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Avoidants and Awareness

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  • #193435
    Mark
    Participant

    Craig, It sounds like she already decided that you are not “the one” so no matter how hard you try to break your pattern you won’t be able to do so with this woman.

    I think your pattern is one of choosing someone who cannot work with you and work on herself.  It is before being a relationship rather than having a pattern of once you are in a relationship and therefore trying to make it work.

    Don’t you think?

    Mark

    #193445
    Craig
    Participant

    Mark, thanks for your kind engagement with me on this stuff.

    How much do you think we can influence our partners? I ask this question, because I wonder if by sharing my experiences and learnings, perhaps this woman may reconsider whether there is a “one” or “soulmate with perfect empathy” or whatever phrase. It seems that the belief that there’s a perfect person who fits us perfectly without effort is really common, and a lot of people believe it. Maybe that’s a tough belief to let go of, but it is in putting that nonsense aside that a really great relationship can be formed (and “soulmateness” can be created). At least that’s what I think.

    Mark, certainly your observation of my pattern of choosing women who cannot work with me and work on themselves has applied to these last two relationships. It hasn’t always been the case, so I’m not sure if it’s coincidence or if there’s really something in my subsconscious that is driving that.

    #193455
    Mark
    Participant

    Craig,

    I have no idea how much we can influence each other.  The answer I would give “it depends.”

    I would definitely have a discussion with the other about your view(s) of having a perfect partner, soulmate, and putting forth no effort into the relationship.  You may or may not be able to influence her from those discussion(s).

    Mark

     

    #193519
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Craig:

    March 20 of last year you wrote about this woman: “I actually do think she loves me, but I don’t want to be in a relationship where there are months of not seeing each others, or weeks of not talking. I think she would benefit from some regular psychotherapy, but that is a decision that only she can make.”

    On this thread you wrote that she is an Avoidant (in the title of your thread), that her “reptilian brain” (I understand the term) has kept her away from closeness with you, and that she needs therapy so to be able to engage in an intimate relationship.

    It is possible that this is true. Thing is, I didn’t read any expression of closeness that was between you and her, any terms of endearment on your part, anything positive about her. It is as if there hasn’t been any closeness at all, only you reaching out to an Avoidant who has been staying away from you repeatedly for weeks and months at a time.

    The part missing from your threads, any expression of past (or present) closeness with her is puzzling to me.

    anita

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    • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by anita.
    #193531
    Craig
    Participant

    Thank you for writing, Anita.

    I understand how it could come across that way. Typically when I write to a forum (a “helping” forum) or talk with a therapist, I am thinking more about what are the obstacles to closeness rather than what is going well. That older thread was referring to the previous ex, not the most recent one. Regardless, in both cases, I loved them deeply. We had great times together and generally when we were together in person, we had lots of fun, communicated well, had emotional and physical closeness, tenderness, and worked together well (shopping, cooking, things like that). Strangely, and maybe coincidentally, the problems that arose in each relationships happened 95% of the time when we were physically apart, and thus it was profoundly difficult to work on the problems together. The first woman would refuse to see me for as long as a few months. The second woman limited our communication to texting only, on Monday through Friday, because she didn’t like to talk on the phone. My experience is, that when a couple doesn’t get together face to face to talk something over, fears and imaginings can escalate way beyond the reality.

    #193533
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Craig:

    You are welcome. If you would like to share, for the purpose of my better understanding and for the possibility of your better understanding (a win-win aim on my part, if it seems possible for you), what did you like about the second woman, the most recent ex, what did you like about her and what was the nature of the good communication that you did have?

    anita

    #193535
    Mark
    Participant

    Craig,

    I find it amazing that the two women you have had a romantic relationship with did not want to see or talk with you.  You are totally spot on about how fears and misunderstandings run away from them/you.

    Mark

    #193551
    Craig
    Participant

    Anita, let’s go for the win-win!  The second woman shared parts of her story and memories with me that were so important to her, she was moved to tears. I think she shared things with me she hadn’t told anyone else. Also, when she was in a calm and attentive mood, she was a remarkably focused and present listener, and in those times, I felt heard and validated by her.

    In more general terms, what I liked about her: She has a lot of energy, is fun to play and joke with (except by text :))) , is bright, philosophical, and liked to go on mini adventures with me. Also she was an amazing mother, which I admired, or more specifically I admired her devotion to her kids. I also like that she’s a tough woman – she came to the U.S. from a country with a very different language and culture, and made a life here for herself and her kids.

    #193597
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Craig:

    Win-Win aim it is then. I need to get away from the computer for about sixteen hours. I read your above post and it doesn’t help me understand more, at this point. Sometimes re-reading in the morning helps. If you would like to share more, about this relationship (one which you didn’t give up on yet, you wrote), please do: when did it start, how long, an example of a conflict and the exchange regarding the conflict will help, I hope.

    anita

    #193623
    Craig
    Participant

    Anita, this will be short, as I’m exhausted from what happened today. Last night I was texting with this woman. She told me unequivocally that she didn’t want to work it out with me. Twice she said it. I wished her well and told her I hoped she had much happiness in her life.

    This morning I canceled my airline tickets. She and I had planned to go on a grand excursion to her home country in a couple weeks. But I had understood that she did not want to work it out with me. That’s what she said. Not an hour after cancelling the tickets, she texted and asked if I’d canceled my tickets. I said Yes. She said “You are not my destiny. Last night I had the thought that we should go on the trip together and try to work it out.” I said “Great, I’ll buy new tickets. Maybe I can even stop the cancellation. I just did it.” She said “No, God had given her a clear answer.” Basically, if we were meant to be together, I would not have cancelled the tickets even though she had said she didn’t want to work it out with me.

    Maybe there’s a way to work it out with her. I don’t know. Right now I can’t even think about it. I just feel so tired and I want to breathe and rest.

    #193657
    Mark
    Participant

    Craig,

    You have more patience than I would have but then again I tend to be on the Avoidant side and you are exhibiting your Anxious side by jumping back in and willing to get the tickets again.

    She is doing what I call “jerking you around” and my Avoidant style would wish her well and cut off any contact with her because there is no future with her.

    You end with a hope of “Maybe there’s a way to work it out with her.”  With someone who does not want to talk on the phone but only text?  With someone who lives in another country?  With someone who does not want to work on herself?  With someone who teased you with having you visit her after you cancelled your tickets?

    Read your posts about this woman and what would you tell yourself?

    Mark

     

    #193663
    Craig
    Participant

    Mark,

    I agree with you on all points. Something in me shifted when she did that jerking around stuff.

    She lives near me now but comes from another country. We were going to visit her country for a week and then return here. It doesn’t matter though – I only say that to give a clearer picture of the situation.

    “Maybe there’s a way to work it out with her” were words spoken out of my anxious attachment style, yes, and real fatigue (and therefore foggy thinking). I have to stay away from her as I think things seem to be getting worse fast.

    Thank you, Mark.

    #193695
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Craig:

    I hope you rest and feel better soon. What an interesting development and a concrete example of an interaction with her, concrete and most recent.

    Last night she told you clearly twice, that she didn’t want to work it out with you. You wished her well. This morning you canceled your airline tickets. An hour later she asked you via text if you cancelled the tickets. You said yes.

    Next she said: “You are not my destiny. Last night I had the thought that we should go on the trip together and try to work it out.”

    Next, you offered to buy new tickets, or undo the cancellation. Her reply was: No, that God had given her a clear answer (to the question: to be… or not to be with you)

    My input: you presented your relationship with her in terms of attachment styles. I see a … more unsurmountable issue here and that is her impulsivity coupled with distorted and delusional thinking. She told you it is over. Then she thought to herself (if her account is honest): maybe it is not over. She didn’t know. So she asked god to let her know and he (or she) has let her know. So now she knows. For now, she knows. There may still be a sign-in the making, a communication from god or the like.

    You wrote earlier yesterday about her: “When she was in a calm and attentive mood, she was a remarkably focused and present listener, and in those times, I felt heard and validated by her.” Unfortunately, she is also a remarkably focused and present listener of god and destiny, signs, meaning in random things.

    anita

    #193763
    Craig
    Participant

    Dear Anita, Thank you. I appreciate your mirror and your input greatly.

    “Then she thought to herself (if her account is honest): maybe it is not over. She didn’t know. So she asked god to let her know and he (or she) has let her know. So now she knows. For now, she knows. ” (your words, my italics).

    Ouch. I’ll have to brace myself for her possible return. I’d love it to be true that I’m so together and so detached that I won’t let myself be pulled back in. It may indeed be that I won’t let myself get pulled back in, but I expect I’ll have to get clear with myself how to respond if she reappears. I expect that she will. So that’s work that I have to do.

    I often wonder how much one can work with one’s partner (and in complete fairness, how much can a partner work with me?). When do we leave somebody? When do we try to draw on compassion and patience and try to help a partner when we think their thinking is distorted, etc.?  I don’t think we ought to leave a relationship just because it hurts, because I think that there are painful times in healthy vibrant relationships too. Maybe the answer has something to do with there being an overall feeling of safety and reliability and good will. There may be some good will on my ex’s part (in my most generous appraisal), but I don’t feel safe (emotionally) around her – I was becoming increasingly nervous that she would get triggered into another silent treatment, or temper display. The word eggshells comes to mind.  Just my musings.

     

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 7 months ago by Craig.
    #193889
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Craig:

    You are welcome. As to: “When do we leave somebody? When do we try to draw on compassion and patience and try to help a partner when we think their thinking is distorted, etc.?”-

    But it is she who left you, is it not?

    anita

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 44 total)

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