August 10, 2013 at 8:01 pm #40165
Well all my best intentions of trying so hard didnt go so well this evening.
My ”loved one” and I met , as a close relation of mine died over the past few days, and my partner wanted to be there for me at this time, and it seemed we were both glad at the prospect of meeting up.
So we met, in local a pub – and I was looking at him with compassion, and thinking to myself that I love this man so much, afresh, in a new light. So the conversation eventually got around to ourselves, after chat about family, and he said basically said that the didnt want to discuss our situation much, but that he loves me and always will, and that we just need to see how things pan out.
Then the conversation about us went on a bit – he discussed a guy in work, a close colleague, and how this guy is very ‘black and white’, in that he has a very simple and easy relationship with his wife – they are very close, argue very little, and they are very kind and good to eachother. They also joke with eachother, and mess around – if they see a good looking person in the street, the wife may say -” look at her she is nice”. And she jokes ”oh when we are 60 ill find someone for you and we will have a threesome” etc. After a bit , I said to my partner – Yes, I know I have made you feel in the past that to look at another woman is kind of bad – and I am sorry, as that may have made you feel that you had to hide that natural impulse from me – at which point he exploded – he said ” there you are again trying to say that I was in fact looking at women when I wasnt, I always told you the truth ” He said ”I was always honest with you, as I am not afraid of you ” He immediately felt it as an accusation – whereas I genuinely meant it as exactly what I had been thinking to myself – that I had been controlling, monitoring, and I meant it as an example of where I myself had gone wrong – not him.
But for him this was a major affront – he said – ” im sorry I came to meet you, I shouldnt have come, and I wont meet you for a long time”….Anyway, suffice to say it was so awful, as i really feel like he totally took me up so wrong, and I tried to explain myself. I told him that i love him as he is, that I know I should never have tried to be so controlling etc.
But I know he still went off pissed off and annoyed, and most certainly thinking, Im not sure she is the one for me….
Now I feel : how can this repair itself – the wounds of the relationship look too deep , and maybe the wounds in us, for it to heal – Im not sure if he will ever trust me (and remember ironically it is me with trust issues, yet i feel he cant trust me) enough to ever truly let me in.
Living apart with all this – I just dont know if he will see the good in waiting for me – he will be mingling with like minded people in his industry, free and easy, loving life on his own without an asshole like me weighing him down.
Maybe I should move on and realise that it can never work?
Barbs.August 10, 2013 at 8:26 pm #40166DeeParticipant
Hey – I’m new to this forum and battling my own relationship problems >< but to me it just sounds like this was a conversation that just went way, way wrong. It seems like he indicated he didnt want to have the conversation at that moment so he wasn’t really ready for you trying to be open and honest and new with him. This sounds to me like an argument with tempers flaring, not necessarily the end of a relationship or the harbringer of doom.
Maybe try giving him some time to cool off, and more importantly, give yourself time too!! At least a few days, I guess, and tell him you want to meet to talk about your situation, not in a bad way, just in a way that’s honest.
Also – you are not an asshole!!! You care about this guy an awful lot and you want to be able to make yourself and him happy too. Or you wouldn’t have come to the net for advice from strangers =] Take some of your time to love yourself, too, and remember that this guy would be a lucky duck to be with you!August 10, 2013 at 10:11 pm #40170SunflowerParticipant
Matt, Sara and Barbara:
I read all of your postings, and was about to post a reply and say “take a break”, but looks like you, Barbara, have figured it out. It is amazing how we sometimes just need to put things in writing and we get some clarity. It is a difficult decision to make, but what do you have to lose, at the end of the day you need to find that place of being happy, listened to, honored and respected. It your “magic” is real for both of you and you discover more about you Barbara, then whatever happens will just come into play and you will be fine. We can’t worry about today or tomorrow, just stay in each moment you have to discover yourself, otherwise any relationship you enter might have the same results each time.
Best wishes to you Barbara.
LindaAugust 11, 2013 at 5:42 am #40176
Thanks Linda and Dee, yes it was crossed wires, he thought I was going back on history, trying to say that he had lied about whether he looked at other girls or not (I said to him that due to my smothering, I must have made him feel unable to voice things / feel free / to be able to say anything of that nature – but he took me up wrong)
He really got angry, and it was like the old patterns kicked right back in. He got angry, I tried to explain, And then it was time to go, as he had to be up for work – so it was exaccerbating.
But the example of the couple in work with the ‘perfect’ and flowing relationship though, I think it makes him think that I am complicated, too complex and just not easy going enough for him. Perhaps someone more like her would suit him – maybe I am just too complicated, and what he craves is someone light and easy.
Also ( just to warn you – this will sound psychotic ) – when we were together we were overlooking a pub near his work, and I said, ” that’s a nice place, I like all the flowers etc outside, the nice benches etc….have you been there lately ” And he just kept looking straight ahead, and said ”no, I havent, I only went out once in the last week, to the other place next door ” But something in me was telling me he was lying to me ??? For some reason, maybe it was his expression – which I was looking at, in actual fact to see was he lying !!! I know it sounds trivial and weird, but I get the feling, he dosent tell me stuff – even though it is no big deal anyway !! Perhaps its because of the questioning and the controling behaviours etc. I still dont know if he was lying, or if he was telling the truth !! But that trivial example highlights the issues we have. Because of my controlingness, I think Ive created this kind of situation where white lies come in to play occasionally.
The problem is if we get back together how will I get the balance restored, so that he will be honest with me. How can I get back to that – where we tell eachother things, and are open ( arent couples supposed to be honest and tell eachother everything – but maybe thats where im wrong, maybe we dont have to tell eachother everything )
All of that confuses me. I feel like I dont know how to restore that.
Barbs.August 11, 2013 at 6:15 am #40177DeeParticipant
Hi Barbs – it sounds like you guys are in a real rut. You really want to be able to sit down with him and have an honest conversation, try to start things anew. Right now, it doesn’t seem like he wants that. I don’t think there’s any point trying to understand what that means, other than that it’s not what he wants right now. If he’s not interested in coming to the table and putting his cards down with you, then you can’t make him.
It sounds like you both need a little time to cool down and look to yourselves. Give him some space and then ask him if he wants to meet with you, and that you want to have an honest conversation with him about your relationship. If that sounds frightening, you can assure him that you have no motive for the conversation other than to be honest with each other.
Also – if he stays not interested and doesn’t seem like this is what he wants, then maybe try to gracefully move on. It doesn’t have to be a big flaming fireworks ordeal, but start focusing more on yourself and less on him. If he decides he wants to talk to you again, then you can decide if you want to talk to him, or if maybe this guy’s not really the right one for you. And that’s his fault, not yours!August 11, 2013 at 11:22 am #40188
I’m sorry for the difficulties present in the conversation, and the resulting painful fallout. You’re not an asshole. Consider that perhaps it was a delicate time for both of you, and old wounds take time to heal. White lies come up often in turbulent intimacies, because the inner person doesn’t feel safe expressing the truth. Said differently, our hearts bloom in the presence of openness and acceptance, and close in the presence of aggression and judgment (or the fear of them).
I see perhaps where the conversation lead to difficulties, from both sides. Consider your remembered words: “After a bit , I said to my partner – Yes, I know I have made you feel in the past that to look at another woman is kind of bad – and I am sorry, as that may have made you feel that you had to hide that natural impulse from me – at which point he exploded – he said ” there you are again trying to say that I was in fact looking at women when I wasnt, I always told you the truth ”
In the first sentence you told him how he felt. Instead of saying “I feel I was scared and tried to be controlling” you said “I know I made you feel”. Do you know how he feels? It doesn’t seem like you do, and you slipped into making assumptions about what was going on for him, defining his feelings for him. That generates pressure in us, as our internal view collides with what we’re told. Perhaps he didn’t feel what you assume.
Perhaps he didn’t go to the pub, and his rigid shutdown was because of his memory of your prying. Why did you ask him if he had been there recently? Was it innocent or an attempt to find out what he’s been doing? Perhaps he had a nice date there, but to say that would not be safe. I don’t know, you don’t know, and that is unimportant. What is important is noticing whether you tried to dig, and afterward how you are trying to decide what his reaction means, instead of accepting his reaction as is.
Its important not to jump onto another’s side of things, and instead ask them what it is like for them. We are cheerleaders for their explorations, not deciders of their fate and emotions.
Don’t beat yourself up over it, remember that you’ve had lots of time in the old way, and the new way is just buddhing. That you are curious is enough! That you ask yourself to look inward and uncover the baggage you bring is enough! The old naturally erodes as we keep looking, keep learning. My teacher told me it is important to protect the tender shoots of the dharma when we are first learning. In the same way, it is important to protect the tender shoots of the Barbs as she heals… otherwise fiery situations such as the Pub experience could pull you back into patterns of self criticism. There’s no need! You are beautiful and trying, and there is no greater blessing to the world than that. Namaste.
MattAugust 11, 2013 at 1:41 pm #40191
Thanks, much appreciated Matt and Dee,
Yes, Matt what you say really fits so well, into what is going on with us right now. And you are right in that when I said ”I know I made you feel ” – – It made him feel that I am again telling him how he feels, from my opinion, or my version of events. In effect, negating his own experience as a person I guess. He has his own feelings, his own inner dialogue, seperate and independent from me. How can I possibly mind read
And yes, I was prying, almost as an impulse – it was there, I asked, and then the usual torment in my mind begins, almost like an addiction ! It is almost so automatic to me now, and instead of using the self discipline, and dedication I have in other areas (eg : the gym , yoga, healthy diet etc…) I seem to lack the self control button in this area, big time. My own Mother is exactly like this – and I know how much it annoys me in her when I see it (I am practicing acceptance of her too ! ) – her judgements, her inability to forgive, which are unhelpfull to her and those around her. So I really need to continue to work on this new manner of interacting with another person, and really concentrate on that openness and compassion. In fact I have to put up a stop sigh and just not go there. You are so right – and look where the prying gets me – into a place of questioning, wondering, what if’s, and analyising his responses like a watch dog.
Openness and acceptance are what I have to practice, and practice until it becomes the way I operate, rather than the alternative, which is a tyrrany, and it imprisons us both.
Hopefully I will find the right path, and I guess I’m on it now, trying, as you say Matt.
Thank you dearly !
Barbs.August 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm #40198
Here is a great guided meditation to help cultivate that openness and acceptance:
Ajahn Brahm’s voice and demeanor are so refreshing to my ears, its easy to reinvigorate my faith in the process. Namaste!
MattAugust 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm #40278
Thats great Matt, thanks a million ! 🙂
Really putting all the new ideas into practice today and it feels good ! 🙂
Barbs 🙂August 13, 2013 at 3:41 am #40335
It seems even though I try, the universe is sending me messages, or my significant other is, that he is just not that into me ! Or not maybe willing to respectfully meet me half way.
We spent a lovely day together yesterday, it was romantic and nice , and I was really practicing all that I have learned. He was busy during the day organising a big fishing trip (he adores fishing and these trips mean a lot to him ) with some colleagues and friends, and I helped him to get organised, by driving far away for something important that he especially needed for the trip. He was thankful, and he went last night to his friends house with all his fishing gear to get it all set up and ready for this mammoth fishing trip.
Getting out of the car he said, ill ring you before I go to bed to say goodnight.
So I was at home, and I was looking forward to saying goodnight to him. I waited and waited, and I was getting tired, so I rang him, no answer, so i tried again, and the phone cut off, and I was hung up on. Then I got a message from him 20 mins later – that the ”phone was in the kitchen charging, sorry ill ring you when I get home” (later when i asked why the phone hung up he said it must have been one of the kids in the kitchen, as he didnt know anything about that.) So again I waited, and now it was really late. He txted to say he was just home, and that he might just go to bed as he was tired and he was in a bad mood due to the fishing gear not going the way they had palnned.
I know that all sounds long winded and obsessive !!! – but I dont understand the mindset of somebody who cant just be respectful and call and say ”sorry honey, im busy, and ill say goodnight now, as I could be late getting to bed ”. Why not choose the respectful, clean, honest option ? Instead of hanging up, and lots of silly messages back and forth. I really just dont get it.
Now I feel a bit rejected and mistreated, made a bit of a fool of – and I know maybe it sounds minor, but we had only had a conversation about mutual respect the day before. And then that happens – I always call him when I say I will, I dont let him down. Maybe im an obsessive person, but maybe he is insensitive.
I know it will seem as an overreation, but these are the things that send me into spinning mode – especially hanging up the phone and then saying he didnt know anything about it, that it was a kid in the kitchen ? – why bother lieing / maybe it wasnt a lie !! I dont know !!
Spinning and messed up mind chatter !
Barbs.August 13, 2013 at 7:40 am #40339
You’re confusing sides again! Remember he has a pattern of odd phone behaviors, why are you surprised? On your side, you wish for peace and kindness no matter what his actions are… and the gentle flame of that candle whisked out. Perhaps his not calling you is a symbol of something? Did your mind latch on to it as “oh, he cares… he’ll call me.”? After all, when you care and say you’ll call, you call.
What if you try to look at what conditions were on his side, such as being frustrated with fishing, a strange pattern with his phone, not wanting to talk to you when he’s not sober… any number of reasons that have nothing to do with you or your symbols. Even if he did not call because he didn’t care in that moment, people not doing what they say they are going to do is pretty common.
So, what a blessing he is as a teacher and mirror for you! Your wish is to become whole, and he is helping you see where you get triggered, where your equanimity is disturbed. For me, I draw strength from the Buddha. I think “hmmm, what would the Buddha see in the absence of need, with simple clear seeing of what happened on their side.” Buddha in this context could be said to be “sideless”, or no desire for things to be what they are not. He didn’t call. He said odd things about the hangup. His patterns are driven by inner turmoil. Isn’t that enough? Would Buddha have made it about him at all? Probably not!
So its back to the cushion! When we add our baggage to the mirror, we realize it and we walk away. Instead of looking for resolution through other people doing things our way, we do our things our way. Remember that inner peace is not a gift offered from another, its a gift we offer ourselves through our mindful and nurturing actions.
MattAugust 13, 2013 at 9:14 am #40344
Thanks – yes, i get so tied in , attatched , and obsessive when i feel he is not telling me the truth – ie the odd phone pattern…i start wondering, surmising that he would lie about manyvthings if he lies about that…I spent most of the day, in fact all of it feeling low, lethargic and sad.
Id really like to never feel this way anymore !! Yes, back to the cushion !
I just wonder though if he cares – as i would like to be respected and treasured – and the fact that i help him with things, i show him honesty, and im currently showing him how much im trying to work at my part. Im not sure he is tending to his pary !! If he was he would see that we are still on shaky ground, and surely he would want to make things easier and better between us. But yes, that hs his side and i cant go over to his side.
Ill try to stay on my own path – regardless ! 🙂
Thanks Matt 🙂August 15, 2013 at 3:27 am #40489
Well suffice to say – it turned out that I was totally wrong in my assumptions, and the phone call being hung up, was actually a child – and he spoke to me candidly, and said, lets look back at the messages – ”look , here you told me to text you ” and showed me where the wires were crossed on both sides. He also said that this is yet another example where my anger and mistrust are a worry to him, as he feels afraid to get back into a situation where this is my mode of operating – jumping to conclusions, and running away with mistrust. Where I jumped to anger, rage, and a feeling of being duped, is what I really realise – my journal was very angry after that particular incident ! Which i guess is my issues, my things I have to work on.
He said he wants to move back in, and that he will – but that he has a lot of fears – as we had said we would follow the path of living seperately, but that he can see that im trying hard to work on myself – but what he dosent want is the suspicions, the worries, and all of that again. That he wants to see that I will not do that anymore.
I spoke to my ”therapist” / councellor – who said that every time my mind goes to suspicion, that it is ME that is the problem, that my happiness is not hinged on somebody else (much what you said Matt about staying on my own side, and confusing sides ) that it is my thoughts that make me miserable – not the other person. She said I have to watch my thoughts, and not follow them down the tunnel of giving them all this validity.
She thinks that if we move in too soon that it will go back to the same patterns – that for it to work there has to be acceptance of eachother fully on both sides, commitment for the future, and that you both have eachothers backs, no matter what, that you are siticking together, come hell or high water !! So she thinks we should hold off, and not rush into it.
The problem is, is that we have agreed to it now, and now to go back on it and tell him ”well actually, I think we should give it more time” – it really might send us backwards. She said if we do move in again – that I would have to have a very clear plan – practicing my mindfullness, not looking to him for validation of the suspicion thoughts, and it would have to be totally different.
So I wonder what my next move should be – I guess we need to sit down and talk it through fully and properly.
Namaste 🙂August 15, 2013 at 6:02 am #40494
Why did you put “therapist” in quotes? Just wondering because it caught my eye. I’m happy for you in that he wants to move back in, and I share some concern that the tender shoots of the new perspective will get lost in the commotion. Something came to heart as I read your words.
Consider surrendering your suspicion to the relationship. When you look at your suspicion and see how painful it is for you and harmful to the intimacy, perhaps you could see it like a thorn in your foot. If you had a splinter that was hard to reach, and when you walked it caused you pain, wouldn’t you ask him for help? Don’t worry about the cause of the splinter, just deal with it directly. “My love, I am suffering with suspicion. Will you please help?”
If you are done, satisfied and alert to the way suspicion is a problem on your side, then when suspicion arises perhaps you can stop chasing down his side for the solution. Said differently, when the child hangs up on you next time, you could say to yourself “well this is interesting and painful, here is the splinter disrupting my peacefulness again.” Then just sit with it. When your partner rejoins you, if you are still in pain, you can ask him for help. “My love, my mind is suffering, will you give me your love?” Ask for his arms, not his history. Ask him to remind you of his heart, and then do your best to let go and surrender.
Consider that whatever the reason is for the suspicion is empty, meaningless. Sad differently, it does no good to blame and shame for the wood which gives us the splinter, because the wood is just the wood. If he has odd phone karma, sees porn from time to time, or takes a few hours after work to unwind before coming home… those are his side, his needs, him trying his best to tend his garden. That’s OK, and good for him to explore and learn and grow. If your view of his actions produce a splinter of suspicion in your mind, its your difficulty, not his. We don’t blame the tree for the splinter when it is us pushing against it unskillfully!
My wife and I had to go through this with jealousy. She became jealous when I would have open hearted platonic intimacy with females. At first she exploded and I hugged her. Then she attacked and I hugged her. Then she said “my love, I feel jealous, as though you are seeking something in another that you don’t find here with me.” To this I was able to help her settle, because my intimacy with other women is not sexual, not romantic, is only filled with my yearning and hoping to help them find joy in their lives. That is a hope she shares, appreciates. This made her jealousy a very real problem for both of us, and so together we opened it up, looked at it, and her jealousy settled. When she stopped blaming her jealousy on my actions, she was ready to be free from it! This didn’t make it “her problem” but a splinter in our intimacy that we both could approach from our own side. I want her to feel loved, not scared, so it was easy to step into the moment with assurance and stability.
Its plausible that if you chose a different partner that the conditions which produce your suspicion simply wouldn’t come up. You don’t want that, and he doesn’t want that. So, the mirrors you are for each other will most likely produce the conditions which leave you feeling suspicion again. You can step to the plate and admit your suffering, and he can come to the plate and help it settle. If you can admit (and he can see) how the suspicion might be coming up in Barbs’ mind, but it disrupts the fluid nature of intimacy, then it will perhaps be a simple thing to grab the tweezers and pull it out. “Oh, you’re afraid that you’re not important to me? Get over here for some lovin’ and put all that behind you.” Or whatever. 🙂
MattAugust 15, 2013 at 11:56 am #40555
Yes Matt – that makes sense – the splinter indeed !
I have to let go of the suspicion, that is for sure
.We spoke today – and he said he needs to see evidence, that I can stop the anxiety, and the questions, and the suspicions – reitterating that these are aspects that are kind of deal breakers for him. I said I am doing my best, to work on that, and doing my part to make myself stronger in that area. Whenever I ask for understanding about that – he almost recoils, as his is just sick of that aspect of it, and has said time and time again that that is a side to me that he really dislikes. I suggested that when I feel anxious, I could get a hug rather than ask questions – to which he replied that he would try that for a few weeks and see if I could be happy with just a hug ( ie, he is sceptical about it working ) He also said he has doubts and fears about moving back, and that he is largely doing it because I want it – which isnt exactly going into something with an open heart – its like he will go in with barriers up !! So now im doubting whether I should move back in with him, when he has all these doubts (which I guess I have too to an extent – the life of a chef’s partner has major sacrifices involved in it – , and it is not just easy for me either : the lonliness can be hard – being with someone, yet passing like ships in the night most of the time )
One thing also, that I dont understand, is why people lie, and why they dont just tell the truth all the time. At the moment he is staying with his Mum, and he siad to me that he told her on Monday that he will be moving out . On Monday evening he said ”yes I told my Mum ” When speaking to his Mum today, she said he told her last night. Why lie about that ? I just dont at all understand why he would say that he told her on monday !!! (he does not know she rang me ) Its just useless lies – unless its a case of crossed wires again as his mum said, ”he may have mentioned it on Monday, I cant remember, as I was so busy ” …….Is this me spinning again, latching onto suspicion – yet again. In any case, im aware that its mother – son stuff – and their conversations are between them – but I dont understand why say he said it when he didnt. Also makes me think he was just waiting a few extra days to think more – all the while telling me that he had it arranged. Oh do you see where my mind goes, and how it works – one question leads to the next, and by the time im done I’m fit for a gallon of prozack ! I work myself into a complete lather – and into a spin, yet again, over and over. I sometimes wonder if I should be in serious medication for this, as it is like a brain disorder.
(oh i think the therapist in inverted commas, was just because its a bit embarrasing ! And I kind of feel stupid that I cant be ok with life, and sort things out myself. But hey, all I can do is try. )
I know we love eachother – but its complicated, and sometimes I wonder if its not meant to be – so many obstacles, differences, and yet we have similarities and common ground too. Oh if I could wave a magic wand I would…..:) And plus im 35 – and the biological reality is that I have to hurry up, in a way – and sometimes I think it will always be complicated. I want to have children with someone who wants me, who wants to say – I stand by you no matter what – but thats maybe a fairy tale.