“A lot of things bothered me,” Pauline explained, “especially my complicated relationships with men. For others, professional life and so on, I think I’ve always done well.
Robert Neuburger: Do you have children?
Paulina: Two girls aged 16 and 14. I have been separated from their father for eight years.
Robert Neuburger: What happened?
Paulina: We met as students and then got married. We had a hard time having a child when we wanted to, we were six years old. And over the years, he has gradually revealed himself to be very jealous and sometimes violent. When we gave birth to our first daughter, things got really bad. After the second, we separated, I lived for a while with my parents with my two young children, then he came back with good resolutions and we went back to our lives. But soon, his jealousy took on large, paranoid proportions. I find myself in dangerous situations. I relied on a woman, who helped me out of the marriage house and complained. Thanks to her I was able to leave her then divorced.
Robert Neuburger: So single since 2010.
Paulina: No. A year after leaving him, I registered on a dating site and met two or three guys. Third, I experienced a love, I thought I knew happiness. But she was married and never wanted a divorce. We had a series of separations and continued for three years, until I ended this relationship. Next year, I want to stop this race of men on sites, and with friends I met my partner today. We had a lot of love, but it was hard again because he was a weak, bipolar person. Although I have mild bipolar, I have mood swings, ups and downs. At first, when she came to live in the house, it was difficult for my daughters. He wanted me to help raise them, he didn’t want them, and I did too… There were really good times, and then explosions. We talked a lot, we were able to move forward, but lately he’s had problems with his job that have destabilized him, and he’s been aggressive with me. We parted without breaking the cords, we decided to start all over again with other bases. What makes me unsure, as I love this person and I care for him, is that I don’t know where to put the limits. Is this or that acceptable? Will I stop everything and find a more stable relationship? Are the men I like always psychologically vulnerable? I have a lot of questions about this …
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Robert Neuburger: At home, do you have a role in helping a brother?
Paulina: No, I have a brother, but all is well, and my mother is very much there. I also have a good relationship with all of them, even though my parents are old now.
Robert Neuburger: I wonder where you’re from wanting to help guys…
Paulina: I don’t think I was trying to save them. The two I told you were very pleasing to me intellectually and sensually. The most common point I find in them is a great deal of sensitivity. But from sensitivity to weakness, there is only one step. And when I see people showing their weakness, I feel close.
Robert Neuburger: And you can’t get everything: distance and proximity. Where are you now with your partner?
Paulina: We live a few miles from each other. We would spend the night together, usually at his house because, when he came to my house, he was very angry. I love this guy, but I’m also a mother, and my daughters need me …
Robert Neuburger: Now, when a woman is alone with her children after divorce, there are many who prefer to stay mothers and have a separate love relationship, because the practice of united families are very complicated. At this level, your decision is very understandable.
Paulina: You’re right and, at the same time, he didn’t plan for us to separate. He was caught in a paradox because he wanted things to be good when he came to my house, if that wasn’t the case. Not to mention his mood swings.
Robert Neuburger: How much does he believe in his bipolarity?
Paulina: He was diagnosed so a few years ago, he had treatment.
Robert Neuburger: Even if he was diagnosed as that and treated, he remained responsible for some of his behavior. A problem if he devotes all his mood swings to bipolarity. I think you can tell him that he also has the right to control himself and not put his bad feelings on you, bipolarity or not.
Paulina: I’m glad you heard that, because even if I’m not a doctor, I’ve come to the same conclusion …
Robert Neuburger: We have to be very clear about this. Tell her that it’s her responsibility, and that she doesn’t have to blame her feelings for anything but herself.
Paulina: I suggest he do behavior therapy…
Robert Neuburger: Do you have any therapy of your own?
Paulina: Not really. I see psychologists sometimes, but for three or four years I had the impression that I needed them.
Robert Neuburger: With the background you’re going through and the difficulties you’re going through, if you can meet with a therapist to chat with every now and then, that’s great. By avoiding falling for someone who gives you advice!
Paulina: Oh well? Why?
Robert Neuburger: But because you have enough to find your answers. It’s nice to hear you speak. When we allow ourselves to speak, sometimes we can say things that surprise us. And the most important thing in therapy is that. The therapist’s job is to bounce back to these products where you surprise yourself. Besides, it’s a good idea to have a quiet corner of your own. You don’t always have to.
Paulina: But I feel the need to be guided!
Robert Neuburger : Well, that’s exactly what you shouldn’t do. You are mostly able to guide yourself. Good therapy is when you don’t know where to go. It’s the divine surprise that, on the whole, it’s so good. »
A month passed
Paulina: “This session really clicked on me. At first, the doctor asked questions that didn’t seem to hurt me and that, in fact, took me to the heart of the matter. It was very surprising and interesting. I really appreciated what he told me. about the position in relation to my partner.It confirms what is starting to dawn on my mind.Since then, I have seen a therapist.I have realized that I am on certain standards, maybe family, and I no longer want this standards. There are many things that have improved in me since this session. »
Robert Neuburger: “Pauline’s journey is that of many women who are alone with their children after a separation or divorce. The question is: is it better to form a relationship with a new partner by allowing him or her into family life or creating an equal relationship? Especially when it comes to Pauline, who has two teenage girls at home… Pauline tried both formulas. I wouldn’t say her relationship with men is complicated, I would say it’s always complicated for a girl with children to rebuild her life. That he also has personal difficulties and questions is another matter. It’s not a pathology, but something that can start a curiosity about himself, thanks to which he is able to persevere and get to know himself better. »
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