Dear Patricia Marie,

I am so upset because my partner of six months has just ended our relationship by text. He said someone has found out about us, and he hadn't wanted anybody to know. He is accusing me of telling my friends we were an item, is refusing to answer my calls and says I am a liar.

I tried so hard to make him happy, and would do anything for him. He was very demanding in the bedroom, and even if I was tired, I always did my best to satisfy him. I wished I could stand up for myself more, but I can't bear not to be in his life. I don't feel my best at the moment, and keep thinking I should have made more of an effort to look perfect for him, then perhaps he wouldn't be behaving in this way. My ex-boyfriends have all treated me in a similar way, and all I ever wanted was to please them.

Where am I going wrong?

Patricia Marie says...

What concerns me is why you had agreed to keep your relationship a secret. Whatever the reason, it seems that this man is calling all the shots, and why wouldn't he, if you are jumping to his every demand. Because you are so intent on pleasing him, you are failing to recognise your own needs, and blaming yourself for his totally unreasonable behaviour.

These negative traits can arise from bad experiences, of not being valued or understood. You are displaying low-self esteem, which is why you are attracting the unfavourable types who are not worthy of you. Ask yourself whether you would prefer to be with this controlling selfish man who wants to keep you hidden away, or find someone new who wants to shout how much he loves you from the rooftops. With the right help and support you can move on from this destructive relationship.

Embark on some counselling sessions to help build your self esteem, because, unless you can learn to love and respect yourself, sadly, no one else will. Do also check out the 'MIND' website, where you will find useful tips on enhancing your assertiveness and building self-confidence.

www.mind.org.uk  0844 477 9400