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I’ve had my share of family strife as well. And I commend you for supporting your wife. You must keep peace within your own home with your wife. And I agree that visiting your sisters without your wife when you’ve always visited together would only make things worse. It would exclude your wife and make her feel left out by her own husband. Don’t give in to your sister’s unreasonable demands. However, when you see them at your parents or where ever, you and your wife can offer them kindness without doing things that would exclude your wife.
Here’s my best guess. Your sisters may have some jealousy toward your wife. I mean your wife stayed with you at your parent’s home and during that time your sisters may have felt like your wife was taking over their turf and building a relationship with your parents. So, they may be jealous of the time that your wife was able to have direct, live-in access to your parents that they never had as adults and maybe that they never wanted. It’s almost like something you would see in an only-child who becomes very protective of their relationship with the parents as they’ve not had to share them with another child. And your sisters maybe haven’t had to share your parents, and particularly your mom, with another woman (someone who could potentially be like another daughter to your parents). That would be enough to spark jealousy in women who are overly protective, and it seems your sister are just that by the way you describe their visiting schedule while you and your wife were living with your parents. Your sisters’ visiting schedule to me seemed a bit abnormal for grown, married women, especially given that you and your wife were there to keep your parents company in the house if your sisters had concerns about their safety.
Did your sisters always visit your parents that often or did that begin only when you and your wife moved in with your parents?
If you want to get to the bottom of this, you could call a family meeting with your parents and your sisters and ask them exactly what do they feel your wife has done for them to exclude her from the family. If you can’t seem to get your sisters to name specific issues so the problems can be resolved, then don’t visit their home without your wife and continue visiting your parents. And if you see your sisters there fine. If not, then not. And if your sisters get upset with you for breaking relations with them because of your wife, place responsibility back on them by reminding them that it was they who decided you could not visit them with your wife and you and your wife come as a package so they can’t exclude one of you without excluding the other. And I like the idea about asking them what they would do if you excluded their spouse. It might make them think about their behavior. And, if possible, after this family meeting, I would suggest you head home to your wife rather than spend the night, if possible, But by no means stay overnight with either of your sisters.
However, I can see your sisters point about their retaining access to your parent’s house while you and your wife lived there because the family house, I think, is always the family house unless your parents take away everyone’s keys. You and your wife were living with your parents, and it probably was a bit uncomfortable at times with your sisters coming and going, but it was your parent’s home, and it was okay with them. Your sisters should have attempted to give you privacy in private space, but there’s little privacy in your parent’s home in family/public spaces in the home. Continue to support your wife and the best interest of your household and attempt to find out what the real issues are. If your sisters are going to discuss your wife, they need to get real specific or shut up. They need to be able to name specific instances and issues and describe what was done. That’s the only way these issues can be openly discussed and resolved. All the best!
I don’t know if there are any easy answers. I too have a spiritual/religious background and can identify with the judgement that can often come from family and friends, and complete strangers when our life and/or lifestyle don’t line up with those same spiritual/religious values and beliefs. Being gay does not preclude you from humanity or from being a child of God or from having the ability to love and be loved. I can’t say that I’m all that clear about how people come to be gay, but I am clear on this: a person being gay should not prevent anyone from loving and respecting you or any gay person or any person who is different for that matter. I am African American, and that’s different. Most of us are aware of slavery in African American history. Now, there have been and probably will always be people who feel people of color are less than and inferior as many felt during slavery – and will treat us that way no matter how hard we work, no matter how intelligent or kind. And the same will probably be true of you simply because you’re different. However, don’t allow other’s perception of you prevent you from being authentically you. People are going to think what they want for good or bad even if you were not gay so don’t build your life around what others think. What do you think about yourself? That’s more important. You have to live with yourself everyday so it would be best if you could find it in your heart to love yourself whether your friend does or not.
If you are spiritual, then this is a great time to connect with God and mediate on those scriptures that affirms God’s love for you. Do not believe people who would have you think that God does not love you because you are gay. Some of the same people would have me believe that God doesn’t love me because of the color of my skin. However, I can boldly tell you that, that is a lie! God has not forgotten you because you are gay and being gay does not make you a bad person. I have several gay friends whom I love and care for very much, and I would hope that everyone would be kind to them. They are my friends and I cherish them. I also have a friend who was gay who has turned away from it with the help of her faith, and she is happy. That’s not everyone’s experience, I know, but it was hers. Then, I have other gay friends who are openly gay and they are also happy.
Be kind to yourself; be kind to others; and surround yourself with people who inspire and believe in you. If you come out to your parents and they take it hard, give them time to deal with it; love and pray for them, but you do what is right for you.
While the Christian Bible doesn’t seem to condone a gay lifestyle, it does, however, support loving your neighbor – and our neighbor could be gay, straight or somewhere in between. You deserve to be your best you and to be happy. You deserve to be free to be you. And while I don’t pretend to know a lot about being gay, I respect your person and your kind spirit regardless of your sexual orientation. And while I can understand your friend being surprised that you are gay, that alone should not be enough to abandon a healthy, wonderful friendship. But here’s the thing. Sometimes people and friendships aren’t always as healthy and great as they appear, and sometimes things happen that opens our eyes to the fact that those friendships and relationships were not at all healthy and great in the first place. I’m just saying that if your friends and family can just discard you simply because you’re gay; well, they are the one’s who need to change. Real love runs a bit deeper than that. At some point, you’ll need to do what is right for you and let those who say they love you prove it with their actions and response to you. I’m also concerned that your closest friend may be impacting you negatively. I agree with Anita in that you don’t need to place so much stock in your friend, to the point where you rise and fall based on his acceptance of you. You’re giving him too much power and control over your life. Also, there is a difference in being spiritual and talking spiritual. It may be time to make some friends that you feel to be yourself with. But get to know and love yourself and you’ll find that it makes everything else easier. All the best!
Hi Jasmine. Why did you “have to message him first”? Did he request that or did you not want to wait for him to contact you? In the future, wait him out. As you mentioned, this guy “constantly likes other girls’ selfies on social media,” and that makes you feel “weird – and “he’s getting manipulative.” You’ve described clearly how what’s going on with this guy is making you feel, and none of it is good. If he won’t listen to your concerns, you are setting yourself up to be hurt even more which will make you doubt yourself and your worthiness as a companion. Is this really the kind of relationship that you want: (1) a relationship that does not value your concerns and “dismisses them” (2) a relationship that makes you feel “weird” and confused about how he feels about you (3) a relationship that makes you feel insecure and like you are in competition with other women? I honestly believe this guy is playing you and leading you on. However, I feel that this is difficult for you and that you’re not quite convinced that his intentions are not favorable. To get clear on what’s going on here and how you feel, I would suggest you get a sheet of paper and make two columns – one column that lists all the things you really like about this guy and a second column with all the things that bothers you or that you don’t like about him. And in parenthesis beside each item in the columns write down how whatever you’ve written in each column makes you feel. And I’d like you to complete this exercise without making excuses or trying to downplay your feelings or his actions. Just be truthful about what you like and what you don’t and how they make you feel. Then see which column not only has the most entries, but consider the impact that some of these things you’ve written are having on your self-esteem, your confidence and your emotional wellbeing. Seeing these things in writing should help clarify and confirm what you need to do. I’d hate to see you hurt, and I feel this relationship is setting you up for pain and insecurity. I hope this exercise will help give you clarity. Beyond the exercise, I’d suggest you seriously consider letting this guy go without pursuing any further contact with him. I’d further suggest meeting this guy in a public place or calling him and letting him know with confidence and great love for yourself that – the relationship isn’t working for you and you won’t be seeing him again. After delivering the recommended message, don’t hang around and get side tracked. No, you don’t want to be friends. No, he can’t call. No, you can’t talk on social meeting. Nothing more needs to be said. Make a B-line to the door and leave. You don’t need him to explain because it will only lead to more manipulation and half-truths, and you’ve already tried to explain your concerns and he dismissed them. Timeout for all that now. If you need convincing about what to do, re-read your post above and this message, and read over the exercise I mentioned to make things a bit clearer for you. Please don’t hang around and allow this guy to manipulate you. If you linger, get longwinded etc, the manipulation will begin, and ultimately he will make you feel as if you have the wrong idea and that your concerns are not valid. And if you listen too long, you may begin to believe him. So, I would not suggest any extensive dialogue with this guy. You’ve already tried that and gotten nowhere. Don’t place yourself in a situation for him to manipulate you any further. Block his access to you; block his phone number on your phone; and defriend him on social media. You have to protect yourself from his manipulation and his ability to potentially play and prey on your emotions. You will find that the happier that you are with yourself and who your are, the more you will attract men who can value and appreciate you as you are. Focus on loving yourself and the goodness that is within you and the right man will find you when he finds you. Love and peace!
Sorry you are not happy with where you are in life at the moment. I’m glad you’ve decided not to check out of life. You life is important to your parents, and the world around you. You just aren’t aware of it yet because you haven’t found your personal flow in life. I believe everyone has a purpose, which makes our uniqueness and our lives important. Additionally, everything you mentioned is changeable.
However, when you are depressed, you may sometimes feel that your small world is “the world,” and it becomes hard to see options through the eyes of depression, isolation and loneliness. But there are always others with similar experiences so you are not alone. It’s hard to see what you have to offer to anyone right now because you’re experiencing some depression and seem to feel that your cup of life is half empty. But turn your cup upside down and it could be half full.
Here are my suggestions to you: Get up out of the bed. Turn off the TV and take yourself outside your house to do something – anything. Put on your favorite song and sing and dance (and laugh at yourself). Go for a walk. Sit on a bench around a lake. Go fishing, jogging or zip-lining. Since you like golf, join a golf club or meetup group.
And, dude, you already golf once a week. If you golf once a week, you have a few resources and some golf skills to boot! Why don’t you up your golf game? Improve your game; register to play in amateur golf tournaments or something. (I don’t know anything about golf.) But register for and get involved in everything golf since that’s an interest for you, and you manage to get yourself out of the house once a week to play. Use your interest in golf as motivation to at least get you moving and interacting more with your surroundings. Or, take a leap of faith and try something new and adventurous. Make a bucket list of things you want to do before you cross over or on a more positive note, things to do before you turn 60 and start doing those things. If nothing else you’re creating adventures for yourself as well as opportunities to meet the people whom you will never meet at home watching television. This is something that I do often, and it is so fulfilling.
I know you may not feel like it, and you may not be motivated to do anything. And that’s pretty typical with depression so if you have severe depression, make an appointment with your medical doctor, and see if medication might be able to help you regain a more positive mental state, which may help you recapture some of your energy to get yourself moving. Believe it or not movement and sun light actually help wart off depression and impacts mood.
It will take your making a quality decision that your life is not over and you will live it to it’s fullest until you’re gone. I encourage you to press your life’s reset button, and begin doing one small thing that keeps you active, engaged and outside – more. Once you begin to feel better, you can tackle the inside of your home – cooking, cleaning etc, but to do that, you’ll need to feel better first so please do make an appointment with your doctor about the depression.
Life will always be boring for as long as you are laying in the house and not getting out of the comfort zone of your bed so you can meet other people. It’s very similar to the story about winning the lottery: You can’t win the lottery unless you buy a lottery ticket. Decide what you’d like your life to look like, and make a list of things you can do to move you in the direction of the things that you’d like to see in your life. And if you use the list of things you’d like to accomplish as a guide to direct your decision making, your decisions and choices will support the things you desire, and before you know it, your dreams will have come true. Feel better and open your heart to the world outside your doorsteps.
I agree with Anita. You are closing a chapter in your life, and it does seem final. And sometimes it seems more final than we want if to be. But it’s all good because when one chapter of your life ends, a new chapter begins. So you can hold on to the good memories, knowing that as you begin this next chapter of your life, you will have other great memories! Don’t beat yourself up about forgetting the anniversary of you last relationship. That is a normal part of moving on. That feeling of finality can be hard to deal with sometimes, and forgetting those things that are no longer relevant to you now, such as your past dating anniversary, only confirms the finality of your past relationship. Know that it’s normal to forget what’s behind you so that you can free yourself up for the great things ahead of you.
Enjoy the forthcoming chapter in you life.
MirandaAugust 9, 2017 at 8:08 pm in reply to: I can't stand being around my family, why do I feel this way? #163196
Sorry you are unhappy with your living arrangements. In some ways I can relate to your situation. I’ve had similar situations in my family. So what made your parents just decide to move in with you – or to move at all? Did they move to the USA from a different country and decided to stay with you until they got situated or were they already in the USA? You said “they decided to move in with you.” How did your parents living with you come to be, and if they were living by themselves before, why not now?
My thought is that your parents are living with you because of what you said “They don’t speak English and so I can’t just leave them alone to live by themselves…” Not being able to speak English seldom prevents people from living independently. They may need your help periodically to translate or to help them with paperwork, take care of business etc, but they still could live on their own. Many non-English speaking people do it everyday. If your parents lived on their own before moving in with you, I’m sure they are capable of doing so now. They are mature adults with a daughter and son nearby whom they can call if they need assistance speaking the language, or they can enroll in a course.
Sometimes we get stuck in situations that don’t reflect what is true for us simply because we either won’t allow ourselves to embrace other alternative solutions, are afraid to hurt someone’s feelings or afraid to speak up. Only you can determine why your parents are living with you if you prefer that they live elsewhere when other options do exist for them to live on their own. If your parents are out and about shopping and such, they seem to be of reasonable health. It would seem that otherwise healthy parents, who have some level of financial stability would be able to live independently in their own home with some assistance from you and your brother to help them with the language barrier when conducting business etc.
I believe that you love your family, but you simply don’t want to live with them because you want to safeguard your personal space and solitude, which is understandable. I feel the same way. From here on out, when family members stay with me, it is a temporary situation and not a longterm housing solution. I enjoy my personal space and time; it nurtures and restores me. And when I have family and guests, it’s because I invited them to visit – not to live with me, which leave me in control of my life and space. And, it also provides me with the boundaries that I need to retain my own peace of mind.
There may be times when it may be necessary to have a family member live with you if you chose to do so because they are ill or for some other reason of your choosing. However, until the choices you make align with your true desires, the conflict and resentment that you feel inside will continue. I’ve been where you are, and it’s not nice.
Keep in mind that your happiness in this or any situation is about your making decisions and choices that are true for you. It would be okay for your parents to live with you if that choice was true to what you feel in your heart and worked for you, but your decision is neither true to what’s in your heart nor is it a solution that works for the person that you are. So when you have a discrepancy between what’s in your heart and your actions, you’re bound to feel bad inside and experience discomfort. And what I just said is the only answer that I can pose for your situation because you have some decisions to make and boundaries to set for you life and home.
All the best,
Making new friends can be hard. However, it takes time to get to know people so you will have to select those people whom you might want to know better, and take a leap of faith to get to know them. This is the only way that you can go from a casual acquaintance to a genuine friendship. Relationships are built and developed, and that usually won’t happen in a single meeting; it will be a process. So, some of what you feel when you meet new people may not be that they are not being genuine or don’t like you; they simply don’t know you or you them. And consider thinking of new people that you meet as simply strangers who don’t yet know you well enough to have a deep, personal and more meaningful conversations, instead of as people who are not being genuine. This way, it offers you a more positive perspective about the people that you meet, and you may feel more positive about getting to know them because if you think that most people that you meet are not genuine, it will impact your ability to befriend them.
Regarding your mom, there is no doubt that her choices influenced the course of your life. But my mom has an old saying, “just because you were born that way doesn’t mean you have to stay that way,” meaning no matter how we grow up, we can be different. We can change. You are an adult now, and you are free to write your own story. Your story doesn’t have to be like your painful youth or like your mom or dad’s stories. Our lives are built upon our daily choices and decision, and even our mindsets/perspectives. So, your life doesn’t have to be ruined forever and you don’t have to repeat your mom’s mistakes, even if it requires your getting counseling if it will help you. However, it requires (1) a quality decision to go in the direction you want and (2) to go in the direction you’ve chosen for you life. If you do those two things each day, or at least do them more than you don’t do them, you’ll create the life you want by continuing to make decisions and choices about you life that move you close in the direction of your goal. And if your mom doesn’t speak to you and doesn’t respond to your contacts, then let her be, and you keep being good to yourself and those who do respond to and appreciate having you in their lives. Just pray for you mom and let her go. Don’t concern yourself with who’s not in your life and enjoy those who are and who are willing to be a positive part of your life. And if it’s meant to be, your mom will reach out to you when she’s in a better place instead of you continuing to feel hurt by her lack of response especially while you’re in such a vulnerable place in your life. I’m confident that you will do fine and will make new friends and build those genuine friendships that you long for. All the best.
So sorry you are going through this. I agree with Anita and others, but specifically about what Anita mentioned about about what you feel about all your dreams will never be fulfilled. Your dreams can still be fulfilled. Your life isn’t over simply because your relationship ended. Many of us have several relationships and relationship blunders in our lives, and still experience fulfillment, purpose and success in life. One bad relationship apple does not stop our lives unless we allow it to. If you feel that your dreams will “never” be fulfilled because you no longer have someone in your life who means you no good, it may be because you may not be accepting responsibility for your own happiness. It is a lot of pressure on any human being, even the not-so-good ones, to be responsible for the continued happiness, fulfillment and purpose of another person. No one person or man can be our everything. That’s a job for God, and even then, we need are responsible for our choices and decisions.
Although it is painful, it will be important for your wellbeing to let your ex go completely. It is not his decision whether he can be your friend or not. That’s your decision. And, I believe your interaction with him while in pain is making it worse for you. Don’t continue to entertain him or follow his lead. Ending relationships is very painful, but it is more painful for you, I believe, for the following reasons:
(1) Expecting him to be your savior, change your life, make you happy, give you purpose, and fulfillment. This kind of dependent relationship seldom works because it is very one-sided in that you have one person (the boyfriend) taking on the full responsibility for your life. It’s your life and you must take the lead in making those things happen. What the RIGHT boyfriend in your life can do is enhance or make better what you already have in your life and who you are. But he doesn’t bring who you are with him into the relationship. He doesn’t bring your happiness and fulfillment. Those are things that each person is responsible for developing in his or her own life.
(2) Personal or emotional brokenness, poor self esteem and personal worth. This simply means that there may be areas in your life that have been hurt or damaged and have not been repaired so that you can be restored and made whole. A good counselor can help you to deal with any broken areas of our life and any areas where you may have poor self esteem or self worth and value. When we value ourselves, we won’t allow anyone to place us on sale as if we are not important or valuable, or continue to allow others to victimize, manipulate and misuse us.
(3) Total trust and dependence on someone you care for but don’t know well enough. Don’t ever completely trust anyone that you meet online or elsewhere with your life. You life is important. Too important to trust with anyone whom you don’t have a track record with and simply don’t know well. Don’t give our life away so quickly. You trusted this man with your entire life after only knowing him a few months and meeting him just once. So now you feel as if he broke his promises to take responsibility for all of your life, and that was never his promise to make or yours to relinquish. The internet has a way of giving people the illusion that they are closer and more familiar with a person than they really are. Internet relationships particularly require a lot of extra diligence, as you know, because you don’t have the benefit of face-to-face interactions. And both people have to be willing to to do this hard relationship work.
(4) Unwillingness to accept the truth and to let go. Facing the truth can be very painful but it’s the path that leads you through the pain. When he says there can be nothing more to your relationship, believe him and move forward to do what is best for you. There is someone better for you, but take care of yourself first, and begin to work on your own personal happiness.
(5) Continuing to allow contact and interaction with ex-boyfriend. It will save you much pain if you: Take control of this and stop talking to him. If he doesn’t want to be with you, and you are still working through the pain of the breakup, then you are not ready to be his friend. And talking to him, texting etc. will keep your hurt fresh every day, never allowing the wound to heal. Simply because he has moved on and feels ready to be “just friends” doesn’t mean that you are ready to be his friend or that you should be his friend. Sometimes “just being friends” is only a way to keep you as a backup and to string you along, and prevent a good man from coming into your life. So you have to take steps not to have interactions with him. Why would you want him at this point? De-friend him on Facebook; BLOCK his phone number on your phone; and BLOCK and DELETE his email address. Do Not answer his phone calls or return text messages. Continuing to have contact with a man whose behavior is still causing you pain will continue to cause you pain.
Finally, I’m so sorry you are going through this. However, this really isn’t as much about what your ex-boyfriend has done or promises he’s broken; it’s about you and how you see yourself and your life as an individual – whether he’s in your life or not. So I would encourage you to be kind to yourself; love yourself, and focus on doing those things that bring you joy and happiness without your ex. Spend time with your friends in your town and get to know them better. Don’t let this guy ruin your life and your future. You may not see or feel like it now, but trust me, there are other male fish out there who are waiting for the person that you are. Have a massage or take a mini vacation to get away for a while. Be good to yourself. The pain will pass but it will linger if you don’t do something to help yourself feel better and to move forward.
So sorry you are going through this. You accurately titled your post Head or Heart? I’m confident that you already know the answer that you seek, but it’s probably hard for you to follow what you know or to keep that answer in your awareness. So that’s what friends are for, to help confirm and help you to acknowledge your truth so you can do what’s best for your life.
With that said, I hope something here can help convince your brain to do what your heart knows is right for you and what will bring peace. Your heart and your brain are playing tug-of-war right now, and only you can decide who will win.
A situation like this is only another form of cheating, and it feels like cheating to the other partner. So, no matter what he says, it’s called cheating, emotional cheating. And emotional cheating, like all other cheating, hurts and it’s inappropriate for any committed and/or serious relationship.
You’ve been with your boyfriend for only eight (8) months and decided to move in together about two (2) months ago, meaning you guys were only together six (6) months before moving in together and sooner than that before deeming the relationship serious. In my opinion, it is rare for a relationship to have a serious, committed foundation in six months or less. It’s not impossible but it’s rare. People are complex, and it can be challenging to really know a person in six months especially to the point of making him or her a live-in partner.
Second, many but not all men want sex as soon as they can get it, and most women desire intimacy. And the two never should be confused because sex is not intimacy and closeness. Your boyfriend wants sex not intimacy. Intimacy and closeness is something that develops with time as you share your lives and experiences and learn the intricacies of each other over time. A person doesn’t have to know or care anything about you to participate in the act of sex. It is knowing caring about and knowing the mind and heart of the other person who is the object of your passion that has the power to transform sex into intimacy. And again, that takes time.
Many women tend to get seriously involved way too soon. We find someone we care about and whom we think cares about us, and we become naturally elated, and we consume ourselves with him. All our fun is centered around him. He becomes the center of our universe and things start moving faster than they need to, like a wildfire out of control. But we have to learn to take things a bit slower; spread out the time we spend with our significant other early on so we can keep our heads and hearts clear. Doing so allows us to be mindful about how we truly feel about the other person and evaluate the time we’re spending with them. If we get immersed in them too quickly, we lose all sense of awareness of what’s going on beyond what we feel at the moment, and we miss the bigger picture that helps us to evaluate if this person is truly a good fit for who we are at this stage in our lives. We also may forget that we still need other people in our lives to help balance us out, to share with and provide perspective should we lose our own for a moment.
It is easy to be fooled into thinking that the way a person is in our presence is the way they are all the time. People can change with the wind depending the variables at play at the time and where they are in life. And to assume otherwise is not wise, especially when we’ve not allowed ourselves sufficient time to observe the various aspects of another person. A person can’t help but show us who they are, given time because no person can fake 24/7. If they could, they’d BE a different person.
The longer you go without making a decision about this painful relationship and delay walking in what is true and right for you, the longer you will be in pain and misery in this relationship. And I feel confident in saying that your boyfriend can’t stop engaging in pornography on his own. He may need professional help – and you are not it! Please don’t allow your boyfriend to suck you into accepting blame for why he’s doing what he’s doing. Or, make you feel like you must be his savior. He must, of his own accord, desire to change and reach out to a professional for help, and it’s not your responsibility to be there should he decide to do so. There is no guarantee that he will change or that he will desire to change even with professional help. And that’s his choice, but don’t let it be yours.
And I’m not sure if there’s a such thing as a little less pornography. Does it feel better to you that he does it less? Of course not. So, to even acknowledge that he may be cheating a little less is your brain trying to pull one over on your heart to make you feel a little better about it all, but it’s not working because you are here in this forum seeking advice. That’s a good thing to reach out when you’re hurting and need help, but to tell yourself the truth about it is more power. This is hurting you. You don’t like it and you want it to stop.
You are not insecure. You are not being unreasonable. Follow you gut. And most importantly follow your truth. You know what is true for you. You’ve already expressed it here. You’ve asked him to stop, yet he persists in it. Again, the question becomes, knowing these things what are you going to do to correct your course – not his?
Now, here’s the show stopper. When a man makes the mistake of telling you that he doesn’t want to be with you, shut it down! There’s no, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean that.” If he formed his lips to tell you that and allowed the words to roll out of his mouth – he meant. If he didn’t mean it, he wouldn’t have said it to someone that he’s serious about and committed to. And, “he always says this then changes his mind.” What gives him the right to say hurtful words to you like that and then simply change his mind on a whim. Serious relationships are not created on a whim; they are built over time.
So, talk to your brain out loud. Seriously, and tell yourself, that you love yourself enough – NOT – to allow yourself to be victimized like this, to be manipulated like this. And, also tell yourself that “if Miranda and your other fellow sisters who have experienced the pain of a rotten relationship and poor choices can make it, so can you!”
There are other good men who would love to spend their time and life with someone like you. Don’t hate your boyfriend just don’t put up with his behavior either or spend your time with someone who only is tolerating you when you deserve to be celebrated for who you are!
I’m sorry for what you’re going through. I’d like to talk about your boyfriend last and address the issue with anger with others first. In your roommate example, I sense (from statements made about getting upset when people take your things without asking) that you may be holding in your feelings a little too much and not appropriately expressing how you feel when you need to. When a roommate, for example, uses your things without asking, that’s the time to say something in the form of setting boundaries. Actually, it’s best to have these conversations before anything happens such as when you first set up house together or when entering a new relationship. Sitting down and discussing boundaries or the rules, helps everyone involved to know where the lines are, outlining each person’s jurisdiction and what works for them and what doesn’t.
For example, you could tell the roommate to please ask you before borrowing your things and when she takes them without asking that you feel disrespected. You can relay whatever that feeling is for you. But having a brief conversation to share with the other person (1) what the problem is i.e. taking your things without asking and (2) how you feel when that happens will help you to set boundaries that prevent future occurrences which will minimize how often you’re getting angry over such things. And other benefits are that the other person now knows exactly what you expect of them and how you feel about their behavior, and your anger doesn’t build up and cause you to overreact when things happen.
Regarding your boyfriend, what comes to mind as I read your post is what Anita suggests, that your boyfriend’s behavior may be triggering memories from your past. Your anger may be caused by fear, frustration, anxiety or insecurity. I do agree that you’re overthinking things but not for the reason that you may think so. While you may simply think that you’re overthinking about what your boyfriend is either doing while he’s gone or about his wellbeing and safety when he’s away from you, I feel you’re simply thinking far more than you are taking action to empower yourself. Sitting at home upset while your boyfriend is gone only serves to make you a victim in the situation, and that only makes you approach the situation from the perspective of weakness and not strength. Not that you are weak but your approach is weak so your approach won’t do much to help you. And that pit inside you chest and stomach may be a reminder that you’ve already seen this situation play out in your mom and dad’s relationship, and you don’t want to relive their scenario. According to what I understand of our post, you watched your dad do the same thing to your mom through his excessive working, leaving you and your mom to yourselves longer than you both needed to be. But, then you mentioned that when your mom started going out and drinking, you watched how it affected your dad.
However, it’s important to remember how all this with your mom got started, which I hope will help you to see your mom with eyes of mercy. Things with you mom got started very similar to your situation now, sitting at home and waiting for the person you care about to come home to you. Unless I missed something, your mom took her life on this other path only after, I can only assume, she got tired of being frustrated, hurt, disappointed and alone consistently over time. Only after your mom took her life in the other direction, did it appear that the shoe was on the other foot so to speak, meaning your dad now is experiencing some of what your mother went through when he was working all the time. Now it’s your dad who is waiting for your mom to return home because she has given up on him changing his pattern of behavior, and in the process seemed to have given up on herself. Your mom seemed to have lost a part of herself in that process that she may have never recaptured. At the time, your mom may have felt that your father thought work was more important that her. That work was his first priority. And I can only assume that some of those days that your dad was at work that she probably wondered if he was really at work all that time or if he may have been doing other things without her. And you seem to be experiencing some of what your mother experienced when your dad was working – as well as what your dad probably felt when your mom was out drinking and not coming home. So these experiences, I’m sure, where traumatic for you then and probably still are resonating with you now, unless you’ve resolved those feelings associated with your parents. And it would appears that those feelings have not been resolved if you are not talking with your mother based on her past. However, is your mom is still into drugs, you may be limited in what you can do with her except to pray for her if you believe in the power of prayer and to forgive her.
Out of her pain, your mom took her life on a not-so-good path. When people hurt, they often just want the pain to stop, and it becomes a little easier to poor choices when we are desperate to stop or at least to dull the pain at any cost. I think that if you can see your current circumstance in your mom’s situation with your dad, you may be able to find your way back to your mom (on some level) and forgiveness toward her, and help yourself deal with your relationship with your boyfriend. Remember that forgiving your mom releases you internally to be at peace; it doesn’t mean that you agree with how your mom handled the situation.
The next thing that comes to mind is the age difference between you and your boyfriend. You mentioned that you are 19 now, and there are places that your boyfriend goes that you can’t go. What is your boyfriend’s age or the age difference between the two of you? It may be that the age difference is a problem, depending on how large the age difference is between the two of you. Consider that your boyfriend is old enough for you to be unable to go where he goes so that’s probably placing stress on your relationship and distance between you if he’s longing to do things that you can’t do. There may be a part of his life that he enjoys that you are not old enough to be a part of yet. While an age difference isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it is something to consider especially given the issues you’re having in your relationship. This isn’t simply something that you are doing to him because you get angry when he backs out on your plans, and don’t allow your boyfriend or anyone else convince you otherwise.
Life is not one size fits all. We are all unique and have different preferences, likes and dislike and desires. What works for one may not work for another – and especially in relationships. So, do those things that you love doing even if you have to do them alone or with a friend. Spend time with those people who you simply love being with because you enjoy their company and have so much fun when you’re around them. When you do these things, you begin to create a life that you love simply by making loving choices for yourself and your life and how you spend your time.
And the next thing is, where are your friends? Everyone needs at least one friend to talk to, spend time with and have fun with. One thing that women may do a bit more than men is they may stop seeing their friends when they get into a relationship, and that’s not a great idea. I don’t think this is done intentionally. I just think it’s so easy to immerse ourselves in our significant other because we’re so happy and infatuated that we leave little to no time for our friends. However, a good friend can be a leveler and help us to stay balanced when we meet a guy. A good friend is a good person to bounce ideas off of and to share your feelings and experiences, and may be able to see things that we can’t when we are blinded by the light of infatuation.
So, here’s my advice…..
If you do nothing else, stop waiting for your boyfriend to come home. You are 19 with a lot of life ahead of you: LIVE IT.
Living is not waiting and stressing at home while your boyfriend freely chooses to spend his time elsewhere. If you make plans and he changes his mind, you move forward with your plans without him. You go to the pool anyway. You go out to dinner anyway. You go to the movie anyway. If your boyfriend is committed and interested, the change in you may make influence a change in him. BUT, don’t do what you do for that reason. Do it for yourself. The only person you can change is yourself so do what you for the right reason and it will be fine. You will be disappointed if you do this for him, and he shows no change in his behavior so save yourself from more unnecessary pain. Liberate yourself and don’t allow yourself to ruin your life in despair over a boyfriend who won’t hang out with you. Hangout with yourself and your friends or simply make some new friends. Just make sure that you do what you do out of love and respect for yourself, and avoid blaming yourself or taking your anger or disappointment with your boyfriend out on yourself. Avoid attempting to punish yourself for what you think you’re doing to him. He’s doing it to himself every time he chooses to not relate, communicate and actually date you like you want your boyfriend to do. Also remember, your boyfriend is not your husband. This is the time in your life that you do not have to stick with a guy “for better or worse” if it’s not working for you – because he is not your husband. And just remember if you are having problems now that cause you upset and anxiety, marriage only intensifies what already their, and usually does not make a problem better.
Be happy Halle!
Hi Blue Ocean,
I’m sorry for your pain. You need to be convinced within yourself about what they need to do, and you already have the answer. You simply need to detach from your feelings about him for a while and stand back long enough to realize it. With that said, if we go back to what you’ve already said, you will find that your soul (gut) has been speaking but maybe you haven’t been ready to listen. So, listen to what your soul has said through your words: (1) you have been very unhappy for most of your relationship. (2) there have been countless fights that resulted in (a) you in a ball sobbing and (b) him yelling at you and telling you what a terrible person you are. (3) you changed to accommodate him and felt like you have been a shell of yourself for years (4) you decided to leave BUT stayed mostly out of guilt (5) you don’t feel the same way about him and don’t want him to touch you etc (6) you tried to leave again but was again convinced to stay (7) you wish for a fight to make it easier TO LEAVE.
Blue Ocean, the above statements are your reality and your truth. Acknowledge your truth in this situation or the truth will follow you like a dog chasing its tail. Being silent about your truth and not acknowledging it will keep you stuck in a rut, hurting and confused. Only you can answer the question: How long are you willing to be unhappy and in a relationship that does not love and support you and the depth of who your are? When you are sick and tired of being manipulated with tears that have no substance behind them that will empower him to follow through and change, and when you get sooo tired missing out on true happiness, joy and the freedom to be yourself, then you will make a quality decision and let your boyfriend go.
I wish I could throw a warm comforter around you, give you some dark chocolate and assure you that things will be alright, but I can only give you these words. And if you follow your heart, and the words you have written here about your situation are the substance of your heart, you will be fine. You just have to love yourself enough to say no to how this man is treating you and the unhappiness and pain you are enduring in this relationship. And say YES to loving yourself and getting your life back. You’ve tried to leave twice and he convince you to stay.
Next time just leave while he’s gone to work and don’t tell him anything. Simply leave a note saying “goodbye.” You’ve already said all there is to say. And if you know there’s a chance you might be vulnerable to staying, don’t place yourself in that situation, simply leave without discussing it any further. And I would not suggest doing it while he’s around because, you will only make it harder for yourself. And don’t be tempted to tell him where you are going or to explain. Simply break the connection and go. Do it for yourself. One more word: You seem to think more about him and how he will feel than you do about yourself, your life and your happiness. Loving things and people will come to you when you begin to love yourself first. Start by loving yourself enough to leave someone who is mistreating you. Absolutely no one should be telling you what a horribe person you are. I don’t even know you, and I can tell that you are NOT a horribe person! Be happy.
I can sympathize with what you’re going through. I know it is very painful and the betrayal is grueling. I agree with Anita that your situation is not adultery, but because it isn’t adultery, it’s obviously a violation of your trust, the relationship and your moral code. Your soul is telling you what is true for you regarding this situation and is presenting you with another opportunity to listen and respond – and not continue to ignore this painful truth about this man as you mentioned you had done early on.
Now, you must stand in your truth, and when you do, peace will come, and somehow the pain you feel will be transformed. You still may feel some intermittent sadness or disappointment, but it won’t be as intense.
Here’s what helped me to get through a similar situation. I had to reframe the situation. I wrote down different ways of thinking about the situation that were both true and convincing to me. Then, I selected the option that my self could believe and rest with. So, here’s some self talk that is a blend of what I used and tweaked for what I gleaned from the information that you provided: “I did not voluntarily create this situation, but I will learn and grow from it. And I will learn to trust my inner self when I sense a warning and not move forward against the will of my soul. I’m glad the truth has come out about this other woman because I needed to know the truth, and it has given me the knowledge that I need to redirect my life and to make a more loving decision for myself by letting him go. And as I have opened myself to the truth, the other woman can do the same if she chooses to, but whether she does or not, I am not responsible for her choices – only my own. I love and respect myself and the feelings of the other woman enough to continue in a relationship that is not true to who I am.”
Your self talk may be slightly different, depending on what truths resonate with you the most. Your truth statements will help you put the situation in its proper perspective and aid in healing your emotions and bringing about the peace of mind that you need right now. This is a time of letting go for you so you can embrace other opportunities that await you when you free up your mental space and your time from the pain you’re going through and this man. You are in my thoughts and prayers.