September 4, 2020 at 9:14 am #366131
You are welcome. This post is long and took me a few hours to put together, so please take your time reading it and don’t be in a hurry to reply:
You shared that you and him (I’ll refer to him as R, the initial of the word rude) started talking six years ago. Before talking with him regularly, you “used to think of him as very rude, based on his way of talking”, and his friends “always teased him that he’s very rude to people in general”. He asked you out 4 months after the two of you started talking, and 2 months after that he moved for work, making the relationship therefore long-distance.
His loving words, such as, “you’re my everything, my no. 1”, were “extremely far and few in between” his rude behaviors: (1) He regularly cancelled dates so to have drinks with his friends (2) He repeatedly switched his phone off so that you can’t reach him (3) He shouted at you and told you to shut up, that you “don’t understand anything”, etc. (4) He mocked you (5) He criticized you for ex., pouring more sauce on your food than he preferred to pour on his (6) When you did positive, loving things for him he criticized you for not doing those things perfectly, ex., when you drove him to a place to celebrate his birthday and got lost, he criticized you: “you should have done this properly or not done it at all” (7) He was very inconsiderate of your basic needs, ex., when you needed to go to the washroom in a restaurant, he told you not to go because he didn’t want to wait for you. (8) In the last year of the relationship he intensified his verbal abuse of you: “he had begun verbally abusing me really bad.. apart from the shouting, he’ll start hurling all kinds of abuses at me.. half of the abuses were so bad I hadn’t heard of them nor have I heard anyone in my circle say those things”.
You wrote: “Sometimes I question if I am too emotionally needy.. I am more emotional than the average”- no woman should date a rude, inconsiderate, selfish and abusive man, but a woman who is too emotionally needy, she especially needs to not to date a rude, inconsiderate, abusive man.
“I don’t feel emotionally starved by my parents, siblings or friends. I know they all love me immensely and I know that if I need them, they all will be there”- if you were immensely loved by your parents, family and friends, then why did you accept none-love for years? I imagine a girl so loved, will be immediately turned off to a man, when experiencing his first unloving, rude and abusive behaviors.
One of your friends told you that “not all of us have the same definition of a love relationship”- if your friend knew about some of R’s behaviors, then this friend views being rude, selfish and abusive as a form of love. I strongly recommend that you don’t ask or avail yourself to this misguided friend’s advice on the topics of love and relationships!
“does (anger) justify abusing”?- no. Abuse almost always follows anger: first a person feels angry, then he or she abuses another. If you excuse abuse when it follows anger, than you excuse about… 99% of relationship abuse in the world, abuse against a romantic partner, against children, against people in the streets, etc.
“My parents also had few fights, a couple of them did become pretty nasty but not once did my father abuse my mother or vice versa in any way. Sorry I digress”- I don’t think that you digressed. I think that there was some abuse in those “pretty nasty fights”, but you closed your eyes to that abuse. Fast forward-> -> you closed your eyes to the abuse by R.
R told you that “it’s all in your hands, everything about the relations is in your hands”- if all is in your hands, none is in his hands. His responsibility for his behavior is zero, so he prefers to think, and your responsibility for his behavior is 100%, so he said. I agree with you: “this is total shrinking of responsibility”.
“despite everything that was wrong, I believed he loved me”- I am back to the point I made earlier, about the “pretty nasty fights” between your parents, fights that you witnessed: children perceive what happens in their home as normal. If there is hostility in the home (as is often the case in most homes), then children pretend best they can that it is not happening. They minimize the hostility and abuse they witness so to feel safer. Fast forward, you meet R, and you minimized his hostility and abuse for years.
“there were a few good moments which made me hopeful that only if we sort things out, every moment can be like that”- this is the thinking of a child growing up in a home with sometimes pretty nasty fights: when it is peaceful, the child holds on to those moments as the most beautiful, precious, heavenly moments, and wishes all of life will be that heavenly. The child is willing to do anything and everything in her power to make it so: she will cry and plead with her parents to stop arguing, she will be obedient and not take a stand, if that’s what they want from her.
And this is which how you behaved with R (your mother’s words): “all I see you do is cry and plead with him in an argument, you don’t even talk at an equal level or take a stand”.
The child will behave in the ways her parents want her to behave, so that they will not fight, which is how you behaved with R a lot of the time: he wanted you to act always happy and keep smiling and be obedient, and you tried to be all those things (“always stay happy, and keep smiling and say yes to all he says…as long as my life is perfect, he is perfect”).
I agree with your understanding here: “I (was) just someone that he likes talking to in his free and happy times and likes being physically close with”, plus you were someone who obeyed him much of the time, so he went back to you repeatedly until he felt that you were too much trouble: that you were no longer obedient-enough, that you argued too much.
About you arguing too much in the relationship with R, think of this scenario: you are walking in the woods and you see a mountain lion (a cougar) at a great distance. Do you:
(a) move closer and closer to the mountain lion and once you get very close, and the lion attacks you with his powerful jaws, you fight the lion with your bare hands, or
(b) do you walk back, farther and farther away from the lion, cautiously, looking back to see if the lion is still there, hoping to get away (?)
I would choose b, which in the case of your relationship with R, would have been to cautiously walking away from him, hoping to get away. In other words: what you did wrong was to be in a relationship with him to begin with. If R was a different man, a K (for Kind), then you would have been wrong for arguing with him. See the difference?
anitaSeptember 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm #366145
I want to write it down before my self-doubt creeps in Anita and I start doubting even these thoughts. I’d immediately seen your post and have thought for good 2-3 hours about it. Sorry this has ended up being a little too long, I’ll await your reply.
I’ll start by saying Anita that thank you so much. I genuinely wish that all the good things that you’re doing here come back to you in bigger and brighter ways. You may not know how much of a help your advice has been to me. Today was my most productive day at my office (well my work from home, crazy pandemic days) just because I had a clearer head from all your and Peter’s advice. Your mental clarity and capacity to empathize is astounding. Thanks so much.
Coming to your observations, gosh this really made me think and I feel I’ve figured a lot of things out and have a clearer idea about why I’m still stuck on him even after 1 year and why I still doubt his abusive tendencies.
- I think it’s the exact opposite of my parents having any hostility between them. The nasty fights I talked about were mostly about mom being upset about something and talking about it for maybe 2-3 days but dad always being there and then them sorting it out and they were very few and I never saw them raise their voice. The fact is (and I swear I’m not idealizing since it’s my parents) that they have one of the most beautiful relationships that I have ever seen. So they are childhood sweethearts, each others’ first and only loves both emotionally and physically and are now together for around more than 30 years. Mom is very loving but dad frankly is absolutely next level amazing. Unbelievably good and respectful to mom. And I feel in a twisted way that is my problem. Gosh it’s so clear now Anita. I have always idealized their relationship. Mom would often tell me, when we were in high school we’d do this, we’d do that and I have always found their love very pure and the fact that they have been each others’ only partners really special and have wanted the same always. I remember feeling really smug in school telling my friends that my parents have been together since forever and that they’ve a really cinematic love story. I remember telling my mom (shit why did I not see all this before) when I was in high school that I want a similar thing, I remember categorically telling her that I don’t want to have multiple partners in life, I just want to have my one and only relationship and then tell my grandkids about it. I might sound very narrow minded while saying this but I’ve felt for the longest time that marriages that are maybe mediated by family or 2<sup>nd</sup> or 3<sup>rd</sup> relationships don’t have the spark and innocence and the passionate cinematic element that high school first loves have. And that is what I wanted. So when I got together with R, I was 21, it was my first emotional and physical love and I remember telling him that he is my own fairytale. I would love going down the memory lane of our relationship and discuss our initial days together, and now I know why. He would sometimes joke that we didn’t exactly meet during high school but since he was my very first, I would be like no, you’re my high-school love. So basically now that I think about it, I think one of the reasons why I was so obsessed with sticking to him and am obsessed with not letting it go is because I feel like my fairytale is slipping away. I think that is why I want to keep a part of it alive within me and can’t bring myself to let go because it’s like symbolizing pure puppy true love for me, despite the abuse. I literally told my mom over the phone a week ago that I’m open to dating other men but I don’t think it’ll be as untainted and pure as what I had with him and now I know why I think that. Because despite all the abuse and tears, it was after all my first relation and the fairytale that I’d wanted since I was old enough to understand romance. Oh my god Anita, thank you so much for making me think about this. This is why I have become so cynical to love again, because I feel it won’t be as pure because I have seen my parent’s love as purer than the other relatives of their generation and I attached it to them being first loves and high school sweethearts. My mom questioned me that how can I call my relation with him pure and why I think my next relation with a better man won’t be pure and I just said I don’t know but now I think I know why. I have idealized the concept of first love (which I think maybe we all do to some extent, correct me if I’m wrong), come to think of it, I’ve grown up watching sappy romantic movies and reading Jane Austen novels and my parents’ real life example just made it feel possible in real life and, despite all the bad things between R and me, I saw it as my own fairytale, my own first and only love as whatever comes after him, even if the most loving relation, won’t just be my first, won’t just be my fairytale, it will be preceded by another love. So I took the abuse because I couldn’t see my first love dream fail.
- So my father is like super respectful to mom. I remember his friend telling my mom, I was present too, that he is the best husband he’s seen. Now I remember often gushing over how nice dad is and very closely observing and appreciating his attitude towards mom, telling her I want R to treat me like dad does. I remember one day mom telling me to stop doing that (this was before I told her about his abuse). She told me to not set dad as my only parameter. She told she was afraid that if I become too fixed on finding a partner who treats me exactly as dad treats mom, I may not appreciate my partner for what he brings to the table if it’s different from what dad does, even if just as good. I think that is the reason that I argued Anita. I think I framed my previous post wrong, I wasn’t submissive since the beginning, I would take a stand from the beginning but eventually felt so inferior with his gas lighting that ended up crying and begging. We had arguments since the very beginning, as soon as he left the city because I was always used to seeing very respectful behavior from dad towards mom, I was very sensitive to his lack of respect and time towards me. Dad gives mom a lot of time till now, and I remember thinking when R would be like I’m busy with work all the time, that everyone is busy, dad is also busy but he has a minute for mom when she calls. I think I have seen respectful behavior at home and that’s why was unhappy with R’s conduct towards me. I remember I told the friend that I talked about in the last post, about R not letting me go to the washroom stuff and he was like, you’re being too sensitive, you could have said you have to go once again. But I felt bad as I immediately thought of my dad and compared. I remember when I was smaller and we would even be running late for a movie at the theatres, even in that situation when I’d be like dad I have to use the loo, he would always wait for me. So I think that is why I thought he was rude, that is why I didn’t like he didn’t give me time. I think that is why I felt something was wrong, the problem was that instead of seeing him as wrong, I saw myself as wrong. And why I did that, is the third point.
- Coming to why I took it all. This is where I would love some guidance Anita. I think there were the following reasons:
- First was obviously the first love obsession that I talked about in my first point.
- Secondly, I would say what I saw around. So I see my friends in ‘friends with benefits’ relations, I see friends who are like we don’t talk daily, my cousins who are okay with husbands not answering calls even once when they are out, and just people in general who are in all sorts of relations. This frankly makes me doubt myself and feel that maybe I am expecting too much. So on one hand I kept feeling bad because I am used to seeing a super loving husband in my dad but on the other hand I stay because I see all kinds of relations around and feel that maybe the way I want to be treated is not possible in my generation. A friend of mine literally told me that why do you want him to talk to you daily and I just didn’t know how to explain it to her. I end up feeling maybe he is normal, maybe all people are like this and I have unbelievably high expectations of good conduct from him. I think he’ll get a chilled out girl with normal expectations and I’ll end up being the unrealistic one. Now I know that he was abusive by any standard but back then this is what I thought. I would be lying if I didn’t say that a part of me even after reading all about abusive tendencies still fears that what if he has a better relation with another girl who will give him more space, what if his abuse was a result of my high expectations but then my better sense says that what I am expecting is not too much, it is basic and people who are in such relations don’t see what I am seeing.
- Thirdly, and this is the biggest one but the most difficult one for me to accept so I’m saying this last: my abysmally low self-esteem and this is where I do put a little bit of blame on my mom. So as a child whenever mom would be upset with me, she’d say the following politely but firmly: she’d compare me to other kids, look at Elise, will she ever argue back with her mother, all children are so disciplined, plus she had this one exact line if I’d not agree to what she was saying when she was scolding me: ‘Improve your nature Jenny, I am your mother so I take it but if you don’t change it, your friends and partner won’t take it’, she’d also say this one exact line, ‘you are just behaving like xyz, this is how she used to behave’ (xyz is my cousin sister who unfortunately had a very unfortunate life and strained relations with family and separation from her husband) and that Anita, that bore into my head like one big nail. I don’t even need to introspect for this, I know this. I am very confident on the outside, I give my opinion, I argue when I feel somebody is wronging me but deep down, I believe that I have the most pathetic nature in the world, and if I don’t change it, I’ll have as miserable a life as xyz, if my mother herself said this who loves me the most, then it has to be true. When I realized this a couple of years back, I went and told mom and she apologized and said that she didn’t mean any of it and said it in anger and ever since then she’s done more than enough to make it up, she’s expressed umpteen times how I’m the best daughter and has never repeated that ever but it doesn’t budge, now I see everything from that prism. I’m like I still have bad nature but she’s saying all this because she doesn’t want to hurt me and that is exactly why I took all that R gave me. I saw it as my fault because I was a bad gf and I have bad nature and he is abusive because I am irritating him with my bad nature, when he gets a better-natured girl, he’ll be okay. His telling me that I cause that abuse, don’t understand etc etc further reinforced that and by and by I began feeling so inferior and low that from fights and arguments, I went to pleading and begging. That is why despite identifying him as rude even before getting together with him, I stayed with him, because I saw myself as causing everything and he said the same thing. But today I definitely know better.
This is it Anita. I’m literally crying with relief right now because I feel I’ve literally poured out the most core issues of my life and have gained clarity.
It all comes down to my very low self-esteem Anita. I mean imagine, even after mom told me he is abusive, a couple friends a few times said his behavior is wrong, I read up so much on narcissism and found him to be similar, you so clearly said he is abusive, I still feel, in some corner of my heart that still maybe I made him abusive, maybe I unreasonable, maybe I am not telling people the things rightly, maybe I was the abusive one and not him, maybe I am not as good as my mom was to dad and don’t deserve that respect, maybe mom just lucked out as most relations around are okay only and even the so called abusive people end up with a gf and wife so how bad can it be, it’s an endless pit, one endless pit. I am feeling embarrassed saying this as you may also think how can I still feel this but that is just how low my self-esteem is. I feel a little proud that I’ve done some work on myself in the last one year that now at least one part of me can see his abuse and call him out on it and not fall back into his attempts to come back, that I have built some esteem. What has even helped is another friend of mine, so he developed feelings for me that unfortunately I don’t have for him and we’re just friends now but the kind of love and respect and appreciation he showed towards me Anita is exactly what I want and that made me think that no I am not wrong, and undeserving of love and that the way I want to be loved is not unrealistic.
But my biggest fear is that tomorrow I’ll see him have a perfect life with another girl and it will reiterate that I was the one who was at fault. I literally dread that day and so thinking that he’ll be as narcissistic to whosoever he ends up with feels comforting.
I will work on my self-esteem. And I will let go of him Anita. Somehow all this makes it clear that there’s a reason to me feeling that I am wrong and that reason is not me actually being wrong but my childhood hurt. I now believe that I know how to respect my partner and so I do deserve the same respect. I’m sorry I’m overwhelming you with very long posts.September 4, 2020 at 1:33 pm #366157
Thank You so much for the support Marie. I hope you get the clarity you want soon.
I don’t know your story and while I’m still recovering and there’s absolute golden advice on this site, as someone who chose to not be anymore with a partner that i still love but who hurt me a lot, I’d say this.
It is very difficult to part but the peace and stability that separating from an abusive partner gives you outweighs the pain eventually.
There’s a quote I read somewhere which might sound a little cliched but has helped me every time I thought of giving in : A high-value person places more value on their self-respect than they do on their want of being with any particular man/woman.September 4, 2020 at 1:36 pm #366158
You are welcome and thank you for expressing your appreciation and for wishing me well. To attentively read your recent long post, re-read your previous posts (which I do when new information is added to the old), and reply to you, I will need a couple of hours of focused attention. Therefore I will be back to you tomorrow morning, in abut 17 hours from now.
anitaSeptember 4, 2020 at 2:32 pm #366174
Sure, Anita. I feel I may have gotten too elaborate in my previous post so I’ll just summarize it here:
I think I grew up seeing my father treating my mother respectfully and as an equal and so internalized need of respect in my relation with R and thus, felt upset when he didn’t have time for me for weeks at a stretch, got irritated when i did anything wrong and shouted and verbally abused me. So I expressed my concerns but in return he either left midway or shouted at me and blamed me for being non-understanding or said ‘sorry now leave it’ but behaved the same. Here my low self-esteem came into picture and i believed what he said and believed that i was the problem and wasn’t good enough for him to treat me well. The same cycle continued and the very same issue till it reached a point where even my politely stating something made him snap at me and ultimately verbally abuse and by this time my self-esteem had sunk so low that I just couldn’t see if he was wrong or I.September 4, 2020 at 2:33 pm #366175MarieParticipant
Of course Jenny, the timing was right when I reached out because I have so much going on with work right. I was in a 4 year relationship with a very amazing woman and I don’t regret a thing. She’s having a hard time with me moving on from her, it’s difficult and so complicated due to who she is and where she’s comes from. Luckily for me I grew up with the same culture as her, so I understand her. Her and I still very close and currently in Los Angeles, it just hurts me to see her so hurt but we both knew that this was going to happen with parting ways romantically. I’m torn but I am realistic enough to know better, that things aren’t going to change with her and I promised her 4 years ago, I would take this journey with her, as long as I could emotionally. By the end of 2019 and beginning of 2020 I was emotionally exhausted, in my heart I knew it was time. I am forever grateful for her unconditional love and the time I’ve spent with her, we learned so much from each other.
Parting ways romantically is for the best and I trust in the universe to guide us to where we are both meant to be. So that’s why I can understand sympathize with your story. Love is a very complicated thing, takes a lot of work and isn’t perfect which was never a problem for us. The problem is/was is who she is (very well known public figure) her culture and satisfying her mother. I have nothing negative to say about all this though becauseI went into this already knowing. I am happy and single but seeing her hurt, hurts me too because all I ever wanted/want for her, is her to be happy.September 4, 2020 at 2:52 pm #366181MarieParticipant
To add to my post above and to anyone who’s reading this, letting go is never easy but listen to your heart, it always knows. Yes it’s hard, yes it hurts but when life is forcing you to move on, you no other choice but to. What’s left up to us, is to either peacefully accept this and to move on happily, knowing that the universe wants us to start a new chapter with something or with someone else.
It’s up to us to either suffer too much or to accept it and be happy with the beautiful moments that were given. I’ve chosen peace and happiness, letting the universe guide me into the next chapter.September 4, 2020 at 3:42 pm #366183
I am looking forward to be back to your thread in about 15 hours from now. Please have a good rest of the day/ night.
anitaSeptember 4, 2020 at 4:11 pm #366186
Take your time Anita, I’m just saying all this because I just want to be done with these thoughts in my head but there’s no urgency of a reply.
There’s just a bit that I missed adding in my previous post: “She told me to not set dad as my only parameter. She told she was afraid that if I become too fixed on finding a partner who treats me exactly as dad treats mom, I may not appreciate my partner for what he brings to the table if it’s different from what dad does, even if just as good”.
I missed out adding here Anita that following this advice which seemed plausible to me by mom, I tried taking care not to compare R with dad, or check myself every time I unconsciously did. It made sense, they are two different individuals and it is unfair to expect my young partner to have the understanding and respect of my father who has years of understanding. I’d try to see him for what he is and find love and respect in it but at the back of my mind, I’d know that what he’s doing is not respectful as I’d seen respectful behavior. Like in that restaurant washroom example, I never expressed that to R, because I wanted to resist any possible over-reaction and unrealistic expectations and comparisons, even tho at the back of my mind, I did find it disrespectful because I was just not used to such dominating tendencies and impatience with basic needs, not from my father, not even from my brothers or friends. So i think that might be another reason why I tried not standing up enough. It was the lack of time and inconsistent contact that really got to me, that was something that I just couldn’t ignore.
I’ll just stop talking about what transpired in the relation, at this point, Anita, it is endless and in the past. I’d love to hear about your opinion on it though to give me a clearer idea and I’ll look onto the future hereon.
JennySeptember 5, 2020 at 10:02 am #366202
I think that the following post will be difficult for you to read and you might reject it immediately, before considering it. I hope you are calm enough to read it, and that you will take a break before and maybe during the read, f you need to.
You shared about a fairytale love story, that of your parents: “the most beautiful relationship.. childhood sweethearts, each other’s first.. together for around 30 years”.
Sept 3, you wrote: “My parents also had few fights, a couple of them did become pretty nasty but not once did my father abuse my mother or vice versa in any way”.
Sept 4, you wrote: “The nasty fights I talked about were mostly about mom being upset about something and talking about it for maybe 2-3 days”-
– your father did not participate in those few nasty fights, did he, it was only your mother venting while your father was quiet and supportive in the background, being “next level amazing. Unbelievably good and respectful to mom…super respectful to mom.. the best husband”.
This is my understanding at this point: in their marriage, your father was a saint, never angry at your mother, and when she was angry, she was angry all by herself until she calmed down, with his support, respect, and submission. The price your father paid for this seemingly beautiful fairytale relationship is complete submission to your mother. Because of his complete submission, she didn’t need to get angry much, or to re-assert her power, or to raise her voice. Her power over her husband was established early on, and it didn’t require re-establishing. All it required was maintenance.
“I grew up seeing my father treating my mother respectfully and as an equal”- like a superior, not an equal. It only appeared equal.
You always wanted a relationship like your parents’: “I have wanted the same always.. my one and only relationship and then tell my grandkids about it.. So when I got together with R, I was 21, it was my first emotional and physical love and I remember telling him that he is my own fairytale”.
This is what you wrote about your behavior early in the relationship with R: “I argued.. I wasn’t submissive since the beginning, I would take a stand from the beginning.. We had arguments since the very beginning.. because I was always used to seeing very respectful behavior from dad toward mom, I was very sensitive to his lack of respect and time towards me”-
– in the beginning relationship with R, you were like your mother, the one to assert her power, dominant, argumentative if needed, and you expected R to react like your father did: to submit to your power completely and respectfully.
“I am used to seeing a super loving husband in my dad… maybe. I have unbelievably high expectations of good conduct from (R)”- what you consider “super loving” and “good conduct” is the smooth, well practiced and perfected submissive conduct by your father toward your mother. You expected that from R.
“I think I grew up seeing my father treating my mother respectfully and as an equal and so internalized need of respect in my relationship with R and thus, felt upset”- I think that you internalized the need for a submissive partner, as submissive and well practiced in it as your father has been for many years.
You wrote regarding R: “I was just not used to such dominating tendencies and impatience with basic needs, not from my father, not even from my brothers or friends”- some of what you refer to as “dominating tendencies” by men are valid assertions. If a man is not as submissive as your father has been to your mother, you think of them as dominating, is my current understanding.
In regard to your relationship with your mother, you wrote: “as a child whenever mom would be upset with me, she’d say the following politely but firmly: ..look at Elise, will she ever argue back with her mother, all children are so disciplined… Improve your nature Jenny, I am your mother so I take it but if you don’t change it..”-
– your mother demanded power over you and over her husband. She didn’t have to raise her voice with him or treat him rudely because he heard her perfectly when she talked to him politely. She asserted her power with you as well, politely but firmly, adding a threat to the mix: if you don’t change your behavior with me…
At this point, I still think that R is still an appropriate initial for your ex boyfriend, I still think that he was abusive, but now I also think that although you didn’t cause his abusive behavior, you fueled it by arguing with him and expressing to him (without being aware of it, and in not in these words) that you expect him to be perfectly submissive to you.
anitaSeptember 5, 2020 at 10:53 am #366208
Thanks A lot Anita. I was eager to hear your opinion.
You were right, Anita, it was a very difficult and uncomfortable read but I agree with it, completely. In fact, one reason why I was eagerly waiting for your opinion and why I kept summarizing and adding to my last long post was because after I wrote it down and read it, something felt really off about it, something didn’t feel right but I couldn’t put a finger to it. Now I can. I think I myself felt what you’ve said a bit, somewhere in my gut, maybe that also added to my self doubt as to am I the abusive and argumentative one, but didn’t face it. I agree with your analysis of my mother and me, also of my father.
I think I’ll still let him go as in a way I’m still hurt and also because after your opinion, I’m double sure that I have my own issues to sort out before I am ready for a loving relationship, with anybody.
I just have a few last questions after reading your recent comments and I assure you that I’ll appreciate your honesty about the answers, so feel completely free to even turn my opinion on its head, if you feel I’ve been thinking wrong. Thank You so much again for the needed reality check, Anita and for helping me clear my head. It is difficult but I’m still happy that I am moving from confusion towards clarity. Thank You. My questions are as follows:
1. Based on everything that you now know, was he narcissistic? The basic essence of his behavior towards me was as I’ve described. There were many more such incidents but the basic theme was the same. I was of the opinion after reading up in the last one year, that he had narcissistic traits tho I didn’t want to think of him as out and out narcissistic. But now as I had a part in it all, I’m thinking was he narcissistic at all? I wouldn’t want to think he was if he wasn’t and or think he wasn’t if he was.
2. Is there a possibility or even a high likelihood that tomorrow he would have a perfectly healthy relation/marriage with a non-argumentative, more sorted girl and not be abusive towards her? I know its a naïve and narrow-minded question and no one can predict anyone’s future but after listening to my few friends’ and family’s opinion and reading up and thinking he is narcissistic, I’d been told that he will be the same in every relation. A basic part of narcissism as i read was that they don’t change. I remember one of my brothers’ telling me that ‘don’t ever think of going back, he won’t change. Extremely Selfish people like him never change’ But now I have that question again. The only reason I want to know this is that I’d rather accept the reality today than keep having a false belief and be exposed to the reality later after having carried a false notion from now till that time.
3. I just don’t know how to ask this in a better way really, but just that was I bad? Was I a bad girlfriend and did I ill-treat him? Was I the wrong, abusive, narcissistic one? Will he be better-off without me?
Lastly, thank you so much Anita. It takes a lot of humanity to care to show a stranger the bitter truth than just let them think what they want to. Thank you for the care. I know this real answer will help me better myself. Thank You.
I’ll await your answers.
Lots of love.
JennySeptember 5, 2020 at 11:55 am #366210
You are very welcome. I am impressed by your courage to face what is distressing and move forward, toward more understanding and more clarity, through the distress involved.
1. “Based on everything that you know, was he a narcissit?”- if I was a psychiatrist, I wouldn’t be able to diagnose him through a second person’s account of him, I would need to see him in person for a few sessions. Problem with the term is that it became a non-professional, online name-calling term, often abbreviated to narc. And everyone online seems to feel comfortable with handing out this “diagnosis”, which really is a name-calling. Therefore I will not respond to whether he is a narcissist.
“after… reading up and thinking he is narcissistic, I’d been told that he will be the same in every relation. A basic part of narcissism as I read was that they don’t change”- let’s say that a psychiatrist diagnosed R with NPD (Narcissism Personality Disorder): not all people with this diagnosis are the same. Mental diagnoses exist on a continuum, some people are at the extreme of the continuum, others are in the middle. Some people with personality disorders can change with hard work and perseverance.
2. “Is there a possibility or even a high likelihood that tomorrow he would have a perfectly healthy relation/ marriage with a non-argumentative, more sorted girl and not be abusive toward her?”- the possibility that he will have “a perfectly healthy relation” is very, very low. The reason is that perfectly healthy relationship are very rare in reality (unlike in the movies and the books you mentioned, perhaps). And from what you shared about him, he is not a good candidate for a healthy relationship.
“Extremely Selfish people like him never change”- I tend to agree, similar to the president of the U.S., a prime example of an Extremely Selfish person, whom I strongly believe will never change.
3. “Was I a bad girlfriend and did I ill-treat him? Was I the wrong, abusive.. one? Will he be better-off without me?”- at the most, the two of you ill-treated each other, but it does not change the fact that he ill-treated you repeatedly and undeniably. If you went back to him so to treat him well this time around, you will end up in a relationship where you will be .. the perfect victim, the recipient of his ill-treatment. Better, later in time, get into a relationship where neither party ill-treats the other!
“Will he be better-off without me?”- maybe, but better you focus on becoming better and better yourself, which is possible only if you live without him.
anitaSeptember 5, 2020 at 11:44 pm #366240
Thanks a lot for your very prompt reply to my questions, I really needed them.
I’ve thought and Currently, I’m in the process of writing my reply post to it, and this one is only going to be about me learning my lessons and moving forward on a positive note so that whenever I feel the need to revisit this post and your opinions, I can find the positive conclusions from all of it. I’ll be completing it tomorrow and posting here.
I think I’ve gained more clarity through your replies than I did in all of the last year and can leave my past in the past, just that there is one thought that is still bugging me and not letting me sleep tonight. While I was writing my reply, I kept fighting it, telling myself it doesn’t matter and now I have to only concentrate on myself but it’s still there. One additional thing that I learnt in the last few days is how repressing thoughts is not the healthy way of dealing with them, I expressed my silliest questions and deepest insecurities to you and it is helping move on better than what fighting my thoughts in the last one year did. So I thought, I might as well pour out this last thought too. This is a question and I would love an answer on it. I’ll call my ex L. I’m going to hereon see him only as a Learning experience so.
As I said in my initial posts, L kept contacting me one month post breaking up with me for the 4th time. After he’d left and I had decided not to let him back again, I’d blocked him from everywhere to move forward as I know he would again contact me when he wants to like all the previous times, and then didn’t answer his calls from his friends’ numbers once he started calling. (I had their numbers) When I reached a level of recovery and could talk to him without bitterness and hurt, I began answering a few of his calls to hear him out as it is not in my general nature to avoid calls and it felt bad and because I was half hoping he might, just might have realized something. I answered about 1 out of 7-8 calls, so in all, in the 9 months that he called, I spoke to him around 3-4 times. I’d sent him a few ‘please don’t contact me’ texts in between but he continued calling.
All talks were generally like random, he sounded bitter throughout though his volume would be low and get higher as the conversation progressed. the first time I answered, his first line was exactly this (the sequence of the phrases might have been different but these exact lines were said), ‘finally, you do me the honor of answering my call, this is how you want to deal with it yes, by avoiding my calls, talk to me right now’, next time he started by saying ‘ Hi, this is L, you know what Jenny, I have spent many nights now wanting to abuse you, show you my anger, curse you’ and changed the topic when I replied that he doesn’t have the right to do that, next two times, he started by asking asking me how I am. All conversations were about him talking about random things and insinuating that he wants me back but not apologizing or saying it clearly, he would say how lonely he feels, would remind me of things in our relation, you remember we did this, we did that. I would generally stay quiet. One time he asked me if I would be open to meeting him, I appreciate it but said sorry I can’t. He would get aggressive when I would say please tell me why are you calling, or that you left, now you cannot call whenever you want, I was very hurt by the way you left me hanging. Not once did he say I’m sorry. In each of the 4 conversations, after a few minutes of the conversation, seeing him just say random stuff, I would just say please stop contacting me, and then he would get angry, he’ll call me an idiot, a bitch, say fuck off/get lost, at which point I would hang up the call. All this was unlike anything the previous times when he left and would come back, generally I’d tell him ‘I’m here and i love you’ the moment he would say he’s lonely as i would mistake it as meaning ‘he’s sorry and he loves me’ and then we would get back together but this time I could see that it was still just about him and what he wanted and there was never an apology. The last time that I told him please stop calling me, it hurts me and i don’t want to be hurt because by now I’d realised that he hasn’t changed, he burst out like during the last year of the relationship saying I myself have no interest, saying i am mean for not going after him when he left and began name-calling and hurling abuses at me, at which point I hung up the call and promised myself never to answer his calls again.
After that, he called me again a couple of times in the last one month but I knew by now that with every talk it only worsened. Around 2 weeks after his last call to me Anita, one morning I just felt that now I want to move ahead, now I don’t want to be bitter and hurt, and then I felt that I should wish him well and tell him categorically because I felt its a dead end now and till he keeps contacting, a part of me will keep being stuck here. So then the morning after that I decided to send him a final text. This was two weeks after his last call to me, I contemplated if I should wish him well through a call but I didn’t want to be sucked back into a confrontation and so decided to leave a short text. This was my exact text:
L, please consider this my farewell text in response of all your calls in the last few months.
I don’t wish to now keep any contact with you, L, ever. It hurts me and I want to move forward, It brings back memories of the time you broke up with me and I want to move beyond it. Please don’t contact me L.
I wish you well. May life give you immense happiness and success in all that you do.
I felt peaceful Anita. and believed that he’ll also take it as farewell and we can end it positively.
A week later though, I got a text from him. This was the exact text.
Congratulations on your idiocy. Spare me your silliness and keep it to you only.
Don’t ever dare to contact me.
And this text is my Question.
– why did he send this? I tried ending it well, why would he say this?
– My idiocy and silliness? I don’t know why it pinched me. Where am I silly and idiot in this? He genuinely thinks this about me? This is how he wants to end it?
– Was I wrong in replying 2 weeks after his last call? Maybe he moved on till then and saw me as an annoyance?
– He is the one who has been contacting, this was the first time I texted myself that too in response to his calls and he is writing dont dare contact me as if I have been calling him.
– Has he no realization nothing at alll? I can’t help but picture him laughing and making fun of me calling me an idiot in front of his friends. I don’t want him to contact, that is precisely why I had sent that text but now his reply and no call thereafter is making me feel so utterly disappointed.
I want nothing to do with this, I am moving forward and early next morning, I’ll start my forward journey of self-development, starting with a positive conclusion post here, but I just wanted to get this out of me before starting that.
Do let me know Anita what you feel about it and it’ll be great if you could help me with my questions. I know this is a naïve wondering but letting it out already feels good. I’ll try getting some sleep meanwhile and await your reply.
Jenny.September 6, 2020 at 12:41 am #366241
Also, Anita, apart from the last text conversation that I am utterly confused about and have no idea what it meant, this is what I gleaned from his calls and talks over the last 9 months. Let me know if I’m misunderstanding something.
– He wanted me back, but he wanted me back on his own terms.
– He was also angry with me just like I was angry with him about how the relation turned out to be, plus he was also angry that I haven’t been answering his calls, or chasing after him. In one conversation, I don’t remember exactly which of the 4, when he started shouting at me and calling me mean, I replied that why are you calling mean, what have I done, you left without any explanation once again after so many years together, still I am not saying anything mean to you, I am silent only, he had replied to that ‘I don’t like this silence’.
Gosh Anita, I can’t tell you how therapeutic this is being. I’m literally feeling as if my head was filled with clouds which are slowly giving way to bright sunshine. I will forever be indebted to this site and your patience. Now I really must sleep haha and start bettering myself from tomorrow.
I’ll await your reply.September 6, 2020 at 10:28 am #366258
A reply to your first post:
“I think I’ve gained more clarity.. just that there is one thought that is still bugging me.. I’ll await your reply”-
– Seems to me that you are under the impression that if you get enough clarity, thoughts will no longer bug you. Problem is that you are in the habit of doubting yourself and obsessing about your ex. In your efforts “to completely let go the ex” (title of your thread)-
– this is what will not work: you gain enough clarity to no longer doubting yourself and when it happens, then.. you will let go of your ex.
– this is what will work: you will have to address and manage your habit to doubt yourself and to obsess about those doubts, and let this man go while the habit to obsess about him continues. The habit to obsess is powerful and no way, that as a result of communicating with me, this habit will cease to exist any time soon.
I like you referring to him as L, for Learning experience. Whether we call him R for rude or L for learning, what is certain to me is that he is not worth your time, and yet you spend so much time thinking and thinking (aka obsessing) about him.
Regarding the text you sent him and his reply to it:
You: “L, please consider this my farewell text in response of all your calls in the last few months. I don’t wish to now keep any contact with you, L, ever. It hurts me and I want to move forward, it brings back memories of the time you broke up with me and I want to move beyond it. Please don’t contact me L. I wish you well. May life give you immense happiness and success in all that you do. Regards, Jenny”.
Him (a week later): Congratulations on your idiocy. Spare me your silliness and keep it to you only. Don’t ever dare to contact me. Regards, L”.
You asked me these questions regarding the exchange above:
1. “why did he send this? I tried ending it well, why would he say this?”- because he is rude; he wanted to bug you, to disturb you, he didn’t want you to have that peace of mind that you felt after you sent him your text: “I felt peaceful.. and believed that he’ll also take it as farewell and we can end positively” (a note: that peace of mind you felt after sending that farewell text wouldn’t have lasted long even if he didn’t send his reply a week later, because your habit to obsess can be calmed only temporarily).
2. “My idiocy and silliness? I don’t know why it pinched me. Where am I silly and idiot in this?”- you were not silly or an idiot, but you were misguided thinking that you can achieve a long term peace of mind with a final, “farewell text” to him. This text was a symbolic act meant to end your obsessing habit, but no symbolic act can end an obsessing habit.
“He genuinely thinks this about me? This is how he wants to end it?”- I don’t know what he thinks, but his behavior toward you has been rude, crude and cruel. I don’t think he cares how it ends, or if it ended. He may still contact you.
“Was I wrong in replying 2 weeks after his last call?”- that’s one of your many self doubting thoughts, part of your obsessing habit: obsessing whether you said or did the right or wrong thing.
“Maybe he moved on till then and saw me as an annoyance?”- and what if he did, of what significance is what he thinks and feels.. you sent him a “farewell text” but it didn’t stop you from obsessing about what he thinks and what he feels.
“I can’t help but picture him laughing and making fun of me…”- to let him go (in the title of your thread), when you have these images and thoughts of him laughing at you, etc., you will have to learn to disengage from those images and thoughts. It is difficult to do, but over time, it can be possible for you.
“I want nothing to do with this, I am moving forward and early next morning, I’ll start my forward journey of self-development, starting with a positive conclusion post here, but I just wanted to get this out of me before starting that”-
– You can’t get it all out of you before starting a new beginning. The stuff you want to expel is still going to be with you as you start your new beginning, and it will still be with you for a long time as you proceed in your journey. Expecting all that stuff to be out of you and be done with it is an unrealistic expectation that will lead you off the road to self development.
“letting it out already feels good”- I know it does, but it is not all out, there is a lot more still there. Did you ever consider that you may suffer from obsessive thinking, from part or all of what is considered to be OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)?
A reply to your second post:
“He wanted me back, but he wanted me back on his own terms”- I don’t know what you mean by wanting you back, back as what? I don’t know if he ever had any respect- I detected none from what you shared.
“He was also angry... he was also angry… he started shouting“- this is all very different from those romantic movies and books you used to read, from that pure view of love, so very different.
Regarding anger: as a child, you did notice your mother’s anger when she vented for days about things that bothered her. You noticed her anger with you although she did not shout.. maybe, just maybe you noticed your father’s anger seeping through his submissive, saintly behavior. Maybe you were angry as a child, witnessing his submission.. I don’t know. But it seems to me that your ex’s expressive anger (ex. shouting) is something that still ties you to him, keeps you connected to him.
His openly angry behavior is in great contrast to the extremely contained, hidden anger of your father toward your mother. Maybe that’s where the attraction is.