December 10, 2014 at 11:40 am #69062CourtneyParticipant
Back story: I met my ex five years ago through a mutual friend and we fell in love instantly. We were inseparable and had a special connection. We had great physical chemistry, talked for hours into the night, met each other’s families within a few months of dating, and moved in together after a year. One year ago he planned a beautiful engagement and proposed to me. We were pretty far into our wedding planning (I bought my wedding dress, we had our engagement pictures taken, booked our venue, set a date, asked everyone to be in our wedding party, etc…) and he ended up calling it off.
Why did he call it off?: I’ve had Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Disorder since I was in elementary school. This caused a lot of stress in our relationship and I’ll admit I struggled to manage my issues. I would go to the doctor to address various health fears and ended up in having some bills go into collections. My ex knew I had some financial issues to address but was shocked when he found out how many outstanding bills I had and that I had not taken the proper steps to address them.
I would also experience anxiety-related symptoms and google them on the internet. This would infuriate him so I’d often keep my behavior from him. There were three or four times where he found out I lied to him about googling my symptoms. I didn’t want to tell him because he would usually react by yelling at me and threatening to leave me.
Throughout the five years we were together he would get angry and threaten to leave me. After he cooled down he’d always say he didn’t actually mean it and we’d vow to work on our issues together.
Well this time he threatened to leave me and actually did. He contacted his parents and said he no longer wanted to go through with the wedding and that he wanted to move out when our lease was up.
I’m confused, angry, ashamed, and hurt. I’m angry at him and myself. I blame myself for not managing my anxiety better but it’s not like I didn’t try. I regularly saw a therapist, I tried four different medications (and experienced awful side-effects and no relief), I completely cut out alcohol, I significantly changed my diet, and lowered my caffeine intake.
We’re still living together but things are confusing. Both of us are hurt and intend on going our separate ways after our apartment lease is up, but behind closed doors we’re still physically intimate, laughing, and hanging out like normal.
We don’t know what to do. Both of us don’t think we have the best working relationship but we’re each others best friends and genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
What is everyone else’s take on this?December 11, 2014 at 3:06 am #69081AnyoneParticipant
In situation like this, specially when it is long term relation, it takes lot of time and courage to part ways. I would say, hold on, rethink on the decisions for a while. See if you guys really want to be together.
Sending lot of strength your way!December 11, 2014 at 4:56 am #69088KKParticipant
UGH – this sounds like the worst. I am in a similar limbo (but, we weren’t engaged and didn’t call of a wedding) but we are semi-broken up and yet still talk and act like things are totally normal. And, let me tell you a bit about my background. I am 27 and I have had MANY struggles in my life with anxiety, co-dependency, and coping. My mom passed away when I was 7 and I have a very emotionally removed father. I get mental issues, I get issues with controlling your life, and I get issues with men.
I have spent the past 3 years in what I consider an emotional rollercoaster. Friends and family keep tell me I am just emotionally beating myself up – they are right – and SO ARE YOU. The hardest thing to do is accept and then DO SOMETHING when you realize your partner doesn’t have your best interests at heart and they don’t feel like YOU are more important than them.
Courtney – if this man loved you more than anything else in the world and his happiness was contingent on your happiness, then he would not only never consider leaving you, but he wouldn’t put you through the pain and embarrassment of a breakup and then continue to use you for intimacy and friendship; you cannot be friends right now.
I feel for you. Matters of the heart are the most difficult of all as we grow up. But, at some point you have to ask yourself if it is worth it, if feeling this way is acceptable, and the best part is this article from Elite Daily – get over that average of 11 weeks (3 months) of hurt and you will see some light!December 11, 2014 at 6:19 am #69090LucindaParticipant
So this might sound harsh, but why would you want to be with someone who:
1. Does not honor who you are
2. Does not honor your lifelong attempts at meaningful change and growth
3. Wants you to be a different person than you are, or else he is angry
You deserve to be with someone who accepts that you are a flawed, beautiful human being with issues. Just like him, and that your issues are your own (some are hard-wired and genetically given, some are of our own making) and that he has issues too but that one of the best parts of being in a marriage/relationship is that you can BE YOURSELF and the other person loves who you ACTUALLY ARE, not loves you for who they think you ought to be.December 11, 2014 at 6:42 am #69091KirstenParticipant
I agree with Lucinda. If he can’t accept you, with mental health problems and all, he is a waste of time. He should NEVER be threatening to leave you or getting angry at you for googling your symptoms. How old is he? Because he sounds like an emotional child, you deserve love, respect and support. Using anger to try and control your behavior, and having no understanding and compassion for what you are going through – it’s a BLESSING that he is calling off the wedding. I hope you will realize that in time, when you finally meet someone who is kind and supportive. Guy has the compassion and emotional intelligence of an orange.
I hope you get some help and support lovely <3. Continue connecting to people that support and love you. And if you do work things out, he needs to get his shit together. You have a mental disorder – none of these things are your fault and it’s horrible that your ex was adding on to it :(. My boyfriend used to get angry at me for things related to my disability – mild dyspraxia, such as forgetting things and losing things – but I told him to cut the shit out, because I can’t help but do those things. And he himself, realized that there is no point in getting angry, when it will continue to happen and I can’t help but do it. People deserve love and compassion in relationships – your anxiety is something you need support for lovely <3, you struggle with it – you definitely shouldn’t feel ashamed and responsible for it because you can’t control it. You are DEFINITELY not the problem, the anxiety is not the problem, HE and his childish, emotionally immature reactions to it are the problem. Im not saying it is not hard for him, I understand it could be, but a mature and strong person would work through that and find ways to support you and to find support for how he copes and deals with it.
It’s not your fault, HE is the problem.December 11, 2014 at 9:51 am #69103CourtneyParticipant
Thank you all for the helpful responses! A few quotes that I took away were:
“…if this man loved you more than anything else in the world and his happiness was contingent on your happiness, then he would not only never consider leaving you, but he wouldn’t put you through the pain and embarrassment of a breakup and then continue to use you for intimacy and friendship.”
“Using anger to try and control your behavior, and having no understanding and compassion for what you are going through – it’s a BLESSING that he is calling off the wedding.”
“You deserve to be with someone who accepts that you are a flawed, beautiful human being with issues.”
And Lucinda, you asked a great question:
Why would you want to be with someone who does not honor who you are, does not honor your lifelong attempts at meaningful change and growth, and wants you to be a different person than you are, or else he is angry?
These are important questions to ask myself. I’ve exhibited obsessive compulsive behaviors along with my anxiety (example: the urge to google symptoms out of fear) and he compared me to an alcoholic who just couldn’t stop despite knowing the behavior was bad for me. This is hurtful because he truly doesn’t understand the spectrum of anxiety disorders and all of their complexities.
My heart has been telling me to move on. I do love him but our relationship isn’t healthy and he makes me feel ashamed of myself and my issues.
And the only reason he has been physically intimate and friendly toward me is because I haven’t had a panic attack or anxiety issues recently. If I were struggling like I have in the past I can guarantee he’d be halfway out the door and paying little attention to me.December 11, 2014 at 10:41 am #69109MariaParticipant
Stop blaming yourself… Actually, no one is to blame. Some relationships don’t work. This relationship wasn’t right for you. The man who is right for you will not only accept your anxieties, but he will also help you to heal them. THEN, you will know you are with someone you should spend your life with. It sounds as though he added to your anxiety. I was in that relationship for 6 years myself, and struggled to finally let go for my own mental health. As soon as I released that relationship (with the help of daily meditation and a LOT of forgiveness), I met my partner now. He’s accepting and soothing. The same will happen for you. Never settle out of fear.