September 9, 2019 at 6:29 pm #311137
You’re absolutely right about her son, and I have regularly maintained that that attitude didn’t at all help his situation. I am not like my ex-partner’s mother; I don’t share many of her beliefs and values, so I wouldn’t really try to defend her. I do think though that in most instances it has been a case of mistaking and misinterpreting the situation, rather than actively seeking out a poor outcome. I guess this seems like the most obvious thing in the world to say, but I do feel it provides clarity – there is no way ever that her mother wanted her son to take his own life. What happened was a very unfortunate tragedy, that admittedly may have been encouraged by an ignorant attitude towards his depression.
It is very difficult currently to know where my ex-partner is emotionally due to me being unable to contact her much. I haven’t brought it up with her, but she still has me blocked from social media accounts and only very occasionally there’s a few text messages exchanged. Last we spoke I mentioned that I was struggling with the miscarriage now that I had allowed myself time to grieve instead of supporting, and her attitude was basically that she’s trying not to think about it too much. I get the sense that she is either trying to block it out or she has something holding her back from talking to me and letting me back in. If she is simply trying to ignore it then to be honest I am fearful for her, but there isn’t really much I can do – I told her that I believe in her and have faith in her, but she didn’t reply. She told me during the conversation that she’s fine, and that I should stop worrying, but that’s the only time she’s come across like that – previously she’s accepted that she was struggling. It’s just very difficult to interpret. So in terms of how she’s doing emotionally, I don’t really know. There may be evidence I’m missing, but all the signs would indicate that she’s finding it hard whereas her voice is saying she’s okay; that’s not uncommon anyway when people go through hard times, but I’m worried that she may be blocking things out because she knows she isn’t going to get much sympathy at home. Again, I realise there’s nothing I can do, but it doesn’t stop me being concerned.
I think her mother would do well to be more sympathetic and empathetic, but I don’t really think she’s uncaring. I think her way of caring is very different to mine, for example, and it doesn’t always help, but it is her way of attempting to care.
I would point out that there’s one more piece to the puzzle that I’ve been keeping to myself, mostly because I didn’t really want anybody to think less of the girl I loved. The truth, though, is that she did admit to me after returning from holiday that she had cheated on me with her ex-partner. According to her, she had gone to his house from home one night after drinking heavily and they had sex, and that was that. She told me and it took me a long time to process, a good week really. I was a little ‘off’ for the first few days of that week, explained to her that I was struggling with intimacy and the like but eventually we found our way through. She was in floods of tears after telling me and was clearly very distressed, which absolutely doesn’t excuse her actions but at least proved to me that she was only really telling me because she wanted to salvage what we had. If she didn’t care, she’d have simply kept me in the dark and went back to him I imagine. I eventually got into a headspace where I found the heart to forgive her, despite the betrayal, and she insisted to me that she would ‘make having her at my side worthwhile’. It wasn’t long after this that she removed her ex-partner from her life completely and didn’t speak to him, but since our separation I do know that she’s back in contact with him. That is probably the only reason I’m drawing any anger or resentment at the minute, because after the way he treated her previously, and the distress it clearly caused her to have him around (at least to some extent), I feel a bit betrayed that he now has the right to be her friend and be chatting away etc. but I don’t. I hope it doesn’t really mean anything, but I don’t know what to think about that part. If she has gone back to him, and all of her family and everybody haven’t said a word to me and have been backing up the ‘she needs time to be alone’ stuff, then that would probably crush me. I could find a way through it, but it would feel very cruel. Does any of that even bear thinking about at this point? I’ve been very careful not to react to it in any way. When my ex came to my house less than 2 weeks ago we actually had a laugh at his expense, and made fun of some of his less-desirable, abusive qualities he showed post-breakup to kind of lighten the mood.
As I’m sure you can tell anyway, the lack of clarity is the main thing that’s driving me insane, and I still don’t understand why she won’t speak to me. I know that she’s not apathetic towards me, and I can be pretty sure she doesn’t hate me given that she spent time with me and shared cuddles with me when she came to collect her things, so why? It could be guilt, or it could be a defence mechanism against falling back into a relationship with me; other possibilities do exist. It’s hard because not knowing why means I don’t really know how to treat the situation, so I have to leave her alone, but that genuinely makes me quite concerned for her well-being. I don’t know that there’s a way for me to allay that fear currently.September 10, 2019 at 7:35 am #311245
“there is no way ever that her mother wanted her son to take his own life”- probably so, but her mother’s intent is not relevant to what I am trying to communicate to you. I will explain: her mother’s lack of intent to bring about her son’s death can be an issue in a court of law, hypothetically if she was charged with murder or the like. But this is not the case here. I am not concerned with her mother’s intent, this is not a court of law and her mother is not accused of murder.
What I am trying to communicate to you is the following: I think your now former girlfriend has had a difficult childhood, unloved by her mother. Again, her mother is not the focus here, it is not about her mother’s opinions and character. It is about the fact that your former girlfriend was not loved as a child. It is not “a case of mistaking and misinterpreting the situation” on the part of her now dead brother, or on the part of his struggling sister that neither one was loved.
It is not possible for a child to be loved by a parent and yet, to believe he or she is not loved.
But it is possible for an adult woman to be loved by a boyfriend, as this woman is loved by you, and yet, to not believe that she is loved. This is why this loved adult woman drinks heavily and goes to the home of an abusive man, her ex boyfriend, and has sex with him while in a relationship with you!
You may have formed a friendly set of interactions with her mother and you may have thought that this will bring you closer to her daughter, but it hasn’t, has it? You may have thought that you talking to your former girlfriend about her mother in positive ways, will bring you closer to her, but it hasn’t.
Your former girlfriend knows deep inside that her mother doesn’t love her and it troubles her greatly. When you don’t see that, when you deny this basic truth about her experience (even if she herself denies it), you are a stranger to her, just as she is to herself.
Does this make any sense to you?
anitaSeptember 12, 2019 at 5:45 am #311797
There is a lot of truth and wisdom in what you’re saying. I do think in some regards that my ex partner wishes that her mother had done more during her early childhood given that her father wasn’t brilliant, but she also regularly explains how proud she is of her mother as a woman. I think in many ways she’s actually a bit envious; her mother has been through hardship and managed to come out the other side and have a stable life, but I know for 100% certainty that my ex partner does not feel like her life is stable. She sought that stability in me, I guess, and I think now she’s trying to find it in herself. I am becoming much more convinced as time goes by that she’s trying to prove that she can do it on her own. Still, with that considered, I don’t understand why she won’t talk to me. She clearly doesn’t hate me, and at least on some level still has feelings for me, I don’t know whether the lack of communication is just another feature of her self-preservation motivation at the current time.
She definitely finds it hard to feel loved sometimes, as explained by her confessing that she didn’t feel good enough for me on occasion, that she felt like I was doing all the giving and she had nothing to offer. Obviously I don’t believe that’s the case and convinced her of that, for a time at least, but it’s clear her head was working that way at times.
She was always keen for me to spend more time with her family, actually, and so I made that effort when possible. I did explain that the fact that I had my own house and she lived with her mother made me feel a bit apprehensive about us sharing our space with her parents when we had space of our own, which she agreed with. But as I say, she was reasonably interested in me getting to know them more. In fact her step-father had insisted about 7 days prior to the breakup that me and him should go to play some snooker together, which never came about. Her sister had planned a day at the safari involving me, my ex, her sister, and her sister’s partner. There was a genuine effort to integrate everything, but that wasn’t long before she broke off the relationship. I don’t think it brought us any closer together, but I feel like that may have been her intention. Again I’m unsure what, if any, bearing that had on events. I really don’t understand any of it at the present time – I have all of these ideas, and we’re discussing all these possibilities, but it doesn’t really offer any clarity whilst she’s so silent. What do you think is the reason for her silence, given what we’ve discussed?
She would sometimes mention that her ex-partner had a very dominant approach to sex, but never elaborated more than that. She assured me after she told me that she had cheated that it was merely a sexual encounter, that she didn’t have any feelings or emotions involved. It’s strange because when WE spoke about sex it was clear that we were on similar wavelength, both preferring a varied and engaging sexual relationship as opposed to ‘defining’ it by any one characteristic, like for example dominance/submission. There were a couple of issues relating to our sex life, but nothing major – for a period of around 2 weeks I had an abscess on my tailbone, which required surgery and a further two weeks in hospital. So for that 4 weeks, from around the start of June, we were unable to explore each other sexually as much as we normally would. Sorry if that’s all a bit intense, I’m just not sure if it’s relevant. The fact that she even spoke about sex with her ex to me would indicate that, on some level, she was thinking about it, right?
I hope that on her journey of self-discovery she finds that she doesn’t need her mother’s presence in the way that she currently has it, if that makes sense. Not that I wish her a poor relationship with her mother, but I think from chatting to you I’m determining that she idolizes her mother and hasn’t necessarily realized her faults. She depends on her, in a much greater way than say her sisters. I suppose that in some form we’re all guilty of that.
I am thinking at the minute that I may leave it until the end of this month and then send her a kind of ‘self-care/pamper’ hamper, maybe without even revealing that I sent it. I have a poetry book due to be delivered from a poet that I know she loves, I’ll probably include that along with a few things to look after herself with. Do you think this is a good idea? One of my female friends at work suggested it, and I’m considering it to be a good plan.September 12, 2019 at 12:35 pm #311919
“What do you think is the reason for her silence, given what we’ve discussed?”- I re-read all your posts for more than an hour. My answer to your question, using a psychological term is: object inconsistency. When she met with you to collect her things she felt close to you, but before and after, when not in your physical presence, she feels very removed from you, as if you don’t exist.
For you, she exists all the time, whether you are in her physical presence or not. But for her, you don’t exist unless you are in her physical presence.
“I know that she’s not apathetic towards me.. given that she spent time with me and shared cuddles with me when she came to collect her things, so why?” you asked regarding her distant behavior right after that visit. My answer: object inconsistency- once you were out of her physical presence, her affection for you was gone while your affection for her remained constant.
I also think that she is very impulsive and she gets alarmed by her own impulsivity.
I think that the bleeding she experienced in the airport distressed her a whole lot, not the miscarriage part of it, but the bleeding and the location of the bleeding is what distressed her so. I think that the reason she had unprotected sex before (“her never getting pregnant before despite unprotected sex”), was not that she was trying to conceive but because she is impulsive and finds herself in situations she didn’t anticipate or prepare for.
Her impulsivity is what her mother referred to, I believe, when she told her daughter that “she had to get her life together and that she was a mess”. And it is her impulsivity behind the dynamics in this example: “she said everything was a bit intense.. but she would insist the following day that she wasn’t being honest, that she’d either had a drink/ had a mini-meltdown and that it was all fine now“.
Here is another example of her impulsivity: “She told me that I was perfect for her in so many ways only days before the holiday… she did admit to me after returning from holiday that she had cheated on me with her ex-partner… she had gone to his house from home one night after drinking heavily and they had sex”- you were perfect for her, then when not in your physical presence, the closeness with you is forgotten and she goes and has sex with another man.
It is not that I think that she is a conniving, dishonest woman. I think that she is emotionally very troubled and unable to have a healthy close relationship. I think that she herself is puzzled, disturbed and confused by her own impulsivity and object inconsistency (feeling close to you and then not at all, apathetic and removed).
<div></div>October 4, 2019 at 5:13 pm #316139
Apologies for it taking a while for this response; it’s been a pretty hectic few weeks. I just wanted to start out by saying how grateful I am for the time you offered to reply, it really does mean a lot.
In the time that has existed between my previous reply and this one, my ex has announced to the world via social media that she is once again back in a relationship with her ex. That is incredibly troubling, for a number of reasons, and for a time was quite soul-destroying, but it has also offered me some clarity.
I was so sternly under the impression that she was struggling, as she continued to tell me (and that may still be the case), that she was suffering and finding everything so difficult. She continued to tell me that she wanted to be alone; at one point she mentioned that she felt as though she wanted to be ‘alone for an eternity’. I did have the opportunity to tell her how that made me feel, how upsetting it was to think that I, the person she could rely on, was suddenly unable to help her despite my repeated at-least-temporary efforts in the past. How it crushed me to feel that the person I cared about most in the world was struggling and that there was nothing I could do about it. She allowed me to believe that, as did her family, with their repeated claims that she wasn’t doing great and needed to be by herself.
Now, unfortunately, it emerges that it was all a ruse. It was an attempt on her part to make herself feel better, as admitting that the only reason she didn’t love me is because she wanted to get back with her ex would have made her feel like a bad person. So instead of admitting that uncomfortable truth, she allowed me to suffer. That is about as cold and callous as I can imagine. It’s really given me an entirely different perspective. It’s one I’m not entirely comfortable with, but it’s helped in its own little way.
The only thing I’m struggling with now is in my own personal beliefs. I used to have so much faith in human beings, that we’re capable of so much love and that people’s intentions are usually good, even when they get it wrong. I am worried that I’m losing a part of myself by having to admit that, despite how she knew it would make me feel, my ex persisted in her lies in the interest of her own self-preservation. That’s an incredibly difficult thing to come to terms with; she hurt me so that she would not hurt. I’m sure that her family knew too, as she lives at home and they would have queried her sleeping elsewhere, but they too kept up he pretends, assuring me that she was struggling and needed to be alone.
i do not hate her, as I’m not a man or hatred, but I am currently struggling to make sense of my own emotions and beliefs. Thank you though for all of your help, you were a light in my darkening room simply because you chose to be, and that is worthy of grace.
michaelOctober 5, 2019 at 9:33 am #316221
Welcome back and you are very welcome.
Paraphrasing what you now believe is this: you believe that from a certain point onward, this woman was interested in her ex boyfriend and proceeded to resume that relationship but she didn’t tell you that. Instead she told you that she was suffering and needed to be alone, doing her part in maintaining your belief that she needed to be alone because she was suffering (and may come back to you after some alone-time). She deceived you and caused you unnecessary pain so to make herself more comfortable.
It made her more comfortable that you think that she is suffering than if you thought she was interested in another man and resuming a relationship with him. Her parents knew she resumed that relationship but in their communication with you, they deceived you as well.
If I understand correctly, it does make sense that this is a big part of what happened. But the Bigger Picture includes the following: she is still unwell, still suffering or soon will be suffering. Just as her relationship with you didn’t bring her the salvation she at times hoped for, neither the resuming of this older relationship bring her that salvation.
Also, when she chose to deceive you as she did, she didn’t do it cold heartedly (which doesn’t excuse the deceit at all). She didn’t do it cold heartedly, calmly thinking: how do I deceive this man who loved me so?
Instead, she was uncomfortable, feeling some sort of emotional discomfort/ pain. Not knowing what to do, so she did what was easiest to do- deceiving you.
“The only thing I’m struggling with now is my own personal beliefs. I used to have so much faith in human beings, that we’re capable of so much love and that people’s intentions are usually good”-
– human beings, like any animal, first and foremost, move away from pain any which way. When an animal feels pain, the animal does what it can to no longer feel the pain. She felt some pain (feeling like a bad person) so she moved away from that pain by deceiving you.
A person who is guided by values rather than emotions alone, will choose to endure that pain of feeling she is a bad person, and tell you the truth anyway.
Think of this extreme example: if you were physically tortured, you probably would do a lot of things that go against your values so to stop the pain. In your ex girlfriend’s case, she was not physically tortured, but she didn’t have in her the value to endure that lesser pain so to do the right thing by you.
In the future, learn about a person’s values. Have faith in the human/animal nature of stopping one’s pain any which way and in the human potential to endure some pain so to put into action admirable values such as honesty, loyalty and kindness.
Post again anytime you want to.