Forum Replies Created
January 5, 2018 at 11:36 am #185251
I'm so sorry to hear you have suffered so much abuse and heartache. Please do not act on your thoughts of suicide. You are unique, beautiful and valuable to all. It may not feel that way because of pain you have endured thus far, but it is none-the-less true. Please seek counseling from a qualified therapist who's specialized in complex post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). A forum is simply not adequate for assisting with such in-depth issues. It's far better to see and hear and feel the warmth and care from a nonjudgmental, qualified therapist. And please do interview a few therapist to determine their qualifications and to find one you feel most comfortable. In the mean time, find a safe place to stay away from any unhealthy circumstances. Contact free suicide hotlines that are staffed with knowledgeable people that will understand your struggles and be able to immediately help you in your local area. Know that you are loved and that you are worth everything. Never give up!January 5, 2018 at 11:03 am #185231
I'm sorry you are experiencing turmoil from this experience. There is a great difference between an in-person relationship and an online relationship. While your feelings may be true regardless, it does not guarantee that your feelings, expectations or hopes are shared. Given your contact there clearly was a connection on some level, but it seems like your perception of the connection is very different than his. From your account he was consistent in his objection to a long distance relationship (LDR). He likely enjoyed your communication in the game. When you communicated your feelings he was okay only to the extent he was willing to maintain the game level of connection. He may have feelings for you, but his logic regarding a LDR is steadfast. When you began voicing your expectations and disappointments, he wanted no part of that and expressed his ongoing objection. As is often the case, when you lose control of your emotions (usually based upon non-shared expectations) he likely perceived this as “drama” and wanted no part of that given you are not in a in-person relationship. His logical conclusion may be that if he ends all contact you will get over your feelings and he will avoid a drama he sees no happy ending. That said, he may return after a cooling off period. Either way, it sounds very likely you will not find the close, connected relationship you desire with this man. Take this time to focus on you and what you truly want. I suspect you want a complete relationship. If this is the case do not settle for less. Instead, focus on you. Pursue all things that give you joy and help you evolve to the best, most confident version of you. Love yourself and appreciate all you have to offer. There are no doubt many out there who will do the same. People usually follow our lead. Wishing you a healthy, confident and joyful new year.January 1, 2018 at 12:53 pm #184591
TYPO: Word omitted in the 4th paragraph. It should read “When you find yourself in a relationship that is NOT healthy/balanced/supportive, REMOVE yourself and reevaluate.December 30, 2017 at 5:50 pm #184461
I appreciate your feelings and struggle. Your reaction is painful, yet not uncommon to breakups (grief and depression) and unhealthy attachments (emptiness, obsessing over your ex/past, wanting to return to an unhealthy/unsupportive relationship, feeling “stuck” on him). Even in healthy relationships, people do breakup and grief and depression is not uncommon. A breakup takes time to heal from.
The reason why what you have learned in therapy is not quickly changing your feelings is because no amount of logic or facts will change feelings. That said, what you learn in therapy (if you have a good therapist) is very valuable. You can use what you have learned to make conscious (thinking not feeling) decisions on any action (e.g.; Should you text or not? Feelings=”Yes”. Thoughts=”I feel like I want to contact him, but I know it will cause more pain. Best case scenario, he might give a very small amount of comfort that evaporates as his actions do not back up his words on a consistent basis. Therefore I choose not to text because it will do more harm that good and I deserve to have a healthy, loving relationship.). Therapy also allows you to gain insight to the origins of your feelings and how to heal the aspects of yourself that permit relationships such as this one to consume you.
If your ex is highly narcissistic it is important to remember that you may be experiencing an addiction to his projected best self (his most charming self) which he likely maintained in the beginning of your relationship. Further, narcissists use intermittent reinforcement to create an unhealthy bond (google “trauma bond”). Since intermittent reinforcement is unpredictable and unhealthy you may never understand his behavior. The narcissistic cycle is Idealization-Devaluation-Discard followed often by the silent treatment. This cycle repeats if both parties remain, but with a much shorter ideal period each time the cycle repeats. Doe this sound like your experience? If it does, nothing will improve in a permanent way unless your ex seeks therapy for his own reasons and remains committed to the process. So again, it seems your best bet for healing is to stick to no contact and loving you like you want to be loved by him. You may want to google blogs on breaking up with a narcissist to help you heal through your life post break-up.
It is quite possible you are a highly sensitive person. Highly empathetic and sensitive people suffer more in times of conflict and emotional pain. If you feel this is the case, it is all the more important for you to gain some distance in thought and action from your ex and devote your attention to loving and healing yourself. NEVER ever place your worth in the hands of another. Know you are worth a healthy, loving, supportive relationship. You are unique and beautify and valuable to us all. Some will see that and some will not. You want those who do and who demonstrate their respect for who you are. When you find yourself in a relationship that is healthy/balanced/supportive, REMOVE yourself and reevaluate. Take this time to really evaluate your values. What is important to you? What do you need? What do you want? What will you not compromise on? The answers to these questions will help establish your boundaries. When you know who you are and you enforce your boundaries based on your values you will find what you seek. Why? Because we determine what we will accept and people act accordingly or leave. Living by your values and boundaries reinforces your self worth and self love/respect, and others reflexively respect you more.
As for the origins of unhealthy attachments, as Anita has noted, they often begin early in life by example from our primary caregivers. If you felt abandoned or received intermittent reinforcement or abuse of any kind in your formative years, your young mind is not developed enough to correctly process the bad behavior as the responsibility of the caregiver, instead you will assume the bad behavior is caused by you. When this happens, as a person matures, they often feel a drive to recreate (choose a similar unhealthy bond with the same set of behaviors) in an attempt to now “fix” what was broken/painful from their primary caregiver relationship. It would be impossible in a comment forum to resolve childhood wounding, but it would be very valuable to pursue with a qualified therapist or coach so that you can heal and seek healthier relationships and truly know you are wonderful, beautiful, intelligent and valuable and “enough” as is!
For now, take all the time you need to heal. Take every action to be loving to you. Eat well, exercise, read (you may enjoy RH Sin poetry post-breakup) and sleep (if you cannot, try relaxation techniques before bedtime). You may also like attending a meet up group for others going through the same thing you are–some find it healing.
I wish you renewed hope, healing and freedom from the chains that bind you. You deserve far better! Chin up. You will survive and thrive before you know it 😉December 9, 2017 at 8:47 am #181197
Jen, you are most welcome.December 8, 2017 at 4:55 pm #181133
You are right, sometimes people cannot support our hopes and dreams and do not desire to change. The good news is you keep all your hopes and dreams, but simply save them for another who truly appreciates the gift of you in their life. I understand you checking your phone, but do your best, when you do not find what you longed for, to recognize you made the best choice for your heart and life. Wish him well in your mind and move forward to care more for you. If he returns, be prepared to be true to you. You set your values and boundaries and never compromise on non-negotiables.
Maybe take a little trip or do something nice for yourself that will give you a bit of peace and joy. Take care.December 8, 2017 at 8:43 am #181093
Cherri, you are very welcome. Wishing you much healing, love and joy now and in the future.December 8, 2017 at 8:38 am #181091
No, you did not “do wrong”. You honored your feelings, thoughts and instincts. Bravo. His grand gestures are another manipulative tactic used to divert attention from your real issues and get you back on his terms. His insult and dismissal shows his lack of sincerity to change (as well as a bruised ego). If he had truly wanted to change the dynamic in your relationship, he would have addressed your concerns sincerely and not shown up unannounced with gifts and promises. Instead this follows the same behavioral pattern you described throughout.
Your friends are not in your relationship. They do not live the results of your decisions. They likely thought of what they would do solely based upon what they have not experienced. Disregard what they have said. Only you can decide what is right for you. Stay strong to your own convictions.
His love bombing and dismissal and discard are common narcissistic behaviors. I have no idea if he is one, only that what you have described above is consistent with that scale of behavior. Had you accepted his demands, you very likely would have returned to the same cycle, only worse. He no doubt would have punished you in some way, much as he is punishing you now. At best this is immature and ego-driven behavior.
You deserve a loving, nurturing mature relationship filled with trust and understanding. So far, this does not sound like a healthy match. Take good care of yourself. Try to create some space to have peace and calm. Put all reminders of him away from sight and stay close to those who love you and want the best for you.December 7, 2017 at 9:57 am #180959
I think you nailed it, and in so doing, gave a great succinct definition of a narcissist. His violation of your love & trust (in such a massive way) is no reflection on you. It is all about him. As for your healing and moving on, it is necessary to let go of the dreams you have for the two of you. You keep those dreams, but save them for someone far more deserving. Give yourself love, kindness and compassion. Surround yourself with people who value and appreciate you. Now that you know the truth about your soon to be ex, you are free. You no longer have to question your own instincts or intuitions (they were likely spot on). You no longer have to cling to the false image he projected in the beginning. You will likely feel grief as you mourn the concept of him, but since that version of him was a facade, you have truly lost nothing. Even better, you have gained hope and the opportunity for a bright and truly loving future. Wishing you much self love and healing.December 7, 2017 at 9:44 am #180951
I understand the conflict of feelings you are experiencing. I applaud your efforts to return to self love and self respect.
Many of the comments you shared about your ex's behavior are manipulative tactics. Manipulation is, at its core, an effort to obtain and retain control of another. Classic manipulations include: intermittent reinforcement, withdrawal/silent treatment/stonewalling, love bombing (such as when he returns to you), belittling/fault-finding, back handed comments, etc. Being on the receiving end of these tactics is painful and confusing. Your ex may be using these behaviors intentionally or unintentionally, but regardless the result is the same. He gains control (to do as he wishes) and you are left confused, in pain, longing to return to “the beginning” while losing grip on your own self love and self esteem.
When a man is critical of your intrinsic traits (physical attributes, ethnicity, etc.) simply reply, “I'm all good with me.” and mean it! This cuts off his manipulative tactics. If he persists say, “It sounds like you're looking for a girl to impress your friends. I base my relationships on deeper values. Maybe you should move on.” At this point he is either likely to backpedal or apologize. Unfortunately, he is not likely to change his behavioral patterns, but you will retain your self esteem. Additionally, by taking this approach, you teach him to respect you because you respect yourself. He would know he cannot continue along the same lines or he will meet consequences. This is what self values and boundaries are all about. You have all the information you need to understand his patterns. Your continued hope to have a loving result is not wrong, but is likely not with this man right now.
For now, give your beautiful self all the love you have longed for from another. Don't try to change or fix another (it is NOT possible). Stand firm on your values and self respect. Know your worth http://affinity4us.com/know-your-worth/
You will find others who feel lucky to have your caring attention and will mirror your self love and self respect. Stay strong and love you more. Wishing you much peace and love.December 6, 2017 at 11:01 am #180817
It sounds like you are suffering in many ways and I'm sorry for your pain. Therapy can go a long way to help you understand and heal from your past. Seek a therapist who is NON judgmental and experienced with formative issues, inner critical voice issues, self esteem issues, attachment style and inner child healing. This will help you achieve a much better understanding of the triggers that keep you stuck and in pain. A good therapist can help you heal from your past, take personal responsibility for your future (you have the power!), and give you a pathway to greater self love. Inner child healing may sound woowoo, but it is very powerful. In essence, if you see yourself as you were as a child, knowing what you know now and all you experienced, what would you do differently for that child? Truly imagine that beautiful, innocent child and in your heart and mind give her the love, kindness and understanding you deserved from your parents. You can never be abandoned if you are always there for you with love & support. All parents are imperfect, some far more than others, but they came by their disfunction honestly as we all do. Don't let their personal struggles and poor parenting keep you stuck. You cannot change the past, but you can dramatically change the now and by doing so, create a new future. It is never too late.
Wishing you much self love and healing.December 5, 2017 at 10:34 am #180639
<div dir=”ltr”>Hi Jen,
<div>I applaud your efforts to do some internal searching and discovery. As predicted, he has returned. As anticipated, he would like to recreate the same pattern. Whether he waits two weeks or a year does not matter. What you want is a healthy relationship that meets your needs and his. To change your relationship dynamic, you will need to change the only thing you actually can–yourself. If you want love and respect, you must not compromise for less. Communicate what you desire (in a positive frame versus saying what he is dong wrong). Be ready and willing to back your requirements by letting him opt in or opt out. People always reveal themselves to you, but it may not be what you hoped for. Back up your standards and boundaries with new behavior of your own. As you change to love yourself more, respect yourself more, he will follow suit or you will move on.</div>
<div>Most men do not want to be contacted at work for many reasons. Instead of seeking change here, respect his wish to not call at his workplace. When he puts you on his list as a lower priority, do the same with him. Stop the pursuit of his affection. Instead get and stay focused on your own life. Find ways to give yourself the love, comfort and excitement you desire. Do this always. You truly are responsible for your own happiness. Always be in pursuit of your own goals and passions. When you do you will have an irresistible magnetic quality that people crave.</div>
<div>That said, he cannot give any guarantees things will be different. The only way you will know if things can be different is to do the following:</div>
<div>1. Know your self worth and love yourself first (and always).</div>
<div>2. Know what you accept and cannot accept (your standards).</div>
<div>3. Establish firm (and self loving) boundaries.</div>
<div>4. Know the type of relationship you truly desire.</div>
<div>5. When you date (this or any guy) watch to see what he reveals to you by his actions. When he stops showing love or respect, it's your cue to step away, because you will not compromise your own love and respect.</div>
<div>6. Communicate openly without judgment or over analyzing. Try to find out and understand his needs and how he experiences respect. Through communication, try to find a balance between your need for closeness and his need for greater independence. Understanding his point of view without fear or defensiveness will give you great insight. His perceptions are his own and yours are yours alone. Neither are necessarily a reflection on you or your relationship. Communicating openly (expressing what is important to you and how you experience that) helps create a road map to happiness (should you both choose to accommodate the needs of the other without compromising your self love or standards). Open communication allows you to find common ground.</div>
<div>7. Change happens in the NOW. Everything we learn today and do today helps create our future. So after a period of self reflection and commitment to become your best self, take steps to put the above in action. No one is perfect. Old patterns will return even with the best of intentions to change, but if you react according to your self love and now firm standards and do not attempt to control the outcome you will find a far different reaction.</div>
<div>8. Take baby steps to establishing a new relationship. Both your old ways did not yield contentment. Take new actions and take is slow. Fulfill your life for you and share that with others.</div>
<div>9. When conflict arises, get control of your emotions before you communicate with your significant other. Seek first to understand him before trying to get him to understand you. This often avoids many unnecessary hurts usually triggered by assumptions and fears.</div>
<div>10. Always remember you are responsible for your own feelings and your own happiness.</div>
<div>Wishing you great self-discovery and continues strength. Trust yourself and know that you can make changes that you will feel good about. Those changes are for YOU and not this guy or this relationship. That said, they will no doubt influence him and your relationship in a positive way.</div>
<div>Best of luck to you.</div>
</div>November 12, 2017 at 7:58 am #177751
You are very kind and very welcome! I’m happy for you and your fiancé. One caution, as you work together, it will likely bring unconscious things to the surface. So be prepared not to judge but to seek to understand and empathize with him and he with you. Feelings are not right or wrong, they are fluid and meant to inform us (of real or not real things). Men typically have deep inner worlds and many are not comfortable exploring and sharing them so this is a very loving and trusting act. I want to correct the acronym… FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real. All the best in your journey!November 11, 2017 at 7:06 pm #177717
Hi Paul, I’m so sorry for your pain. This is not my area of expertise as far as your medical issues, but I do have a friend that was in severe pain for two years. She went to a special program at Stanford for pain management using a mental process instead of drugs. Check to see if this info might help. https://stanfordhealthcare.org/medical-clinics/pain-management/programs-services.html
I applaud your efforts to be present and loving to your wife and girls. Don’t worry about shielding them from your condition, but I agree it is protective to cry in private. They love you. They want 5he best for you. Please do not lose hope. Try (if possible) to compartmentalize the pain so you can free up a space for hope. All is not lost.
I do know many people with your problems but none with all of them! I can’t even imagine. Again this is not my expertise, but these questions come to mind: Have you asked about a nerve block? Have you had spine surgery? Stenosis, herniated disks and spurs can be greatly improved. Have your doctors tried a Medral does pack (short dose steroids)? Do you take supplements? Ask your doctor if high dose vitamins d3 would help/be safe. Also for your knees ask about synovisc injections. Arthroscopic surgery can help a lot to delay replacement.
Sending you a gentle hug and best wishes for healing.November 11, 2017 at 4:44 pm #177705
Jen, I’m sorry to hear about your pain. We really do teach others how to treat us by how we set and maintain our boundaries, without fear or defensiveness. In other words, when someone treats you poorly, it is not your job to fix their bad habits. Instead, communicate what you like when it happens, and remove yourself when they distance themselves. Men respond to distance more than words or tears. That said, here are a few things to consider: no relationship maintains the pursuit/ excitement of the beginning stages. But in the first two years her learned what you like. When he became lackluster to rude, you continued to make effort instead of letting him know lack of caring and kindness is not ok. Unfortunately this creates a lack of respect and appreciation. I think you deserve great love. At this point be open to new connections. I can guess your ex will be back, but instead of running back, or punishing, take a new tact. Calmly tell him what you love and what you cannot accept. No tears, no anger, no pleading. Love yourself more and require him to prove he is worthy of another chance (he may not be given what you shared). Keep in mind people only change in a lasting way when they want to for their own reasons. Set your standards higher. Wishing you much healing and love in your life.