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He's overthinking and retreating

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This topic contains 74 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 2 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 75 total)
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  • #131903

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    Your username: brick lady gives me a clue, maybe, to your situation. Your desire to be in this relationship is very strong, like a brick. Yet, it reads in Wikipedia (entry: brick) that earthquakes in the early 20th century revealed weakness of unreinforced bricks in earthquake prone areas because of cracks and crumbles that form during earthquakes. So steel reinforcement was used to hold the bricks together during earthquakes, and the old bricks were replaced by reinforced bricks in buildings.

    I am thinking the “steel reinforcement” in your case, regarding this relationship, would be keeping your thoughts, feelings and behavior as congruent as possible with reality. Relationships are vulnerable to earthquakes and do need reinforcement.

    anita

    #132581

    bricklady
    Participant

    I like that! It’s actually because I really like Lego. But Lego also need reinforcements to withstand pressure, so it applies.

    I didn’t have any contact with him yesterday and he messaged me first thing this morning to ask how I am doing and if everything was okay. He said he “is getting a handle on what’s going on. Or trying to at least.” But he didn’t go into detail and I didn’t ask. We have messaged a good bit this morning about a variety of things.

    I did speak with our mutual friend and told him my thoughts on how the oldest daughter is trying to be head of the house. He said that he is starting to notice that as well and does not believe it is good. He doesn’t know how to address it (neither do I.)

    So today, is way better than yesterday. I see my therapist on Monday afternoon and I am sticking with what she told me Tuesday. “Don’t ask when can you see the kids or him. He knows you want to. Let him be the one to contact you.” So I am taking deep breaths and planning my weekend for me.

    #132585

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    Yes, asking him when you can see his children is likely to distress him. I would avoid brining up anything, at this point, that may distress him.

    If an intimate/ living together relationship happens (and it very well may), reads to me, that you will always have to be careful about bringing up distressing issues to him. Not that it will be healthy for you to not bring up issues, walking on eggshells, but you will need to bring up important issues (those he can do something about) in such a way that it is the least distressing to him. Better have ground rules with him ahead of time, regarding bringing up issues, discuss and agree how to do it when issues come up.

    anita

    #132591

    bricklady
    Participant

    We are still getting used to this transition time for us. I think(hope) as we work through this we will learn how to communicate so that we can talk about conflict/distressing issues without causing one of us to take a few steps back or have him regress to how he is now.

    I just want him to get to where he feels better about himself, I can’t imagine what it must feel like to not only be left by a spouse but also have the parent of your children abandon them and dealing with the aftermath. I know he needs time to work through it all and I want to be with him on this journey. I don’t know how much space/time he needs, how often should I talk to him, that is something we’ll figure out as we go through this. I just keep praying that he works through this and finds his way back to us. Selfish, but I love him and the family and am still so scared of losing them.

    #132599

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    It is interesting: you shared just a bit about his life before he met you, clearly he has children, and they came from a past relationship. But you shared nothing about your life before you met him, if I am correct, other than having suffered from anxiety before. You formed strong attachment to him and his two minor children (not the older daughter, correct?), and you are focused on them.

    I wonder about your life before…

    anita

    #132605

    bricklady
    Participant

    I was dating myself for a few years. I had been married from 2002-2005, had one long term relationship from June 2006 until November 2009. I took for me them I dated someone from April 2012 to March 2015. Then I was tired of dating others I took myself to dinner, movies, concerts, hiking, etc. I had never dated anyone with young children. I was working and doing stuff I liked to fill the time I guess. I missed being in a relationship but I never met anyone in that I connected with until I met my guy.

    The marriage didn’t work out because we were so young (I was 22 when we got married) but primarily he he was emotionally and financially abusive and no amount of counseling worked to save it. He got numerous loans in my name and ran us into major debt.

    The first long term relationship didn’t last because he was just out of college and he travelled a lot for work. He was almost never in town and the relationship faltered and ended.

    The Second long term relationship ended because he didn’t want to have a family of any sort. His only child was an adult and that was enough for him. He wasn’t even interested in having a dog.

    I am closer to the younger kids than the older daughter. It’s not that we disagreed but more that we never sat down and had an adult conversation about how he & the kids make me happy and I make them happy.

    #132625

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    I do hope you and his oldest daughter will get the opportunity to sit down and talk. It makes sense that you will be closer to the younger kids. Especially since you shared before that the oldest talks very disrespectfully to her father.

    Your relationship history was helpful to my understanding in that there is nothing in your sharing about those to teach me about this relationship, other that you wanted children and a dog before. Your relationships were shorter than his (your guy, as you refer to him). I suppose he is somewhat older than you, a few years perhaps.

    This is a waiting period, waiting for him to calm down and invite you back into his life. There is a pretty good chance of it, as I see it, at this point because he is in contact with you, a positive contact, and – I suppose your therapist’s advice to talk to continue contact with your now mutual friends was a good idea. Pay attention to whether he feels or continues to feel positive about that. And be cautious as to what you share with them- don’t want them to bring to him possible misinterpretations of what you share with them.

    This waiting period is just that, waiting. That requires a whole lot of patience on your part. I hope to (continue) to be helpful in this regard. Rushing anything will backfire. Reads to me that there might be a resolution in a few weeks or a few months, at the most. I don’t predict the future, of course.

    anita

    #132635

    bricklady
    Participant

    He is 10 years older than me which has never been a problem for us. We have so many similar interests and things in common.

    My therapist did encourage to continue contact with our mutual friends, I am cautious with what I share with them. I like how they are open with me about what they witness and talk about with him, but are incredibly respectful about not sharing private personal things as well.

    Waiting period it certainly is. Wait and have patience. You are super helpful and I will continue to pop in with new updates as to what’s going on. We are in contact with the exception of yesterday and talk about a wide variety of things as we always do. It is really nice to see him motivated to get back to his favorite hobby and he is sharing a lot with me about it and we have tentative plans to take a class together.

    Thanks!

    #135203

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    As long as the communication is ongoing, it is a good thing. I think you are clear about keeping the topics of conversations light-and-easy on your part, let him lead the conversation, choose the topics while you respond only to what he brings up, at this point.

    But if he initiates a tough topic, like the future of your relationship, if I was you, I wouldn’t dive into it but proceed with caution: make your response short and as light (but true) as possible. No long sentences, explanations, “speeches”. Short responses with a casual tone of voice. Then let his speak. Basically give him the leadership in bringing up the relationship and leading such conversation.

    … Got to wait this waiting-period wisely. Results are not guaranteed, but you can do your best to increase the chances of desired results, results that will be healthy for all parties concerned.

    anita

    #136147

    bricklady
    Participant

    I don’t know.

    I am hanging on to hope. I am trying my best to have patience, it’s been one week. I don’t call him, nag him, I message him maybe once a day, letting him be the one to contact me. I’m giving him time and space to work on his stuff. He met with his therapist on Friday and I don’t know how that went, I hope he has another appointment soon.

    This weekend went. Saturday I went hiking by myself, he took his kids canoeing. Sunday I went to lunch and a movie my myself and later went for a walk on the beach. He sent me photos off and on over the weekend of what all they did which was nice of him to do. I miss all of them so much. I keep hoping that the kids and going to say, “wheres bricklady?! Why didn’t we go here with her to … or … this weekend like we talked about? Why isn’t she coming over?” So we can spend some time together.

    I am trying so hard to have faith in that what we are doing isn’t the stupidest thing in the world. I don’t know if I need to work on having no expectations when it comes to him. Something to ask my therapist when I see her today I suppose.

    #136151

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    Patience requires enduring distress without reacting to it negatively. You are doing well. You mentioned faith (“I am trying so hard to have faith”)-

    It wouldn’t be a matter of faith for me, if I was in your place. For me it would be a matter of statistical probabilities: I can act in ways that will increase the probability of a relationship or decrease it. And I will understand- I hope- that no matter what I do, the relationship may not be revived.

    Faith leads to expectations, and so, better give it up, I say. Give up the expectations and relax into the process of waiting and enduring and learning what you can as you wait.

    Keep posting…

    anita

    #136565

    bricklady
    Participant

    Thank you for the kind words.

    I had a good session with my therapist yesterday afternoon. Surprisingly on my way there my guy I guess I will call him Brickman messaged me and started telling me about how the weekend with the kids went and that they had a serious discussion regarding their mother on Sunday night.

    He also told me that he is working with his therapist about his anger and frustration issues he has had since his ex wife left him and the kids. So all the stings he said made for interesting conversation with my therapist.

    He also mentioned a few times about doing things together soon.

    My therapist suggested that I reply to him when he contacts me but not to initiate anything at this point which I agreed. She also encouraged that I have my weekend planned out by Thursday so I don’t wake up and wonder what I am going to do. I will have a list of things; chores, hiking, photography, lunch or dinner, etc to do each weekend. I will see her again next week. And I will post again soon.

    #136579

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    You are welcome and I appreciate the update. Good advice by your therapist, I believe, in line with not putting pressure on him. His recent communication with you is evidence that the no-pressure is working for his benefit and is increasing the revival chances of this relationship.

    Planning the weekend is also an excellent idea. Even if the execution of what you plan doesn’t lead to your happiness, the fact in itself that you plan and execute is comforting in itself, gives you a sense of reasonable power/ control over your life.

    anita

    #137659

    bricklady
    Participant

    Update.

    Yesterday I was having a really good day with low anxiety. After lunch I got a message from Brickman & I’s mutual friend. He said that he had lunch with brickman that “they had a really good talk. Very Positive! I’ll fill you in later. Breathe!” So 9 hours later our friend messages me that they had a good talk at lunch. Brickman is working hard with his therapist and he plans to see her again at the end of the month. Our friend mentioned that Brickman said he Loves me and just needs time to work on himself.” I thought it seemed liked a good sign, he’s taking his therapy seriously and I felt comfortable.

    This morning, Brickman messaged me Good morning and we started texting. After asking about the kids he said his son is having a hard time with missing his mom and balancing his stress and schoolwork. I encouraged getting the kids in to see their therapist. He and the kids have had a lot of talks about their mom and the kids are having trouble processing everything.

    Brickman and I messaged about various things throughout the day and he mentioned that he hoped to get out in his workshop on the 18/19. I waited a few minutes and told him I would be near his town on the 18th as I was going to a local flower festival. I guess I hoped he would say, “would you like me to ask if the kids would like to go? Or would you like to meet for lunch?” Nothing.

    He then told me that he and the kids are going away from the 23-26. Which just disappointed me so much because my Birthday is the 26th. I don’t even know if he thought of that. I don’t know if I should mention it to him.

    He talked about the kids after that. How he wants to spend as much time with them as possible. He wants them to know that they are loved and he wants to make memories with them. I asked him “It seems like you guys have a lot of stuff scheduled coming up. What’s with that?” His reply what that is is struggling right now as a single parent he has so much to do, laundry, dinner, grocery shopping, bills, mowing the lawn. He wants to finally do what we talked about for months, to paint his bedroom and put in a new floor. I told him  that I understood he feels like he needs to do a lot of this on his own and that I support that. I am also happy to come over and help. His response was “i know you do. i know you’re there. and i appreciate knowing that.”

    I just feel like I was gutted. I am struggling to get through each day and I have a small group of friends that message or call me daily to check on me and care about me. I would be in a lot worse state if it weren’t for them. I can’t fathom how close he and I  were for 10 months and then he’s just retreating and fleeing. I am giving him time and space and I am getting very little in return. I am not going to reply to him. I am not going to message him. Radio silence is what’s going to happen for a while. It breaks my heart.

    #137697

    anita
    Participant

    Dear bricklady:

    Ouch (the flower festival no response), ouch (your birthday not mentioned) and ouch (your offer to come over and help), I see how each hurt. But, you shouldn’t have mentioned the first or the third. That is not in line with the plan of waiting and not initiating anything. You got too excited, encouraged by the friend’s input and by Brickman texting yo a lot… and you got  impatient…

    So, back to the plan: initiate nothing at all. No initiation, no offers to meet (covert or overt), no offers to help- it is not helping you!

    And understandably, you got angry and want radio silence.

    If you don’t initiate anything, this will not happen. Please, expect nothing.

    This is not easy, is it? But it is not impossible. Take a hot bath and let the anger dissolve into the water. Don’t try to figure anything out when angry (“when your anger goes up, your IQ goes down” is the saying).

    anita

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 75 total)

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