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  • #369365
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    I need to re-read your previous posts because I currently don’t have a good understanding of your situation; I misunderstood a couple of things. I will be back to you when I am rested and focused, which will be on Monday morning, in about 16 hours from now. If you want to add another post, or posts, before I return,  sharing more about your relationship with this woman, your past relationships, and perhaps a bit about your childhood, please do, it will help me understand.

    anita

     

    #369375
    Karen
    Participant

    Ok. My first major relationship was 10 years ago or so when first came out as being gay. I was with my previous partner for 5 years and she cheated. Took a long time for me to get over and wasn’t interested in smother relationship. Met people on a few occasions but wasn’t interested. Then started to talk to this recent partner on s dating app. Clicked straight away same interests very alike and she liked things that I did. Got on well then that was the start of it. This is why I am so hurt and upset as I think back to my previous relationship and it was nothing like this. Previous one was controlling. Where as this wasn’t. She knows about my previous relationship and that I was hurt. She would put me at ease knowing that it scared me that we had feelings do quick for each other. But when she talks snd split few weeks back. Even after doing snd saying things snout the future she says saw me as a friend. Even yesterday it was let’s forget about the past and focus on our friendship. But easier for her if she though relationship was finished over a month ago. With her I feel so different from my last relationship. Childhood. Was good loving parents supportive. Even when I met this recent partner they were alway supportive. They hadn’t met her as they live away from me. But had planned to go visit actually would have been this week. My ex wanted to meet the family like I did hers. She met some of my family previously when we went to visit for few days but she not long ago told me she saw us like it was friends going on holiday. But she still tslked about major future things. She hasn’t got the fsmily support her side but I have always made her feel welcome into my fsmily as I saw her as my future.

    Sorry for confusing you

    #369402
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    I will retell your story best I can. Some of what follows may not be accurate, so feel free to correct me. One reason I have trouble understanding your story is that your writing is rushed: you type the wrong letters, words are missing, and you don’t check and correct your mistyping/ writing before you submit. It seems to me that you are and have been very distressed. In my retelling of your story, I will quote from you, but I will edit the quotes just enough so to make them clearer, correcting misspelling/grammar, and filling in words you skipped

    You shared that your parents are “good, loving.. supportive”, and they planned to visit you and your recent partner (let’s refer to her as L, for simplicity sake) this week.

    You came out as being gay ten years ago. Your first major relationship was a five year relationship with a controlling woman who cheated on you. After that relationship, hurt and betrayed, you weren’t interested in another, but then in January this year,  you started talking with  L, a woman a few years younger than you. You entered the relationship with L shy and lacking confidence about being gay. On the other hand, she was confident and not shy about being gay, not in her intimate relationship with you, and not while out with you in public.

    With L, you felt more open and more confident about being gay than ever before, but she was way more open, confident and comfortable than you, having been out as a gay woman earlier than you, and having had multiple relationships with women before meeting you.

    The two of you talked “none stop, had such a connection so quickly… clicked straight away, same interests, very alike.. very similar how we think and what we like in someone and what we want in life etc.”. She was “very open” and she was the first person you opened up to about your previous, hurtful relationship. The two of you started dating in January or February. In March, “Covid kicked in “and lockdown happened”, and she was living with you at that point.

    L was very open with you, and she was open about her relationship with you, comfortably holding hands with you in public. She was very romantic, planning and executing romantic events for the two of you, “always getting romantic gifts etc., flowers, date nights during this pandemic”, making you “feel so special”.

    You were much more open with her than you were in your previous relationship, and you were more open about the relationship in public, introducing her as your partner to your friends and colleagues. You also tried to return her romantic gestures, but your openness and/ or your romantic efforts were not “on the same level that she wanted”.

    Throughout the relationship with L, if I understand correctly, you were anxious, scared about the two of you having feelings for each other so quickly, and somewhat uncomfortable still, about being gay within the intimate relationship with her, and in public. You were also very stressed because of work, and sometimes depressed. Yet, at times you felt at ease with her, and at times you felt happy. Compared to your previous relationship, you “have changed so much since being with her, and was so looking forward to the future.. I was so relaxed, and was so happy to be with her.. felt so at ease with her”.

    In March or April, “she left, wanted to be friends”. She left the home you shared, but the two of you continued to talk like before, “non stop video calls, morning texts, good night texts”, and you were “head over heels”.

    A month later, “she wanted to come back to live with (you) as a lodger”.

    Next, she moved back in with you as a lodger, but the romantic relationship resumed because “she said she still loved (you), so gave it another go”. The two of you “talked about the future etc., a lot, from her side, i.e., house, jobs, marriage, all the important stuff”. Because she was in the process of leaving the military, she did not work outside the home while living with you, while you were very busy at your job. “She was at home more and she took on her fair share of the home stuff. She paid her way, etc.”.

    Next, in about late September, while you were “stressed with (your)  job and being a bit down in the dumps”, “she started to say she wasn’t happy”, and “finished it”.

    Next, the two of you “talked and tried again”.

    Next, “it happened again, and we said we will work on it”.

    Next, “she did the same thing again”, then “apologised”, then the two of you talked and you were treated for a romantic birthday, “she made such an effort, it was lovely”.

    As October proceeded, the two of you “got in a rut in the last month and a half”. On one occasion, there was a disagreement between the two of you, and because of your “build up of emotions and stress”, you raised your voice at her. You then apologized for it, but she keeps bringing it up, and your apologies “don’t seem to matter at all”, “one week we were happy, next week we weren’t”. Next, in late October, “she ended it, said she wasn’t happy, there’s something missing, the spark”, and currently “she still wants to be friends”, and she is preparing to move out of your place soon. You expressed to her that you “want her back, but she says it will never happen”.

    My understanding today:

    1. L is impulsive, and you agree: “She can be impulsive, and can’t sit around, but I like that”.

    2. When the two of you met and started your relationship, you were uncomfortable being gay in private and in public; she was very comfortable being gay in private and in public. Over the short time you lived together, you became more and more comfortable being gay, but still, not as comfortable as she is.

    3. You are very distressed at this time, and you have been very distressed since you started this thread, eight days ago. Part of your distress is, of course, the nature of this relationship, and the fact that L is still living in your home while preparing to move out. Part of your distress is your work situation, part is Covid.

    And part of your distress precedes all these events and has existed since many years ago. Even though  you felt at ease with her at times, most of the time you were still, very distressed. Maybe L realized that no matter how hard she tries, you are still very distressed, and it was hard for her to endure your acute, ongoing distress. Am I understanding your story correctly, at this point?

    anita

     

    #369440
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Sorry my post is rushed etc. Yes my parents and family are very supportive. They had planned to visit me and L but due to covid restrictions its not possible.

    Yes I came out as gay 10 years ago and was in that relationship for 5 years. After that relationship I did feel hurt and betrayed. I didn’t really want to look for a relationship if it happened it happened.  In January L and I started talking through a dating app. Then we entered into a relationship.  I am a shy person at first but I am a people person. no not lacking confidence In being gay as such. But not as experienced in relationships compared to L. I am comfortable with my sexuality but in my previous relationship it felt that my ex wasnt so open. L is confident out in public and in her intimate relationship with me.  I wasn’t as confident by initiating intimacy which she said was an issue. She wanted me to be more confident in initiating. With L in public I felt more open more relaxed and happy being like that with her. That’s how it should be.

    Yes we clicked, talked non stop and had such a genuine connection. We clicked as friends first. I have never felt so at ease and open with someone before even when we just started talking as friends. She new about my previous relationship etc and understood why I was a bit sceptical about people intentions. Trusting people she was same due to being hurt. she was aswell really due to her previous relationship. We were very open about that. Started talking beginning of January met up February and the covid happened. Which threw us in at the deepend and she was living with me. In saying that we got on so well as we were so comfortable living together.

    Yes you are right she was romantic, date nights, gifts etc. Made me feel special. Yes very much so I was very open with L compared to my previous relationship. Yes my gestures weren’t as good as hers just because she was a step ahead more romantic. I let us down that way because I should have made more effort.I was exhausted due to work also. But I look back and I should have showed how much she means to me.

    I did feel a bit scared yes as did she. yes it was so rushed not ideal as would have liked. Think timing rushed things to quick. But in saying that we were so happy with our relationship. I wouldnt say I am uncomfortable with her and in public. To he honest we maybe went out a few times just due to the covid restrictions. Yes held hands etc. But that was all new in a sence to me as that wasn’t done in my previous relationship due to my ex. My ex wouldn’t hold hands in public. So that’s what I was use to. But with L I was more than happy yes it wasnt something I was use to but I was happy being open.

    With my work it’s a very physical job anyway but since covid it has become worse. Constantly being physical for long hours which I feel was catching up with me. By getting stressed and worn out and exhausted. With L I am so at ease I don’t think I have ever been so at ease with someone. Never talked and opened up so much to anybody. We are best friends. She says the same she’s never opened up to someone like she has with me. I was much more happy compared to previous relationship. Also being head over heels in love. People would say its like a love story because how suited we were.

    Yes it was beginning of April as I recall. Think being stuck in the house and due to covid lockdown it took its toll on her. Least with myself I was going out to work during that time she was in the house all day. When she left she said wanted to be friends. But she would txt and phone like she did previously. Then she wanted to come back.

    She moved back in as lodger/friend thats how it was going to be. Then she said she still loved me and gave it a go. Talked about future stuff yes.

    Yes in September I felt things were getting ontop of me with work being stressful, being tired. She finished the relationship but then gave it another go then before my birthday she finished it then apologised and said she wanted us to work.

    L is impulsive she has a get up and go doesn’t want to sit around. Very active person prob due to the army and into fitness.

    Before I met L I was comfortable being gay. Just not so open. But with L I have never been so relaxed and happy in myself and being a gay couple. Family and friends could see how happy I was. My parents could sense how happy I was and how L made me feel. They were happy and shd was made to feel part of the family.

    Yes I have been distressed and up and down. Trying to understand things that L has said she wanted as a couple etc.  then to totally change her mind. That’s what I find hard to forget when she’s said things like loves me wants this and that coff our future. Saying this literally a week before she split up for good. Why say these things if you new relationship was finished in her head along time ago. When it comes to work I have come to the conclusion work is work there is no point getting stressed. L would say that to me just try not and get worked up about it. Which I did once I finished work I left it there. Obviously covid I feel has played a part as we can’t do what Normals couples do at the beginning of relationships ie going oug for meal weekends away etc. Thats the excitement of a new relationship.

    I have only become distressed since breakup as I try to think where and how it went wrong. I should have fond more shown her more how I felt about her. Maybe it was the timing it was all to fast due to timing of covid throwing us in at the deepend.

    I know my emotions are up and down at the moment just because it’s all so sudden and the when L says she’s seen it finished for a while now. But it’s hard to forget all the things discussed and wanted for the future. Hope this makes more sense.

    Apologies for my previous rushed post.

    Thank you Anita

    #369441
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    You are welcome. I read just a bit from your recent post. I will read it all attentively tomorrow morning, which is in about 14 hours from now, and reply to you further then.

    anita

    #369479
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    I appreciate the detailed and clearer post. From what I understand, you are and have been comfortable and confident being gay. It’s just that your only previous relationship was with a woman who was not open about her emotions and desire for you, so that’s what you were used to. And that relationship left you feeling hurt, betrayed, distrusting and disappointed.

    You were used to being with a woman who was closed, and within that context, you were a bit shy/not in the habit of being open and forward. When you met L, who openly expressed her affection and physical desire for you in private, as well as holding your hand in public- you were very happy, but you were not used to it: “My ex wouldn’t hold hands in public, so that’s what I was used to… with L, I was more than happy, yes, it wasn’t something I was used to, but I was happy being open”.

    But you were getting used to it, becoming “more open, more relaxed and happy, being like that with her, (like) that’s how it should be… felt so at ease and open with someone”- for the first time.

    L wanted you to match her romantic gestures, but that was very difficult for you to do because (1) L had much more experience with romance in her previous relationships than you did; you were not used to receiving and giving romantic gestures (2)  you were exhausted because of “a very physical job” that “since Covid, it has become worse. Constantly being physical for long hours.. getting stressed and worn out and exhausted”.

    L wanted you to match her initiations of intimacy with you, but it was difficult for you because you were not used to that. You needed more time and opportunity to get used to a new behavior.

    You met L on an online dating app in January, met her in-person in February, and had her move in with you following the Covid-lockdown in March. The lockdown wasn’t as difficult for you as it was for L because you continued to work outside your home during the lockdown.

    But L, the free-spirited, “get up and go, doesn’t want to sit around.. very active person probably due to the army and (being) into fitness”- was “stuck in the house… she was in the house all day”.

    “she’s said things like (she) loves me, wants this and that for our future, saying this literally a week before she split up for good. Why say these things if you knew the relationship was finished in her head, a long time ago… she’s seen it finished for a while now.”

    “Obviously, Covid, I feel, has played a part as we can’t do what normal couples do at the beginning of relationships, i.e., going out for a meal, for weekends away, etc. That’s the excitement of a new relationship.. I should have.. shown her more how I felt about her. Maybe it was the timing, it was all too fast due to timing of Covid, throwing us into the deep end… Hope this makes more sense”-

    – yes, I think this is all making more sense to me now: it is difficult for almost everyone to be locked down, but it is more difficult for a fit, energetic, physical-fitness oriented, impulsive younger person who is used to get out and about.

    What happens when animals get locked down, as in a cage in the zoo, or chickens locked in cages that are not big enough? They get aggressive, and depressed. Think of the cougar in the cage, pacing back and forth in its cage all day long, or chickens aggressively attacking each other within the cage.

    It makes sense that L felt angry at times, depressed at other times, being caged-in, aka locked down. No wonder she wanted out, then she missed you, came back in, and… out again. Your beginning relationship was one of the many victims of the pandemic. Although it is not certain that the relationship would have lasted without a pandemic, it would have had a way better chance to last if the pandemic didn’t happen.

    I understand that she was a very compatible partner to you, just what you needed to open up and get used to a new normal of two people being open, comfortable and happy with each other. If you were given a pandemic- free opportunity, more time, and not working too hard- you would have adequately matched her romantic gestures and initiation of intimacy.

    Seems to me that it is possible for the relationship to resume after she moves out, just as already happened repeatedly. But she has to move out of “the cage” first, because, seems to me, in her mind, your house/ relationship is associated with a cage/ feeling of being caged-in.

    In the future, after she leaves, after the lockdown is eased, after hopefully effective vaccinations takes place next Spring, then maybe the two of you can get back together and live together, maybe in a new apartment or house, free to go out on dates etc.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by anita.
    #369548
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Yes previous relationship you are right it wasn’t like with me and L. That’s what I was used to not what I wanted but that’s how it was. Then I got used to it being like that. So when L came into my life it opened my eyes and I loved the way she was and made me feel. Yes it was all new to me romantic gestures and me initiating being intimate as it. Wasn’t something I was used to. That’s why I know from my previous relationship it wasnt right. But with L it has been.

    Yeah the meeting and lockdown was not ideal but we used to laugh about it as it was like we were doing everything backwards. But we were happy.

    L is very active person only time she’s not is when she gets a bit down and no get up and go. That’s a thing I noticed in her body language when she was quiet she overthinked and that’s when she would split up and question the relationship.

    Yeah it difficult in lockdown. Least I was going to work where as she wasn’t. There’s only so much TV and housework you can do to keep busy. So I totally get when u say caged in.

    Ifeel we are compatible on various levels. We got on so well. We are very alike in interests, music, morals. That’s why I think we had such a connection from the start. We are so comfortable with each other. We used to talk about things that we never talked about before with people. From her past or mine. Think that scared her aswell as she would say can’t believe I am telling you this never spoke to people about this before ie ex partners. This did scare me not sure if scare is the right word. But to be so open, comfortable and 100% trust someone it was so nice. She was same trusting people due to previous relationship. She’s been cheated on a few times which means there’s trust. I would never do that to her 100%no chance. She would say if everything is to good to be true she would put her barriers up. Then would deal with things herself as she’d always had to cued to family not supporting her. She is so different from her family. She’s like a breath of fresh air such a lovely human being. Think when she left first of all this is what she did. She wasn’t used to someone being supportive which I have been from the start. Always dealt with things herself from a young age. She thanks me for this till this day. But like I say I wasn’t supportive because I had to it’s because I wanted to. It’s the kind of person I am. I have such respect for her not only as she was my partner but when we first started talking. I would have been there no matter what and even now I will be there for her.

    If pandemic hadn’t happened it would have been normal. Meeting up dating going out etc. If that didn’t happen I would have had more time romantically gestures etc. I wish I could turn back time and shown her how much I love her and still do. But I feel it is over and that’s it there’s no going back. I feel this due to the way she talks. She so focused just now thinking about her new job getting a flat to move out. Talking about where she sees herself in 6momths time etc moving back to where she is from which is 40 mins awy. Where I live Its not my home I moved here to be with my ex partner. It was never going to be my home. 11years on I don’t see where I live as my home. Even my best friend says that thi area isn’t my home it’s a city a stay in and work in which I don’t actually like. I even said to L I would relocate etc. We talked about that. Even said that recently as she said yes I know you would. No point talking about that as I don’t want to be with you.

    I find it so hard as she wants to remain friends. I want to but I don’t know at the moment as I do love her. She understands how I am feeling she’s been in that position when her ex hurt her. She knows what I am feeling and thinking. That’s why she wants to move out as its not right living under the same roof. Then if I am down she doesn’t want to see that. It’s a strange situation. We are just doing the same as before in a sense but living in different rooms and not sharing a bed. Once she leaves it will be different. Which scares me so much esp when you are used to someone being in your life. Coming home to someone. Not having her here is going to be awful. Esp coming upto Xmas. Birthdays and Xmas I haven’t been overly excited about. But with L on my birthday it 2as the best birthday I had because how she treated me. Xmas I was looking forward to it as it was going to be our first Xmas together. Just missing silly we things she does, hearing her laugh, seeing her smile etc. It’s the thought that she just not going to be around and when we will see each other. This is when I overthink and get worked up. I start to feel alone and think she meet someone else soon since she saw relationship finished a while back. Which she can do she feels that the relationship is over. But this is when I don’t know if we can be friends like we were. She says it might take a short time or along time.

    When you say it is possible to resume at this moment I don’t know. Friendship yes but not the same level I feel. Even now  txting it’s not the same. I think that’s hard because when your used to someone txting and calling then it’s not so much.

    It’s not as awkward now. We will sit and talk etc. Even yesterday she came home and we sat all night binge watching a TV series and we have the last few nights. We have a laugh. I feel there is something there when we look at each other. Def is on my part. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part. It’s then we go to bed Its hard in seperate rooms. I feel caged in a bit in the house. I don’t know if it’s because the house has a bit of bad memories from my previous relationship. But the plan with L was to move to a new place eventually and have as our own.  She felt she didn’t feel it was equal as its my house. So when she said about obv planning for future I was happy. Like I said even if she wanted to relocate I would have from one end of the country to the other. Just find the situation sad. Everything is there on my part. Her traits morals how she feels in life. We are so alike that way. She says the same all the traits are there but something is missing physically because I am not so confident that she would like.

    Think today is one of these days I will have to keep busy. Just waiting for her to come home later and say she got the flat that’s further away. It will be good if she gets it but it’s the dread because I know she will be leaving. Selfish of me I suppose but not on a horrible way if you know what I mean.

    My ideal scenario would be she get her flat and like she says gets into a routine. Gives us some space and maybe we get the spark back and maybe get back together. But on other hand I think I have to think the worst as I feel its won’t happen. That’s life I suppose.

    Thank you Anita.

    #369557
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    You are welcome. I am gaining better and better understanding of you, L,  and your situation, and my hope is that as a result of our communication, your understanding grows as well. There is always more to understand. More understanding may not bring her back to you as a lover and a partner, but it increases the chances of that happening. For me, better understanding makes life more interesting.

    “We are so alike.. all the same traits are there, but something is missing physically because I am not as confident as she would like”- this makes me think that she is not as confident as she sometimes appears to be, including in the context of physical intimacy; if she was confident, she would have been more tolerant of your lack of confidence, and more patient with you.

    Maybe she is comfortable and confident in the intimate context for a certain amount of time, but then she becomes uncomfortable, or she loses her confidence- and that’s why she needs your confidence: to compensate for the lack of.

    “L is very active person, only time she’s not is when she gets a bit down.. I noticed in her body language when she was quiet and overthinking, that’s when she would split up and question the relationship”- when she is active, she seems comfortable and confident, but when she is not active- she goes back to her discomfort and lack of confidence, a mental state that fuels her overthinking.

    This dynamic on her part is most likely to exist in any intimate relationship, no matter how loving her partner (and you truly were a loving partner to her).

    It may be that in the context of her overthinking and questioning the relationship, that she needs confident answers from you, answers that will quiet her questioning mind.

    “to be so open, comfortable and 100% trust someone, it was so nice.. She would say, if everything is good, it is too good to be true; she would put her barriers up… she’d always had to, due to family not supporting her… She wasn’t used to someone being supportive, which I have been from the start”-

    – in her relationship with you, as I understand it, she felt comfortable and trusting for a limited amount of time, because she has the emotional memory of a long time during her childhood when she felt comfortable and trusting of her family, only for that comfort to be shattered and her trust betrayed. It is this  emotional memory that is the distress you see in her body language, when she is not distracted by being active.

    The comfort and trust with you reminded her of the discomfort and betrayal she experienced as a child, with her family, and she got scared.

    “I would have been there no matter what and even now, I will be there for her”- emotionally, she can’t risk it, she doesn’t want to trust you for so long that she will be terribly surprised when you betray her, like she was terribly surprised when betrayed by any of her family.

    “If pandemic hadn’t happened.. I would have had more time for romantic gestures, etc.”- I think that I suggested earlier to you, that The Problem has never been the lack of romantic gestures on your part (or the lack of initiating intimacy). I am more sure of it now. The Problem is that her feeling comfortable and trusting of you reminded her of how she felt as a child right before she was betrayed.

    The betrayal she experienced as a child may not be a single, terrible act such as a parent throwing a child into the dark night. More likely, the betrayal she experienced constituted of many, many instances of lesser-appearing betrayals, but altogether, over time, they added to an ongoing, overall experience of betrayal.

    “I wish I could turn back time and show her how much I love her and still do”- you can’t turn back time all the way to her childhood, where her discomfort and distrust took hold.

    “I feel it is over and that’s it, there’s no going back.. due to the way she talks. She is so focused on her new job, getting a flat to move out.. moving back to where she is from”- I am thinking about her being caged not only in the context of the lockdown/ pandemic, but also in the context of her childhood experience. Millions and millions of people who had painful childhoods, continue to be caged in those childhoods.

    I understand your distress as you anticipate coming home to an empty place, without her there, “just missing silly things she does, hearing her laugh, seeing her smile, etc.” Life is difficult for you now, that she is staying in a separate room, and life will be difficult for a while after she moves out.

    “I start to feel alone and think she meets someone else soon.. this is when I don’t know if we can be friends like we were”- I can’t predict anyone’s future, of course, but the way I see it is that she is sure now that the two of you are over with as partners, but what happens next for her has a lot to do with the next time “when she gets a bit down, and not getting up and going…quiet and overthinking”.

    That led her to question her relationship with you (“that’s when she would split up and question the relationship”), and finally break up with you. Breaking up with you is how she quieted her questioning mind, calmed the anxiety of to-stay-or-not-to-stay. No longer overthinking, she can be active and on the go again.

    But later, after she moves out, when in a new relationship, or not, she will get a bit down again, quiet and overthinking, and she will question her new relationship,  or she will question whether she should have broken up with you, and whether she should be back with you.

    I have more thoughts, but I will stop here for now.

    anita

     

    #369570
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi anita

    It is helping me our conversations. Its is a great help so thank you.   I think when it came to intimacy she was more confident initiating but she wanted me to be which I was getting better. Maybe your right she is more comfortable and confident as she has had more partners. But I think me not initiating things more maybe made her feel uncomfortable, possibly unloved. Maybe thinking I didn’t want to be intimate when I did I am just a bit shy thatt way.

    Yeah I found if she wasnt busy she would get fed up bored.  if there was a stressful thing in life she would go quiet and overthink. Instead of talking about it she would want to deal with it herself like she always has. Then she would say shes not happy with us. It was like she needed to end it and cope by herself which she is always had to previously.

    She has felt comfortable and trusting with me and me with her. I personally like I have said before I have never trusted someone so much. I feel she Is a person that knows me inside out. She always talked about her past like she’s never done before with others. Family, childhood, relationships etc. How things have effected her. Funny you should say this because as soon as she came in from wrk tonight at 6pm and  we gave been chatting away till 10pm. Talking about random things and about how things have effected her. It’s been like old times chatting away. Which is nice as could talk for hours with her we would always find things to talk about. Trust is a big thing I feel as due to past relationships with partners and family she has been betrayed. Especially her family betraying her. This is when the barriers go up and she has to escape from the situation.

    I for one wouldn’t betray L. I would always be there for her. I for one am nothing like her family. I personally can’t understand how her family are the way they are I don’t understand it. My family is total opposite they are loving and supportive. We even talked about this tonight. I have always included her with my family knowing that she finds it hard as she never had this love and support with hers. She liked that she was included with my family. Like I say I included you because that’s what it should be like. My parents would ask about her etc how is L etc. Because that’s what families are like with there children’s partner. Not because they have to but because they want to. Which she hasn’t had before.

    Yes I do think her being comfortable and so trusting of me has scared her. Its as she’s waiting for the betrayal. Then she has to end things in a way before she gets hurt. Betrayal by family has been in the past and continues to happen. L is always the one doing the chasing, helping them being the person to make contact. It’s never her family. She is the one that has to make the effort… Always. Which isn’t right her family should be making the effort. They don’t know what they are missing out on as there daughter is such a wonderful person. They are missing out.

    Yeah I do understand its going to be difficult for me when she leaves.we talked about that earlier. Its going to be difficult for her also as she has never been outwith the army environment. Always lived in army barracks. Then lived with me. Now soon to be living in her own flat having the responsibility of bills, new job. Generally living Everyday life. But for L it’s all a transition from army life to civilian Street which is as massive thing for her. I will be there as a support but this is something that she needs to get used to  in a new life outwith the army… Which is scary and daunting for her. When the army is the only thing she has known for many years of her life.

    Like I said to her earlier I see when her barriers go up and she changes and gets scared. Then it’s like she needs to get out of the situation. But she needs to stop that or she will continue to do this all the time and it’s not good for her or the future. She needs to break that cycle. Whether she questions our relationship, knows it was right for her to make the desicion to break up who knows time will tell.

    I look forward to your other thoughts

    Thank you

    #369571
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    I will read your recent post and reply when I am back to the computer, in about 15 hours from now.

    anita

    #369594
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    You are always welcome. In this post I will focus on what you shared in your recent post about L. You shared that she felt comfortable with you and trusting of you, that “she always talked (to you) about her past like she’s never done before with others: family, childhood, relationships, etc.”. Yesterday, as soon as she came back home, she chatted with you for four hours, into the night, “talking about random things and about how things affected her.. like old times, chatting away, which is nice, as I could talk for hours with her, we always find things to talk about”.

    On the other hand, in the past, when “she wasn’t busy, she would get fed up, bored”, and when something stressful was happening in her life, “she would go quiet and overthink” (instead of reaching out to you to talk about what was bothering her), and at times, she proceeded to tell you that she is not happy with you and suggested to break up, “it was like she needed to end it and cope by herself, which  she always had to do, previously”.

    About being betrayed by her family, you wrote: “she has been betrayed. Especially her family betraying her. This is when the barriers go up and she has to escape from the situation…. she never had this love and support with her (family)… Betrayal by family has been in the past, and continues to happen. L is always the one doing the chasing, helping them, being the person to make contact. It’s never her family. She is the one that has to make the effort.. Always… They don’t know what they are missing out on, as their daughter is such a wonderful person”.

    You wrote: “I do think her being comfortable and so trusting of me has scared her. It’s as if she’s waiting for the betrayal. Then she has to end things in a way, before she gets hurt.. when her barriers go up, she changes and gets scared. Then it’s like she needs to get out of the situation. But she needs to stop that, or she will continue to do this all the time, and it’s not good for her, or her future. She needs to break this cycle”

    You also shared that in her adult life, she “always lived in army barracks”, and then she moved in with you. What’s ahead for her now, as she moves out of your home, is “living in her own flat, having the responsibility of bills, new job, generally living everyday life.. a transition from army life to civilian (life).. a massive thing for her.. she needs to get used to a new life outside the army.. which is scary and daunting for her”.

    Here are my thoughts (still using your quotes):

    1. About her hurt: “Then she has to end things in a way, before she gets hurt”- she is already hurt and has been hurt ever since she was a child. Naturally, ever since she was a child, she has been pushing that hurt away from her awareness best she can, so that she doesn’t fully feel it.

    Her hurt is about her family not thinking highly of her, not thinking she is worth their time and loving attention; it is about her family rejecting her as a person of value, a person worthy of love.  It always hurts to not be valued, and it hurts the most to a child when not valued by her own parents. (A child desperately needs to be valued by a parent, otherwise she does not believe that she is valuable).

    2. About her fear: you wrote this: “Then she has to end things in a way, before she gets hurt.. when her  barriers go up, she changes and gets scared”- I will change this sentence so to point to what happened first, what happened second, etc.:

    She becomes aware of her hurt, and she gets scared, then her barriers go up, then she has to end things.

    The feeling of hurt, when raw and intense, is a very painful feeling. We people are afraid of painful feelings. When she feels more of the hurt, she gets scared of feeling even more of it, more than she can handle, so she protects herself by isolating, first emotionally (not talking to you about her thoughts and feelings), and then physically (by moving to a separate bedroom, and next- to her own flat).

    3. Why does she perceives isolating and separating from you as a way to protect herself (even though you have been so loving  and loyal to her)? –

    – because when she was a child, her parent/s were not loving and loyal to her. When she felt hurt or scared, or sad- she reached out to them for love and support, so to feel better. But instead of loving and supporting her, they rejected her, pushing her away from them. The result of reaching out to them was that she was hurt even more, and scared.

    In a context of loving, supportive parents- a child learns that reaching out to her parents makes her feel better. In the context of rejecting parents- a child learns that reaching out to her parents makes her feel worse. To protect herself from feeling worse, the child learns to not reaching out, and isolate instead.

    In the original context of her life, that of being a child, protection = isolating.

    Fast forward to her living with you: when she is busy and active and there is nothing particularly stressful happening in her life, the hurt I mentioned is adequately removed from her awareness. Therefore, she is able to be emotionally available to you and interact with you: chat away, prepare romantic gestures, love you.

    But when she is not busy, and when something particularly stressful happens in her life- she feels distressed, and that distress intensifies the hurt that’s always there. She responds like she did as a child: she isolates- that’s her emotional-behavioral habit.

    4. The future: like you, I suspect this “she will continue to do this all the time, and it’s not good for her, or her future. She needs to break this cycle”-

    – to break this cycle/ emotional-behavioral habit, she first has to be aware that it exists, and become more and more aware of the nature of this habit. Aware, when she finds herself troubled and isolating, she will have the opportunity to behave in a different way: to reach out to another (trustworthy) person instead of isolating. Once the new behavior benefits her (the person she reached out to responds in a supportive, loving way)- a new habit will be in the process of forming.

    If she remains unaware, and claims that The problem is you (not romantic enough, not initiating enough, etc.)- then she will not change her emotional/ behavioral habit of isolating and breaking up. She has to understand that in the context of a love relationship with a loving and supportive partner (which you are)- the problem is in her, not in you.

    She will also have to stop chasing her family, she will need to stop chasing the love and support that is not there for her. When she stops looking for love where it does not exist for her (with her family)- she will be able to look for love  where it does exist (with you)

    I am guessing that moving out and adjusting to civilian life will be difficult for her, and , and that she will repeatedly contact you repeatedly for support, maybe she will contact you a lot, maybe she will want you back as a partner because of the loneliness and difficulty in her new life.

    But beware: if the two of you are  back into a love relationship, and she is not aware of her emotional-behavioral habit and how it came about, and if she is still chasing her family for love, then she will repeat that cycle and break your heart again- something I don’t want to happen to you yet again.

    anita

     

     

    #369598
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi anita

    Yes she has been hurt in her childhood and continues to be even though she says she’s OK I know it affects her. She does try to push it away but of course its always there. Her family I don’t understand I really don’t. It’s her family that is in the wrong not L. I don’t think they know really how to love. I think theres a jealously and guilt on there part from the past. Jealously because shes done so well in life without there support and guilt because they know they have done wrong. It’s a shame they are like that.

    Yes I feel as if she gets to a stage she’s going to get hurt and then that’s when she needs to end things because she maybe thinks I will do the same which I have no intentions of doing. I agree it’s like she isolates if she isolates just her then no one can hurt her. One of the times she split the one prior to the last time. She ended it and came through and gave me hug and said sorry I just don’t want to get hurt. Then that’s when tried again. Like I said to her then she can’t keep doing that she needs to communicate. As it’s not only hurting me but her also.

    Maybe you are right that’s why she has done this in a way to protect herself. On other hand why end things so drastically and say theres no going back with us. If she said I need space I need to think work through things etc. Just communicated I would have supported her decision. That’s why I am so hurt with the situation and things she’s said about our future. All she says is I didn’t intentionally go out to hurt you.

    Yeah she’s fine all good when shes busy. But it seems when something stressful happens or something is said by her family that she feels hurt by or when I wrk a Saturday when she’s doesn’t then she gets down and ends thing. Every time she’s ended things it’s been a weekend. Sat or a Sunday.

    I think she does know there is a cycle . Even last night I was saying to her when things get stressful you can’t just run away from things you have to deal with it. When we talked last night you can see she is worried about being by herself in a flat etc as she’s never done that before as it’s always been army barracks. Like I said to her it will be but with her it will be even more as she’s never done this. I will always be here for her anytime night or day. You are the only support I have as family doesn’t support her. I have always supported her that’s what you do when you are in a relationship and love the person. She said before she’s not always had that in relationships. Obviously they weren’t the right partners.

    She knows not to chase her family she has said that alot over the months. But she ends up trying thinking something might change. It’s just her nature. But it’s always her making effort calling txting etc. They never do it. As a mother and father they should be. I hope she does maybe look towards me where a genuine love exist. But when she says that we are over, to move on and it won’t happen again it’s hard and does hurt. I wish I had a magic wand and took all her hurt, her fear, insecurities away from her so she can be happy with me.

    Yes it will be very difficult for her. She’s always had that security when she been in the army. Friends in the next room the security around you as in the sense that a barracks is surrounded by fences/boundaries. If that makes sense. In civilian life you don’t know who’s around you in a sense which can be scary for her. Yeah she has said she will contact me for support as she doesn’t have anyone else.  She will ask for help. There’s alot of maybes Anita isnt there. I just want her to be happy in life I generally do. If its as my partner or friend etc. Obviously I would want her as my partner and soul mate. But who knows.

    She know with her family she need to distance herself and she has. She hasnt seen them in a long time due to covid etc. But last time she was hurt by them yet again and then she ended it with me. This is what I mean something happens and then ends it. But this last Time few weeks ago is when she was Saying something missing with us. I love you but don’t know if I am in love with you. Don’t want to be with you.

    But I am finding it good and helpful to talk to you

    Thank you Anita

     

    #369601
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Karen:

    I am glad you are finding it good and helpful to talk to me; I am finding it good and helpful to talk to you.

    “Maybe you are right, that’s why she has done this in a way to protect herself. On the other hand, why end things so drastically, and say there’s no going back with us”- I am guessing because she was conflicted for a long time: to-stay or-not-to-stay, going back and forth in her head, overthinking.

    The drastic “there’s no way back with us” put an end to the distressing, ongoing conflict, indecision and overthinking.

    “If she said ‘I need space, I need to think, work things through, etc.”- she doesn’t want more space and more time to overthink, to go back and forth between to-stay-or-not-to-stay. She wants that distress to stop- so she told you and herself that it’s over and there is no way back.

    “she’s fine and good when she’s busy, but it seems when something stressful happens, or something is said by her family, that she feels hurt”- to heal from the hurt caused by her family members, she will have to severely limit or end altogether her contact with those family members who hurt her. Being in contact with them cause her wounds to re-open.

    “when I work a Saturday, when she doesn’t, then she gets down and ends things. Every time she’s ended things, it’s been a weekend, Sat or a Sunday”- I am guessing that she misses her family most on weekends, or that she has the emotional memory of being very lonely and sad during weekends, as a child.

    “I will always be here for her anytime, night or day”- from the totality of what you shared here on your thread, you have been a very loving and supportive partner to her.

    “She knows not to chase her family, she has said that a lot over the months”- but she keeps chasing them, “always her making effort, calling, texting, etc.” – a bit of an understanding that she is chasing them, and saying that she needs to stop chasing them are not enough: she needs to practically stop chasing them, she needs to give up on finding love in them.

    “last time she was hurt by them yet again and then she ended it with me”- she doesn’t feel able to end it with them, so she ends it with you.

    “She hasn’t seen them in a long time due to Covid, etc.”- talking to them on the phone, or online is enough to open up those emotional wounds, again and again. (Even memories of them and images of them in her brain- are enough to open up those wounds. This is why after no longer being in contact with them, if that happens- she will still need to go through a process of healing).

    “when she says that we are over, to move on, and it won’t happen again, it’s hard, and it does hurt”- it is understandable that it hurts you to hear her say these words.

    “I wish I had a magic wand and took all her hurt, her fear, insecurities away from her, so she can be happy with me”- that’s your love for her, and your desire to love and be loved by her.

    “Yes, it will be very difficult for her… she has said she will contact me for support, as she doesn’t have anyone else. She will ask for help. There’re a lot of maybes, Anita, isn’t there”- seems to me that for as long as she doesn’t have anyone else- she will turn to you (this part is not a maybe for me).

    “few weeks ago is when she was saying something was missing with us”- something is missing with her: a peace of mind, a belief that she is valuable and worthy of love. With that missing thing, something will be missing when she is alone, and sooner or later- in every relationship she ever gets into.

    “I love you but don’t know if I am in love with you. Don’t want to be with you”- I think that her feeling “in love” has to do with her hope to feel that peace of mind, that feeling of being worthy of love. This is what she is really chasing- that feeling. She is chasing her parents for that feeling, she chased that feeling with you.. she then gave up on finding that feeling with you.

    From personal experience, it is a combination of an emotional healing process and being in a relationship with a loving, supportive partner that will make it possible for her to get the feeling  she needs so desperately, that she is worthy of love.

    Her hope to feel worthy of love is likely to stay alive for as long as she is alive. I am guessing that she will keep chasing her family for that feeling, and I am guessing that she will next chase a woman for that feeling: it may be a woman from her past, or a woman she did not yet meet, or.. it may be you.

    anita

    #369604
    Karen
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    Yeah maybe that’s why she has done it to stop the conflict and overthinking. With her family she has limited contact but I think she knows she has to do that. I think me working Saturdays she found difficult as she wanted to do things as a couple. Maybe your right that’s when she missed them also.

    I have been supportive. I think your right in saying she will contact me for support. But I will find it hard as i still love her. I think she so wants to be loved. But maybe not willing to trust someone that does fully loved her due to the past. If she let that barrier down. Maybe that’s why she is so romantic, so intense at the beginning of relationships because she craves love. With me she has it. But her feeling are different. She is worthy of being loved. But I think she doesn’t think that. She’s such a lovely person not to be in a relationship as she has so much love in her even though she hasn’t got it from her family.

    I don’t think she will get it from her family maybe from another woman. That’s what I will find hard. If it was with me I would be happier. But I need to try and think it might be another woman so i won’t get hurt. So difficult

    Thank you

    #369605
    Karen
    Participant

    I know that if it’s another woman if I am not over her I don’t know how I will feel and deal with the situation

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