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I agree with you on attending some of my family issues, as it’s been quite the turbulent year for us. The family issues I was referring to in my May 29th post was the aftermath of finding out that my father was having an affair and had moved out of the home we all shared. I found it hard at the time as my father and I were very close and I felt abandoned by him. I was under a lot of stress at the time, not only to be there for my mother and adjust to our new life both emotionally and financially, but also keeping up appearances in my unhealthy relationship. His family struggles at that time were his uncle being diagnosed at the time with cancer (thankfully he overcame this months down the line and is OK now). I felt at the time I was there for my partner in many ways emotionally that he could not be for me during my father leaving. This would often lead to conflicts between us hence the May 29th post.
The argument with my aunt has surfaced recently, though I would say is connected to my fathers affair. When he left I was there for my mother but had my own things to deal with at the time such as finishing university, graduating and finding a new job. Thankfully I somehow managed to achieve all of that throughout the 7 months that followed. However, recently my aunt feels as though I should be doing more for my mother when I feel I do/have done enough. She feels the need to air this to my mother and not directly to me. She does not understand my life and what I am going through and it hurt a lot to hear her say that I was a bad daughter. What she fails to realise is that financially I can’t afford to do anymore for her right now (I’ve recently had to switch jobs to something that was more stable for me than the previous) and I need my own space from her to create my own life after the chaos of this past year. After all how am I meant to heal from it if I’m focused on everyone else? After hearing from my mother that my aunt had continued not once, but this would be the third time to bad mouth me to her on the phone I decided enough was enough and confronted her about it. This unfortunately landed on the day of the news that my uncle had passed, therefore my emotions were running sky high. At that point I was done with all the nonsense that was in my life (and would follow suit 9 hours later by also breaking up with my partner). I confronted her and she could not empathise or understand where I was coming from which was frustrating. We went back and forth for over an hour and I finally gave up trying. She is my aunt and I’ve not once nor would I ever make up assumptions about the way she chooses to live her life as it’s none of my business.
Apologies for the length in post but that felt really good to write out.
I wanted to update you following this situation as I feel what you wrote nearing a year ago now gave me strength to make the decisions I have. What followed from this was continuous months of not airing how I felt to him still. While on many occasions we would continue our dysfunctional pattern, things for me got worse. It got to a stage where my anxiety got worse and depression closed in on me. I sought help from a doctor and was put on antidepressants. However deep down none of what was going on sat well within me, as I knew the problem was within the relationship I was in. While I continued to take the antidepressants, changed jobs, lost friends and isolated myself I was growing more and more resentful inside. This was hard.
It had got to a point where I hated him. Hated our relationship and couldn’t take much more of it. The straw that broke the camels back for me was my uncle passing away this weekend and an argument I had with my auntie. He could not show an ounce of sympathy and I could see and still can, this and things were never going to change between us. I’d finally had enough and broke up with him. During this I was honest in what I needed in a man and told him he was not it. I aired how hateful I had become towards him and took responsibility for my part in staying so long when I shouldn’t. What became apparent during this is that he would not take an ounce of responsibility for his part, but would concentrate solely on making me feel bad for being honest with him and my real thoughts and feelings towards him and our relationship. He’s glad he knows how I really feel, and I am glad I told him.
Right now I hurt. I cannot sleep and I have and will no doubt miss him. But it would hurt me and my mental health to stay with him in this situation. I only wished I would have realised what I needed from a relationship a long time ago and had the self esteem to leave. While my self esteem is low at the moment I will take comfort in knowing I made the decision that was right for ME (at last) in the end. It’s funny how the only time my ex partner has ever agreed with me on anything is when it comes down to us breaking up, which I should’ve let happen a long time ago when he could continuously do this. There will be moments where I want to go back but too much is at stake in my life to do this anymore. I will grieve the relationship, but it will be healthier to let it go when I’m done. I’ve learnt and grown and making this decision shows to me how I need to put my needs over him now and heal myself from this mess.
Sending you warm wishes Anita.
Thank you again for your response and providing me with more insight to what I’m going through, I really appreciate your words. I took some time to reflect upon what you had said and it actually occurred to me that I have never written down or verbalised any relationship goals for myself (like EVER) or for the relationship I am in (or previous ones for that matter!). Therefore your words really hit home for me and open my eyes and I thank you for that. I decided that I WILL reflect and start to write down some goals that I want for myself from the relationship along with goals for outside of the relationship (eg. workout more, meditate more etc). I also felt it would be important once I’ve done these to verbalise them to partner. Though things are good at the moment (both getting on with things and getting on), I cannot deny the need for such goals are crucial for my well being. I’m unsure as to how he will perceive what I will verbalise once I have my goals written down, but I now feel a little more confident in that being true to myself and my own values in verbalising my own needs will rid some of the fear that stirs within me.
Your comment about whether love shrinks me also hit a cord as I can see now love should do the opposite – it should motivate you to grow. Although in the relationship I have loved myself enough to want to change and grow as a person, I worry that he may not feel love for himself enough to do the same – which tied in with your growing pains comment which I now can relate with well. You sharing your own story with me inspired me, knowing that you terminated the abuse you were going through, that takes true strength and courage – keeping your story in my thoughts helps me build up strength for what lies ahead.
Finally, your comment on empathy is a 100% true – while I do see the inner boy in him and know of his painful experiences, I do agree that empathy should come from elsewhere and not from me during these attacks. Becoming the person that he thinks it is okay to talk to in such cruel ways and comforting him following this, continuously feeding his ego is not the person I am and I would not expect him to do the same ever should my attacks towards him reflect his. I know in my heart that saying these things I would never expect him to forgive me, never mind comfort me following them or beg and plead to be with me still – that’s what’s messed up about it. I will continue to reflect, write goals and improve on myself regardless of the storm I feel surrounds me. Thank you for your advice and the others in the forum, I feel more confident in myself knowing that regardless of what happens between us that I will be ok (no more begging or pleading).
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Inky and Denise thank you for your responses they have been hugely helpful in gaining an outside perspective on what I’m going through. Anita, thank you for your description of what I feel is definitely what happened during the argument. Through reflecting on what you have said I wholeheartly feel as though relieving my distress short term isn’t beneficial for me. In terms with what’s really going on I feel an underlying sense of a power struggle(?) in the relationship and to move forward I need a relationship that is both healthy and balanced (I would like to work at this with him together if at all possible but do not know how to approach him about it). I’ve recently finished university for the summer and now have more time to reflect on our relationship and there feels at times a push and pull between us? (it’s the only way I can describe it). For instance I feel as though I could say one small thing and he will take it the complete opposite to what I meant, leaving me baffled and upset at how he could think I meant it in that way. Other times I stay quiet and do not react as I do not want something small to escalate between us (as I can sense in my bones that it will). While being in the relationship I have changed and grown for the better and I feel as though he may still hold an old perception of who I was prior to our relationship (we were acquaintances back in our ‘party days’ and very different people to who we are now). This I fear is what comes out within our arguments, especially the hurtful things that are being said and I wonder if he will always view me in a certain light. I know in my heart while he says these hurtful things to me during an argument that it isn’t who I am, so when I plead with him it’s hugely conflicting as long term I feel as though I am not being true to myself. I hope this makes senseMarch 17, 2015 at 3:57 am in reply to: Going through a really rough time… could use a friend #74021
Your story resonates with me closely as I to have been where you are right now 4 years ago. I had friends who knew about what had happened but ignored me, friends who told other people about what had happened which was heartbreaking because I didn’t want anyone knowing. At the time I felt so embarrassed. Following this I stayed in a lot by myself and at the time I was in a toxic relationship. Thankfully 6 months later this relationship ended and I started university in which I met someone who I eventually opened up to about what had happened and not once did he judge me. I made new friends, engaged in new activities and started to feel better in myself. I guess what I’m trying to say is in time these feelings will pass and you will start to feel better – loosing contact with the people you felt were friends at the time can open up new doors to some pretty amazing people and experiences 🙂 I agree wholeheartedly with George in that the past does not define who you are, if anything it makes you a better person because you are working on yourself and reaching out. Bren most of all I hope you can take some comfort in my story and know that there are always people out there who have been through similar things, understand how you’re feeling and who are here for you.
Keep your head held high my friend.
Keeping a journal, breathing techniques and sleep are my safe havens when I’m feeling stressed or anxious. I have found cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to be beneficial particularly when I’m in a heightened state of anxiety – hope this helps 🙂
I’ve found CBT therapy to be helpful for feelings of anxiety and reoccurring thoughts, here’s an online resource for CBT that you may find useful http://www.llttf.com/
Good luck 🙂
As far as I can tell (smell, and see) he doesn’t seem to be using marjauna, though I did forget to mention in the above post he does tend to drink most nights by himself. A few cans here and there, not during the day however.
Today he has left to go and visit his girlfriend for the next week but I will be putting the tips you have mentioned into practice when he returns home. I whole-heartedly want to build up that positive brother and sister relationship we used to have when we were younger and just to see him happy again.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to me,
As I read your words I can whole-heartedly emphasize with you. When going through a great loss such as the one you went through with your grandfather it is easy to loose ourselves in a midst of it all. I to lost my grandfather and felt that a huge part of myself and my light went with him – but know that you can and will get this back in time. If you are open to talking with a counsellor about some of the things you are feeling, this could be a great start for you in moving forward within your life. It could also help in terms of building back the trust that you do not feel with your husband. Make healing yourself your number one priority for as long as you need, everything else can wait.
It seems you have already answered your own question in the first paragraph “It doesn’t remain ‘just a friend’ for me. I have started developing feelings for him. I can’t understand the concept of ‘friends with benefits’”. Nearly always in a friends with benefits situation one person gets hurts and it is never the person who initiated it but the other person who wants more.
If you are worried that you will end up getting hurt take the steps to protect yourself from that. You both get along then why not meet him for a coffee but without the sex afterwards? And take a stand on that, tell him you want to get to know him but without the sex. If he is able to do this with you, you will get a true sense of whether or not he really wants to get to know you/likes you, or if he’s just wanting to get his leg over (so to speak).
From my own experience, a guy will almost never commit in a situation whereby he is reaping all the rewards of a relationship (namely sex), without the headache of a commitment. Respect yourself, set boundaries in what could end up being a toxic situation for yourself and trust that truth and time will tell if this man is really for you.
Hi Optimist Chick and Troubled,
I felt a huge pull to reply to you individually as I can relate with you both,
I definitely agree that everyone heals different and has different ways of dealing with things. It does after all make us all unique and pretty damn awesome if you ask me. I saw a counsellor a year ago due to also bottling things up which in turn affected was affecting my happiness. She asked me about my family history, pointed me in the direction of books I may find helpful (which for me at the time just weren’t) and a handful of other tips and techniques that I just couldn’t grasp. I decided to end the sessions as I wasn’t benefiting at all and decided I would take my own path to healing my own way. I’m still on this journey and will just put this out there that what I’ve benefited the most in healing (and still do) is journaling. Its not necessarily writing a list but just writing down your day, how you’re feeling and anything you’re stressed about. I have always kept things in and I found recently that when I journal I’m able to go back a few weeks at a time and really see and reflect on why I was feeling stressed and what was really going on with me then. I recently looked back at one of my journals from a year ago and it just felt so bizarre, it didn’t feel like that was even me that had written some of the things in there. My point being that journaling may be a nice little safe place for you to get down everything and look back and reflect on it. I personally have found doing this has grounded me a lot and made me understand myself so much more as looking back I can see things a clearly. Give it a go if you wish, even for just a month. A personal favourite is writing in my journal by a lake along one of my favourite coastal paths. I hope in some way you find this helpful.
My heart goes out to you more ways than I’m able to type in these words and I’m sorry you’re going through such a difficult time. I hope sharing my story with you may help in some way. I to had an ex who was what I would come in and out of my life. After we broke up we were still sleeping together, he would call when drunk, text when drunk and when he left to go travelling around Australia asked me to move there with him so we could start a fresh (which I did and do not regret as I met some pretty amazing people through a tough experience). This was all on going for 5 years, and around three years ago he started seeing someone else. Whilst with someone else he would still text me, try and call me (thankfully I turn my phone off at night) and mess with my head but I decided when I started to see someone else two years ago, I would block him and all of his nonsense out of my life. I blocked him on Facebook and also changed my number. During this time while I was with someone else he sought new ways to get in touch, emailing me to which I would constantly ignore. I never replied until six months ago after the guy I was with and I broke up and I needed to rid myself of all the toxicity in my life. I very nicely told him I would like him to leave me alone and that I needed to move on with my life and him contacting me wasn’t helping. He replied which irritated me as he was not respecting my needs or me so I blocked his email and I haven’t looked back since. My point of all of this is when you take some control over your happiness and your life you start to feel a lot better in yourself. If you feel as though you were happier when you were not in the relationship with him I would definitely go and talk to someone about this, as well as really taking some time out and figuring out whether you can forgive him. If you’re able to work through this with a counsellor and with him involved in the counselling then even better. Though its never easy, once you start to figure out what it is YOU want and need in this life, you really start to move forward within yourself and your happiness can benefit so much from this. Talk with someone, journal your feelings when you’re upset or angry, reflect through walking and spending time in nature and just spend as much time on yourself figuring this all out as you need. I would definitely let your husband know also what it is you’re doing and going through and ask him to respect it. We all deserve to be happy after all. I hope this helps you in some way.
With warmth and hugs to you both,
I have also been in relationships where my heart hasn’t been in it, whereby physically I did not feel satisfied with my partner. As I felt my needs weren’t being met in one relationship, I would jump to another to fill the void. I would feel pulled toward certain ex’s for one night stands (while in a relationship with someone else) because I would just want to feel something, some sort of excitement that lacked in the other relationship. It was a vicious cycle. Though I am not saying that this is what’s going on with you, what I will say is that not recognizing my needs and what I really wanted from a relationship had left me stuck in relationship after relationship, making bad decisions that not only would hurt them but also myself and my own happiness in the long run. I am only now dealing with the pain caused from the aftermath of each of those relationships and what my bad decisions put both parties through. It is a long and tough process, but my happiness is now that important to me that I could not run away from it any longer. My advice to you would be if you are no longer happy with the relationship you are in reflect, journal and try to recognize what you truly want and need. I hope my experiences can help you in someway.
Thank you Inky for your words of wisdom, I will most definitely work on less contact/interaction with him for my own sanity and use the tips you’ve mentioned above 🙂
Hi Jane, thankyou for your kind words and advice. I am currently doing my best to put myself first and getting into a routine of practicing mindfulness and meditation on a daily basis. I find allowing myself to recognise my thoughts and not let them consume me to be very beneficial. It helps when I get overwhelmed with anxiety. I found a lot of comfort in your words as they speak such truth. We do really come into this life and will leave alone and I take great comfort in knowing now whatever life hands me I will do my best to handle it. Writing has been so therapeutic and will continue to be on my journey of personal growth and I look forward to becoming a healthier individual for it. Thankyou so much Jane. Love and hugs are sent your way xx
Hi lissy, thankyou for sharing your story and difficult time with me it’s definitely been more than helpful. Your story for me is inspiring as not only have you had your own struggles in the relationship you still have managed to work on yourself throughout them. That takes a lot of strength. Through writing as you have said I can already see a positive effect it has and I will definitely be doing a lot more. It’s a rather unsettling time but knowing there are others out there that have been through this and are going through similar situations makes things better. I will definitely be letting you know how I get on and thankyou again. I hope you to have found some comfort in this post in the way that I have 🙂