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Apparently I can't do relationships

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cayc posted 8/2/2013 07:38 AM

Well, it looks like my relationship with this new guy has bitten the dust. And I"m really sad and taken aback.

He's accusing me of putting myself first, punishing him for trying to do the right thing and basically broke up with me over text.

And all of this because in the course of a conversation about him moving here, his 16 year old daughter whom he hasn't seen in 10 years asked to move in with him because she's fighting with her mother. And when I said I was unsure now was the time for her to do something, like oh I don't know, MOVE TO MEXICO wasn't a good idea.

And now I'm the devil incarnate. With no chance to explain. LIke for example, there aren't any english speaking schools here. Like I'm not related to her so if she came here her mother could easily accuse me of international kidnapping, like like all sorts or reasonable reasons like that.

Not that I got a chance to say any of that. All he heard was "no" and "cayc is thwarting him in his effort to be a good guy and do the right thing".

The last comment I got from him. "Enjoy putting yourself first".

I can't do this. It's just like with xWH. I'm just going along, being nice, being helpful, expressing my opinion and BOOM I'm the devil incarnate who's out to ruin a guy's life.

So evidently I just got dumped on my ass.

I"m done. Clearly I am meant to be alone.

[This message edited by cayc at 7:39 AM, August 2nd (Friday)]

Williesmom posted 8/2/2013 07:42 AM


I'm really surprised at that. It sounds like he had a knee jerk reaction.

This is why I hate texting at times. So much can be misunderstood. Let things cool down for a while. I'm sure he will re-think his actions and realize that he was just reacting.

It also sounds like he got so wrapped up in being the most wonderful kisa parent ever that he lost sight of the true picture.

Hang in there. You aren't alone, you know. You just aren't living with a man-and that's not such a terrible thing. I'm in the same boat with you.

Let things sit. Perspective will arrive in time- for both of you.

[This message edited by Williesmom at 7:43 AM, August 2nd (Friday)]

cayc posted 8/2/2013 07:55 AM

Thanks Williesmom. I hope you are right. I have to say that I'm just in shock at this turn of events. It makes no sense.

I hope he'll respond to my overtures to talk but ...

Some of what's getting me is the expressing my opinion, stating that I have needs and getting shit on for that. Because truly it feels like his anger is partly he feels thwarted and partly that I'm not just doing what he wants.

Or who knows, since he won't talk to me.

But I don't like dirty fighting. And I'm really hurt right now. And I ate and drank myself sick last night as my shit coping tool so this morning I just feel lovely!

Amazonia posted 8/2/2013 08:15 AM

He needs to calm the fuck down. Also, this is a terrible conversation for him to initiate via text!

Williesmom posted 8/2/2013 08:19 AM

AND what AMA said!

Seriously, I know it's easy for me to say, but the best thing you can do is step back. He needs to come to you if he wants to talk.

Even if it IS done, you can surely take a lot of good things from the experience.

Don't eat and drink to oblivion. Just keep busy. Exhaustion is your friend.

Amazonia posted 8/2/2013 08:26 AM

Honestly, this is kind of a pattern; he does this knee jerk overreaction thing. And then he calms down, you two talk, and you're okay.

I hope he can figure that out soon, because if this isn't the end, you deserve someone who is able to grow and get past the baggage in his past. Yes this daughter thing is a huge game changer for him, and yes, he's learning how to be in a serious relationship of equals for the first time, but no, those things don't have to mean he's incapable of being functional and healthy with you.

Ultimately, he's not your ex husband, and as much as it might feel familiar, it's not apples to apples here.

cayc posted 8/2/2013 09:03 AM

God how I love you two! Seriously. Both of you on SI and IRL mean a great deal to me.

But this knee jerk shit. You are so right.

Funny too b/c I just received a fullsome several paragraph long email (I don''t get cell reception at work) full of an apology, full of "I recognize I''m being an ass, overreacting, taking it out on you and I need to find a solution for that so I don''t ruin our relationship".

So yeah. Everything you all said. Idk. He''s got to find a solution because I''m tired of this. I can''t do it again.

Oh, and thank you for not letting me go down the rabbit hole of comparison to xWH. Because really, it is never going to help me in life to hear someone say something to me through that filter. Never.

I''ll update more later, I''m typing on the sly at work

[This message edited by cayc at 9:04 AM, August 2nd, 2013 (Friday)]

better4me posted 8/2/2013 09:04 AM

When a pattern starts in a relationship, you need to see if it is something you can put up with long term. Issues, or manners of dealing with conflict, or personality differences are often "perpetual issues" and will crop up over and over in a relationship. When you choose a partner, you choose a particular set of perpetual issues. You need to ask "Is this something I'm prepared to deal with over and over again?"

He doesn't fight fairly. And maybe he can learn to do it differently, but this may be the way he deals with differences of opinion on emotional topics. Are you prepared for this to happen again and again when there is a big issue that you two differ on?

And remember--it isn't you, I mean you can look at your role in the way this conversation went down, but he needs to own his reaction too.


eta: apparently we were typing at the same time! Glad he "owned" up to his part in things in that email to you! I wish you all good things in working this out!

[This message edited by better4me at 9:06 AM, August 2nd (Friday)]

hexed posted 8/2/2013 09:08 AM


you can't have a healthy relationship with someone who is unhealthy.

you are not incapable of being in a relationship. you are incapable of letting yourself be treated so badly again.

you had reasonable concerns and it is not OK for him to flip out because you expressed them. adults have conversations, back and forths, about major life decisions that impact both of you.

My SO's DD keeps making noise about living with us. He has a relationship with her, lived 20 miles from her mother, and its STILL a big deal that we are constantly working through. Your SO dropped a bombshell on you and expects no discussion? that's not OK!

cayc posted 8/2/2013 09:10 AM

Thank you B4M, I needed to hear this too. You know, I had thought since I felt whole after the whole 10 year scam xWH ran on me, that dating wouldn't be as difficult as it is. But I'm finding that my reactions, coping skills are all based upon living for 10 years as an abused person. So I do have a filter problem.

But yes. He does not fight fair. And no. I won't live with that. I think that's the conversation I want to have with him when we next see each other in person. As in, "this is a problem, we need to resolve (even using an MC if necessary) because this is a cycle I cannot live". And then stand my ground.

Ugh. Standing one's ground. Having the courage of one's convictions. So effing hard!

Amazonia posted 8/2/2013 09:28 AM

You can do it!

<3 ya

nowiknow23 posted 8/2/2013 09:42 AM

my reactions, coping skills are all based upon living for 10 years as an abused person.
Amen, halleluiah. This hits familiar notes for me, cayc. It takes time and practice to relearn this stuff, especially after such a long time of training and exercising those muscles in an unhealthy atmosphere.

Patience, perseverance, and practice, honey. And hugs, of course. ((((cayc))))

Survivor3512 posted 8/2/2013 11:00 AM


Stand up for yourself. You can do it! But, yeah, I agree- it's effing hard! :)

cayc posted 8/2/2013 11:41 AM

I'm ruminating over knee jerk reactions a bit too. Because I think I'm doing that as well. As in immediately going to the worst case scenario in my head (b/c that's what an abused person is used to) and hence like a dog with a bone, I worry the issue to death in my head, and simultaneously I don't do a good job of letting anyone (him or me) cool their heels. I'm all "we must resolve this *now*." Which is really stupid when you think about it.

What I'm getting at is trying to sort through my feelings, my reactions, my needs because I need to understand that if I'm going to have a hope of even having a conversation with him about not fighting fair/let's read self-help books together or whatever.

I really appreciate you all letting me dump all this angst out like this all of the time. I swear, I'm often my own worst enemy.

Amazonia posted 8/2/2013 12:50 PM

Because I think I'm doing that as well

With as much kindness as I can muster, I agree.

Williesmom posted 8/2/2013 13:53 PM

Aww, thank you! Definitely mutual!

Here' s what I do when this kind of sitch arises in my life: I immediately try to step away and gather my thoughts, and propose that the issue be revisited when I've had time to ruminate.

I do this because I HATE apologizing, so if I can avoid that scenario- I do.

My strategy allows for rational thought to take over, and it will allow both of you to cool your heels a bit.

I hate the " we must discuss/fix this right now" kind of discussion- maybe he does, too.

cmego posted 8/2/2013 17:41 PM

(((cayc))) sending a quick hug...gonna type more later...

cmego posted 8/2/2013 21:01 PM

cayc, reading through everything it does sound like you both acted in a similar fashion...a knee jerk reaction.

I try so hard to follow the "24 hour rule" when I respond to someone. My gut reaction generally isn't my "real" reaction.

just...more hugs You know he is important to you, you both have to find a way to communicate more effectively.

CheaterMagnet posted 8/2/2013 21:49 PM

The last comment I got from him. "Enjoy putting yourself first".

Then he goes dark. This is abusive, manipulative and just plain mean. Especially when followed by a *heartfelt* apology.

Seriously, this kind of behavior does not bode well. You didn't say what he wanted you to say so he lashed out with an attack designed to make you feel small, selfish and defensive. This is NOT Ok. I would definitely watch out for this pattern. It's a sign of an abuser in the early days.

(((((HUGS))))) Cayc.

cayc posted 8/3/2013 08:15 AM

The background to some of this is we're in an LDR and it means we talk too much over email and text. We basically have a running conversation going all day, and then talk in the eve. My cell does not work well where I am (not at my office at all, only on the 2nd floor of my house, you can't even leave me a voice mail) so when we entered this LDR ... well let's just say neither of us wanted it, we both know it's temporary/short but not temporary or short enough, and we both hate it. That's the subtext of what's going on.

It means we spend a certain amount of our communication on daydreaming about what it will be like once the LDR is over and we can really move forward. Which means we talk about things like living together, getting married, what that means, etc etc etc.

Also, my SO has very little family. He has a brother with whom he maintains a relationship out of respect for his parents' (who are both dead) wishes but dislikes (the brother is basically a swinger and sex obsessed, on his 4th porn star wife and my SO disapproves because he's worried for his nephew), his nephew whom he loves, and his daughter whom he does not know well but feels the weight of how he has not done right by her and his desire to rebuild his life in part so that he can.

The life rebuilding thing is another theme we discuss often because we are both in the midst of it. Both of us atoning for sins we did, overcoming those done to us and so on. We similarly have been living in Pilgram's Progress slough of despair the last 5-10 years, overly loyal, being abandoned etc etc. Our stories are different, but we were each living a shit show.

So with that as background, in our conversations, I have told him that marriage to me means his family is welcome. Now, today, my career comes first. My career drives where we live. But those kids? If we marry and make a life together? They are more than WELCOME.

This latest conversation? He was referring to that. I thought he was saying today! welcome them today! Wtf? NO. And so that was my position in the conversation I *thought* we were having.

So this statement:

The last comment I got from him. "Enjoy putting yourself first".
Then he goes dark. This is abusive, manipulative and just plain mean. Especially when followed by a *heartfelt* apology.

Was said to me after I stated: I need to put myself first right now.

So yeah, it was a shitty not fighting fair thing to say to me. But I don't think it was the manipulative statement that it appears out of context.

The heartfelt apology? He stated he was sorry. He was wrong. He misunderstood what I was saying and he should have realized it. Further, he was frustrated about many things at the moment and was taking it out on me. It horrified him to realize that's what he was doing, he didn't want to lose me over being a stupid ass, and he knew that too was wrong and he is going to take steps to fix it.

He also asked that I trust that we could argue and it didn't mean we were breaking up. That I needed to understand that he cared about me, wants to be with me, and that he isn't just going to have an argument with me and disappear, but that I needed to understand that sometimes when he was angry, he needed a little time to cool down.

I thought it was a lovely apology b/c no where in there did he blame me. He took total responsibility for the whole thing (even though I think I played a part), he noted what he'd done wrong, why, why it was wrong, and that it was his responsibility to resolve.

Sure, now it's action time. I know. But never in my life have I gotten a blame-free apology. It's really nice!

I had a conversation with an IRL friend who knows him and likes him. She pointed out, and I agree, that the two of us need to learn how to argue. That we're both defensive fighters, and that if we don't figure out how to have disagreements, it's not a relationship that can work given our histories/filters that we're bringing to it. And I agree. I think that's what's going on here. Both of us are being reactionary. Both of us are projecting. His default stance is to throw out PA comments that indicate that I don't care, and mine is to assume that he doesn't care and is out to make me suffer.

So, SO and I talked. And he agrees that we need to learn how to argue. He seems to think that the LDR part is more of it than I do. I think in this particular misunderstanding, yes, the LDR caused that one. But the way we went about arguing about it? Mmm, no. I think he and I have some sorting to do.

You know he is important to you, you both have to find a way to communicate more effectively.

Yes, this is it in a nutshell. I care for this person. I want to keep exploring the relationship. I'm not ready to assume his argument style is the display of an NPD, manipulator, or other hoary thing like my ridiculous xWH was. Plus, I see that my reactions are just as knee jerk, run to my corner and defend as his are. I'm definitely still responding from the script of my diseased M where all that fighting was xWH's attempt to hurt me deliberately to cover his own sins. At this point though, I still think this new guy is worth working through it for.

In the midst of wtf is going on, it's really nice to be able to post here and get that immediate buck me up support. The virtual hug really helps. I can calm down a little. Having people point out the dynamic they see (b/c all I see are trees, the forest is beyond me when I'm the one living it) helps too. I don't think I could see what was going on if others weren't pointing it out, showing me what to ask for and what I can address in my own behavior to help me both in and out of this particular relationship.

[This message edited by cayc at 8:16 AM, August 3rd (Saturday)]

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