Beware of Immature Men

Beware of Immature Men

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss immature men, how to identify them and why they are so damaging and harmful.

First a quick update:

“Mackenzie Phillips – False Memory Syndrome”
Phillips, daughter of the famous singer and musician John Phillips of The Mamas and Papas, claims she had a long-term incestuous relationship with her father and says he injected her with drugs from a young age. Listen to the interview I gave to Russ Morley, host of the morning show on News/Talk 850 WFTL where I reveal that Phillips might be suffering from False Memory Syndrome and I outline the tell-tale signs and behaviors of victims of childhood sexual abuse and explain why she might also be telling the truth while members of her family deny her claims as false and lies.

“Part 2 – Anti-depressants cause deaths, suicides and murder”
Read part two of the transcript of a controversial discussion between myself and Dr. Peter Breggin, author of “Medication Madness – a psychiatrist exposes the dangers of mood-altering medications.”

success smoke free cindi & lost weight hypnosis

Cindi stopped smoking and lost weight

“It could be you – Quit smoking success story”
Read about the woman whom I have never met but whose life was changed when she began using two of my hypnosis audio programs –  Cindi stopped smoking and lost weight using my easy program.  Cindi has been smoke free for three years – and lost weight at the same time simply by using two of my hypnosis audio programs. Cindi says “Since quitting smoking in Feb., I have gained a tremendous amount of self-esteem, just knowing that I CAN control what I do to my body, whether with smoking and or eating foods that are not healthy choices.”

Now, let’s talk about the definition of an immature man.

A few months ago, a reporter from The National Enquirer interviewed me for my comments and opinion on the relationship between actor Patrick Stewart and his new girlfriend jazz singer, Sunny Ozell. Patrick Stewart is 68 and Sunny, at age 31, is five years younger than Stewart’s daughter, Sophie, 36. My response was that when there is an age difference as big as 37 years (or 41 years as is the case with Rolling Stone’s Ron Wood and his 20 year old girlfriend Ekaterina Ivanova or 45 years as is the alleged case by various magazines of Morgan Freeman and his girlfriend, his 27 year old step granddaughter E’Dena Hines) then this signifies that the man hasn’t matured and he is still stuck in the dark side of the hero phase – he is still behaving like a boy.

This behavior is equivalent to adolescence or ego. It is akin to the fairy tale where the young prince or knight saves and wins the damsel but the story ends there; he is after all, a young prince or knight, we never see him mature (evolve) to be a king. Is that because he does not know what to do with her and maybe does not know himself beyond being a prince or knight – he never looks deeper into his own masculine self? The fairy tale suggests that the relationship between the prince and damsel is simply infatuation and there is no deeper connection or evolution; it is simply artificial or superficial love. Both prince and damsel also stay young forever – a symbol or metaphor that they also do not evolve.

Unfortunately, the fairy tale hero story sets us up to believe that our only goal is to conquer, to win and rescue and thus, it sets up as the ideal, the stuck hero.

The stuck hero endlessly feeds his need to conquer and control, severing relationships along the way, naïve and drunk in the illusion that there are no limits, he can do anything. He becomes patriarchal, aggressive, but not wise; stepping on others to serve his own needs instead of using his power to help, protect and serve others.

The self-serving hero phase represents an aggressive stage in life filled with the desire for selfish conquest and triumph; the desire to amass trophies – possessions and things only for one-self.

Recently, I witnessed something similar with a 40 year old man who has a serious girlfriend but still focuses on physically conquering other women; yes he cheats on her. And when he wins them, he doesn’t know what to do with them, so the relationship or connection remains only on a superficial level. Worse still, he judges women purely on their exterior physical appearance and throws them to the garbage heap when they are over 30 or not physically perfect.

The above examples represent immaturity in a man: he stays stuck as a boy, failing or unable to evolve into manhood.

What is maturity?

The dictionary defines mature as “fully developed in body and mind.”

So what does it mean to be fully developed in “mind”?

Interestingly, the greatest gender difference in men and women is obviously the hormonal makeup with testosterone creating aggression, competitiveness, and the urge to dominate.

Get the man you WANT! This audio book is divided into 5 Sections: 1. Understanding men – the male psyche 2. Understanding relationships 3. Understanding yourself, what you want and why you want it 4. Strategies and techniques to help you to change what you believe about yourself so that you will only accept the best and you will get the best 5. Building your self-esteem.  Click on this link and get the audio book to get the man you want

Professor Steven Goldberg, Chairman of the Department of Sociology at City College of New York, in his provocative book, “Why Men Rule – A Theory of Male Dominance”, claims men and women are different due to their hormonally-driven behavior. Professor Goldberg argues that the high level of testosterone in males drives them toward dominance in the world, while the lack of high levels of this hormone in women creates a natural, biological push in the direction of less dominant and more nurturing roles in society.

However, the evolution and maturation of a male involves growing to a phase where a man thinks beyond dominance, grandiosity and patriarchy; a man who thinks outside of himself and his own desires. Thus, the next phase would be that of service and purpose. In other words, the man has a clearly defined purpose in life that includes making a difference in the world – giving and serving rather than simply taking and amassing.

Robert Moore PhD and Douglas Gillette in their book, “King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine” say that the world is full of boys pretending and playing to be men.

Robert Moore and Douglas Gillette believe that mature masculinity is not abusive, domineering, or grandiose, but generative, creative, and empowering of the self and others.

The failure for men to mature creates many problems for society: broken relationships, divorces, violence, fatherless children, narcissism, rising teen pregnancies, etc.

They distinguish between the immature masculine – boy psychology and the mature masculine – man psychology.

They list the four immature archetypes – boyhood archetypes as:

  1. Divine Child – the boy that believes he has divine rights and everyone should bow to his whims
  2. Oedipal Child – the son that is mother-fixated
  3. Precocious Child – eager to learn and share knowledge; seeks the answer to “why?”
  4. Hero – aggressive, conquering and controlling without purpose

The immature boy phase is summed up as someone that stays stuck in the adolescent phase, still bound to his parents (often the mother), does not have or know his own identity, does not trust himself or life, remains rebellious, unable to adjust to any of society’s norms or values, and, lacking in a competent or secure ego.

The result is immature men whom:

  • Cannot form real and meaningful relationships
  • Cannot communicate and nurture relationships with family, friends and colleagues
  • Haven’t severed the bonds of the mother complex
  • Can have a child but run from the responsibility of being a father and raising their children
  • Don’t focus on solutions
  • Move through life lost and confused, without meaning or purpose
  • Live only for their own ego and pleasure – often becoming narcissistic
  • Thrive on showing off their power, impressing others, acting superior and dominating others or the opposite – acting cowardly and weak, reluctant to stand up for themselves
  • Become obsessed with dating young women

In their book, Robert Moore PhD and Douglas Gillette define the four archetypes of mature masculinity:

  1. King – the organizer – the energy of just and creative ordering
  2. Warrior – aggressiveness – the energy of self-disciplined, aggressive action
  3. Magician – knowledge – the energy of initiation and transformation
  4. Lover – feeling – the energy that connects men to others and the world

Moore and Gillette believe the developmental history of every man is, in large part, the story of his failure or success at discovering within himself the archetypes of mature masculinity.

The failure for men to mature creates many problems for society: broken relationships, divorces, violence, fatherless children, narcissism, rising teen pregnancies, etc. (listen to the interview I gave on the negative impact of bad parenting ) But immature men also pose an equally great challenge for women who try to change the immature man. As I point out in my book, “Get the man you want”, women fall in love not with who the man is but rather who he could be with their help; they fall in love with the man’s potential. The block is most men don’t want to change, can’t see the need to change and resist change (particularly when asked to change – a response of the male ego.)

Parents can help boys to mature to manhood by noting the insights of John Welch from his book, “The Carmelite Way”:

“What damages a boy’s development is a lack of response to his attachment needs, or the use of threats of abandonment, or inducing guilt in the boy, or parental clinging to the child. Potentially the most disastrous occurrence for the developing child is the loss of parents or the loss of caring adults.”

The key is to assist him into moving away from the parents and into his own identity and adult life.

I always teach that the best steps we can take to improve our lives and even the world around us begins with ourselves. Listen to my audio book that dating expert Whitney Casey praises for empowering women: “Get the man you want”

And watch my video “Women, stop trying to change  men”

You can comment on this newsletter directly below.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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Facebook Comments
54 replies
  1. Avatar
    Joseph says:

    Dear Patrick,

    I’m familiar with the mature masculine archetypes you’ve mentioned and consider evolving as a man a great honor, as well as a burden. As for myself – at 26, I’ve managed to not graduate from two county colleges, but instead, produce identical transcripts that make school counselors shake their head. I believe I am sabotaging myself, and want nothing more than to define my core issues. Is it that i’m so used to failing? Or afraid of success? I experienced a depression at 21 due to a break up, and have had 2 more instances of depression. I’m not sure if I am repeating this issues intentionally or they are organic anymore. I’m stagnant and immature, but do want and need to grow. I’ve had enough.

    Thanks for your article.

  2. Avatar
    Heather says:

    Who is Sunny Ozell? And why are you using tabloids as evidence to slander Morgan Freeman?

  3. Avatar
    Sunsearcher says:

    Hello Patrick!
    I came across your article and just had to share my story. I am in a committed relationship and have been dating my fiancé for about three years now. I am 30 he is 27. I feel confused about my relationship and I’m not sure what to do. There are times when I feel happy and content in my relationship but most of the time, I have this nagging sense that my partner is emotionally immature. He does not cheat, or abuse me. We both come from abusive pasts. His seems a little worse than mine – at least on the physical abuse. His mother would punch bite, scratch smack, strip him naked and embarrass him from the age of three to fifteen. He has uncles on his mother’s side that would try to instill fear and shame in him, by holding him over a fire and threatening to let him fall – or hanging him from his legs on a tree for 10 min when he was a little boy (because it was funny) – they also made him a bit homophobic by trying to toughen him up when he would show emotion and tell him ” what are you a fag!” His father was hardley ever in the picture. His father and mother separated when he was four years old. When he did see his father it was sad for him to see the living conditions of his dad. His dad lived like a homeless person or living in odd places because he did not have a stable living condition. He would dress him in pillow cases because he did not have proper clothing for him when my fiancé was a small boy. His father helped move narcotics and was involved in troubling work. But he praises his dad because of the times that he would work as an artist or in construction. His father never did much with his life and smoked heavily just like my fiancés mom. In 2008 – a year before I met my fiancé, his father died of esophageal cancer – and my fiancé had taken care of a lot of the expenses before his father died. He admitted to me that instead of just working full time he had to steal in order to pay for his father’s medical expenses. My fiancés had started drinking heavily in his teens and smoked pot. He had also tried cocaine once. It seems that a select few people in his family including cousins did this same thing and he joined in.
    While I have dated this man, he gave up smoking pot, when I caught him the first time and broke if off with him. He pleaded with me to not give up on him and that he would never do it again. I took him back and have never been concerned that he has gone back to it. He gave up cigarette smoking – but it took him a few months through counseling and nicotine gum to stop. He had told me he sometimes gets a craving … but that has been less and less. We have struggled more with his drinking. He does not drink every day… but he will get cravings and sometimes when we are at parties or if there is alcohol in the house he will drink a lot. He can drink around 6 drinks or beers in 2 hours. It worries me because I know some family that is alcoholics and I fear he will be one. We came to an agreement a few weeks ago that the max amount of alcohol we could have in an entire day is 4 and that is not every day. That is just when there are parties or social events. And that its 1 drink per hour max. So far so good, but he has in the recent past been tantrum like with me if I say enough or slow down… or he says don’t control me. He tries to own up to his actions… and the other day at a party he did not drink at all because he had taken a muscle relaxant for his back problems. He even said… I can’t believe I did not drink. I started drinking more wine lately… and he commented to me when he got home from work… “You don’t drink – so please stop drinking the wine. There was more wine in the fridge and he did not drink it.
    As it is right now – he is very committed to the relationship and we go to therapy together for about 2 months now weekly, but he makes dumb financial decisions and keeps getting into debt as a result, obsesses over his hobbies or likes, seems dependant on me for guidance and mentoring – has major social anxieties and performance anxiety – thinks many times that people think the worst of him… or is assuming what people think of him – runs away from higher responsibilities or is scared to push himself even though he says he wants to – is really lazy – fits like a kid when you point out that his actions sometimes are causing a problem, or says that you are not innocent of the same actions instead of taking responsibility for his own – has had me front expenses for him because he wanted something so badly that he did not need and as a result has debt with me- but he does try to pay a lot every pay check back to his debt with me – is easily taken by social pressure to sometimes drink too much because other guys are doing it – has been at times and is better now but can be extremely insecure and jealous, in which he becomes interrogating or dismissive- can’t keep attention to what I talk about sometimes when I just want to open up about anything or any subject and becomes impatient and frustrated – is paranoid and obsesses about what negative things can happen to him or me, and is why he wants guns or why he bosses me around when I drive and tells me how to drive. He jokes to the point of irritation sometimes even though I tell him it bothers me, and his excuse is that he gets bored.
    What I find positive is that he does recognize his faults and wants to improve but it seems more times than not we are fighting about the same things. He loves me and wants to have a happy future with me, but seems to revert back to a child like tantrum when push comes to shove. We have similar goals and values too. He is making an effort to go to therapy and has opened up a lot. I am not sure if I over think things or if I’m in denial. I want things to work and he tries. I see that things are better now than they use to be… but it seems like what stops him is that he is immature. I want it to work.

  4. Avatar
    Bertha says:

    Great advice and I’m trying so hard to break the cycle of getting involved with these types of men. After 6 years of an on again off again relationship with a boderline personality drug addict, I finally started to look at myself and why I chose to stay in something like that. I made some discoveries, but I’m not complety there yet. I am currently in a relationship with a very immature man, who although not an addict or nearly as “problemed” as the last one, has still frustrated me to no end. At first, he seemed mature. He seemed like he had it together. He seemed sensative and caring, (yet still masculine). He was attentive to my feelings and just so sweet! Now, after living with him, I see the complete self involvment, lack of motivation, lack of respect or acknowlgement of my feelings, abuses alcohol and it is just generally annoying. I do point out the unacceptable behavior he displays, but I just get a “whatever”, or it turned around on me about how I hurt his feelings. Always about him. He will finally apologize, but I have to force it out of him. A forced apology is not an apology. I know eventually I will end it. My question is, how can I avoid these relationships, even when at first they seem so “normal”. Any insight on why I continaully find the same man over and over again even when they present so functional??

  5. Avatar
    Nirmal says:

    Hi Patrick,
    Recently, I have my probation assessment in which my manager has given comment of immature man. I have gone through your article. I feel , I have problem.
    – Not a clear goal of life.
    – hasty and confused life.
    – Let the other control me.
    – Let Life move as going.
    – Not happy and always nervous and stress
    – scared of doing anything myself or taking a big step.
    – Most of time, feel fatigue
    – Not good progress in employment
    – always think of consulting for everything with some one or other
    – Not proper teaming

    So, now please tell me , how I can get rid of these problems.

  6. Avatar
    amaie says:

    I believe the rumor about Morgan Freeman and his step-granddaughter was determined to be false. Fact-checking is a good thing.

  7. Avatar
    pippa says:

    Dear Patrick
    I left my problem here on Jan 23rd 2011 and have not had a reply, but others who left problems after me have had replies. My problem is still the same and I am seriously considering divorce could you please have a look back at my problem which is with my narcissistic partner, and leave me a reply. I would very much value your opinion. It would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks pippa

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Pippa,

      it’s interesting that you mention the first comment you wrote was 6 months ago. So, how much has changed?
      Are you still supporting him financially?
      Is he treating you better than before?
      Does he still yell and verbally abuse you?
      Have you suggested that he get a part time job to support the family?
      Have you told him clearly that unless things change and he begins to help you and the family that you will separate and get a divorce? How does he think he would survive financially if you were to divorce him or separate?
      If nothing has changed, and it is not getting any better and he is not supporting you financially, mentally or emotionally, then do you really need my advice or do you already know what to do?
      It comes down to one thing, if nothing changes with him, will you continue to be unhappy or do you think you will be happy?
      All the best,

  8. Avatar
    vivi says:

    Reading through the comments on here I feel quite moved that so many people have shared their experiences even though many of them are painful.
    I agree with Louise that “the posters on this article seem extremely self aware” and glad that there are avenues to reach out and to have the oppertunity to write down what needs to be shared. It’s so valuable to read through the difficult situations others are going through-it helps with my own thoughts and feelings.

    I too have had an unhealthy past relationship and am just starting to piece my life together again. Sometimes I still struggle with events that have happened and question whether I was right to feel so hurt by this man but the fact that I was hurt and voiced my hurt yet he still continued to be abusive was the problem.

    People still say I am too trusting but I feel the opposite of this; even though I am very sociable and will talk to as many people as I can, I have an anxiety about it, I struggle to make and maintain friendships, especially with other women; friendships which I so desperately crave. I also feel hardened by my past experiences and am not feeling as “emotionally charged” when a man treats me wrongly, I used to lash out and now it isn’t affecting me at all, I am not even bothered because I always find another distraction.

    I feel that my personality is changing in negative and positive ways, being open, going out alone, trusting complete strangers, making a connection with them but only up to a certain point when I struggle to put my wall down and then I move on to the next person. I am worried that this will lead to me hurting people along the way and sometimes the changes happen so quick that I find it difficult to be honest or to let people know what I want because I’m just not sure. Honesty is something that I always prided in myself even at the worst moments and I’m afraid this is something I am starting to loose.

    How is it that I can talk to complete strangers and spend time with them but I find it hard to talk to people I know, especially about emotional issues? And why am I not affected emotionally anymore by men (in negative and positive ways)? I’m worried that I’m loosing the ability to form relationships, and at this point in my life I’m very happy to be independant but I might not always be. I’ve just met a man who I like very much but I’m already worried I might hurt him because of how quickly he seems to have attached to me and my butterfly type nature, and not really knowing how to explain this to him. Most of all I don’t want to pass any hurt on to him or to any other.

    I hope my comment does not sound as bad as I think it might!

  9. Avatar
    Celia says:

    Dear Patrick,

    where do i start? I’m not in a relationship with this guy, but i’m frustrated as i’ve fallen for the most emotionally immature, emotional unavailable guy on the planet. It’s been over six months since i saw this jerk, i used to work with him. I find it frustrating that i start to develop these deluded feelings of romance, and Jim’ll fix it mentally the more disinterested the guys are. This guy showed himself to be a bully and extremely manipulative, a spoilt brat who needs to be the center of attention. He makes it apparent to others that he can’t stand me, he loathes me, yet he would try and get my attention and it almost always seemed like he was trying to impress me. When i first joined the team he was really jealous of me because i was very confident, very outspoken, had a lot of ideas and everybody loved my ideas. They became a hit instantly, and he seemed to be marinating with jealousy. Everything i did he’d compete with it. Once i bought the boss chocolates because she suffered from the same ailment i did and was extremely nice, he decided to get the team to put money together to get her chocolates on the sly. He turned my whole team against me by ridiculing me, and making a dramatic point to not sit anywhere near me. He told people i was dirty and that i smelled. He even went as far as getting the team to storm out when they saw me working on the computer and even though the people around him knew that i was more than competent and intelligent, they made sure i looked incompetent and wound me up consistently. The more confidence i lost the happier he was. It even got so bad that when i had lost every ounce of self esteem he dared to rub my shoulders, or put his hand on the small of my back, he’d even flirt with me. I could tell some of the others sensed the sexual undertones, but still went along with his dramatic promotions of hatred. Initially he always complained that i kept staring at him and would insult me under his breath and say really prejudiced things to me. I was only there for a short while but once he walked me towards the station in the freezing cold, for someone who hates my guts, he didn’t want to leave. His teeth were chattering it was icicle cold. I gave him the option to leave twice but he didn’t want too. After pretending to be so nice the first time, when i returned to work the following week. He was outrageously rude, he insulted the area i lived in, would mock the words i said publicly in conversation, yet would still want to talk with me, get my attention, and at times appeared jealous when the other guy in the team got my attention. He would also continue to bitch about me, yet would touch the small of my back, touch my shoulders, tease me, change the way he spoke to impress me, linger beside me when other people ‘weren’t there’, and pronounced my very complicated name with such perfect ease. What was going on here? Did he despise me as he made out, or was it an attraction which i sensed. How do imake sure i dont attract guys like this? How do i love myself more? I was 26 but he was younger than me with a child. Even when i was miserable, and did insecure habbits to protect myself, he would compete with that? Originally i was told that he was a laidback character, but when i was around he turned into this over competitive, cruel, mean spirited, jealous monster. Because he was always whining about me looking at him, i made a point to not look at him at all, and would ignore him everytime he walked in, the girl next to me had said that’s the thing he hates the most. How do i stop attracting,immature, insecure men. He was a snob as well

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Celia,

      my first response is that you should be reporting and notating all of his physical actions. Here in the US, they amount to sexual harassment. If you are in the US, you should be reporting it immediately; if not, research your laws surrounding sexual harassment. Second, state it in plain English in front of other witnesses (record it on your iPod/Mp3 or cell phone if need be) that you are not giving him permission to touch you. You should also be informing your boss of all of this employee’s actions and behaviors. You can also make a statement to the police.
      Yes, I am taking these actions seriously because he is skilled at controlling, intimidating and manipulating you.

      I am saying all of the above based on the assumption (interpretation) from your comments that you are no longer in a relationship with him.

      Now, let’s talk about you.
      Why are you attracted to someone who criticizes and controls you?

      Please read my articles:

      “Dealing with emotional vampires” –
      “Dealing with Toxic friends” –
      “Falling in love with abusers” –

      The last article will explain the emotional connection and bonding that occurs with shared intensely emotional experiences.
      Having said that, how does this man remind you of what you felt and experienced as a child? What is the similar dynamic?
      Were you criticized one moment and then built up the next? Were you controlled via guilt and criticism?
      Two things might have happened – 1, you took on a twisted definition of love (“Twisted Love” I call it) and 2; you subconsciously believe you deserve to be treated that way.
      It is easy to get caught up and sucked into the emotional drama and emotional intensity and attention even though it is negative attention. The only way to break free from that is to extricate yourself from that person – not be near him physically – or report him for sexual harassment and he will be removed.
      The second part of the solution is to deal with the subconscious beliefs that attracted you to him (as I mentioned above.)
      Find someone near you or you can also choose now to work with me. I have great success, over the phone with clients all over the world.
      Either way, begin now to surround yourself with people who support you, nurture, nourish and believe in you.
      All the best,

  10. Avatar
    heather says:

    Dear Patrick..
    I would love some advice.
    After being married and then getting divorced after 5year i had to leave the marriage because he had a bad temper a few times he has hit out at me.
    After getting mine and our daughter life back on track i started to date again and thought i had found a lovely man to settle down with.
    He had is problem he told me that he has been dry of alcohol and gambling for 6years.
    Yes i have mental health problem and i receive treatment for it.
    For 11month through our relationship i though everything was going great and then i started to feel that he was going off me a lot and he always judging me and pulling me to bit about my mental health problems.
    He aways wanted his own way all the the time and my opinion never counted and he thought he was always right.
    We never had a good sex life it wasn’t as though i did not fancy him because i did in a big way.
    Through out his life he has never been able to finish with a lady for some reason,thats what he told me. But he could with me.
    What i could not understand he started to act cold toward me and that hurt a lot.
    Then one day i deside to move house with my daughter to a better part of town. We don’t live together ,he was a flat and i have a house i did tell him my plans and we talk it through together .
    Then out of the blue he deside to dump me because it was up to him where we lived and if had moved in with me ,he said because i had not given him a choice ,he wasn’t going to pay any of the bills.
    I don’t understand this man at all he turned from a nice caring man to a control freak. any advice would help…

  11. Avatar
    Cassandra says:

    Dear Patrick,

    This has all been very informational to me and I find you give great advice…so here is my challenge. I have been living with the most immature 44 year old man in this world for 2 years. He shows many narcissistic characteristics, yet I don’t feel he is extreme….he’s just emotionally damaged and immature. He cries more than I do during romantic love movies or dramas! I’m 35 and I feel quite mature, level headed and strong.I’m far from perfect but I’ve definitely been our rock. I’ve given up a lot to be with this man I believed was my soul mate (even moved to a new country). It’s been the most draining yet interesting experience getting to know him – His behavior is so childlike it sometimes makes me sit back and just be in awe of what I am seeing. It’s the quality I love and hate. I have learned a lot about this ‘type” of man and he is quite simply a boy in a man’s body…tantrums and all! I do my best to let his pathetic attempts at dominance and abuse bounce off me only to be followed by my “teaching of respect and correct behavior” but it still angers and hurts me. He always responds like a little puppy that just got in trouble and it’s become a cycle. He can’t seem to help his childish outburst everytime he is challenged, ‘caught’ or doesn’t get his way. I guess I have perhaps taken him on as a ‘project for love” which I know is silly…but I’m an optimist. On a positive note he is fun, charming, athletic, great looking and ultra-positive. His words flow with love and compliments and words of affirmation around the clock. He’s affectionate, playful and works his butt off to provide us with a wonderful lifestyle and to seek my love and approval….on a not so positive note he spends every penny every month on his excessive/compulsive needs….he can’t buy one tube of toothpaste…he need a dozen!! He spoils everyone around us with gifts, dinners, drinks….yet then we can be without money for weeks! He want instant gratification in most aspects of his life, he’s irresponsible (especially where his own life is concerned), extremely grandois, arrogant, needs way more attention then the normal person, is self-destructive in many different ways, lacks empathy, is extremely selfish (the world revolves around him, his schedule, his desires…mine i have to work for (and I usually get what I want in the end or he just doesn’t seem to really care what I do or where I go as long as it doesn’t interfere with his life) I’m working hard to maintain my self esteem and confidence and I notice the more I stand up for myself the more he respects me.. At the end of the day he is a great guy with alot of issues and like everyone else here I have fallen in love with more the potential of what he could be.. I’ve stopped being the victim and I’ve taken control of this relationship for both of our sakes. I left for 4 months and stayed at an apartment in another country that I have kept throughout this relationship, scared him and now he is a more than willing partner to do what he needs to get me to marry him and mother his children. MY QUESTION IS….if HE desires to change to keep me…seek counseling, control his frat boy partying and womanizing and work at making me his priority, becoming less selfish.and really appreciate me for ME and not just brainless arm candy ..basically grow up and act like a mature responsible man capable of nurturing an adult relationship…IS IT POSSIBLE??? I’m doing nothing now but working on myself and allowing him to show me he deserves me..I’ve seen positive growth and I noticed the more I give the more he works (I’m just resentful and angry and hurt so it’s hard to sometimes “fake it” to support the needed repair of the relationship – working on my forgiveness abilities) ..he will do anything i ask but I have to still lead the horse to the water. In your experience is this worth the work or will his changes be only temporary and in 10/20 years I’ll end up a lonely, broken resentful woman with narcissistic children and an x husband dating a 20 year old…. with working as a TEAM do you think there is hope here. I once ADORED this man…2 years later I find I am tainted with trust, respect, communication and intimacy issues…I still care for him and if he could, with my supporting hand, grow up I feel we could have a fun and fulfilling life together….what do you advise? Thank you in advance!

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Cassandra,
      I always suggest that you first look at yourself as the solution. In other words, why do you always fall in love with the potential of a man? What would happen if you found a man that you don’t need to change? What would happen if you found a man that was not a child? Could you still be happy without playing the role of adult and parent? Who does he remind you of? The emotions you feel towards him – are they the same emotions you felt as a child towards a parental figure who also acted childish?

      You also need to work on releasing the resentment and other negative emotions towards him – for you – even if you two do breakup.

      Yes, the relationship can be healed and rescued but, first you must both work on your individual beliefs and emotions and then see how you both interact. If you suddenly stopped the need to control by being the parent, would you still be attracted to him? Or if he stopped being a child and put you first, how would you feel? Who would you be in this new relationship?

      And yes, work on the “trust, respect, communication and intimacy issues” that you listed. Please let me know if I can be of more help. I do work with clients from around the world over the phone as well –

      All the best,

  12. Avatar
    Patrick Wanis says:

    Dear Adrian,

    thanks for being so open and forthcoming about your situation.
    I get the sense that the only problem is that you don’t think you are good enough and you fear abandonment and therefore, you seek the perfect woman or you end up with women that are good friends.
    Explore why you believe you need to be perfect.
    And you don’t need to change; just remove the blocks that makes you afraid of being rejected…
    That’s the message I got while reading your comments and entry, so please let me know how you progress.
    If you choose to remove those blocks you can also consider a session with me.
    Either way, all the best to you,

  13. Avatar
    adrian says:

    Hello Patrick,

    I’m 29 years old…your blog was insightful and eye-opening. After reading it, I’m came to a realization that I’m still a work in progress and feel I’m still immature. However, I have never lied to women. The last fling I had was with this woman who although was absolutely shy, was one of the most wonderful caring woman I’ve ever met. We did share lots moments of affection and mutual physical chemistry, but in reality I knew in my heart we weren’t going to work. We just didn’t click. Or least, I didn’t feel like we did. I never lie to a woman. I tell her what the relationship is or isn’t going to be and if their fine with it so be it. Obviously this was going to be one those “very good friends” relationships…don’t need the details…. because obivously you’ll know where this story will end up. My problem is it seems I have these kinds of relationships often. I can’t seem to build one with a one woman. I’ve had relationships before (although my longest was only a 1 1/2 yrs), but it always seems that I’m looking too much for a “perfect woman.” Someone who understands how I feel and will accept for who I am. I don’t know if I’m mature or not. I do listen, I speak my mind, I welcome critcizism if its valuable and I definitely try to understand women and their emotional dependencyies that seems to drive me and all males insane. I’ve read many blogs and it all comes to the conclusion that I need to open myself up more to woman and express what i really want from her. I’ve noticed that it was me..who ran….all the time. Because I’m not telling them what I need from a woman. It seems as if I’m saying “you better understand me, instantly, or I’m gone.” I’m honest and direct to anybody….but only if I know they can take it….and that’s my weakness…..I think too much of hurting people’s feelings, especially women. So I either don’t say it, or what I do best the drastic, classic withdraw.

    That was wrong. I’m tired of that. I feel like I’m hurting women more than loving them. My purpose or greatest desire is be in relationship where I can have both a best friend that can I talk to and not feel inadequate with, and learn to accomplish my own fulfillments so I can reflect my positive aura and motivation skills to those I care about….that’s what I want….but I don’t do that. I don’t know to be “close” to a woman because I just don’t if its “okay”. I guess my question to you is……am I doing the right thing by staying away from women and just doing the things I always wanted to do… play my guitar more, get my motorcycle license, paying all my college loans to get out of my parents house and improve myself? But for some reason from your article I get a feeling that I’m only gratifying myself and therefore not I’m improving on my maturity because i’m still remaining selfish. I still believe that I need to fix the within, the knowing what the goal is and obtaining it. I kind of lost touch of that when I stopped excercising and taking care of myself. I was more confident and happier and I was in that groove. So am i on the right path or should I take another step?

  14. Avatar
    adrian says:

    Hello Patrick,

    I’m 29 years old…your blog was insightful and eye-opening. After reading it, I’m came to a realization that I’m a work in progress and feel I’m still immature. However, I have never lied to women. My last fling was with this woman who I although was absolutely shy, was one of the wonderful caring woman I’ve met. We did share moments of affection and mutual infatuation, but in reality I knew in my heart we weren’t going to work. We just didn’t click. Or least didn’t feel like we did. I never lie to a woman. I tell her what the relationship is or isn’t going to be and if their fine with it so be it. Obviously this was going to be one those “very good friends” relationships…and obivously you’ll know where this story will end up. My problem is I seem to have these kind of relationships where I can’t seem to build one with a one woman. I’ve had relationships (although my longest was only a 1 1/2 yrs) It seems that I’m looking too much for a “perfect woman.” Someone who understands how I feel and will accept for who I am. I don’t know if I’m mature or not. I do listen, I speak my mind, I welcome critcizism if its valuable and I definitely try to understand women and their emotional dependency that seems to drive me and all males insane. I’ve read many blogs and it all comes to the conclusion that I need to open myself up more to woman and express what i really want from her. I’ve noticed that it was me..who ran….all the time. Because I’m not telling them what I need from a woman. It seems as if I’m saying you understand me, instantly, or I’m gone. I’m honest and direct to anybody….but only if I know they can take it….and that’s my weakness…..I think too much of hurting their people’s feelings. So either don’t say it, or the most drastic, classic withdraw.

    I’m tired of that. I feel like I’m hurting women more than loving them. My purpose or greatest desire is be in relationship where I can have both a best friend that can I talk to and not feel inadequate, and learn to improve on own fulfillment so I can reflect my positive aura to those I care about….that’s what I want….but I don’t do that. I guess my question to you is……I’m doing the right thing by staying away from women and just doing the things I always wanted to do… play guitar more, get my motorcycle license, paying all my college loans to get out of my parents house? But for some reason from your article I get a feeling that I’m only gratifying myself and therefore not I’m improving on my maturity because remaining selfish still. I still believe that I need to fix the within, the knowing what the goal is and obtaining it. I kind of lost touch of that when I stopped excercising and taking care of myself. I was more confident and happier and I was in that groove. So am i on the right path or should I take another step?

  15. Avatar
    blacklily says:

    I have been seeing a man – age 37 for the past 6 months off and on. I must tell you that I think it has been the challenge of trying to “figure him out” and waiting to see if he will “blossom” more than anything. All the while I am doing my detective work on his emotions and psyche, he is working me over in the same way, but with ill fated results. We went from exclusive to frustration, to break-up to friends with benefits to now pretty much a booty call.

    All the while we were exclusive (approx. 2 months) he would make these little subtle jabs at me – my intellect, my skin tone, that child advocacy law didn’t make as much money as say corporate, my tone of voice (making me feel less than African American), my religious views etc. These things really didn’t bother me as I’ve been through these trials before. What really bothered me was his willingness to manipulate me into thinking that there was hope for the relationship.

    I should have called it quits when he said he doesn’t know what love is and has never been in love.

    His signs of immaturity where and are as follows:

    Jokes about everything and anything imaginable. He can barely carry a serious conversation

    Believes that I make slights and criticisms towards him that are perceived and unfounded. ex. I said wow you look tired – he said, is that a dig? or wow you seem tired and reserved today – his reply, was that a stab? I’m like huh? My questions and observations are out of concern.

    He always begins conversations awkwardly and when we meet up in person there is always an awkward first few minutes.

    He rarely looks me deep in my eyes.

    Conversations center around him and a lot is suited on his past.

    He likes to make fun and deeply criticize under the guise of jokes and indirect remarks.

    He has this use and discard way of dealing with people

    He works long hours as a truck driver to escape daily living

    He constantly feels discriminated against but shows very little outward anger

    he likes to debate and pick wars on words with others in order to dominate and conquer.

    He has had a difficult upbringing (father initially not there, mother abandoned a bit later, then father rescued… mother is back in the picture, but he tolerates her and the rest of his family members) According to him he was abused

    He is nostalgic and hooked on the past -especially movements, music etc. – he has a strong connection to michael jackson and he collects pictures and memorabilia for him and other stars. He takes pictures with celebrities and has an extensive collection which he parades on facebook

    He has hundreds of “women” friends on facebook which he tries to engage

    He needs to be called King and encourages respect

    He calls all women Queen no matter their background or maturity level

    He makes open comments to women he finds attractive and notes their body, features etc. He does seem to have a “type” although any woman who shows attention will do. He enjoys flirting and attention

    He is withdrawn emotionally. He rarely initiates hugs, kisses etc. (He did in the beginning though and hand holding and pda in public is something he seems to feed off of)

    He has some feminine traits and a masochist streak (I went off on him a few times and told him everything I ever thought about him…. he was hurt, angry and aroused)

    —- There’s more, but I will end here.

    I do believe having such emotional immaturity for so long has stunted his capacity to connect to anyone beyond the superficial. I think he was with me because I had certain qualities that he admired, although my body is less than perfect after 2 kids. He NEVER compliments me.

    I believe once he hooked me it was a slow crash and burn from there.

    His road towards narcissism is almost etched in stone as far as I’m concerned, that is unless a life altering event happens to allow deep introspection and desire towards change.

    I believe many of us have narcissistic tendancies, but over the past 3 years my level of involvement with them would have had anyone in the psych ward.

    So yes, I agree that one should not get involved with an emotionally immature man – especially with those who have a high propensity towards deep seeded narcissism. It is a war you can’t win and a love you will never conquer.

    As for me, not matter how much I have grown and matured – both intellectually and emotionally – I am still stuck somewhere in the recesses of my mind when it comes to these types of men. There is something I am giving off to them which they find attractive and repulsive. I believe it is a madonna / whore – mother / mate thing – and a high level of attraction and frustration to the point that they begin to despise what is familiar – I know I am going off on a tangent here, but it is worth noting. Yes – familiarity breeds contempt for these types of men.

  16. Avatar
    pippa says:

    Dear patrick
    I need advice as I think my husband is very immature and narcissistic.He is an Artist and does some part time emrgency teaching. I have always supported the family by my work as a nurse and have done most of the work involved in raising our two teenage girls.One has a disability on the autism spectrum and this has been incredibly hard. he is home a lot of the time and does not do much housework to help me. I have given him a huge amount of support to produce art but little has sold.
    he is still entirely commited to being an artist and is very selfish. I am thinking I would be better off divorcing him but it is hard.
    But I realise I deserve better and the treatment I am getting for even mentioning separation is that I am blamed for everything that he does not like in our relationship and he accuses and blames me for being sefish callous etc. It is obvious he expects things to stay the same and I am not happy and the family feels as if we walk on eggshells arounfd him every day. I do not think he sees himself as having any problems but that I am the problem for rocking the boat. I feel as if I have been used and my job is just to support him.
    we have tried counselling but have not had success and he does not really know how to treat me as an equal and at home he yells and verbally abuses me and I feel fear quite a lot-not good for the girls either. please advise. is it possible for a man like this to change-and should he have trauma counselling?Please avise on my situatuation and thanks-Pippa

  17. Avatar
    LovingWife says:

    I have been married for 4 years to an exceptional man. He is 31 years old, kind loving and supportive. I am 26 years old. We are both creative, me being a writer/film student and him loving music. The big difference and my main frustration in this relationship is his motivation. He seems not to be motivated by anything. Not to have any major goals in life. I am a Type A personality (so to speak). I was born in a “third world” country, came to America when I was 16 and have been working hard toward my goals ever since. I am very ambitious where he is not. I think about owning things and being able to leave a good legacy for the generations that will come from me. My husband doesn’t even think about owning a home, he doesn’t know what bills are due, if he sees it in the mail box he leaves it there. There are so many little things I feel I have to ‘remind’ him, like I am his back up brain. I know I shouldn’t condition him and myself of this but being his partner I feel I have no choice. I was raised with much discipline in the home where he was not. I feel that all I have mentioned ties into the major problem I have with him, which is lack of security. I will be completing my BA degree next spring. Even though I would like to just write and forget about life I know that I have to secure my future for the good of my family. I became very angry with him because he tells me he does not care about security, he’d rather be happy. I tell him that financial security does not mean giving up what you love, you just have to be responsible to create a life where you can eventually do what you love in your spare time or all of the time. He tells me I want to change him or control him. I am frustrated that he is immature. I am frustrated that as a woman I am the one thinking what about 20 years from now. To be fair he has worked full time all the years of our marriage and support me through school and I plan to do the same for him. We have no children and I am afraid to have children for someone who doesn’t care about security and I often have to be their back up brain. To me he is being immature, and unwilling to take on the responsibility of a man. He is a simple man and I do not wish take away the things he love (music and photography). All I want is to help him see that whatever you love to do you have to work just as hard as everyone else. That you have to educate yourself and secure your future whilst doing those things. Please give me some advice. I hope I don’t sound trivial or silly.

  18. Avatar
    Leslie says:

    Could you help me. I have been married for 2 years. During this time the following has happened. My husband has a daughter and I have a son from past marriages.
    On our wedding night my husband had his 7 year old daughter with him. He did not want to go to a hotel for the night, so it became an issue. The first week of our married life, my husband left me for 3 days on my own to go on holidays with his cousins who were visiting from Canada. I could not go as I had to work.
    On our first wedding anniversary I had organised a trip to Tassie. Unbeknown to me my husband had his daughter during this time. He had an extra week of access but did not bother to let me know. He wanted me to postpone the trip for 2 weeks as he did not want to be without his daughter for the one night. There were other options such as her mum looking after her or his mother.
    We went to Chile for a honeymoon 7 months after we were married. I offerred to let him stay an extra 2 weeks as he was not working and I was. I also offerred knowing it was his home town to which he is attached. On the last night I made it clear that I wanted to spend the last 4 hours of that day with him before we went to the airport. His uncle came over and didnt leave. His uncle offerred to go so we could spend time alone and he declined. THey spent that whole time speaking Spanish which I dont speak.
    My father fell sick last December. I advised my husband he only had a few weeks to live as he had leukemia. My husband took his daughter to Philip island and so was not there for me during this difficult time. A few days before my dad died I asked him to come home by saying I was sad and lonely in our house given my dad’s situation. He did not respond and did not come home as I had not texted him the day before. On the day of my dad’s death I texted him to let him know my dad was unconscious and had little time left. He texted back to ask if I wanted him to be there. I did not respond. When he arrived, he had his daughter with him (it was the last day of access). He had to take her home a few hours later on my advice as it was not appropriate for her to be there or fair for her. (Why could he not have dropped her off to her mum a few hours earlier that day as it was the day she was meant to return home anyway) AS a result, when my dad took his last breath, he was not there for me.
    On top of this, we have been having issues about parenting of the kids. more so as he spoils his daughter to the detriment of my son who is not spoiled. For over 1.5 years, he was taking both kids to school. I recently found out that he always puts my son in the back and his daughter goes in the front.
    there is so much more.
    would appreciate your advice please.

  19. Avatar
    Ann says:

    I was in relationship with a man that we worked together, the spark was there since beginning, all was perfect, we moved in together, until first “argue”. My critic to some of his actions was taken as I was shooting, he became insane, upset that scared me. However I apologized, I thought he is very sensitive, I did care for him. Second “argue” he jumped saying he wants to go out of relationship, it was so hurtful for me. The reason: he thinks we are not 100% match and similar nonsenses. I stayed with him did not leave and then after a week we had talk but he seemed to like to have everything under control, him to be right, he was very sensitive again. We did not solve anything because was difficult to talk but at the same time were in love. This summer it happened again, just small reason and he said I am out because it happened even before (so actually he did not grow with the previous situations) and panicked and that was over. Then we separated, chatted from time to time. Few weeks ago he was opening the communication with me again and then suddenly disappeared totally. He is on vacation but have no idea where or what is he doing. I don’t understand why he was keeping the communication with me? I think he is very immature and hurt me so deeply. the fact about such people is that they tend to satisfy their ego which is short term effect, they don”t grow over situations and just collect emotional baggage. Are they aware of how much they hurt?

  20. Avatar
    louise says:

    Dear Patrick,
    First of all I would like to say that this forum of thought is very interesting, and profound in it’s humanity. The posters on this article seem extremely self aware and articulate in their thoughts and feelings. I think this is a sign of the quality of advice you offer. It has given me much to consider.
    Let me apologise for the length of this post in advance, as I expect it will be very detailed due to the complexity of the situation I am in.
    To put it into context, I am the daughter of a mother with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is a revelation I discovered this summer after thirty years of soul searching and self-blame. I had just left a very emotionally, and sometimes physically and sexually abusive relationship with a person who I suspect has the same disorder, which is how I found out about the disorder to begin with, as his extraordinary selfishness prompted me to do some research. I believe I sustained that relationship for three years due to the desire to make peace with and correct the past abuse of my parents (my father was covertly sexually abusive although he never touched me, and was complicit in my mother’s abuse by justifying and supporting her behaviour). After the first two years of the relationship, I left him after he threw me down the stairs, and returned to my family home, as I was in a poor financial state, and was so emotionally distressed that I did not think of the consequences of such a return. I stayed in contact with my ex, as he spent the next year trying to prove he had changed and win me back. Needless to say, both these decisions were a mistake, and the past year was hellish to put it mildly as my mother attempted to drive me insane with her abuse, and need to destroy my self-esteem. Added to this, my ex was still constantly attempting to manipulate and undermine me. The only positive thing about my return to the family home was that it shed light on my teenage sister’s plight, and I was able to reconnect with her, and explain the issues involved, so that as soon as she is able, she can leave the family home without the guilt and self doubt that would have inevitably followed her for years. I cut off all contact with my ex, and we haven’t spoken since. I have been trying to pursue my own dreams, and establish a life and career for my self so that I can live independently, and happily. I am studying MA Illustration, which I love, and at my very kind and supportive tutor’s suggestion, took a limited course of counselling through my university, and found the means to move out and start my life afresh again. I had just begun to do this when I reconnected more closely with an old friend, who helped me move, and who knew my family as he grew up a street away from mine. In the process of moving I opened up to him about the reasons for the move and told him every explicit detail of what I had been through, both with my parents, ex, and an abusive older brother, that he also used to be friends with. We began spending a lot of time together, and he was still a very good friend, and always made sure my sister got home safe from her regular visits, driving her home whenever he was there, this meant a great deal to me. He started to come around to my new home on a daily basis, often sharing the details of his quite messy life with me. He often complained that he wanted major changes to take place in his life, as he was very unhappy with how things were going. He lives at home with his parents, though he is 39, and does not see himself as part of the family unit, and often complains that he wants to leave although his finances won’t permit this yet. He complains about his job, that he has had for the last 20 years, in which he is underpaid for his experience, and doesn’t get on with his boss, and other co-workers. He complains about his circle of friends, whom he says exploit his kindness, and bring much negative drama to his life, which he always feels duty bound to get involved in, even if it has no direct impact on his life, and he holds no responsibility for the situation. He is so socially intertwined with these destructive people that he has often said that he would have to leave our borough as he is so well known and not tell anybody in order to truly start life afresh. I agree it’s the only way, as there are very dangerous repercussions if he stays but rejects them. There is part of me that suspects he doesn’t really want to. He just likes to complain. I think sometimes he likes the drama because he is scared of being responsible for himself. He’d rather be the local helpful hero. I am making him sound very bad, but in fact, in the past he has been a very supportive, kind and generous friend, and had always behaved as a true gentleman to me. When I was a teen, and we first became good friends, he never once behaved inappropriately, although I did suspect he was interested in me. At that age that meant a lot, as I am a very sexually attractive woman, and have never been able to maintain male friendships, as they always eventually try to get it on with me. I thought he was the exception to the rule. Much like Atalost, I was not particularly interested in him for many years, as I was not physically attracted to him, although we got on very well, and I was very attracted to his personality, so I deliberately put him off for years, especially when I thought he might be plucking up the courage to approach me. However things changed when he began to open up to me a year ago about how he felt in his inner life, especially his connection to his family. More recently, I began to think perhaps this man was my soul mate. I had never heard someone express their internal experience in a way that so closely resonated with mine. I began to feel that perhaps I had been shallow in my assessment of his physical attributes, and the lifestyle he lead. I thought perhaps all he needed was a good woman to motivate him to be more confident in pursuing his goals, and give him a vision of a life that he could have. I also thought that really I wanted him to get there first, before I would allow him to attain that position in my life. Unfortunately, I did not listen to this thought, and when he finally did approach me approximately 2 months ago, I allowed him to be intimate with me, before I was ready to embark on any kind of relationship with him. To explain, he had been at my house, and we had both been up most of the night, drinking and having a laugh, I told him he could sleep over rather than drive home in that state. I was curious to see if he would try to hug me as he had always been so physically distant, and had started to think that perhaps he wasn’t interested in me at all. In fact, on a previous occasion he had declined to stay, and left before he’d had too much to drink. So when he actually did stay, I was surprised that he was so pressurising and persistent in his attempts to seduce me. I got quite upset with him, as I told him I wanted to take it slow, but he was ignoring my wishes and continuing to attempt to seduce me. But nonetheless, I allowed my physical desire for him, (or any kind of intimacy, which I so desperately missed) and my own weakness and lack of self-esteem to dictate the decision I made that night. He confessed that night that he had been very interested in me since we first became friends, and had never had the courage to express it. I asked him what he wanted from me, and at first he said my company, and when I asked him is that all, he said no he wanted it to become more than that. I said I needed something more substantial than that if we were going to enter a physical relationship, and the warning sign should have been his hesitancy to say anything other than he wanted me to be his partner in crime, his sidekick! At the time I thought it was odd, but as he eventually said he wanted me to be his girlfriend, I went with it. I made him promise to not do anything to hurt me as I was still in a very vulnerable state. His only reply was to say- why would I do that? For two weeks, we were inseparable, he was loving, affectionate, and supportive, we talked about plans for the future. He seemed happier than I had ever seen him. He behaved as if had been my partner for years. He took pleasure in helping with the small things like taking me food shopping, he even paid, which was only fair as he was eating at my house every night. He was very affectionate in public, and held my hand all the time. I asked him why he wasn’t shy to be with me so openly, but he just said why would he be? He often expressed regret at not approaching m
    e sooner, saying the last twelve years could’ve been so different for both of us, we would be happily settled with a couple of kids, a nice home, by now etc. We stayed up most nights talking to the early hours. I was very happy, happier than I had been in a long time. We both expressed how deep we felt our connection was, and he said it felt so right because it was so right. He often expressed that he felt that perhaps he was not man enough for me, that he was too selfish, and not interesting enough to be able to satisfy my mind and spirit on a long-term basis. He was worried that the horrible people in his life would try to interfere with our relationship, especially his ex girlfriend, who he had often complained to me about from a long time before we got together, he said she still was in pursuit of him, and had been very abusive both emotionally and physically, even attacking him with a pan of hot oil. He was worried that she would turn her attention on me. For some reason he had decided to tell her about us, and she had become livid. I rebuffed all of this, and tried to instil confidence in him that if we continued to work on the relationship things would be fine. I also said that in leaving an abusive relationship, it was best to have no contact if the other party was being so persistent, and that I thought it was best that he didn’t pick up when she called if it was so stressful to talk to her. He said it made sense. We had a few minor disagreements over the two weeks, and I often got emotional because of memories from the past triggered by little thoughtless things I noticed him doing. He always attempted to make amends, and this was satisfactory to me. There were other signs that he was afraid of committing too, I once said that I felt closer to him everyday, and that my feelings for him were starting to deepen, and he was clearly very uncomfortable with the idea of this, as it had been such a short time we had been together. I told him I knew it was illogical, but it felt natural because I had known him for so many years, and already loved him as a friend. Still he was obviously mildly panicked at this thought. But he still acted as though he really wanted to be with me. Then one night he was complaining about the lack of sleep he had been having because we were up so late each night, and he has a very physical job. I knew I was going to have a very stressful day the next day also, as I was taking my sister to find out about housing options for abused teens, and knew I would be emotionally worn out, so explaining this to him, I suggested he come over very soon after work, we’d eat early, and have an early night. He said he thought it was a good plan. As I suspected, the next day was extremely wearing, and when I got home with my sister, about 5, I immediately started cooking so that dinner would be ready by the time he got there. All the while trying to comfort and reassure my sister as she was tearful and breaking down. I was exhausted. By 7, he hadn’t arrived, so I called him, and he said he had totally forgotten, but would be around as soon as he could. I continued cooking, and trying to look after my sister, and by 9 I had to take her to the train station to go home, as he still hadn’t arrived. She was still very distressed, and I wish I had been more able to be supportive than I was. I didn’t really neglect her, but also she did not have the usual120 percent she usually gets, as I was distracted by annoyance at his late arrival. He eventually turned up at 11, saying that he had been caught up with some drama with his ex on the telephone! He asked me why I wasn’t more angry, and shouting at him, and I simply said I didn’t have the energy. I responded patiently and offered him the same advice as I had previously, and he continued to moan about how horrible she was for the next few hours. I was kind and thoughtful in my responses although I was simmering with resentment that once again he was talking about himself and his problems, instead of being there for me, which is what I really needed that night. He even said that’s what he loved about me, that I was so level headed and understanding! I even suggested that we slow things down significantly until he sorts out his personal life, and see each other less, but he was very resistant to this. We went to bed about 2, and we talked for a while about my day, and I felt a bit better, he did listen and was very comforting. We started kissing, and he asked me if I was sure I wanted to be intimate with him that night. I said yes, as I wanted to relieve a bit of my own stress. However, it was over in such a short time, I really wasn’t finished but he just rolled over and said he wanted to go to sleep. He said he was too tired to satisfy me. This was the last straw. I lost it. I jumped out of bed and said if it wasn’t 4 in the morning I would tell him to leave. I knew that I couldn’t sleep in the same bed with him that night. He got up and left. I didn’t really want him to go but he was so quick and I was still so angry, I didn’t stop him. In fact I sent him a text telling him it was over. It was quite harsh the way I put it. I think I was trying to protect my own feelings as my instincts were saying something was not right, and it was better for him to leave now than hurt me more later on. In retrospect I wasn’t really comfortable with how much I felt for him either, it was so unexpected. I think I wanted it over, and I knew I had to hurt him to get him to leave. I regretted it the next morning and called him to apologise, and let him know I didn’t mean it, and it was the stress talking. He was very distant, saying he was upset that I would end it that way, with no room for negotiation. He said he would call me back after work. He didn’t. In fact he ignored me for two weeks after this, not responding to texts or answering any of my calls. This was too much for me. In the past, I had been wooed for a long time by someone who claimed to have deep feelings for me, and who I fell deeply for, but as soon as he got intimate with me, he started ignoring me, and disregarding me all together, so I started to get paranoid that the same thing had happened again. I was so confused, and thought that perhaps he had only ever been sexually attracted to me, and had never really intended on having a real relationship with me. My texts became increasingly harsh and I accused him of using me then leaving. I said he was a disappointment and liar, amongst other things of a similar tone. It was only after I started to worry about his personal safety that I begged him to just let me know he was ok. He finally responded with a short text, followed by a phone call a few days later to say he didn’t want to be with me anymore. He said his life was too much of a mess and he couldn’t give me what I wanted, he also said that he was uncomfortable with the speed that things had developed, and that if we could have such a terrible fight after such a short time, that would only mean worse for the future. He said that I reminded him of his ex with the things I had said in my texts. He said the reason he wasn’t answering my calls for two weeks was because the first text when I had ended things with him had hurt him very, very deeply. I had apologised to him many times for what I said, but I do not believe he has ever forgiven me. I was offended that he would compare me to her, I am not an abuser, I just handled the situation very poorly. He should know me well enough to know that. I’m only human, and I am still just beginning to recover from a lifetime of deep trauma. It’s amazing I am sane at all. I asked him if he wanted to take time sort out his life, and when he was ready, to come back to me, but he refused my offer. He said he just wanted to be friends and nothing more. He said there was a small possibility if he sorts himself, and neither of us had found a new partner that we could try again, but he couldn’t say when, so he didn’t want me to wait for him, it might never happen. He said it wouldn’t be fair on me, but I feel that it’s my choice. He keeps making d
    ecisions for me. First he ignored me when I wanted to take it slow, then he ignored me when I said I wanted to try again. I asked him several times to reconsider, but he was undeterred. He kept saying that he wanted to protect me from his dangerous life, and started telling me details of exactly what he had been dealing with whereas previously he had been vague, only giving me shallow details. He said he knew he wasn’t right for me, so I asked if he had known all this all along, he has lived it and known himself for 39 years, so why did he ever get close to me? I wasn’t buying it. If he really had been crazy about me for the last twelve years, why would he give up so quickly after one argument? He claimed he never had intentions to hurt me, that he wanted to see what happened, that he did want me and it did mean something to him, but he thinks his selfishness will just cause more rows in the future, and he will hurt me more in the long run. He said that he knows it’s his loss, but he doesn’t think he can deal with me properly, the way I deserve to be treated. He says he knows that I will always put my all into a relationship, and he doesn’t think he can because of the way he is and his lifestyle, which means he cant be there for me if I need him, or make me his priority. He swears up and down that he didn’t manipulate into bed, and that he just cares about me too much about me to be with me, and bring me into his mess. He says he never gets anything right. I am confused because what he’s saying doesn’t add up. I was so hurt that he did the one thing I feared most, he instilled feelings in me then abandoned me. He was upset when I said I didn’t want to be friends anymore, because I didn’t want to still want him, and be in his company. Since then I changed my mind because I missed him, and still want him in my life. I have no contact with my parents, or brothers now, and he is the last link to my past. I have lost so much already. I’m not ready to let go of the last person I have contact with who knew me as a child. He once said he remembers me from when I was in the pram, being pushed around by my mother, and how he always felt something was not right with my mother because of how unhappy I looked as a child when he saw me about, (we both spent a lot of time on the street as children because our parents couldn’t be bothered to look after us) and because of the way my mother conducted herself with people in our area. This means a great deal to me, because even though he was just a kid himself, I felt like he’s always been watching over me, although perhaps this is just a romantic notion. I do not understand what has happened here between us. It has caused me to have a mini breakdown. I am so disappointed things didn’t work out. I believe they could have if we had communicated properly as adults. Whereas previously I was overjoyed to start my new life alone, I now feel I am missing something. My new home is filled with old memories now. I woke up crying everyday for a couple of weeks, until I started talking to him again. I just needed to know that he did care, and did value me in his life, even just as a friend. My friends and my sister are all I have now. We don’t talk about what happened anymore. I sense that he does not want to. We talk for an hour at a time, but I don’t think he wants to see me, although he took me to the doctors the other day when I was ill. He still just complains about his life, and says he needs to change it, and move away, but doesn’t seem willing to take the steps he needs to. He said to me the other day that the prospect of starting a new life is really scary. he listens and offers advice when I get very down, he is a source of comfort to me still. He asks for nothing in return, except to listen to his problems also. I still hold out hope that perhaps he will sort himself out and come back to me and try again when he is ready. Is this foolish? Was he just insecure, and I frightened him off with my reaction? Did he use me? Is he just too immature and unwilling to put his all into a real relationship? Why didn’t he take the opportunity to leave when I suggested that we slow things right down? Does he care about me as deeply as he claims or is he just fobbing me off? Why do I care so much when only a short while ago I did not consider him as a romantic prospect? Am I so desperate for the love I missed as child and the happy family I desire that I have projected these feelings on to him? Should I cut off contact with him, as every time I talk to him, my feelings are reignited? Or should I wait and see what happens? Am I using him as an escape because I am frightened of starting all over again by myself? Is this just a distraction because I am scared of getting on with my own life, and am chronically lacking in confidence to get on with my coursework? Will I ever be able to trust after all I have been through or will I keep pushing real love away with overzealousness, and self-sabotage? I am so confused!!! I know now is the time to focus on myself, but I feel so lost and alone, I don’t even know where to begin. I am grieving so much. I am desperately in need of love. My life feels so meaningless without it sometimes, although I intellectually know this is not true, my emotional damage wreaks havoc with my life and priorities. I just want some really frank advice, opinion and practical suggestions on what I should do next to move on with my life. I do believe I love myself, because I would have given up a long time ago, but probably not enough, but how do you make yourself love yourself more? I think I don’t really believe anyone can love me anyway, after all my own parents couldn’t even manage it.
    (Anybody reading this, never underestimate how much child abuse destroys every aspect of your life, even the strongest, smartest survivor is multiply and deeply scarred and your whole life is coloured by that early abuse. You make a lot of bad decisions because you have no clue about how to look after yourself, you have no confidence in yourself or anyone else. You are at once pitifully naive and constantly distrustful.) I appreciate any comments or suggestions, and will digest them thoroughly. Thank you.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Louise,

      First thank you for spending so much time to write all that you have experienced. I did read it all!
      I know that my reply might be very brief in response to yours but let me say a few simple things for you to ponder:
      first, we tend to become attracted to people who are similar to us – if we don’t think highly of ourselves, we attract people who don’t think highly of themselves or us!
      Second, you recognized that you were in a vulnerable state and needing love, attention and intimacy and so you gave yourself to someone whom you recognized was not in a good place.
      Third, and this is the key – you said “how do you make yourself love yourself more?” – it is possible. it’s not a magic pill but the goal is to subconsciously arrive at the awakening that whatever your parents did or didn’t do had nothing to do with you (you are loveable) and, to let go subconsciously of all of the pain and negative emotions you have been carrying around for years.
      I do have a simple process that I use with clients without reliving the trauma. I don’t know what your budget is, but if you are serious, contact me and I will help you and give you a great discount and some other gifts.
      All the best,

  21. Avatar
    Lily says:

    I went on a date with a man i had been texting for a month. I met him on a bus. the first thing he tells me is an observation about me which is wrong. the next thing he tells me is he just quit his job and had smoked pot. alarms went off in my head( i hate pot smokers)he said he wanted to continue the conversation(it was more of a monologue). At first I didn’t respond to his texts but I am a lonely person and haven’t found my own interests (even though i a thirty). I tend to rely on my looks to have people talk to me(this rarely works out).Anyway i texted him back and he continued to make baseless observations which i replied haughtily that he was fu#@ing wrong. but he is one of those people that likes a challenge so he replied back and i of course replied for want of attention. anyway I finally met up with him last week for a bad date (same interactions but this time in person meanwhile me having to withhold my desire to be close physically with someone anyone because i knew this was wrong wrong wrong)AND at the end of the date he told me”I have herpes”. yet and still I saw him of my own instigation yesterday for a drink(i never drink but its unbearable around him if i don’t)and i didn’t sleep with him i went home but i don’t want to let go because i know he will be good in bed because he is not mean and doesn’t hate himself he is a “sensitive” artist who has no concept of reality and no fear and will leave me at his will. But tomorrow is monday and therapy will help.For the good of women kind i will never see him again praise jesus to helpme

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Lily,

      well done because you have taken a critical first step by recognizing that he is not healthy for you.
      I think you recognize the reasons that you allowed this man into your life – namely that you didn’t believe or feel that you deserve better. I trust that you will get all the help and support you need in therapy. Please also consider the reasons that you don’t think you are good enough and work on forgiveness – forgiveness of self and others. When you forgive everyone, you will be set free and realize you are worthy, you are good enough and you deserve to love and be loved.
      All the best,

  22. Avatar
    Patrick Wanis says:

    Dear Rublicse,

    let me from the outset say something really significant. You can love someone and be in love with them but they might not be healthy for you. You can love someone but not be with them.
    Begin by loving yourself first.
    As you asked for my advice, I will share it with you.

    Do you want a man or do you want a son?

    Do you want someone whom you must advise or do you want someone that will love you, respect you and make you a priority, the priority.
    Obviously, you don’t make yourself a priority because if you did, you would not accept a man who has multiple lovers.
    Do you truly believe his excuses about sleeping with any woman he chooses:
    “it’s helping him to learn about himself and other people as well as maintaining some kind of stability.”

    Of course, he will respond that the two of you will get through this because first, he knows you will accept anything he dishes out to you.
    second, why would he want to lose you when he can have all the sex he wants from other women, and have you there waiting and supporting him emotionally.
    Third, you are every male adolescent’s dream – a girl who will allow him to sleep with as many women as he wants and whenever he wants. Notice, I said, ‘adolescent’ and not man – a man commits and engages self-discipline. A boy engages only self-gratification and selfishness.

    Also, he will continue his behavior because you allow it and because you are too afraid to ask for what you want. If he loves you, he would recognize it hurts you and he would want to stop for you!

    Finally, this is not about whether or not you love himas he is, it is about whether you love yourself enough to believe that you deserve a man that will love you first and respect you and choose only you!

    I hope this helps.
    All the best,

  23. Avatar
    Rubilacse says:

    Dear Patrick,

    Thank you for your answer. Still I wonder, is giving up on this relationship the only solution?

    I realize that I exactly knew what was going on, but didn’t want to face the truth that I really don’t know how to deal with it!

    I felt that my man was having some affairs, but I didn’t want to admit it because we said that we would trust each other and be true. I was expecting him to tell me without having to ask him. He thought he had been clear and sincer enought from the beginning saying that he loves women. For him, it looks useless to specify that for long he had been used to have sex regularly with two women and once in a while with five others. It never happened by accident, but always by his own decision. He never pretends to know them, to make plan or make his life with them, and they don’t either. Some of them are already engaged in a relationship, but still have other affairs too. According to him, it’s helping him to learn about himself and other people as well as maintaining some kind of stability. He thinks that he is only enjoying his youth and hope that it will stop by itself with time. He did not give me details before and didn’t take me to some places because he didn’t want to hurt my feelings, but as I asked, he told me everything without shame.

    I was cheated, violated and deeply hurt to realize that what I felt was reality. I asked him, if I was just one more in his list.

    He told me our relationship never had to do with that. He saw my personality, the way I think, the way I behave and he wanted to know who I really am and what makes me happy. He said the experience of our relationship is totally different from what he ever had because I have been true with him from the first time we met, didn’t ask him to change or argue with him when he acted immature. He appreciates the fact that I help him to look at things to other sides, to be conscious of some realities he never considered, of options he has and and things he realized he can do because he feels confident and loved. He said he loves me so much, that sometimes doesn’t believe what is happening between us is reality! He said he is so proud of me, of the way I am so singular and adult, ambitious and sensitive. He feels like he doesn’t deserve me but he will do anything to keep me, I just have to ask.

    The thing is that I don’t want to tell him what to do, and what to be! He is a man! I know that if I do so, soon or later he will be frustrated and unhappy! Remaining just and equilibrate, what could I ask him for?

    I told him that I truly don’t mean to change him to become someone he is not. If he has to change, it’s for his own good and by his own decision.
    Even if it hurts, I really love him as he is and I won’t give up on us. But I have to preserve my integrity, my feelings’ and body’s health. I won’t pretend to be a couple when we are more then two, putting ourselves lifes in danger for HIS pleasure. He told me relating to that, he had been totally unconscious and childish. I said I am going to focus on my needs, my future, my friends and family, and keep my body for myself as long as my love is not enough to satisfy his needs.

    He answered that we will get through this together as we have been, we are and we will still be a couple to his eyes. He said he won’t give up on us either and he wants to know what would make me happy.

    Do I have the right to tell him what to do to please me when I already love him the way he is? I really don’t know what should I do?!



  24. Avatar
    Fiona says:

    Dear Patrick,

    I have been involved with a man who has exhibited many signs of being a Narcissist…and yet, I feel incredibly addicted to him. It started off with a very intense encounter where he was fixated on me. It was intoxicating to have that much attention poured on me. We started a physical relationship that lasted for a period of time. Then it started to wane. I noticed that his responses were further and further apart and there were longer stretches of silence. At one point, he called and there was this angry tone to his voice that I could not understand. I had spent months with the singular goal of trying to please him and in that moment, it seemed that I had failed. Not wanting to give up, there was a rather long span of time when the only communication was an occational email from me to him. We recently reconnected, but it wasn’t the same. He was distant, he really didn’t want to spend any time together, just have sex and be on his way. I know this is absolutely the wrong relationship for me, but I find myself still wanting to see him and at times I still feel I have failed him. It is important I think to point out that I have a Narcissist father, so being with an N, trying to please an N seems so natural to me. I am fortunate because I have a lot of great activities in my life that keep me busy and for the most part I am a very happy person. I honestly do not know how to break this addiction.

  25. Avatar
    Rubilacse says:

    Dear Patrick,

    I loved your approach of the subject, finely detailed and illustrated. I was looking for answers to identify immature men, to be sure of my observations and be able to better deal with my actual relationship.

    I find myself in a unwaited situation, I think totally immature, and I would like not to let it become destructive in time, but find my way to the positive angle of it.

    I am 24 and I’m living my very first love story with a 28-years-old-man. I’m feeling lost and lonely because I am exactly in the situation I was expected not to leave ever.

    The first question would probably be: why now?

    I was reased in a very cocoon religious family in an idealistic and almost fairy way. I grew up in the natural environment of Martinica, a West Indies’s island, moved to France at 7 with the whole family and travelled at 16, on my own as I planned it, to do missionary work and discover the world.

    Recently, I decided to come back to dedicate myself to study to be more efficient in my will to be usefull and make the difference in the world. I also wanted to enjoy simple things of family and community peace while it is still possible.

    I had the opportunity to meet a lot of different people from different cultures, levels and races. I learned also from what I could see in other people’s life. I never expected to meet a Prince. To say the truth, I thought that I could never find someone mature that would accept my independency and need to defend human and spiritual values. I was good with that.

    Then several things happened in the same time.
    -The most painful is the separation of my parents which recently concluded into a divorce. I spend as much time as I can to support my mother. Still, I see my father and try to keep it all together in my mind while my sisters are totally rejecting the situation and him.
    -The most plaisant is my relationship with Travor. It’s also the craziest thing that could happen, just now. He is an artist, living with his family, mostly surrounded by his children-hood friends, very communicative and tender. He listens and respects my decisions. He understands my goals even if he doesn’t share my principles of life. He is interested and encorages me in what I do. I feel free to be myself with him. I love him!
    Still he spend most of the time working in what gives him pleasure: playing music, dancing, painting and keeping himself connected to others people is very important to him and he never has time for activities together. He doesn’t want to meet my friends and runs from spending time with my family. He is mysterious: he doesn’t want me to come with him at birthdays or any others social activities, telling me that he prefers to keep appart the people or the matter he knows just for his interests and his closer relationships. He acts different with me when we are outside, as if he was scared of someone seeing us together. He doesn’t know himself well, doesn’t have identity, always need to do things or search agreement from his friends. He needs his mum to endle with secular responsabilities even if He earns his own money. He had begun ingeneerschool but stop it to focus on pleasure. He is very personal still wants us to have children. I do my best at school and at work but even if I succeeded to be financially independent, I don’t want my children to have an immature father that only live according to his desires.
    Once, he even ask me how I would react if he had kids with an other girl, just because she asked him once. I told him I prefer to leave him free to decide what is best, but it seemed to me that it wouldn’t be good for the kid not to know his father, that I would prefer to know her and the children she could have from him, to be able to take care of them if needed. I tell him that he should come back to study to be independent from his family and better be able to take care of his future family. I tell him that I would feel more secured if he does so because he would better enjoy himself, his efforts then depending always on his mother to face his responsabilities. I tell him to free himself, exploring his abilities to help others, to bring something from inside him to the world. I expose to him all the possibilities he has if only he could figure out that he can do it by himself and all the goals he won’t be able to reach if he only look for his pleasures. When I tell him about that, he tells me that the others girlfriends were arguing all the time about that. I am the only one accepting him this way, trying to understand and willing to help him move on. He recognized and ask me what I want him to do to change.

    And I freeze. I don’t know what to answer. It seems to me so clear. I feel like I missed something, and he tells me that I probably need to experiment other relationships to know what I want. But I don’t want anything else. I only want him to be happy.

    Then I feel lonely and lost because I don’t know how and what to do. I know that is the typical case of an immature man, that I can’t change him, and I don’t even want if that would make him unhappy. But I know that he won’t be happier if he keeps going this way. I know we will never be a real couple if he is not a real man. I’m ready to stay there for him, but I stress to see his future disappoint about himself and I would like to find a solution.

    I feel a little too optimistic or crazy. Do you think it is hopeless?



    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Rublicase,

      it seems to me that there are a couple of key points here in your relationship.
      When a man is hiding you or himself, there is a strong reason: either he is ashamed of you or himself or, he already has another relationship or another woman and is trying to keep it a secret.

      Second, it seems like he feels that either he is too old for you or he is looking for you to give him the okay to be with another woman when you wrote:
      “he even ask me how I would react if he had kids with an other girl, just because she asked him once” and “he tells me that I probably need to experiment other relationships to know what I want. ” The latter quote also indicates that maybe he is looking for a way out of the relationship.

      Although you mention that you know you can’t change a man, do you understand that you are still trying to change him and he doesn’t want to change? You said he needs to focus and he could achieve more in his life and he tells you that other girlfriends have told him the same thing but he obviously doesn’t want to change. The point here is that you need to accept that you can’t change someone; you can only control yourself. If it is important to you that you be with someone who is living his potential and applies himself, then find someone that is that already. You cannot change someone. Please also read my article and newsletter: Why don’t you change?

      Finally, there is something that you said that is of the greatest concern: “I only want him to be happy” and then you repeat that by referring to his happiness. Rublicase, the point here is to seek your happiness first – you can’t make him happy. I am not suggesting that you become selfish or narcissistic but that you find the balance and put also seek to make yourself happy. Put the same amount of energy into you that you have been putting into him. Also, please ask yourself, why you are attracted to a man that you seek to change, that doesn’t want to change and man that you are trying to mold into what you want him to be and, why you are attracted to a man who puts his pleasure first, above you and hides his love or feelings for you from everyone else?

      What would it be like for you to be with a man that is already the man you would want, a man that would openly display and express his love for you because he is so proud of you and his love for you? Do you love yourself enough to accept only the best, and to be with a man that loves you back?

      Please listen to this interview I gave about the Law of Deservedness:
      (Jim Peake of interviews Patrick Wanis to learn about “The Law of Deservedness” which Patrick reveals as the single most important law of success –for every area of your life. Jim who interviews international gurus says Patrick is the first and only guru exposing and speaking about The Law of Deservedness.)

      I hope this helps,
      All the best,

  26. Avatar
    david says:

    Dear Gordon –

    You are the one who sounds pathetic. I don’t know any of the parties involved, but airing your relationship in this manner seems truly immature.

    It seems as if she found someone more interesting.


  27. Avatar
    Friend of my friend says:

    Dear Patrick,

    I happen to come across your article as I was looking for some explanation about why my friend chooses to remain in what I feel certain is an emotionally-abusive relationship with an immature man (of 66; she’s 53, but acts much younger, which I think is part of the attraction for him).

    She suffered through political turmoil in her childhood and teen years via a prison camp, and at a minimum was psychologically abused; my guess is that she was also sexually abused or at least ogled by the guards. But she was able to adapt to and survive the situation, so I figure that for her, adapting to and surviving a dysfunctional, toxic relationship is peanuts compared. Indeed, I think the camp experience set the tone for, among other things, a carefully-concealed low self-esteem (as well as the uncanny ability to conceal).

    The relationship seems to succeed mostly by design on her part, meaning that she has cut off ties to friends (she speaks to us still but doesn’t see us unless we take the initiative); she has forgone personal interests she once had; and even tucks her professional life around this man (he, too, is a professional, but a mysogenist, and a bit of a blockhead. Do you know what I mean? Intellectual, but not bright). She seems to have re-arranged herself to suit this man’s fragile ego, and he seems only to happy to be the nucleus of the relationship. I’ve met him once or twice, and barely was grunted at, and in my non-professional opinion, his unfounded jealously over a female friend (me) is a huge red flag.

    I would think that if he were as generous as a true lover should be, he would support her interests even if he didn’t share them, encourage her to have as many healthy relationships with other people as possible (if for no other reason than to know that she would have a network of people to turn to if something happened to him and he wasn’t here anymore), and just in general encourage her personal growth. Maybe I’m naive, but it just seems to me that he should understand that she had a life before he came into it, and that while there is compromise and flexibility in any relationship, he shouldn’t accept that she re-arranges herself to suit him. Even on the occasions when she has spent a few hours away from him, I strongly suspect that he is off somewhere marinating in his disapproval, and that she knows that he is doing this, which means she can’t fully enjoy herself.

    Interestingly, I wouldn’t say she hides the relationship from me, but of all of our mutual friends, I am the only one who she has not invited into this 2+ years relationship (whereas other people, including bare acquaintences, know where they travel, activities they do together, which, not surprisingly, means the activities he enjoys). I think it’s because I might be the same voice of consciousness that is also in her mind, but that she tries very hard to ignore. Not that I’ve said too much to her, precisely because she hasn’t told me ANY details at all, and I want to base my argument(s) on facts, not on instinct, so that she doesn’t feel judged. But I suspect she knows that I disapprove. In fact, I once approached her about whether “someone” was bothering her (and by that, I meant abusing), because I had very good detail from her words and actions that something was up. I think she was mortified that I was able to pick up on that, and her reaction basically confirmed my suspicions. That was 2 years ago, and to this day, I don’t know any more about the relationship than I did when they first began dating.

    The only thing I know to do is to continue to support her, even if that means always being the one to take the initiative at contact. Sometimes it’s something as simple as sending a recipe in a friendly e-mail, or a quick telephone call at work. There has been a time or two where I have encouraged her to do things or not do things for her own reasons, but that’s about as far as I’ve gone. Interestingly, however, I have a chance to take a promotion in the next year or two, in another city, and it is abundantly clear that she is very uncomfortable at the thought of my leaving, which tells me that while she might not like my suspicions about her relationship, those suspicions simultaneously function as safe territory somehow, although I’m not sure how “somehow” would be defined.

    Based on what I have written, do you think that my non-interference (other than when I was almost certain that he was being aggressive toward her in some way or other) is the best route I can take? I realize that she is an adult, and that she is choosing this relationship, so despite my concern, my sympathy is limited. But in all fairness, I also must point out that she, too, has an abusive side – not physically, but she can be very cutting and sarcastic, and tries to be very controlling. But I accept her as she is, so I have no interest in changing her, although I do stand my ground when I need to, which I know she respects. Anyway, this is the first opportunity I have taken to seek basic guidance about the situation, and I thought an objective, remote opinion would be the best option, in terms of how girlfriends can show love and support for their girlfriends who are in dubious circumstances like unhealthy relationships with insecure, immature men.

    Thank you very much for reading, and for your article. I really enjoyed it, although it’s too bad that the circumstances exist that call for such an article, if you know what I mean.

    Sincerely, friend of my friend

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear “Friend of my friend”,

      I have found that romantic relationships can often result in one person cutting off a friend or at the very least reducing contact and even sharing less intimate thoughts than before. Sometimes, we need to accept this if the other person seems happy and this is their choice.
      Having said that, you are obviously concerned about your friend because you seem to doubt the quality of her partner and because she has watered down her relationship with you.

      The key question is: “Is your friend happy?”

      If so, then the best approach might be to let it play out.

      Nonetheless, you are saying that you have concerns that he is jealous, possesive and possibly even abusive.
      Then, I humbly suggest you approach her and begin by asking simple questions (phone, email, facebook or in person): “How are you? How is the relationship? I wish we could spend more time together but I understand you need to give priority to your relationship. I don’t know him very well; is he treating you welll? Are you happy and do you feel special? Remember, I am always your friend and I am would love to hear more. And you know, no matter what, I am always there to support you, so you know you can share anything with me….”

      Remember, if your hunch is true and she is being abused by him, but she doesn’t say anything to you, and you choose to go on the attack, then she will most likely shut down. Most people who are abused tend to protect their abuser. Read also my articles; Falling in love with abusers –
      Kidnapping victim another Patty Hearst –

      Thus, what I am saying is for your friend to open up and share with you, she must feel safe and feel that she will be accepted and not judged. Only, if you know for a fact that she is being abused can you step in and try more assertively to help her.

      Now, let’s also talk about you. Are you giving priority to yourself, to your relationships? Are you holding yourself back or allowing yourself to experience love? Sometimes, we give too much energy to what is happening in other people’s lives and we miss out or we do out to stay safe and avoid a relationship…

      I hope this helps and please let me know what happens.

      All the best,

  28. Avatar
    Susan says:

    After reading your article, I think my husband is very immature and
    unable to commit to a relationship. I am 58; he is 51, and we had been married for nearly 19 years. It was his second marriage and my first.

    He moved out four days ago to take up with a younger woman whom he met less than eight weeks ago. He seemed fine for our first 7 years, and then began to drink heavily and smoke too much pot. From 1997-2004, he was very angry and verbally abusive. It was a hellish time.

    Finally in 2004, I gave him an ultimatum. He stopped drinking and drugging that year. However, he never got serious about his recovery and did not complete AA’s 12 Steps. He continued to treat me with contempt. About two years ago, he dropped out of the marriage. All he wanted to do is play music with his three bands, and he resented having to spend any time with me.

    It was relief when he announced that he’d met his “true soulmate” and was ending our marriage. I had become terribly co-dependent with him. Since 1997, he had been angry, depressed, judgmental and nasty. He used the fact that he was beaten by his father throughout his childhood as an excuse for behaving badly. I suspect he exaggerated the abuse he suffered in order to get me to feel sorry for him and take care of him. Although he didn’t physically abuse me, he passed onto me the abuse he suffered in his childhood.

    Even though I held a part-time professional job for 19 years, I did all the grocery-shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, bill-paying, pet-care, etc. He had a hissy fit whenever I asked him to take out the garbage or perform some minor home repair. I ended up doing everything because it was easier than fighting with him. The only thing he took responsiblity for was bringing in money from his big-bucks job.

    I spent at least 11 years too long with him. My self-esteem is flat as road-kill. I lost myself trying to take care of and fix this 51-year-old little boy. I have to break my very long habit of focusing on him and turn my attention back to myself. I spent 20 years; a third of my life with this man, so it’s a big adjustment.

    Do you have any advice for a survivor of a long marriage to an immature, self-absorbed and violent addict? I want to get past my guilt
    at having stayed with him for years of abuse. I want to return to that
    confident, strong and self-loving woman I was at age 40.


    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Susan,

      Thank you for sharing what is a painful story and for being so open about what you are feeling – including guilt.

      I think by now, you understand that we contribute 50% to our relationships and sometimes we unkowingly become enablers to our partner/sibling/etc.

      Life sometimes offers interesting but welcomed twists; it sounds like it is a blessing that he went a different way because otherwise you would have possibly stayed in this unhealthy relationship for even longer than you have.

      Thus, now that he is gone, you are right: it is time to focus on you and work on you.
      The first question when working with someone such as yourself who has been in an unhealthy relationship and with “an immature, self-absorbed and violent addict” is: what is it in you that lead you to believe that this is what you deserved?

      He had been abused as a child but you allowed him to abuse you as an adult? Did you feel that you deserved to be hurt, abused or punished?

      Guilt is about feeling that you did something wrong – but you did nothing wrong to him; you did it to yourself. Therefore, the step to forgiveness is about loving yourself – ask “why did I allow him to do this for so long? What did I feel I deserve?”

      Ro become the “confident, strong and self-loving woman” that you say you want begins by admitting what it is in you that allowed you to allow him to treat you this way. Next, can you learn from this event? Of course. Can you choose a new path? Of course, you can. But are you open and willing?

      Are you ready to be loved? Can you allow yourself to be loved without thinking that your only worth is serving someone and pleasing them at all costs? Can you understand that your self-worth isn’t attached to someone else’s happiness?

      This is the starting point. Remembering that the freedom comes from forgiving yourself, understanding yourself and accepting yourself.

      If you need more help, consider a private session with me. You can contact me to help you move through this easily and quickly:

      My other final tip: please take time for yourself to relax your mind, body and soul. Take a vacation somewhere – away from noises to allow your mind and body to release the stress.

      All the best,


  29. Avatar
    Sean says:

    Dr. Wanis, a very good column, thank you. Obviously I don’t know anything about Gordon, but I’m questioning, in context of the column, the maturity of his post. I dated a girl for awhile who was a scene specific celebrity in NYC. She is extremely charismatic with a large public following, and a day career/life position situation that is, in sharp contrast, mundane and anxiety ridden. Drug abuse, yes. Psychological problems, yes. Use and abuse of others, yes; while retaining uncanny passion for social justice and empathy for victims (and animals). Thing is, me, attracted to her genius and mess (and it was easily the most fun, energy filled relationship I’ve been in), after allowing myself to get emotionally sucked in, when I inevitably realized, at a point after being dumped, that I was delusional about what went on between us, I felt and often feel extraordinarily angry. It’s an immature response. I knew who she was going in, I was fooled by her intimate nature but only because I had already fooled myself. The anger was intense, all the more so because I cared greatly for and got used by her. I felt like a fool because I had been one. Gordon sounds like he’s as emotionally debased and immature in his situation as I was in mine.

    The post, especially the second, sounds overly condemning with a sense of self-perceived martyrdom. I see no mention of anything positive about Sunny, only hints of sympathy, or perhaps pity, because she is so “young” (despite being over 30) and “in need of help.” No mention of her talent, which around Denver was rather legendary (albeit quite temporarily), and on local (Denver) commercial recordings I own is rather phenomenal. Instead she is *not* a jazz singer, she is a waitress, though she has sang with public success (even if this success was not commercially viable) for at least eleven years. From Gordon’s posts she would not seem to have the ability to make rational choices or decisions for herself. She is immature, narcissistic, superficial, passive-aggressive, creepy, and a drug addict (and I can’t imagine Gordon was naïve to Sunny’s public enthusiasm for pot use before getting involved). Gordon lays on negative descriptive words of Sunny while presenting a picture of his self as opposite of all of these things. Plus, he is responsible and clear, reticent to ‘go public,’ though not so reticent to spill private details of this woman’s life, by name, on a public forum. Meanwhile he reminds us at least twice that he was in power; that he was the one who dumped this girl.

    I am about to finish grad school with a MA in international studies. I am very interested in male/female relationships and male patterns of dominance. I have been focusing on human trafficking and the aspects around it, prostitution, sex tourism, patriarchy. Prostitution seems to be as much about power for men as it is about sex, and this seems to extend to unhealthy relationships in general. Many men seem to seek prostitutes if they feel under-empowered in their lives or with their girlfriends or wives. I get that many of these same men seek much younger partners. But Gordon’s letter makes me feel there was a different manifestation of the same need for power in his relationship, though certainly one less lowly. Again, his response reminds me of my own, after I was humiliated, and as such, emasculated, in a relationship with a girl who was more socially powerful and less emotionally vulnerable than me.

    Dr. Wanis, if this gets posted, feel free to edit it down. Though I’m being harsh, I don’t mean to be cruel to Gordon, whom I’m willing to bet is a very decent guy. I don’t know Sunny or anyone who knows her personally, nor do I have any sort of distant celebrity crush. I’ve followed her work off and on for some years because I’m a fan from a decade ago in Denver and remain in awe of her voice. Gordon’s posts drew my response because they seemed to me to be both defaming of Sunny and depictive, in both content and the act of defaming, of more subtle but still destructive male power issues.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Sean,

      thanks for your candid and open entry and response. We do not ever edit entries. If we feel that an entry is defamatory or entirely self-promoting, then we will simply not inlcude it.

      With regards to your situation, you have presented a well-rounded and balanced story i.e. that there is good in all of us and there is also bad in all of us and we can choose in every moment which one of those two we will express. Listen to my discussion with Professor Zimbardo about the evil in all of us. Click here:

      You said something specific to which I would like to address:
      “I knew who she was going in, I was fooled by her intimate nature but only because I had already fooled myself. The anger was intense, all the more so because I cared greatly for and got used by her. I felt like a fool because I had been one. Gordon sounds like he’s as emotionally debased and immature in his situation as I was in mine.”

      It is possible that you simply fell in love with her potential (as a human – not as a star) and/or you were fortunate enough that she tore down the wall or mask just long enough that you could see into her soul, and thus see and feel her real beauty. As such you saw a person that the public often never sees. However, her own pain, self-doubt and insecurities as well as whatever wounds she carries caused her to quickly put up the mask and wall once more.

      Further, ask yourself why you might have been attracted to someone that cannot love you back? Did you at first feel safe and secure because you knew that while she was more powerful than you (socially), you were more powerful than her because you were more emotionally stable than her? Were you trying to rescue her or were you simply setting yourself up for rejection? Did you feel neglected or rejected as a child?

      You also mention “I have been focusing on human trafficking and the aspects around it, prostitution, sex tourism, patriarchy. Prostitution seems to be as much about power for men as it is about sex, and this seems to extend to unhealthy relationships in general. Many men seem to seek prostitutes if they feel under-empowered in their lives or with their girlfriends or wives. I get that many of these same men seek much younger partners.”

      These are separate points. Yes, we live in a patriarchal society. But many women turn to prostitution on their own and almost all of them are either drug addicts or were abused as children. Men use prostitutes for various reasons such as the inability to have a girlfriend or sex, the inability to have a relationship, the inability to emotionally open up to a woman. For example, prostitutes will often tell you that they have many clients who come to them because the prostitute listens to him, gives him her full, undivided attention and makes him feel special. Listen to the interview I gave to Sally Jessy Raphael on her radio show titled “Woman is the nigger of the world”. Click here:

      Finally, you sound very protective of women and there is nothing wrong with this as long as you are balanced in your approach i.e. you don’t become a martyr who ignores his own needs. Were you protective of your mother?

      I hope these insights help. And also please do visit my radio interviews page because you will find many interviews on the topics you mentioned of male/female relationships and male patterns of dominance. Click here:

      All the best,


  30. Avatar
    AtaLost says:


    I ran across this article this morning, googling “Immature men” I am desperately at a lost right now. My very good male friend who is 22 and I’m 26 recently decided to split an apartment together. Now for background, we have been friends for three years. Never anything romantic or physical. During our friendship, I did note that he “liked me” but I always avoided his subtle advances. He is a recent college grad with an enstranged family relationship. Meaning, he’s been living with a aunt in a city where he knows no one else and basically relies on himself. I knew he was immature as far as being inexperienced in relationships but he had the potential to be a good man. Very kind and respectful to me always. Well a day before we moved into our new apartment, we became intimate for the FIRST time. I immediately didn’t regret it, but a week into the apartment, we have been fighting like 12 year olds. I told him, I hate ambiguity and needed to know what we were doing, for the sake of my sanity and he refused to open up. He accused me of being crazy and not going with the flow. And now every time, we’re out—he OBSESSIVELY flirts with every woman in his sight. His behavior is beyond hurtful. On top of that, he comes and goes. He doesn’t call or “check -in” He comes home for sex and food and gets mad if I challenge his actions. I already told him he could LEAVE. (my name is on the lease only) and then he acted hurt and betrayed. Im not trying to force his hand at a relationship, yet, you cant have your cake and eat it too. I admit, my maturity isn’t where it needs to be…but I cannot communicate with him. We went from being friends? to now not even being able to talk without clashing. He also, wants to be able to have women in the apartment, while he can’t even say whether him and I are trying to be together but feels I am controlling him. Sorry this is all over the place.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear AtaLost,

      if this is the first time you are reading my material then let me say that I always speak my truth – with compassion.

      There is no doubt that your friend is immature – in fact, he is acting like a typical male age 22, plus a few other negative qualities to throw in for good measure – namely, selfishness, braggart and callousness.

      As you know from reading my article, he is not going to change – well, not right now and not until he sees a good reason to do so.
      Thus, let’s talk about you. first thing you said that is a major red flag: “I knew he was immature as far as being inexperienced in relationships but he had the potential to be a good man.” You did what most women do, you fell for his potential! Wrong. Fall for who he is and who he is becoming – never for whom or what he could become.
      Second red flag, never deepen or extend a relationship with someone who “likes” you but whom you don’t feel the same way – the relationship must be balanced.
      Now, why did you choose to sleep with him? Convenience, loneliness, excitement of a new adventure (the apartment)? Something else, maybe?
      My point is you slept with him thinking that guarantees a relationship, but, it doesn’t. Commit to each other first, then have sex; don’t have sex and then hope for commitment!
      His actions are telling you he does want the cake and he wants to eat it too. In other words, he is saying to you – I just want to enjoy whatever you will give me but don’t ask me for anything in return. Why are you giving him sex and food if you are simply splitting an apartment?

      You said: “I told him, I hate ambiguity and needed to know what we were doing, for the sake of my sanity and he refused to open up.” A better action would be tell him what you want; not “I will ask him what he wants and then try to change what he wants.” Tell him what you want and if he doesn’t want the same thing, respond accordingly.

      Next, why are you scared to let go of him? Why are you scared to open up and say, “this is what I want” and then if decide whether or not the two of you can share an apartment. You slept with him emotionally; he slept with you physically.

      Finally, you are not at a loss about what to do, you simply need the courage to do what you need to do. Maturity is also about responsibility. So, do it, take action. Get clear about what you want and since the lease is in your name, you have the power to make the decision. Stop letting him control you. Be accountable and responsible.

      OK, so I said “finally” but really here is the final point: You said he was “Very kind and respectful to me always.” Well, we teach people how to treat us by the way we treat ourselves – by the boundaries and standards we place for ourselves. Treat yourself with respect. Do not allow others to control you, to decide what relationship you will or won’t have and don’t allow others to decide in every moment how you will feel today and about yourself.

      If you still need help and support and to clear out the doubt you have about your own self-worth and whatever was programmed into you as a child, then consider a session with me.

      All the best,

  31. Avatar
    saira says:

    I say this from experience that immature men change but after a VERY LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG time. I have been through therapy myself for years, talked to countless people, changed alot myself, tried everything. Patrick is right. Listen to him or listen to me. I know as a woman I Want to nurture and HELP my man become a better person but habits do not change over time. It takes a very long time meaning many many years. By that time you will suffer from low self esteem, which then will take you a while to rebuild. I am very mature and strong but even I couldnt change the love of my life. He is horrible. He is a cheater, a liar, a mamas boy and deceives himself. He pitys himself and yet brags about himself when is out with his friends. I have gone through HELL to help this man with his confusion but nothing will change him unless he wants to change. We are all on different journeys in this life and some people are behind because unforunately they were just not loved as much as you were.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Saira,

      thank you for sharing and enlightening us via your experiences. I am sorry that you had to suffer and the hell you went through as a result of this experience. Nonetheless, I particularly commend and enjoyed your closing sentence which highlights an empowering response and perception on your part:

      “We are all on different journeys in this life and some people are behind because unforunately they were just not loved as much as you were. ”

      Thank you for helping others with your insights!

      All the best,

  32. Avatar
    Patrick Wanis says:

    Dear Gordon,

    thanks for your insightful response.

    I believe and teach that the desire to engage in drugs is motivated by the desire to escape a pain about oneself (hide from oneself) or to try and feel something (having become numb from the pain of oneself.)

    Obviously, then, when one begins to use drugs, another cycle begins – worsening the original problem and adding more problems – addiction, inability to become emotionally intimate, loss of a clear sense of reality, a shift in values, and as you put it: “need to acquire instant gratification will rear its ugly head in other forms, whether through infidelity or inability to carry the weight of responsibility when the inevitable tests of a relationship’s strength arise.”

    Gordon, you have been very open, so let me be open and speak my truth with compassion. What attracted you to Sunny, if you recognize her deeper pain, issues and inability to love? Why have you not let go of her – internally? Do you truly feel and believe you deserve to be treated better, to love and be loved?

    If I can help, let me know. Also, consider my program on getting over it – breakups, betrayals and rejection. It also helps you to understand yourself and the other person, thus awakening to the realization at a subconscious level that it was never about you – and that as you change what you feel and believe about yourself, you will attract and be attracted to someone that loves you and accepts your love!

    All the best,


  33. Avatar
    Gordon says:

    It’s Sunny, not Suzy. But yes, to say I found the whole situation creepy is to put it mildly. I dumped her as soon as I found out for certain and its been difficult to shake off, not least because she continued to contact me to brag about the fact that she was seeing him and sending “love” songs she’d written to Stewart to me directly in addition to approaching my friends to brand me “mean” for dumping her .. a charge I will never fully understand given the actual situation, though perhaps the result of my silent reticence to go public with the reality of our breakup and her narcissistic need to take advantage of that gap.

    I will add to the discussion, the issue of drug use and its ability to not only negate intimacy, but to hold one back emotionally. Both Ozell and Stewart are habitual (daily) pot smokers and I’ve learned that drug use (in any form) is a surefire way to ensure that true intimacy be avoided. All of your points on the “immature man” could also be found within one single trait – the “addict.”

    If anyone wants to know if a guy or girl is immature just watch their intake of any substance. It its over the line, that need to acquire instant gratification will rear its ugly head in other forms, whether through infidelity or inability to carry the weight of responsibility when the inevitable tests of a relationship’s strength arise.


  34. Avatar
    Gordon says:


    As Sunny Ozell’s ex boyfriend (yes for real) I can tell you that she’s already been to therapy over Patrick Stewart, they’ve dated for years (she was his NY based mistress as far back as 2005) and their relationship is a mutually beneficial, but totally superficial relationship. Sunny is in fact *not* a jazz singer – she’s a waitress who performs once or twice a year to a small venue singing covers of jazz tunes – she is not signed to a label nor does she have an album of original songs. In her struggling poverty she’s indeed found a “white knight” who will introduce her to famous people and fund both of their ego’s with no end in sight – that is until the sobering reality hits them – which I doubt will happen as long as it remains a long distance relationship (she in Brooklyn, he in England) with a “do what you want” attitude while they’re apart. Without the actual responsibility of a real relationship, they can maintain the fantasy as long as they wish without ever reaching true adulthood. I say this, because that was my realization with my own relationship with Ozell and prompted me to sever the relationship and seek someone who was truly interested in an honest warts-and-all commitment.

    Real life – an honest life (especially honesty within) is not an easy thing as the inner child cries for the drug of constant conquest and affirmation, but kudos to you for pointing out that living in reality and evolving to maturity offers a more fulfilling and lasting joy.

    I shudder to think what Stewart’s own family thinks of the relationship – I honestly think this is sexually abusive to his own daughter – all be it totally psychological. I wonder too what Sunny’s father – a respected Doctor in Nevada thinks when he has to tell friends and family what his daughter is up to (whom he’d like nothing more than to see married with kids). Having a daughter date a man older than yourself is surely humiliating and perhaps a passive / aggressive move by Ozell against her father.

    What is truly painful as one seeks clarity and responsibility is to witness those you love who are stuck in patterns and exhibiting a very public form of self destruction. Behind the “celebration” and photo-shoots I believe Ozell and Stewart are lonely and sad indeed. While I care not a wit about Stewart as he is old enough to know better, I feel sorry for Ozell who is young and in need of mature help, hopefully she seeks it out from a therapist.

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Gordon,

      thanks for personal insights into the relationships and dynamics as well as the personality.
      Yes, most people who are in relationships that have such a huge age difference are often engaging in the act of mutually using each other. Although I travel between NY, LA and Miami, I think it is most evident here in South Beach Miami – 20 yr old girls with 60 yr old men! The girl uses him for the high land glamorous ife and the man uses her for her youth and sex.

      Aside of these blatantly obvious relationships based on using each other, most relationships that feature a young girl with a much older man often stem from a poor relationship between the daughter and her father. In other words, the woman or girl is subconsciously seeking a father figure. I know of one woman who at age 24 married a man 38 years older than her and divorced him. Now, they are best friends and he acts as her father (who died when she was very young.) Thus, as we see more cases of daughters being raised wihout dad, we will see also more girls dating older men – father figures. And, while our society continues to promote the obsession with physical beauty and youth, we will also see more men dating younger women. Read today’s Success Newsletter about the horrible effects of the media’s toxic messages about idealized beauty and physical perfection.

      I am sure that you were hurt by what you experienced with Suzy and I hope you are free of that pain and now in a healthy symbiotic relationship full of mutual love.
      All the best,

  35. Avatar
    Jennifer Rodriguez says:

    Your article was spot on. I always kind of suspected the things you wrote about but never saw it written so elegantly and simple for all to understand. Judging from the previous comments, I see that your article brought out many related emotional issues for other readers as well.
    Besides addressing their concerns, I would really love to see you write a future article about any possible connection between the immature male and violence. Could this be the reason why the rates of physical violence among men are so high?
    By the way, with my question I’m not trying to imply that women are not violent as well. But I think most readers will agree, that despite the potential for either gender to be violent, the rates of violence are still overwhelming highest for men all around the world, regardless of culture. I would love to see a future article addressing this and it’s possible connection to the immature male.
    Thanks and all the best to you as well! JR

    • Avatar
      Patrick Wanis says:

      Dear Jennifer,
      I briefly mentioned in my Newsletter that there is a link between immature men and violence but did not explain why. Immature men focus on dominance, grandiosity, patriarchy and agression – without meaningful purpose. In other words, they do not use their power to protect and serve but rather focus on conquering for the sake of conquering. Violence and agression amongst men can also be traced back to a lack of a suitable male role model, an absent father, a poor relationship with a father, and unresolved anger and resentment towards the mother-figure.
      My friend and colleague Aaron Huey will tell you that he believes children also act violently when they have not had a proper transition to manhood and womanhood i.e. if they don’t have a ritual of conquering themselves they will create their own – but it is usually acted out on others – think of the many teen beatings and the college fraternity initiation rituals.
      All the best,

  36. Avatar
    Alli says:

    Seriously good stuff!! This is such important information that never gets acknowledged. Unfortunately, we don’t learn the critically important things in our school system (including college) and this needs to change!

    In an ideal situation, I would advocate a life cycle psychology workshop or class in every grade through college that would include self esteem, self worth, emotional resilience, relationships, parenting, etc. The school system probably couldn’t handle this curriculum as it probably would have a lot of kids opening up to pain and crises and parents complaining when their kids blame it on them lol. But at the same time, adults are not being taught essential life skills.

    Now I have questions…there was an illuminating interview that Patrick did that was about the influence of fathers on daughters. It’s interesting that for the son here you mention about the mother, and not being able to unbind from the ties to the mother… so is the mother more important than the father for the development of the son? Is it because he’s going to base his future relationships with women based on his relationship with his mother?

    See, I always thought personally that the father is really the cornerstone of a family and when he’s dysfunctional, the whole family suffers with emotional insecurities: a son doesn’t know how to be a man, a daughter doesn’t feel like she’s getting the security of having a man care about her (so she looks for someone to be her sugardaddy), and the wife feels like her needs are not being taken care of either and that the stress of the home is on her. I’m not blaming the father for everyone’s problems, but I really feel like that a man/father has such an important role like the elder of a tribe would have. Ideally, he makes us feel provided for and safe. He’s supposed to be the problem solver and protector.
    There will be people who will say that’s stereotyping, but the proof of how families are broken speaks for itself…especially with the growing popularity of having single moms…I can only imagine the ripple effects that’s going to cause in the next generation of adult men and women….
    In any event, this article highlights this fact and that marriage doesn’t “complete” people as much as that propaganda sounds romantic. You have to be a complete person before you get in a serious relationship.

  37. Avatar
    Patrick Wanis says:

    Dear Angela,

    my first recommendation is to avoid dating, marrying or committing to a man or anyone that is immature. Once you are in the relationship, though, your options and responses change:

    You can leave the relationship, stay in it and do nothing or, work towards insipring him to change.

    My point is do not enter the relationship excited about how you are going to make him a big, succesful man with your help.

    Once you are in a relationship, I think it is your duty to point out to him what he is doing – to give him “feedback.”

    You are not responsible for his maturation. You can, though, make suggestions about steps he can take – resolving relationships with family or receiving the necessary professional help to mature (resolve past issues.)

    Let me also say that men only change and act when they truly need to; in some cases men only decide to change when the woman walks out. This happened with a client of mine: When his wife announced she was leaving, he said, “I will change” and she said “It’s too late. Why didn’t you do it for the past 3 years when i was asking?” He did change and has spent the past 12 months trying to get her back. he has taken charge of his physical health, worked on releasing his anger and resolving other painful issues. He began to mature when he was forced to do so, when he lost the things he loves.

    I also congratulate you for summing it up that women need to have a gentle and firm voice to tell men that it is time to grow up.

    Also, I received an email from another reader:

    “Hi Patrick, very interesting commentary on immature men. I’ve heard other theories that state people select their mates based on them being at the same emotional or maturity level. I’m not sure I believe it entirely but the fact that these couples are together makes some case for that. I’d love to hear further comments on the sort-of determinism that the ‘matching emotional levels’ theory seems to dictate. Obviously, based on your commentary if everything else was equal and one person was more mature then they would be the better choice for a significant other but that’s rare or impossible.”

    While I won’t respond in detail right now, the email above raises the question “Are you more mature than him?” And, what attracted you to him? Did you see the signs of immaturity earlier on and simply ignore them?

    You wrote: “we ALL have to GROW UP!!!” and I believe that also means accepting that there are times we must take tough, uncomfortable action – be it speak up to him or leave him.

    All the best,

  38. Avatar
    Angela says:

    AHA! So what do you recommend for a woman in a relationship with an immature man? Do we just walk away? I’m not your mommy – your mommy will always love you but I won’t – you have to grow up!

    If women fall in love with a man’s potential and he’s not living his potential and we can’t call him on his potential – how will the man ever grow up WITHIN a relationship? WITHIN a Marriage – WITHIN a father-child relationship.
    We need to develop a HABIT of talking to our men where they can GLADLY receive feedback and not take it personally or attacking their ego – but simply receive our feedback as a necessary part of their maturity.

    How do men get called on their immaturity? Past Presidents got away with a lot of immaturity and no-one called them on anything either!
    How do WOMEN have a voice – that is BOTH gentle and firm – to teach men – we ALL have to GROW UP!!!

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