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Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

He Loved Me When I Wasn't His

He Loved Me When I Wasn't His

November 18, 2002

Dear Doc,

I was searching for advice on 'Love and Relationships' when I came across Dr. Irene's site. Many posted stories hit home for me....but maybe everyone feels this way about advice columns. I'm ashamed of my story because I'm considered a conservative, intelligent and attractive woman.

I have been in an on-off relationship with a co-worker, Jake. We first met working on a project together and we were instantly attracted to one another. I was happily engaged (at least I thought so - until the moment I met Jake)  and suddenly found myself in a romance with Jake. He promised me everything, even a better and more loving life with I left Mike, my fiancée.

I have never done that before: went against my family, friends, gut, and everything I believed was right. At the time, I considered it a "romance story" I could share with my grandchildren. He'd treat me to dinners and plays and nights on the town. He'd let me cook, which at the time, I thought was fun (my mom or Mike didn't care that I be domestic) and - he was serious about me. He also helped me learn how to prepare meals so that when I served, everything was hot; how to be a good hostess.

Soon after I left Mike, Jake spent less time with me and declared his feelings as uncertain. He would always tell me that I should know what it's like to be alone, so I'm not so clingy. When I would doubt or pull away, it seemed my doubt in his interest was inaccurate - because he became as attentive as can be: expensive restaurants and plays. You get the idea. Very confusing!

Anyway, one day I came home and found him in bed with another engaged co-worker.! It was so humiliating! But I stayed with him because I understood that people can make mistakes, and, if he has issues, I'll be here when he gets over them. But things got worse...

I told him that I wanted to be treated better and I wanted to be in love - and he thought I was complaining and trying to control him! Maybe it was my self-denial which didn't allow me to see what he was saying. Eventually the relationship deteriorated into just sex. He'd block his phone but then unblock it or be extra nice to me at work when he wanted some tail. I bumped into him a couple of times at the bar and he pretended not to know who I was. I knew what we were going through was wrong; a day after sex I would feel so ashamed...and ignored. I tried to be the better girlfriend, then pal, then good coworker, but it seemed his attitude toward me would get worse. We'd go through the cycle of attention, sex, isolation and then back again. Unfortunately you got involved with one of those types who can't handle a intimate connection. They are comfortable as long as you belong to somebody else, or are otherwise unattainable. Then you are "safe." People with issues like this often have personality disorders of one sort or another.

He just sent me an email saying that he's told me several times that he doesn't see himself in a relationship with me and that it's best if we both go to someone else to fulfill our sexual appetites (although I never looked at it like that). Once upon a time, neither did he! Promise! To tell you the truth, I can't even imagine that....I can just imagine his unresponsive stare if I said "fine, find your play toy, I'm not interested in this thing anymore". Best thing you can do! Time for you to leave this difficult period of your life behind, consider it a lesson, and go back to trusting your initial impulses, your integrity, those feelings you "know" are right...

Good luck to you! Doc

     I just want to read the posts.