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This sounds like High School games to me. You didnt know this girl long enough to really love her, chances are you were in lust with her not love…..
Dont deny yourself grief, its a pivotal part of getting over a loss and moving on. Its instinctual to run from perceived dangers even the emotional ones, naturally we dont want to feel bad or deal with painful situations. However dealing with them now will prevent you from dealing with them later.
I understand the ruminating questions about what it all meant, what was it really. I suppose we will never know their side, or their truth, we can only know ours, what it was to us and what it meant to us. However try your best from getting to stuck on needing answers you more than likely will not get from this person. Sometimes accepting this will never occur is the only closure we can get.
Good on ya’ for keeping calm and being able to reflect in an objective way, even if you do “relapse” its just a process it will be over with one day.
This sounds like a situation where you really can not win. Once someones mind is made up, there is nothing we can do to change it. All we can do is accept their decision and appreciate the fact they are their own person entitled to their own thoughts, opinions and feelings. Breakups are tough and you wont be the first and last person to feel heartbroken at the end of a relationship even one that was terrible for you. Its hard to see it now, but in time the fog of your emotions will lift and you will be able to look back and say “hmmm maybe that was for the best” As far as your behavior in acting like a child as you describe, this is something you need to reflect on and get to the bottom of assuming you are unhappy with acting this way. The good thing about breakups is it often puts a mirror infront of us to see how we act in stressful situations that just dont come up everyday. You say she isnt logical, thats a bit of a value judgement. Everyone thinks in a different way, what makes sense to you, will simply not to her, you exist in the reality you perceive. Its next to impossible to find someone who will share your vision of reality, and interpret logic the way you do. Plus when someone is being overly emotional, trying to play logic games with them is often the last thing to do. We should just be open and affirming to their feelings even if we cant make sense of or agree with the reasons why they feel the way they do, just be supportive that they believe what they are going through. It makes sense to them, this should be good enough for us. Assuming you genuinely care about this person. I absolutely think you should let it go, and work on yourself. Lets say one day she has a change of heart and comes back to you, who do you want her to find? the person she left? or someone better? Probably the latter, so start being that person now. .
- This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Chad.
I think your relationship is completely salvageable. I say this only because here are two people willing to save it. You’re in a better position than most people post breakup. Its a good sign he is still coming around. Its a good sign that even when yall still have squabbles and emotions run high, he doesnt run for the hills. He seems like he’s willing to accept these things as a part of the process, and hoping for the day you can get a grip on things.
I caution you on one thing though. Here is a guy who has put you on notice, he has been honest with you and shared his fears and feelings about why he feels a relationship with you isnt in the cards despite his feelings. So what are you going to do with that information? How are you going to address the issues that you carry that cause your part in the ups and downs, and the unpredictability of your behavior that he is fearful of.
More than likely he is waiting for you to show him you can evolve, he probably wants this from you because he thinks its the only thing stopping him from being able to commit to you like he wants to. However any over night change is most likely not going to occur and he needs to know this and be ok with that. You can either grow together and or grow apart. I dont believe people need to break up, to “work on themselves.” you can do it with the support of a relationship. People who have been married for 40 years are different people than when they started. They didnt need to break up and get back together every time one of them went through a moment of change in their lives.
The question here is, how much work are you willing to do? How patient and understanding is he willing to be in the process? My suggestion would be scale the relationship back to just “dating” rules. You’re going to have to throw away everything you knew about the old relationship, and start over from scratch. Something about the old relationship wasnt working, if you try again with the same dynamics in play. You’re doomed to the same fate.
You claim some of your issues on past trauma. This reason will only buy you so much from another person, we all have baggage that affects us. At some point it stops being our behavior because of those things, but more our behavior because we allow ourselves to be haunted by a ghost. It can be very frustrating for a partner to watch someone acknowledge the presence of something that can no longer hurt them, and continue to accept you have no control over it…. when in all reality its your choice to hold on to that baggage even though it may seem to you, its difficult to jettison it. Someone can only put up with being beaten over the head and shoulders by old baggage for so long, before they realize you love the drama more than you do them.
You make a few statements that I think are common problems with people with storied pasts. You say you will never allow yourself to open up to anyone ever again like you had out of fear of being used abused etc. What you refer to here are your boundaries, you certainly can have boundaries and enforce them. However having boundaries is not the same as holding something back or being closed off. Boundaries are what allow us to maintain our sense of self, and knowing who and what we are and what we are willing to accept and give into a relationship. To really make a relationship work, you have to be able to be vulnerable to this person. You have to provide a path for them to follow, not simply let them come from any approach they choose. This is where your boundaries come into play. Guiding them to the path you need them to take to access your already open heart. However boundaries are not a mine field, or a maze or test that the other person must successfully navigate to prove worthiness. You have a responsibility to guide him to what it is you want from him…if he hits a boundary you explain why he cant go that way and suggest an alternative route.
You more than likely are over thinking it. People who have had traumatic past and low confidence always exist in a very dark place with their thoughts. Whether or not it wasnt going to work out in the long run with THIS person remains to be seen. You have established however some obstacles you have to overcome before being able to be a emotionally healthy participant in a relationship with this guy or anyone else down the road. You’re going to have to do some serious reflection and adjustments regardless….. at the end of the day you have to do what you are comfortable with doing. There is a balance to everything you just have to find it.March 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm in reply to: struggling with a recent past relationship and emptiness #53599
There is a difference between love and lust. Im not going to talk down to you because of your age. However, I will suggest that you simply have not been on this earth long enough to have experienced a relationships long enough to truly know what love is, aside from the ones with your parents, or siblings. That tingly feeling you get, when your mouth goes dry, your heart starts racing, and you feel a lump in your throat when you are around someone or when you even think of them. This my friend is not love. Nor is it really a good indicator of compatibility or anything more deep or substantial.The sooner you learn this the sooner you will spare yourself from much needless heartbreak in the future.
I would suggest moving forward the be very reserved up front, and make someone show you who they really are, before you decide what place they will have in your life. Do not make someone the center of your universe until you are convinced they truly deserve to be there. Often we want someone to occupy this space so badly we are willing to give it to anyone, because of the way it makes us feel, not necessarily because they deserve to be there.
If it all came down over a stupid remark, than its prolly for the best it ended there. Someone who really cares isnt going to run for the hills over a comment. Love is about respect and understanding. If something little like that can put her off, than she was never really on to begin with. Do not beat yourself up about it, this isnt on you.
Facebook as a judge of anything in a relationship is just High School drama. I aspire to a relationship beyond this emotional level, you should also. If someone is going to be immature enough to block you from facebook, again good riddance. She needs to grow up, if she ever wants anything real or sustainable.
You dont need friends to lift you up, yes its nice to have validation, when I went through my breakup, my friends tried to talk me up. It would make me feel better for a moment but ultimately moving on was going to be about me, and myself. Not what anyone from the outside had to say about it.
Because of your age, you’re going to encounter more people like this girl than you are not. I dont know what your goals are for a relationship. You can either be very selective and wait for the right one, or just have very low expectations of girls your age and just enjoy it for what it is. Rebounding is a terrible coping mechanism to deal with what you are going through. You need to stop looking for the easy way out, and start asking yourself some hard question as to *why* this is so difficult for you to get over, what is really making you feel this way. I will tell you now the answers have nothing to do with who this girl is, they have more to do with you and who you are.
You are young, dont expect to much from life too soon. As I always say in the hour of life, you’ve only been in existence for about 19 minutes, and you knew this girl for a matter of seconds….. what can you expect?
- This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Chad.
The “exit interview” as I call it can be very therapeutic. That one last conversation where you can sit down as adults and come to a consensus about the reasons things ended, own up to what each of your contributed, give appropriate forgiveness. Hug it out and then walk away….. However, continued communication with a very recent ex isnt always a good idea in my book. I say this because it keeps strings attached to them. Get your closure, get your forgiveness, forgive yourself can be some of the largest hurdles in moving past a relationship. The exit interview gives us a chance to do that. Then go be alone to reflect on the lessons we learned and to start towards a journey of change within ourselves.
If you still have emotions for this person, the contact can stall your progress, as you even though yall are not physically connected anymore by presence. You are still at some part emotionally present in each others lives. It sounds like from what you have described, your emotions for this person clouded your ability to see things rationally and focus and stand up for your boundaries. If this is any area you have identified that needs work, how can you do so when the original fog that shielded your vision is still hanging on the meadow.
I think if you still want this person present in your life in the future. Simply telling him something like:
“Hey XXX I will always love and care about you, and will always appreciate what good times we had together. However this experience has shown me some things about myself I dont like. A part of my growth will require I go and focus on myself for awhile, not date, begin a journey and hope to come out the other side with a better handle and understanding of some things. However, I dont feel like I can achieve this and continue to have you as an active part of my life right now. Im not saying we will never hear from each other, or will not keep in touch one day. I need to get to a point where I can do those things and it wont have negative influence over my thinking and emotional well being anymore. When I figure out what it is that I need to, and learn and accept what it is I needed to learn, you will hear from me. Hopefully you will still feel some value in keeping in touch, and will reply. If not I will understand. I wanted to tell you all this to be honest and open. The silence, is not a reflection of anger or resentment I have towards you, please to not take it as such. I hope you understand and can be respectful of my needs at the moment. Thank you.”
I see a lot of myself in some of the things you mentioned as far as what you were willing to put up with in the name of “love” I would like to share with you that what I discovered about myself post my most recent breakup. That what I was feeling wasnt really love, it was need it was fear. It was much more selfish and about myself than it was about him. Totally the opposite of what I thought I was giving/doing. It was the compulsory need, to be attached, I feared being alone. I was in no other words but, codependent to my ex. Sacrificing my healthy boundaries and needs, not to simply make the relationship “work,” but to fulfill something missing from deep within myself. Love isnt just letting yourself get used, abused and walked on. Certainly not love for yourself, and not love for another person. Love is about respect, and understanding, inside and out. You can not properly love someone if you arent standing up for your boundaries, you are not properly loving someone if you feel the need to change or rescue them. This is nothing I want for myself again, you have to ask yourself the same questions.
My advice would be, yes let this go for now. You can be honest with each other, but say what you need to say then be done for awhile. These are certainly things people can overcome, however it takes some time. You absolutely should let it go for now, and definitely work on yourself. If he is truly working on himself, and at some level what you felt for each other was strong enough. You may get another chance, however you can try it a different way next time, and maybe it might have a chance at working out. If not oh well, because you are making yourself a better person to avoid the same mistakes and to be able to participate in a better healthier emotionally respectful relationship with someone else.
- This reply was modified 6 years, 7 months ago by Chad.
You cant go back and change the past, and we certainly shouldn’t waste effort and stress worrying about things we cant or no longer can control. Our past and past behavior is what it is. We dont have to let it define who we are as people. We all have made mistakes in the past, and some things we never thought ourselves capable of doing. They made sense to us in the moment, and we have to be compassionate with ourselves that we are all capable of some crappy attitudes and behavior sometimes. Use your negative feelings about your past actions to motivate you, to rise above them. Make a vow you will never allow yourself to be that person ever again.
You said it yourself, your decisions were based in fear. Now that you know that, how will use this understanding moving forward? When you find yourself in a fearful situation, will you simply react, or think about what it is your are doing and consider the totality of the circumstances and consequences as you now know what some of them are?
As far as your ex is concerned, his resentment and anger is his problem. Its ok to be hurt and disappointed when someone hurts us. Eventually for ourselves we have to let that go and move on. Part of being human is having a capacity to be empathetic and understanding of anothers struggle. If he is unwilling to put himself and your shoes and to how you were feeling and what was going on for you. Then its for the best he is out of your life. You can never really win with these people. They will always internalize everything and it will always be all about them. Im sure he had his part in the demise of your relationship to, I also doubt he has accepted it and made his apologies to you for whatever it was.
A relationship is like a tennis court, you can only control and take responsibility for your side of the net, that’s just 50% of the court.
Apologizing is probably the last way to get someones forgiveness. If you really want his, you’re going to have to find a way to show him you’re sorry. It may not be in a conventional way either. For me, I realized the best thing I could do for my ex, is simply let him be. Let him live his life how he chooses and not expect much of anything from him anymore. I wanted to show him I could be understanding and respectful of his individuality. At this point this was the best way I found to do that. If they continue to hold onto the baggage from your relationship, then they are only hurting themselves, and allowing a ghost to negatively influence them. Its not you doing anything to him anymore, although he will probably continue to blame you. However, what he continues to feel moving forward is his choice.
Just focus on what you did, why you did it, and why you dont like it and dont want to do it again. Own it, improve upon it and move forward stronger and healthier and more self aware. Good luck.
David, something I heard a while ago I really like maybe a motto for you moving forward, better well done than well said….. own your truth and live it. Best of luck
To me DUI is an enormous deal breaker. Its one thing if the person got one when they were young, which such a poor choice could occur due to immaturity. However, for an adult the choice to drive intoxicated signals to me a complete lack of respect or care to not only themselves, to those they care about and who care about them. Not to mention the completely innocent people on the street who’s lives they are putting at risk. To me it is a sign of a complete lack of accountability, responsibility, control and awareness.
Trust is fundamental but some people do not have the capability to be trusting, not so much someone has shown themselves unworthy of trust. If you are one who consistently is distrustful or weary of females in this mans life, you may need to reflect on what that says about you.
Ive trusted everyone I have ever dated, and to the unhealthy extent of justifying and ignoring red flags in the pursuit of unwavering trusting. Its not so much even something that I have to convince myself to trust. I just do, because I understand its a prerequisite, to love. Insecurity is the largest hurdle to trust. I believe its not so much trusting them as it is a lack of trust in ourselves. To feel comfortable in being vulnerable enough to let this person in, because maybe our trust has been broken in the past.
However this insecurity doesn’t absolve someone we care about to being understanding and sensitive. They are making a choice to be in this with someone who has some issues, and needs to take extra steps to do their part. However the work to make it better must come from both sides. If he is attempting to calm down some behaviors that trigger insecurities than your willingness to own the issues within yourself and work on them must also be present.
I agree with the ruminant, defensiveness is tied into our primal brain. Our immediate reaction is to preserve ourselves. Since we are humans with more capacity to understand who we are. Our defenses not only trigger to preserve our physical self, but our sense of self as well. So if someone is attempting to attack you on an emotional level. The same instinct that says run from a lion, triggers and takes control of your reaction to this emotional attack as well.
The primal brain is much more powerful than the logical. In some situations when the threat is a continued or irrational one. The primal brain will hijack your logical brain to reconcile the disparity to convince you yes in deed it is a legit threat, yes we need to be worried. However if you consider yourself a fairly emotionally balanced person. Time to allow the initial threat to dissolve, your primal brain will go dormant ceding control back to your logical self who will react in a more appropriate, level headed manner.
I try my best to understand this about myself. I try my best not to react off the cuff. However allow the jury of 12 in my head time to consider the totality of the circumstances, and seek alternate perspectives, to ensure my reaction is on point and solely to the content not the emotion it caused before acting. The worst decisions we make are in the moment, because we are not allowing this process to occur and we are allowing our animal instincts which are maladapted to handle emotional threats to control us.
However, if this behavior is not out of normal for him. Than you may need to ask yourself what sort of situation you are in and the other advice provided on here may be more what you are seeking.
I will play devils advocate here. As I can relate to this but on the other side. I see some of his behavior in myself with how I treated my ex. However, I had no clue what I was actually doing until the smoke cleared from the battlefield and I was able to clearly see what damage my words and actions had done. Sad thing is, the type of person I was acting like is not the type of person I know I am capable of being. Ruminant’s statement “So stop taking personally what he says or does and see it as a completely separate thing from you” I agree with. If his behavior of late seems out of character to that of the man you fell in love with and married. There probably is an explanation for why all of a sudden post baby he is acting this way. I cant speak for him, but for me, something changed in the relationship and I suddenly feared loosing this person. I became very insecure, and my answer to insecurity and anxiety is control and borderline abusive talking. Like you husband, I attempted to control my partner, his attitude and his action to calm my own fears about what they might could mean for us down the road. Instead of treating my ex as an adult and allowing him to come to his own decisions. In hindsight my attempts to control resulted in the complete opposite of what they wanted to achieve. I ended up forcing him to rebel and pull away from me to assert his independence. Never realizing under the surface the damage I was doing not only to him as a person, but his preexisting insecurities, anxiety but to his self esteem.
I believe marriage is a huge commitment one both parties shouldn’t take lightly. If remember correctly a promise is made between the two of you, “for better or worse.” I feel to stay true to this promise you have an obligation to attempt to reconcile these issues, however keeping in mind who you are dealing with and how you can successfully get through to him. Ultimately you can not control him, his choices or his actions. Or his willingness to be receptive to the issues you are bringing to the table. However, you should know him better than anyone, what makes him tick and where his buttons are. If you bring it to him in a way that shows this understanding, be open, compassionate to what he may be dealing with and going through that is causing this behavior change towards you. I feel you will have a better chance of keeping him open to the exchange and not immediately getting defensive. This was a lesson I learned the hard way.
At the end of the day, it is on him to heed your words and make the appropriate adjustments and show commitment to you as his partner. Concede that although he may not understand why his actions are hurtful the point is that they are. That should be good enough reason to own them and improve upon them. Again, another lesson I learned the hard way. When its all said any done, and you’ve put him on ample clear notice of your boundaries and expectations of him. If he still refuses to show improvement, than at least when it comes time to make a hard decision you can do so knowing you gave all that you had to make it work. The responsibility lies solely on him.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in what is happening TO us we forget, we are not the only ones in the equation. I dont believe people really change, as much as we evolve. The environment we are in, which encompasses many factors, dictates what parts of ourselves become more dominant to survive as the environment changes. I give you much hope and support to be strong for yourself during this trial, and to be strong for your husband and child also.
Im not sure what you are asking here. Is being friends with an ex ok? or is your approach legit?
I know the feeling you are going through. I had a dream last night that had my ex in it. Just that alone was enough to make me wake up and feel the emotional cocktail you refer to. I would like to also reach out, however I know I will not get the kind of reception I would be hoping for. I more than likely wouldn’t not have an invitation to meet up for dinner accepted. So I spare myself the grief and will let it be.
There is something to be said about needing closure, the two of you coming together and talking like adults about what went wrong what was right. Affirming what you meant to each other but coming to a consensus about the way it ended. Ive gotten this from all my ex’s except the most recent one. I think its legit to ask her what she wants out of a platonic relationship with you. Like you said that way they are clear and out in the open, leaving no room for assumptions or unmet expectations.
I can relate to feeling like you werent the person you wanted to be in your prior relationship. Its tough to forgive ourselves and move forward without playing the “what if” game. I related to it being a learning lesson about myself. Just sucks it had to take all this for me to wake up.
I think you are proceeding forward with a level head. My only concern is that you are not over her, and will attempt a reconcile that she may not want. Only pushing her away again. I suppose you can have some expectations of her but do not be completely invested in their outcome. Be happy with whatever time and energy she is willing to give you, as Im sure her defenses will eventually drop further as additional time moves on.
No one is worth putting your life on hold for. If he wanted you he could have you, if it was good, it still would be. Time to pull the boot straps up and get on with it.
I think the Ruminant offers good advice. The person we are today is a product of our experiences yesterday. People say “live and learn” but exactly what did you learn? I think the lessons we learn about ourselves are more important than the lessons we learn about others.
I like you had intense ruminating thoughts about my breakup. I analyzed every moment, every time I should have said you look beautiful, or I love you, or attempted to be more understanding or be the bigger person and I didnt. I eventually started looking at the bigger picture of the over all dysfunction of that relationship. I finally forgave myself in that, even if I had done all the things I didnt do. I couldnt help my ex solve the problems he brought into the relationship, as I didnt cause them, I cant change them, or control them. That is his job not mine.
I began to look at my actions and take responsibility for my part. I realized the relationship as a whole wasnt a complete waste of time or failure because it was an opportunity to see more of who I am and what I am capable of. Some things I liked about myself and some things I do not. I hope this opportunity to examine myself will help in my next relationship. Which might be with someone Im better suited with. I wouldnt want to make the same mistakes twice.
Rumination is hard, especially when they are negative thoughts. I suppose instead of using your energy to stop them. Simply redirect them to mean something positive. Like “I wouldnt be the person I am today without these experiences” or “It was necessary for my growth” I think what negative feelings we still have are simply from loneliness. For me I miss the companionship and the bond I felt to him the most. However, Im working on my relationship with myself, and know once I get me where I need to be, I will be better for someone else, and I will have that again one day.
Dont get me wrong I still miss my ex very much. I love him and accepted him for all his flaws and faults. I will never forget his smile, and the adorable little noise he made when he thought something was cute. However, I try to be appreciative for what time we had together, and understand he gave me an opportunity to learn more about myself. In hopes what bad I experienced wont have been in vain, and will only me a stronger healthier person moving forward.