Letting Go of Love: Tim

Letting Go of Love: Tim
One woman wonders why she can't get over her ex-boyfriend, even though he's living with another woman.
"My trusting women right now is at an all-time low," says Tim, a former NFL football player. "I was drafted in 1986 by the San Francisco 49ers. When you're a professional football player, you're at that top 4 percent of income level in the country. We're talking about a three-time Super Bowl champion. The women are out there. I got all this money and I'm feeling pretty good about myself. I got tired of it and I said, 'You know, Tim, it's time to settle down.'"

So Tim contacted his high school sweetheart. He tested her by picking her up in an old beat up truck. She never said a word. "That left a lasting impression on
me that I could trust this woman. It was more of a trust issue with me than love," he admits.

They tied the knot. "When my wife and I got married, the first year or two was nice," says Tim. But they didn't have a lot in common. "She's more introverted and indoors and I'm more extroverted," he explains. "We didn't talk much. I mean, all these major things you think you would need in a relationship, we didn't have. I was thinking maybe if we had children, that would bring us closer, so we did that. I moved my mother-in-law in to help. That was the kiss of death. I didn't know it would be a permanent fixture."
"After the 1998 season, it's not looking like I'm going to get a contract, bills are piling up, we're fighting, she didn't talk to me ... I just had enough of it," says Tim, who left his wife. "My ex-wife and her mother, these two women have made my life a living hell. They got the house, they got the money, now they're even coming back three years later, getting the children."

He's extended his anger beyond his wife and mother-in-law. "Women are out to get what they can get," he says. "I have this phobia to where I can't get close. If I would be dating a woman and I can sense in her that she really, really is digging me, I start withdrawing. After putting all my trust in this woman and [she] turned on me like this and took everything that I have, it took a toll on me and a lot of times, I cry." He turns to Dr. Phil for help: "This divorce has been devastating to me. What can a guy like me do to move on?"
"You feel like you made the safest choice you could and it didn't work, so what do you say to yourself now? Just never again?" asks Dr. Phil.

"You work hard, you go make something of yourself and then you share that with people. And then I went and I shared it with the wrong person," says Tim, who now makes generalizations about all women. "When a woman sees a guy, it's, 'What's your credit rating? Where do you live? How much money do you have? Where do you work?'"

"You do understand you're in a room full of women," warns Dr. Phil. "Is he right?" he asks the audience.

"No!" they respond. One woman stands up: "There are a lot of independent women who can be by themselves, have their own money, their own careers ..."

Tim is unconvinced. "Right now, in my mind, I just feel like I'm not going there," he says. "The women in my life are cool and I'm not going to try to take it any further."

"How about your mom? Do you trust her?"

Tim laughs. "You can't put my mom in this, Dr. Phil. She doesn't count," she's awesome."

"But that shows you that there are women with a good heart."
Tim admits he would like to share his life with someone. "I think it would be nice because I think my kids deserve it, to see their dad happy."

"You think you're a competent guy, you think that you're proud and you're strong," observes Dr. Phil.

"Absolutely," says Tim.

"I'm going to tell you what trust is all about," says Dr. Phil. "Trust is not how much you trust one person or another to do right or wrong. How much you trust another person is a function of how much you trust yourself to be strong enough to deal with their imperfections. So when I hear people say, 'I don't trust somebody else' what I hear is, 'I am so insecure with who I am, I have so little faith in me that I can't put myself on the line with somebody else.'"

"Let me get this right. Are you using reverse psychology on me Dr. Phil? You're saying my confidence in myself is really turned into a negative? Is that what you're saying?"

"That would be close."
Dr. Phil explains: "Do you think you have enough faith, strength of character and depth within you that if you involve yourself with someone else and she turns out to be a gold-digger and a snake, that you have enough confidence to say, 'I can get through that, I can handle that'? ... How much you are willing to invest in a new relationship will be a function of you getting to the point where you say, 'You know what? She doesn't have to be perfect. I can handle this. If she flames out on me, I'm going to take this a step at a time and I'm never going to invest more than I can afford to lose. I'm not going to put so much of myself out there that I'll be emotionally bankrupt if she goes south on me.'"

"You have to understand, being an athlete all my life ... I don't like to lose. And I feel like I lost in that situation because I made the mistake. Because I picked bad. I really beat myself up about that," Tim explains.
"You did. You did lose. There's no question. But look, you have three of those Super Bowl rings. You didn't get those by going into the fetal position every time you lost a game!" Dr. Phil responds. "Life is not a success-only journey. You are going to get beat up along the way. And you've got to have the strength of character to get up and get back in the game!"
"But Dr. Phil, when you say, 'I do,' you're automatically half the man that you are," argues Tim. "And if you lose, women win most of the contested custody battles, men have to pay child support, you lose your kids, you lose everything. And that's my biggest fear. To do that again. And whatever I salvaged from the first relationship will be gone too."

"That's not true. You never invest more in a relationship than you can afford to lose. You got through it this time, did you not? And you're still a good, solid, loving, caring, attentive father to your children, are you not?"

"Absolutely."

"You're still bettering yourself ... You'll move on and be a champion in your next endeavor as you did in your past."

Tim agrees, but says he still can't help pulling away when he begins to get close to a woman.

"Remember what I said," reminds Dr. Phil. "How much you can and do trust another person is just a function of how much confidence you have in yourself to handle their imperfections. And if you're playing with sweaty palms, it's because you're afraid of what you can do or not do. Not what she's going to do or not do."