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A Confession and A Decision

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  • #36181
    Life Seeker
    Participant

    Hello there. I come to you all today with a story, a confession if you will, with the hope that people will hear me out, and with the desire to achieve some clarity with your voices and opinions. I will attempt to make it as concise as possible. I apologize if my writing seems confusing, please tell me to clarify anything you guys find messy. I apologize if it comes in a sort of “rant” form as well. Here’s my story:

    I was once in a relationship with a girl I met in high school, and we were happy. It was the happiest I have ever been. I felt good about myself, and I really did think I was a good person at the time. I was happy, and I made her happy. But as they say, all good things come to an end, and all people fall at one point. When we reached college, we got sent to different universities.The start of college freshman year, I met this wonderful girl who I could not help but fall in love with as well. This girl I met was severely depressed, but I saw the beauty in her depth and in the way she looked at certain things.

    Needless to say, I found myself cheating on my high school girl. Yes, I cheated on her, and I only realized that I did when everything started to spiral down. I lied, I became deluded in my idealisms and in my own reasoning, not listening to my inner voice that told me what I was doing was wrong. Everything was in chaos: people grew distant, people hated me, and I kept on killing myself over the fact that I caused two people that I loved such pain. I broke up with my high school girl for the girl I am with now a year after when I sensed that it was for the best. I still wanted to be friends with her though, and I found that we could have pulled it off. The girl I am with now wouldn’t have it though, and she made me cut my high school girl out from my life completely. This was devastatingly hard to deal with for me, since I considered my high school girl my best friend. I understood though, and did what she told me to do, and I left my high school girl with a “maybe we can be friends again in the future.” I told the girl I am with now what I said. She got extremely depressed and angry, and she wouldn’t have it. But there was nothing I could do after that.

    While all of this was happening, a lot of fights happened with the girl I am with as well. These fights would usually go about her criticizing me and my actions, pointing out my mistakes, bringing up the past, and telling me how bad it affected her. For over a year I tried to help her with a passion whenever she would get depressed. Whenever she would dwell into self-pity, I would always be the one to say “No, you’re a wonderful person” even if it took until 4 am in the morning. I kept chasing her around and apologizing for my shortcomings no matter how small they were. As time passed I just found myself taking everything she had to say and just nodding my head and saying I’m sorry all the time even if the things she would say went way out of proportion. A lot of the things that she would say were very painful and uncalled for, but again, I just nodded my head and told her I’m sorry because I took responsibility for her pain, even though half of her issues in the past were being carried over to the issue at hand. I got used to the fact that I was a disappointment, I got used to the fact that she kept on bringing up the past, and I got used to the personal attacks against me. I couldn’t get angry, I didn’t want to because I knew how anger worked. I tried to be considerate, I tried to be understanding, but I found that it destroyed me in the process because I kept on bottling everything inside. This took all of my time within the past year. I found myself physically weak, and emotionally frail.

    It wasn’t all bad though, we do have some wonderful memories with each other, memories that I wouldn’t trade for anything else. But I found that I held on to these memories too much to realize what was happening. We fought almost every week, and we we’re arguing more than we were being okay.

    I love this girl, and I care about her so. But I find myself being afraid of her when she calls or texts me because of what she might say. I find that it’s getting harder and harder to talk to her because all the negativity and all the weight is so draining that I can’t find myself to say anything most of the time. For the past year I’ve been trying to mend things but to no avail, and I don’t think I have the energy to continue on anymore. We’re not making each other better, the relationship is getting more and more toxic, and we keep on making each other cry as time passes. That’s why I am thinking of ending the relationship. The problem is, I don’t want to leave her fending for herself because a lot of people have left her already. I don’t even want to think of the worst that could happen if I did leave her. I still do think she is a wonderful person inside, but I just can’t be there for her all the time whenever she needs me anymore, because my needs need me too, and I’ve neglected them for the longest time now.

    If you have read through all of this, then you have my sincerest thanks. I appreciate any input, advice, or opinion you guys would like to offer me. Thank you.

    #36183
    Life Seeker
    Participant

    Please don’t think of the girl I am with now as a terrible person, please. She’s a good person, really.

    Right now we aren’t really on good terms. It’s just that everything that has been happening has been…too much…for the both of us.

    #36193
    Beth Venus
    Participant

    Dear Josh,

    Perhaps the first thing to think about is a way to get out of the toxic traps and toxic patterns in your relationship? The depression your girlfriend suffers from isn’t your fault, isn’t your fault. But it also isn’t your responsibility: it’s lovely that you’ve taken the time to try to be there for her and be patient with her and help and support her. The core of the problem needs to be addressed though, and helping her to seek some therapy for it could be a way of supporting her through it? Things may have happened in the past, and the start of the relationship sounds like it was rocky, but the issues of the past need to be put aside, and your girlfriend needs to see how important that is, and how important it is for you both to be the ones seeing the best in each other if you’re going to continue or re-establish a supportive and mutually nurturing relationship. The relationship I’m in now started in a similar way to yours it sounds, so I can understand why your now girlfriend might feel insecure perhaps? But it doesn’t justify constant criticism – nothing justifies that, even if she is wonderful underneath that. Ending the relationship or taking some breathing space could be helpful. It’s worth remembering that your girlfriend’s fears and feelings are her own and originating from within her, and that is where they need to be addressed in order to allow her to react and engage with you in a more open and understanding (rather than defensive/aggressive) way.

    I really hope you can work it out and find a way to care for your needs, whether that means staying with her and approaching the problems constructively, or breaking up and beginning afresh ~

    #36194
    Beth Venus
    Participant

    I meant * isn’t her fault, and isn’t your fault

    #36198
    Sam
    Participant

    Hey Josh,

    I could write so much on this – but I suspect you won’t like what I have to say. However I have been, more or less, exactly where you are now. Let me ask you some questions – which really I think you should ask yourself:

    1) Why are you in this relationship? Do you wake up each day and say “I am glad I am in this relationship”?

    2) Why was she depressed in the first place? Were you her “knight in shining armor”? Does she blame her previous boyfriends? If you leave, will she blame herself or you?

    3) Have you changed your behavior, or do you lie to family and friends, because you are afraid of how she might react or what she might do?

    I suspect I know the answers – and none of it is good. Healthy relationships involve positive behaviors which are designed to make you BOTH more complete people, reinforce each other’s self-esteem, involve openness, joint decision making, build trust and . They do not involve negative behaviors such as constant criticism or playing on guilt and obligation (“I am so depressed” “everyone else just leaves me”), which are actually a form of emotional abuse.

    4) Finally, why are you even talking about the “high school girl”. Clearly you care for her or you wouldn’t talk so much about her. Why did you leave her for the other girl? Excitement, more beautiful, her vulnerability ??

    I suggest you take a look at a couple of web-sites on borderline personality disorder. I am not saying your girlfriend is a sufferer (though my ex was) but she sounds like she is exhibiting BPD-like behavior. My advice would be to very seriously considering ending it – ultimately you are not responsible for her problems. It is going to be difficult, and emotionally wrenching and you will probably need real time before you are ready for another relationship. And yes, the confusion you describe is quite normal.

    http://bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a101.htm

    http://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/10-signs-your-girlfriend-or-wife-is-an-emotional-bully/

    http://www.shrink4men.com/2013/04/30/obsessing-over-an-abusive-ex-thoughts-on-being-stuck/

    Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

    #36199
    Buddhist Wife
    Participant

    I agree with Beth Venus.

    If you are unhappy and you do not see the relationship going anywhere it is better for you to break up.

    You are both very young and will probably both change a lot over the next few years. Even without all the problems you already have it is possible these changes would have come between you anyway.

    I don’t doubt that if you do break up your girlfriend will take it hard. However she deserves to be in a functional relationship with someone. If that’s not you, then it isn’t fair to stay.

    If you can, encourage her to get help.

    #36213
    Life Seeker
    Participant

    Hello there. I can’t thank you guys enough for your replies! They are very reassuring.

    @BethVenus

    Yes, you are absolutely right. I talked to her about the necessity of getting over the past a lot of times already, but she wouldn’t have it, saying things like “you think it’s that easy?” or “that’s easy for you to say” or “so you just want me to get over it, just like that?” in an angry tone of voice. Then I find myself not being able to speak. I have also talked to her about getting help, and she does want to. Her parents are the ones who don’t seem to understand though as they think it’s all “drama” even when she showed them her cuts.


    @Sam

    Hello there! I believe you are right in knowing what my answers are to those questions. Although she did seem very strong and very caring in the beginning, but in the end it just turned out like this. I’ve always told myself that maybe it’s because of me, maybe she’s worn out because of all the drama that happened. If I do leave, she will most definitely blame herself, which to me sounds really bad.

    I talked about her to give a bit of context to my story, but yes, I still do as she was my friend. I left her for the girl i am with now because those three things most probably, but also because she seemed so strong and she seemed to hold it together at the time despite the depression.

    @Buddhist Wife

    My inner voice tells me that you are right, as blunt and simple as your reply sounds (although I do appreciate it very much) and it may be for the best since I feel that both of us are just bringing each other down and only occasionally bringing each other up by being sweet.

    If I do leave her though, I fear that she might do something drastic since two of her friends have already left her within the past year for the same reasons. Of course I will still care about her even after I leave, and I fear that she might be too devastated.

    #36248
    Life Seeker
    Participant

    I keep asking myself, am I giving up on her when I said I wouldn’t? Is never giving up a good thing or a bad thing in this situation? Does letting go mean giving up? Am I among those people who gave up on her? Am I the same as them? Am I among those people who run and give up when they’ve had enough or when it gets too much to bear? I don’t want to give up on her, I don’t. I still would like to help her, because that’s the kind of person I am. In some way, in any way. I realize that I can’t keep shouldering her problems and she needs to do something about those things, if only I could find a way to get her there. But I can’t ignore this inner voice inside me telling me that “enough is enough” no matter how harsh it sounds to both her and I. I can’t ignore those happy memories that make me smile every time but I can’t ignore the reality of things either. I still love her, and even if I leave I know that I would still love her, if that makes any sense. But does love mean sticking around or going? Those unfulfilled promises and dreams, where do they go? Am I a horrible person for letting those go? Am I a horrible person for making someone hope and turning that hope to dust?

    Sigh.

    I’m sorry if I’m getting a bit too dramatic. I over think things too much, I know. These questions (and many others) have overwhelmed my mind and my heart for as long as I can remember, and these thoughts just eat me inside and leave me paralyzed.

    #36341
    Life Seeker
    Participant

    Hello everyone.

    I just wanted to let you guys know that I did it. Three days ago, she called me up and I found that I couldn’t hold it in anymore and I told her that I wanted out and that it isn’t working out because it wasn’t fair to the both of us. I felt that her anger was getting too much to bear, and I know that she has been giving much more than what I was giving into the relationship. She felt hurt, and I felt hurt, and after a long time of arguments and fights, I felt like I had to end it. As expected, she took it hard. She has been crying herself to sleep everyday, she feels lonely and abandoned, and she feels like she’s been betrayed with all the hopes and the promises gone. She thought that I would keep my promise that I would always stay, she had faith that we would always be together, and that I would never give up on her. She felt like I became one of those people who got up and left when they had enough. She felt like love was always trying to fix something till it bled you dry, to give till it bled you dry. While I agree to those to some extent, I just really felt that some things couldn’t be fixed, and that some things you just had to do on your own. She said that she would always keep hoping for me to come back, and that she would never get over me and that she would always love me. I understand that love goes beyond the bounds of the relationship, and in that way I could say that I would always love her too. She kept reading all those letters we exchanged, those promises that we made together and dwelled on them. She felt like I had changed, and that I had given up so easily. I couldn’t help but cry when I heard these things, I couldn’t help but kill myself over how she was feeling, how she put everything into the relationship only to have it end like that. It depressed me that all those dreams and promises are now gone, but I felt I did the right thing. I just kept on thinking to myself that she deserved someone better, someone that would love her the way she wanted to be loved, someone who was sure, someone who treated her fairly and gave her what she wanted. Not some guy who disappointed her and got her hopes up all the time, not me.

    I just get so confused about how this is supposed to be and I would like some enlightenment. Was this an act of love? Was my leaving because I did not want the both of us to hurt each other so badly anymore an act of love? My inner voice tells me that it is, but I don’t know if that’s just me reasoning or deluding myself into believing it.

    Also (another thing entirely that I would like some advice with), at the end of our phone call, I hear her mom knocking loudly and shouting at her that her dad was waiting so long for her to come down to the table and eat for lunch. The mom was scolding her for making the dad wait so long because of the phone call we were having. The parents were oblivious to the fact that their daughter was depressed, and just had her heart severely broken. This kind of thing has been going on for as long as I remember (since childhood I believe, as she had told me). The obvious neglect of the parents to the depression makes me very angry because of the pain and the trauma it has caused the girl. I find myself wanting to go up to them and raging at them, telling them how badly they’ve treated their daughter, but I don’t think that’s the best solution. If you guys have any input on this, it would be very much appreciated, please. I know that I have just broken up with this girl, but I can’t shrug the willingness and the wanting to help.

    Thank you for your time. I’m sorry if it seems like I’m complaining and such.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by Life Seeker.
    #36354
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Hello, I would like to say first of all that you sound like a genuine great person. I believe that you have given as much as you could and should. Obviously the girl has some problems she need to sort for herself. If she can not accept this and seek the help she needs you could hardly be of any support to her it seems. But I agree not to withrdaw completely, let her know that you are there if she needs to talk and realises her issues. Maybe you could go up to her parents or any close friend and talk to them in order to giver her more help and much needed support. But please do not burden yourself too much with this… she is a person that came into your life and maybe it was just to teach you something about yourself. Stay postive and be strong. I know it’s easier said then done 😉 You could also try in sending her some information, links, books etc about depression, she might just pick it up and get something out of it… All the best Anne

    #36356
    Life Seeker
    Participant

    Hello there Anne. Thank you for your encouraging reply. I’d like to think that I am a great and genuine person, I really do. I just don’t think I have been lately because of the sins of my past. I’ve talked to her close friends already, but like me, they can only give their support as the parents think that her depression is only “drama.” If only they knew how deep it is right now. I am afraid for her, terribly so.

    I try to stay positive and strong, and I try to tell myself that what I’m doing must be done and that maybe this is for the best, but I just get so confused over what I’m thinking and I end up depressed and hurt. I try to tell myself this is normal. It is, isn’t it?

    #37495
    Bob
    Participant

    As a young boy with no real role-model to follow or talk with, I developed the ‘butterfly’ concept. The butterfly concept means that I must exercise and recognize freedom and change in all relationships, especially with the ladies. I watched guys as they tried to capture their lady friends in a glass jar environment, use them as trophies or basically ‘mount’ them at their own discretion. Of course these relationships would eventually collapse.

    The freedom I chose to recognize became most benefical when conditions or distance would happen without notice. I also had to allow the butterflies to fly away and never return if they chose to do so. On a rare occasion some of the butterflies would return for a quick visit and off again they would fly away.

    Rejection was extremely hard for me to swallow, so during one of low periods when I could barely hold my head in an upright position. It was then that a bright majestic butterfly appeared on my window sill, not wanting to lose it I refrained from reaching out towards it. Its beauty was quite remarkable as it opened up her wings did a half turn and as suddenly as it appeared. I would watch her fly away.

    This was a lesson that I had to learn, it was not in a book and most likely Dr. Phil had no reflection upon something this practical or simple.

    As in most decisions you must decide what is best for you, but I recommend going a step beyond that by thinking of her emotions as well.

    #37500
    Life Seeker
    Participant

    Hey there Bob. Thanks for the reply.

    I have broken up with my current and am going through the process of healing. She took it hard, and it was extremely difficult to tell her to let go of everything we said and promised, but like Bob said, I took a step forward and thought of her emotions. I didn’t want to put her in that emotional chaos and uncertainty anymore, so I had to really tell her to let go even if I myself am still holding on. Things have been rocky and confusing between us since I had attempted to stay friends. I still do love her, very much so…and I look for her everywhere and I am still very much happy to see her, but deep down i feel that i made the right choice for myself, and maybe for her as well.

    My friends have been telling me to get back with her since they all see that we still very much do love each other, but i just cant bring myself to because of the damage that was done and how we kept on fighting and how we couldnt really understand each other. They say if i really did love her, i would find a way to make it work, i would find a way to be compatible and stuff. Something seems to be wrong with the statement, i just cant put my finger on it. After hearing those things, I found myself plunging into self-doubt. I do love her, but could i have done more? These questions just arise and make chaos in my head again.

    It would be great if anyone could give me some enlightenment on the issue. Thank you all.

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