Forum Replies Created
December 15, 2013 at 7:08 am in reply to: Finding peace while spouse is still unhappy #46784
First, I commend you for the enormous amount of work you have done toward self-compassion and love. And of course, you know that you cannot force him to change or even be motivated to improve the situation. But has he shown any effort? Has HE gone to counseling with you? Or by himself?
I understand that he is depressed and may feel tremendous guilt, but ending the affair isn’t enough to move forward. He needs to actually show effort at correcting the underlying issues and regaining your trust. I admire your ability to see that your happiness cannot rely on anyone but yourself. But when you are in a partnership with someone, you put in that effort to maintain the fundamentals like trust.
I don’t know how clearly you have stated any of this to him (though it sounds like you have been pretty darn clear). If you decide that you are ready to leave, you may want to simply state that. Tell him that you need to see an honest effort at counseling together and solo. Be careful not to phrase it as an ultimatum, because that just puts people on the defensive. But be prepared that he may not be capable of that.
I’m sorry for your difficult situation and I wish you the best.November 16, 2013 at 9:39 pm in reply to: Thoughts on Mood Meds? #45394
I think it is an entirely personal decision, and I’ve done both ways depending on my situation. So, I’m not pro-meds and I’m not anti-meds. Based on what you are saying, I think you are fine without them. I’m no expert obviously, but I think you need to trust yourself here. You are in therapy; you are talking to someone about all the stuff going on; you are facing the broad array of (painful) emotions. And most days, you are managing to breathe through it. At this early stage in your grieving, I’d say that you are doing darn good with all you are facing. And I think the most important thing that you said, was that you are coping okay and moving forward.
I also think you have the right attitude about that Sunday where you could not get off the couch. I think those days are inevitable and it does not mean that you need medication. Don’t beat yourself up about those days, allow yourself to wallow when you need to, and then eventually crawl off the couch and stand up when you can.
When you might need to consider the meds more seriously: if those days become the norm and there is no sign of them tapering, if you stop seeing any forward progress emotionally, if you stop being able to feel anything at all, if you are regularly turning to alcohol or drugs or something dangerous to numb, if you’re suicidal or physically harming yourself, you see only a downward spiral and no light at the end…
To me, it sounds like you are at a really low point in your life (which is okay! we all end up there occasionally!), but you see light in the distance. And you’re plodding along on the right route to get there.
I think you should trust yourself in this situation. If you feel meds aren’t necessary (and you aren’t in a suicidal situation), do what you feel is best at this point in your life. It sounds like you are doing everything right.
With all sincerity, I wish you the best with everything.November 8, 2013 at 9:12 am in reply to: Am I a fool? #45011
Danielle — Don’t worry, I know it’s anything but easy. And don’t mistake my simple words as a sign that I have my sh** together 🙂 I have far too much to learn and I’m stumbling through my relationships just as messily as everyone else. It’s just easier to break things down when you aren’t mired in the emotions. I’ve had relationships where I’ve taken a step back, and asked myself “Am I ok with the status quo? Have I been patient long enough or do I continue?” And that answer can change with time too. For a while, I might be okay with the status quo (willing to be patient). But at some point down the line, I might reach a point where I feel that I’m not satisfied with this anymore, that he cannot meet my needs or isn’t willing to try, perhaps I’ve been neglecting my own needs, and decide I need to try something else. I just don’t know which point you are at yet…
We all have a different threshold. Where is yours? If this continued on indefinitely, would you be okay with it? If it were the exact same 10 years from now? If he were dating other people (because you aren’t officially a couple), would you be okay with it? Are you willing to put two more years into this before it becomes “official”? Are you willing to put two more years into this before he decides he’s ready to move on? What about 5 years? Whatever answers you give to these questions right now, aren’t set in stone. You can always change your mind. But it might be helpful for you explore what your boundaries are and what your threshold is. This might help get your heart and mind in the same place (which they so rarely are!)November 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm in reply to: Am I a fool? #44989
“When we act wishy washy, it leads to wishy washy results.” Matt– SO TRUE!!
This situation has been going on for two years. What you need to decide is whether you are okay with continuing the status quo. If you are okay with maintaining the status quo, by all means, keep doing what you are doing. If you are not okay with it, then you need to do something different. You can’t control what outcome will occur, what his response will be, whether he’ll love it or regret it someday, nothing. But YOU can decide whether you want to continue as things are right now or not. Act accordingly.November 7, 2013 at 5:05 pm in reply to: Is there an easy way to forget? #44981
The only real problem I see here is one sentence toward the end: “This is not the way it is supposed to be.” How do you know this?? How do you know what is supposed to be?? Unrequited love has been written about in most songs, most poetry. It fuels a large proportion of art. We all experience it. And it is much more deep than just rejection, which we also all experience.
Right now, you are only 19 years old and it sounds like you have lived a fairly sheltered life (first a small town, then a teeny school, etc). I’m not saying your feelings aren’t genuine. I have no doubt that they are! But you don’t know what the future holds. Right now, you don’t know what this situation is going to teach you that you can grow and learn from. What insight you will gain into yourself because of this agonizing situation (yes, I know it is!). You have a lot of people to meet in your life and you have a lot of places to see and live and visit. There are a lot of experiences that you haven’t probably thought of yet that are on your horizon.
What I mean by all of this is that you don’t know what is supposed to be. It’s okay to hurt and be giddy and excited and heartbroken. It’s okay to pine for a little while. It’s okay to eventually decide that you need to walk away from the situation. The situation isn’t supposed to be any other way than what it is. But thinking that the situation is “supposed to be” a different way is simply false, first of all, and that mindset is going to absolutely torture you.
Beyond that, I can’t be much help. Other than to accept the range of emotions you are feeling and to take care of yourself. Don’t lose sight of yourself and your worth. No one is worth that much (and heck, it never works anyway). Good luck.November 7, 2013 at 4:45 pm in reply to: Scared to become a Buddhist? #44980
Thich Nhant Hanh (an amazing Buddhist monk) wrote a book called Living Buddha, Living Christ. It is on my “need to read” list, so I can’t personally vouch for it. But, I love everything TNH has written so I figure it’s amazing. While TNH is devoutly Buddhist, I have seen talks he has given about how Jesus is one of his greatest teachers and inspirations. On his alter that he uses every day, he has a statue of Buddha and an image of Jesus because he so highly respects the teachings. Obviously, two very religions, but I think you might find some relief in seeing how both hold similar values sacred. And that one does not necessarily negate the other.November 5, 2013 at 7:20 am in reply to: He said he "loves me," but isn't "in love" with me #44853
To me, it sounds like neither of you is willing to trust each other or yourselves enough to be vulnerable. When you unleashed your wrath (don’t worry, I’ve done it too), it was entirely a coverup. I strongly suspect that you felt vulnerable and scared that he didn’t love you. And instead of owning those heart-wrenching emotions, and admitting them to yourself and to your bf, you took the easy route and blew up. It is ALWAYS easier to be angry than vulnerable. Always.
One of the reasons that most people aren’t willing to be vulnerable, is not only the pain of being rejected; it is the pain of wondering if you are being rejected because something inherent in you is “wrong” or not worthy of being loved. It’s not just “when I showed him who I really am, he decided I wasn’t right for him” — because in your head it becomes “I showed him who I really am and he decided he didn’t love because who could love me in all this mess. And if he doesn’t love me because of this, no one else will.” So, up the walls go. I think being emotionally honest and present (with yourself AND with another person) is the hardest thing to do. No exaggeration — I am light years away from accomplishing this, but I’m happy that I’ve finally learned this and I can work on it.
I think that the way to fix it, and to give your relationship a real shot, is to learn to trust yourself first. You need to get to a point where you *understand* (not just logically, but in your heart and in your gut) that no matter how much baggage you have, how much struggle you have, you are complete and whole and wonderful. You have to *understand* that no matter what struggles come your way (including a break up), you are worthy of love and belonging. Once you trust this, once you trust WHO you ARE, it is easier to lower the walls. Because at that point, your self-worth isn’t on the line.
On a personal note, my ex and I broke up because he couldn’t decide whether he loved me. We were together for a year and a half (We’ve been broken up for two years now). I loved him, and had been patient for too long — and yes, he had a ton of baggage. I wasn’t okay with the status quo, so I ended it. I stand by that decision. But in retrospect, I would have handled things differently before we broke up. After we had been together for around 9 months (like you), and he wasn’t sure if he loved me, I pulled away from him. I didn’t realize at the time that I pulled away, but I did. I was protecting myself. But that move of pulling away kept our relationship stagnant — so there was not growth between 9 months and 1.5 years. Now, if I hadn’t pulled away, the end result may have been the exact same. I’m fully aware of that. But I do know that he cared about me a lot, and how can you expect someone to love you if you aren’t willing to really show yourself to that person? If you aren’t willing to trust that person to care about you in your most vulnerable and honest state? If you aren’t willing to trust that you are enough, in all your messy glory, even if the relationship fails? He never saw me in a really vulnerable state. I wasn’t willing to risk it. The potential costs were too high for me at the time.
I don’t regret how things played out. I think we didn’t trust ourselves or each other enough to sustain a relationship. But I have learned a lot from it in retrospect and I hope to handle things in future relationships different than I did at the time. I hope I’m willing to keep my walls downs even when I feel vulnerable, and to face those scary situations by being honest with myself and my partner. Good luck.November 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm in reply to: Social labels & Why we do things? #44753
I kind of went a different direction than you. I’m an introvert who tried the party scene. It’s… eh. I’m not easily peer pressured, but I had my stack of issues that I wanted to avoid. That’s not to say I didn’t have any fun during that time, but it really is a numbing agent for a lot of people (me included). It can take a few years to realize that though.
You are in an interesting position because you know you aren’t interested in that scene. So, I have a few thoughts about that. One, right on for knowing what you like and what isn’t worth it to you. Two, I agree with John that you would probably benefit from broadening your social circle. Yoga classes? Meditation groups? Book clubs? There are plenty. Try meetup.com if you don’t know how to find people with similar interests. Three, if you are afraid you are missing out on life, broaden those interests. Push yourself to try things you haven’t really considered. Ever tried rock climbing? There are rock gyms in many cities. How about kayaking? White water? Toast masters? Improv group? There are many things you can do to push your self-imposed boundaries, feel that thrill and excitement, without the alcohol. I rock climb and kayak. I have met great, chill people with similar interests and both are FAR more exciting than my alcohol/drug days.
And my fourth point is a warning to you. They might be calling you a bore because they feel judged by you. You labeled yourself as the “mature” advice giver, warning others not to be reckless. While I don’t necessarily recommend the party scene, it is a phase that a lot people need to experience and go through. It is part of their path. They are figuring out who they are, just like everyone else. They are stumbling and making mistakes, and that’s okay. You don’t have to walk their path with them, but I think that if they are your friends, you should respect their chosen path. You don’t have to agree, but don’t judge either.
As you and your friends go through stages in life, your friendships may shift and change too. Some friends are meant to be in your life for a short while, some stay for life. My best friend since childhood is still my best friend (now in our 30s). But our friendship has morphed over time and continues to change. She went through a heavy partying stage and was much more into the drug scene than I could handle. I backed away from our friendship for a while, and once that phase subsided, we found our way back to each other. Sometimes we are inseparable. Sometimes, we are living on separate continents. I don’t like every choice she makes and I’m sure she’s questioned a few of my choices in life too. But I respect her as a person and know the value of screwing up. She is also one of the only people in my life who I know accepts and loves me no matter how badly I screw up. I can tell her anything without worrying about her judging me or defriending me. Believe me, we have tested that throughout the years of our bad decisions. And there are few things more beautiful or wonderful than knowing you have someone’s unconditional love. And knowing that you love someone unconditionally.
October 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm in reply to: I don’t know how to make myself happy #44400
- This reply was modified 9 years, 7 months ago by Lindsay.
Is it possible that you have read SO much about being happy and therapy and meditation but you haven’t put much into action? I’m a big reader, which is why I ask. You’ve been thinking about meditation, but doesn’t sound like you’ve tried it really. It doesn’t take a lot. Start with 5-10 minutes. You can just stick with that for months! Heck, years if that’s all you have time for! I prefer 20-30 minutes, but I can’t manage that every day. You don’t need to change your mindset in order to meditate. Meditation does that gradually, naturally. And all those books you’ve read, start to make more sense. As you keep meditating, you may want to reread the books to deepen your practice. But DON’T read them all before you actually start meditating. JUST START.
I don’t have kids, so I have no idea what time obligations you have or if you work during the day, etc. Most local colleges, though, have classes you can take for fun. Some are during the day, some are at night, some weekends. I really recommend taking a painting class (or maybe draw? pottery?). Painting gets you out of your head, which I think you’d benefit from. Even if you suck at it (especially if you suck at it) 🙂 It also might provide a break from your daily routine and obligations. If you are looking for activity buddies, maybe join meetup.com. They have a lot of mom groups, or walking groups, or hiking, book clubs, whatever you are interested in. At least it will get you trying new things.
Make a list of things you’ve never tried before that you think would be exciting to try, even if you are bad at it. Maybe once a month, you can try something new. Ice Skating? Indoor rock climbing? Surfing lesson? Flat water kayak? Meditation group? Yoga? Maybe do some with your family, some with just you and your husband, and some by yourself. I think the activities by yourself are important since it sounds like you’ve lost sight of who you are. Push your boundaries though. Try things that kind of intimidate you. And don’t over think them!October 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm in reply to: I feel like I've lost everything #44399
That’s a lot crashing down on you at once. And I think it is totally okay (and even healthy) to acknowledge that you are sad and struggling. Things are going to be rough for a little while. But you do have some serious potential for greatness right now.
First, I’m sorry about your mom.
Second, I’m sure you loved your wife and were really looking forward to moving abroad with her and have a new adventure. And I’m sure you miss her and are confused and hurt by her disappearing act. But her disappearance is entirely about her, not about you and not about your relationship. She hasn’t been honest with you about her feelings, her life, who she is, or what she wants from a relationship or life. Unless she was in serious physical danger from you (which I’m doubting), leaving you without warning indicates a high level of deception on her part. And now you have the chance to find someone who is open and welcoming, can trust and be trusted, can be vulnerable with you and can embrace your vulnerabilities. It may take a while to get back on your feet… in the mean time, be gentle with yourself. Experience the full range of emotions. And take this time to reconnect with yourself. Once you do, in time, I think you’ll find someone that you didn’t think was possible.
Also take this time to think about whether you loved your job. If so, awesome! That will shine through in your interviews. If not, accept that you might need to take a “bridge job” to pay the bills while you pursue something you love. If you don’t have any clue what that is, try some new things!
Sorry if this sounds like a lame pep talk. I’m not trying to give you the “buck up” speech. I just really think that you have been deceived and you have been accepting a crappy situation for a long time. So long, in fact, that you might not even see how bad the relationship was. And that you may have no idea what possibilities are out there for your future. It’ll take time to muddle through. But I really think you’ll end up much better off than you thought possible. Good luck.October 26, 2013 at 5:23 am in reply to: Busy Single Who Wants to Be Ok with Being an Aging Single Gal #44382
Babylaughter, I am in the same position as you! I’m 32 and totally fine with being single right now and don’t have any ambition to date right now. I have dated plenty over the years and had some serious relationships. But right now, I just prefer to read, cook, and go hiking with my dogs. I think what I’m struggling with is whether I’m okay with this long term. We don’t know what our future holds for us. I might meet someone great that is a good fit with me. Or, I might not. And I’d like to get to a place where I’m okay if I never meet someone that I want to marry. If I never meet that person, am I okay with that? Not entirely, but I think it’s partially (mostly?) societal pressure or the fear that something is “wrong” with me if I don’t want or strive for what everyone else does. Logically, I know that is silly but denying that worry doesn’t make it disappear either.
And I think I go through phases — sometimes I like dating and sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have lots of friends and sometimes I’m totally flying solo. Right now, I’m definitely in a solo phase. But maybe 6 months or a year from now that will change. I’m also just trying to live in a way that I am content with. If I stop being content with my life, I’ll make some big changes.
I don’t have any answers for you. Just letting you know that you’re not the only one. 🙂October 21, 2013 at 5:23 pm in reply to: Wise or Foolish #44117
My vote is definitely for WISE. I get that you are feeling this “what if” pang of fear and regret. I do that too. But it’s all fantasy, make believe. In reality, you didn’t trust him. You saw red flags everywhere you turned and you were smart enough to listen. Perhaps it is different with the new girlfriend, or maybe she just isn’t smart enough to listen to the red flags that keep cropping up, or maybe she romanticizes relationships like he does so they are playing the same little game, who knows.
You sensed something was off. You listened to your intuition. I say well done! There is someone out there who will love and appreciate the real you and will take the time to get to know you and gain each others trust.October 17, 2013 at 6:16 am in reply to: Mutual friends and interests after a breakup #43913
It’s a pretty recent breakup and I think you are handling things fine. If you are emotionally raw still, I think it is fine to not go to the events and to spend time with friends that were NOT mutual. Don’t do it indefinitely, of course. But I think you know that. It’s okay to be delicate right now; it’s okay to handle yourself with kid gloves for a while. Heartache hurts. Be gentle with yourself. Be compassionate with yourself. I think you’ll be just fine.October 17, 2013 at 5:56 am in reply to: Is Happiness Really a Choice? #43911
Being happy is a choice, but perhaps not in the way that you think. When a person is happy, they can still feel a full range of emotion. But it also means that you actively recognize the parts of your life that are holding you back, and you make choices to eliminate those parts.
I understand that you cannot get out of your lease. But you can make decisions to stop torturing yourself. One option is to try to find someone to sublease. Or to stay periodically with friends or family just to get time away from your ex, since that can be a stressful situation. If it’s a one bedroom and simply not an option to sublease, then you can accept that you two are broken up. You say that you don’t know if he wants to be with you… YES, you do know. You just don’t like the answer. He does not want to be in a relationship; he likes being single. You broke up. So stop acting like a couple! Stop the cuddling, stop the kissing, stop the handholding. If he doesn’t want to be in a relationship, then don’t be in a relationship with him! This is part of being happy: making hard decisions that are aligned with the present and future that you want and deserve. I’m pretty sure that being strung along by a wishy washy ex does not align with those visions. Perpetuating it is self-torture.
Health issues may be beyond your control or finances. But you can still be mentally at peace with your life, which is what happiness is. Plenty of people are terminally ill and in pain, yet are happy. Practice meditation, practice self-love and loving kindness, do walking meditation, join groups on meetup to help (and to simply get out of your house).
The job market sucks right now. You are lucky that you have some support from unemployment, but I do understand that it is not enough to cover bills. Once your lease is up, you may need to drastically downsize. Get a studio, get roommates, move to another part of town that is cheaper, etc. Keep applying — frustrating I have no doubt, but it’s not just you going through this bad market. It’s no reflection of you, even if it feels like it sometimes.
I’m not trying to be hard on you. I do get what a crappy position you are in right now. And I spent many many years “wanting” to be happy, without ever actually being happy. When you said you want to be happy and “feel like you never have been,” that struck a chord with me. That was me for MOST of my life. It basically comes down to a lack of self-awareness and a lack of understanding your self-worth. Happiness isn’t an absence of negative feelings. It is a contentment with yourself; it is a fundamental appreciation of who you are, what you deserve, what you give to the world, and what you have control over (which isn’t much). You will never be happy until you figure these things out. And you will never make decisions that are aligned with these values (and with happiness) until you figure these things out.
Therapy is obviously the best option, which I understand you probably can’t afford right now. But it’s not your only option and it’s not a miracle worker either. You have to do hard work in therapy. You can do that hard work on your own. Some books to consider reading: Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns, Daring Greatly by Brene Brown, Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.
October 17, 2013 at 5:24 am in reply to: Best female friend of my boyfriend #43909
- This reply was modified 9 years, 7 months ago by Lindsay.
I think you need to trust him. They had plenty of opportunity to date if they had wanted to and chose not to. They are friends. He trusts you. If you want a strong stable relationship, I think you need to show him the same trust that he grants you.