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Words of advice needed

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  • #380256
    Halle
    Participant

    I really just need a place to vent right now. I have not used the forum in quite some time but it seems like I always end up here when my relationship heads south. We have been together for almost 5 years now, and have been living together for quite some time at this point. My boyfriend went out of town back to his home town for a week to see his parents and family. Me and my boyfriend share the laptop because mine broke and I need it for work. I saw his text messages come through when I got on the laptop last night and saw him messaging his brother saying he was coming home from coffee with a “friend”. Which I thought was strange just by the way it was worded, but also by the fact I was never told about this outing and I check my text, he was not messaging me during that time frame. So, I text him and ask where did he go this morning and who did he get coffee with? He told me he met up with his ex girlfriend for coffee, followed with but she is married and has children. At this point I asked him if he was serious? And he confirmed that yes he was being serious and that he was there for about 30 minutes. After hearing this I feel very hurt that not only he felt inclined to meet up with his ex but also hide it from me. If I would have never seen these text messages then I would have probably never even know that this meet up took place. I feel that he is being deceitful, and my feelings are pretty crushed right now. I have not spoken with him at all and he has texted and tried to call me and I just did not answer. He got angry at me saying I am making a big deal over nothing and I just simply told him that I have nothing to say to him. I am worried about what is going to happen when he gets home in 2 days. I really don’t even want to look or talk to him. I just feel like a relationship should be open and honest, and that he should at least respect me enough to not try to hide what he is doing. I am second guessing my whole relationship at this point. I am trying to stay calm but I just cant. I need some word sof advice or encouragement.

    #380266
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Halle:

    I hope that it is okay with you that I summarize (with selected quotes, not necessarily in chronological order) what you shared in your previous two threads before giving you the “words of advice or encouragement” you asked for. Your previous threads are about the same relationship and involve the same emotions.

    In August 2017, you were 19, a college student, seven months into your current, over 4 years-long relationship. The topic then was your anger: “Recently I have been noticing that I get angry very easily (over the silliest thing) and I can’t pin-point why… I get angry. So angry… I really do not understand why I get like this… but honestly, I feel I can’t even control what I get angry over and how mad it makes me”.

    You described anger (1) at roommates who used your stuff without asking for permission, (2) at people who did things that you disagreed with on moral grounds,  (3) at people at work or in a party who talk to you/ want to hang out with you just because you happened to be in the same place as they: “I hate feeling like people are talking to me because I’m there- not because they actually want to”, (4) at your boyfriend, when he canceled or changed plans the two of you made together, (5) at your boyfriend when he did what he what he wanted to do (go to the gym, meet up with friends at the house or in a bar), and then it got to be too late to do what you wanted to do.

    In Aug 2017, you wrote about your anger in the relationship: “this is really putting a toll on my relationship… He has told me that he really is getting tired of dealing with my constant attitude towards him…I really do  not want this relationship to end because of me”.

    In Jan 2018, in your second thread, you wrote about his anger: “we were at a party and a guy came up to me and was flirting with me.. I said to the guy that I have a boyfriend and walked away… My boyfriend is pissed, we got into a huge argument.. he is trying to leave me, calling me a wh*** … He just wants to continue to argue with me and degrade me, tell me I am wrong and pack his stuff to leave”.

    About your childhood and adolescence: you shared that your father worked a lot, overnights, weekends and overtime, and that you “never had a good relationship” with your mother: “She was constantly punishing me (for months at a time), she was distant, she was mean and rude”. When you were about 16, your mother started staying out at night partying, coming home in the early morning drunk. You were very angry at her: “this would really anger me. Mostly because I could see how much my dad was hurting because of her actions”, actions that hurt you too: “I still deal with the drama, stress, sadness, and anger from her actions… I hate having anger towards my mother, but I can not help it. I do  believe that she ruined my life my dad’s life and her own”, Aug 2017.

    At 19, following your parents’ divorce years before, you texted her, “but she never responds and that does hurt my feelings”. She refused to speak with you and with your two sisters.

    You shared that your biggest fear in regard to your mother was to  “end up like her.. attitude wise.. rude and nasty.. toward everyone.. I don’t want my anger to be like hers, and end up like her where no one likes me or wants to talk to me”.

    Fast forward to May 2021, you found out that your boyfriend met his ex-girlfriend, a married woman with children, for coffee, for about 30 minutes, he said.

    “I feel very hurt that not only he felt inclined to meet up with his ex, but also hide it from me.. I feel that he is being deceitful, and my feelings are pretty much crushed right now.. He got angry at me saying I am making a big deal over nothing… I really don’t even want to look or talk to him. I just feel like a relationship should be open and honest.. I am second guessing my whole relationship at this point. I am trying to stay calm  but I just can’t. I need some words of advice or encouragement”.

    My input, advice and encouragement: I think that you are overreacting to your boyfriend’s coffee meeting with his ex-girlfriend because of your childhood/ adolescent (and ongoing) experiences involving your mother. I can understand it being unpleasant for you, and it would be for me too, if I was in your place. But it is not such a bad happening if you consider the following as a possible scenario, worthy of consideration: his ex-girlfriend, a married woman with children, has been having marital problems for a long time. Her family and girlfriends are tired of hearing about her problems because they heard about same problems many times before, gave her advice, and she ignored their advice.

    Having no one empathetic and patient enough to listen to her, she contacts your boyfriend. He listens to her on the phone,  she suggests to meet for coffee because she wants to feel better, he knows you will disapprove and get angry,  he feels badly about turning her away, and angry at being controlled by your anger (“He has told me that he really is getting tired of dealing with my constant attitude towards him”, Aug 2017), so he is thinking: I want to help this woman, and I am doing nothing wrong having coffee with her in a coffee shop! I won’t tell Halle about it!

    But then, he doesn’t feel  right about not telling you, so he sends his brother a message about “coming home from coffee with a friend”, knowing that you can read this message because you have his laptop! Maybe he wants to resolve the anger in the relationship and that’s why he sent that unnecessary message to his brother: part of him wanting you to read it and for the anger in the relationship resolved once and for all.

    He told you almost 4 years ago, that he is tired of dealing with your angry attitude. And you know that you have an attitude, and that he gets angry too, so next thing to do when he comes home is to talk about anger and set a set of relationship rules that you are  both okay with: a to-do and not-do list of behaviors that cover a wide variety of scenarios. Best to do this in the context of a couple/ relationship therapy session, so that a relationship therapist can diffuse rising anger on both sides and make effective communication (and the setting of relationship rules) possible for the two of you.

    How does this sound to you?

    anita

    #380397
    Don
    Participant

    Dear Halle,

    I’ve read your post and in it you’ve answered your situation when you said “I just feel like a relationship should be open and honest, and that he should at least respect me enough to not try to hide what he is doing.”  He told you that he met up with an ex for coffee.  That is him being open and honest.  A question that I have for you is would you have been open and honest if you’d met up with and ex for coffee?

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