October 4, 2019 at 11:51 am #316051
Hi there, lovely community! I’m looking for the strength and support to be kind. To be able to love through hurt, and not to retaliate. To give me the perspective to be compassionate and loving.
My partner and I have been seeing each other for about six months. It’s not very long, but we’re struggling. He can be quite anxious in the partnership, while I am naturally more avoidant. When we are together it’s warm, and lovely. Really lovely. Funny, caring. But we live an hour’s drive apart, both with ft jobs and commitments, and so time together can be hard to find. We manage at least once a week though, we try for twice.
I can manage with that frequency. I can hold the warmth and care, and feel happy with the relationship. But it hurts him. And when I need to do something else, or even just need some calm on my own, it triggers him. He’ll send an angry text that is part loving, part hurtful. He’ll tell me that the things I do aren’t good enough. He’ll be resentful of the things which he does. And I’m struggling.
I can see the hurt that is causing the anger. I simultaneously know that I am happier in my own company than most people I know, and that I don’t need as much contact to be loving within it as I think is ‘normal’.
This man is lovely. I care for him a lot. I’ve moved really far out of my comfort zone for us to be together – I’ve compromised (in a good way) on many of my ‘stuck’ ways. I know there’s more. But I’m tired. I’ve tried so hard, and yet I seem to trigger him every couple of weeks. And he, in turn, triggers me.
I know I could smooth the situation with a loving, kind and calm text. But I’m really hurting from this last blow out. Reaching that place of forgiveness for us is getting harder and harder.
At what point do we give up? At what point do we continue loving?
All sage advice and comments really welcomed, and needed! Thank you…October 4, 2019 at 1:17 pm #316069
To understand better I ask: in this last blowout, what was his complained specifically: what did he say/ communicate to you?
anitaOctober 4, 2019 at 1:32 pm #316083
Hi Bellamoon <3
I want to say, that when I started reading this I felt very connected, as I went through something very similar. I think there are a lot of questions that could be asked in order to better understand and discuss this but when it comes to other people’s triggers and loving someone, here is what I know and have experienced.
All of us have past baggage and traumas and pain, which translate to triggers. When what we do triggers someone else (usually unintentionally) it’s because it’s scratching their ego in some way. Something they haven’t healed yet from their past is hurting, and it’s coming through with irritation, anger, and frustration. In these situations, all we can do is listen to them, hear them, and let them know that we hear them and understand where they are coming from – acknowledging, honoring and validating their feelings is important. Even if we didn’t mean to hurt them, they feel hurt and that’s valid. Also, remember that when people react out of anger or frustration and they say hurtful things, this is a way coping by spreading the pain. When we feel pain, we should sit with it and feel it and then show it love and compassion and communicate it in a way that doesn’t, but this isn’t easy for most people. After showing compassion and love for how they feel, we can apologize that we made them feel that way, and then from a place of love and empathy, explain that we didn’t mean to make them feel that way. Someone who truly cares about you, won’t want to hurt you and say spiteful things, even if they are hurt. They’ll communicate it in a calm and understanding way. A lot of relationship anxiety boils down to the inability to trust. And even if we’ve never given someone a reason to distrust us, we also can’t MAKE them trust us, no matter what. It’s an internal processing decision that they have to make.
It’s also extremely important for you to really look at how each of you need to be loved, and how each of you show love. Love languages are real and they are what make our love tank feel full or empty. If quality time is his main love language, then something might have to change, because it will continue to trigger him. It’s important to remember what YOU need and not compromise what you need for another – set boundaries. Also, can you really give them what they need? Is it possible? Some people, if they’re not healed or trying to heal, will never feel like they’re getting what they need, because they’re not giving it to themselves. In this case, we’re helpless – we can be there for them, love them, show compassion, but at what expense? The expense should never be your happiness and light.
Every relationship is a lesson and with that comes growth. Even though it hurts, if we’ve tried everything and it isn’t aligning with who we truly are, then sometimes we have to let them go. Some people are meant to be in our lives, but just for a season. This doesn’t mean you should end things, but have a conversation. A real, raw, vulnerable conversation about your relationship and where it’s going and how you feel and what you need from each other. When it starts to cause more pain than love, we have to look deeper.
The questions to keep in mind are, Is there more light than dark? More love than hurt? Is this person and relationship in alignment with who I truly am? Am I truly happy?
I hope these questions and introspection help you find the answers you’re looking for & I hope the universe brings you much love and peace <3October 4, 2019 at 1:48 pm #316085
<p style=”text-align: left;”>Megan… thank you, so much. SO much! For your thoughtful, caring, beautiful and truly incredibly wise response. Sending a big, grateful hug for such amazing help – thank you 🙂 <3</p>October 4, 2019 at 3:02 pm #316091
Every relationship will trigger you.
Anxious Attachment needs development . Avoidant Attachment really needs development.
It’s about understanding how we grew up & how our parents cared or didn’t care for us, this is how it usually reflects in our relationships.
People with avoidant Attachment learn to be independent.
People with Anxious learn codependency.
Secure relationships are interdependent.
Anxious people need a lot of love & assurance. Ask your partner what they need. Meet the need. Understand as a person who’s avoidant, it may not always make sense or it may scare you- as intimacy scares avoidants.
If you really want it to work I suggest you buy two books, Attached by Amir Levine. One for you one for him.October 4, 2019 at 3:27 pm #316103
One way to helped me . Learn to fabricate healthier Attachment responses. It’s all psychology. Once you know people’s attachment styles you realize they respond/react similarly to everybody else with that attachment style.
fabricate as in, simply google. “How would a securely attached person a) respond to ____; b) communicate ________ ; c) assure…”
Also learn about your attachment style (read the book).
learn your fears, learn what you avoid & why you avoid it, work on that.
Anxious people get really flustered over things they feel are simple . Probably just something not being communicated.
Also both attachment styles together tend to get into a manipulative cycle , subconsciously playing on each others triggers.
Anxious people learn to piss off avoidants because they know that will get a response. Or they do silent treatment . (All manipulative and immature.)
Avoidants learn to run when things get too intimate or close (also not healthy). Leads to no chemistry & cheating down the road.. they also learn to walk away from anxious ppl saying they’re “needy” rather than understanding how their avoidance is activating their partner . Then after staying away for a while they come back . Creating a vicious cycle.
Do your research. If it doesn’t help you in this relationship. It’ll help you in others.
Also set boundaries. Respect needs to be present. Let them feel seen and heard but also communicate that their needs to be respectful effective communication & consistency on both ends.
Also have a convo about both of your triggers. Work them through together. Just put it all on the table .