Why he won’t let you go? Even though he crushes your heart numerous times only to remind you that he doesn’t want you.
It’s a vicious, never-ending cycle.
Your toxic man doesn’t want you until you’re finally over him, and then he finds you irresistible. Leaving an abusive relationship for good means you need to know how to protect yourself.
He wants you. You give in. Then he doesn’t want you. It hurts.
You find the strength to walk away. He wants you. You give in.
Then he doesn’t want you. Rinse and repeat.
If you’re anything like I was and attracted commitment-phobic, toxic men, you may have had the confounding experience of finally getting the strength to stay away from your guy for good, only to have him come back on hands and knees, swearing that he really, really loves you and that he’s really changed this time.
If you believe him, the “Pursue/Panic” cycle can start all over again. Why does he do this?
The relationship is over, so he is no longer frightened. Thus, the feelings he has for you are free to surface in this non-threatening environment. No longer panicked by the trap, he misses you. So he calls.”
“When that happens, usually the scenario is played out all over again. The only difference, this time it’s faster.”
I’ve been in two toxic relationships.
You can’t believe the intensity of the love letters I received from my two commitment-phobes when I finally got strong enough to walk away.
Here’s a little taste of what one of my men who wouldn’t let me go wrote in my very own journal:
“Shannon, I have so much to say. I’m thankful for knowing such a dynamically talented, spiritual, intelligent, and beautiful woman.”
(My ego ate that up like a delicious Chow Mein!)
“I have grown as a human with you and had thoughts and hopes of us building a dynasty together and being each other’s champion.”
(Right about now I was feeling pretty awesome for changing him so much. Man, he needed my excellent love.)
“I don’t understand how a person’s feelings can change 180 degrees after feeling what I thought we were feeling.”
(My feelings changed because he wouldn’t answer my phone calls and disappeared for days at a time when I asked for a monogamous relationship.)
“I must let you know that I have never felt what I feel for you with anyone.”
(Ego so, so happy. Man, I’m awesome)
“Therefore, the mess I’ve been for the last two weeks is consistent with my feelings.”
(Glad he’s suffering after all the suffering I’ve been doing. I’ll let him suffer a few seconds longer, then take him back and have a perfect life. Because he now finally understands how awesome I am!)
“It saddens me to hear you say you don’t want to be with me. The headaches, sleeplessness nights, and low moments seem to be all wrong. I’m lost. I’m sorry that I haven’t told you I want you in my life. Because I have been slow to discover how I work and why I do the things I do is no reason why we should allow this special thing between us to disappear.”
(This one really hooked me. He was “slow to discover” how he worked. Hadn’t my time in therapy taught me that we don’t always know why we do the things we do? Couldn’t I just cut him some slack?)
“This makes no sense!”
(You didn’t call for a week. Then you just showed up wanting oral sex and moped when I wouldn’t administer it.)
“It’s very simple, I love you, you love me. We are good for each other.”
(Actually, not so good for me.)
“We should be together. Please, give me a chance. I’m begging you not to throw something beautiful away. Think about it, babe!”
I thought about it for five minutes. Then I gave him another chance. How did it go? Four more years of inconsistency, unreliability, lying, cheating and several more beautiful apology letters were my reward.
So what can you do to protect yourself from falling prey to your toxic partner’s “Pursue/Panic” syndrome?
If you’ve found yourself wondering, “Why won’t he let me go if he doesn’t want me?”