E. Buddha

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    E. Buddha

    A little tough love for you Elka:

    So six years your friend began a relationship with someone you did not really like, so you dumped him as a friend.
    If that is all it takes then your friendship was probably not so great to begin with.
    If you feel guilty about it, that might make sense given that you cut off your friend who really did nothing to you other than continue a relationship you did not approve of.
    Not only that but you never communicated to your friend about it in six years, and made things awkward in your social group.
    Six years is a long time to hold a grudge. Under one year I would advise talking it out with the friend, but if I were in your friends position, I would be stunned to hear you carried about this negative feeling toward me for six years without a word.

    You say they hurt you but I don’t see you as the victim here. You dont need to forgive yourself, you need to look into what you have done and how it has affected others, and understand why you made their relationship about you.

    How would you feel if you were in that situation.

    E. Buddha

    It may sound cliche but volunteering is a genuinely good way to get out of your bubble, help a cause you care about, and possibly meet other cool people. I dont think anyone is destined to be alone. People do drift and focus on their own families in their 30s, and I think that is normal. The other half of conversation is listening, so try to be a good listener and learn about things you are interested in so you have stuff to talk about.

    E. Buddha

    So, from reading your post, it sounds as if R is working class or poor and you are not, and you are ashamed to be with him, and he broke up with you.
    His response to you seems completely reasonable.

    E. Buddha

    Hi Again Tinywanderlust.

    I am really glad you dont blame yourself. I also understand what you describe as stooping to his level. I did that too, basically because it was something I hadnt tried before, and I was willing to try anything. But remarkably, when someone is losing it in front of you, for example, throwing things, also picking up and throwing something to try to learn the language is just NOT effective. In fact it makes it more confusing than when you can just maintain dignified composure. That is what I learned, and what you write reminds me (so very closely) of what I went through.
    The abuse within your family is another matter. I am so sorry this happened to you. It is so utterly wrong for this guy to use the pain in your past as an excuse. Someone who really loves you will be gentle with the areas of your heart and your past which are tender and painful. I am glad you recognize that what he is doing is wrong.
    Your story about the commitment hokey pokey is also what I went through. To the point that marriage was discussed, buying a house together was discussed. But it was painfully clear that was an insane idea when everything nice in our little apartment had been quite literally smashed and broken.
    Anyway, I will check back here now and then to see how you are doing. It sounds like you are on the right track, and besides having been there, right where you are, I just want to shine a light on a brighter future… its possible! Keep going!

    E. Buddha

    Dear Claire,

    You have not had the DECISIVE MOMENT yet. Instead, you are still in the swinging momentum of together, and apart, and together and apart.
    Your self worth does not depend on the opinion of the man, but if you see it that way your world will become very, very small and fragile.

    When you write a letter like the one you wrote to him, you should reflect on what you are saying. What you find yourself HAVING to say to keep a little self respect.
    Do not expect him to hear what you have to say, especially after the mirroring comment, it means he is incapable of seeing you as a separate person. I have written letters like that, and they were a waste of time.

    Crumbs on the counter. My dear Claire. Do you realize how many truly difficult and painful situations a couple will have to face together in the course of life. A relationship undone by crumbs is also crumbs.

    What you are describing as unconditional love, optimism and stubborness, needs to meet with hopelessness and decisiveness. I think you may be far from that moment just now. It sounds as if you are really hooked so all I can say for now is, imagine another reality for yourself. Do not be so tolerant. Do not tolerate disrespect. Dont rationalize things, and dont follow your heart. Instead, try to pay attention to the more animal level of the relationship. You will feel it like a prickle when a wolf shows his teeth. It is the feel of someone who wants to come into your territory, aggressively. Hairs can tingle on your arms. When that happens you can hold your ground, or leave. Keep your head up.

    Abuse has a weird intimacy which you can mistake for being close to someone. I think you may be making that mistake.

    E. Buddha

    Hi Tinywanderlust,

    Well, I am so glad to hear that something so terrible in my life can have at least one positive outcome. If it helps you, that is very good.
    One thing I want to address in your above post, you say:

    Luckily, the energy healer gave me some techniques that are already helping me feel the strength to detach, not just physically, but also emotionally. But, I know this road isn’t going to be an easy one and I also realize there’s some deeper digging I need to do in terms of what drew me to a relationship like this in the first place. Luckily, I have an understanding of where that needs to begin.

    Well, I am not sure what you are thinking here, and I welcome you to say more. But without that, I would like to again advise you on this way of thinking based on my own experience.

    I admire and understand your wish to make sense of things, but I would really discourage you from finding fault with yourself for ending up in a relationship that is abusive. It is something I have heard and seen repeated, even within this thread. There are a lot of silly ideas floating around about why women get together with and stay with abusive men. One idea is that you were looking for this kind of thing, even subconsciously, as in using a phrase like- what drew me to this relationship. If, five years from now, You truly feel YOU are responsible for being abused, then you can afford to be generous and acknowledge that to yourself. For now, rationalizing is not so helpful. Taking that degree of responsibility for the situation is coloring not only how you see the present but also the future.

    I was in an abusive relationship, and I NEVER wanted what happened to me. . Actually, the abusive man I fell in love with was initially not abusive at all, and it really did not become physical until we moved in together. Abusers dont wear signs on their foreheads, and most people who have this tendency are very adept at hiding it. They even cover over it and try to be well liked by being really charming, charismatic, and grabbing the check at dinner. There is no way to KNOW beforehand that someone is an abuser before you fall in love with them. So, you go along, and things change, but you keep remembering the guy he was before everything got twisted. You try to minimize what is happening to everyone including yourself, but some people see through that. MOST PEOPLE DONT. In fact, if I had told this mans friends that he was hurting me, i doubt any of them would have believed me. Because it is hard to believe that people, especially people you like and have known for years are actually monsters in the privacy of their homes. Abuse is an impolite topic, and most everyone will look the other way. I wore longsleeve shirts in the hottest weather to cover the bruises on my arms, and no one ever noticed. No one ever asked why.

    So, you are in the most tender and vulnerable part of leaving. You would like to put this behind you and to do that you need to tell yourself a good story about how you got here and how you can avoid this in the future. Looking into what drew you to him could feel empowering. Like a diagnosis that lets you get on with the treatment.

    This may sound a bit strange, but instead of moving forward which may feel like hacking through the jungle with a machete, you could lift off. You could leave this behind you, below you, and not think about how it happened, or why. Just let it be heavy lying there without you. You do not need to tell any story, you do not blame yourself, you just lift up and out. From there, time and all the wonderful people who love you, and all the wonderful people you will meet in the future, confirm that you are good, and OK, you are not drawing bad ones. Some just turn out to be bad ones.
    Do whatever it takes for you right now. When I was at this point, I moved across the country, and I stayed inside watching movies for one week. I could not face the world. My heart was so heavy. I was so ashamed. I cried and I felt panicky. I needed to be alone with myself.
    When you are alone you will see you are a completely clear glass of water.

    E. Buddha

    I dont have any advice but just so you dont feel alone: I was diagnosed with hypothyroid 2 years ago and have put on probably 30 pounds. I weighed myself recently and was so shocked- my BMI is now solidly in the obesity category, though if you look at me I am not obese and I don’t wear plus size clothes… I was never thin to begin with, but just this week I joined the gym and am keeping a food diary. I take Levo too and they told me it would help with the weight gain, but it hasnt. So I am going to see a doctor again in the next few weeks.
    I have always felt fairly confident about my looks and body because I get a lot of attention, and I generally eat whatever I want and have a good time, not worrying too much but trying to eat healthy whole foods and have occasional drinks with friends. But this weight gain has me pretty freaked out. So I am aiming for at least 4 hours of cardio a week and a net of 1200 calories to get me back to a healthy Overweight BMI. 🙂

    Dont compare yourself to other girls. You have things that make you uniquely beautiful that they dont have. Plus, look for ugly skinny ppl and feel better.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 5 months ago by E. Buddha.
    E. Buddha

    Hi tinywanderlust.

    I registered on this site JUST so I could reply to you and this discussion, because I was in the exact same situation as you, except my relationship was verbally and physically abusive in addition to emotionally. We were together 3 years and I left many times, like you describe, healing yourself, etc. but coming back. I wont go into great detail about my experience, except I want you to know I am now in a healthy, happy committed relationship, married to a wonderful man who I was only able to date AFTER I let go of the abusive guy.

    I dont know you at all of course but here is my advice based on my own experience.
    1. At this point your self esteem is likely fairly low because he has repeated so much negative feedback to you that you kind of believe it. So If I say something like YOU DESERVE BETTER it might not hit you the way it should. You are staying in the relationship because you still have HOPE. You have HOPE that things will change- that he will work on his issues- and that will make it OK. BELIEVE ME WHEN I TELL YOU THAT WILL NOT HAPPEN. You will only lose hope and give up on this relationship when you realize he will not change, and it has nothing to do with you. Picture yourself with him in 5, 10, 20 years. Do not only imagine the happy outcome that you are so hopeful for that has you hooked- imagine his current behavior continuing or worsening and how it will have affected your life five years from now, 10 years from now, and so on. So please imagine that future. Now imagine him without you, or imagine that he is with someone else. Do you think this is a pattern that depends on you. Probably not.
    2. VISUALIZE A HEALTHY, LOVING RELATIONSHIP. Think about what this would mean and how it would feel, to you. Imagine what being loved and supported no matter what will feel like. Imagine someone who supports and comforts you when life is hard.
    This may sound like a fairy dream, no relationship is perfect, right. Well, that is wrong. You have compromised too much, this is not him leaving socks on the floor, this is abuse. You deserve and can find real love that is not complex, complicated, or painful, or full of blame. You can find someone who loves you the way you are. You have to believe finding this kind of happiness is possible. If you look, you will see it all around you in the relationships of friends and family with functional marriages and families. Notice how your relationship is different than theirs.
    3. I have no doubt that you love this man and that he has some qualities you truly enjoy, respect, admire, and even depend on. But I will tell you one thing you do not have with him, and that is TRUST. Recognize right now that you can never, never trust someone who hurts and manipulates you. You might love them. You might call them in a moment of loneliness or even think they have a good sense of humor. But you cannot trust them, and TRUST IS EVERYTHING. Conversely, a relationship without trust is not really a relationship at all. It is simply emotional entertainment, where you are the star of your own horrifying, dark reality sitcom.
    4. FRIENDS. Abuse is pretty polarizing. If you tell your friends you are in abusive relationship, and stick around, they are likely to lose respect for you. They may not continue to be your friends. A few rare people will listen to you and tolerate the total confusion and contradictions that are evident in every word you say, but most people cannot handle this kind of grey area. You may have to go it alone. If you do have friends who see you through this, GOOD! You need support. But dont depend on them. Ultimately this will come down to a
    5 DECISIVE MOMENT. I do not know what this will be for you. But there will be a moment your relationship cannot recover from. Something inside you will die. That something is is the childish hope you are hanging on to. It will meet with the terrible reality of the situation, and it will wither and die. You will feel a steely resolve unlike any other time you have left before. Those were half hearted. This will be white hot metal.
    For me this moment came as we drove a winding road, he accelerated around hairpin curves and threatened to drive off of them. He wanted to kill us both. I closed my eyes and prayed a little but tried to accept that this was how I was going to die. I had already given up all the control that gave him the power in that moment, and there was nothing I could do.

    When he did not drive off the cliff, and I was still alive, I knew full well that if we stayed together we would both be dead.
    Up until then I had rationalized things as being a mix of positives and negatives. A series of trade offs I was willing to make. From the moment I faced the stupidity of such a pointless death, there was no tradeoff.

    6. GO AWAY. Remove your physically from this person. Take an extended trip, Teach ESL in another country, go back to school, move in with your great Aunt in Maine. I dont care. If you risk getting back together even after you have risked your life to be with him, you need to detoxify your heart and mind somewhere remote and new.

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