shattered pieces

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    shattered pieces

    Dear Girija/Samy

    I have been following your story on this forum (and many others too-like Dave F “stuck in loneliness..” amazing conversations ) because I feel that I learn a lot about myself and my emotional world/wounds through the communication you and others have shared on this forum. Having followed your story, I repeatedly see a pattern where you are stuck (for lack of a better word-sorry if it feels offensive) in a thinking that love/intimacy issues can be solved with finding a partner -and finding a partner is dependent on your physical attributes. I get you, you want to experience love with a person, and I want the same for you. I think you are as pretty as you choose to see yourself as pretty (if it makes sense). I dont want to hijack your story with mine, but maybe offer another perspective to the way that you view “being pretty” and relationships.

    First being pretty is overrated and doesnt guarantee a loving relationship! Pretty people feel very lonely too, sometimes even more lonely! I am writing to you not as someone that feels sorry for herself  but as a sister in this world, that cheers on you and wants you to see yourself differently. Second, most of the body related things you can change with diet/exercise /make up- if you wish but most importantly, you need to see yourself in the mirror beautiful and deserving of real caring and true love. Love that will not leave you if you have a bad stomach flu one day, or feel depressed and defeated by life.

    I am often seen as someone pretty by the conventional standards, yet I am single after 3 long-term relationships (in my late 30ies now).  My 5y partner left our engagement because I am too driven and in his own words “too fit and pretty” so he left me and married my best friend (she is overweight -no sorry needed, i am over it). In my last 3y relationship that i am recovering from -my partner initially loved everything about me for 3 months, then spent 2.5 years breaking me down ( from my intelligence to my looks/self esteem -i have been in therapy for 1.5 years working on myself and understanding why I allowed it). Men that approach me see me as a trophy to win. That is why i dont date on apps and my walls are still a little bit too high now, but im becoming more open to love as months go by…

    Even my boss has tried to downplay my work achievements by saying in meetings that the only reason why I get opportunities/invitations by companies to give a talk, is because I am good looking (note; i work really hard and have sacrificed a lot for my career). It hurts a lot, so many times i locked myself into work bathroom crying wishing they would see how much I care about my job/how much passion I have. Yes I can now finally accept who I am and laugh at all that because of the work I have been doing on myself. But my message is, yes being pretty opens some doors but most of those doors you would wish later that you never opened.

    I am aware of the arranged marriage culture ( even if I am not from that culture, my 3 year partner was), and living with your parents -in laws and extended family until married. I know that it is hard to break free from that, emotionally complex because of shame/guilt and feeling abandoned by the only family you only know. Also many of our ideas about how things are or should be come from the values/ideas rooted in our families so it can feel like not knowing who we are if we leave those beliefs behind. But it seems to me that you want something different, you want to build a life you choose for yourself, you want to find your type of people and grow emotional intimacy  with a person (not only physical). Work on finding real caring friends that allow you to practise being emotionally available (safe friends if I may suggest so you dont have to worry as much about attraction or if someone just wants you for sex). I like how you are trying to change things by working out and changing diet- it is important for our well being more than our looks. And by changing our well being, it changes the way we view ourself and the way others perceive us, because our energy suddenly irradiates postive vibes/that we are enough on our own. And that is very attractive! all my love to you

    shattered pieces

    Javier, your post moved me. I read your scream for help, and the honest truth is that I dont have any magic solutions. For now I am just a stranger sitting with you in the hardship.  I know how isolating it must feel when you reach out to friends for help and even us strangers on forums- and the only reply you get back is “see a therapist”, as if that will solve all your problems.  Therapy can help us be more aware of our emotions, provide a non-biased perspective on the negative train of thoughts, and sometimes become a catalysator for change, but sometimes it can also feel that you are just paying someone to listen to your hardship and re-traumatized you.

    Maybe that is what we all also want from a forum, not solutions but kindness- someone to finally see us and validate us in our struggles and our fight. Someone that says, hey Javier what you are goin through is really hard and I am sorry for your pain. If I was put on your path I would have struggled too. I have no clue when things will get better Javier, when it will get easier. But I am also thinking that maybe you living with your mom is also providing her company and support- that maybe she would have been terribly isolated-lonely during covid. Maybe the two of you give eachother a reason to fight every day.

    Yes maybe your life would have looked differently if you had a child with your partner in your 20ies, but who says it would have been better. Maybe despite of your best ability, you would have been stuck in an unhappy marriage, job less and you wouldnt be able to provide for your family. There are so many turns and twists in life. And people are not always honest. For example, one of my friends (45y old) has called me weekly crying because she is in a bad marriage-where her partner is controlling everything-from not allowing her money to travel to see her parents, to her food intake where she is allowed food only 1x per day.  Yet all she posts on social media and tells her family is a picture of a happy marriage to a well earning husband. I am not sure where I am going with this or if it makes you feel better at all. Maybe I am just trying to tell you that everyting is not what it looks like-for those people that you see around you and compare yourself with. A child and marriage doesnt guarantee a happy life despite your best efforts.

    You told me that you are a runner. Awesome, me too. Then as a fellow runner, I can tell you that if someone told me to run a marathon few years ago, I would have turned around and left the room. The thought of the distance, the pain, the exhaustion from training, the rainy cold mornings in wet shoes, the time investment…for god sake just a big NO. But one day I did it, one foot in front of the other. In the beggining it was just to walk a 5k, then figure out if I can maybe dare to run it. Then one day, much later I did a full marathon. It was hard, some parts of the distance  I had to tell my mind to just get myself to the next lamp post, only to the next and then I am allowed to quit…well I didnt quit. And maybe this is how life is, one foot in front of the other, just to the next lamp post…maybe you can do something small today – like sign up to be an uber driver or whatever, ask to work in a local shop, with no expectations that they will hire you, but just try this one step…

    Sending you love

    shattered pieces

    Dear B,

    Sorry for not seeing your post earlier! There are a lot of similarities between our relationships and they way we responded. I see a lot of myself in your narrative. The self doubt, the overanalyzing…”if I had only done X, maybe then he would notice my efforts and reciprocate with Z”. What I can tell you is that this type of thinking has pushed my buttons to the extent that a conversation with him post break up would make me stressed and anxious and I would get physically sick-migrains, immune reactions, out of nowhere. Yes these things are real. The problem is that I was analyzing the wrong person, I placed the focus on why I was not enough for him, instead of why he was not enough for me (I know that this sounds like a sentence from some self help book but bare with me please).

    If your relationship was anything similar to mine (which I think it was), your needs were not met! Your need for emotional intimacy, a dialog where you can safely express who you are and what you want and need, to feel safe and seen…all of normal things that EVERYONE needs (emphasizing EVERYONE because I got into the hole of thinking that I am too needy and therefore it is not working out), all of those things were not met in this relationship. On top of it, competing with a mystery woman that could in theory fulfill all of his needs. He grew up in a culture where women have to sacrifice and meet the needs of men. I am still laughing about his parents comments when they met on me Skype, they said”ok, she is tall, white and very pretty, children will be good, get married”….they never spoke with me. He was/is selfish! YOU NEED BETTER and YOU ARE ALLOWED AND DESERVE MORE.

    I was emotionally burnt out for caring for him and adapting to his every need hoping he will one day reciprocate. I knew this was not healthy but I was too co dependent to stop it, some crumbs of love were better than ZERO. One day sitting in a dark room with my migrain, holding my phone waiting anxiously for his text (that never came), I knew that I am done!  I have no more resources for this person. I asked myself if this happened to my best friend, what would I tell her to do…then I took charge over the situation; I restricted him from my social media…well everything besides texts (this is because I must maintain one line open since my name is on his lease for few more months)…BUT when he is lonely, drunk, needy …(fill in the blanks) I see the texts but I do not respond, and I take pride for every time I managed to not respond, until his texts become like random spam.

    You might think, oh but I invested so much here and what if he finds someone else. Cut your losses, allow him to be someone elses problem. In his culture divorce is rare, even if there is emotional and physical abuse because marriage is a joining of families and family resources and the individual doesnt matter as long it meets the goal of the family to keep up the family name and children are being produced. They have the lowest divorce rate and pride themselves for it. Dont get me wrong, there are a lot of good things in there too, like not leaving when things get tough, the whole family cares for you and your children..but then there are layers of problems too. It is just a different concept.

    B! You are a beautiful, worthy person! YOU ARE ENOUGH!  I am a stranger and I care for you and other people on this forum too. I know it hurts now, but take  your belongings and take place in the driver seat and drive away from this person. You and your children do not deserve crumbs of love.  Imagine a life with him where you would have to sacrifice your and your childrens needs to meet his, daily…and he might even cheat…you would burn out my friend. Some women cant get out but you can, you have been given a new chance, take it.

    all my love to you.



    shattered pieces

    Dear B,

    Your post brought tears to my eyes. I feel your pain in so many ways. As Anita said, dont waste more time and resources on him, dont blame yourself for things you did or did not do…the outcome would have been the same.  Cry when you cant hold in the grief, then let it go…and dont be friends with him!

    I am a female that recently had a break up with an Indian man (living in the States since 10y back). My story is different from yours but similar too. I too was together with my X for 2-3years.  Its very hard to explain the adjustments you make for love (not only the once you do in every relationship but also the adjustment to cultural differences and to his belief of a womans roll in society/household etc). And when it is over, you cant help but feel betrayed and used…betrayed by him and maybe also by yourself for trying hoplessly …

    My beginning was wonderful,  a lot of attention with >10 calls texts per day (almost overwhelming, now looking back). When I started seeing a future with him, he left for India to see his parents. For some unknow reason his work visa was blocked and he was stuck there for 3 months. Meantime his parents were looking for a local bride for him- and he broke it off with me. After 3 months, he returned back to the States and then one night I got a phonecall from him, crying, telling me how wants to end his life. He explained to me that he turned down the bride because he misses me, how he is not attracted to Indian women and he wants me….oh and then he told me that no one knows but that he has huge financial debt in US and is now going to be thrown out of his home. Because of his busted credit score he cant get another accomodation.  I was of course very emotionally attached so I helped him move into my little flat.

    He kept all of this a secret to his parents, in fact when he skyped them I had to hide and he told them he was renting some girls flat….but he happily told all our friends that he is moving in with me and we are in love ..

    The live in situation was ok at first but then it went bad, he drank a lot and on weekends was partying while I was working a lot and on top of that doing all the household chores while he only contributed with paying half of the weekly grocessary bills. His parents were still searching for a bride to send over to US. I felt disrespected and asked him to move out.

    We broke it off for few months, got back together again and at this point he told his parents about me. They were frustrated as he was 37y, was settled in US and had a good paying job -and their only wish was for him to be married and give them grandchildren. They accepted that I was white but wanted a marriage soon….THEN he lost his job and covid hit and he moved back into my little flat. His job loss meant also he would loose his permit to stay in the States, so he begged me to help him find a job, get married or he would have to move back to India. Marriage was hard with COVID just starting and also as much as I loved him, something was stopping me…Months later, he finally got a job and with my help he got a new flat as I cosigned his lease (his parents dont know any of this), AND he paid of his financial debt.

    At this point I was so emotionally exhausted from all the drama, supporting him and fear of COVID, fear of loosing my job, that I was happy to live apart as I needed a break. I took another job that required me to move away, and he didnt even attempt to stop me-just kept talking about his job stress. A month ago he called me to tell me he now has a credit card and the new job gives him a lot of bonuses and benefits and his green card is moving forward. He has wiped his state clean from all the previous things  and felt that he now is ready for children and since I moved away his parents dont see this happening for us and neither does he. He is now on dating apps and his parents are looking for new bride (to live in the flat with my name on the contract LOL). But he still wants to be friends since I am his best friend….I said NO


    Why am I telling you my story: because you are not alone, because I am spending every day meditating to deal with my grief, to try to be compassionate to myself…that maybe we both were saved by some bigger power from a bad future life. Some days are good but some are really low…and I try to keep busy…time is the best medicine they say

    Based on my experience, I think your guy (similar to mine) liked the idea of having a “fair wife”and a life in the States…but his upbringing is stronger, his parents idea of what is best for him is stronger. For him, there was no going back to India, his parents probably sacrificed everything they had to get him to US so they can be proud of a successful son, for them they want a wife that will give him biological children that understands their customs and would take care of them when they move to the States too. Maybe your X is with the Temple girl and he will get his green card after 2y of marriage, and then they divorce because he wants an Indian wife..or maybe his parents will send him a bride that wants to marry to a life in the States…who knows…but you and I are free to love and be loved, we got another shot at love…

    with love









    shattered pieces

    Dear Anita,

    I didnt think anyone would reply and I needed to speak up. I needed to tell my truth. Thank you for sitting with me in this.

    I am tired of silencing myself. Like you asked me in one of your comments “did you express the distress”…I felt like I screamed it out loud but in reality I just smiled, kept it together and adapted to the new hurt.

    Thank you for saying that part about being 39 and not having it together. Makes me feel less alone and that there are more people out there like me…

    I appreciate the setting boundary examples. I need to practise them until they become a normal part of me …this is stupidly hard for me.

    I will read your comments again. For now I will allow myself to just sit and try to remember who that little girl was before 30 years passed.




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