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Two friends who can’t be together

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  • This topic has 50 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by Tee.
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  • #390478
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear aphroitte1,

    you are very welcome. Wishing you a Happy New Year too, and an enjoyable New Year’s Eve, if you choose to go out and celebrate. Best of wishes, dear aphroitte1!

    #390479
    anita
    Participant

    Dear aphroitte1:

    You are welcome and thank you for your good wishes!

    I wanted to add something to our discussion before the year ends and a new year begins, something that I hope will help you in regard to your next relationship. First, I believe that both (1) your on-again-off-again boyfriend of seven years, and (2) your secret boyfriend of last- are poor candidates for a healthy relationship with any woman, including you, and I hope that none of these two relationships will resume, not by the end of this year and not in 2022!

    In the year to come, I hope that you will evaluate a man as a candidate for a healthy relationship before hooking up with him, that is, before becoming physically and romantically involved. Talk with him, whomever it may be (not the two I mentioned though!). Get to know him and let him get to know you: ask questions about what he likes, what he dislikes, what he values, what he wants and plans for his life, and tell him what you like, etc. See if there is a match! Get to know how he spends his time, how he handles conflicts with people: does he get angry and attack, does he get angry and silently withdraws, or does he talk the conflict respectfully and tries to resolve it?

    Also, notice your own challenges in regard to having a healthy relationship with a man: do you tend to get angry, hold it in, then sort of explode, argue and start a fight, then keep the fight going and going? I don’t know the answer to this question, but some things that you shared make me wonder if this (or something similar) is the case.

    I will list these things and ask you questions, but I do not expect you, nor do I need you to answer my questions. My only purpose is to bring these things/ possibilities to your attention just in case it might help you in regard to having that healthy 2022 relationship that I hope you will have. In the quotes that follow, I will use the bold feature for emphasis:

    March 2021 (regarding the secret boyfriend): “after 6 months, and a little fight because I felt like he was making fun of me in front of the friends group…  he decided that we should end this”- did he really make fun of you, or did you only feel like he did? What is a little fight vs. a big fight, and did he decide to end this because of that little fight?

    * Dec 2021 (regarding the 7 years on-again-off-again boyfriend): “In those rare times we would go out, he would be mocking me in the conversations or if we were with friends instead of being by my side, I would always feel like he is making fun out of me“- is your always-feeling that you are being made fun of/ being mocked: is that a repeated feeling, a theme? Is it grounded in reality? What have these men (and others perhaps) made fun of you for?

    March 2021: “I asked him politely if he has any chances of getting back with her (his ex)? and he said maybe, I don’t know what the future holds. MAYBE?… like I was just a f***-game or just a time pass thing. I feel like I am betrayed… I feel like there is something very wrong here and I am very angry… I’m furious honestly”-

    – there is such a thing as justified anger, of course, but how do you process your anger, how do you express it when you are not polite? Do you try to hold it in, but it keeps brewing inside until you have to express it in some way or the other?

    Nov-Dec 2021: “Yesterday we had a big fight“- who initiated the fight, did it start small and then grew, was it a one-sided fight or did you participate in it, and if you did, how?

    “My second boyfriend… we had a very bad relationship. I believed he was a narcissist, but I am afraid that I may also have narcissistic traitsI often thought that I am over dramatic and jealous and awful girlfriend“- what narcissistic traits do you suspect that you have? Did you often think that you were over dramatic, jealous and awful because you behaved in these ways?

    “It was a turbulent relationship with a lot of break-ups, ignoring, bad words and emotional abuse… I’ve never attended holidays with him or properly celebrated without a fight“- were all the turbulence, the bad words, the emotional abuse and the fights, all initiated by him, going on and on without your participation?

    “31 December came, and he slept till 4 p.m. I was waiting for him to get up. So, when he texted me that he is awake I immediately asked him okay what are we doing tonight? He became angry saying I am so annoying without patience, crazy and always wanting to fight and ruin everything. That made me feel awful and so angry because I’ve felt like something is not right with me“-

    – was there any truth to what he said (that you are always wanting to fight)? When you get angry, does it feel so distressing and overwhelming that you feel that there is something wrong with you?

    “To sum up, we had fights about every date we were planning because of his laziness, not interested in it or not committed and would get angry if I get angry and cancel it…he would say that I am always dramatic, we would fight for hours and hours and none of our fights are solved actually”-

    – again, understanding that this guy is a bad candidate for a healthy relationship with any woman, is there any truth to what he said (that you are always dramatic)?  Did you participate in the hours and hours of fighting, and if you did: how?

    “I want to be the cycle breaker in my own parents’ patterns and in my love relationships… I do remember how I’ve felt when I was 13-14, and in my late teenage years. I had a lot of fighting with my dad… my parents were fighting very bad at one point. There was one night with a very dramatic fight...there was dramatic pushing, running, going away with his car and not calling back… And because of every fight my parents have and the threats that my dad will leave that leaves me to believe that is the biggest problem of having abandonment issues”-

    – Did the pattern of the fighting in your childhood home extend to your romantic adult relationships? In romantic relationships, did you often feel abandoned and got angry about it?

    I have learned, aphroitte1, that in abusive adult romantic relationships, it is rarely the case (although it happens), that one person is The Perpetrator, and the other is The Victim. Often, in abusive relationships, each side is a perpetrator and a victim. I also learned that managing anger and its expressions is difficult and troubling to a lot of people, making people who don’t manage these well to feel that there is something wrong with them. Learning how to manage and contain the experience and expression of anger is crucial when it comes to having healthy relationships!

    anita

     

    #402376
    aphroitte1
    Participant

    I feel like I need to write on this one…
    I did not end things with my long-ex-boyfriend until last week. I suppose I tried to make things work and give it one more chance. But we were in a secret relationship so we can see if this will function. I will say that his everyday behaviour (talking non-stop, seeing each other often) was improved, but something was always missing. Even though we didn’t fight and we were on a good relations most of the time I think that was mostly because we were:

    1.Secret.

    2.Not obligated to do serious things like two people in a relationship and when not expected to such things, the vibe will be good because all that is left is just seeing each other, sex and stupid conversations.

    Anyway, even though we were okay, there were things that were still crucial to me for example:

    -he never said I love you back because he told me he was not ready yet. I waited, and he only told me once when he was tipsy.

    -I was in another city for a month-two and I was inviting him to come and see me, we can stay there together at peace and he would always find excuses not to come. And lame ones, like I hate the road travel to get there, I can’t now (even though he wasn’t doing anything.) And even though he always does things like this: he would make future plans, and when the time comes for the plan to be realized he would find excuse.

    -I’ve noticed that for a lot of things he would automatically find excuses not to do it or not to say it. Seconds after it was told what to do.

    -he became frustrating to me because he doesn’t want to work still even though he is 26, and his excuse is he doesn’t want to spend the summer working when he can hang out with friends.

    -and I felt miserable with him…cold, not loved, not appriciated, not cherished…. like after all these years I’ve finally broke the pink glasses and I couldn’t be in love with him. Everything he said/done it was childish and disgusting to me.

    And like that I became distant… even though  we were together I now that he was also. That’s why we function still! Because no one felt like the other one cared so much. At least in my part I felt like I wasn’t in love but I just couldn’t let go. And thing that bothered me was that I won’t go public with him because I don’t see any evidence that something will be better and he will do a lot of things for me. I felt like everything would be the same like I’ve realized that he won’t change neither public or secret.

    I feel bad because I am talking only about him… but years of that abuse that he still doesn’t truly confess to…I just tried so many times to find the fault in myself but I would never justify his bad behaviour towards me.. I don’t think that someone who loves me would do those things he did in the past.

    so to sum up, we had a stupid fight and after that we just stopped communicating. I ignored him because I snapped (I hate his conversations that are mocking me and he doesn’t realize it even though I tell him) and we didn’t talk for 2 days. After that I tried writing to him… and we had fight that consisted these words:

    -I can’t do this anymore, I am sick because it’s private relationship

    -you always potray me as the predator in front of everyone, and you are the victim (I can’t sleep because of this sentence and trying to find is it right or wrong)

    -I don’t want us to do anything anymore I won’t be doing anything not even when we are public

    All these things were his statements. And we still fight about the same things over and over again, he can’t let go of the past, he says that it is a deep influence, I say that he never sees himself and what he is really doing. I can’t explain to him that my fights, my words are the result of me feeling abused.

    And we just started texting. Out of nowhere. I guess it’s over, I guess it’s the easiest way for us to break up because we can’t do it properly. I know that because I feel like it’s relieving that we didn’t say it officialy and I feel he feels the same way.

    I want to know why I feel quilty. Why I feel like I am always the one to blame. Like I am always the bad one. I was doing everything I can for these 6 years and I just couldn’t do it anymore this 7th because I felt very bad with him. I think that my rose glasses are off and things are changing and that’s why I felt that way but I can’t face the blaming feeling I still have.

     

    #402377
    anita
    Participant

    Dear aphroitte1:

    Welcome back t your thread!

    “I want to know why I feel guilty. Why I feel like I am always the one to blame. Like I am always the bad one” (?)- because, I am guessing, you started feeling very guilty in regard to your parents when you were a child, for years, and that intense (it felt intense at the time), long-term childhood guilt transferred (as it normally does) to your adult relationships and adult life otherwise (?)

    anita

     

    #402424
    aphroitte1
    Participant

    It could be, it’s very logical being that way yes. But I want to stop taking responsobilities for everything that is not mine. I can’t control how someone comunicate or is behaving and I still feel quilty when something is wrong or unsucessful.

    #402425
    anita
    Participant

    Dear aphritte1:

    You wrote yesterday, June 13, 2022, regarding your 7-years on-again-off-again relationship:  “I did not end things with my long-ex-boyfriend until last week. I suppose I tried to make things work and give it one more chance…  I was doing everything I can for these 6 years and I just couldn’t do it anymore this 7th” – I want to talk a bit about this relationship and address the issue of your guilt.

    The relationship started on Christmas Eve 2014. There were many breaks in the relationship, but the first big, official breakup took place in March 2017. You then got back together in April 2017. In the summer of 2017, he left for the U.S. Shortly after his return to your country, you broke up again. A month later you got back together. Soon after there was another fight and a breakup. You got back together at the start of 2018. Fast forward, by March 2021, there was yet another breakup. Fast forward, and another breakup took place last week, in early June 2022.

    You can see that this latest breakup is not necessarily the last breakup, judging by the pattern, right?

    During the first breakup back in March 2017, he told you: “You have destroyed me mentally, I hate you, go destroy someone else’s life“! When the two of you fought and broke up at another time, he told you: “Go destroy someone else“- it is this GUILT TRIPPING that is motivating you to get back with him every time. He uses guilt as a weapon against you, to keep you feeling guilty, doubting yourself and being under his power.

    For you to not get back with him, your vulnerability to being manipulated through guilt needs to be addressed:

    In November 10, 2021, you shared about your childhood: “I had a lot of fighting with  my dad… He would be so mad…  he would be angry and giving me silent treatment about something. He always expected of me to be perfect, well behaved and have perfect grades… I would be punished… my parents were fighting very bad at one point. There was one night with a very dramatic fight including words like: suicide, divorce, you don’t love me, you don’t need me (my fathers’ words)… there was dramatic pushing, running, going away with his car and not calling back” –

    – your father was into GUILT TRIPPING your mother, making her feel that she was guilty for his misery: blaming her for not loving him (“you don’t love me”!), for not needing him (“you don’t need me”!), and for therefore causing him to think about suicide and divorce, and for causing him to.. run away from home (“going away with his car and not calling back”).

    When he gave you, aphroitte1, silent treatments, he was GUILT TRIPPING you as well. And I bet he guilt tripped you in other ways. And so, in addition to a child’s natural tendency to feel guilty when a parent is angry or sad, on top of it- he guilt-tripped you!

    It is no wonder then, that in the context of your adult romantic relationships, you are strongly inclined to feel guilty, especially  when a man does to you what your father did!

    In your most recent post, you wrote: “I still feel guilty when something is wrong or unsuccessful” – From what you shared about this terrible 7 years-too long PRISON OF GUILT of a relationship, it needs to be over. You need to FREE yourself.

    Of course, your behavior within the relationship was not perfect, but NO ONE’S behavior can possibly be anywhere close to perfect in a relationship where one is abused. Guilt tripping is a form of emotional abuse that very much harms the mental- emotional health of its victims. Such a relationship needs to end for good, because if you stay- no matter how hard you try to behave perfectly- it will not make a difference in his behavior. He is hooked on the feeling of having power over you and as long as he guilt trips you, he gets to feel his power over you.

    If you behaved perfectly, how would he get to feel powerful… ? He is not interested in what you think he is interested in (your perfect behavior). He is interested in keeping you imprisoned in guilt. This is what I am thinking at this point. What do you think?

    anita

    #402468
    aphroitte1
    Participant

    it makes sense honestly yes… But even though most of the things are something I already know, how can I be a person who is not drowing in guilt? How do I stop myself from people giving me the guilt? Is there a way?

    #402481
    anita
    Participant

    Dear aphroitte:

    “most of the things are something I already know, how can I be a person who is not drowning in guilt? How do I stop myself from people giving me the guilt? Is there a way?” –

    – I am guessing that you know that your guilt was formed in childhood and in what circumstances, but you don’t yet know that the child that you were was not guilty. What you do know, you know superficially, as in a 2-dimensinal )2-D) kind of way. The knowing that counts, when it comes to emotional healing, is the deep, 3-dimensional (3-D) kind of knowing, the kind that will lead you to… really know that you were not a guilty child. That kind of knowing is the beginning  way for you to stop drowning in guilt as an adult.

    If you want to share more about your guilt as a child, take your time and type away whatever you remember, whatever comes to mind and I will try to help you expand your knowing from the 2-D to the 3-D.

    anita

    #402868
    anita
    Participant

    Dear aphroitte:

    How are you, how are you in terms of the guilt and the relationship?

    anita

    #403101
    aphroitte1
    Participant

    Hello!

    I was on a vacation so I wasn’t able to reply.
    As the time pass, I feel light and more rational. Of course I still have my doubts and bad feelings, I still think of him sometimes and if this was the right thing to do, but at the end of the day I feel happier than I was before and I think that it was I needed. I know that we weren’t happy together no matter how many times/how much we tried and he knows it too because we both continued with our lives just by ignoring each other.
    When my head is cold I resolve some things and I know that I can’t be the only one to blame. Yes, I had my bad situations and bad behaviour also but I think that when you are not compatible with someone, and EVEN WORSE, treated poorly anyone would react the same way I did.
    However in all of my relationships, all the types I take the blame for everything and I need to STOP. I know it will be hard and difficult to face that but not everything in other’s choices, behaviour, words is my fault. Mostly is their reflections, their difficulties they have in life and I have to accept that. I know that in my childhood I was always the one to be blamed for bad moods in our home. I wanted to be accepted as the way I was (introverted, not talking or hanging too much, wanting to have more time for myself etc.) and my parents weren’t embracing that, they were pushing me to be something I wasn’t. And that ALSO was not my fault, that my parents had limited knowledge and acceptance of things in people especially their kids. I know that I always blamed myself when I faced someone and respected myself enough  to say when I am disrespected or hurt. When I told that people were angry and distant from me. Something that I learned from this is that people always want to be dominant and right so if someone confront them they will distance themself and that is not a friend/lover. And I always blamed myself when a relationship didn’t work (with my ex). I think that comes from all those time I gave in and trust and devotion to that and someone is ungrateful for that.
    In conclusion, it’s going to be a long trip to release that blame on myself but I will work through it and to acknowledge it like a grown up person so I won’t have problems in the future.

    #403102
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aphroitte:

    At the end of the day I feel happier than I was before… When my head is cold I resolve some things and I know that I can’t be the only one to blame” –  he is to blame for guilt-tripping you (exaggerating,  misrepresenting and/ or making up things that you are allegedly guilty of). When a person repeatedly guilt-trips you, you can’t become perfect enough to make him/ her stop guilt-tripping you. Your only way to no longer be guilt-tripped is to not be in contact with the source of the guilt-tripping.

    In all of my relationships, all the types I take the blame for everything and I need to STOP… I know that in my childhood I was always the one to be blamed for bad moods in our home” – you were blamed/ guilt-tripped as a child, and you naturally proceeded to blame/ guilt-trip yourself. Parents are so powerful in a child’s life, that their mental representatives are formed into our brains as children, and those reps continue to tell us what the parents told us.

    I need to STOP” – you can use the NSR strategy: when you Notice self-blame/ guilt-tripping thoughts and the distress that accompany such thoughts, Stop the thoughts and Redirect your thoughts and attention to something else. What that something else might be, we can talk about it if you want.

    “I wanted to be accepted as the way I was… and my parents weren’t embracing that, they were pushing me to be something I wasn’t. And that ALSO was not my fault” – it was not your fault  that they did not accept you or embrace you the way you were.

    “I learned from this is that people always want to be dominant and right so if someone confront them they will distance themself… And I always blamed myself when a relationship didn’t work (with my ex)” –

    – if any (or both) of your parents were (unreasonably) dominant and right, and distanced themselves from you when you asserted yourself, then you are likely to be drawn to men who are also dominant and right and who follow your assertion with distance because they remind you of your parent and motivate you to try to.. change your parents by proxy (the man being a substitute to your parent).

    Be aware of this human inclination to be drawn to/ to be attracted to romantic interests who resemble our parents, driven by the motivation to resolve our issues with our parents retroactively and through a substitute (all such efforts are futile).

    In conclusion, it’s going to be a long trip to release that blame on myself but I will work through it and to acknowledge it like a grown up person so I won’t have problems in the future” – excellent intent and attitude, I am impressed!

    anita

    #403104
    aphroitte1
    Participant

    Thank you so much!
    “Stop the thoughts and Redirect your thoughts and attention to something else. What that something else might be, we can talk about it if you want.” – well I don’t know? Maybe focus ono something productive or doing yoga, draw, paint, go out something ? Or remind myself of the bad deed that person did to me and that my behaviour is justified, feeling hurt and stomach intuition is telling me something is wrong is not a guilt, that I am the one to blame?

     

    #403106
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Aphroitte:

    You are very welcome! What you suggested in regard to Redirect, all make sense. Here is what I suggest: make a simple, easy to read Redirect List printed on a paper that you can carry with you wherever you go. Every time you Notice and Stop, look at the Redirect List printout and go through the list. Pick up the item that fits the moment and physical circumstances best: be it yoga, drawing, etc.

    As far as reminding yourself of the bad deeds of that person, etc.: make a List of Reminders as well as Affirmations (stating simply what is true) and have it printed in the same paper.

    anita

    #404368
    aphroitte1
    Participant

    With the friend with who I can’t be together, we were still hooking up sadly, it felt like an addiction. But something started changing, I never thought he would mistreat me (Idk if I am overreacting and that’s an issue for me). He started being cold, not kissing me or hugging me, being very sarcastic, and not texting me. When I would tell him that I feel like he is distant he would react angry, saying I am only crying about things never satisfied and that everything is the same but he still proceeds to act distant. Because of my anxious thoughts and saying my feelings to him, he ended things with me. But, there’s the catch: once he is saying that he is ending things because he has some own issues to work through, then he says is better to be just friends because I am fighting a lot, and later he says is because of my ex, we would never be together. In the meantime we would hang out with one of his friends, today exactly he invited me with his friend and every time I am with him and another friend he is talking about girls, about this one is good, this one is not, and he was doing the same thing when he was alone with me, and when I said that I am uncomfortable of that he would say that I am oversensitive and continues every time we would go out, having fun with me being angry of that. Today, as soon as I arrived they started making jokes about me, mocking me, he says is harmless but all they talk about was me, everything I say is mocking me. Of course, I turn angry and passive-aggressive at the table because I am very hurt. HE DOESN’T RESPECT Me. At this point, I don’t think that he loved me. I can’t believe that he is a jerk. And normally we would text after going out or anything, but now he hasn’t texted me, he waved goodbye while the other friend hugged me. I just can’t stop obsessing with him and his bad behavior. At this point I feel like it’s not because of the friend’s code to not go with the friend’s exes, but because he doesn’t want to even though he is saying that I am the woman he loved the most. I am furious. I don’t know how to react because I feel like I need to show him that I am not a victim and that he can play with my feelings. I want him to feel hurt by me as I am by him. I tried talking million times and the answer was: I don’t wish to sensitive cry babies.

     

    I don’t know if I am the asshole that I am always complaining and being a cry-baby, but I don’t think that this is how a person who loves you treats you.

    I know to be an overreactive and overthinker, currently, I am thinking of million scenarios in my head about why he is like this, and it’s killing me. But I want to be angry, JUST ANGRY, so I can move on from him and build my self-respect and deserve because he and my ex turned out to behave the same way.

    #404369
    aphroitte1
    Participant

    Because of the pattern of their behaviors, I am afraid that something is wrong with me when being in a relationship. But both of these relationships were dominant by them, always secret, not offering me the love I want and the attention.

    I don’t want to be the girl that is over sensitive but I feel very disrespected by them.

    What to do now? With my friend-lover, I am afraid of how to solve this relationship, because his sister is my best friend. Yes, she doesn’t know about us, at this point I feel like shit because I have 24, he has 26 and I have a secret lover instead of being happy and free with someone. I need to lose my feelings and be okay with him moving on with other girls, probably me being at his wedding because I wouldn’t betray his sister, my best friend, because of this. I want to tell her everything, but I know that will be a war between us.

    I want to solve this in the most rational way and be cold, distant, and okay with him, but with setting boundaries and being respectful towards myself.

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