be negative anymore to trust him and to trust in his love and I really want to but I am so afraid that I am just not enough. I dont know how to get away from the negativity and give my one possible chance of Happiness a try. Please any suggestions Im desperate at this point to change the way I have been living because it obviously is unhealthy and doesnt work. Thank youReply

Aileen April 19th, 2017

Sorry, i accidentally posted before typing.I am so happy for coming across tho article cause it helped me understand alot about myself that I previously couldnt. I used to wonder what is wrong with me cause I could lash out at my friends when they would do nice things to me or say nice things to be. Like one time my best friend wrote me a letter of how much she appreciated my friendship but instead of replying with equal joy or going and thanking her, I ended up avoiding her and whenever she tried talking to me Ill be so rude that it even scared me then Ill feel bad and try being friendly again to her but omg she does something nice again Ill go back to being rude. Ill always go back to being normal after staying away from her or anyone else for maybe a week. It always made me feel terrible and the worst part was that I couldnt control it but at least now I understand abit about it. Thank you.Reply

Ken June 5th, 2017

Im glad I came across this article. I always wondered why people reacted the way that they do when it comes to being loved. On more than one occasion, I have been severely hurt and emotionally damaged by females that I developed feelings for. Everything was fine until I told them how I felt about them. Thats when they went off. I dont get that. I mean, why not just say nothing is ever going to change because I dont feel the same way. I only see you as a good friend.? Why just go to pieces and intentionally hurt the person simply because they FEEL a certain way about you? The most recent time I told a female how i felt about her, I was told to apologize! Apologize??? FOR WHAT??? For loving her? Well, I didnt apologize, because falling for someone isnt wrong. I will NEVER under ANY circumstances apologize for my feelings. How stupid. Well, it effectively ended our friendship. Now, she hates me and wants me to die. She actually wishes I would drop dead. So, maybe its for the better that we never went any further than we did. Otherwise, i may not be here posting this today!Reply

Nomlee November 29th, 2018

Hi, thank you so much this was really hurtful. I fret at the idea of marriage. Im now 28 and have never had any wedding fairytale dream like every other normal girl. Even worse Im terrified at the idea of having kids. I actually get angry from the thought. Recently I accepted a proposal of a man who has loved me since 2016, and has been patient with me until now. He loves God, is crazy about me and wants to marry next year. I rember at one point having a double date with him, my friend and her boyfriend plus her mom. When the conversation switched to babies, I felt as if I was suffocating, I couldnt breathe normally, my heart rate increased, I felt like the room was closing in, I had to excuse myself from the table. Now when he calls me his wife I get furious. I feel like he is forcing me to quickly catch up with him and his feelings for me. Yes I do like and love him but at the same time I feel rushed. I was never ready to settle down but Ive always craved for such love and have always dated bad boys whom I knew would never commit. Im seriously trying to be grateful, count myself blessed and at the same time I feel suffocated, my personal space invaded and being rushed.Reply

Ash G December 15th, 2018

You know, none of those reasons are true for me, at least. I can tell you exactly why I have gotten angry at being shown love, in the past. It happened mostly because I didnt think the person was compatible with me, and I didnt want to have to stay with them just because they loved me. I resented that I would have to make the choice of either leaving him and being alone, or staying in a relationship with a person I didnt like or respect very much. It was easier to pretend it was casual and would end without me having to cause the conflict, if he didnt love me. So it made me angry to have to face that whole situation.

The only other time Ive felt angry at someone expressing love to me is when it was very clearly a manipulative lie the person would use. Knowing someone a few weeks and then expressing that you love them, for example, is obviously frustrating because theyre either lying to get you to do something they want, or theyre not mentally well. Either way, it just reveals how much of a waste of time it was seeing this person.

Not to say I dont appreciate love when it is expressed honestly and healthily, and from someone I want to love back.Reply

JS December 26th, 2018

This is psychobabble. Nothing here was about Love.
In the examples, the wifes worry about the husband riding his bike actually communicated to him she didnt trust his choices or his ability to direct his life. He should have been angry. Worry is fear-based and it is not love.
The boyfriend expressing he wanted to have children with the girlfriend is highly controlling and arrogant. Does she even want to marry him? Has he expressed his value in HER alone prior to this statement? Unless she already knew he valued her exactly as she was on her own, this statement communicates she is only worthy if she can give him what he wants. It was selfish. She was right to get nasty.
And praise? On occassion it works. But in many instances, its very condescending.

Love gets twisted up so much with neediness and codependency and often people who think they are being loving are really communicating their inadequacies, needs, and fears onto the other person. Rather then blame the healthy person, the unhealthy person needs to learn to express themselves better.

The wife with the husband felt afraid because SHE assessed a situation to be worrisome. So, she needs to own it. She is not afraid for him. She is simply afraid. If you dont see the difference, thats indicative of codependency.
Ill spell it out.

Healthy statement:
Honey, wow. The thought of me riding through a neighborhood at night scares me. How do you handle it? (Communicates her feeling as a separate being without projection. Shows trust of him.)

Unhealthy statement:
Honey. I am afraid of the idea of you riding through the neighborhood at night. Doesnt that scare you? (Communicates feeling in a relational manner and makes him responsible for her feelings as a result of his behavior. Projects the ownership onto him. Moreover, she is essentially telling him how he should feel, that is, scares, and is telling him that he needs to stop to make her happy. So she has essentially directed him and told him what to do. That is why he felt rage.)

Im a female btw. And if you love alpha man, you cant talk like the unhealthy option.

Im not explaining the other two. Just understand that humans are wired to connect to authentic Love, so if a person isnt receiving love, the problem is with the transmitter. Rarely the receiver.Reply

SEC January 1st, 2019

A mother throwing her hand out in front of her child in the passenger seat when slamming on the brakes is not simply fear.

It is fear for the safety of one you love. This instinctual shield stems from love and care for their safety.

It is action without thinking inherent within a mothers love for her child.

Instant worried love.

A partner expressing initial thoughts out loud in regards to their loved ones safety is not simple worry. Youre repainting cautious worry to imply there is a negative connotation behind caring for your partner which is erroneous. It is not a nagging type statement meant to state their inadequacies or to state that you have no faith in their abilities to correctly operate equipment.

To even be looking for a reason to find negativity in caring for a loved ones based on how they voice their want for you to be safe is for you to verbally critique genuinity and state that you must manipulate your words to feign self depreciating manners in order to stroke their ego first before showing any genuine care. Which is not love.

It is fake buttering up of an obvious negative personality that is regularly looking for constant praise while looking to find fault in how you address them.

That is a sign of a controlling relationship that has denied one or both from speaking freely and impulsively, directly from the heart.

Your train of thought plays in real time equal to your ability to verbalize it.

If you are constantly looking for how to prove your love by vapid ego inflation at the onset of all communication .while stating your lesser abilities or bravery or self confidence then you are stating that you are not free to love openly or voice your instinctual caring nature in real time.

You are stating that you are submissive to a domineering person who finds fault in your emotional responses to them who only wishes to hear instant gratification to their infallible greatness at all things ego ,instead of hear the love stemming from your caution/gut instinct/intuition/fear based love for their well being.

Real love never finds fault with intuition or convinces you to ignore your own.Reply

Wayne December 30th, 2018

This really explains a lot about my wifes seemingly irrationable behavior. We met when she was in a bad place Im her life, I fell in love with her, and I of course wanted to help and care for her, while it was good at first I found she began to sabotage my efforts while at the same time berating me for failure to live up to what I was trying to accomplish. She became increasing paranoid about saying that she thought I was purposely trying to destroy her life. I still love her and I always will! I desperately wish I could find a way to to reach her and let her know and be able to trust in my love and accept it. She was always trying to show and demonstrate her love for me but it always seemed she needed to say that love required her to sacrifice too much of herself and would often turn 180 degrees to expressing anger and a desire to stop loving me and even hate me. I have to admit that I did not often react in the best way I should have and she holds that up as proof that we should not be together, but I know that inside she loves me and needs my love. What be done to work through our issuesReply

Alexandra February 11th, 2019


I am writing a comment on this article because I help to receive an advice.
I like a lot a man who has never been loved, he even admitted it. He says a lot of times, he doesnt deserve love and I should be carefull with him because he hurts people around him, he is not a good person. He never had a relationshio as strange as it may sound. I am not bothered about this. Normally I would have runend away but I felt to stay even when I found this.
The point is that I thought I can handle him with my care for him, with encouraging him all the time with my good words and actions towards him. I chosed to do it because I felt it so. I feel for him a strong connection and he does the same. I do not usually  complicate my life with other people issues because I have my own emotional ones and work on them. I just I want to stay even if he is hard to handle. I felt i want because i feel we belong somehow.

I am there for him always and I understand some of his way of acting are just a defense mechanism and a mask but sometimes i really dont know what to do anymore, he makes me tired but I still love him. Never been in this situation. He asks me all the time why I didnt leaved until now? When things are working is like he search for a reason not to. I was always patient and there for him, i assured him about how he really is a wonderful person ( because he is despite all his flaws, he has great parts), i stayed patiently with him trying to make him undertastand certain things.

I need an advice how to treat him. If I ask myself why I put myself through this I don\t know. I just feel a lot for him and i know he deserves it. I dont want to let him go but sometimes I am lost .Reply

BKM September 17th, 2019

Hi Dr. Firestone,

I recently read your article titled Why Do So Many People Respond Negatively to Being Loved?, and I was struck in awe how much I could relate to my personal life. Ive had numerous failed relationships, and they all seem to end the same way. At first I thought it was the girls I was dating, but this time around, the girl who I thought I will marry, ended just like the others. It became evident to me that there is clearly something wrong with me, how I push people away, how I become aggressive, unpleasant, cold, when I am being showered with love and kisses  something that I didnt grow up with consistently. It is only now that I began researching why I am like this and what could have caused this. I plan on purchasing your book to get more answers, but how do I go about changing myself? Everything happens so quick, so fast, sometimes I am unable to control my emotions, and when they are all out  it is usually too late. Then I go through a period of guilt, resentment, only to hurt someone I love/loved me again. I want to break this chain and my behavior but I dont know where to begin and how to control my reactions as well as how do I let someone in again. Ive had walls up for years. It is draining, and none of these women I was with deserved it.Reply

Julie September 17th, 2020

This is interesting read. I could do with some advice.
I met a lovely guy that was so into me . We had both been through a lot in our life. Him more than me on such a deep emotional level .
He suffered with sexual abuse in his childhood from a stranger. Neglect from parents and then married a lady 25 years older than him who he adored and she died 8 years later . Then eventually 3 years on he met another lady who he says had toxic patterns in her behaviour & he gave her everything and loved her so much.
8 months on he meets me , he said he was over his recent ex but it soon was obvious he was not . Trauma bonded maybe but his conversations so early on was about attachment styles , his ex Partner & his Past abuse . He cried on me a thew times. As much as I was there for him he Soon became distant , nasty , putting others down . All His close family was having issues And his work load was intense . Well I was pushed away the minute I wanted more stability in where we was heading as I felt it was unfair for me to constantly listen to all these problems. I was falling for him big time & I would of been there for him as long as I felt that love back . I only saw him every 3rd weekend with texts everyday & phone calls every thew other days . He was so excited To message me some days heard lots from him and others He was suffering with some sort of health issue or feeling lonely & how his friends in his life had not been intouch . I couldnt keep up with it all. Sadly he rang to say he had thought about what I had said and how he needed time out. He felt he was heading for a breakdown with his work load and how he knew he was not fully into giving his all and how it wasnt fair on me. He said he didnt want to do this and I hadnt done nothing wrong . He needed time out but he would be intouch when he felt better but didnt know when that would be .
I feel like I was A rebound , but I met his friends , he took me to a very expensive romantic weekends away , he showed my picture to his family , I spoke with his niece on the phone . Running up to this I started to think he had depression, he wanted to be held but also vague in his look . Talkative to very quiet . Constantly bringing up conversations he had with others . Also he was always trying to get me jealous so I thought by always talking about others coming into him . Of which I ignored I would not give him a reaction.
Am hurt very much hurt . I think he is a lost boy in a mans body Searching for his perfect Late wife in everyone . P.s I was the third lady since his last relationship but I got further than the others. Whats peoples thoughts on this ?Reply

Allie October 29th, 2020

Wow, Im continuing on this thread to see that Im truly not all alone with all this, even though my whole life I have always felt so. I used school as a way to stay busy and not deal with relationships or getting close to people, and now finishing college Im looking to just adventure, explore, and stay even busier so I dont have to think about the issues I have with these kinds of things.

Some people think relationships are so easy, but to me, they are harder than figuring out calculus. I could never understand why I acted the way I do, why I lashed out, why I couldnt just get it and now I do. This article literally has taken everything shoved to the back of my head and put it in print.

I did this a few years ago to my ex who loved me so much but I couldnt understand why since I was never told I love you in my childhood for a long time. Ive always felt people are fake when they say this and theyre not truly loving every part of me because they dont understand 100% who I am inside and out. With all the problems besides the natural beauty. Besides this, our world is so rushed nowadays and everyones on a dating app/site of some kind I feel like there are no real connections anymore, its all about what you see but sadly some people will learn too late thats not just what youre gonna get.

Ive had multiple friends, teachers, doctors tell me to seek therapy but every time I did, it never helped me with my problems. Only worked around them instead of addressing them correctly. I dont even know where to start now. I feel like I have years of trauma that it would take me till Im 70 to unravel them all. And whats frustrating is none of this is my fault, I never asked to have the childhood I did, the fights, yelling, fist throwing. I never asked to be broken when I used to be the happiest little girl at once point.

Im slowly trying to tell myself its not me, it was them that did this but when all they do is act like everythings okay, how can you forgive yourself? Calm yourself down when youre having mental breakdown after breakdown? I know my family cares to some extent, but unfortunately, its too late for their words or actions now to have any mark as I truly will never see them any other way than what has happened in the past. They have tried to make up for it but just like Maya Angelou said people will never forget how you made them feel.

I never wanted to believe I had PTSD, depression, anxiety, an avoidant-attachment relationship style until I jumped online and did my research. I never wanted to believe this. Its crazy how powerful the brain is but I have gotten better in some ways but then a lot of times I see and experience myself falling into my old negative thoughts.

Because of this, Im not interested in becoming married at any point in my life because I feel like it will end up an utter failure and a mocking stock for the whole world (obviously I would want to post pics of it online when that happens but maybe social media will just mysteriously vanish at some point?). Ive also just taken to focusing on what I love, traveling, animals, helping people, volunteering. I figured since I cant properly love others, I will focus on loving things and places. Its the most I can do for all the pain I have buried inside and getting through the rest of my life which Im not even sure is worth continuing on sometimes with all of this.

I wish I could meet everyone who commented on this article to connect with as I truly feel like I have no one but its comforting to know Im not alone. I just wish in schools we were taught more about this stuff than math and English which are really gonna get us nowhere far. I cant explain to the people on the other end exactly how I feel in my head and what is going on, and I wish they would do their research too, but I cant force them. At the same time though, I have a hard time understanding how they are normal when Ive been nothing but normal my whole life.

If some of you are like me, I know there are days we cannot absolutely live with ourselves and we just need a breather from the world. I would say everythings going to be okay but we know thats BS when thats said by the exact same people who dont have these problems at all.

I hope we all find enjoyment and fulfillment in our lives from whatever it is that makes us happy because we honestly dont always need to be with someone, or have someone there. I think our world pushes this idea too much nowadays with being #relationshipgoals or #youresoperfect that is honestly fucks up our brain so much. I know I am which is why I had to get off social media entirely.

I love you all and as a final note, want each and every single one of you to know that you are fighters. You are beautiful. Because we are wired differently we are the ones who are pushing boundaries a bit further with our careers, our dreams, our plans.

Nothing great was ever achieved without failure or times of hardship. And the ones who are remembered most are those who stood out from the rest.Reply

Angela June 18th, 2021

This was sort of a relief to read. I found this by asking Google why is it that if Im happy or delighted about things my husband always finds a way to make sure I get sad. For years I didnt see it all. I kept on loving him without it angering me. Yes I was confused but I took the emotional beating. After attempting to communicate about it and he was angered to a bad degree I then started feeling as though he was purely a narcissist *sshole. That I had been played all those years. He has never apologized for anything he was wrong about or hurt me deeply with. I find out he has justified because he thought I had cheated on him in the beginning but it just was not true. He claimed to know it for a fact. It sickened me to think about all the love and tenderness I gave. All the life taken out of me to give to him. He once said as he was saying he was leaving me because I needed him to spend a little time with me one day, that he didnt get his moneys worth out of me and he was going to tear up crap when he left. He even said hed burn my house down. Oh by the way my home had been baught and paid for way before he arrived. He had always kept his money to blow while I took care of us. I use to have some money and now I dont and we stuggle to make it. Because of him. And he hadnt got his moneys worth. Some days its very difficult to like home muchless love him.
He is exhausting with all this making me feel stupid for giviny love to him at all. Devalued and isolated is what he has created for me in my life.
He still give me the silent treatment, Im never right, and the more I give the more he takes. I always prayed that him being dislexic made him have things backwards sometimes. That just isnt true either. I do keep having hope. A lot of time has went by and alot of investment by me in everyway
But Im hoping to implement ways to present this idea to him. That he has been hating my love for some reason. Its not ok for me not to understand the pain Ive been put through. It has given to me the lowest self esteem you could ever think of. Thank you for this. I needed to hear that its not me making him hate my love. I know I love well. He just doesnt know about how to accept it Idk Im just reaching for answers!Reply

John June 13th, 2022

My very recently ex-girlfriend made the comment to me that I was hot, she got butterflies when I was on my way over, and was the most handsome guy shed ever seen. I was very surprised at the wave of fury (yes, absolute FURY) that came over me when I heard that. My thoughts were how DARE she lie to me like that! What the hell does she want from me? Is she blind, or just delusional? Heres proof shes mentally unstable.

I was not able to hide my anger from her, and she was so confused. It was part of what ended our relationship. After that point I couldnt trust her judgement or believe anything she said. Thats why Im researching this topic. Ive never felt fury like that before; I really felt like she was lying to my face. This is of course because of my poor self esteem and the attach on the belief system Ive had for years. Is it possible to overcome this? I never want to be complimented like that again.Reply

David Cha July 12th, 2022

This article describes my wife/our marriage of 33 years to a tee. She lost her father when she was five. She has a younger sister and they, with her mom, had a very rough time surviving. I am a first generation immigrant  had been in the U.S. since 1971  and met my wife in our native country when she was 25. (1989) Although she is very attractive, a college graduate, and seemingly desirable in every way, she had never had a boyfriend or even kissed before she met me. I was told that she received and rejected more than 10 marriage proposals. I had to come back to the U.S in a few days so we filed for marriage license at the US embassy and I left without consummating the marriage. She joined me in the states 6 months later and had a wedding ceremony. All seemed to go well, although she wasnt very affectionate and seemed to be somewhat uncomfortable when we were alone, especially on trips. I figured she just wasnt used to it and that she would gradually open up. But things didnt improve no matter how hard I tried. She never accepted me as being on her side, even though she cannot cite one example that might cause her to think otherwise. I could never get her to trust me and her hostility and negative feelings toward me was getting more stark, especially after intimacy  always initiated by me and reluctantly agreed by her. When I ask what her complaints are and what I can do/change to help, she just shuts down. Im at my wits end and dont know what else to do
She seems to be emotionally too thick, too hard, & too cold. I know that sounds harsh but I just cannot seem to break through  or just crack  the wall she has built around herself.
Reading this article was somewhat comforting in itself because it describes our situation exactly! I have been diagnosed with parkinsons disease and I hope to be able to help her and improve our relationship before my symptoms get worse. Please help! I need advice as to what I can/ should do to improve our relationshipReply

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