October 14, 2019 at 7:46 pm #317879
I seriously need advice. I am 35, and have been with my boyfriend for 2.5 years, living together for 1.5 of those. It’s been mostly good, though definitely some ups and downs and stormy times–we both have quick tempers. But we had a lot of passion and great discussions, and fun–we like to do and talk about similar things. We share values and I love his family. We were talking about getting married and having children up until the middle of the summer.
I should mention that I had a pretty traumatic childhood. My mother has borderline personality disorder which caused great upheaval in my early years. She would often leave for days at a time, after tantrums, and attempted suicide on numerous occasions. She is mean and difficult, and criticized me (and continues to do so) incessantly. My father is from a Muslim culture and rejected me starting in my teenage years because I wanted to live a Western life — dating, drinking wine, etc. My previous relationships were complete disasters, including a 7-year marriage.
Starting in about July of this year, I found myself to have completely lost interest in this relationship. I feel like I am just going through the motions, and I’m not even sure if I love him anymore. There is no event that I can point to that would have caused this. Sometimes the feelings come back briefly, and I recently had a very intense dream that he died and I was distraught, and when I woke was so relieved it was just a dream. I’ve also been kind of depressed recently, I’ve been less interested in work, friends, just all aspects of life. I feel bored too, in every respect. I don’t know if I am depressed and that has caused my sudden loss of interest in the relationship, or the relationship isn’t right for me and that’s making me depressed. I am so, so confused. I’ve also been dwelling on it nonstop for months–I just can’t stop wondering all the time if I have to break up with him because he’s wrong for me and that’s why my feelings have dissipated. Or is there more going on beneath the surface and I should do more soul-searching before breaking it off?October 15, 2019 at 1:02 am #317907PeggyParticipant
Step 1. Delay your marriage.
Step 2. Learn to communicate more effectively.
You say that you have had stormy times, ups and downs, yet you have only been together 2.5 years. This means that you are both fighting for power in this relationship.
Step 3. Accept that parents create problems.
Your mother was suicidal – chronically depressed and, unfortunately, we learn patterns of behavior during childhood. She was rejecting her life and all that was in it, including you. Our parents are our role models on whom we are dependent. Your father rejected you as soon as you reached puberty. The fact that you rejected his ways through rebellion is just what teenagers do. It’s part of the growing process – finding your own way.
Your loss of interest and boredom in your life indicates that you are mildly depressed. It’s OK to feel like this for a week or two, but if it goes on for months then it becomes a problem. If you dwell on your problem, then it will loom larger, if you focus on the solution then you will be taking control of the situation. Your feelings for your boyfriend are still there so keep focusing on those. Mentally send love out to your boyfriend and then send that same love back to yourself. Do this several times during the day whenever you think of it.
Boredom means that you are not incorporating things into your life that matter to you. Find your passion. What do you love to do? Where are your strengths? Find out what interests you and put your energies into it.
What I am saying is that you need to uproot all the negative messages received during childhood and replace them with positive messages by building on your own self worth – those negative messages are beneath the surface in your subconscious memory but are having a major impact on you now. Bring them into your consciousness and see them for what they are. They don’t belong to you, they’ve been given to you by your parents. You are quite entitled to give them back to the people they belong to as you don’t need them any more.
With best wishes.
PeggyOctober 15, 2019 at 8:16 am #317947
Peggy, thank you so much for your thoughtful and thorough response. It is so helpful! I truly appreciate itOctober 15, 2019 at 10:10 am #317971ValoraParticipant
I totally agree with Peggy, that is great advice. I also want to say that when we experience boredom, depression, or unhappiness with our lives in general, our relationships are often the first thing to be targeted and cut, thinking that is the problem, when often it’s something more internal that you’re not happy with. Trying Peggy’s suggestions first is definitely the way to go, and if, after you are feeling better overall in the other areas of your life, you are still having doubts about your relationship, that’s when you should reassess it. Given that you’re feeling unhappy overall, though, it’s probably not your relationship that is the problem, and ending it at this point likely won’t help. What WILL help is self-care. And see if you can find a hobby that you enjoy so much that it absolutely lights you up.October 15, 2019 at 2:31 pm #318041
I grew up with a borderline personality disorder mother as well. What I found out later in adulthood is that I kept re-experiencing the same experience no matter where I was, no matter how far from my mother. I experienced the same anxiety, the same depression, the same loneliness that I experienced as a child, with my mother.
It is very possible that after the newness of the relationship with your boyfriend wore off, you went back to the same-old-same-old experience of childhood: “going through the motions.. kind of depressed… less interested in work, friends, just all aspects of life.. bored too, in every respect.. confused”. If so, you emotional experience now was established (in your brain, that is) way before you met your boyfriend and has nothing to do with who he is or with the nature of the relationship.
anitaOctober 15, 2019 at 2:32 pm #318043
* didn’t reflect under TopicsOctober 16, 2019 at 12:28 am #318095PeggyParticipant
Thank you for your kind response. It’s always good to be appreciated. Thank you too, Valora, for your support.
PeggyOctober 16, 2019 at 8:16 am #318171
Valora and Anita, thanks very much. your responses were also very helpful.October 16, 2019 at 8:26 am #318175
You are welcome. When I respond to members I often invite members for further conversation, to see what we can learn from each other’s stories. If you are interested in that, and only if you are, feel free to tell me what about my response was helpful to you and I will reply further.
anitaOctober 16, 2019 at 8:33 am #318179
I haven’t met a lot of other people with borderline mothers (or parents) so it’s helpful to hear from those who have that in common with me. I struggle a lot with self-esteem, relationships, and various other interpersonal parts of life, and it is valuable to me to start to understand where these patterns originate and what my responses to certain situations mean. For example, most of my friends had easier childhoods than I did, so when I say I feel bored of my boyfriend they say it’s obviously time to breakup. For me, it’s not so obvious, because I know I have self-destructive tendencies and trouble trusting/deeply connecting/having healthy relationships, in large part because of what I experienced growing up. i don’t want to sell myself short, but i also don’t want to keep breaking up and starting new relationships over and over because I am not recognizing that there is something wrong with me. so, the perspective of people who had similar childhoods is extremely helpful.October 16, 2019 at 8:45 am #318187
I think it is wise of you to not ‘want to keep breaking up and starting new relationships over and over because I am not recognizing that there is something wrong with me”- I am impressed. Because so many people do just that, break up repeatedly and never look inside for their part in the relationship failure.
Personally, for decades I didn’t even stay long enough in a relationship to break up. Even the word “relationship” is too long to describe what I had.
It is very, very difficult to grow up with a borderline mother. Can never predict what she is going to say or do, always scared, alert, easily alarmed, terrible way to grow up. I used to think of my growing up as growing-in, not up or outward. Sort of surviving best I could, but not learning or growing. Instead, staying in place, folding inside, and very lonely.
Did you feel similar to this or different?
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