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The People Pleaser

by Tee
(Chicago)

I met this hardworking mechanic. Our relationship moved very fast. I was a struggling single mom who had been having issues at workplace, which made me disabled and in need of financial help.

This guy came into my life and started taking care of me and my 11 yr old daughter and my disabled father. He gives me and my family anything we ask for. He has invested thousands of dollars in my home and I feel like I owe him to a certain degree.


However, after moving in together I started seeing more issues. I eventually found out he grew up not having a mother or father but he was practically raised by grandparents who already had 13 kids ..and grandfather was very abusive and treated him like a stepchild (flowers in the attic), so he ran away at 15 yrs of age.

I started witnessing a lot of anger and violence, both physical and emotional. Where on one hand I felt protected and on the other hand I was scared. I started putting 2 and 2 together and started searching the web to find out his symptoms. I believe he is bipolar.

I feel sorry for him. I feel like I should not leave him while he is sick because he didn't leave me and I know he needs love. I have been sticking it out with him and I have noticed some changes. I can honestly say he has improved because when we first met we would fight once a week. Now our arguments are once a month and they are controlled.

He has not been medicated, but I noticed that when he would drink liquor it was when the anger is worse. He has been staying away from hard liquor and I can tell a difference. However, I still have that inkling in the back of my mind about him having an episode.

My daughter does get along with him and she does know something is wrong with him because I explained the sickness to her. She spends a lot of time with my mom so she has rarely seen us argue. And that's another thing I notice is that he has enough control to keep others from hearing us argue, especially my daughter. That's why I have the feeling that he can be helped.

We are engaged to marry but I never scheduled a day because of his anger issues. I wanted to marry to do the right thing because I don't like the idea of shacking. He keeps telling me that he will go seek professional help but he has not done it yet. I also recently found out he has a record for domestic violence cases.

And one day he got pulled over for driving without a license..so in jail he called me..before I got there he must have really been acting crazy because as I sat there talking to the officer and the other arresting cop came in...one of the cops told the other cop that I seem to be the only one that can calm my fiancee down.

The cop told me that as soon as I walked in my fiance's attitude got better. I do think that I make him a better person and his family has witnessed that also. Before I met him he was suicidal but I give him a reason to live. He never had kids or a family that love him like we do. So that's why I stay.

I'm afraid that he might give up on living if I left and he has so much potential. I still love, him I just wish his head was right. Is there hope? Should he be medicated? I have seen him burst into tears for no known reason. I notice he battles depression. But overall he has a good heart.



Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Tee, and thanks for telling your story here. You sound like a very smart person, and it's clear that you love your fiance very much. You're asking several questions here, and I hope my response gives you some of the answers you're looking for.

First, you need to consider that a healthy marriage requires some degree of balance and reciprocity. Your relationship has you pretty much in the role of savior/caretaker. You literally, according to what you wrote, are keeping your fiance alive. While that is a wonderful thing, keep in mind that relationships that start out like that rarely if ever lead to lasting loving marriages.

Resentment builds over time, and if he does not seek out help for himself and stick with it, you may find yourself as yet another one of his victims of domestic abuse. You have to be the one to make your decision, I'm just offering you some input.

I encourage you to read the following pages on relationships, which I think will help:

how to deal with abusive relationships
letting go of a relationship

Ask yourself, Tee, if you feel worthy of receiving as much love as you give. That's what happens in a healthy, reciprocal marriage.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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