Belfast Telegraph

Why can’t I find any happiness?

Northern Ireland's number one agony aunt Fiona answers your problems

Dear Fiona, I'm an attractive male who is outgoing and I always treat women very well. I respect them, help them, and take them away on holidays but I always get treated really badly back.

I've spent endless hours crying after every relationship. I took my last girlfriend to Dubai and New York. I dated her for seven months during which time she fell pregnant with my child. However, three months into the pregnancy she told me she didn't love me and wanted to find someone else.

She gave birth last month and I haven't seen my child yet. I'm 41 years old and never married and I feel down all the time. Why am I turning them off? Please help!

Depressed Guy

Dear Depressed Guy,

Why are you accepting all responsibility for these relationship failures?

Some women do prefer men who treat them badly because they associate love with hurt. Their parents may have had volatile marriages and they subconsciously are repeating this pattern because it's what they know of a relationship.

Or, they may have been mentally, physically or sexually abused as children and this greatly damages self-esteem.

They seek out partners who'll validate how badly they feel about themselves. When someone treats them kindly, it causes internal conflict as it feels so alien and they reject it.

Low self-esteem is the reason you also choose women who'll eventually reject you and why you don't believe you've the absolute right to be part of your child's life. Stand up for yourself and advise your child's mother that you want access immediately or you'll be forced to seek legal assistance to secure it.

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