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I need support in giving support.

I have an insanely needy ex-bf, who I have remained friends with since breaking up a year ago, even though we now live very far apart. Psychologically, this guy clings as if he is a drowning man and I am a life preserver (he does this to everyone, not just me), and sometime I am so annoyed that I am ready to hold him underwater and drown him myself!!

Since I know someone is going to ask, he has resisted all kinds of therapy, talking to clergy, etc. -- he doesn't want to change.

HOWEVER, he DOES want to change his weightand improve his health, and he's been doing great. He's lost about 50 pounds, and has about 10 to go. He really should be proud of himself for this! Yet he just cannot stop asking for a compliment -- he never even gives me a chance to compliment him! Every e-mail he tells me how much he weighs. Recently he sent a link to some video and the first thing he asked was how I think he looked. (It was serious TV and I was much more impressed with what he SAID.)

I definitely want to be encouraging, and I want to tell him he's doing great -- because he is! But I'm SO ANNOYED by his constant begging that the words never pass my lips or fingertips. I feel really bad, because I never have any trouble praising and encouraging my PeerTrainer buddies, who in fact log far more about themselves. How do I master my annoyance and find constructive things to say to this guy? I think we are in a vicious circle.

Sat. May 27, 12:30pm

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It sounds like your friend has really low self-esteem. It is too bad that he doesn't want to seek help. However, I don't think you need to feel bad for not giving asked for compliments. Instead compliment when you normally would. The good thing about e-mail is that you can choose the questions you want to answer. It gives you the oportunity to ignore the questions that annoy you. About the interview, compliment him on what he said and just ignore the question about how he looks.

Saturday, May 27, 2006, 12:43 PM

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Cling on

It sounds like he is using his weight loss and your support to stay in your life as much as possible. Speaking from recent experience with a amicable breakup, it became necessary to cut off contact for a period of time to allow the other person to make the break fully. It sounds harsh, I know, but it might be time to reevaluate your friendship to allow him time to move on and not NEED you so much.

Best of luck!

Saturday, May 27, 2006, 2:59 PM

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Maybe he thinks if he looks hot you will get back together...

Sunday, May 28, 2006, 12:35 AM

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I agree- he's just using his weight loss journey to hang on to you. Be ready for him to tell you that he has or will gain the weight back if you withdraw your support. The best suggestion I can think of is to have him try weight watcher's or overeaters anonymous--- but I suspect he will resist because what he really wants is a reason to cling to you.
He IS going to drown you and exhaust you, because it will never be over for him. Even when he gets to his goal weight, he will cling to you for support in keeping it off.
Try some tips from Al-Anon to find a way to cope without becoming an enabler. There must be other communities you can try also, but that's the first one that comes to mind.
Good luck! :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 9:02 AM

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drop him like its hot

Tuesday, May 30, 2006, 9:16 AM

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