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Where should I go in my relationship?

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  • #356438
    jason45
    Participant

    So, my partner and I lived together for 3.5 years. 2019 was the last year of that which I slept in the guest bedroom. In the beginning of that year I told him that I needed a break, that I thought we should separate. I was having confusing back and forth thoughts in my head about what I really wanted and if I was truly IN love. I was having these thoughts for about 6 months prior to that breakup as well. We seemed to argue a ton in 2018 and I just was really getting tired of it. Our communication with each other was off, we didn’t seem to be as vulnerable with one another as I thought we should be. We didn’t share deep intimate things with each other that I thought others who were in love did. I thought we also could be codependent.

    So come early 2019 I told my partner I needed a break, or I may have said break up I don’t remember. So I moved into the guest room. Come to find out 3 weeks after that my partner had already hooked up with a couple of other people that soon. I confronted them and said how upset it made me that they could do this so suddenly and I remember seeing the look in their eyes, like they were almost happy I was that upset because it made them think that I still wanted them. And I definitely did still love them and still do. But anyways, yes I took this to heart because I thought that since they did that so suddenly it shows they didn’t want to be with me. Idk what exactly I was hoping for but by them being intimate with multiple people that fast showed me they weren’t interested in working on the relationship. It would have been nice for them to sit me down and say hey look, I don’t want to lose you, I really want this to work, lets work on our issues together and figure this out. But no.. they hooked up with other people.

    So after that we kind of did our own thing except for hanging out in the den every now and then watching tv and some rekindling which didn’t seem to stick. One night we had dinner with each other and were kind of making it a date night and afterwards we were just relaxing in front of a candle and I asked my partner why they were in love with me. They  were able to say one thing, which was that I was compassionate. Now I don’t know if I’m missing something but at the time I was thinking that someone who is in love with me should be able to say quite a few reasons why they feel the way they do? But just compassionate? It kind of turned me off a bit. Am I overthinking that?

    We got into a huge fight in June of last year, can’t remember what about but towards the end I brought up how I thought they didn’t love themselves since when they were younger they had cut themselves. And that we never could share those deep insecurities about ourselves to one another. This set them off and they told me they hated me and that they felt sorry for me. To this day those two things have hurt me the most. Hate me? Feel sorry fo me… Later that day they apologized for saying they hated me. Never has made an honest effort to apologize for saying they felt sorry for me. I understand they were probably very upset and lit up when I mentioned them not loving themselves and the cutting thing but thats what my point was! That we can’t share anythinggg with one another. Something about not loving themselves set them off so much that they said they hate me? me? after knowing me for almost four years and living together for that long?

    Do you think any part of them did feel that they hated me or felt sorry for me? I kind of always thought a bit of them felt sorry for me.. like they thought they were a bit smarter or knew more things than me. But I honestly don’t think they do love themselves since by me saying that truthful insecurity they said those awful things to me.. they got so defensive which kind of proves them don’t love themseleves right?

    Fast forward to the Fall and I decided to get my own apartment. It wouldn’t be easy since I hadn’t had a car in over a year and my job security was a bit on the rocks. They were so good and nice about letting me use their car or picking me up when I needed a hand. But by this time I was so used to riding the bus and walking I thought I’d be fine. And things did turn out fine. I got my place, and the universe blessed me with a job in walking distance at full time. I have been working there ever since. I don’t love my job but its working atm. I’m saving a lot of money and will have a car soon. My partner or my ex I guess I could say hang out every now and then. We are friendly to one another. Our relationship is never brought up, only one time it was because we got into a small argument at my place to which they said “i don’t want to do this here”, meaning arguing at my place and not the house we used to share. They started crying and said “I’m trying to figure out if I want to be with someone who doesn’t wnt to be with me”. That was in January of this year.

    Since then we hang out at either my place or theirs, usually just hanging out watching tv and eating dinner. “Us” or relationship is never brought up. I don’t really know what they want in the end or what I do I guess. I still have conflicting thoughts in my head. I love them, so dearly, but part of me just still worries if I’m not in love with them. Part of me thinks that they aren’t in love with me either. It feels like something is telling me that being in love should maybe feel different. I have known them for almost five years! It’s crazy to me that by now I don’t have some kind of sturdy foundation in my head of what I want. And that I left that house 7 months ago! And I’m still battling thoughts on what I want. We haven’t had sex in a while but we still are intimate physically every now and then.

    I love them so much. SO, so much. I don’t know what I need to do. Is it obvious? Do I need to let them go? Do I need to try a different approach to working on the relationship? Should they be communicating with me on what they want by now? If this is a crazy story or I seem out of touch, I apologize. I’ve just been so all over the place the last couple years that I needed to let it out somewhere. This website is very friendly and I hope whoever is reading this is too! Thank you for being with me here… <3

    #356746
    Jan
    Participant

    Dear Hatch

    You have very good instincts about this man, your problem is that you don’t always act on them! 🙂

    You were entirely right to break up with him, but it should have been a clean break. He was sleeping with other women five seconds after you moved into the spare room for a ‘break’ and looked at you triumphantly when it hurt you.

    ‘I remember seeing the look in their eyes, like they were almost happy I was that upset because it made them think that I still wanted them’

    He was happy, happy to have hurt you. This guy sounds like a classic narcissist. Do some reading up online if the term is unfamiliar to you. When he said he hated you he meant it, at least in the moment. He hated that you saw right through him to the truth – that he doesn’t like himself. That is the problem with narcissists, they hate themselves and will do anything to hide the fact. And they take it out on you, the hapless person who tries to love them. Making you feel bad makes them feel good. Crazy, isn’t it?

    You say you love him and yet you say you are unsure. That’s probably because he messes with your head so much that you keep second-guessing yourself. Again, lots of info online. He’s got you dangling on a string and you have to cut that string.

    I’m so glad you’ve moved out and that your life is going well – good for you! But please stop being intimate with this guy and get him out of your life. Get your head sorted out and find someone worthy of you.

    all the best

    Jan

    #356774
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Hatch:

    You (29) lived together with this man 2015-2019. In 2018 the two of you argued a lot, and sometime in the middle of 2018 and on you’ve been having “confusing back and forth thoughts in my head about what I really wanted and if I was truly IN love”. At the beginning of 2019, you told him that you needed a break and that the two of you should separate, and you moved to the guest room. Three weeks later he hooked up with two other people. You confronted him and noticed that he was “almost happy I was that upset”, thinking that you still wanted him. You felt hurt because you wished that instead of hooking up with others, he would “sit me down and say look, I don’t want to lose you, I really want this to work, let’s work on our issues together”

    You continued sharing a home with him, at times “rekindling which didn’t seem to stick”. One night you asked him why he was in love with you and he said because you were compassionate. You felt hurt by his stated reason, thinking he should have a different reason.

    June 2019, the two o you had “a huge fight” and you “brought up how I thought they didn’t love themselves since when they were younger they had cut themselves. And that we never could share those deep insecurities about ourselves to one another.. That we can’t share anything with one another”. He was hurt and angry and told you “they  hated me and that they felt sorry for me”.

    In Fall 2019, you got your own apartment and a new job, and you still hang out once in a while with your “partner or my ex I guess”. January 2020, the two of you were in your apartment and had “a small argument”. He then expressed to you that he doesn’t want to be “arguing at my place and not the house we used to share”. He then “started crying and said ‘I’m trying to figure it out if I want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with me”.

    Feb-May 2020, the two of you hang out at your place or his, “watching tv and eating dinner. ‘Us’ or relationship is never brought up. I don’t really know what they want in the end or what I do I guess.. I love them, so dearly, but part of me just still worries if I’m not in love with them. Part of me thinks that they aren’t in love with me either. It feels like something is telling me that being in love should maybe feel different… I love them so much. SO, so much.. Do I need to let them go? Do I need to try a different approach.. ?.. I’ve just been so all over the place the last couple of years”.

    My input:

    During that huge fight, when you told him that he doesn’t love himself and didn’t love himself early on, and that’s why he cut himself- you shouldn’t have told him that. What you did was to use what he told you in confidence (that he used to cut himself) against him, so to prove a point to him. You could have delivered your point without unnecessarily hurting him.

    Imagine that you told him something very personal about your childhood experience at a moment of vulnerability and emotional intimacy and trust, and that at a later time, when angry, he brought up what you shared and threw it in your face to prove a point. How would you feel?

    What he said as a response, that he hated you and felt sorry for you, that’s an understandable reaction.

    There were too  many arguments and fights between the two of you for a long time. One argument or fight is one too many. Arguing and fighting are avoidable and should be avoided, being replaced by EAR, standing for Empathy, Assertiveness and Respectful communication.

    Reads to  me that you initiated or greatly contributed to the arguments and fighting.

    There is a significant dissatisfaction that you’ve been feeling for a couple of years, a dysphoria: a profound state of unease or dissatisfaction. You asked him why he was in love with you and he said because you are compassionate, what you didn’t mention is that he told you that he was in love with you (that’s why you followed with asking him why). Being dysphoric, you dismiss the positives (that he expressed to you that he is in love with you)  and focus on perceived negatives (that he came up with a reason you didn’t like).

    There is nothing wrong with his answer as long as he meant it. You want him to be honest with you, and if he honestly feels that he is in love with you because you are compassionate, then it’s a good enough of a reason. Imagine that when you asked him why, you would also give him a list of reasons to choose from, with your comments added to each reason, which would make you feel good, which would make you feel bad.. that would be crazy, wouldn’t it.

    Remember the EAR principle of effective communication in the context of an intimate relationship: Empathy, Assertiveness and Respect? Add to it honesty, you want him to feel comfortable to tell you what he honestly thinks and feels; you don’t want him walking on eggshells.. which is probably what he is doing and the reason he doesn’t talk with you about the nature of your relationship, being afraid to ignite the next argument.

    Overall, I think that you feel strongly for him but overall in life you are dissatisfied, somewhat troubled and you hold him responsible for it, for your dissatisfaction while all along he is not responsible for how you experience life.

    Clearly, you told him repeatedly that you don’t know if you want to be with him, that’s why he cried about being “with someone who doesn’t want to be with (him)”.  When he hooked up with two other people, while on a break or a breakup that you initiated, he was happy that you cared, because you told him earlier and repeatedly that you don’t know if you wanted to be with him, and that must have hurt his feelings very much.

    If you would like, tell me more about this profound state of unease and disatisfaction that you are experiencing still, and I will reply to you further.

    anita

     

     

     

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