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12 year relationship breaking down

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This topic contains 64 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  anita 6 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 65 total)
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  • #296843

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ruth:

    No, I am not a professional counselor. I have been very active here four years and going as part of my own learning and healing process and I have learned a lot here, still learning.

    What you added in your recent post to me is very significant. “I have had 2 relationships in my 52 years where there was intense attraction at the beginning.. which fades quite quickly early on… I have bipolar disorder and was in an elevated emotional state when my current relationship began and it was VERY intense… I have been stable for 11 years as I started on the right medication”-

    -You wrote in your original post, “We have 2 dogs, a great house and stability“- the word stability has more of a meaning to me now. This 12 year relationship, a house, 2 dogs, this is your stability and it may be that you have been stable for the last 11 years not so much because of the right medication but because of this stability.

    Is that what she meant when she told you that it will be a huge mistake for you to end the relationship with her, that you will be losing your stability?

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #296855

    Prairie light
    Participant

    I’m not sure.  Good question….

    #296857

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ruth:

    I suppose you can ask her what she meant by it being a huge mistake.

    Another question then, do you have trouble enduring excitation, such as the feeling of joy, that upbeat, excited emotional experience in any context, such as eating tasty food and otherwise, when you feel it, does it get overwhelming, like it is too much to endure for long?

    anita

    #296859

    Prairie light
    Participant

    No.  I have no problem experiencing joy…especially in nature. I just returned from a labrynth walk.  I’m at a retreat center, spending lots of time in contemplation.

    #296865

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ruth:

    A relationship where you spent the last ten years stuffing your feelings doesn’t seem like a good relationship. A living situation where you force yourself to satisfy another person sexually for ten years, not feeling a sexual attraction to that person also does not read like a good living situation.

    On the other hand, you experienced stability in your mental health for these same 10 years, 11 years to be exact. I don’t know how severe your bipolar has been before these 11 years, and what the prognosis it, with age. What I would do if I was you would be to see my psychiatrist/ a psychotherapist your psychiatrist may recommend to you so to decide what to do next.

    Every breakup/ a significant change in life situation involves distress/ instability and in your case, better you talk to a professional or professionals (psychiatrist + therapist perhaps) to figure out what to do next and how, so that your stable condition can be maintained.

    anita

    #296873

    Prairie light
    Participant

    I haven’t had a psychiatrist after I was stable for about a year (I think ?).

    I called a counsellor that was recommended to me and we are going on Monday.  I have not  seen or talked to my partner for 2 days (my request).  Long story short, My bipolar disorder was not severe.  Most of my life  I suffered with depression.  I believe that my mental health has been mostly due to life circumstances.  Coming out was particularly hard for me because of a very religious family and total lack of acceptance.  I was married and came out during that time.  It was a very tumultuous time for many reason and I think it all tipped me over the ‘edge’, so to speak.

    #296875

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ruth:

    I am glad you will be seeing a counsellor this coming Monday. Your bipolar not having been severe is good news. I am thinking it makes you less vulnerable to the distress inherent in breakups and changing life situations.

    You wrote that “coming out was particularly hard for me because of a very religious family and total lack of acceptance”. Do you think it is this lack of acceptance by your family regarding your coming out that has blocked your sexual desire of the women in your life, sort of hearing in your mind judgment and condemnation and that rains on your parade, so to speak?

    anita

    #296877

    Prairie light
    Participant

    I’m sure it has created a block.

    #296879

    Prairie light
    Participant

    I have had a lot of therapy around this block…but it hasn’t helped.  She has been very understanding about it.  It’s so complicated.  And I get so confused.

    #296881

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ruth:

    Maybe it is something to pay attention to, or to contemplate. We are very sensitive to criticism by our parents, no matter how  old we are. We often hear their criticism when they are not there, via the “inner critic” which is like the mental representative of our critical parent/s.

    anita

    #296887

    Prairie light
    Participant

    The thing is, it is not only the physical aspect.  There is also an emotional block.  I don’t know if the reason I am wanting physical intimacy is because there are things about her that I don’t like .  For instance, I am adventurous and she is not – she doesn’t like to try new things (food, hobbies etc).  I find her to be rigid.  I have told her this, and then felt bad because I a, trying to change her.

    Remember I said she is stable?  She is more grounded than me.  Is that what I need?  Because it is not necessarily what I want ?

    #296889

    Prairie light
    Participant

    BTW…you have no idea how much I appreciate and need this right now 1

    #296893

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ruth:

    You are very welcome. I will reply further when I am back to the computer in a few hours. Feel free to add anything you want to add that may be relevant to what you are trying to figure out before I am back.

    anita

    #296907

    GL
    Participant

    Dear Prairie light,

    Regarding sexual intimacy, if the most you want to do is kiss and hug, then that’s fine. You do not need to go further than that. Physical intimacy should be dictated by what YOU are comfortable with, not with what your partner wants you to do. If your partner wants to do something that you don’t feel comfortable doing, then it is your rights to not do anything. Not every relationship need sex to function correctly and it seems that you are one of those people who doesn’t regard sex as necessary. Again, completely fine and you’re not alone in that. There are many other people out in the world that doesn’t care for sexual activities who has great relationships.

    Now, if the only reason that you are contemplating leaving your partner for the reason of having no sexual attraction towards her, then you’ll have to first understand if you even want sex to begin with since it seems to be a sensitive subject in many of your relationships. Do you know the term ‘asexual’? It’s pertain to individuals who either dislike sex or doesn’t want sex or doesn’t care for sex. It’s a sexual orientation for people who decided for themselves that even though they can have physical sex, they simply don’t feel the normal sexual arousal (or any kind of sexual arousal) towards anyone, regardless if they love that person platonically or romantically. It’s a relatively new concept since there are not a lot of people who identifies as one, but you might actually fit under that category. Here’s a link to get started:

    http://www.whatisasexuality.com/intro/

    On another note, if you feel that you aren’t completely open to your current partner, it might either mean that your affections for her has turned more platonic than romantic or you feel a certain guilt for being in a relationship your family does not approve of. Guilt has a way of shaming you, especially in regards to the judgment and opinions of other people. So rather then a lack of affection, it’s more the fear of inadequacy, of doing something wrong therefore you hold back. But your case with depression also has the affect of making you question your self-worth which can lead to a guilt of making your partner ‘endured’ you, so to speak. You feel guilty that she must support you through your trials of depression when she might be with someone who won’t put her through that sort of thing. Again, guilt can lead to many things, shame of yourself, irritation with your relationship or your partner, the dread of not being enough, the fear of rejection.

    Yet, how much have you’ve opened to your partner about any of your fear? As much as she understand that you experienced depression, does she know any of your fear, shame and worry? Or have you held back from having any conversations with her about your anxious thoughts? Are you putting off conversations for the confidence masquerade of ‘she knows me so she’ll understand’ so you’ve stayed silent instead?

    You’ve talked of her being frigid, but how much of that is a projection of your fear that she might not accept you?

    #296909

    Prairie light
    Participant

    Thank you GL.  Interesting that you should bring this up, as I stumbled across a documentary on this very topic a few days ago.  I can relate to some aspects.

    What I find is that I am attracted most intensely to a caring sensitive person.  I need a lot of nurturing.  I crave it…She is not able to provide the nurturing that I need.   I don’t know if anyone can.  So I have been trying to learn how to nurture myself.  I think I am doing quite well in some ways.  But I crave it from a lover.

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