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Feeling very confused and stuck in my current relationship.

HomeForumsRelationshipsFeeling very confused and stuck in my current relationship.

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  • #427227
    ocean
    Participant

    I’ve been with my partner for a little over a year and lately I have been having so much worry and anxiety regarding our relationship. We had the intention of marriage when we started dating and it is something we were both on the same page about from the very beginning.

    My partner is a great person to be around but often times I feel like we are very different people. Not only that, I feel like our families are also a bit different. His family dynamic is much more different than mine. He is very sensitive.

    I feel like a big part of my anxiety is stemming from this relationship. I feel like I’m always bringing up the serious conversations about our future together which in turn makes me feel like I’m forcing this connection. I also have this constant doubt and fear that this is not meant for me. Am I supposed to be thinking and feeling these things while being in a healthy relationship? Why am I constantly worried about the future of our relationship? I feel like because of these harbored feelings, I feel very on and off with him. I don’t know why I’m feeling these feelings. I also feel like I am not emotionally fulfilled in this relationship. I feel like there’s no value in me being in this relationship. I can confidently say I am an added value for him, but I certainly don’t feel like any positives were added to my life.

    I also feel like I’ve been wanting a partnership and companionship for so long but I don’t know if this is what’s meant for me. I know relationships take a lot of work and effort, but a big part of me feels very let down. I know I can easily tell him all of this instead of typing it here on this forum but I feel like he will take it the wrong way or get offended by what I am saying. I’m just really hurting and very confused about this and I’m not sure what to do. Why is my mind and heart saying different things? How do I know if this is just made up anxiety and worries, and that I am in a good relationship? How do I know if this is meant for me? or How will I know if it is time to let go? I care about him a lot and I do have a lot of love for him. I think about my future a lot and I’m just unsure of how this will all play out.

    #427242
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ocean:

    I would like to help you answer all of the questions you brought up, but I don’t have enough information. Therefore, I am hoping that following a conversation between the two of us, I will be able to help you answer your questions. In this reply, I will bring up possibilities, and ask questions:

    1) “He is very sensitive… I know I can easily tell him all of this instead of typing it here on this forum but I feel like he will take it the wrong way or get offended by what I am saying“- has your experience been that you are walking on eggshells when talking with him or planning to talk to him, that you have to be careful about the words you choose and what you say, so that he does not take what you say the wrong way and get offended?

    There are people who are offensive and so, understandably people feel offended by them. But there are people who feel offended even when there is no real offense. Growing up with my mother, there was hardly anything that I could say that she wouldn’t take the wrong way and get offended by. Anything I said (or failed to say), she represented as if I was thinking something negative about her, and trying to hurt her feelings. Of course, I walked on eggshells, or on a minefield, so to speak, not knowing what bomb is going to explode next, under my feet. No matter how hard I tried, there was always the next time she felt offended and angrily let me know about it.

    This, what I just shared, is an extreme example of what I am talking about, but is any of this true in regard to your boyfriend?

    2) “I feel like our families are also a bit different. His family dynamic is much more different than mine“- when choosing a lifetime partner, it is very important to learn about his family dynamic, because he may continue the same dynamic in a marriage with you. Would you like to share about his family dynamic as opposed to yours?

    3) “I feel like I’m always bringing up the serious conversations about our future together which in turn makes me feel like I’m forcing this connection“- do you mean that he shows a lack of interest in serous conversations about the future: that he is not interested in such conversations.. or in a future with you? Can you give me an example of such a conversation: (part of) what you said to him, and (part of) what he said back, or how he reacted?

    4) “I feel like there’s no value in me being in this relationship. I can confidently say I am an added value for him, but I certainly don’t feel like any positives were added to my life…I also feel like I am not emotionally fulfilled in this relationship“- how are you an added value to him, in what ways? What kinds of positives/ emotional fulfillment could he add to your life if he acted differently from the way he does (examples)?

    And now, my answers to your question without further information:

    I also have this constant doubt and fear that this is not meant for me. Am I supposed to be thinking and feeling these things while being in a healthy relationship?“- no, you are not supposed to have constant or any serious doubts about the relationship being right for you. Having constant, or very frequent doubts means that the relationship is not healthy. It takes two people who are confident about being in the relationship to make it a healthy relationship.

    Why am I constantly worried about the future of our relationship?“- (1) maybe because he is the wrong guy for you, for example, if he is interested in marriage but not in having serious, reasonable conversations about the future marriage, or if he takes so much of what you say the wrong way and feels offended when there is no such intent or real offense on your part, (2) maybe because you suffer from what is termed relationship anxiety (or relationship OCD), and therefore’ you’d be anxious about a relationship with any man, no matter how close to perfect he might be.

    Why is my mind and heart saying different things?“- maybe because your heart is telling you what it needs/ wishes your boyfriend to be, and your mind is telling you.. who he really is.

    How do I know if this is just made up anxiety and worries, and that I am in a good relationship?“- well, clearly, you are not in a good relationship because of the way you feel about it, the doubts, the confusion. Whether the anxiety and worries would be there no matter the guy (aka relationship anxiety/ OCD) is a question.

    How do I know if this is meant for me?“- this is meant for you only if you get to a place where you feel confident about being in the relationship.

    How will I know if it is time to let go?“- you will know if your mind and your heart are telling you the same thing, and not different things (as they are telling you now).

    You ended your original post with saying that you have a lot of love for him. It takes a lot of courage to see a man you love (aka a man to whom you are emotionally attached), as he is, when what you see means that you should leave him. It’s difficult to leave someone you are emotionally attached to.

    It also takes courage to see yourself as you are, for example, to see your own childhood as it truly was, and how it causes or adds (if it does) to your current anxiety.

    I hope to read back from you and to help you dispel your confusion.

    anita

     

    #427247
    ocean
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you for your responses. I’d like to use the same formatting as I respond:

    1) “has your experience been that you are walking on eggshells when talking with him or planning to talk to him, that you have to be careful about the words you choose and what you say, so that he does not take what you say the wrong way and get offended?”

    I wouldn’t say that I have to walk on eggshells. He provides a safe and open safe for me to communicate but often times my bluntness can come off as very harsh which in turn can hurt him. He is a very highly sensitive individual. Thank you for sharing some insight about your mother – I do not think he gets offended anytime I say something, I think it is usually when I poorly phrase my thoughts and feelings,. I recognize I have some work to do when I am trying to express myself – there is no doubt about that – but the saying “think before you speak” definitely is something I want to strive for. I tend to get frustrated and upset and in turn, when I am expressing that, it comes out harshly so I definitely am learning how to properly communicate with him.

    2) “when choosing a lifetime partner, it is very important to learn about his family dynamic, because he may continue the same dynamic in a marriage with you. Would you like to share about his family dynamic as opposed to yours?”

    Our families have a lot in common – we have a similar upbringing, same culture and religion, our family dynamic is mostly similar, but one thing that is different is my family is very traditional and very cultural whereas his family is very modern, laid back, go with the flow type. Often times I think about how my family and his family will mesh. One of my thoughts is that, will they get along? Will they be close? I come from a family of hustlers – where they work extremely hard and ambition is very much a factor in each and every one of us in my family. Him on the other hand, it seems like his family is very comfortable with where they are at. They do not strive to be better or do better – if anything, change scares them. He is someone who has ambition, has the same moral values as I do and we both want the same things. That is where the initial attraction started, it felt really nice to finally meet someone who viewed life the same way as me and we both envision what our future would look like.

    3) “do you mean that he shows a lack of interest in serous conversations about the future: that he is not interested in such conversations.. or in a future with you? Can you give me an example of such a conversation: (part of) what you said to him, and (part of) what he said back, or how he reacted?”

    I usually would find myself being the person talking about timelines, marriage, future etc. It’s not that he doesn’t want any of those things with me, a big reason as to why he was never bringing them up was because he felt he was not ready financially and he wanted to secure that before starting a new chapter. His attitude has always been excited for the next chapter with me, and how he wants it just as badly as I do. We had gone into this with the same mindset that this was a serious relationship. He has never given me any doubt about not wanting a future with me and has always been very open how he strives for financial security.

    4) “how are you an added value to him, in what ways? What kinds of positives/ emotional fulfillment could he add to your life if he acted differently from the way he does (examples)?”

    I would say that I am a positive addition to his life because I encourage him, support him, motivate him, give him advice on anything that he may be dealing with. I play a big role in teaching him things that I know and I am always there for him when he needs love, support etc. He does the same by encouraging me, supporting me, and he does try to give me advice but I’m someone that usually doesn’t go to others for advice unless I really need it. He doesn’t really teach me a lot or show me a lot of things but the love and support is there. So I may have been harsh at first when saying I don’t feel like positives were added into my life.

    —–

    How can I determine if this is just my deep rooted fear and anxiety versus letting something really good and healthy go? I was in a relationship in the past, many many years ago, and I was anxious having the same worries of ‘is he for me’ etc. I wonder if it could be relationship anxiety. If it is that, how can I resolve the relationship anxiety feelings?

    I felt confident and reassured when I started this relationship, it is only recently where I feel like I’m doubting. I do feel distant and a bit of a disconnect from him but it’s mainly the doubts and fears I have that make me push him away… I worry so much that our families might not get along. I worry so much that his family may not like me or accept me or my family. I worry if my family might not accept his family or him for that matter.

    #427251
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ocean:

    You are welcome. I will need more time to thoroughly read your 2nd post, therefore, I’ll be back to you Fri morning (it is Thurs 12:41 pm here).

    In regard to this part of your recent post: “I tend to get frustrated and upset and in turn, when I am expressing that, it comes out harshly…  his family is… laid back, go with the flow type. Often times I think about how my family and his family will mesh. One of my thoughts is that, will they get along? Will they be close? I come from a family of hustlers – where they work extremely hard and ambition is very much a factor in each and every one of us in my family. Him on the other hand, it seems like his family is very comfortable with where they are at. They do not strive to be better or do better – if anything, change scares them“-

    – I sense that you are angry with him and perhaps envious of him (and his family) for having had a laid back life, while you and your parents didn’t have that kind of luxury, a life you wish or wished you had… Any truth to this?

    I wonder if you feel that you’d betray your parents if you choose a partner who does not at all follow their philosophy and practice of life: the perhaps restless striving to be and do better (financially,  educationally..?)

    If you would like to respond to what I brought up here, please do, and I will thoroughly reply to all that you share in the morning.

    anita

    #427252
    ocean
    Participant

    Hi Anita, thank you for your response.

    I sense that you are angry with him and perhaps envious of him (and his family) for having had a laid back life, while you and your parents didn’t have that kind of luxury, a life you wish or wished you had… Any truth to this?”

    No there is no truth to this. If anything, I wish his parents was more like my parents. I feel like his parents are very much comfortable with their current standard of life. I don’t think they’d want to change anything about it or better themselves.

    “I wonder if you feel that you’d betray your parents if you choose a partner who does not at all follow their philosophy and practice of life: the perhaps restless striving to be and do better (financially,  educationally..?)”

    I know I shared that my biggest concern was our families meshing, but I feel like my parents will be happy with whomever I choose to build a life with. If there were any problems or issues that were alarming about the individual, my parents would definitely have a conversation with me, but I do not think they would feel betrayed and I would not feel like I betrayed them. At the end of the day, I feel like all parents should want to see their kids happy so I know my parents would do that for me. I have a good and confident feeling that my parents would love him but it’s really the families meshing that I worry about a lot.

    #427254
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ocean:

    You are welcome!

    it’s really the families meshing that I worry about a lot“- if you would like to, can you elaborate on this worry: what particular thoughts about the family meshing run through your mind?

    (I will soon be away from the computer and back to your thread in the morning).

    anita

    #427256
    ocean
    Participant

    “if you would like to, can you elaborate on this worry: what particular thoughts about the family meshing run through your mind?”

    i worry that i won’t be as close with his siblings. i grew up very close to my siblings and i love them dearly. my family is very close as well. i envision for my future to be similar, where i have a great relationship with my in-laws, where i am close with my husband’s siblings and i’m afraid they might not like me or interact with me. they’re much older (10+ years of age difference) so i’m not sure what we would have in common. i have not met them yet but i am very nervous. i usually am not afraid of meeting people older than me or starting a conversation. one of my really close friends is 6 years older than me but i am just worried his siblings might not like me or want their brother to be with me. they seem very different, their sibling dynamics is very different from mine. again, this is all fear based which adds to my doubts. i thought it would be somewhat normal to be nervous when meeting partner’s family but i am just worried they might not like me.

    #427283
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Ocean:

    About your relationship anxiety: “I feel like a big part of my anxiety is stemming from this relationship“. There is a history to your relationship anxiety: “I was in a relationship in the past, many many years ago, and I was anxious having the same worries of ‘is he for me’ etc.

    Your current relationship anxiety started recently, at about the 1-year mark of the relationship: “I’ve been with my partner for a little over a year and lately I have been having so much worry and anxiety regarding our relationshipI felt confident and reassured when I started this relationship, it is only recently where I feel like I’m doubting“.

    From what you shared, your relationship anxiety is not about who your boyfriend is, it’s not about you doubting him and his commitment to you (I am adding the boldface feature selectively here and in future quotes): “My partner is a great person to be aroundHe provides a safe and open safe for me to communicateHe is someone who has ambition, has the same moral values as I do and we both want the same things. That is where the initial attraction started, it felt really nice to finally meet someone who viewed life the same way as me and we both envision what our future would look likeHis attitude has always been excited for the next chapter with me, and how he wants it just as badly as I do. We had gone into this with the same mindset that this was a serious relationship. He has never given me any doubt about not wanting a future with me“.

    From what you shared, your relationship anxiety is about the two families not getting along, and about his family (his parents and siblings) rejecting you: “Often times I think about how my family and his family will mesh. One of my thoughts is that, will they get along?… I worry so much that our families might not get along. I worry so much that his family may not like me or accept me or my family. I worry if my family might not accept his family or him for that matter… I worry that I won’t be as close with his siblings. I grew up very close to my siblings and I love them dearly. My family is very close as well. I envision for my future to be similar, where I have a great relationship with my in-laws, where I am close with my husband’s siblings and I’m afraid they might not like me or interact with me.. I have not met them yet but I am very nervous… I am just worried his siblings might not like me or want their brother to be with me. They seem very different, their sibling dynamics is very different from mine… I am just worried they might not like me“.

    Here is what I am thinking at this point, Ocean: you adjusted very well to your family of origin, to your parents and siblings with whom you grew up. If you think of a family picture as a jigsaw puzzle (JP), your individual piece in the JP has all the right sides, sockets and knobs, keys and locks, so to be as perfect a fit as possible to the other pieces.

    As is, there is a good fit between your piece and your family JP, and therefore, there’s closeness with them. You are worried that the same piece that fit so well in your family JP, will not fit his family JP,  and therefore, it will be rejected.

    “Our families have a lot in common – we have a similar upbringing, same culture and religion, our family dynamic is mostly similar, but one thing that is different is my family is very traditional and very cultural whereas his family is very modern, laid back, go with the flow type“-

    – My feel is that adjusting to your culturally stricter and traditional family of origin required that your piece has defined and-not-to-be-compromised sides, sockets and knobs, etc., a tight fitting. Your boyfriend’s adjustment to his modern, culturally laid back, go-with-the-flow type family required a looser fitting.  So on his part, he is more likely to fit a different kind of family than his own. But because of your tight fitting to your family, it is, or would be difficult to fit a different type family from yours.

    Because of the tight fittings required in your family JP, and the loose fittings in his, you worry that there will be a poor fit/ meshing between the two JPs: “it’s really the families meshing that I worry about a lot“.

    Often times my bluntness can come off as very harsh which in turn can hurt him…  I tend to get frustrated and upset and in turn, when I am expressing that, it comes out harshly…I’m someone that usually doesn’t go to others for advice unless I really need it“- maybe your adjustment to your family of origin, the fitting into the JP into which you were born, required that you would be independent and self sufficient, and not go to them for advice or help unless you really needed it. And maybe, that there is anger in you about this fitting requirement, a resentment perhaps for having to be too independent, an anger that expresses itself in the bluntness and harshness you mentioned here?

    I would like to read your thoughts about what I brought up here, in this post.

    anita

     

    #427332
    Roberta
    Participant

    Dear ocean

    I am guessing from what you  have said that your boyfriends family does not see their self worth deriving from continually striving for more, better, faster & that they are content with a less is more scenario’s.

    I am  also guessing that since you and your boyfriend established early on in the relationship that it was serious and had like wise goals regarding future & family. He may not feel it is necessary to micro manage or reharsh things frequently if your goalposts have not moved.

    My own son met his girlfriend and after a year they got engaged and at the same time set their wedding date for the following year. My daughter in law’s family is both academic and artisinal, my family less so.  We have managed to mesh as our ethics and belief in community welfare is our bridging point and now we have 2 happy grandchildren.

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