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Michelle Gottlieb Psy.D., MFT, LPCC
Individual, Couple and Family Therapy
Resolving issues from your past that block your future

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Am I Alone?

October, 2000


Dear Michelle:


I am a 35-year-old woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with me. Every man I’ve ever dated has left me. I’ve never been married, never been engaged, and only lived with a man once for six months. What is wrong with me? Why does no one stay with me? Thank you.



Dear Alone,


There is nothing wrong with you. You have no fundamental flaw that makes men leave you. What I wonder, and you are the only one who can answer this, is there a part of you that is unavailable for a truly intimate relationship? What I have found when I have worked with people who have issues like yours (and trust me, you are not the only one struggling with these kinds of issues), is that there is generally an underlying message that we have that blocks us from a healthy relationship.


That block may arise from the feeling that we are not worthy of being happy. Perhaps growing up we got the message that we are not good humans and that gets translated into not being worthy of being loved. Perhaps the block is the fear that if we allow someone to be really close to us they will find out that we are a terrible person. You may have these messages or others that are equally self-destructive. You may have chosen men who are not emotionally unavailable for a long-term relationship to keep you safe.


You are the only one who can explore these ideas and see what fits and what you need to change to create the kind of life that would make you happy. If you would like someone to help you explore this path look to friends, clergy, a therapist, anyone who can support you and be non-judgmental. You do not need someone to give you the answer. You need to explore and understand your self.


None of this makes you a bad human; it simply makes you human. Start exploring and see where it leads you.



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