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Feeling stuck

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This topic contains 31 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  anita 1 week, 5 days ago.

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  • #306105

    VLC90
    Participant

    Hi all,

    I wrote a post about a year ago about coming to terms with the break up of an ex-boyfriend. We were extremely emotionally attached to one another, but I had the feeling of something being “off”. When I broke up with him, I felt initially fine, but almost a year later I find myself to be in a situation which I am confused by.

    I am currently dating someone who I get along very well with. We were friends before we dated, and when we started dating, up until two weeks ago, everything felt really great. There would be times where I would miss my ex; however, they would pass when I gave them space to.

    In the last two weeks, I noticed myself feeling really great in my relationship and talking about getting married – and that’s when everything changed and that horrible detrimental feeling came which I am familiar with from all of my other relationships. I started picking out all of the things I didn’t like, and started wanting to be with my ex again. This time, it was very intense and has caused great distance in my relationship. There are things that I do struggle with in my relationship (boyfriend has low self-esteem and very few friends because of this, he also has a hard time developing boundaries with me), but he has been open to go to therapy to work on these feelings together.

    In all of this, I can’t help but remember all of the great things my ex-boyfriend did and find myself questioning whether I made a mistake or am in the wrong relationship again. I find it extremely uncomfortable and difficult to navigate. Has anyone every experienced something like this before? I am unsure of what to do.

    #306141

    anita
    Participant

    Dear VLC90:

    Welcome back. I looked at your previous thread and noticed that I didn’t reply to your last post there Nov last year. It probably didn’t reflect under the list of topics so I wasn’t aware of that last post there. I read your new thread and would like to reply to it tomorrow morning when I am more focused, in about 16 hours from now. I hope other members will reply to you before I am back.

    anita

    #306147

    VLC90
    Participant

    Thank you, Anita.

    #306153

    Mark
    Participant

    VLC90

    I believe we all need to date the full four seasons/one year before even considering having such a commitment especially if you are younger than 40 and less than several serious relationships.  There is no rush.  Relationships offer the opportunity to emotionally grow, to learn about your wounds and hot buttons that your mate pushes… and to heal from that, to deeply get to know about yourself.  See this as an opportunity to learn what about your ex draws you back to thinking about him.  Break it down.  Make a list.  Make a Plus and Minus list about your current BF on paper.  Plus consider couples counseling (and not with his own therapist).

    Mark

    #306179

    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi VLC90

    You don’t sound ready for a such a major step and long term commitment as marriage.  You had doubts about your ex-boyfriend so you called it off and now you have doubts about your current boyfriend.  Discussion of marriage happened and then suddenly what – if only………….it was my ex boyfriend I was marrying!

    You don’t need an expensive therapist to tell you that if you are having all these doubts now, your relationship doesn’t have a chance of succeeding.  You can’t turn your boyfriend into someone you want him to be.  He has his own strengths and weaknesses just like you do.

    Encourage him to work on his self esteem issues by all means but be aware that change brings change – there’s no way of knowing what that will do to your relationship.

    Meantime, put all marriage plans on hold until you are fully ready and able to commit 100% because you know he’s the right person for you.

    Peggy

     

    #306189

    Inky
    Participant

    Hi VLC90,

    Just remember that you are broken up for a reason. Perhaps several. If he wasn’t good for you then, why in the world would he be good for you now? It’s not like he’s beating down your doors to give him another chance, so are you going to chase him? (The correct answer would be “No”.)

    As to your current fellow, unless he bends down on one knee with a ring next year, you don’t have to worry about making any life long decisions.

    Best,

    Inky

    #306211

    anita
    Participant

    Dear VLC90;

    I think that what you liked about your ex boyfriend (having re-read your previous thread) was that he was very logical. He was emotionally shut off, not affectionate, fearing intimacy, selfish, but he was very logical and his logic calmed you.

    I think that you are anxious in the context of relationships. Will you tell me about your relationships with your parents, past and present?

    anita

    #306249

    VLC90
    Participant

    Thank you so much for all of the replies. I agree that this is an excellent learning opportunity for me. What’s troubling is that I find it to be a cycle and am noticing similar feelings between relationships. While my ex and I are not in contact, he will reach out to me every few months and is still adamant that we are going to get married. When I am in a good headspace, I am able to brush this off and wish him well. However, when I am not I find myself questioning my decision and why I could have just stuck it out.

    With my boyfriend, things are much different. We are friends, he is very affectionate, family-oriented, thoughtful and considerate. Anita, you are correct in saying that my ex-boyfriends logic was very calming to me. I believe it is because I can be so emotional, so having someone who did not look at life in that way was soothing. My boyfriend is a lot more emotional, which is perhaps where the challenge comes in for me.

    Anita, you have asked a loaded question lol. My relationship with my parents growing up was not the best. While they loved me to the best of their abilities, they both struggled in relation to one another (ultimately ending in divorce when I was 21), and I often felt like I took on a lot of my mother’s emotions, and also felt like I was constantly worried about my dad and felt like I looked for his attention as he was not very emotional. Today, the relationship is better, I try not to get upset with them because I know they were doing the best they can. I still worry about my Dad financially, and know that if an emotional relationship were to ever happen, it would be because of me. For example, I had to forcefully start a habit of saying “love you”, because it was never done before. With my mom, there is still a sense of hostility there, which I cannot fully understand. She often is upset with me because of a “tone”, or because I’m not agreeing with everything she says, but I’ve been practicing implementing boundaries around that. That is the short, condensed version of our relationship.

    #306261

    Valora
    Participant

    VLC90, is there a chance you’re afraid of commitment? Not relationship commitment because you seem to be okay with having boyfriends, but making a life-long commitment and taking big steps in that direction? It seems like your fears keep coming up each time that step comes closer. Do you have role models in your past that maybe were bad examples, like marriages that broke up that hurt you in some big way or maybe do you have fears of settling into a lifelong commitment only to be hurt or find that you’ve made the wrong choice and will be stuck with this person?

    What was it that felt “off” about your ex? Was it JUST a feeling of something being “off” and you didn’t know what it was but you had an otherwise good relationship or were you just incompatible in some way?

    #306265

    VLC90
    Participant

    Hi Valora,

    I really resonate with what you are saying. My family almost has a history of divorce: my parents, aunts/uncles, grandparents – all divorced. I am afraid of making the wrong choice and being stuck with the wrong person. So I think I try and identify all of the things that may cause me distress in the future.

    In regards to my ex, we had really great communication, and there were a lot of things we did for one another that were positive. With him, he refused to talk about the future (moving in/getting married) after two years, wouldn’t bring me around his family, and lacked physical affection. I know he would have taken great care of me, but we didn’t feel like friends. Instead, I felt like a check list. After we broke up, this all changed on his end.

    #306277

    anita
    Participant

    Dear VLC90:

    “that horrible detrimental feeling ..which I am familiar with from all of my other relationships” that caused you to remember your ex-boyfriend so fondly and question your relationship with your current boyfriend is probably the same detrimental feeling you had growing up, taking on a lot of your mother’s emotions, constantly worrying about your father, looking for his attention but not getting it and experiencing that “sense of hostility” with your mother.

    You wrote that you “cannot fully understand” that hostility. Do you want to? If you do, could it be (I am guessing) that you were angry at the way your mother treated your father?

    anita

    #306309

    VLC90
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I resonate with what you’re saying. I sense that the hostility comes from the emotional dumping when I was younger, and now the need to still be there for every feeling she has (whether I agree with it or not).

    What causes me distress is, if the problem is because of my previous experience or child-hood experience, then it’s possible that I’ve made a mistake and should have made it work with my ex, although there were problems, and that causes me a lot of guilty feelings. Although, I recognize that same feeling now with my boyfriend.

    #306315

    anita
    Participant

    Dear VLC90:

    I think that we can figure this out, if not today (I will soon be away from the computer) then tomorrow. It will take some back and forth communication. I am trying to understand then: your mother did “emotional dumping” on you when you were younger, and still does. Your ex boyfriend was not emotional but highly logical, and that was calming to you. But off too, because he emotionally too detached, removed, not there for you.

    Your current boyfriend is emotional. Are you afraid of finding yourself stuck with him being emotional, like you were very stuck with your emotional mother?

    anita

    #306329

    VLC90
    Participant

    Anita,

    Thank you for all of your responses. The time you take to respond to posts is really amazing. I am very grateful.

    To answer your question, yes. I feel like because I often would carry the weight of other peoples emotions (I do this with friends as well), I don’t have a place to “dump” my own. I do go to therapy, and this is where I often will do that. With my ex, I feel like his logical mind allowed me to have a place to share all of my feelings in a safe way, without having to worry too much about someone else. With my current boyfriend, if I do bring something us that is concerning to me or something that I’m feeling, I often have to explain to him that the feeling is about me and not him (which is why I brought up the low-self-esteem), and I am not fully given that space for my emotions.

    V

    #306335

    anita
    Participant

    Dear V:

    You are welcome and thank you for your kind words.

    Your ex boyfriend’s “logical mind allowed me to have a place to share all my feelings in a safe way”- similar to sharing your feelings with a robot of sorts- problem is that his feelings were shut down  and this is why it felt off to you. It really was off.

    Your current boyfriend, he is emotional, good thing. Now all the two of you have to learn (and it can easily done in quality couple therapy) is how to communicate with each other so that no one burdens anyone. I can share with you what I learned in couple therapy in this regard.

    I will be away from the computer soon for about 15 hours or so. When I am back, if you post more, I will read and reply further.

    anita

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