Anger Management: Don’t Scare Her Away

 By Nina Atwood

Dear Nina: My ex-girlfriend and I met on Myspace, emailed for a week, phoned for a week, then met for dinner and a walk. We dated for two and a half weeks, walking along the beach holding hands. Then she blew me off, saying it was just a friendship and she didnít have time for a relationship. I was angry but I moved on. A month later, she called me, apologized and wanted another chance. We dated for three months and it went well. Her only complaint was that it was annoying to witness me getting mad at drivers in other cars. One night we were watching a movie about a man physically abusing a woman and I got very angry. She called me later and said that I scared her with my anger, and broke up. I tried to stay away.†A week later I called but only got her sister on the phone. Since then Iíve text messaged her sister, sent a few emails to my ex-girlfriend, and gotten little response. How do I turn this around and get her back? I think sheís running from our relationship because of childhood issues. I’m†losing sleep and full of anxiety. Help! – David

Dear David: Your ex-girlfriend has given you a great opportunity – to focus on your own growth so that this doesnít happen again. Fear and love do not go well together, so when you frightened her, you likely crushed†whatever feelings of affection she had for you. Itís not okay to act out your anger while driving; itís not okay to†show anger when she breaks up; itís not okay to act out your reaction to a television show. Itís ironic that the show was about a man abusing a woman, and your reaction scared your girlfriend.

Anger is your theme, and thatís what you have to fix if you ever want to have a good relationship with a woman. Your reaction to the television show indicates that itís an issue for you. Iím wondering if you witnessed mistreatment of a woman – your mother, or someone else dear to you. Iím wondering if you grew up with an angry father. Whatever the issue, itís yours now to deal with.

The first step for you is to stop contacting your ex. Sheís made it clear that sheís not interested. When a woman says ďno,Ē you must respect that boundary. No matter how frustrating it is for you, thatís your issue, not hers. Stop. If thereís any hope for a future with her, it will be because she walks back in the door, not because you coerced her back into your life (which I donít think is a possibility as sheís clearly closed the door). If you continue to contact her sister or her, she will feel harassed, and thatís not at all the feeling you want to inspire in a woman you care about.

Second, if youíre not already, get yourself in therapy and deal with your anger issues. The point of growth for you is to learn how to be frustrated and not act it out; to learn the daily practices that will re-wire your brain toward greater serenity so that most things donít frustrate you. As you change your level of frustration, reduce the emotional triggers that set you off, and learn to accept other peopleís choices and behaviors without taking them personally, you change your own radar for relationships. You will attract women who are strong and confident, and you wonít be threatened. Youíll be confident that your love is enough for the right woman. You will easily let go of anyone who doesnít feel that you are right for her, and that will be okay.

Entry Filed under: Advice for Men,Breaking Up,Dating,Personal Growth,Relationships


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