Why am I so unlucky with the men I love? (Photo: iStock)

Hi Chris,

I fall deeply in love very easily, but all too often I’m trying to love a man who’s not loving me in return. Maybe he’s too self-absorbed, or impulsively angry or unfaithful. Why am I so unlucky like this?


Chris says,

Hi Unloved!

We all do what you’re doing a little. Get into one-sided relationships. But if this has happened to you several times, then you might tend towards being co-dependent.


Keep Reading

You’ll be at particular risk if your self-esteem is low, or you feel inadequate. Or you put a lot of effort into pleasing others and have difficulty saying no. Or feel uneasy when other people notice you. You appear completely competent, but inside you feel needy or helpless. Rarely expressing your true thoughts or feelings, for fear of disapproval.

You probably spend a lot of time thinking about other people. And always want to be with someone because you feel lonely when you’re by yourself. Which makes it hard for you to leave a bad, painful or abusive relationship.

You probably deny it’s gone bad anyway, even though your friends can see it.

How did things get like this? The problem probably started during your childhood. Perhaps your parents neglected you. Or they were self-centred, abused alcohol, or were clinically depressed or controlling.

Your feelings never seemed to matter. So you end up choosing a partner who doesn’t care about your feelings either, or who is controlling or sexually manipulative.

Stopping being co-dependent won’t be easy, because your habits will have become deeply ingrained and difficult to change. So talk to an experienced CBT counsellor who is familiar with co-dependency.

You could also join a group such as CoDA in your locality or online. Or Al-Anon if your current partner abuses alcohol.

And work towards being willing to leave the relationship. Not only for your sake but because, just sometimes, a bad partner changes once you’re ready to go. Because as he senses he might lose you, he suddenly realises he does care about you.

All the best,