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I think it’s good that you understand what you want in a relationship now. I hope you can build on this and have a healthy relationship in the future.
Can you explain a little more about feeling like you can’t be yourself around others?
Sometimes it can be difficult for people to identify if their parents did a good job or not.
Did your parents yell or scold you? We’re there any problems with alcohol use? Was there any violence at home? Did they speak to you kindly and let you know that you are loved? Were your parents faithful to each other? Did you ever feel lonely and wish they spent more time with you?
That being said, trauma can come from anywhere. It doesn’t have to come from parents. If you are bullied a lot at school. Or there was someone else in your life that treat you poorly?April 4, 2022 at 11:11 am in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396861
Thank you for sharing that experience with me!
I think it is similar to how I’m feeling about another situation.
Essentially, I was taken in by a family when I left my biological family. They have been like a family to me. However, the family isn’t healthy and there is always a lot of arguing between various family members.
I do my best to keep a distance from it, but I’m not always successful. I feel like it would be easier for me if I didn’t have contact with them. But, I care and so I stay even though it causes pain. It is hard to say when something is too much.
Objectively, they will continue their behaviour whether I am involved or not. I don’t believe they will change any time soon.
April 4, 2022 at 9:28 am in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396851
- This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by Helcat.
Thank you for the information! I will have to do more research about the relationship between anger and pain.
One thing that I am aware of is that anger increases pain sensitivity. I read that it contributes to heart and breathing problems too. I have breathing problems and a high heart rate. So hopefully addressing this issue will help with that.
I have been practicing meditation on and off for many years. After learning that a lot of psychology is based on Buddhism I have been learning about it and committing to meditation regularly.
Communicating with you has been helping because it has focused my attention on the core issue. Whereas before it was unfocused and I was hyper vigilant looking for signs of abuse everywhere. I have been able to communicate better in arguments, they are less frequent and shorter now.
I think I’m finally ready to do some of the work that was unfinished in therapy.
I’m not entirely sure what I felt for my mother when she was weak and frail. There were a lot of complicated feelings. Disgust, pity, she was pathetic. She was a very sick woman mentally.
Yet, when she was starving herself to death in the hospital I told her that I would refuse to visit her if she didn’t start eating.
It was hard to cut off from her completely. It took a couple of years. Part of me wanted her to change so I could forgive her and continue the relationship. How was it for you when you cut contact with your mother?April 4, 2022 at 8:58 am in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396849
Oh no, this stress is the last thing you need after surgery. I hope things go well or as best as they can at least! Good luck 🤞April 3, 2022 at 3:24 pm in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396832
Thank you for your understanding!
I hope that connecting and expressing my anger will improve my mental health. If it help with chronic pain that would be a bonus.
In my mind, this is all very present at the moment. If that makes sense? I’m referring to my last memories of her as a teenager vs my memories of her when I was a child. As I said, there were dramatic differences between how she used to be compared to what she became. As a child I saw her as a monster and was terrified of her. In my last memory of her in person, she didn’t inspire fear, instead I pitied her.April 3, 2022 at 6:24 am in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396817
Wow, that sounds like a shocking and traumatic experience. I’m so sorry he treat you both like that. Congratulations on standing up to him and telling his other partner. I know if I was in a similar situation I’d want to hear about it! I hope in time that things will get easier for you as you heal from the experience.April 3, 2022 at 5:06 am in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396816
Apologies for the delayed reply and for not letting you know when I’d be available. My life is a quite chaotic at the moment. I will do my best to estimate what is going on when I can. It won’t always be accurate. I will always do my best to return when I’m able.
My heart goes out to you dealing with those triggers on a daily basis. I understand what it is like to need a break from an abusive person. Thank you for clarifying the various factors that adversely affected your ability to maintain your boundaries.
For me, whilst I instinctively emotionally felt harmful behaviours were wrong. I was falsely conditioned to believe that certain behaviours were normal and accept them. For a large part of my life I accepted verbal abuse, simply because it wasn’t physical or sexual abuse.
I am only now beginning to connect to anger that I had repressed for decades. It was not safe for me to feel anger as a child, any attempt to defend myself worsened the abuse so I often “converted” those emotions to sadness. Even in therapy, I was unable to talk to a chair while imagining my mother was in it.
I think the memory of my mother from when I was young is very different from the reality of how she is now. I managed to confront her once in my late teens, but she was a shadow of her former self. I only confronted her because she stole from another family member.
Thank you for your patience and kindness, it is much appreciated.
What he is doing isn’t moral and my concern is that it is a lie. He didn’t hurt her, he hurt you his wife. Any hurt to an “ex-girlfriend” is minor in comparison to what he has done and continues to do to you.
The moral thing to do is commit to his wife.
Sadly, there is one other reason why people admit to cheating. When they want out of a relationship and he is already hinting at that.
It was never your decision whether you get to save your marriage. What you can decide is if you would like to protect yourself.
I’m sorry for what happened. I don’t think it was meaningless, just not what you thought. I doubt you’ll get any answers out of him sadly.
At the moment he sounds like a very sick man. I expect that if his mental health issues hadn’t severely relapsed he would probably still be with you and hiding his marriage.
It might hurt to know the truth. But it is the truth.
It might not help him to express your feelings. But it might help you. How you choose to express your feelings and with whom, that is up to you. If you don’t want to talk to him, you could write a letter and include all of the things you wish that you could say.April 1, 2022 at 8:10 am in reply to: Can’t get over relationship abuse from many years back #396669
Sorry for the late reply! I was dealing with a lot of stress at home. This is a difficult topic and sometimes I need to take breaks from it to manage my mental health.
I’m glad that you have found happiness in having respectful conversations.
As a result of my traumatic experiences I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This may be something that you are experiencing too? This could be the thing holding you back, not letting you move forward. What do you think?
His behaviour and refusal to take responsibility for his actions is disgusting and blaming it on you is gaslighting. Even the rare instance where he “apologised” it was manipulative as it wasn’t sincere and born out of a desire to placate you to get what he wanted.
Sometimes, when there are differences in religion and background, bad people find themselves using it as an excuse to use, disrespect or harm others.
I would agree that how you were raised has a lot to do with the difficulties with boundaries. The way I was raised caused me to have difficulty with boundaries too. I think that society as a whole plays a part too. No one wants to think about when children become adults and start to date. No one wants to think about the potential dangers that might be faced. Society doesn’t want to punish the people who hurt others, this further emboldens this type of bad behaviour.
I welcome you to practice your assertiveness and protect your boundaries here. This is a safe space and I would love to know if there are any things that I can do differently to make you feel more comfortable in our communication.
I just wanted to clarify Shve that it’s good to have awareness of these things now. But as you and Anita have said, you didn’t have awareness of this before. Therefore, you were not able to protect yourself. In no way did I mean to suggest that you bear any responsibility for what happened. It’s just good something to be aware of to help protect yourself in the future.
I know what it feels like to not be able to say no, or defend yourself when you want to. I know what it feels like to be care about someone and to be lead on. Many people do things that they don’t want to because they care about someone. But that doesn’t make what is happening okay.
Your bravery in sharing your experience has been inspirational. Thank you! I wish you all the best on your healing journey.
Regarding tips for overcoming this. You know that feeling that you had at the beginning when you didn’t want to date this man. Learn to pay a lot of attention to your instincts. So any emotions that pop up, if you feel angry or sad it is for a reason and this could mean that boundaries are being crossed. I would encourage you to think about circumstances that trigger these emotions. Emotions tell us a lot of helpful information and can inform our decision making.April 1, 2022 at 6:53 am in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396661
Thank you for your patience Anita!
It’s strange in a good way, someone sharing their similar experiences from another side of the world. I enjoy sharing things with you as I feel there is a deep level of understanding. When I was younger I believed that no one understood what I was going through. As an adult, I see that many people experience many painful experiences. By the time that we are adults, very few of us have no experience with trauma. I am always surprised when I meet a rare person with no traumatic experiences.
Apologies for misunderstanding. It’s hard for me to comprehend because I’m not at that stage.
This love for her does not mean that she deserves it from me, or that she is not who she is. This love means that I was a loving girl in the very beginning of my life.
It’s wonderful to see you speak about yourself so compassionately. You are indeed a loving compassionate woman.
My mother also spoke badly about men. Sometimes, I think that can set up a frame for expecting and accepting poor behaviour while we’re in relationships? What do you think?
- This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by Helcat.
Thank you for getting in touch with those feelings. A lot of people on this site have been hurt by others. It’s really important for people to understand how you feel about your actions.
I understand it’s very difficult when you start communicating with people to delve into those feelings. But specifically because you have made mistakes that you regret, sharing your emotions helps people empathise with you.
Do you have difficulty trusting or being vulnerable around others?
Do you think therapy helped you end the relationship?
I would add that while you were humiliated and shamed by those experiences, so was your ex. It was not 1 way.April 1, 2022 at 4:14 am in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396658
How are you feeling after your surgery? I hope you’re still resting a lot!
You and a strong and insightful woman too!
I find it difficult to go into details about what happened because that triggers more memories. I don’t really say much about what happened other than in general terms in passing.
Your strategy to talk about your emotions and creating psychological distance sounds like a good coping strategy.
Please let me know if there’s anything I can alter in communication to make you feel more comfortable.
It’s horrible that your parents told you that you were unwanted. You didn’t deserve that and no one should make their children feel like they’re not good or deserving.
I’m glad that you have some peace now and that you have control over who comes in and out of your life!
Sorry I’m going to have to get back to you in a day or two. Dealing with a lot of stress at the moment. Take care!March 30, 2022 at 5:13 pm in reply to: He cheated on his girlfriend with me, but dumped me for her in the end #396582