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Valora

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  • #280335

    Valora
    Participant

    Haha… I totally get what you mean by how you felt making that drive. I haven’t driven through my ex’s town either since we broke up and I almost had to drive through and right past his house to take my daughter to a swim meet and my mind was going nuts over it. I was just all kinds of anxious and it didn’t even make any sense. haha. We ended up having a snowstorm that day though so the meet was cancelled. Made me realize how hard I’ve been avoiding anything to do with him though.

     

    Anyway, yeah, you definitely, definitely at the very least need to have a talk with her about boundaries and her attitude ASAP, even if you don’t break up with her right then…. and if she fights you over that, it’s very good reason to break up with her right then and have her start working toward moving out faster. She needs to understand that what she is doing and how she is responding to everything is pushing you further away. She is responding in really petty ways and her jealousy is basically out of control with that “I’ll just take my kids there, me and them.”  You can’t change that you visited a place in the past (before you even met your girlfriend!) with your ex, so it’s a silly thing to even get upset about, but it shows you where her head is at.

    The other thing is… you’re not trying to keep her or win her back, so you have absolutely no reason to put up with how she’s acting and her behavior is going to produce the exact opposite result that she wants, and she neeeeeds to understand that. There’s absolutely no way for you two to even have a hope of a healthy relationship with her acting like that. So, at the very least, even when you do break up, having this conversation about her behavior will hopefully help her learn a lesson that will be beneficial for her future relationships. A breakup might be good for your girlfriend if it spurs her to change, like breakups do with so many people.  I personally have a much, much better mindset and better priorities than I did 2 years ago because I got a kick in my butt to change my situation and how I was thinking. Sounds like your girlfriend could use the same thing.  She definitely needs to get out of victim mode, like life’s just handing her lemons. Meanwhile, she’s the one growing the lemon trees.

    #280207

    Valora
    Participant

    No clue if anyone will read this because i have been defensive and pushed people away – but I want to apologize for being that way. I’m pushing my friends from home and people on this site away. It just goes to show I’m a shitty person.

    I appreciate all of your input up to this point. I won’t bother anyone – to those of you who tried to help, thank you. I’m just a lost cause who isn’t willing to accept my situation. I apologize for any time you’ve wasted. Best wishes.

    I think what you’re going through and what you’re feeling from this situation is normal. It’s okay to step back and be alone when you need to, just don’t let yourself get in too deep of an isolation for too long because it does help a ton to talk to people and have their support. It’s also okay to let yourself feel whatever you need to feel until you get to the point where you can move past it. It’s okay to not completely accept it until you feel ready to accept it. All of those things come with time and it’s important to move at your own pace. This is all still pretty recent for you and it takes a while to get through all of these emotions.

    In the meantime, please don’t let your mind convince you that you’re worse than you are. You are not a crappy person or a lost cause. You’re in pain, your mind’s in pain, your heart is in pain, and it all feels awful. But it won’t forever (even when it feels like it will). And we all are here for you whenever you feel the need to vent. I hope you start feeling better very, very soon and please be gentle with yourself in the meantime.

    #280125

    Valora
    Participant

    Can you give us some examples of instances where you felt she was critical of you? How did she react to the Valentine’s Day gift?

    #279935

    Valora
    Participant

    I kind of wonder about exposure therapy, which in his case would sort of work like what Anita was talking about… you two engaging in a sexual relationship without him having to worry about getting an erection… starting with the smallest things that feel good like just holding each other in bed with no expectations, etc., and working your way up to other intimate things, with the key being no pressure and no expectations, just going into it ready to enjoy whatever happens.

    Generally, when people have irrational anxieties/fears around things that are completely safe, they can often get over those fears by increasingly participating in those things until they eventually learn through their own experience that those things are, in fact, completely safe and nothing to fear. So I definitely agree that it’s possible that him getting more comfortable with sexual activities without having to worry about getting an erection could get him out of that loop. Doing that would take a lot of the pressure off of him in that moment, and he’ll be more likely to realize the pleasure sex brings, which should hopefully diminish the fear.

    (Keep in mind here though that I’m a random person on the internet who doesn’t actually know your husband, so it’d be a good idea to run that by his therapist).

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 13 hours ago by  Valora.
    #279927

    Valora
    Participant

    You don’t have to answer this if it’s too personal, but have you two never been able to have sex at all or is it just few and far between because of his performance anxiety?

    I have to wonder what they are doing in his therapy sessions. There are cognitive behavioral techniques that can be done that might help a lot, but that knowledge is going to depend on what kind of therapist he is seeing. Does he go there just to talk to them about what’s going on or do they have him working on different techniques to try to get over his anxiety around it? Do you know if he has any idea where/when the anxiety started? If it was caused by any certain event?

    The next thing is how old are both of you? If you can and if the clock isn’t ticking too fast, per se, I would probably hold off on treatments for now, if it were me. This is something he really should hopefully be able to work through either way (provided he is seeing a good cognitive-behavioral psychotherapist) and IVF treatments are very, very expensive.

    #279913

    Valora
    Participant

    Hi Elizabeth!

    I read a blog the other day that I thought was really good. When someone was asked whether they thought their ex would come back or not, they simply replied “Live like you’re expecting them not to.”  I think it’s always good to have hope and there is also literally NO LEGITIMATE WAY to know what the future will hold. He may realize in a few months once the honeymoon wears off that he made a HUGE mistake and was being guided by his inner turmoil rather than by what he would want otherwise. He may not come back at all. There’s no way to say for sure, so I like that line of thinking… that it’s best to move on like you don’t expect to get back together but that it’s okay to not lose hope, just the same, especially if your intuition is telling you to keep hope or if you’re not at that point where you feel ready to let go of it. I feel like sometimes when we try to push ourselves for something we’re not ready to do yet, it can bring on some cognitive dissonance, and that can practically cause as much suffering as the initial betrayal did.

    P.S. I think I accidentally hit “report” when I was trying to hit “reply” to your post. My screen jumped around right when I did it, so in case it gets taken down, I apologize for that. I definitely didn’t mean to click on that. They should put that link on the opposite side or something so it isn’t right next to the “reply” link.

    #279853

    Valora
    Participant

    Yeah, those feelings that I described and that you felt with your ex are either there or they aren’t. They aren’t just something that develops in the absence of troubles like I think you were hoping they would with your girlfriend. Instead, they are inherent and intuitive, it’s just a special type of connection that you would feel IN SPITE of all of the other troubles.  Even aside from that, couples can be compatible with lots of other things, but you and your girlfriend have so many current INcompatibilities (like her kids and all of the troubles that are result of her financial irresponsibility, for example) that it would really take some big, special-connection compatibilities to make up for it, just like you said… if you had felt that intense love connection, all of this stuff would most likely bother you less or you’d at least be happier in general because you’d have that intense love feeling. So that’s basically what I was getting at there.

    It sounds like your expectations of what would happen kind of got the best of you, but that’s the biggest problem with expectations… they aren’t always right. Those are the things that often let us down. Try to forgive both of you, though, for not knowing what would really happen when you made all of these different moves that you thought at the time would help.

    That’s awful about her pay. I would have her see how soon they increase the pay, too. Also, has she looked into consolidation loans at all? Sometimes you can get enough to put everything together and lower interest plus a little extra that would give her enough for like two months rent on an apartment.

    Waiting until the end of the month sounds like a good plan, too. She should have her taxes back by then too, right? In the meantime, though, I would have a talk with her about boundaries right away. I get where her insecurity is coming from, but it’s misplaced right now because your ex flat-out told her she was “done” and you haven’t heard from your ex since. You aren’t having an affair behind your girlfriend’s back and you have every right to your privacy either way. So I would just let her know that her behavior with that is driving a wedge between you two and you won’t stand for it. She either has to give you some trust or you need to part ways right then and there.

    And yes, I absolutely, 100% think you’ll forget about your ex once you find a woman who meets your needs. For sure. Especially if she’s a mature and responsible woman. Quite frankly, that’d be even better than your ex has been!

    #279795

    Valora
    Participant

    I think your take on what’s happening now is really insightful, and I see a lot of similarities with your situation in mine, right down to my ex pushing his friends away, too, and him also not really fully dealing with a traumatic event from the past. I pretty much came to the same conclusions in my own situation, so I agree that your husband is probably using her to mask what’s going on inside him, but this will only work for so long. Eventually he’ll either have to face it or find something else to mask his pain. My ex felt proud that he didn’t turn to drugs and alcohol this time, because that was his go-to as well before he dated me, but I don’t think he realized at the time that he just turned to a different kind of distraction.

    I also had some issues in the months before we broke up (I was very overwhelmed with the abundance of things I had to do and really fell behind with housework, among other things) that I was trying to work on, and the breakup actually freed up a lot of time that I was able to then use to fix those issues even faster. I bet the same thing will happen with you, too, as you continue to work on things.  The growth just starts to happen faster. So there can be benefits to this as well, even though it truly is an awful thing to go through and I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with this right now. You really do seem to have a great head on your shoulders, though, and a lot of insight, which I think will help you a lot overall.

    I also totally get how hard it is not to ruminate on things, and I even catch myself still doing it from time to time when I feel lonely, but it gets easier to curb that, too, once you’re able to truly find the silver linings.  I truly believe things like this happen for a reason.. because they’re necessary for one reason or another. That good reason just sometimes doesn’t make itself known until later. I now think our breakup had to happen for us to both experience the level of growth we needed to make. Had we stayed together, I would’ve tried to skew my growth toward whatever it was he wanted or needed rather than making sure to take care of my own needs, and I think I’m much happier now that I’ve figured some of that stuff out for only myself. So maybe you’ll end up noticing something like that, too.

    #279757

    Valora
    Participant

    I’m about 1 year and 4 months out from the breakup. We haven’t really gone more than a month and a half without some form of communication in that time, and usually it’s super short talks, but it pulls me back in every time.  I’m doing well now though. I was completely devastated for about 8 months or so, cried almost every day no matter how hard I tried to just let go and move on, but counseling helped a lot and so did working on myself. I was sort of able to make sense of what happened after a while and that understanding helped me to resolve it in my head a bit, even though I never really got full closure. Watching videos by people like Kyle Cease and Kerwin Rae helped a lot, too. It just sort of gives you a different perspective.

    Just know it’s okay and natural to be feeling the things you’re feeling and there’s nothing you can do about the sadness than to just sit with it until it passes. From my experience with it, if you’re similar, you’re likely going to go back and forth between being critical of yourself and him and being understanding of everything. Grief from the loss will come in waves, but those waves will get fewer and far between as time goes on, or at least that’s what I’ve noticed. I still miss my ex because he was also my very best friend, but I’ve come to accept the breakup and all of the good that I’ve gotten from it with all of the improvements I’ve made in my life that I might not have been pushed to make otherwise. So I’m grateful for that. Hopefully either your husband will eventually get himself straightened out and start lining his words up with his actions again and you two can rebuild or you find someone you connect even more with.

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 15 hours ago by  Valora.
    #279749

    Valora
    Participant

    It’s interesting that you say that. That’s exactly what I’ve been thinking is going on with him. It kills me to see him like this, but at the same time, he’s making his own choices and without any regard towards my feelings…which of course is incredibly hurtful. It’s just so bizarre, it’s like a switch flipped with him. He never communicated with me that anything was wrong with us (we had talked about him being stressed at work and wanting a break from work, etc) and then all of a sudden he is leaving me. I really do  hope he can figure things out. I do think a lot of it is his internal struggle, but I also feel like this is all somehow my fault. How did I not see this coming and I must have been a bad wife, a bad best friend to let it get to this…that’s where my mind keeps going.

    Yep, I know exactly how you’re feeling. My ex seemingly flipped a switch, too, and started acting very different behaviorally from what I knew of him. It’s like he made this huge life decision without even consulting me and then, there I was, blindsided and left devastated.

    The thing is, you can’t know what you don’t know… or what he isn’t sharing with you. It’s easy to look back and notice signs in hindsight, but you have to remember that those signs are easy to miss when you don’t have the knowledge of what was coming to compare them to. You could have been the most absolutely perfect wife in the world to him, but if he was unhappy with everything else in his life, it’s likely you were going to be lumped in with the “stuff that’s wrong,” no matter what you did or didn’t do. So try to be easy on yourself when you start feeling that way.

    • This reply was modified 5 days, 16 hours ago by  Valora.
    #279687

    Valora
    Participant

    I don’t know whether I’m right or wrong about this, but it sounds like your husband was going through some sort of a crisis episode or maybe depressive or anxiety given how he reacted. He did something similar to what my ex did, who I’m sure was going through a depressive/anxiety episode at the time. Nothing in his life seemed right and he was unhappy with everything… his job, his lack of accomplishments, just where he was at in general and nothing was making him happy, and I’ve read that the romantic relationship is the first thing to suffer in those cases. They are already looking for happiness from external sources rather than within themselves, which is the main problem… and then, when someone else comes along that is new and gives them a different sort of attention than you do that feels different and good… they start thinking their relationship is the main cause of their unhappiness in general and start longing for that something different… Grass is Greener Syndrome, if you will. The next connection makes them happier at first because it’s new and fun and all honeymoon stage so of course it seems better than what they currently have…. until the honeymoon wears off. This is also probably why your husband is not wanting to work to remedy things, though… new connections, as superficial as they may be, FEEL good…. and if he’s been unhappy in general for a long time and he found something that is making him feel really good… he’s not going to care so much about fixing things. This is also how people get addicted to other things that feel good… it just means he has something about himself that he needs to figure out and fix but instead of using that, he’s distracting himself with whatever feels good.

    My ex even did the same thing your ex did… came back a few weeks later, telling me how unhappy he was and how he didn’t know what was wrong with him and I deserved better, that he felt like he was so unhappy with his life and didn’t know how to be happy and felt like he was dragging me down with him, etc. Then after all of that, seemingly continued to move on with the other girl anyway.

    I don’t really have much helpful advice in this other than to say you’re not alone. This kind of thing happens to a lot of us, unfortunately, and I’ve learned that in future relationships, I need to be careful to notice the signs of when this is starting and hopefully get my boyfriend/husband to get some help. Perhaps that’s a lesson you can take from it, too. Also, I will be sure that whoever I end up with knows that happiness comes from INSIDE and NOT from external sources.

    None of us can say whether your husband will come back or not once the honeymoon wears off. I would suggest, like Mark said, that you take this time to work on yourself. Any free time you have, do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do for yourself. Learn new things, read a lot, etc. Date when you’re ready (but don’t feel pressured to… it’s okay to NOT date, too). Try to allow yourself to accept this as your reality and don’t have expectations that you will get back together, especially in any sort of time frame, but it’s okay to have hope. And I hope your husband gets some therapy, too.

    #279429

    Valora
    Participant

    Do you ever contact her or do you just wait for her to contact you?

    #279371

    Valora
    Participant

    When it’s just me and my girlfriend, no money issues or kid issues.  We do get along great.  We have fun together.

    The thing is, I’m not talking about just getting along well, though. For example, I get a long great with all of my guy friends. We’re all easy going and I have a great time when I hang out with any of them… but that doesn’t mean we’re compatible in a romantic relationship.

    As far as big things in common.  We don’t have a lot.  I think a huge problem i do have is that i subconsciously compare her to my ex.  With the little things.

    By big things, I really just mean the things that truly matter to you in a relationship. Things that are a big deal (which often times ARE the little things). Like if she felt like home and safety when you hugged her, that’s a little thing but a big deal, you know what I mean? Having a bunch of random things in common that you like to do together would be another. Feeling a magnetic pull toward her or just always enjoying her company no matter what and wanting her around is another big deal. Things like that. There would have to be some pretty great and noticeable things to combat some of those negatives, and when the negatives outweigh the positives, that means you aren’t compatible and you would’ve eventually felt the way you’re currently feeling either way, no matter the circumstances, financial issues or not, ex involvement or not.

    With my current girlfriend, it would be hard to come up with a dozen.  Sometimes I feel like i have more things that i dislike than more that I do like.

    This alone speaks volumes. Even if you WEREN’T comparing with your ex… if you took your ex and your thoughts of her completely out of the equation….  the fact that you would have a hard time thinking of even 20 things you love about your girlfriend is another big negative when it comes to compatibility. And again, I’m just pointing this stuff out to hopefully get you to stop beating yourself up about not feeling the way about your girlfriend that you do about your ex… no matter the situation, when it comes down to it, it’s likely that you were romantically compatible with your ex… and are not with your girlfriend (although you guys may be compatible as friends). And that’s okay.

     

    I don’t know how i put myself in this position.  I feel horrible about it everyday.  I just don’t know how to handle it right now though.  I know you say “rip off the bandaid”.  But she is in no position for that.  If she was supporting herself and her kids and had the resources to move out on her own, it would be a lot easier.  I have this incredible guilt and because of that I feel like I need to support her and her kids until she can make it.

    Yeah, I don’t think you should kick her out right now or anything given that she’s not in a position to survive on her own, but I do think it’d be a good idea to let her know how you’re feeling. Especially if she’s expecting you will deepen your feelings for her. If she keeps thinking that way, she’s going to be blindsided when you do eventually break up with her, and we both know how that feels. If she knows that you are not seeing your relationship lasting in the long term, I’m sure she will also work harder toward finding other resources to be able to move out. That conversation doesn’t mean she has to leave right away, but she does need to start actively making moves.

     

    I have so many mixed feelings and emotions every day.  Like i’ve said.  I should have never started dating again.  It was irresponsible and reckless of me to do.  Now i’ve put other peoples lives in the mix of being hurt and more.

    I feel like every day I have guilt, pain, and remorse from my past relationship and this one.  I am trying my best to be positive and push through though.

    You cannot change the past. You did what you did because you felt you were doing the right thing at the time. You’ve learned since that it was not the best choice, and that’s okay. Forgive yourself for being human. You didn’t know what you didn’t know. Learn the lesson from it so it doesn’t ever happen again. That’s really all you can do. Accept that what happened, happened; accept that it can’t be changed, and let that stuff go.

    I like to think of it as like untangling Christmas lights. I’ve made some choices in the past, too, that sort of tangled up my life in the present, and I am now working on undoing those tangles. Wishing I would’ve been more careful or done things differently so the lights wouldn’t have tangled in the first place doesn’t help me untangle the lights. The only thing that will get them untangled is to actively take steps to untangle them.

    Then… once you finally untangle a string of lights… if you’re smart, you learn to do things more carefully in the future so you don’t have to untangle them again… and the lights stay tangle-free. Does that make sense?   Right now, you’re just undoing the tangles.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  Valora.
    #279193

    Valora
    Participant

    Yeah, 6-8 months is about the standard time frame for rebounds, from what I’ve heard, so that’s right in line with it.  It’s once the magic of the “honeymoon phase” wears off and real life creeps in. When you have a better connection, you’re able to better deal with the real life stuff together… just like you know that you would’ve felt better about doing this stuff for your ex (although the son would be hard for anyone to handle in any situation). This is also why I think that if your girlfriend was a true match for you, it wouldn’t have mattered that your ex contacted you. You would’ve already had what you wanted with your girlfriend. But you didn’t, and that’s why your ex contacting you threw you into a tailspin. Does that make sense?

    I know how you feel about the contact with your ex making you feel worse, though. The longest I’ve gone without some sort of contact with mine was about a month and a half. haha. One of us is always messaging the other about something. And it does set me back a little bit, too, so I get it, but I’m also single. If I were with someone who I was happy with and who gave me that feeling of “home,” my ex’s contact would not set me back like it does because I’d already have what he could give me. So it would make no difference to me. And the same goes for you… if you had someone who gives you those same feelings (and there are more women out there that will), your ex contacting you will have no power over you.

    I can also tell you this….. my ex was in a similar situation to your girlfriend. He had 2 kids with his ex-wife and was absolutely getting reaped for child support. Did not make enough to survive on, didn’t have a car most of the time, so I had to front a lot of things, bought a lot of the food, let him drive my car to and from work, etc. He felt terrible about it, wished he could be the provider, and would help me any way he could. But you know what? I couldn’t have cared less about having to cover that stuff because I absolutely loved him to death. He was home to me and that was all I needed and all of the struggles were worth it just because I was so happy to be with him for who he was. It wouldn’t have mattered to me if our struggle went on for years as long as we loved each other and I could get his glorious cuddles. haha…. I’m sure you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about and I’m pointing this out because…. I think you should stop being so hard on yourself for how you feel because it’s likely you would’ve felt this way eventually no matter what, contact from the ex or no contact, struggles or no struggles…. for the right person, you will do almost anything.

     

    Aside from that, I hope she can get her son into counseling soon. There are lots of techniques to deal with anger. Bbipolar is only if he has manic phases and depressive phases, not really so much anger… but there is something there that is causing the anger and that’s where counseling would be a HUGE help.

    How about this…. when you remove the financial circumstances and your feelings for your ex… how is your actual compatibility with your girlfriend? You’ve said before that you don’t like her drinking, her kids don’t act the greatest, and when you guys are in high-stress situations (which ALL couples will be in from time to time, no way to avoid that), you guys fight constantly. Then there’s your different attitudes towards money and your girlfriend’s codependency. Those are all negative things that have nothing to do with your ex or your girlfriend’s financial situation, so they would be there either way, no matter what. Do you have enough other big things in common that would counteract those negatives? Or do the negatives outweigh the positives? If the negatives outweigh the positives, you would’ve ended up feeling this way either way… it might’ve taken longer and the path to your current feelings might’ve been different, but the end result would be the same.  If you weigh the compatibility and you think you WOULD be compatible if the financial situation got better, then who knows.

    #279145

    Valora
    Participant

    No worries. No, I would say we both integrated into it before we started dating. So by the look of it, it was an equal starting field, whereas now it’s absolutely not. He owns it.

    I think what you’re feeling is normal and I can understand why you are feeling upset…. but the thing is… what you are going through now is the downside of the risk you take when you date someone who is already in your friend group…. and that’s not entirely your ex’s fault. You seem angry with him because he hasn’t reacted in a way that you feel that he should have reacted, but, in truth, he’s his own person with his own perceptions and he’s under no obligation to react any certain way. If he moved on fairly quickly or is acting differently than you thought he would, he likely just thinks differently about the whole situation than you do. Sometimes our expectations of people can mess with our feelings… we expect things we maybe shouldn’t or people surprise us in the way they react/respond and it makes us feel bad… and then our own perceptions of how things should be when we aren’t accepting things as just being how they are can make us feel angrier.

    I think it might help you work through this if maybe if you reframe the situation in your mind to accept more of the responsibility for how you’re feeling rather than saying HE made you feel this way, because you are also part responsible for what is happening now for choosing to date within your friend group and you’re also responsible for how you perceive things (and usually it’s our own perceptions that play into our emotions)… so you might be really angry with yourself for putting yourself in this position in the first place. Right now, you two are broken up so he is under no obligation to make anything better for you or to remedy any domino effect you feel he’s created (especially since he might not feel the same). He is absolutely entitled to just go on living his life however he pleases… so in order for you to feel better, you’re likely going to have to take ownership of your feelings and accept things as they are. Accept that, although he may own the group right now, you could change your feelings on that if you maybe shift your focus off of what he is doing and instead focus on building your relationships with the people in the friend group without any focus at all on him, and that should hopefully lead to you naturally regaining equal footing with them… or you can find a new group entirely if you don’t feel that will work for you or it’s not something you want to do.

    I want to add that I know it feels AWFUL when people don’t react in the way it seems they should or when it seems like you get the raw deal while they don’t seem to suffer at all. It’s enough to make anyone angry! And I’ve definitely been there, too. But there comes a point where, when you’re tired of being angry, just accepting that you can totally take control of how you feel by shifting how you perceive the situation, that nobody really owes you anything in terms of a reaction, no matter how close or connected you were in the past, and that’s okay… that sort of helps to release the anger.

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Valora.
    • This reply was modified 1 week, 2 days ago by  Valora.
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