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My depressed girlfriend left me

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  • #419484
    Adam
    Participant

    I wouldn’t mind exploring your idea on proving to her that I’m worthy. Maybe it has a lot to do with why I’m so attached. I really did want to prove to her and myself that we could make it work and both be happy while in a relationship. I still think it’s fixable if I’m being honest and it honestly is if the right steps are taken. Last time we split it was a few weeks later when she messaged me and we spoke. I remember her saying she didn’t think I was caring after all this time. That makes me feel like I should still reach out now and show her that I’m still caring as it has only been just over 2 weeks now. Not sure if I will hear from her though but I do believe I will eventually. I feel like she did honestly share that destined feeling but it fizzled out a bit towards the end and she couldn’t work through the differences.

    I’m not sure if I mentioned on my previous comments but my ex was actually prescribed to anti psychotics when she was about 17-18 and then she changed to this major anti depressive. I don’t want to say she was a psycho but it genuinely feels that way a bit and that’s what everyone is telling me. She was toxic, immature, depressed, psychotic etc. these are the things people are telling me now.

    Speaking on worthiness I was never that confident with my sex life growing up. However after a few girlfriends I definitely became for confident. One thing to note is that all my exes actually told me that we are not sleeping together enough. My ex also mentioned this just before we split. I have never had a high sex drive but all my partners have and they obviously wanted more than I did. Maybe this was another difference that my ex wasn’t happy with. She always said she had no issue and it was good for her because otherwise it would be too easy and accessible and I guess she meant that me having a lower sex drive made it more special.

    I am just trying to add all the details I can at this point. Any direction would be appreciated. I felt alright today I’m trying to keep my head in a good place and be my own reminder that my ex was controlling and manipulating me. The first week was a lot easier, as I approach week 3 it feels as though my thoughts are slowly trying to beautify the relationship more and it’s surprising my rational thoughts at times.

    #419485
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    Your summary about it was good. It really felt that way, like if I say or do anything to unsettle her a bit then I wasn’t being a good partner to her.

    Okay, so I’ll repeat her stance: “I don’t need you to tell me how to live my life. Just do what I ask of you and don’t complain.”

    That’s a pretty selfish attitude, don’t you think? She didn’t care about how you felt, she was only interested in her own needs. And if you asked anything for yourself, or tried to point out at some things, she accused you of being selfish and condescending. You had no say in that relationship. And by the end, you said you lost yourself completely. You became a shell, in order to please her.

    I won’t go into too much but I went to prison a few years ago when I was about 21-22. It wasn’t for long but it wasn’t fun either. When people go on about ‘what I’ve been through’ I think this is what they mean.

    Oh I am sorry about that. That is a big trauma. And it might have impacted you in some ways, even if you don’t think about it any more.

    May I ask: was she the first relationship after you got out of prison? Because it may contribute to the strong attachment that you feel towards her…

    I think I believed a lot about what she said. After our last fight I went outside to get some fresh air and I remember crying telling myself I’m a shit boyfriend and I should be doing better. She made me feel inadequate.

    Okay, so you did believe that you were selfish and not good enough. She made you feel inadequate and you believed it. You are now starting to realize that those might have been unjust accusations, but there is still a part of you that believes they are true:

    I think I’m realizing now it was unjust accusations however I still feel like I lack in some departments from being told I am so often,

    A part of you still believes you are a bad person, and that this is the reason she rejected you:

    You’re right I do feel rejected as a person not just a partner. The fact that I couldn’t even get broken up with in person after nearly a year is difficult.

    Another part of you – the rational part – knows you deserve better, and that you were abused in that relationship:

    I know what I deserve though and it’s a lot better than what I got. I need to treat myself with that love though because I never really got it from her.

    Yes, you would need to treat yourself with love. You still seem to want  to get that love and validation from her. Because a part of you believes you are unlovable, you’re not good enough, you are a bad person.

    This wounded part – who believes you are unlovable and not good enough – is your inner child. I don’t know how and when it developed (whether in childhood or later), but it is still driving you. And I think it’s the reason behind your strong longing for her.

    Because it could be that you see her as some sort of authority who should validate you and tell you that you’re a good and lovable person. That you’re worthy. That’s the feeling I get. And that’s why you can’t let her go, even if you’ve suffered so much in that relationship.

    Our inner child (which is our emotional, wounded part) is incredibly strong. You can’t overwrite its desire and longing with reason. It can also give us that destined feeling, that you’re talking about.

    If I am right, then nothing will help you let go, until you get in touch with that wounded part and give it the love and appreciation it craves. Until you give yourself love. You, the adult Adam, should be a good, loving parent for your inner child.

    What do you think?

     

    #419486
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    I haven’t seen your last post before posting mine.

    I wouldn’t mind exploring your idea on proving to her that I’m worthy.

    Happy to do that. I’ve already made some suggestions in my previous post, regarding the inner child. I hope those make sense to you.

    I felt alright today I’m trying to keep my head in a good place and be my own reminder that my ex was controlling and manipulating me. The first week was a lot easier, as I approach week 3 it feels as though my thoughts are slowly trying to beautify the relationship more and it’s surprising my rational thoughts at times.

    What you said here actually confirms my theory: that your rational part is aware of all the facts and how bad and toxic the relationship was. However, the emotional part is overwriting all of that – and as you say, this comes as a surprise to your rational part.

    It’s almost like two entities fighting inside of you: your reason and your emotions. As I said, the emotions cannot be shut down for too long, as you’re experiencing it yourself. These strong emotions I believe are coming from your inner child, who feels unlovable and unworthy. So the idea is to get in touch with your inner child and tell him that he is lovable and precious and worthy. And that there is nothing wrong with him.

    Here are some examples of how your emotions/inner child clouds your judgment:

    I still think it’s fixable if I’m being honest and it honestly is if the right steps are taken.

    I remember her saying she didn’t think I was caring after all this time. That makes me feel like I should still reach out now and show her that I’m still caring

    I feel like she did honestly share that destined feeling but it fizzled out a bit towards the end and she couldn’t work through the differences.

    It overwrites everything your reason knows, and pushes his own agenda. For example, your reasons knows that she was bad for you: I don’t want to say she was a psycho but it genuinely feels that way a bit and that’s what everyone is telling me. She was toxic, immature, depressed, psychotic etc. these are the things people are telling me now.

    But to your emotional part, it doesn’t really matter much. It is capable of forgetting all about the problems and believing that still, he needs to try again.

    I hope you can see this mechanism and this battle inside of you. The more you see it, the harder it will be to be pulled into mindless hope. I say mindless on purpose, because when we are under the influence of this strong desire and longing, our rational mind switches off.

     

    #419488
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

    It is a selfish attitude but I also can’t blame her for being selfish. I do believe she had her and maybe even our best interest in mind. Part of me thinks she knew I was unhappy and she could see that I wasn’t going to leave but I would always fight. But you’re right her attitude was selfish and she wasn’t very thoughtful of how I would feel. Imagine I told her ‘you treat me like shit’ that would really hurt her and I think she knew what she said hurt me at times. I honestly think she purposefully said some things and left because she knew it would hurt me and get me to fight. She always went to the extreme to get that reaction from me though. Yes the last week I really felt so lost in the relationship but I knew I would find myself again and things would be good between us. A rough patch is what I thought it was, however it occurred quite a bit and it was all instigated by her not feeling wanted or loved. I always felt happy and loved until she left. I think that’s why I felt so alone, because she already left me before she broke up with me. She said herself that she took it out on me and processed the whole break up before it happened. I do have a deep desire to please people especially partners once they mention they are unhappy.

    The first relationship was when I got out of prison. Honestly I think it could have to do with just being my first real relationship. Also I felt bad about how it ended after all those months. I find her very attractive to this day, more so than other exes. So maybe the attachment is there because of my attraction to her as well.

    I do want to get that validation and love from her it sucks… I wouldn’t say I’m unloveable or not worthy. I know deep down I am a steal and most girls would be very lucky to have me, I say that humbly. I just know I can support, love and bring joy to people especially a partner.

    I am trying to be a good parent to my inner child, only I am getting caught in the bad habits. I unblocked her the other day to look at her profiles etc. I also did a detour past her house the other day as she lives around the corner. Again it’s like I’m looking for a reason to move on. It’s like I need to see that she’s moved on before I can. I would hate that if in the future she reached out and hadn’t moved on but I had. However you can argue that it’s worse if the roles are real versed and I haven’t moved on because I have been waiting to see if she has. It’s like I’m torn between different sides.

    It does feel as though my rational side is being taken over by my emotional side a lot of the time. So my emotional side is my inner child basically?

    I am just so caught up on this feeling. I’m so stuck in the idea that this is what the universe really wanted as well as both of us. I’ve heard the saying ‘if it will be then it will be’ and I genuinely think it will be for some reason, it’s that destined feeling. I can’t help but think we will reconnect and I don’t want that feeling. I do want to just put this too rest so I can focus on myself (I’m getting better at doing this) but I only want to focus on myself for the possibility of rekindling.

    I have been telling myself everyday I actually need to move on and forget. I’ve been almost angry at myself for allowing myself to be fooled again as well as disrespected. Maybe I should be kinder and just accept that it happened and take it easier rather than shouting at myself. It’s like I’m trying to be my own rational thought and force the idea of moving on and letting go. Maybe I’m going about it wrong?

    #419500
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    It is a selfish attitude but I also can’t blame her for being selfish. I do believe she had her and maybe even our best interest in mind. Part of me thinks she knew I was unhappy and she could see that I wasn’t going to leave but I would always fight. But you’re right her attitude was selfish and she wasn’t very thoughtful of how I would feel. Imagine I told her ‘you treat me like shit’ that would really hurt her and I think she knew what she said hurt me at times. I honestly think she purposefully said some things and left because she knew it would hurt me and get me to fight. She always went to the extreme to get that reaction from me though. Yes the last week I really felt so lost in the relationship but I knew I would find myself again and things would be good between us. A rough patch is what I thought it was, however it occurred quite a bit and it was all instigated by her not feeling wanted or loved. I always felt happy and loved until she left. I think that’s why I felt so alone, because she already left me before she broke up with me. She said herself that she took it out on me and processed the whole break up before it happened. I do have a deep desire to please people especially partners once they mention they are unhappy.

    I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but this entire paragraph is so-called rationalization: you’re rationalizing why she was abusive to you.

    One of those rationalizing thoughts is that when she abused you, she had your best interest in mind: “I do believe she had her and maybe even our best interest in mind“. That she hurt you so you would leave, because she knew you would never leave on your own (Part of me thinks she knew I was unhappy and she could see that I wasn’t going to leave but I would always fight.) Which by the way isn’t true because you never left, even if she hurt you badly. It was always her who broke up with you. So she knew that no matter what she says and how badly she hurts you, you’d stick around.

    Next, you are rationalizing that she said hurtful things and left, so you would finally start fighting for her (I honestly think she purposefully said some things and left because she knew it would hurt me and get me to fight.) Well, she didn’t need to get you to fight – you were always fighting for her. What her intention for leaving might have been is to manipulate you into submission. Because each time you reconciled, you became less and less demanding and more and more tolerant of her moods. You stopped complaining or demanding anything.

    Yes the last week I really felt so lost in the relationship but I knew I would find myself again and things would be good between us. A rough patch is what I thought it was, however it occurred quite a bit and it was all instigated by her not feeling wanted or loved. I always felt happy and loved until she left

    The above is self-gaslighting. You forgot about the 29 “grievances” that you expressed here (and you said it’s not even half of it all), where you explained how miserable you felt. According to those 29 grievances, you didn’t feel happy and loved at all. Towards the end you felt like a shell, you felt like her punching bag.

    But you have a rationalization for that too: she used you as her punching bag because she already decided to break up before she told you, so she wasn’t holding back: I think that’s why I felt so alone, because she already left me before she broke up with me. She said herself that she took it out on me and processed the whole break up before it happened.

    In short: whatever abuse she did, no matter how selfish and rude she was to you, you found a rationalization and an excuse for it. So that in your mind, she could remain a loving girlfriend, who has your best interest in mind.

    This is how your emotional mind (your wounded inner child) overwrites what actually happened and comes up with a retouched narrative. So that you can keep hoping…

     

    I do have a deep desire to please people especially partners once they mention they are unhappy.

    It seems you cannot bear if the woman you love is displeased with you. You’d do anything to make her happy, even if it’s to your own detriment.

    I do want to get that validation and love from her it sucks…

    This is related to the above: You would do anything to get validation from your partner, and you cannot stand if she is displeased with you.

     

    The first relationship was when I got out of prison.

    Sorry, I didn’t get it: was she your first girlfriend after you got out of prison?

    Honestly I think it could have to do with just being my first real relationship. Also I felt bad about how it ended after all those months. I find her very attractive to this day, more so than other exes. So maybe the attachment is there because of my attraction to her as well.

    Possibly, physical attraction plays a role too.

     

    I wouldn’t say I’m unloveable or not worthy. I know deep down I am a steal and most girls would be very lucky to have me, I say that humbly. I just know I can support, love and bring joy to people especially a partner.

    That’s the rational part speaking. Rationally you know you are a good partner. But when she accused you of being selfish, you readily believed her. You believed it was your fault that she isn’t happy with you, and that she doesn’t find joy in the relationship.

    So again the discrepancy: in theory you know you’re a good person, but in practice, when in the relationship, you totally forget it. Probably that’s when your wounded inner child takes over, and you feel inadequate and try everything in your power to prove how good of a partner you are.

    I am trying to be a good parent to my inner child, only I am getting caught in the bad habits. I unblocked her the other day to look at her profiles etc. I also did a detour past her house the other day as she lives around the corner. Again it’s like I’m looking for a reason to move on.

    When you engage in those behaviors, you are not being a good parent to your inner child, but your inner child is actually running the show. Because your inner child pulls you to obsess about her, to hope, to ruminate, to want to go back…

    It does feel as though my rational side is being taken over by my emotional side a lot of the time. So my emotional side is my inner child basically?

    Yes. I mean, not all of our emotions stem from our inner child. But if we have very strong emotions, which are more like obsession, infatuation, behaving irrationally and often to our own detriment – that’s coming from the wounded inner child.

     

    I have been telling myself everyday I actually need to move on and forget. I’ve been almost angry at myself for allowing myself to be fooled again as well as disrespected. Maybe I should be kinder and just accept that it happened and take it easier rather than shouting at myself. It’s like I’m trying to be my own rational thought and force the idea of moving on and letting go. Maybe I’m going about it wrong?

    Well, maybe you are trying to tell yourself that you should move on, but it doesn’t really have much weight. Since the emotional pull is stronger. But you’re right, trying to force yourself to cut off your emotions isn’t helpful either.

    What I think might help at this point is to observe yourself: observe both your rational thoughts, where you know she was abusive and that the relationship was toxic and that it would be best to let go. Then also observe the obsessive side, which is stalking her on social media, driving past her house, and hoping to rekindle the relationship.

    Be aware of those two sides. Keep a mental distance from both of those sides. Don’t identify with either of them. And don’t judge either of them. And see if anything changes.

     

    I am just so caught up on this feeling. I’m so stuck in the idea that this is what the universe really wanted as well as both of us. I’ve heard the saying ‘if it will be then it will be’ and I genuinely think it will be for some reason, it’s that destined feeling. I can’t help but think we will reconnect and I don’t want that feeling.

    You know, if something is really destined, then it will happen, without you pushing. I heard a good metaphor once: it’s like you toss everything in the air, and if it’s destined, it will come back to you. You toss the relationship in the air – you let go of it – and if it’s destined, it will come back.

    Which means that letting go is the first step, even if it’s destined.

     

    #419507
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

    Your right I shouldn’t be excusing her behavior and trying to rationalize why she mistreated me. I did set the example that no matter how she treated me I would stick around and be available. I still feel like I am giving that off too which probably isn’t good for myself. Now I read what I said again I get what your saying, I am rationalizing the hurtful things she did. I always told her she didn’t need to leave for me to fight however she always did anyway.

    What you said here: In short: whatever abuse she did, no matter how selfish and rude she was to you, you found a rationalization and an excuse for it. So that in your mind, she could remain a loving girlfriend, who has your best interest in mind.

    This is how your emotional mind (your wounded inner child) overwrites what actually happened and comes up with a retouched narrative. So that you can keep hoping…

    It really speaks to me. I know I was being mistreated but I’m trying to forget about it or excuse it in hopes that everything will be all good between us once again.

    I get frustrated with myself if my partner says they are displeased. Even if I know it is an issue within themselves. I noticed none of my exes really wanted to admit fault or own up to their own feelings. It’s like I was meant to be a protector for them all. Yet once that role would slightly shift I was too blame. Thats what this past relationship felt like, as well as the one before just less extreme.

    So my first lets say adult girlfriend was when I was out of prison. I consider it my first real relationship even though it was short lived. I have tried to revisit things with her more than once but the timing was always off.

    If its my wounded self and inner child making me do all this obsessing, wanting to go back etc. then my inner child is really in control it seems. It is still constantly on my mind, I am getting better at trying to block it out and move on with daily life. I think I’ve been improving this week compared to last. I think there has only been a day or 2 when I haven’t been really upset, its mainly up and down. I am trying to be aware of the fact that I will be going through the motions as it is normal after a break up to be grieving.

    So just be aware of these 2 sides? Don’t analyze them too much and let them take their course? The obsessive side is difficult for me to overcome as I feel so invested in this. I know I need to let go and I think I’m getting better at it but I’m still consumed by her in my thoughts. I genuinely feel like the good outweighs the bad in my mind.

    After my other break ups I ended up in another relationship quite quickly, lets say a few months later. Do you think this has any significance? I honestly do enjoy being in a relationship and I think I do look for them in a way. I much prefer exclusivity as I am a jealous person too. My psych told me I should leave a longer period to get to know some first before jumping in a relationship.

     

    #419516
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    Your right I shouldn’t be excusing her behavior and trying to rationalize why she mistreated me.

    I am glad you’re realizing that!

    I did set the example that no matter how she treated me I would stick around and be available.

    It almost sounds like a vow. Are you aware of how this “vow” came to be? What do you think would happen if you wouldn’t stick around when your partner treats you badly?

    I get frustrated with myself if my partner says they are displeased.

    What are you telling yourself in those moments? Or rather, what is your inner critic telling you about yourself in those moments?

    I noticed none of my exes really wanted to admit fault or own up to their own feelings. It’s like I was meant to be a protector for them all. Yet once that role would slightly shift I was too blame. Thats what this past relationship felt like, as well as the one before just less extreme.

    It seems you were/are attracted to girls with mental health problems (you said all of them suffered from anxiety or were prescribed medications). I would expect that such people are usually more demanding to be around, more sensitive, more fragile. So you are probably attracted to the protector role a bit.

    Protector (and care-taker) is focused on the other person’s needs and feelings. They try to meet the other person’s needs and please them, because that gives them the sense that they are useful and worthy. So the protector’s sense of worth is tied to pleasing the other person.

    It seems to me that in relationships, you get caught in the dynamic of being the protector and trying to please your partner (by taking care of their needs), in order to feel loved and appreciated. In order to feel worthy. If your partner is not pleased with you, you feel you’ve failed and you’re not worthy. Would you agree with this?

    If so, your partner’s criticism triggers your sense of unworthiness. If they are pleased with you, you feel worthy.

    The “curse” of this dynamic is that you are attracted to girls who are very needy and presumably quite critical too. So if you want to please them, you need to take extra precautions, you need to diminish yourself and your own needs, and you need to walk on eggshells.

    I’d dare say that your girlfriends are impossible to please! You are doing your best, but it’s simply mission impossible. (I remember you said your last ex was angry with you “just because”, even though you stopped “provoking” her with questions about job and therapy, and did everything as she pleased).

    So perhaps the summary can be: you’re attracted to girls who are impossible to please. You desperately want to please them because that’s how you would prove your worth. But since it is mission impossible, you always end up miserable and hurt.

    Do you resonate with this explanation?

    After my other break ups I ended up in another relationship quite quickly, lets say a few months later. Do you think this has any significance? I honestly do enjoy being in a relationship and I think I do look for them in a way. I much prefer exclusivity as I am a jealous person too. My psych told me I should leave a longer period to get to know some first before jumping in a relationship.

    Yes, I think it is significant that you can’t be alone for too long. You said you don’t know what to do with yourself, you feel bored, unmotivated, you start self-medicating. You can’t function properly on your own.

    It seems like you’re running away from yourself and seek solace in relationships. And if I am right in my assumptions, what you seek primarily is the sense of worth. You need a relationship to prove your own worth.

    This can all be fixed, don’t worry. But let me know if you resonate with this explanation?

     

    #419525
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

    I think this ‘vow’ came because I genuinely thought we were inseparable and that we were meant to be together. I always understood relationships are hard work and never perfect. If I didn’t stick around when my partner treated me bad nothing would’ve changed. I honestly believe it would’ve been another example of me not loving or caring to her. I think if I was the one to not stick around and move on id be regretting it now, I needed to see it through especially after my other break ups I didn’t really fight or see things through at first. But it would show them that I wouldn’t put up with their shit, although I wanted to show my ex that I will always be there. I get in my head that she didn’t actually mean it. She always spoke about how she feels like she just does things and she cant control it, I think all the conflicted thoughts she had makes it harder for me to let go of the attachment. It wasn’t like she said ‘I love someone else’ or anything. There was always a follow up apology followed by a connection and I think that is still what I am hoping for and I am trying to accept that I may not get that ontop of it not being healthy at the moment.

    I remember asking myself am I really a shit boyfriend? I was so conflicted in thought and wasn’t sure if it was abuse or I was overthinking. I knew I was being distant and I was kicking myself a bit for that. It was very hard for me to process at the time. But I knew something was up during our last argument. She just seemed so critical of me and everything I did. I am really struggling not too reach out to her at the moment. I feel such strong feelings today, yesterday I was telling myself I am doing well and I have a good routine going and I just have to move on. However today I just can’t help but think of the what ifs.

    I think I could be attracted to the protector role. All my relationships have had similarities when it comes my exes criticism of me. My exes all brought up gaming, smoking and affection. I wouldn’t say I feel unworthy if my partner isn’t pleased with me but I do feel like I failed to some degree. However I don’t think my first 2 partners were impossible to please, I do think it just wasn’t the right time for me and I wasn’t sure if it was actually what I wanted. This time I knew what I wanted and thats why I fought so hard. I would say my most recent ex was basically impossible to please and it was so disheartening and it still is. I know for a fact that I did make her happy but I think as time went on she got more depressed and lost which led to me being unhappy as well. Leading to more unhappiness within her.

    I hate saying this but I do feel like I’m attracted to ‘damaged goods’ of some sorts. I wanted to help my ex through all her issues so when she came out the other side she would see I am still there despite all the crap we went through. I’ll admit I wanted to be the one to help so she could look back and see how I was always there and in turn be able to love me even more. I wanted that unbreakable bond and I genuinely thought going through stuff like this would create that. But maybe that’s just what creates toxic relationships and not real love.

    How can this all be fixed? I do resonate with parts of it. I really enjoy having a partner and building a relationship with someone. I am quick to get that destined and attached feeling, this time it was like no other I’ve ever had and it was a great feeling at first. I think I chase that feeling sometimes. Going back to that rollercoaster of emotions, I think I do enjoy the highs and lows of a relationship because I do feel quite steady and dull when I’m alone.

    Its weird though because now I am alone I feel like I am in a better routine and more motivated when I actually think about it. I am working out, cleaning, cooking, walking the dog doing all these things until 7pm or so. I am actually smoking less at the moment compared to when we were together the last couple weeks. When we were together I was less motivated to do these things like work out, cut down smoking etc. and I think it was because I wasn’t getting my own time. Instead I would game and smoke until 7pm then go see her a lot of the time, neglecting my house duties. However towards the end I would make excuses as to what I was actually doing and why I couldn’t come over. I was scared of telling her the truth and afraid of being abused for it.

    I was going to ask for some help if she does ever reach out. I have heard that its good to plan a message. My psych told me to say something a long the lines of “as much as I want a connection right now we both know what we need to do”. However I feel like we had this discussion last time and we eventually met up and then rekindled disregarding what we both needed to do. I’m torn between wanting to reach out to her, her reaching out to me and also the possibility of her not ever reaching out. I am trying my best to stay rational about all of this.

     

     

     

    #419530
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    I always understood relationships are hard work and never perfect.

    Did you get that from your own parents and their marriage? Have they preserved their marriage in spite of difficulties?

    If I didn’t stick around when my partner treated me bad nothing would’ve changed. I honestly believe it would’ve been another example of me not loving or caring to her. I think if I was the one to not stick around and move on id be regretting it now, I needed to see it through especially after my other break ups I didn’t really fight or see things through at first. … I wanted to show my ex that I will always be there.

    I see. You partly sabotaged your previous relationships by smoking and not being present. And then after the girl broke up with you, you tried to repair things, but it never worked out. So with this girl, you perhaps made a vow to yourself that you won’t mess up this time, that you’ll do the best you can and will not be the cause of breakup?

    I get in my head that she didn’t actually mean it. She always spoke about how she feels like she just does things and she cant control it, I think all the conflicted thoughts she had makes it harder for me to let go of the attachment. It wasn’t like she said ‘I love someone else’ or anything. There was always a follow up apology followed by a connection and I think that is still what I am hoping for and I am trying to accept that I may not get that ontop of it not being healthy at the moment.

    I hear you. That’s the hardest when the person seems to mean well, but they can’t “control themselves”, something is “stronger than them”, and they seem to be the victim of forces beyond them. That’s why you see her as the victim and you have empathy for her. And you also hope that as the victim, some day she will be free from those “forces”.

    But there are 2 problems with that. One is that she actually could have done a number of things about her moods, but she chose not to. I mean, she saw she was getting worse without medication, but she decided to cut it down on her own and just keep doing it, hoping that some day, she’d magically get over it. So she wasn’t a complete victim in this – she chose a path which made her feel worse, and made your relationship worse too, but she kept doing it.

    And second, even more important: abuse is abuse. Even if she suffered trauma in the past, her behavior is abusive, and you don’t need to tolerate it. To give an extreme example: most perpetrators of violent crimes were abused themselves as children. However, that doesn’t condone their actions. Abuse is abuse, regardless of what caused it.

    There was always a follow up apology followed by a connection

    What I’ve heard from you is that after each argument she would break up, and then either of you would reach out, and then I guess she was a bit apologetic, and you too were determined not to upset her again. So you modified her behavior and adapted to her more and more. But her behavior didn’t get better. She hasn’t modified anything, right?

    And also, your relationship followed the typical cycle of abuse (as your therapist told you): you reconcile, things are a bit better for a while, but then shortly after that it starts deteriorating again, which ends up in new abuse. It’s a never-ending cycle.

    I remember asking myself am I really a shit boyfriend? I was so conflicted in thought and wasn’t sure if it was abuse or I was overthinking.

    Yes, if you suffer from self-esteem issues, then her criticism would be enough to cause you to question yourself and believe that it is your fault.

    I knew I was being distant and I was kicking myself a bit for that. It was very hard for me to process at the time.

    You naturally withdrew when she would attack and accuse you – that’s a natural self-protection mechanism. But then you blamed yourself for that, telling yourself you’re not a good boyfriend.

    But I knew something was up during our last argument. She just seemed so critical of me and everything I did. I am really struggling not too reach out to her at the moment.

    You see the train of thoughts here? First thought: She seemed so critical of me. And the next thought: I am really struggling not to reach out.

    It’s like you can’t bear the thought of her being critical of you. You can’t bear that she thinks badly of you. You need to reach out and try to prove the opposite. That’s the wounded inner child in action. He needs to prove he is worthy, so he needs to reach out.

    I think I could be attracted to the protector role. All my relationships have had similarities when it comes my exes criticism of me. My exes all brought up gaming, smoking and affection. I wouldn’t say I feel unworthy if my partner isn’t pleased with me but I do feel like I failed to some degree.

    Okay, so you feel like a failure. That’s similar. It’s feeling not good enough. So when your partner is critical of you, you feel not good enough. And by pleasing your partner and going back for more, you are trying to prove that you are good enough. That you are a good person. Because deep down, you believe you’re not.

    When we believe that we’re not good enough, we believe there’s something deeply wrong with us, that we are inherently faulty. And that’s when we tend to self-medicate with addictions, daydreaming etc. Because the pain of believing that “there is something terribly wrong with me” is unbearable.

    However I don’t think my first 2 partners were impossible to please, I do think it just wasn’t the right time for me and I wasn’t sure if it was actually what I wanted.

    Okay, you weren’t that attracted to them. I’d dare say your inner child didn’t get so attached to them as he did with your most recent ex.

    This time I knew what I wanted and thats why I fought so hard. I would say my most recent ex was basically impossible to please and it was so disheartening and it still is.

    Yes, so just allow that to sink in: she was impossible to please. Even if you (your inner child) want to try again, be aware of the fact that it’s like hitting your head against the wall: it won’t bend. You will get the same results over and over again.

    I hate saying this but I do feel like I’m attracted to ‘damaged goods’ of some sorts. I wanted to help my ex through all her issues so when she came out the other side she would see I am still there despite all the crap we went through. I’ll admit I wanted to be the one to help so she could look back and see how I was always there and in turn be able to love me even more.

    This is key: you’re attracted to fragile and sensitive girls, because you believe that by helping them you will prove that you are good enough and that you deserve their love. You will prove that you are worthy of love. That you are lovable.

    Do you resonate with this?

    I wanted that unbreakable bond and I genuinely thought going through stuff like this would create that. But maybe that’s just what creates toxic relationships and not real love.

    You wanted the unbreakable bond, however an even deeper longing of yours (which stems from a wound) is to prove that you are good enough and lovable. That’s why it is unhealthy. Because it stems from a wound, not from a healthy motivation to stick with your partner through thick and thin.

    Don’t get me wrong: it’s totally okay and commendable to stick with your partner through tough times. However, if the partner is not right for you – if you picked her due to your unmet emotional needs – that’s not a healthy constellation to begin with. Sticking with someone who is not right for you and who is abusing you is not a proof of anything. It’s not a proof of your character.

    I really enjoy having a partner and building a relationship with someone. I am quick to get that destined and attached feeling, this time it was like no other I’ve ever had and it was a great feeling at first.

    Right. I think you crave being in a relationship because you want to prove that you are good enough and lovable. I think that’s your main motivation. You get attached quickly because it’s a craving, it’s like a magnet. It pulls us to the person, if we feel they might be the person to finally give us what we long for. And it can feel like destiny. It’s like “finally, I will get what I am longing for. Finally, I will be fulfilled!”

    I think I chase that feeling sometimes. Going back to that rollercoaster of emotions, I think I do enjoy the highs and lows of a relationship because I do feel quite steady and dull when I’m alone.

    I think your inner child becomes hopeful when you are in a relationship. He wants to feel loved and is “high” on that feeling, while it lasts. I don’t think you crave for the lows, but you take it as a side-effect of chasing the highs. You can’t avoid it. But I think it’s the highs what you’re after: the moments when you feel loved and lovable.

    Its weird though because now I am alone I feel like I am in a better routine and more motivated when I actually think about it. I am working out, cleaning, cooking, walking the dog doing all these things until 7pm or so. I am actually smoking less at the moment compared to when we were together the last couple weeks.

    This is good! You are taking care of yourself and your needs. Even if you’re thinking about her a lot and have an urge to reach out, you’re not completely overwhelmed by the feeling and you don’t have such a huge need to self-medicate. You can stay present with both your rational self and your emotions, and sort of keep a distance. That’s progress, Adam.

    When we were together I was less motivated to do these things like work out, cut down smoking etc. and I think it was because I wasn’t getting my own time. Instead I would game and smoke until 7pm then go see her a lot of the time, neglecting my house duties. However towards the end I would make excuses as to what I was actually doing and why I couldn’t come over. I was scared of telling her the truth and afraid of being abused for it.

    Right. I think that’s because the relationship was in the “lows”. You didn’t get anything positive from her, and so you needed to self-soothe with smoking and gaming. And you didn’t even want to meet her because you knew she would criticize you. So you tried to find excuses why you can’t go. It’s pretty clear: you wanted to escape the lows and you wanted to stay home and self-medicate.

    I was going to ask for some help if she does ever reach out. I have heard that its good to plan a message. My psych told me to say something a long the lines of “as much as I want a connection right now we both know what we need to do”. However I feel like we had this discussion last time and we eventually met up and then rekindled disregarding what we both needed to do. I’m torn between wanting to reach out to her, her reaching out to me and also the possibility of her not ever reaching out. I am trying my best to stay rational about all of this.

    Good that you’re trying to stay rational and not follow your urges. I hope that as we’re slowly unpacking this dynamic, you’ll find it easier to stay present with your feelings and not escape into any extremes (reaching out as one extreme, or self-medicating as the other).

    If she reaches out, you can say something similar to what your therapist suggested. However, I would keep it in the first person: “As much as I want a connection right now, I know I have to first work on myself and do some healing, before being ready again for a relationship”. I’d keep it in the first person and wouldn’t make any assumptions about her and what she needs to do. Just speak for yourself.

    How can this all be fixed? I do resonate with parts of it.

    If your core wound is not feeling good enough and believing that there is something fundamentally wrong with you, you’d need to heal that wound. Inner child work is a great way to heal.

    But first you’d need to figure out what the core wound is, only then can you start healing. I am trying to unpack things and help you get to the core problem. Let me know if what I said today makes sense.

     

    #419553
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

    I don’t think I got that from my own parents marriage. My parents have had small fights but there was never anything dramatic. My mother always said when she has a little argument with Dad which is very rare she knows that her and Dad wont always see eye to eye on everything but thats okay. I think I got this idea from a friend. He supported me through these break ups and he had issues in the past with his now fiancé and he told me its hard work and no relationship is perfect.

    It’s funny you mention I made a vow because that’s genuinely what I did. After each break up I would say to myself something along the line of ‘if this girl takes me back then she’s the one, I have to do everything right’. I said that with my ex before this as well. I know I wasn’t the actual cause of this break up but I think I was a bit of the cause in previous relationships and I think thats where this vow developed as well.

    You’re right at the end of the day regardless of what she was going through I was abused. A professional psychiatrist told me ‘this is clearly abuse and your relationship was a cycle of abuse’. It’s a hard pill to swallow. As you’ve said before it was nothing special but to me it felt so precious. After break ups I modified a lot of different things. I changed smoking, tried to be at her place more, do what she was wanting to do, tried being proactive with dates etc. but in the end she didnt modify anything. The only thing that changed for her was she left work, started changing medications and started studying at the very end. None of these benefit her mental health for a start. The cycle of abuse as exactly what our relationship was but I don’t want to believe it. We would be so amazing for a couple months then something would happen and shed leave then we would reconcile. However towards the end it felt like nearly every week she was bringing something new or old up as a way to criticize me for not being present and being there for her.

    So I do suffer from low self-esteem? Because that’s exactly what happens, I start second guessing myself and that’s not what I should be doing in a relationship. I feel like she was making me question my sanity at times by the things she said. I will never forget when she said ‘what is actually wrong with you’. I straight away apologized and said I’m sorry I should open up about my anxiety more to you. All her bad behavior and insecurities made me question myself as a partner. In reality I was a fantastic partner and she was toxic and manipulative, but again I don’t want to accept that for some reason. I’m glad you reassured me that I withdrew naturally because I wasn’t sure if I was purposefully doing it. There were times like when I asked for a night to myself. However we know what happened after I asked for that, so it stopped. She was trying to control me and punish me for not being her ‘ideal partner’ in the moment.

    I can’t bear the thought of her being critical of me because it was unwarranted in my eyes. She had no reason to say the things she did. I do believe I am a good person and partner but there is always things I can improve on as well. In past relationships I have had the thought of something is wrong with me. Although this time after the break up I haven’t at all really. In reality something is wrong with her but I never told her that. Maybe saying something is wrong with her isn’t the right word, but she was traumatized and was on major anti depressants, anti psychotics at 17, she was taking valium to try self medicate as well at times. She had a lot of issues and didn’t want to face the music.

    I was physically attracted more to my past exes I believe. Where as this girl I definitely found good looking but her beauty grew on me as time went on, like she became more beautiful to me physically overtime. I was more attracted to her personality and that’s what dragged me in. It didn’t feel forced it felt so natural now I think of it.

    It does feel like so many things I have done would please others. Everyone I have told has reassured me I did everything and I have nothing to prove to her. My inner child still wants to reach out and see how she is and if she has moved on or feeling how I am etc.

    I do resonate with being attracted to sensitive and fragile girls. I want to shelter them from the world. I think it’s more that I want to prove to them that I can be that support and I can help them help themselves. I have always been intrigued by women with a ‘damaged side’ lets call it. Somethings about it draws me in and as you said I find it commendable to stick with someone through their issues. I genuinely believed that’s what creates those unbreakable bonds, I told her this in a letter when we broke up about 6 months ago. I told her things would change because I believe change is inevitable. Little did I know it wasn’t me that needed to make many adjustments but rather my ex.

    What would a healthy motivation be to stick with your partner through thick and thin? I really still believe she was very close to being right for me, I still don’t know if I did pick her due to my unmet emotional needs. The psych told me I may not have been as spontaneous or playful as her. But I was still childish and a joker and I have always been this way with other partners too. What do you think I am looking for in a partner when you talk about my unmet emotional needs?

    It does feel like I get dragged into that feeling of fulfillment very quick. I like to be exclusive with people straight away basically and I think that’s to do with me being a jealous person. I always ask partners early on if we are exclusive and they all say the same thing ‘I don’t have time for anyone else but you’. It makes me feel special and wanted, fulfilled. Then soon enough we end up in a relationship. Your idea that it’s a craving feels so real to me. It genuinely feels like a high I want in my life, already I am so keen to get into a relationship or something exclusive but I know it’s not a good idea. Not until I am actually over my ex at least.

    I am glad I am making progress because it does feel like it, only slow progress. But progress is progress! I don’t want to manifest it but I think I have a slow recovery ahead of me.

    Okay it good to hear I was just escaping the lows and avoiding more criticism. I would always wake up and regret not seeing her the next day because I know she would continue to criticize me even then. So a lot of the time my thought was ‘either I go tonight when I don’t want to but tomorrow I will avoid a fight/criticism or I don’t go and tomorrow I am the cause of another argument, another negative she pick at’. This was my thought process for most of this year and it isn’t healthy when I look at it that way. It just seems like a lose-lose situation for me. It would frustrate me so much just knowing each night after work I could be looking at an argument. The alternative was come over to my place but she always had a ‘valid excuse’ to want to stay at home. My excuse of working until 4pm then cleaning, cooking, walking and feeding the dog, making lunches etc. were never an excuse. She actually use to say to me I didn’t have an excuse not to be there for her at times when I genuinely had good reasons.

    Okay if she reaches out I will keep it first person. My psych told me not to mention therapy etc. but to say that we both have things we need to do before we reconnect. You think its better to keep first person. I don’t see it as an assumption really. I see this relationship still as fixable but she needs to do certain things and I believe it is mainly therapy and work. I always have reached out to my exes 2-3 months later for some reason just to check in. Would you say this is unwise with this ex? or all in that case?

    You made a lot of sense today Tee! I appreciate you a lot, you’ve honestly been such a big support for me. My friends are starting to get over it. They have my best interest at heart because I know they don’t want me going back or getting hurt again in the future. They are supportive overall in say this. I hope I’m not overwhelming you with all this drama. I do want to find this core problem. From what I’ve gathered it’s to do with me finding a sense of worth within a partner? or proving im worthy of love? Is that what your leaning towards? I had this discussion with my best friend who also felt a girlfriend was the last piece to the puzzle, although we both found out it wasn’t.

    #419697
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    I think I got this idea from a friend. He supported me through these break ups and he had issues in the past with his now fiancé and he told me its hard work and no relationship is perfect.

    Yes, that’s true. But there should be one basic precondition, which is that you accept your partner as they are (and vice versa). If you want your partner to change in significant ways, that’s never healthy. Your ex is someone who needs to do a lot of healing. She is not ready for a healthy relationship. You wanted to help her change and heal. That’s never a good starting point.

    And if you are attracted to girls who are “damaged goods”, i.e. need to do some major healing in order to become functional, that’s almost a recipe for disaster. Because you’ll inevitably end up in this dynamic of wanting to change them, and they not wanting it, or wanting it but differently, and feeling not accepted by you.

    And then all this friction starts building, as well as resentment towards each other. And you lose yourself in it, because you want to keep the girl by all means, no matter how dysfunctional she is, and you end up being bullied and suffering.

    So you’re setting yourself up for failure if you’re attracted to dysfunctional girls. It’s almost like a self-fulfilling prophecy. It can’t end well.

    It’s funny you mention I made a vow because that’s genuinely what I did. After each break up I would say to myself something along the line of ‘if this girl takes me back then she’s the one, I have to do everything right’. I said that with my ex before this as well. I know I wasn’t the actual cause of this break up but I think I was a bit of the cause in previous relationships and I think thats where this vow developed as well.

    Right, you didn’t give your best in your previous relationships, and when you tried to mend things later, if was already too late. And so you vowed to give your best in this one, to not mess it up.

    You’re right at the end of the day regardless of what she was going through I was abused. A professional psychiatrist told me ‘this is clearly abuse and your relationship was a cycle of abuse’. It’s a hard pill to swallow.

    Yeah, it sounds pretty bad. If abuse is too strong of a word, you can think of it as mistreatment. She treated you badly. But the fact is that a lot of her behavior was emotionally abusive. Even if she wasn’t doing it on purpose, that was the net effect on you.

    After break ups I modified a lot of different things. I changed smoking, tried to be at her place more, do what she was wanting to do, tried being proactive with dates etc. but in the end she didnt modify anything. The only thing that changed for her was she left work, started changing medications and started studying at the very end. None of these benefit her mental health for a start.

    Why did she leave work btw? Is it because she decided to get off her medication, and she feared she wouldn’t be able to work in such a fragile state?

    The cycle of abuse as exactly what our relationship was but I don’t want to believe it. We would be so amazing for a couple months then something would happen and shed leave then we would reconcile. However towards the end it felt like nearly every week she was bringing something new or old up as a way to criticize me for not being present and being there for her.

    Well, she was emotionally abusive because of her mental health issues. She was blaming you for everything and not taking responsibility for her actions. Or even if she apologized sometimes, that was short-lived and she continued with her complaints.

    So I do suffer from low self-esteem? Because that’s exactly what happens, I start second guessing myself and that’s not what I should be doing in a relationship. I feel like she was making me question my sanity at times by the things she said. I will never forget when she said ‘what is actually wrong with you’.

    Yes, I think you suffer from low self-esteem. The typical thought (which is often subconscious) of people with low self-esteem is “there is something terribly wrong with me”. That’s the main false belief of people with low self-esteem. When she told you “what’s wrong with you??”, it’s like she confirmed this false belief that you have about yourself. And it probably hurt like hell.

    I straight away apologized and said I’m sorry I should open up about my anxiety more to you.

    And when you opened up about your anxiety, did she have more understanding?

    All her bad behavior and insecurities made me question myself as a partner.

    Yes, her criticism and complaints and telling you things like “what’s wrong with you” all contributed to you feeling bad about yourself, feeling inadequate.

    In reality I was a fantastic partner and she was toxic and manipulative, but again I don’t want to accept that for some reason.

    Look, no one is perfect. So I guess you weren’t perfect either. But she was toxic, I do believe that. Because whenever someone doesn’t want to take responsibility for their actions but blames the other person, that’s toxic in my book.

     

    I’m glad you reassured me that I withdrew naturally because I wasn’t sure if I was purposefully doing it. There were times like when I asked for a night to myself. However we know what happened after I asked for that, so it stopped. She was trying to control me and punish me for not being her ‘ideal partner’ in the moment.

    Of course you wanted time for yourself – because she was frequently criticizing you. You wanted to protect yourself from that. But then she would criticize you for not spending all of your time with her – so you felt guilty and gave in. And that’s how you slowly became a shell of a person – because she dominated you completely, you didn’t dare to do or say anything that would upset her.

    I can’t bear the thought of her being critical of me because it was unwarranted in my eyes. She had no reason to say the things she did. I do believe I am a good person and partner but there is always things I can improve on as well.

    Well, I think that a part of you (your inner child) actually believed her when she said you are a bad partner. If you truly believed you were a good partner, you wouldn’t have the need to prove it to her. You wouldn’t need her to validate you.

    Your entire struggle is that you are attracted to girls who are difficult to please, but whom you want to please, so you can feel good about yourself. So that you can feel worthy of love. That’s what I believe.

    In past relationships I have had the thought of something is wrong with me. Although this time after the break up I haven’t at all really. In reality something is wrong with her but I never told her that. Maybe saying something is wrong with her isn’t the right word, but she was traumatized and was on major anti depressants, anti psychotics at 17, she was taking valium to try self medicate as well at times. She had a lot of issues and didn’t want to face the music.

    Yes, she has major mental health issues, which make her very difficult to function in a relationship. So you might say that something was/is wrong with her.

    It does feel like so many things I have done would please others. Everyone I have told has reassured me I did everything and I have nothing to prove to her. My inner child still wants to reach out and see how she is and if she has moved on or feeling how I am etc.

    You want to know whether she still cares. Because if she cares, it will mean you are lovable. If she doesn’t care, it will mean you’re not worthy enough. I think your sense of worth or lovability is depended on her. That’s the inner child wound.

    I do resonate with being attracted to sensitive and fragile girls. I want to shelter them from the world. I think it’s more that I want to prove to them that I can be that support and I can help them help themselves. I have always been intrigued by women with a ‘damaged side’ lets call it. Somethings about it draws me in

    Yes, and you explained in your previous post why you are drawn to such girls. You said: “I wanted to help my ex through all her issues so when she came out the other side she would see I am still there despite all the crap we went through. I’ll admit I wanted to be the one to help so she could look back and see how I was always there and in turn be able to love me even more.”

    I’ll repeat once again what I said in my previous post: I believe you are attracted to fragile and sensitive girls because you believe that by helping them you will prove that you are good enough and that you deserve love. You will prove that you are worthy of love. That you are lovable.

    I feel this is your core wound: not feeling lovable. Not feeling worthy of love.

    I find it commendable to stick with someone through their issues. I genuinely believed that’s what creates those unbreakable bonds, I told her this in a letter when we broke up about 6 months ago. I told her things would change because I believe change is inevitable. Little did I know it wasn’t me that needed to make many adjustments but rather my ex.

    So 6 months ago, after one of the breakups, you told her in a letter that you would change, that you would make adjustments?

    What would a healthy motivation be to stick with your partner through thick and thin?

    I guess if the relationship is healthy to begin with. Which means if both partners are dedicated to each other and to self-improvement. If one is denying responsibility for their actions and always blaming the other, that’s not healthy. If you need to lose yourself stay in the relationship – that’s not healthy either.

    Thick and thin are often the outer circumstances – tough times such as loss of job, severe illness by one partner, car accident, financial crisis, losing one’s home, miscarriage or another trauma. In other words, often it’s the outer crisis which tests the couple’s bond. Sometimes it is the inner crisis, such as midlife crisis, which can either bring the partners closer together, or can lead to distancing and separation.

    But what I am trying to say is that if one partner is dysfunctional and unable for a healthy relationship, it’s not a good relationship to fight for.

    I really still believe she was very close to being right for me, I still don’t know if I did pick her due to my unmet emotional needs. The psych told me I may not have been as spontaneous or playful as her. But I was still childish and a joker and I have always been this way with other partners too. What do you think I am looking for in a partner when you talk about my unmet emotional needs?

    I think you look for validation. You want to prove to them that you are worthy of love.

    I think that’s your core wound and the main magnet that draws you to sensitive and needy girls. Because you believe that by helping them overcome their problems, and staying by their side, you’ll prove how good of a person you are. That’s what I think.

    I don’t think differences in character, such as playfulness, play a major part, because you said yourself that you too can be playful and goofy. You’re not some rigid guy with no sense of humor. You may be less spontaneous and more organized than she is, but spontaneity is not the main attraction point for you, I believe. Rather, it’s the “brokenness”, which you believe you can help fix.

    It does feel like I get dragged into that feeling of fulfillment very quick. I like to be exclusive with people straight away basically and I think that’s to do with me being a jealous person. I always ask partners early on if we are exclusive and they all say the same thing ‘I don’t have time for anyone else but you’. It makes me feel special and wanted, fulfilled. Then soon enough we end up in a relationship.

    This part is actually quite normal – that you want to be exclusive. We all want to feel special. And also, being exclusive is a guarantee that the girl wants a committed relationship. Because you don’t want something casual. You want her to be dedicated to you.

    Your idea that it’s a craving feels so real to me. It genuinely feels like a high I want in my life, already I am so keen to get into a relationship or something exclusive but I know it’s not a good idea. Not until I am actually over my ex at least.

    Yeah, you said that without a relationship, you feel dull and bored. In a relationship, your hopes, dreams and longings awaken. Your inner child starts hoping that he will find the perfect love. Not only that he will feel loved, but also lovable. Which means worthy of love. That’s the high he is chasing for.

    And I agree, it would be a bad idea to get into another relationship at this point – before you heal that core wound. Because you would end up in a similar situation.

    I am glad I am making progress because it does feel like it, only slow progress. But progress is progress! I don’t want to manifest it but I think I have a slow recovery ahead of me.

    Yes, you are making progress. It doesn’t matter if it’s slow. These things take time to heal.

    Okay it good to hear I was just escaping the lows and avoiding more criticism.

    Yes, it’s hard to be around someone who is constantly criticizing you. Constant criticism and blame is emotional abuse too.

    I would always wake up and regret not seeing her the next day because I know she would continue to criticize me even then. So a lot of the time my thought was ‘either I go tonight when I don’t want to but tomorrow I will avoid a fight/criticism or I don’t go and tomorrow I am the cause of another argument, another negative she pick at’. This was my thought process for most of this year and it isn’t healthy when I look at it that way. It just seems like a lose-lose situation for me.

    Yes, it definitely seems like a lose-lose situation: no good options for you. You’d be criticized no matter what you do.

    It would frustrate me so much just knowing each night after work I could be looking at an argument. The alternative was come over to my place but she always had a ‘valid excuse’ to want to stay at home. My excuse of working until 4pm then cleaning, cooking, walking and feeding the dog, making lunches etc. were never an excuse. She actually use to say to me I didn’t have an excuse not to be there for her at times when I genuinely had good reasons.

    Yeah, this all seems very egocentric and trying to control you. You needed to do as she pleases, even if objectively you were the one with a job and more responsibilities than her. But she didn’t care about your needs, only about her own.

    Okay if she reaches out I will keep it first person. My psych told me not to mention therapy etc. but to say that we both have things we need to do before we reconnect. You think its better to keep first person.

    To be honest, if she reaches out any time soon, it would be a disaster if you reconnect, because nothing really changed. She certainly hasn’t done any healing, and you too are only starting to realize what might be the problem and why you might be picking wrong girls. You still need to work on yourself a lot.

    That’s why I thought the best would be to give her a polite rejection. Basically, telling her that you need to work on yourself (which is true), but not telling her what she should do, because at this point what really matters is that you work on yourself.

    I don’t see it as an assumption really. I see this relationship still as fixable but she needs to do certain things and I believe it is mainly therapy and work.

    Yes, but it’s not only she who’d need to change. If you want to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship in the future, you’d need to heal your own wounds. The sense of unworthiness, which I believe is driving your attraction to needy girls. So I’d focus on myself, because that’s the only thing you can control.

    I always have reached out to my exes 2-3 months later for some reason just to check in. Would you say this is unwise with this ex? or all in that case?

    I would definitely stay away from this ex. She had a destructive impact on you. I’d work hard on my own healing, on healing the obsession you feel about her. That’s why no contact would be super important if you want to heal.

    You made a lot of sense today Tee! I appreciate you a lot, you’ve honestly been such a big support for me.

    You are most welcome, Adam!

    My friends are starting to get over it. They have my best interest at heart because I know they don’t want me going back or getting hurt again in the future. They are supportive overall in say this.

    I am glad you have such supportive friends!

    I hope I’m not overwhelming you with all this drama. I do want to find this core problem. From what I’ve gathered it’s to do with me finding a sense of worth within a partner? or proving im worthy of love? Is that what your leaning towards?

    The latter: your need to prove that you’re worthy of love.

    And no, you’re not overwhelming me. I am happy if I can help you get to the root of the problem.

     

    #419761
    Adam
    Participant

    <p class=”p1″>Hey Tee</p>
    <p class=”p1″>Thanks for the reply! </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I had a very rough weekend but it was also productive! I hope yours was good 🙂</p>
    <p class=”p1″>In saying that I am feeling a bit different today. It’s been the best Monday I’ve had in months now I think of it. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I thought I did accept her for how she was? I understood she was a lot to handle and yes I wanted her to change how she felt about herself thinking it would make our relationship healthy. I figured what I suggested were all healthy paths for change and healing. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>That was the exact reason she left work. Well the main one atleast. She didn’t want to be withdrawing or take time off while working from what she told me. It also seemed like she was very picky and particular with the work she wanted to do. Similar to the relationship she left her few jobs she had when I knew her very quickly over nothing too major.
    </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I do feel like I have a low self esteem at times then. When I opened up about my anxiety she usually was understanding however now I think of it whenever my anxiety was related to her she wasn’t so much. Like when she told me I should trust her and not go hold onto the past. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I know I’m not perfect but looking back I was trying everything to achieve that. She was toxic in everyone’s book except her own I think. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>What your saying is making a lot of sense I felt guilty asking for my own time and it’s reassuring I was only wanting my own time to protect myself. Again it was a lose lose situation for me. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>What you said here – “Your entire struggle is that you are attracted to girls who are difficult to please, but whom you want to please, so you can feel good about yourself. So that you can feel worthy of love. That’s I believe”</p>
    <p class=”p1″>This really hit hard for me when I first read it. I think it makes a lot of sense as to why I’d be attracted to this in my head. I do feel like I have something to prove at times. For example at the moment I want to prove to myself that I can have a partner for 12 months. I just look forward to those anniversaries I think. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>She was very unstable and fragile. Almost anything would set her off at times. A movie I picked, turning off a light, not giving a piggy back. These ‘little things’ are what she saw as my imperfect love and I think she just didn’t feel the love I was giving due to her mental state and past trauma. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I know I’m worthy of love but I think it’s more that I haven’t really felt it from a partner. I just feel like I’m the ‘nice guy’ sometimes who they loved but not how they want. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>Yes it was about 6 months in when I started writing letters, this was when the break ups were getting worse. I think this was the fourth time. I have exactly what I wrote if you’d like to know some details. I said things like ‘change is just around the corner, these difficult times are what builds strong relationships’. I said a bunch of other things too. I really poured my heart out to her numerous times that’s what makes it hurt a bit more. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I realise I shouldn’t have fought but I genuinely couldn’t help myself. I am a big believer on just going all the way but I can see how it may be a turn off. I just have to do certain things otherwise I will regret it. I found out the hard way though. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I think I did look for validation in this girl. It makes a lot of sense, I was only getting a crumbs but they made me happy at times. She really didn’t put much effort in towards the end either. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I look back and remember the feeling I had when I first met her etc and it was great. It reminds me of a high and it felt like we kept on having that after break ups. It was the cycle of abuse. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>Speaking on when we first met I remember it was so spontaneous, no planned dates we just hung out and instantly hit it off, there was obviously chemistry and attraction. I think I was chasing that feeling of love especially here by chasing a carefree girl. I remember how much more effort she put in and how much happier she seemed when working and on medication. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>So until I have healed the core wound a relationship isn’t a good idea? Does that mean this wasn’t a good idea in the first place for me? I felt she was the main issue in the relationship was I a cause of the problems too then?</p>
    <p class=”p1″>I am focusing on myself as I said in the beginning I feel quite good today. Working out and doing daily duties but still smoking only a lot less. It’s the first real day where i had a moment of feeling amazing knowing I don’t actually need her and I accepted what happened and told myself I didn’t even want to go back to her. </p>
    <p class=”p1″>I will speak to my psych about my need to prove that I’m worthy of love.</p>
    <p class=”p1″>Thanks again Tee I’d also love to get to the root of the problem. </p>
    <p class=”p2″></p>

    #419762
    Adam
    Participant

    Sorry for the last message format!

    #419778
    Tee
    Participant

    Hi Adam,

    I am glad your Monday was better, after a rough but productive weekend!

    Working out and doing daily duties but still smoking only a lot less. It’s the first real day where i had a moment of feeling amazing knowing I don’t actually need her and I accepted what happened and told myself I didn’t even want to go back to her.

    That’s the spirit! It’s a great attitude. I hope you can have more and more days or moments where you feel good about yourself and free from that longing and need for her.

    I thought I did accept her for how she was? I understood she was a lot to handle and yes I wanted her to change how she felt about herself thinking it would make our relationship healthy. I figured what I suggested were all healthy paths for change and healing.

    You did suggest healthy paths for change, however she didn’t want to take those paths or listen to your suggestions. She wanted to take her own path to healing, which wasn’t really working, but nevertheless she wanted to continue doing that. But the greater problem was that she wasn’t really functional as an adult – she would have needed some significant healing before she could become a functioning adult, with goals compatible to yours (have a job, settle down, have children).

    And she didn’t want to do that healing.

    Regardless of what she was claiming, the path she took – getting off her medication and letting her feelings run rampant, and then using you as a punching bag to release those emotions – is not a path of healing. It’s a path of self-delusion, with you as a collateral damage.

    Your mistake was continuing to stay in that relationship, and begging her to reconcile, even if the relationship was deteriorating with each new cycle. You allowed her to use you as her punching bag and to lose yourself in the process, becoming a shell.

    Please don’t think I am blaming or judging you in any way. You were very attached to her and didn’t want to lose hope, due to your own wounds and longing. That longing blinded you to the reality of what is happening: 1) that she isn’t getting any better, 2) that she refuses to take steps that might actually help her get better, and 3) that you were exposed to emotional abuse.

    But now looking back, you can see how hoping that she would change eventually – even though she wasn’t doing anything to make that happen – was a form of magical thinking on your part. It was a form of self-delusion. And that’s what our inner child does – because he needs to keep hoping that he would finally get what he wants.

    That was the exact reason she left work. Well the main one atleast. She didn’t want to be withdrawing or take time off while working from what she told me.

    Yeah, that wasn’t a bad decision. However, what was a bad decision is that she didn’t seek professional help in that period – someone who would help her go through those emotional states. Instead, she was actually dumping everything on you and using you as a buffer and a punching bag. That was not fair to you at all.

    It also seemed like she was very picky and particular with the work she wanted to do. Similar to the relationship she left her few jobs she had when I knew her very quickly over nothing too major.

    This tells me that she didn’t really want to work. She had other priorities and probably could afford not to work for extended periods of time. This would be in line with what I said earlier that she probably wanted to find herself first and just “play in the sand” while not really have adult responsibilities.

    When I opened up about my anxiety she usually was understanding however now I think of it whenever my anxiety was related to her she wasn’t so much. Like when she told me I should trust her and not go hold onto the past. 

    I guess she told you to trust in her method of “healing”? And to be patient. Even though it wasn’t giving any results and she was getting worse with time. So I guess when you complained about her mood swings, she basically silenced you, telling you to “trust the process”. And she dismissed the emotional toll it was taking on you, right?

    As for not holding onto the past – what did she mean?

    What your saying is making a lot of sense I felt guilty asking for my own time and it’s reassuring I was only wanting my own time to protect myself. Again it was a lose lose situation for me

    Yes, you said you were blamed regardless of what you did.

    What you said here – “Your entire struggle is that you are attracted to girls who are difficult to please, but whom you want to please, so you can feel good about yourself. So that you can feel worthy of love. That’s I believe”
    This really hit hard for me when I first read it. I think it makes a lot of sense as to why I’d be attracted to this in my head. I do feel like I have something to prove at times.

    Okay, so this might be your core wound: not feeling worthy of love. And you go to great lengths to prove that you are worthy. In this relationship you even allowed her to mistreat you, hoping that if you endure it all and stick by her side, you’ll finally prove to her that you’re worthy of love.

    For example at the moment I want to prove to myself that I can have a partner for 12 months. I just look forward to those anniversaries I think

    I see. Because so far you’ve never had a relationship last longer than 11 months, right? And so if you make it to 12 months, that would be a sign of success? Perhaps you have the idea that if you make it to 12 months, you are a good enough partner? Otherwise, you believe you are not and that it’s your fault if the relationship ends earlier?

    She was very unstable and fragile. Almost anything would set her off at times. A movie I picked, turning off a light, not giving a piggy back. These ‘little things’ are what she saw as my imperfect love and I think she just didn’t feel the love I was giving due to her mental state and past trauma.

    Yes, you said she had “disgusting moods”. Those were due to her unprocessed trauma. However, she managed to convince you that it’s because of you, that you weren’t treating her well. That too is very unfair, because at least she could have been aware that her moods were because of her own issues, and were exacerbated once she stopped taking her medicine. But it seems that she didn’t want to take responsibility for her emotional reactions, or even if she did briefly (each time you’ve reconciled), she quickly returned to her business-as-usual: blaming you for her moods. That was really toxic.

    And you believed her on some level: the inner child took the blame, because he was hoping that if he changed and became “perfect”, he would finally deserve her love. So your inner child took the blame and felt responsible for her moods, even if your adult part knew she was too demanding and asking too much from you.

    I know I’m worthy of love but I think it’s more that I haven’t really felt it from a partner. I just feel like I’m the ‘nice guy’ sometimes who they loved but not how they want.

    A part of you (the little boy in you) doesn’t know yet that he is worthy of love. That’s why you stay in abusive relationships and you try to mold yourself into a “perfect” guy, who will be worthy of love.

    Yes it was about 6 months in when I started writing letters, this was when the break ups were getting worse. I think this was the fourth time. I have exactly what I wrote if you’d like to know some details. I said things like ‘change is just around the corner, these difficult times are what builds strong relationships’. I said a bunch of other things too. I really poured my heart out to her numerous times that’s what makes it hurt a bit more.

    ‘change is just around the corner, these difficult times are what builds strong relationships” – this is how you were deluding yourself that she would change, that she would get over the hump eventually. Even though she was getting worse and worse, and refused to do anything that might have actually helped her.

    But in those letters, I guess you didn’t dare to mention that she should change. You only expressed hope that “the relationship will change”. And the result was that you actually changed – you became more and more compliant to her requests, less and less nudging her, more and more walking on egg shells. So it was you who was abandoning yourself, in order to preserve the relationship. She hasn’t changed a bit, on the contrary she became more and more demanding, and never pleased with you.

    I realise I shouldn’t have fought but I genuinely couldn’t help myself. I am a big believer on just going all the way but I can see how it may be a turn off. I just have to do certain things otherwise I will regret it. I found out the hard way though.

    I hope you can now see that you fought so persistently because you wanted to believe that things will get better. Because the longing of your inner child blinded you to reality of the situation. And the reality was what I mentioned above: 1) that she wasn’t getting any better, 2) that she refused to take steps that might have helped her get better, and 3) that you were exposed to emotional abuse.

    I think I did look for validation in this girl. It makes a lot of sense, I was only getting a crumbs but they made me happy at times. She really didn’t put much effort in towards the end either

    Glad that you’re realizing that you were looking for validation. Again, that’s the inner child, who was willing to do anything to get that validation.

    I look back and remember the feeling I had when I first met her etc and it was great. It reminds me of a high and it felt like we kept on having that after break ups. It was the cycle of abuse.

    Yes, after each reconciliation you would start hoping that this time, it will finally work out. That you’ll finally get that validation and love you were longing for. That produced the “high”. But then the abuse quickly returned, because she hasn’t changed one bit and only became more demanding.

    Speaking on when we first met I remember it was so spontaneous, no planned dates we just hung out and instantly hit it off, there was obviously chemistry and attraction. I think I was chasing that feeling of love especially here by chasing a carefree girl.

    Isn’t it ironic that you got hooked by her being a carefree girl? Only to turn out later that she is anything but carefree.

    It’s almost like a part of you (perhaps your adult self) wants to have an easy-going girl, who is easy to please and doesn’t need much to be happy. But another part of you (your inner child) is attracted to girls with anxiety and other mental health issues, who per definition are difficult to please.

    I remember how much more effort she put in and how much happier she seemed when working and on medication.

    Yeah, I can imagine that she was much more stable and didn’t have those extreme emotional reactions. But I guess there were some side-effects of antidepressants that she didn’t like (perhaps feeling “dull”?), and she wanted to feel more alive, more herself. However, she didn’t go well about it. Her DIY “healing” only made her feel worse.

    So until I have healed the core wound a relationship isn’t a good idea?

    I think so. If you don’t heal the core wound, it’s likely that you’d end up in a similar situation.

    Does that mean this wasn’t a good idea in the first place for me? I felt she was the main issue in the relationship was I a cause of the problems too then?

    Well, this wasn’t a healthy relationship, but it was a lesson. And a wake-up call I guess to look deeper into yourself and heal that attraction to difficult girls. You yourself didn’t make the relationship worse, your only mistake was that you stayed for too long.

    I will speak to my psych about my need to prove that I’m worthy of love.

    Good, you do that! Let me know what she said…

    Thanks again Tee I’d also love to get to the root of the problem

    You’re welcome! I hope you’re seeing it more and more, and with time, you’ll be able to heal it too. I am rooting for you!

     

    #419810
    Adam
    Participant

    Hey Tee,

    It’s starting to feel good. I’m still up and down but this whole week I’ve felt mostly up. I think now it’s been a month I’ve learnt to accept it and also the thought of if she will reach out has faded a lot.

    I don’t think you are blaming or judging me, everyone I’ve spoken to understands that it’s hard for me considering I was manipulated and controlled. I am learning to detach I think I’ve realised it was my inner child who was attracted to certain things about her. My inner child really did want this if that’s the case.

    Yeh when we last got back together she basically said it’s up to me if I want to stick around for her ‘6 or so month healing process’ so basically until she was off her medication. I told her I’m here all the way, we spoke about therapy once she has an income but she didn’t get a job despite getting numerous offers.

    I would say she didn’t want to accept the toll it took on me and I also didn’t want to tell her either. However she did say to me that she knows she is a lot to handle. An example of holding onto the past was when I told her that I have walls and a guard up because of the last break ups and she has to gain my trust again. She basically said I shouldn’t hold onto what’s happened in the past as now is all that matters to her. She wanted me to blindly trust her.

    I think it will just be a personal achievement as I don’t know if it relates to me being a good partner but more the idea of it being a good relationship because we reached a milestone.

    I do see why I fought now and I understand a lot more; my mind is starting to get clearer.

    I think it’s very ironic. I am genuinely an easy to please person. A lot of people and not just my partners have said this to me and I’ve come to realise majority of them are not actually easily pleased.

    I do jump into relationships quickly now I think of it. This one in particular was an unexpected one. I think I am so attached to how it all started which made it a bit harder. It was very spontaneous and natural and that’s what I wanted from meeting someone new and I think that’s what I miss and I try hold onto.

    I will still try post here but I have been feeling a lot better this week so I’m looking forward to seeing how I feel this weekend.

    Thanks again!

     

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