Forum Replies Created
July 3, 2014 at 10:33 pm #60187
Hi, @cookie1185. Firstly, I don’t think there is anything more emotionally, psychologically, and physically devastating than being betrayed by someone you loved unconditionally. I could walk away from my mother’s funeral less numb. I guess that’s because a funeral entices loss, sadness, and agony from an uncontrollable occurrence whereas betrayal, by definition, is premeditated. It’s chaos, sheer chaos, and I don’t envy anyone locked up in its throes, what’s more, I wouldn’t even wish it upon liable enemies. You are right. He made a very much conscious decision to take what were marital issues and trade them in for temporary release. Essentially he had sex a few times with a stranger and this was somehow supposed to make him feel better. Well, he’s lost a lot more on a really bad relational transaction, and he will continue to find more and more he’s lost as the days go by. He’s lost trust, intimacy, care, acceptance, and all the subtleties that go into constructing a 7-year relationship. He will not likely have gotten much, if anything, from this other person. In fact, having invested his frustrations and intimate details into her will leave him even more desolate when she inevitably disappears too. He’s withdrawn everything from his savings and thrown it at a dodgy investment. But he hasn’t just lost ‘money’, no, because he now owes ‘money’ to you and to his own conscience. The texted confirmation was purely abominable; I will never understand why people like this exist in the world because I am so coldly incapable of cheating on anyone. I guess that stems from my integrity and relational principles but I refuse to ever submit to that level of scum or subject others to it. It’s emotional rape and in many ways is more torturous than its physical counterpart. I feel for your situation. I feel for humanity. This stuff has always happened but it just feels as though it’s happening more and more and more. It’s depressing to say the least. Anyway, keep us updated on how you’re progressing in this and I hope you can find some calm in your days, however fleeting. You deserve better and are owed nothing. Any explanation or measure of closure he has tried to deliver should be treated in the context of his misdeeds.July 3, 2014 at 10:33 pm #60186
Hi, @inthebliss. I’m sorry this has happened for you and, as with others on this topic, I feel I’m quickly learning this situation to be particularly common and not at all to do with condemning the ‘dumper’ for providing no closure. As with the other cases, it’s so unfair to have someone whom (a) you legitimately have feelings for and whom (b) you want to ameliorate and grow a relationship with act so angrily and selfishly. Downplaying your relational problems is a sign that he is either ashamed of how he has treated you in the past by alleviating the importance of the issues or, worse, he honestly cannot comprehend the issues themselves as ‘issues’. The fact that you ended it and he felt strung along the entire time makes me think he is simply too immature to be in any relationship that does not first and foremost revolve around him. Unfortunately, and as much as we want to, we cannot programme these people how to act, and if we could would we really want to be in love with someone we knew was conforming just for the sake of pleasing us? I doubt so. I’m sad it had to be this way but you should try to find hope, where possible, in the old albeit trite adage of their being ‘plenty more fish in the sea’. We get so focussed on one person and beating to their rhythm that when suddenly they beat out of time we need to go searching for whys in order to just continue living. There are so many other people out there more suited to us who we have not found yet because they too are in similarly underwhelming relationships wondering where we are. Logistically it’s an impossibility to find highly suitable people instantly because these things take time. I just wish this world, this generation would slow the fuck down so we can all have time for meaningful, thoughtful, and considerate human relations. Just an afterthought, but would you mind my asking candidly your ages so I can better process the situation? As with the previous posts, thank you so much for contributing to this topic because it’s really highlighted for me the role of the ‘good dumper’, so to speak. I didn’t know just how prevailing it was because I’ve never experienced it at all.July 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm #60185
Hi, @requin. I’ve brung her up before but the girl I was dating for a couple of months – well, not so much dating as getting to know more intensely than one otherwise would – did the same thing as your ex. I challenged her for reasons, saying something along the lines of ‘there’s always a scoreboard, whether conscious or not’, and all I got was, ‘I guess you caught me in a vulnerable moment and I wanted to be close with someone and now I realise I don’t want anything like that and I don’t really have the time anyway’. When I couldn’t entirely accept this, I started disclosing my own likely assumptions on why it wasn’t working, all of which she was only too eager to tick as effects. I can’t lie though, I knew it was coming, I got to the point where I was completely and utterly gritting my teeth to impress this girl when no one should ever have to try and be someone they’re not. She later told me, when I brought up some of the things she did that reassured her 100% interest in me, that the whole time she was ‘still making up [her] mind’. It’s funny to write these recent sentiments of ‘needing closure’ on a topic I actually made called ‘YOU DON’T NEED CLOSURE’. I guess it’s an ongoing struggle. What a pitiful demise to something that started so exhilaratingly and not at all ambivalently. Just like you stated, when all was said and done, my closure from this specific girl came in the form of extremely vague answers and blatant skirting techniques. I even wonder, like you, if she even really knew. I’m so glad you brought up the avoidance issues and typified that as a personality because I feel some of what you described of your partner is directly reflective of this girl. Although I would definitely hasten you to not revise the past in a way that might shed hopeful light on a future that can now never happen. It’s exactly the same as closure; the ‘what ifs’ and ‘if onlys’ do nothing but stultify our processing of the relationship and prevent us from accepting that, regardless of what happened, it’s now over. Obviously, as I say this I’m overcome by a myriad of the same questions – questions that turn to regrets, regrets that turn to frustrations, and frustrations that turn into feelings of anger, resentment, and ultimately loss. It’s really heartbreaking, I can understand this. I’m even more affected by your testimony given I’m half that guy’s age and have always confidently presumed that by that age we are so much more capable to love and care and appreciate others. I’m reminded of a song called ‘Desperado’ by Eagles, chiefly one line in particular that really shred me when I realised my (much earlier) commitment/trust/intimacy issues: ‘you better let somebody love you… before it’s too late’. I hope, for their sakes, that people like that can find someone because when I was over-critical I used to elect anything as reason to leave a relationship. It was immature. People like that need to understand that, unfortunately, sometimes it can get too late and so many times I hear regret and lamentation from the people who have realised they had a good thing much later after they actively got rid of it. Relationships are never infinite but neither is human life. We need to find what works for us ‘now’ and give our 100% to that, because anything less contradicts my idea of love. Lastly, the ‘doesn’t have time for a relationship’ is a damn poor excuse. I’m sorry, but at 50+ I think I would’ve had my whole life to mow the lawn, hang out with mates, and work overtime. His idea of being with you antagonises my principles because he’s listed ‘everyday’ occurrences as temporal preclusions to having a relationship. How sad. I’ve been regularly dating lately, more or less just to detach from the most recent women who I invested too much into. In my experience, there are those who will make time for you and those who won’t – why get preoccupied with asking ‘whys’ of the people who are disinterested when it’s already obvious they are not simpatico with our expecations. Just like your situation, I think if someone truly likes you they will make time to see you or if it’s a longer term relationship, then they will have had enough idea that this is something you need out of it and to compromise accordingly.July 3, 2014 at 10:31 pm #60184
Hi, @paddington. Very good points – points I intentionally blurred in my post since I was writing from a partially negative (jaded, frustrated, lonely) perspective to catch others with similar feelings. Irrespective, I always appreciate other views. It’s true and should be refreshing to succumb to the knowledge that with each failed relationship we get irrevocably closer to being ready for better, more appropriate ones. It’s a simple yet hard to accept fact that humans are psychologically different and living under the expectation that they can change and, worse, will change should be interred immediately. Yes, my ‘interpretation’ of maturity and rationality was based on my own ideas of what such behaviour constitutes. To an extent, I’m right in seeing and acting on differences like this but I should try not to wholly compare her understanding of maturity with my own, even in the greater scheme of socially accepted mores and stereotypes handed down over time. I acknowledge it should be beneficial for me to see so much optimism in taking note of the simple fact of ‘mismatching’ but I guess I’m still holding on to the idea that regardless of such differences, people should still be able to work through things and, most importantly, ‘want’ to work through things. I have a big problem, which I may not have inferred in this topic, with expecting people will change. It hurts both me and the other person involved because I can’t seem to reconcile this until after my partner has proved their commitment to me in some way or another. Just like with @Porterman’s circumstances, I feel your ascription as the ‘dumper’ is too a technicality because it is so obvious based on the basic sincerity of your post that he unashamedly refused his contributing role in the relationship. What additionally struck me was that he is a sociable person and that this precluded outsiders from commiserating with your relational issues, especially those that might revolve around him not being open and communicative to someone. This too goes back to what I referred to @Porterman: it’s so easy for society to affix blame to the final catalysing factor without even a slight glance at the preponderance of ‘small’ contributing factors that build up over time to in fact cause said catalyst. I will admit that whilst your admission of dumping runs counter to the main driving points of my original post, I do sympathise with your efforts, as well as your will to finalise something that had, as you intimate, died a while ago. Dissimilar to my case is that he was ‘given’ what I see as reasonable cues that might trigger him to action or even reaction but instead has cemented him more rigidly to inaction. Admittedly, he acted like I did when I was dumped – expecting reinstatement – but I was given no forewarning or chance for recourse as he appears to have been given repeatedly. Thank you for reinforcing more eloquently my original message:
‘staying in a relationship which hurts you, or seeking closure for why it has ended, are both energy-sapping and emotionally-draining activities which do not move you forward. Accept the […] bottom-line that your values, personalities and needs were not in sync and too far out of sync for the better parts of your relationship to offset this. Acceptance will not pull you back, it will bring you to the here and now of your life. The end of an [out-of-sync] relationship frees us to find that person who will be our great match. I am sure that my boyfriend will find the [woman] who will be his, and I will find the man who will be mine. This is what makes me happy inside.’
It appears you registered just to comment on this post. I did the same thing half a year ago when I was going through my breakup. I really hope you can stay a little while longer and continue sharing some of your insightful and startlingly wise experiences with me and the rest of the community.July 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm #60182
Hi, @lissy123. The lack of explanation is a common reality in this kind of situation. I’m very cause-and-effect oriented and therefore need the relational checking account balanced to understand where I sit and whether or not the relationship is progressing. I’d been dating a girl for a couple months a little earlier this year and she was entirely incapable of explaining her motives on actions, which inevitably caused in me reactions, which consequently caused her to counter-react and induce argumentation. The fights might have eventuated very differently but at their core was the same spark – a lack of explanation. I brought up a similar contention to yours on another topic (http://tinybuddha.com/topic/help-im-living-in-limbo-during-separation/) and one poster enlightened me with this quite basic revelation:
‘The most valuable thing I learned from a counselor was that if you are in a relationship with someone, and you tell them what you need and what you want (reasonable requests, of course) and they do not give it to you, it is because they do not want to. If that person is of normal intelligence, functions in the day to day world, their reluctance or inability to do something is not because they do not understand or you didn’t explain it right. They just don’t want to do it. It’s the simplest thing in the world, and the hardest to accept.’
Like you, I always dwell on a relationship’s past as if it is going to give me valuable clues about its future. I don’t hold grudges but I do ‘remember’ things that people have done and find it hard to not go into unrelated arguments completely and utterly bias-free and independent of those memories. I know I brought up closure that pertains to breakups but the same line of thought lies also with during-relationship closure, which is obviously a little harder to regulate. The freedom of breakup closure is that it’s over and it’s out of your control, meaning you can move on without getting tied up on something that’s no longer present. Whereas during-relationship closure like yours is immeasurably more complex because the relationship is still alive and growing. When people can’t be held accountable for reasoning away their role in the conflict, especially when it hurts their partner, I’ve found they are either (a) behaviourally impaired from doing so (extrovert vs introvert mentality etc.) or, most likely, (b) they have no desire to do so. If he wants to be in a relationship with you then he needs to understand that one of his compromises for you is trying to communicate more. In the same way, one of yours for him might be to try be a little less over-analytical or sensitive of his actions when you know, and have accepted, that that’s ‘just him being him’. Apology does not negate an explanation, an apology (at least in your case) is him just addressing the point you have taken issue with and attempting to make it cease to exist in the fastest, easiest way possible. With an explanation, you get both it and the apology as one. In any case, my father was exactly like this. He would explode over trivialities and then return later with saccharine apologies that never contained explanations – just blanket statements of remorse. I hope you can work through this. But the simple fact that you’re citing issues as far back as 3 years makes communication now an imperative if you’re both to make the relationship work. I’d appreciate if you keep us updated on your progress!
July 3, 2014 at 10:29 pm #60181
- This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Blaice.
Hi, @Porterman. You bring up something that I intentionally left absent from my post but, yes, there should be an emotional ‘threshold’ to which individuals in a relationship must think for themselves, look out for themselves, and ultimately find the best way to defend themselves if things are getting patchy. Generally I reserve such introspection for those who have been hurt before, perhaps serially. Most often people have conflicting feelings in relationships, which I always attributed to the ‘early stage’ where both sides are feeling out similarities, rectifying dissimilarities, establishing expectations, and considering compromises. But as with your post, and other TB topics I’ve recently been involved in, I’ve noticed that it’s actually more prevalent in exceedingly longer relationships. I’m not sure what makes people incapable of talking through things, I mean, people are fundamentally different and should be accepted for this. What I was trying to get across is that I do understand the right to an internal emotional threshold that does not have to be discussed with a partner, but once the issues get too big for people to resolve by contemplation, they definitely need to be expedited to an open platform within the relationship. I know that once ‘I’m not sure’ gets uttered, the relationship is immediately stuck in neutral or just flat out stalls until either it ends or it gets fixed. I’m from the opinion that I’d rather know this as soon as possible. It’s fine for someone to have doubts, but to not communicate those doubts after such a long period until they have made up their own mind and want out is just completely unfair for the other person. At the close of the day, one person is always going to be more hurt and, to me, this kind of withholding tells me that someone has made a conscious effort to ensure their happiness and prioritise their recovery over someone else’s. Therefore I’d rather find out about such relational conflict as soon as it begins to linger, choosing to end things in an environment where the hurt is shared (burdened) by both people, rather than it being cowardly or calculatingly tipped on one person once they’ve ‘self’-assessed their feelings. Having just said all of this, I need you to understand that your situation is so much closer to ours than the surface would have you believe; I went and read your first post covering this (http://tinybuddha.com/topic/good-situation-but-im-still-unsure/). In your case, it appears obvious that you tried to express your ill treatment to your wife and her family but it was always facetiously undermined, contradicted, and manipulated to the point that your ability to function optimistically and hopefully was completely exhausted. It is through this that your ascription as the ‘dumper’ is nothing more than a technicality. You are officially exonerated from the ‘coward’ and ‘blindsider’ attributions I made, if only for the sheer stifled marital environment you struggled through. However, this is only under the assumption that you tried to communicate these with your wife. As aforementioned, people are simply different; it shouldn’t be focussed as an obstruction but as a fact that can be worked and managed and improved upon. As for your ‘affair’ situation, it’s so easy for society to affix blame to the final catalysing factor without even a slight glance at the preponderance of ‘small’ contributing factors that build up over time to in fact cause the catalyst. Without any context or detail, simply when someone has an affair they are immediately lambasted as the ‘reason’ the relationship broke down, completely disregarding the various lead-up events – incidents of physical abuse, prolonged emotional trauma, controlling obsessiveness, familial manipulation etc. These things aren’t brought to light and are in most cases swept into insignificance once someone has committed adultery. Sadly this appears exactly like your situation; and I think people should be held accountable for all these contributing factors rather than the catalysing one. I’d appreciate an update on the relationship that superseded your marriage, if only to expand upon some of your points.July 3, 2014 at 10:29 pm #60180
Hi, @quidproquo. That is brutal but absolutely common, as sad as that reality is. I find that in many cases they tend to jump ship when the commitment becomes particularly serious. Buying rings will do that but only when they have already been dwelling on issues over an extended period of time and not disclosing these with you etc. I’m sorry you have to go through not only that but also the demise that was delivered by way of text. Just awful in every way. I know this takes a lot of getting used to but think about this when and if you ever have a calm moment: if someone was capable of being so hurtful and treating you so neglectfully, would you truly want to be with them now knowing this? I find uncommunicated breakups (as in, those where someone decides personally if it’s over rather than relationally) so harsh yet they are so common. In a way, they provide us a very quick, clear release, which I would very much prefer over a long, drawn-out ambivalent breakup. This can be analogous to mediaeval times where a quick beheading (or hanging) was deemed an act of mercy over a long, torturous flaying or burning. Trust me, you don’t want the latter, which is pure emotional torture just like a quick breakup but spliced with shades of hope from being led on. As you say, the lack of interest in working on the ‘broken’ relationship and absence of a chance at amends is the most harmful. But if they’ve already deliberated without even needing you, they’ve shown unmistakeably just how little of their own self was ready to love. And you definitely don’t want someone like that – someone who was so willing to throw it all away because of their own ineptitude at communicating fears and anxieties about the relationship. It hurts now and, damn it, I know where you’re coming from, but know you dodged the proverbial bullet! If she stayed, perhaps she would’ve been able to progress through this for the sake of you both and the relationship. But I think this would have inevitably led to your breaking up with her, because ‘problems’ like trust and communication are rudimentary and not easily fixed without direct address.July 3, 2014 at 10:28 pm #60179
Hi, @yankeegirl. 9 months chasing closure? You’re doing so well. I hope I was able to offer some personal insight, however subjective that might have been. Looking back over my post afresh and I feel as though I might have been a little aggressive in my anti-closure drive. Everyone goes through the stages of grief, with denial, regret, and self-loathing being very real de-motivators of our recovery. My main point is not that closure, or more importantly chasing closure, is not necessary. I don’t mean to say to anyone that your hopes of letting go early are in vain because I’ve been there and I know how hard it is to completely give up on something where love is involved. I’m just saying: when the time is right and you’re spiritually ready then try as best as possible to absorb the dis-necessity of perfect closure and reasonable explanation. It’s easy to accept or understand sound, experience-based advice but it’s another thing entirely to even attempt their practice. I was counselled by some very good close friends and after repeated ‘sessions’ with them in person, over Skype, I would leave and then do all the things I knew would obstruct my moving on. I would go stalk her, keep contact with her friends and family, search through old conversations, and bring up pictures of her on my computer. I knew it wasn’t healthy but it’s something that I had to submit to. Don’t feel bad about your length of closure. Everyone is conditioned to a different psychological timer. As much as it seems hopeless, you must understand you will love again and it will be better than ever. Why? I believe it’s these very situations of heartbreak that make us immeasurably more suited to, ready for, and aware of love than we ever could have been without their transpiring. In addition, our mind is capable of very rational, logical short-term fixes that actually do make sense whereas our heart wants to be repaired by reuniting with long-term connection and love. The longer there is conflict between these, the longer our recovery will take. Those who are able to move on so much faster than us are not the cold, whimsical people I once thought but are simply more adept at getting their mind and heart to work together. At the close of the day, the most cathartic thing for me to realise is that I need to stop ‘trying’ to make someone more like me and me more like them. Compromise is fine and acceptance is preferred, but trying to force change is ultimately useless and damaging; I would prefer someone to love me for me than have them love a version of me I’d created just in order to make a relationship work. We need to find the beauty in seeing relationships objectively as simply ‘attempts’ (or a series thereof) to share a commonality with someone completely different to us… until we end up in one that just makes sense.July 2, 2014 at 12:54 am #60073
Well met. I haven’t been on here too long but I have found the forums to be a little like that. Although, without any real IM or at least personal e-mailing system, it’s a little harder to give someone a warmer, closer hand of support. I wish something like that could be incorporated because the community overall is really great. I haven’t found any to be as empowering; perhaps I was only comparing it to relationshiptalk.net, which is kinda awful.July 1, 2014 at 4:31 pm #60055
Thanks @talkingwithtinybuddah and @emmanueller21.
Hi, @theruminant. I’m sorry you feel this way but that is simply not the intention of any of the posters on here. You say posting pre-made lists is negligent of someone’s feelings but, at least in my case, this was a list I forged in tears and embitterment and later refined in the light of rationality. It is not clinical. It is not ego-centric. It is not malign.
What I talk a lot about on this forum is assumptions and expectations and how, when ill-conceived, they make a mockery of relational integrity. Just like this, I don’t see how your assumptive reprimand is beneficial at all; especially given the engaged and very much positive responses proffered by other members of the community. No one’s suffering is greater than another’s, in fact much of the posts on here are borne of residual hurt at the very least. As for the format of list-making – it’s easier and simpler to digest! That doesn’t mean it’s any less meaningful. Again, this is the relationship forum, so lists and helpful, insightful exposition by experienced sufferers is the meat and potatoes of such a website. Yes, there are tonnes of articles already covering such stuff but none should be deemed redundant because everyone’s experience is circumstantial and subject to absolute nuance. That’s why we keep posting and that’s why this topic exists.
As for posting rather than ‘contributing’, I will accept that is one of my weaknesses in this community. I love posting new topics that concern me first and foremost. Realising this about two days ago, I began logging on and simply posting. Oftentimes I’ll just grab the first four topics, read the entire set of posts, and then add my own. Other times I’ll search out topics that interest me. Do I have extensive experience on every topic? No. Do I have anecdotal evidence to back up my advice? No. Am I contributing to a community that offers “people in desperate situations […] human connection, sympathy and understanding”? Most definitely.July 1, 2014 at 1:13 am #60020
Hi, @gladystardust. Your ability to get over a seven-year relationship is enviable. My relationship was nowhere near as long and it took me ten times its length to start to feel no feelings, as ironic as that appears. The ‘I love you but I’m not in love with you anymore’ is great is it not? I’d say in some circumstances it would have merit, but definitely not in a near-decade’s worth of relational progress; I find it antagonistic of my idea of long-term relationships – that it gets easier the more you end up banking. Perhaps, now, not always true. Thanks for posting your experience because it’s really close to exemplary of my driving points about the dis-necessity of closure. Ultimately, your ex has highlighted the very real factor at play in so many relationships – cowardice through lack of communication. I don’t buy for a fuckdamn second that someone can be as capricious (or as cognitively dissonant) as simply and suddenly falling out of love with someone. In mature, rational, caring, and self-aware relationships, these things happen over time. So, for someone to start feeling like this in January but not bringing it up until December, at which point they’ve meticulously self-assessed it, is completely balls. In my opinion, there is not one issue in relationships that cannot be benefited (either fixed, accepted, or abandoned) by bringing it to light in the appropriate environment. Anything else is misguided.
Accepting such finality with grace is impressive and not to dishonour your heart by questioning an already concluded situation is even more so. It’s shocking to be treated so callously, so neglectfully but it is what it is. We are so damn obsessed with why, to the point that it becomes unhealthy. I’m reminded now of psychopathic serial killers, whose motives we are always so eager to hear. ‘How could someone do that to a child?’, ‘Do they even have a heart?’, and ‘I can’t believe they’re not even sorry for what they did!’ can all be re-emphasised in the vein of relationships and the people who damage us. Their motives and reasons are useless. Closure is not useless, but it does not lie wholly in reasonable explanations.June 30, 2014 at 7:38 pm #60006
Hi @nea4 and @deemarika. Breakups of relationships are probably the hardest thing you’ll ever go through and then, within the category of relationships, being led on by a coward who is incapable of finalising something because they’re just as scared is one of the most callous ways to be treated. I’m familiar with this because it’s happened to me in most of my relationships. See, I don’t know what makes me like this but I’m nearly always the ‘dumpee’ and the other person, the girl, is nearly always the ‘dumper’. Perhaps I’m genetically and pathologically predisposed to being the ‘dumpee’, it’s who I am, so I wouldn’t beat yourself up over it. At the same time, you need to understand when something is no longer working – even if it appears to be working – because it’s only going to extend the pain. Most of my relationships have been with women much younger than me so that’s probably why we end up with (irreconcilable) problems but, like you, I’m always the one putting in the effort, the one trying to constructively progress the relationship, and carry it into something more meaningful. Others don’t want to improve, in fact they do as much as they can to not improve it because at some point they changed their feelings.
It’s hard now, but it’s better to hit the problem head on and accept it’s over rather than refuse to accept something obvious and let the assumptions and expectations continue to eat away at you over a much longer period. Maybe telling him that and stopping all communication for a while would be the best thing to do, then you can see what happens and maybe go from there. It’s very hard, so very hard. For me, I turned off all social media for a week just to see what would happen. Just like that, it was hard for the first few days, but then you start to see some benefits. Surround yourself with friends if you can, or talk to people like us on places like this to leave your worried mind.
Hope you can feel more positive about the situation soon. xoxoJune 30, 2014 at 7:09 pm #60002
Hi, @daazydawg. I applaud your courage for seeking out and finding multiple avenues of help in this. One thing that struck me about what you said is more of a technicality but I wanted to clear it up before I respond to your post: you portray individual issues as independent from marital issues when in fact all issues – from the past, the present, and anxieties, queries about the future – should all be considered as ‘marital’ issues because they are having veritable impact on the marriage itself. I think it would be beneficial if he perhaps came to understand that too.
First thing I wanted to bring up in this is that you and your husband seem to have two starkly different personalities and I only identified this out of my own experience. I am very much like you, I’m very emotive, very sensitive – typically I act between states of polarity, going from one extreme to the other. I am never a little happy or a little sad, if I’m happy I’m REALLY happy, if I’m sad I’m REALLY sad, I guess I find it particularly hard to regulate my emotional state. As a result, I can come across judgemental, argumentative, and often highly critical of others when they don’t, can’t, or refuse to comprehend how I feel or my perspective. That doesn’t mean I’m moody or have bipolar disorder or anything, it just means I’m highly sensitive. In addition to this, I notice you are willing to accept and admit fault where necessary and move on from past hurts in light of more caring, more constructive futures. I am very much like this also, I can absolutely lose my shit over something – almost unreasonably – but I have never ever been one to hold grudges or dwell too extensively on the past when I know it won’t change the future etc. I can be profusely yet genuinely apologetic about my actions but because of my tendency to fly off the handle, so to speak, people who are not close to me or people whose personality is completely incapable of understanding mine, will often be offended, hurt, and slowly corroded by my actions.
As for your husband, he appears to be exactly like my ex, he is less to communicate openly, he doesn’t like to express his feelings, he is not particularly emotive, and takes a great deal to heart, irrespective of whether or not you have apologised. A ‘closed book’ is apt, but it is more than that because they are much less likely to change, and as a result of that, much less likely to want to change (even if it can be perceived as being for the better). It’s a psychological barrier that precludes moving forward because they are incompatible with our much more fluid state of emotions. What makes it worse is that when they do occasionally (or finally) open up to you and allow themselves into vulnerable states (which they will mostly try to avoid at all costs), they will not be entirely open. And you won’t actually know this until the next fight where you find out there was more to the story than they disclosed. Overall, my ex sounds so similar to your husband because she had a complete inability to understand just how necessary communication is. I mean, we had trust, love, and acceptance but we barely had compromise because communication is the driver of compromise. In fact, communication is the conduit through which most marital issues can most effectively be addressed.
We are human. We need to feel. We need to talk. But we should not ever have to assume. Assumption indicates a lack of communication. Nearly all of our fights, sadly, were over miscommunication, misinterpretation, and assumption. Like you, what I found most frustrating and, later demoralising, about this was that the problems were so obvious and all of them centred on communication. But every time I tried to remind her of this so we could work through it, she would simply get irrational and start talking about us needing a break. Basically, she was saying to me that she would prefer our relationship end than have to work on it. In a way, it was the most immature thing I’ve ever had intimated to me and ultimately the very reason for our demise. When I pushed her for something more reasonable she just said she would rather be lonely waiting for the perfect person who completely understood her than waste time with someone who is too different although who loves her.
My advice, is that people like this barely change because they have a very conceited idea of relationships and expectations and how their needs should apparently be prioritised over other ones. Having said this, I cannot honestly say you should try and move on from this because I have not heard his side of the story. I know you are the one being proactive and it’s very noble, but it would be unfair for me to elicit certain responses considering I’m not a professional and I’m not a valued friend. I think you should both keep ‘trying’, at least for now. I’ve found that working through things slowly, incrementally is the best way and most likely way to achieve results. People of our nature tend to want to introduce radical, sweeping change into relationships by starting afresh at some given scale. But other personalities do not cope well with this, especially those like your husband and my ex, so I would hasten you take a more pragmatic approach and make some small iterative changes that show both of you that this can work, it’s not beyond each of your control, it’s hard, it’s complex, but it is progressing. The biggest problem today is that the world has become so selfish that we find it difficult to accept people could be fundamentally different to us. And it runs deep into relationships, even within marriages. Something you can do to work toward remedying this is take a personality test, so at least you both have some form of foundation in understanding your basic differences.
This is a great site and ridiculously accurate. Of course personalities can be further sub-defined but it will give a very real identification of who you are intrinsically. It’s a simple survey that only takes 15 to 20 minutes as I recall but it will provide a platform upon which you can both read each other’s results, compare, and consider your relationship more broadly.
I’m interested in hearing updates about your marriage whenever appropriate. I hope you can keep confident enough to work through your issues, even when it seems you’re doing all the work to make change.
P.S. How long did you know / date each other prior to marriage?
June 30, 2014 at 12:52 am #59918
- This reply was modified 6 years, 1 month ago by Blaice.
Hi, @chicken636. First of all, and no offence because I’m coming somewhat from his side of things, you need to respect him enough to let him move on. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. You might be legitimately upset about what’s happened and I find that in and of itself honourable but you can’t remove him from the category you’ve both defined together and then be shocked he’s not fine with being revised under a completely different one. He obviously wanted to continue that relationship in the personal, romantic way it had been established and advanced (over a year) whereas you came to the conclusion that it just didn’t work for you anymore. There is nothing wrong with that and, in fact, you did the right thing by approaching the situation maturely and making him aware of it; there is nothing worse than getting strung along because of someone’s reluctance to be open and honest about where they’re at. In the short-term you want him to know how bad you feel and just how sorry you are but apologising is only going to make you feel better, in a way it’s actually quite selfish. In the long-term, however, letting him go and not pursuing this any further is going to be more beneficial for both of you, especially him. In the future you might be able to talk again and have the friendship you want now but that can only happen once he is absolutely, utterly free from the hurt the relationship has caused him. I speak from my most recent relationship where my ex led me on for a period of time before just suddenly deleting me from her life… and she dumped me! That’s where the difference comes in and that’s why I think it can be different for you two, but you need to trust this decision to be friends with him enough to allow him the time to go away and heal.
In all honesty, @butterflynurse78 is typically right. If you were older, perhaps you could continue the relationship as a friendship until you were both a little more confident in its finality. I don’t know, I’m just going off what you’ve provided here. In all cases, I’ve championed the ‘dumpee’ over the ‘dumper’, so I have little time and little experience for trying to comprehend why someone would feel sad when they are initiating a breakup. Sorry if this advice is too subjective for you. I hope you can sort your feelings out and communicate these with him when appropriate.
XJune 30, 2014 at 12:16 am #59917
Hey @sophiedaphne, it seems that you both have personalities that conflict on a similar issue yet both of you are not entirely willing to work through these. He appears to be someone who is a lot more sensitive to things that you would count as smaller or even trivial. I’m a highly sensitive guy and I can tell you that people like us take ages to fully deal with things, especially those which would affect something as big as confidence to marry someone. We tend to obsess over details and over-analyse situations, which is not always a good trait given other people like you created those situations almost without really meaning to – a knee-jerk response if you will. Whereas we don’t see it like that and though conversation and apologies have taken place, we still keep distant. You appear to be a little different to this and, just going off what you’ve written, you also appear to be the kind of person who can be very emotive. Many of the women I’ve dated have been like this, able to quickly admit a bad situation and openly come to terms with it. It’s such a good thing to bring to a relationship but at the same time, it makes it harder to work things out when in relationships with people like your guy and me etc.
I know it seems shocking to go from suddenly marriage to misinterpretations and fights and now not much talk about it but I think this is a healthy thing to have happened for both of you. It will give you the chance to see that marriage, like anything, has many sides, many needs, and is a constantly changing dynamic of two persons working toward one goal. If you can accept that fights and misunderstandings happen as part of a natural marriage, then you have a very real opportunity to work through them and come out at the end much better off for it.
I hope I haven’t come across presumptuous or self-righteous as I only speak from experience.