What makes women who are strong and self-assured in other areas of their life, accept “crumbs” of attention from men they’re supposedly dating?
My friend, for example, stayed years with her alcoholic, mean husband who cheated repeatedly. But she kept hanging in for the children’s sake, until they left the scene as soon as possible.
Now, four years later, she’s dating a man who contacts her only for sex, then dismisses her when he starts a “committed” relationship with someone else, living together with that person. But that, too, always ends, and he reels her in again as his sexually-based distraction.
Since her divorce and meeting the new man, he’s relied on her for frequent sexual trysts and then sent her away twice so far. Sadly, she’s currently back with him.
I, too, accepted what one therapist I saw called “crumbs of love.” I married a man who appeared to adore me and the lifestyle I’d worked hard to create. But once married, his “love” was only given in scattered amounts, when he wanted money for his pursuits like gambling.
It’s taken several years and a few therapists for me to insist that’s not enough. We’re finally divorced. I made it happen as soon as a therapist who explored my past with me, learned that I grew up with a very unloving mother.
Nothing I did could ever please her. I felt alone and unwanted throughout my childhood.
I fear, however, for other women accepting this love trap and not understanding why. What allows us as now-accomplished adults to degrade ourselves as if we have no value even at this age and stage?
For several years now, “bread-crumbing” in relationships refers to a near-sadistic form of “ghosting,” whereby someone is consciously leading a would-be partner along.
It was 2018 when the website Powerofpositivity.com used “breadcrumbing” to describe someone leading another along, as an ego boost for themselves. Meanwhile, the self-esteem of the “target,” suffers deeply.
You and your friend have experienced the strongest form of this behaviour, by men you married for love, that was reduced to mere grains that purposefully eroded your confidence and pride.
You’ve referenced help from the insight of a therapist and broken the pattern of controlling behaviour from your husband. But your friend still struggles with her situation… a man who only gives her attention sexually, then takes it away for periods when he treats someone else as a true partner, albeit briefly.
Since she’s shared all this with you, feel free to talk to her about what you learned from therapy. Perhaps she’ll have her own insights that give her the power to reject this man.
My ex-husband has suddenly passed away. We’ve been divorced for 12 years. Our children are young adults and very upset. This loss comes as a great shock to them.
It’s different for me. He was a horrible husband. We haven’t talked to each other since we split.
I’m faced with a dilemma. Everyone will expect me to attend the funeral. But I feel no interest in doing so. What should I do?
Against False Grief
This is your adult children’s loss. He was their closest family besides you, a significant part of their genetic make-up. If they, too, had difficulties with him, they may feel guilt instead of grief, and that’s even harder to handle in many cases.
Rise above your feelings about him and attend the funeral. Support your children by your show of respect for them.
My father wants to travel from very far away to come and see me, despite the ongoing reality of COVID-19 and the fact that he’s in his 70s and health compromised. He’s always been stubborn.
Now, diagnosed with the need for serious spinal surgery, he’s postponed it and booked a seven-hour flight to visit me. He says he needs “a vacation.” But who will lift his suitcase on and off the two planes involved? Meanwhile, he’s booked to have some injections to mask his constant pain! I’m worried that he’ll cause himself permanent damage.
I’m so worried about him and he won’t listen! What can I say or do to stop him?
Alert your father’s medical/surgical team to your father’s plans. Ask them to tell him the risks he’s taking. If he ignores them, recognize that he’s scared that he won’t survive the surgeries. Then book flights to visit him as soon as possible.
Tip of the day:
When a date/friend/partner offers only “bread crumbs” of interest, end the relationship.