Definition of Seductive Withholder Jan 24, 2018 14:00:32 GMT -8
Post by Susan Peabody on Jan 24, 2018 14:00:32 GMT -8
Until I learned about what to look for in a healthy relationship I was always attracted to men tho were seductive one moment and elusive the next. I call these people seductive withholders.
Seductive Withholders (SW’s) are people who can act very seductive one moment (implying they are available), and then very withholding the next. The shift is dramatic and comes at unexpected times or after an argument.
Every SW has his or her own style of seduction, but it usually quite persuasive and tied into your personal needs which you revealed early on while dating. The withholding can be anything from holding back affection, not returning phone calls, or seeing other people—in general it means being unavailable. It always involves a breakup.
There are various explanations for why people withhold. With some it is a matter of control. This is ego-driven. They like power over people and they do this by keeping them on the edge of their seats all the time. More common is the person who withholds because they are frightened of intimacy. When they are feeling needy and safe they get seductive. When they get too close and feel claustrophobic they withhold. A good book about this is by Carter and Sokul entitled "Men Who Can't Love."
I met my first seductive withholder in 1983. I had been in recovery for about a year and I knew I was ready to settle down and get married with a nice guy. I met John and on our third date I told him this. He said that is also what he wanted and was really happy we had met.
After about five dates, John said he had to cancel. I felt fine about that at the time, but a few days later we got together and he said he needed some space but that he was falling in love with me. I was confused but I believed him.
A week later we had a wonderful weekend together and I started looking for a great future together. The next day he called and said he wanted to break up.
I was heartbroken and asked him why. He said he was not sure he wanted a relationship after all. I, of course, blamed myself for telling him that I wanted to settle down and stayed home every night waiting for him to call.
Before recovery, I would have chased after John, but even now I waited hoping he would change his mind because I was in love.
Three weeks later, John called and said he wanted to see me. I got all dressed up and met him at a restaurant where he told me he had changed his mind and wanted me back. I was thrilled.
We started dating again for about a month when once again he became elusive and quiet. Then he became unavailable. I called and asked about it, and he said he wanted out of the relationship.
This time I got angry and decided I would not wait for him. I told him this. A week later he called and begged me to take him back. I said “no way” and he proposed. I thought to myself that he must have finally gotten over his fear of commitment and it was safe to take him back.
Three months later I asked John if we could set the date. He refused and said he did not think he was ready after all to settle down.
You would think this would end things between us, but hope springs eternal and when he called a month later with new promises I took him back. This lasted about three months until he once again became unavailable.
Eventually, I did get out of the relationship but only when I realized that he was not going to change. Each time he came back he tempted me with something I wanted. He said he would marry me, move in with me, get into therapy, spend more time with me, never stand me up, and stop seeing other women. He announced he was just confused and given enough time he would change.
Today, I am happily married and my husband is available all the time. He doesn’t move in and out of the relationship. He does n’t lie. He is just there.
If you want to avoid a SW:
Don’t fall in love before you have gotten to know someone.
Watch them closely and look for patters of seduction and withholding.
If a pattern persists get out of the relationship quickly.
Do not tell yourself this is your imagination.
Don’t second guess yourself.
Don’t give this person and third and fourth chance.
Don’t believe his lies
Believe that you can do better.
Note: I have been using this term since 1985 and most people want to give me credit for introducing it in my book, Addiction to Love, but I actually got it from my sponsor in AA, Joan Roland. She was the kindest woman I ever knew and she was the first to love me when I could not love myself.