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  • in reply to: Psychotherapy challenges #277697
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Lisa,

    Not all relationship issues stemmed from issues in your childhood with your parents.

    Those so called abusers are not as what people imagined is shown in the movies and TV shows. Many are very, very skilled at manipulating their image to be respectful on the outside. So when you first get to know them, they will seem like the kind of guy you’ll want to bring home to meet your parents. Due to their nature, they will not show you their ‘hysterical’ side until they have made sure that you are within their grasp in some way, i e, dating then moving in with them. Once they have you by their side, making it easier to monitor you, they will slowly start to dig at your self esteem, self confidence, self respect as a person to diminish your sense of self. They will begin isolating you from friends and possibly family if your family live near. They will keep badgering you with guilt about this or that to make you question yourself. They will regularly insult you to demean your spirit. Then they’ll suddenly show a sweet side to you which will make you feel relieve since the person you’re dating can’t be that bad if he’s so sweet now. He can change, he is a decent person. Only, he’ll return to the violent/abusive side and, since you have affections for him, you’ll hope against all odds that he will turn sweet again because he can be sweet, if only you give it a bit of time. And the cycle repeat until you can’t tell what is normal or abnormal anymore.

    But well, most of it is speculation since you give little details of your relationship, but abusive relationships are really difficult to leave from because of many reasons, many of it is the abuser cornering their victim that they feel like they can’t leave. Many have linked abusive relationships to be similar to Stockholm syndrome. You did what you thought was the correct choice to endure and survived the violent terrain of abused from you ex while feeling cornered. So while you did think about leaving, it was also terrifying because you don’t know what could happen should you leave. Did he ever threaten violence on either him or you should you leave him? Did he threaten to hurt others if you ever told people about his abuse? Or was he skilled enough to convinced people that you were the ‘hysterical’ one and that you needed help instead, though with him watching over you? Effectively isolating you in that regard.

    Though if you were the one who thought you had to stayed behind to helped him through whatever it was he needed help with, then that is also bad. Since he was manipulating your goodwill and affection for him to stayed with him, telling you that he could change for the better if only you stayed with him. And the more pitiful he made himself out to be, the harder it would have been to leave because of the guilt. The guilt that his suffering would be worse without your help, that he couldn’t live without you or your help. A terrible, but effective tactic.

    So yeah, abusers are very talented at manipulating their victim which makes it hard for the victim to take actions to leave the violence, especially when physical violence it involved. Of course, it could be due to something in your childhood, you entered into a relationship with your ex knowing that he was abusive in some way. But it’s not always the case. It’s just you don’t know a person’s true nature until they show it to you.

    Well, you’ll have a lot to discuss with your counselor now, at least.

    in reply to: Boyfriend Sleeping in Mothers Bed #277493
    GL
    Participant

    Dear madxx,

    What you’ve described of your current boyfriend’s relationship with his mother are signs of a codependent parent-child relationship.

    Now, I don’t have much knowledge of your boyfriend to be too sure, but moving back home, planning on a nursing degree then finally sleeping in the same bed? That’s definitely him, your boyfriend, giving into his mother’s needs; needs that was probably generated by the fear of something that came out in a grotesque manner after his father’s death and your boyfriend being an adult who actually left the home, leaving her alone. And now that the mother actually need help with daily life, she is taking full advantage of her son who came back home to help her to reenact whatever she taught him during his years of living with her, which no child forget easily. And now, they’re practically glued at the hip.

    You can tell your boyfriend all of this, that this codependent relationship with his mother is unhealthy for the both of them, but he might not listen to you He is probably not too aware that this relationship is unhealthy because for him, it’s a normal relationship with his mother. This relationship has not deviated from what was happening during his childhood so through his perspective, his relationship is totally normal. This relationship is what he was taught and you can’t undo something like that so easily. Though you can tell him that it’s best to see a family or grief counselor, but whether he’ll listen is up for debate.

    http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/co-dependency

    So now, you have the option of continuing a romantic relationship with your boyfriend, codependent parent-child relationship and all. But, be warn, he might put his mother’s needs before yours in the future. Codependent is not the name for no reason. Or you can leave. You can pose an ultimatum before deciding whether you’ll leave. You can sit down and discuss with your boyfriend your feelings about the whole situation and see if he is willing to acknowledge the situation as it is, codependency and all, to which he will work with you to come to a compromise or any solutions.

    Whatever you decide to do, do it with your well being in mind. After all, you can’t always be sitting around waiting for someone to come to their senses.

    in reply to: Ongoing trust issues #277483
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Jemma,

    Where does your shame come from?

    You acknowledge that you have trust issues, but you don’t allow yourself to have insecurities. It seems that every time any insecurities about your relationship crop up, you shame yourself. You get angry and question your integrity/sincerity towards your partner. But does your partner expect you to be this magical unicorn that does not have a care in the world? Because across the keyboard, it seem like you’re very human. That, or you’re a relationship programed AI. But assuming that you are human, then you’ll find it useful to look at your very human insecurities and why you feel ashamed for feeling insecure. Certainly, insecurities isn’t rainbow and sunshine, but for any one human to have insecurities is human nature. It’s not right or wrong, it is simply how humans are wired. It’s just many people have found ways to live their life even with their insecurities.

    Of course, while many people desire to erase their complex, it won’t go away just because you don’t want to see it. The more you try to push it away, the more it’ll try to gain your attention in a more grotesque way. The insecurity is a part of you after all, so who would like it when a part of who you are as a person is rejected? You’re only human.

    So rather than ask how to ‘fix’ your insecurity, first ask why it’s shameful for you to have insecurities.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by GL.
    in reply to: Negative feelings #277119
    GL
    Participant

    You know, people tend to forget this simple fact, but change is a constant of life. But it’s not very obvious until something hit you in the face that you’ve realized that thing(s) had changed, you just weren’t aware of it happening. Yet it still happen. From 10 to 20 to 30, life was never the same from then to now, it only seemed to suddenly change then reverted back to ‘everyday’. Rather the illusion of ‘everyday’ is only disrupted by the changing date. Even then, it is merely the perception of the date changing and not the people.

    So what’s changed? What used to work that’s not working now?

    Look over your life from a few years back. What have you been doing that is similar from one day to the next when suddenly something had changed? Yet when had the change suddenly reverted back to ‘everyday’? Then examined your feelings. How are you different from the you a year, two years, three years ago to the current you? What are your feelings about your current life compare to the past? What is different? What is good and bad? What are your current thoughts as compare to the past? What used to make you happy yet is now a neutral feeling? What used to make you feel bad yet there is a curiosity to explore that?

    Who are you?

    Or it might be that there is something in the past that is coming back in a new form. Form like self, -worth, -esteem, -confidence, -respect is something that people have to learn to build for themselves over and over again. Why? Because life is never a linear sequence but a chaotic web. People can never see the end of the road until it is the end; the line you’ve chosen to walk on the web is ever connected to other lines so there will always be some kind of tangle and knot in the line. Maybe you’ve decided to turned left or right at some points that you’ve walked a different road then you intended before. And maybe you’ve come back to the same knot on that new road you’ve chosen.

    Just because you’ve released a past that was painful does not mean that you won’t encountered a new problem on a new stage, but old pattern of past hurt. So your integrity and identity is now under the microscope, yet your fragile heart might not be able to hold together under the new circumstances and you grow stagnate. You slow down and life starts to feel like a constant battle to just autopilot from day to day. Then it start building on each other to the point you don’t know what happened until you’ve seemingly fallen into a pit. So to build the proverbial ladder, you’ll have to ask a lot of questions and be patient. You’ll have to face what is your neglected child, your voice/intuition/heart at its most basic. That child will try to tell you what is it that you’re neglecting to be honest about, whether it’s about yourself or your situation in life. Or it’ll help you identify what is is you’re missing at the current moment.

    If these introspection into your psyche is new, it would be best to employ the assistance of someone who has experience in helping people identify their current self, the good and bad. But make no mistake, this is not about fixing your emotions. It is about acknowledging and validating your emotions and the thoughts that comes with those emotions. Regardless of how depressing these emotions are, if you didn’t have them, would you have the opportunity to understand its counterpart? Of course, getting to know yourself emotionally is never an easy thing to do, but as an mammal that has the habit of reflecting on their emotions, it is something that is all too natural to do.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Feeling conflicted in a weird situation #276985
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Shae03,

    What you’re describing of your relationship seems to be the beginning stages of a codependent friendship. After your friend moved in and you started to connect emotionally, you found a person willing to validate your thoughts and emotions, which is awesome because not a lot of people in society are willing to acknowledge the emotions men have and feel. But what’s not awesome is that it’s easy to become dependent on this person who acknowledges your emotions, especially given that they live in the same house as you. So it’s just became that much easier and convenient to depend on one person for your emotional need rather than look for other sources of friendship.

    Though your friend is a great person, you are too comfortable becoming dependent on her to validate your emotions, which is her doing the emotional labor of listening and giving feedbacks whenever you’ve feel the need to vent. But then you don’t have to do the work of figuring out your emotion because she is right there to be your soundboard. As that progress, you two become closer friends so now you two are the BFFs that everyone envy. So you two hang out together so much that many are lumping you two as a pair instead as individuals. You can’t have one person without seeing the other, as if you two are glued together. Because that’s what BFFs do, they don’t go out without the other. Switch BFFs with codependent and you would get a similar thing, though more exclusive to the two of you.

    That you’ve noticed the new dynamic is a good thing, but the difficult part comes after acknowledging that your friendship right now is not working out. The difficult thing right now is to sit down and talk this out with your friend. Explain to her what’s happening and your feelings on the subject matter. Also, you need to begin to distance yourself from her since you are the one who is depending on her to be your emotion laborer. You don’t need to cut off contact, but you do need to keep a certain distance since it was the distance in the first place that made it easy to become dependent on your friend. Of course, it’ll be difficult to do since you live in the same house and is part of the same social circle. So maybe you can agree to meet with friends on separate days while lessening your daily interactions. You can even decide to move out, though only if it’s one of the last options.

    Whatever you decide to do, make sure you talk this over with your friend first. The first talk might not turn out any good solutions, but at least you’ve brought the issues to the table. After that, you two can work together to figure out what would be the best schedule to follow between the two of you. But remember, it’s not about finding fault in your friendship, it’s about building a friendship that is about support and not reliant.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Struggling with "break up" #274823
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Brianne,

    I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but this guy is clearly stringing you along and you are choosing to be an active participant.

    From the time you regained contact to the point of the physical relationship, he told you out right that he didn’t want an intimate, exclusive relationship. You conceded to that, but still chose to keep in contact with him. Then as he kicked things up, you started to dive deeper into this ‘friends with benefits’ relationship. You chose to fall even when your intuition warned you that it would end badly. And it probably became a game for him, a game to see how long you’ll stay as long as he continued to deliver words of sweet nothings to you on a basis that would keep you hook. As you continued to let yourself stay hook, you eventually put him on a pedestal of ‘in due course, a boyfriend’ but remember, he told you from the beginning that he did not want a serious relationship and you agreed to those terms. And the terms is friends with benefits with no serious commitment in the future.

    So the best course of action right now would be to end this ‘friends with benefits’ relationship since you clearly desire a serious relationship, but this ‘friend’ is not going to be the one who will commit to it. He does not really care for you, he cares about this fishing game. He has chosen to look at this relationship with you as a way to pass time because you chose to let him see you, the other person, as someone available and waiting for him to commit or at least text you back to let you know that he is still thinking of you, if only for a few minutes. You let yourself wait for him, wait for him to finally come around, but how long will he make you wait? And how long will you be waiting?

    The thing is, you didn’t advocate for yourself, you didn’t advocate for what you want, which is a serious relationship with this person who you knew briefly a few years back. But people change and you can only know the present person. No matter what you might think, you are not responsible for anyone’s actions, but your own. You also need to set down boundaries. When you set down boundaries for what you will or will not do, will the voice that tells you ‘that’s as good as it gets’ will be irrelevant, will seem illogical and very unkind to the present you. And you’ll be able to tell that voice that you don’t have to obediently do what it tells you to do because you will not cross your own boundaries. You’ve set down those boundaries for yourself as an act of self care and you will not cross them nor let anyone else cross them.

    You need to find ways to put value into yourself than the relationship with this person who only remember to text you when he deign it not a waste of his time. You need to learn to care for yourself first and foremost than to look for someone to ‘take care’ of your heart for you.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Are some things just unforgivable? #274563
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Ann,

    When a person is arrested for soliciting a minor with an electronic, it means that the person was communicating with a minor, someone younger than 18, to forge a transaction with them. From the looks of it, the police posing as a minor invited the person with the invite for some ‘actions’ or the person himself initiated the meet up and it seems that the person was aware that it was a ‘minor’ he was talking to. So he probably was hoping for some bed action with a minor if he went since the police did arrest him. That, or he was trying to do something else, but the police was waiting for him at the meet up spot so fishy things about it.

    If you are uncomfortable about it, but still wish to hear his side of it, then meet him for coffee and calmly ask him about it. Just make sure not to accuse him of anything since you don’t have all the fact. But do be careful of what might happen if you do meet up. Or just tell him that it’s not working for you and cut off all contact. Do whatever makes you feel safe and comfortable.

    Be careful.

    in reply to: Habitual Anger vs.lack of self-care accusation #274553
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Bluesses,

    There’s some things that are unclear about your relationship and some things to clarify.

    First, how is your communications with each other? A relationship requires that all involved parties voice out their thoughts and feelings about their situation together, which it seems like you were bottling up some things before so if that hasn’t led you to explode until now, that’s both good and bad. Good in that you are finally expressing your thoughts, your partner might have unconsciously sense your inner fury though, but bad in that the language in which you are expressing them might put your partner on the defensive which makes you go on the defensive. When frustrated, people’s language tend to sound accusatory rather than neutral or compassionate. Think of how you are communicating with each other right now, are you two listening to each other or are you accusing each other of something? Though you do have to keep in mind your husband’s anger issues.

    Words matter: “You” vs. “I”

     

    Your husband was incorrect about the stress being non-transferable. Emotions are very contagious, especially when you are female and when most of society expect females to be socialized caretakers. So that stress that your husband is letting out? That is being transferred to you in some form which will stress you out, regardless of whether you want to feel it or not. But that your husband refuses to acknowledge that seeing him stress stresses you out, that’s a red flag. In other word, he is refusing to take responsibility for bringing in the stress into your relationship. Even if he is the one feeling it, it doesn’t mean that you don’t see it. He’s obviously telling you about it, and if that doesn’t stress you out or leave a bad taste, then that would be weird. So yeah, you’re implicitly involved with his stress.

    You don’t mention much of how he is manipulative, but if he is manipulating you in anyway, then it is recommended that you spend some time and space away from your husband to sort out your thoughts and feelings. By staying with your husband while you try to process your emotions, he will sway you emotionally to his logic. So if you can, go stay with a friend or your family who you can recruit to act as a sound board for you as you let out your thoughts, the good and bad. Make sure to write it down, it’ll help to clear your mind, but also let you see the bigger picture. And it’ll help you decide what to do with your relationship.

    Above all, value your health first and foremost. Your husband might be your husband, but that doesn’t mean staying in a relationship that causes damage to your overall health. You have a serious responsibility to yourself to see to it that you take care of yourself because only when you are healthy can you give your attention and energy into caring for another person. But if the person you want to care about is actually dragging you down, then it’s not worth it because in the end, he doesn’t value himself nor does he value you to care if you’re suffering from his actions and emotions. Also, he might be going through counseling, but if he really wanted to change, you would already be seeing him actually try and not just going through his day as per usual with all the anger and rage.

    Keep in mind all of these things as you think about all the pros and cons about your relationship and if it is still a relationship you want to keep fighting for until you can’t help, but feel too tire to care.

    Take care.

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    You were in a friends with benefits relationship with your current girlfriend and that was it. You were friend with benefits, you weren’t girlfriend/boyfriend, you were also supposedly in love with another girl at the time too. So no, there is no apologies needed from your girlfriend and for your forgiveness, her boyfriend.

    Why?

    Because you both decided that it was fine to share the same bed, but without communicating that you both were not going to sleep with other people at the same time. I repeat, you were friends with benefits without a contract of sleeping exclusively with each other. So no, your girlfriend has done nothing wrong, she was only trying to distract herself from her pain. And sleeping with people did that for her, that’s all.

    Clearly, you have some family issues that you need to sort out, but your girlfriend is not at fault for her actions before you both decided to enter into the exclusive girlfriend/boyfriend relationship. You fell for her of your own violations and she share mutual affections now, but before? Before was every person for themselves as you were only friends with benefits. So instead of thinking that your girlfriend is at fault when you weren’t even a couple back then, look at your own insecurities and think about why you’re so trouble about her sleeping with your brother. If it was some other person who you didn’t know, would that have made it sting a little less?

    And hey, she could have ignored the past and not even told you about it. That she even told you just goes to show how much she want this relationship to work. She chose to be honest with you. Now you need to stop blaming her for something that she is NOT at fault for and look at your insecurities.

    GL

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Roary,

    Life is pointless because you were expecting to find meaning in your life eventually. Only you constantly crashed against the wall called reality as you continue to face the horror that is the world you live in. Maybe you were simply following others’ script of ‘what to do to achieve happiness’ only it’s not the script for you. Or maybe you chose a road that you thought would lead you to a bit of happiness only to find it was a dead end. So yeah, life is pointless. You haven’t given it any points.

    So, what’s not fulfilling you? Your job? Then quit and look for one in an environment that fits your need. Your relationship? Do you want to enter a romantic relationship or is your current one not working out? Lack of friendship? Relationships are a number game, you have to go through a lot of people to find one that you can actually connect with a deeper level than shallow acquaintance. You also need to commit to working at them. Are you bore? Look for a new hobby. If you need help understanding what fulfill you, I recommend the book Find Your Why by Simon Sinek. It’s a good starting point.

    But you also need to give your mind a break from thinking. A decade of depression tends to make the mind over think and over analyze every details of every situations so it becomes a looping spiral of negativity that you don’t realize that you’re re-enforcing with every thoughts. And if you can, look for counseling that can help you with identifying the areas that you are having issues in. Not every depression is caused by neurochemical misalignment nor is it caused by a drama from your childhood or a later trauma in adult life. But when you feel unfulfilled in one area, it usually start to expand from there to other areas due to the domino effect.

    When you do think and it’s about how you’re a failure, take a step back and try to trace those thoughts of yours. See where they are coming from without reacting to them. Identify them then let yourself move on. When you react to those negative thoughts, you are giving them power because they become an enemy to fight against so they become a force of power against you. Take away that force and it merely become thoughts that is cautioning you about something because of fear but in the end is merely thoughts. It’s like opening the door to an an unexpected guest that you slowly but surely guide out the back door.

    There are also issues with self esteem and self worth. If you are not doing things that will feed them, then you will have empty holes called self esteem and self worth. Depression eats at your image of what makes you a person so you usually don’t even try to fill in the space set aside for self esteem and self worth. When that happens, they are sitting there collecting dust until you don’t see them anymore. So can you still see your self esteem and self worth or it is floating somewhere in space?

    Of course, it’s not easy to have good thoughts every single moment of every single day. There will always be negative thoughts, but there will also be positive thoughts, you just have to allow yourself to have them. If you need reminders, write them down and tape it up. TinyBuddha is always brimming with good quotes. Or maybe you’re more of a picture person. Allocate a few minutes a day to look at pictures that makes you feel good or content or okay. YouTube has videos of baby goats jumping around. Listen to a song you like. Take a walk. Eat your favorite snack. Keep re-enforcing these things. Focus on them without letting your mind think. Thinking get in the way of feeling, especially when you just want to feel okay.

    Remember, life is pointless when you don’t give it points.

    in reply to: Mind troubles #273257
    GL
    Participant

    Dear grannyweatherwax,

    You’re one of those people who I like to call the ‘older sibling’ type. From the time that you were a child, it was in your nature to attempt to assist others who were struggling with something. You like to help people. Even now, it didn’t seemed to have changed much, just that your depression makes it harder to focus on other people. You also seem to the independent type, rarely relying on others for assistant in your problems. After all, you struggle with the image of being a strong person as ‘weak’ is such a terrible label to you. But the more you enforced that image of supportive, but independent friend/family member, the more people will feel its okay to rely on you, especially when you don’t say no.

    Also, you rarely ask for help. Case in point, you didn’t ask for the help of your professor whose job is it to help you find answers to your questions. But unless you ask people for help and tell them exactly how to help you, they won’t know how to actually do anything for you. They are not mind reader nor are you. What you assume you know about them and what they know about you might not entirely be on point. And as a person who rarely lets people see your vulnerability, they probably aren’t acquainted with the fact that you too need emotional support from time to time. Even if you have shouldered your friends’ emotional needs, you cannot expect that in return without actually telling them. You need to ask for things from people, you can’t expect them to just sense something is wrong and do something. Not all people are good at being supportive even when a friend is clearly going through a tough time. Even the ones who have emotional intelligence lack the correct directions to help others in their time of needs. Give them that direction and if they don’t think they can provide it, then ask for something that they can do.

    People are not mind reader so you have to start telling them that you have depression, that you are a human with a vulnerable side, that you need help and what they can do for you. It will be difficult since you rarely let yourself rely on others, but it’s time to learn how to let others help you. After all, relationships is about give and take so that one person does not have to shoulder all the emotional burden while the other is just relying on the other for emotional support. That is imbalance and will gradually sow resentment.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Am i a lesbian? liking a girlfriend #272501
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Marissa,

    The stereotype regarding sexuality is that once you’ve identified as something, then that’s set in stone and that’s how you’ll be the rest of your life. But the logic is flawed in that people don’t choose other people because of their gender, but because of who they are as a person. While there are attraction to certain physical feature, that is not what decides whether people in any relationship will work together. What makes or break any relationship is all the parties involved deciding to work on their relationship because they value the person and the relationship. If you can love someone of the same biological sex platonically, whose to say that you can’t love someone of the same biological sex romantically down the road? Sexuality is quite fluid unless you’re a person who doesn’t care to change your preferences.

    Though I don’t know the depth of your affection, you certainly hold affection for your friend. You tell her important things about you and your past, you feel a certain intimacy with her that propel you into a physical pull. You trust her, for if you didn’t, you wouldn’t let her into your personal territory. Now, what you feel for her doesn’t necessarily mean that you find female romantically attractive, it simply means that you have affection for your friend who is biologically female. There was just some things about your friend that led you to develop trust and attraction then gradual affection. There’s nothing wrong with that, you simply have affection for your female friend.

    Now, the important thing is to accept your feelings for what they are then decide what to do after that.

    You can accept your feelings then decide to forget them and move on. You can try to have an illicit affair with your friend without informing your boyfriend or her husband, though I don’t recommend it since it lead to too much drama for everyone. Or, if your boyfriend and her husband is open-minded enough, you can enter into a polyamory relationship whereby you continue to explore your attraction to your friend while still dating your boyfriend. The first option is difficult, but it’s been only a few months so as long as you don’t keep too much contact, you might be able to move forward soon enough. The second option leads to a ending that will be full of guilt and distrust from everyone. The third option is difficult, but not impossible as long as you all keep open communications while being honest with your insecurities and doubts. There’s probably more options that I’m not mentioning, but the decision is yours and your friend to decide on. Go with your heart.

    Regardless of the opinions of every person who hear about it will express, don’t let them tell you that you’re in the wrong or that you’re strange for feeling the way you do. There’s no predicting who will enter your life at any given time and what sort of things you’ll experience. It’s easy to expect that life will continue on in the same old way it always had, but life also has a way of surprising you when you least expect it. Life is ephemeral and change is inevitable. Don’t beat yourself up for the things happening, you’re only walking the road that life seems to be nudging you towards to explore something new. It’s scary and you don’t know what might happen, so take a deep breath and make sure to take care of yourself.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: I need help working through this. #272355
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Andrea,

    The conditions for a stable relationship is mostly based on communications, acceptance, responsibility, commitment and openness. But whether a person will work toward it is entirely their choice. You can have expectation for your relationship since you want it to work out, but you can’t really have heavy expectations in the way of your partner. You can predict their actions and their thoughts, but until they have taken actions of some kind, then you won’t understand their stance in your relationship. You can voice your thoughts on the matter and ask to work on it with them, but in the end, their action is dependent on whether they are willing to commit.  After all, you cannot ask more than a person is willing to give.

    Now, there are several red flags for you to think about.

    1. When you asked your ex if he was willing to commit to a serious relationship, he had rejected it. So you weren’t going to get the serious and intimate relationship you were hoping for. He had made his stance early on, but you still chose to pursued a relationship. Whether you were thinking he might changed his mind later on, I don’t know, but he had made his stance and people rarely change their decision so easily. Especially when he made it obvious that he is not inclined to commit to a serious relationship that will turn co-dependent in the future.

    2. Your thought of “young people” using sex as a way of using people and not holding accountability is quite the prejudice against those younger than you. There are many sexual inclinations as much as there are people in the world and studies have shown that teens these days are actually having less sex these days. So is this thought a projection of what you might be thinking about yourself or your previous partners/crushes? Because projection is from personal experience.

    3. You seem to find unavailable men to be attractive. From the beginning it was your obsession with someone who had rejected your confession and after it’s someone who had declined to enter a serious relationship with you. But when that casual relationship seemed to be turning serious, you begin to feel irritated. After the person that was inattentive and distance begin to be more accountable for their share of the work in your relationship, you begin to find fault in their actions. You begin to feel that the relationship might be incompatible. You felt safe, though insecure, when your ex was absence, but felt strange and anger when he began to lessen that distance.

    4. It seem that you had a lot of intimacy through your bodies, but very little communications. You went to his house and slept, but didn’t really talk except through text. You want to share your interest with him, but he shows no interest. Everyone has different ways of showing support. Though I advocate that a partner should not have to attend any shows just because their partner has interest since emotional support is shown in encouragement, not attending any show to placate their partner. That just sow resentment. But I digress. Now, even before you broke off, you laid together in bliss because you thought he understood what you were trying to tell him. But the thing is, communication take time and effort. It takes a series of discussions with the parties involved willing to listen to every side and angle. It is vulnerable and messy, but it is open and honest. You can’t ever truly understand a person, but they can try to show you who they are. Even then, it is an ongoing work. So did he willingly listen to your insecurities and did you really understand what he was trying to tell you about himself?

    5. Rather than think that this is a good opportunity of growth for him, something that he decides for himself, decide for yourself what you’ve learn from it.

    6. You haven’t set good boundaries for yourself.

    You can’t fix a relationship that wasn’t there in the first place. You had began a casual fling with someone you found attractive, but who like the physical aspect more than the emotional part of your relationship. But deep in your heart, you wish for that share emotion between two people in a serious, romantic relationship. But you’re not going to get it from your ex. He had told you from the beginning that he does not desire emotional intimacy at this point in time. And now that he is, again, unavailable, you want to pursued a relationship again because you miss him. You want to fix what you think is broken even when your intuition is telling you otherwise.

    So what is it that he was filling inside of you that you want him back? Better yet, what is it that he represent that makes him so tempting that you willingly ignore your own intuition to pursue him? What kind of story are you telling yourself about your relationship and him that makes you want to go back? There’s a lot of question you need to ask yourself.

    in reply to: How can I accept love? #271951
    GL
    Participant

    Dear Jay,

    Though you understand the fact that accepting others’ affection is your choice, you’ve already realized that you are the one to draw back when people actually show you affection.

    Whenever a relationship is smooth sailing, there might be an alarm in your head that goes off which prompts you to sabotaged it. Why? Is it because deep inside, you believe that good things doesn’t last for long so it’s better to end it quickly less you are disappointed again or that you don’t deserve this relationship and the affection and the happiness.

    Love is not so much accepting affection from other people, but actually believing whether you even deserve affection in the first place. From your post, it doesn’t seem you even believe you can be loved, so does that mean you don’t love yourself? If you can’t love yourself, can you allow other people to love you? Because if you don’t love yourself, can you even believe you deserve love from yourself and other people?

    I do not know what occurred in your life that made you question the validity of affection from other people and most of all, from yourself, but it is something to ask yourself. You have to ask yourself why you are so keen on believing that you, the person you are now, do not deserve affection from other people. Why do you fear it? Where did such feelings come from? When did it begin? What is the void inside of your heart?

    Having hope for affection is one thing, but not able to believe that anyone can love you is another. But if you truly wish to understand love to give and to receive in return, then get ready to dive deep into your pool of fears and insecurities. It will be messy and it might dredge up old wounds, but to move forward to actually believing that loving yourself, though difficult, is not impossible will be a great dream come true. And there might be days where you regress into thinking that you really cannot be love, have compassion. Not everyone is their own best friend every second of the day and it will take courage to be kind to yourself, yet it will be worth it when you feel enough as the person you are currently.

    Good luck.

    in reply to: Anxiety, confusion, sexuality #271455
    GL
    Participant

    Excuse me for butting in, but I was wondering, did something happened in your childhood, afeels, that make unavailable men attractive to you? Or some kind of trauma that branded a strong impression on you? And is that where your trust issues in men stemmed from?

    I’m sorry about your friend JJ, but the thing is, he might be one of those people who flirt for fun, who sees flirting as a game more than a indication of romantic leaning. That, or he’s the sort of person whose gets his validation from people relying and depending on him, much of what you seemed to have done with him as a friend. But that’s only speculations because I don’t know him, but it doesn’t seem that you’ve put away that particular history of yours. What made you mention him in your post, as compare to the other men you’ve dated? And what was it about him that let you opened your eyes?

    Also, there’s a possibility that you’re demisexual or something along those lines. Someone who identifies as demisexual doesn’t see sex as a necessary thing in a relationship. Rather, they want an emotional connection with their potential partner before rolling in the sheets, well, if ever. Of course, a demisexual person can find people physically attractive, but they don’t really developed sexual attraction until they feel they are in a mutually comfortable relationship with respect and open communications with their partner. But the thing is, you don’t have to determine your sexuality, sexuality is actually quite fluid so what is attractive now might not be attractive in five years. Determine what you like as of now, but don’t set that as a rigid rule for the future. Also, it would be best to research some key points on sexuality and its explorations because going in blind isn’t always helpful.

    About the sex guilt, that’s something you should go over with your counselor. Your feeling of guilt of performing any sexual deeds stemmed from your family’s teachings that being sexual is bad, especially if you’re a female and you’ve been carrying that teachings into your adulthood. You haven’t cast away the guilt, but as long as the guilt is there, sex will always be something that you might desired, but also something bad to do. And that will make sex torture or boring or scary. That will induce anxiety about sex.

    Now, have you developed healthy boundaries for yourself? There are many kind of boundaries and they help you defined who you are as a person as you currently are. It also help you decide what you will hold yourself responsible for and what you will not. Without any form of boundaries, you tend to let other people dictate your actions regardless of your thoughts. There’s a book called Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend that can get you started. Your counselor can also give you suggestions.

    It seems you’re still dealing with your anxiety and that’s no walk in the park and it’s not something that goes away with time. But you haven’t given up hope for yourself and that’s encouraging. You are still searching for yourself, though that’s a journey until death, so take a deep breath and encourage yourself to walk at your own pace. You are probably pressured from those around you to what you see in the media that you need to have your whole self figured out by the time you reached 30, but that could not be further from the truth. If you had yourself drawn and laminated by the age of 30, then where’s the space to grow and learn by the age of 40, 50 and beyond? People change and there’s so much to do in today’s society so why limit yourself? But done at your own pace. After all, you only have this life, why not live on your own terms?

    Good luck.

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