March 6, 2017 at 7:21 am #136101
I’ve made several posts on this forum about my ex even before we were finally broken up, because he finally admitted he had a drinking problem and our relationship was suffering from him choosing not to do much about it. I was, and still am, deeply in love with him. I still miss him, and I still think about him daily, and I still feel a connection to him that is overwhelming at times. But things got really bad about 7 months ago and right when we were moving in together, we had several huge fights and he treated me very badly. He would manipulate me to always spin things around on my behavior or the things I said instead of acknowledging that his drinking was leading to the fights and his erratic behavior. I knew I couldn’t continue in the relationship because he wasn’t doing a thing to help himself and I felt like an enabler. So I left him. We’ve had to keep in touch for logistic reasons re: the apartment we signed on a lease on, but I haven’t seen him or talked to him at length until a few weeks ago. I still have so much love for him, and its so painful to stay away and sometimes feels impossible to fight. So when we did have a longer than usual conversation, he called me and asked me to meet up with him because he really wanted to talk. I felt both a rush of fear and a rush of excitement. I wanted to know he still wanted me like I want him, but knowing we couldn’t be together until something major had changed. We met up, and his was alas still drinking. Halfway through the evening he broke the news he had been seeing someone – a woman I knew about from his work. I felt like I was hit by a truck. I lost myself completely. I cried and cried and in my miserable state he felt so bad that he wanted me to come home with him so we could talk more. We ended up hooking up several times, which was always his way to comfort me in his drunken, emotionally twisted state. The other woman’s things were all over the apartment we were supposed to move in to together. I didn’t know why I decided to meet up with him, why I decided to go home with him, why I was still there. It all felt like a nightmare.
I was utterly torn up, and still am. We’ve had little contact but he keeps telling me he cares about me more than he cares about himself. That he wants to be there for me. That he wants me in his life. I know that can’t happen. I’m reeling from the fact that he’s with someone else already while I’m still very much heartbroken. I know how much he loved me, but I still want him to love me. I feel like my self-worth relies on it or something. I know this is a problem, but I don’t know how to change my mindset to stop feeling like his love defines how I feel about myself or gives me something I desperately need. He did a lot of painful things to me, and I know I made the right decision to leave. But my thoughts spiral out of control thinking about him with someone else and how unfair it all feels. There’s so much pain and jealously right now. I just need some clarity and much better control over my thoughts and emotions.March 6, 2017 at 6:23 pm #136273
You stated you want clarity. Reads to me that this is what happened:
The rational mapnerd made the correct choice: to end the relationship with an active alcoholic. You still felt attached to him but you stayed away, knowing you made the right choice.
You were still emotionally attached to him and missed him terribly. He called you and you HOPED there was a change in his drinking and that the two of you can get together. But instead, he told you there was another woman in his life. This revelation, considering your strong attachment to him, the fact that he still tells you he loves you, and the thought and images of a new woman in his life- all that caused you to take a leave of your senses. In other words, the Rational Mapnerd departed, and all that was left was the Emotional Mapnerd.
For well being we need our Rational self and our Emotional self, both present, both working together to promote healthy living. So, please invite Rational Mapnerd back.
The reason you left him, his drinking, and resulting behaviors, still exists. He is still an active alcoholic. This time, when you re-end this relationship, make a plan how to manage your attachment to him. Also plan what to do if and when he contacts you again, so when it happens, you will be prepared, have a plan of action.
anitaMarch 7, 2017 at 8:20 am #136563
Thank you for this response. It is true, I have certainly lost my rational side. I feel so much jealousy and pain that I can barely see through it. I can barely acknowledge the facts – the facts being that I did make the right decision to leave him, that he is still drinking, that he hurt me over and over because of his erratic and selfish behavior. But it still feels so unfair that he is able to move on so quickly, to be able to invest in someone else. It feels like I’m the only one suffering, that his pain only stems from hurting me and not missing me or not being able to be with me. I feel a dark cloud over me every morning, and wake up with anxiety in the middle of the night.
I so badly want to feel center again. I want to make a plan for how to deal with it, and stick to it, but every day my emotions change so rapidly. The only major step I’ve taken is blocking him from my phone. But I feel like I have so much to say to him still, mostly because I want some kind of explanation, I want him to say things to make me feel better. I know that isn’t going to happen though, yet I cling to it. I know people handle things differently, but I was the first woman he has loved and I know he loved me deeply. We talked about marriage, we were moving in together. It baffles me how he could be so able to give that to someone else this quick. Thoughts of him moving on make me nauseous. No matter how much I try and control my thoughts, they seem to spiral into sadness and despair.March 7, 2017 at 9:12 am #136587
When I read this sentence at the beginning of your last post: “it still feels so unfair that he is able to move on so quickly, to be able to invest in someone else”- it immediately occurred to me that you may be misunderstanding a certain reality of the situation, which is, he did not and is not moving on. And he is not investing in someone else.
Toward the end of your post you wrote: “It baffles me how he could be so able to give that to someone else this quick. Thoughts of him moving on make me nauseous.”
I believe you are misunderstanding the situation. Clearly to me, he has not moved on and is not “moving on”. Also, it is not true that he is giving to her something as valuable as you think he is giving her.
He has not and is not moving on. It is a different woman in his apartment, that is all.
I am typing these very words using a certain laptop computer. If I put away this computer and use another laptop, I will still be typing the same words. I will not be moving on to a higher understanding and insight. It will only be a change computer.
The love he expressed to you at times, when you were together, was real, but it didn’t have much to do with who you were. He had that love inside him and you witnessed it. She may be the current witness.
A love that has to do with who you are takes the work-over-time, the persistence and endurance it takes to work for YOUR well being (as well as his own). This is the difference between witnessing, at times, his loving nature that has nothing to do with the witness AND witnessing the love that is about you.
Love that is about YOU takes your feelings into consideration day in and day out, operates for your well being, not against it.
anitaMarch 9, 2017 at 8:33 am #138249
thank you again. I think you have a higher awareness than someone with a broken heart:) I am truly grateful for your insight.
I feel that because he is able to have a relationship with someone else, he is more at peace with not being together than I am. Although I left him, the heart still very much wants him. It is agonizing knowing he’s with someone who is much more aligned to his interests and values (we disagreed on religion and politics, and he was very much sure he wanted a family). Even knowing I would never change my views on certain things, this still hurts. It hurts that he has so quickly found this woman who shares with him the things I didn’t. Again, the jealousy and insecurity takes over my thoughts.
I am trying to understand and realize that someone else’s love and affection and attention does not make me whole or complete or more worthy. But I’ve struggled this problem since I started dating, have gone to some therapy for it, but it seems worse than ever.March 9, 2017 at 9:02 am #138259
We humans (like other mammals) are born with the need to attach to someone else, to the adult person who takes care of our physical needs, a parent figure. Our physical needs include being touched, shown empathy, and feeling SAFE. If that need is not adequately satisfied in childhood, we grow up to be excessively needy of attachment to another person, usually in a romantic relationship.
With your ex boyfriend, at times, you felt SAFE, but in reality, you weren’t. It only FELT safe. As you think about him now, you imagine that there is safety with him. Although there isn’t.
Did we communicate about your relationship/s with your parents, as a child, and now?
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anitaMarch 9, 2017 at 9:23 am #138261
In different posts I made months ago, I had mentioned that I experienced some molestation from my father when I was pretty young. The relationship was always dysfunction: he was also an alcoholic and drug user, he was a womanizer, and I think always made me feel like my looks mattered most more than anything (which I can see come through in my insecurities and self esteem). My mother was always there and always providing, but was stressed out to the limit and I had to support myself and help her from my early teenage years. The financial burden has and is still stressful, because there’s not much of any safety net. I know these issues have manifested in my romantic relationships when things start to go bad, and I do feel overly needy but usually only when I start to feel that the other is pulling away ( and I think this has been in my head more than happening in reality.) Sex has always been confused with love and attraction, with self worth for me. I reconogze that now. I’m just not sure how to move from just recognizing these things to healing and actually changing my thoughts/behaviors.March 9, 2017 at 9:33 am #138263
I think I remember, you shared a bit, not much. But enough for me to understand the excessive part of your neediness, when the guy pulls away, as you mentioned above. Since SAFETY is the big attraction, the core motivation, and this man does not mean safety for you, in realistic terms, let’s look at where you can get safety.
There is no complete safety, of course, only relative safety. How can you maximize your safety, promote it best you can, financially and otherwise?
anitaMarch 9, 2017 at 10:55 am #138275
Do you mean safety in real terms – such as not being physically hurt or having enough money to have shelter over my head? If so, I feel physically safe day to day with the community I have and where I live. Financially, I am doing OK. I’d like to have more of savings account, but I’m working on building that up. It seems for me, more than a safety issue, there is this deep lack of built-in self-worth. I see it come out when a partner pulls away, or breaks things off in a relationship. I totally shut down, and I’m willing to go through so much just to have it back. It’s like everything I feel and think about myself rides on this person’s love and desire. In losing the most current one, I didn’t feel that as much since I decided I had to leave. I held on to his love for me thinking he’ll want me and love me for a long time. When I saw him, and he told me about his feelings and involvement for this other woman, I was absolutely shattered. I understand that humans experience pain and grief such as this, but for me it seems overly devastating, not a healthy dose of pain. I was utterly crippled for weeks, and still am to some degree. I got so sick I had to go to the hospital. All because I left him and he decided to pursue someone else. I know he has every right to, and I know I have no business being with him anyway. But it was the other woman, and his pulling away from me romantically, that crushed me. I am trying to understand where that comes from and what exactly I am lacking so badly to feel such deep sorrow for myself when these things happen.March 9, 2017 at 11:10 am #138281
You wrote in your last few lines that you are “trying to understand… what exactly (you are) lacking so badly to feel such deep sorrow..”-
my answer: the safety you did not have as a child: the safety in knowing you have a mother and a father who are on your side, who are able and willing to take good care of you. That current “deep sorrow” for yourself is the SAME sorrow you experienced then. That sorrow exists in the form of neuropathways in your brain that are triggered by current events, such as the ex having another girlfriend.
anitaMarch 9, 2017 at 11:14 am #138283
Do you have suggestions for how to change those neuropathways? Perhaps my therapist can speak to this, but I’ve never gotten any kind of solid advice. I read often on meditation and trying to be present and accepting of current situations. But these methods seem to fail in the face of such sorrow.
Thank you again, truly.March 9, 2017 at 11:39 am #138289
The best place to change your neuropathways (a gradual process, incremental, bit by bit, over time) is in competent psychotherapy. Otherwise, anywhere where you can safely express those feelings of childhood. These feelings, so intense, that sorrow you refer to, to lose its intensity, it needs to be acknowledged, seen, revealed.
It is as if you have a young child inside of you who is so very sad, but she is locked in a room. She wants someone to hear her, to help her so she keeps crying and crying. Sometimes you hear her (recently, when getting together with your ex) but you don’t know it is her, you don’t know where the crying is coming from. So you are not able to free the child from her locked room.
To find her, to unlock the door, to take her into your arms and let her see you seeing her tears, to comfort her- you need to locate her.
The child, the young girl in you is hurt, and sad and scared.
When you think of your childhood, of your experience of being that girl, alone, scared- do you feel anything or are you numb?
anitaMarch 9, 2017 at 1:49 pm #138295
That is very powerful to say the least. I’ve never thought of it in that way, but it makes sense. I didn’t even realized I was molested until I was much older, my early 20s. I would think about the situation but never felt like it was wrong, until I realized what it was. I never thought it had any effect on me until I saw some very vulnerable and uncontrollable things manifest through romantic relationships. I don’t remember being sad as a girl though. I don’t remember missing my father when my parents split or feeling bad about him touching me in that way. The most discomfort I remember was feeling was helplessness and sadness for my mother, with all her depression and financial stress.March 9, 2017 at 5:33 pm #138439
Regarding your mother’s depression and financial stress-
How did you know she was depressed and stressed- did she tell you, vent to you… cry? Fall apart in front of you? Was it in her tone of voice? Were you afraid that she will not make it, that she will not survive her pain and will not be there for you?
March 10, 2017 at 1:49 pm #138901
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by anita.
The stress was very, very apparent. There were times when she would totally meltdown – literally throwing things, yelling, crying. She got very emotional during the holidays and one time she basically turned everything in the house over, throwing everything on the floor, knocking over furniture, just totally unhinged. These episodes happened throughout my life, even recently as she suffers from bad depression and other issues I don’t really have a clinical definition for. I can rely on her and we have a good relationship now, but I guess there was still always that feeling that I needed to be self-sufficient.