And truthfully, I'm ok with the end of a relationship but I fear SO or whomever will not be, creating a new and more intense conflict to avoid.
And there is another big part of it, overwhelming concern, fear, obsession with how my partner FEELS
And there is another big part of it, overwhelming concern, fear, obsession with how my partner FEELS
Me too - absolutely.
The thing about the needs fitting together I think matters. In my relationship with SO (xSO) I did not need to see her every day - a few times a week was enough and we were in daily contact. Most of the time I did not have my kids, we spent together and latterly we also shared more and more of the kids' time too.
For her, this was not what she needed. She needed more time just the two of us. She was much better at communicating that to me, but when she did I took it as criticism ie "you're not giving me enough of you" instead of seeing it as her expressing her needs.
I was rotten at communicating my needs, feeling instead that I had to a) defend myself against what I perceived to be criticism and b) step up the time I could make available to make it better, which was not always possible. This then caused me stress, trying to manage this balancing act.
So yes communication was absolutely an issue, but I wonder also if our needs just didn't fit that well at this time. Of course, we also had a major deal breaker issue (she wants to pursue adoption and I don't) so even if these issues about mismatched needs and bad communication could be sorted (which they probably could) it was bust anyway.
I wonder too though why I find myself agreeing with your statement G about being OK with the relationship ending. Don't get me wrong - it hurts - but I know I will be OK in time. I get the feeling that I was never able to fully give myself to the relationship in the way that I have been able to in the past, and its not that I didn't feel the love - I did and do still. It is this that I think is partly infidelity related (trust issues, fear of repeat damage) and partly to do with the unresolved deal breaker always lurking as the elephant in our room.
We were conflict avoidant at times too - which is why this elephant continued to lurk in the shadows.
And now that the relationship is over, I am still obsessing over how SO is feeling. And I am still feeling responsible for that, even as part of me knows that what happened is not necessarily someone's fault.
You are looking at yourself through the lens of what your ex said to you, as many of us are. You have to find out what works in this new relationship without the filters of the old.
For example, if a child is constantly told they are stupid…they grow up thinking they are stupid. It doesn't really matter if they are stupid, they just believe they are because of what another person has chosen to say to them.
Relationships are not mathematical equations. If I do "X", then I get "Y" doesn't work. Us linear brained (or people with brains who never fucking stop!) want relationships that make sense. I had to let go of that thinking.
Your SO is being selfish when all she hears is, "he doesn't want to be with me", and for good reason. We are all selfish at our core. We should be. What maturity, and practice, have shown me is that my reactions in relationships are usually about defending myself first. Being selfish. "What do you mean you need alone time! Why didn't you call me?? What do you mean you want to go to the concert without me??" (all selfish reactions because I"m focusing on my pain…without hearing the core reasons behind the decision.) Then my higher functioning brain comes into play and I can see the larger picture and then maybe have some apologizing (and growth) to do. "Ugg. I'm sorry, I spoke without thinking." "I triggered because X used to do that…" "I was hurt because I really wanted to see you…".
I don't think that means I'm NPD. I think it means I'm human.
Cut yourself some slack, G. You need to soothe the hurt part of your psyche that is triggering, stay focused on SO isn't your ex, and look at yourself with a new perspective.
"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings
((((just, hugs)))). She is responsible for how she is feeling right now, not you. You shouldn't carry the responsibility for the end of the relationship, it just wasn't compatible at it's core. Several of us have had relationships that ended (in NB's) where we did love each other, but something just wasn't working.
Stay focused on yourself right now and deal with your grief, take care of yourself. I don't think I was allowed to grieve over my Dad for years later, and it hurt me.
I'm moving back towards dealing with the grief and I am not ignoring it by any means. The break-up is just very present in my mind so its taking up a lot of space and energy right now. Too much parallel processing going on here!
I got out everything I needed to say and she let me know what some real needs she has are getting phone calls and hearing I love yous. Then we sort of ended wondering what we do next. How do you move forward like everything is normal? We agreed we'd just hang out and go from there.
Something came up during our convo that I want to share and ask about. I was able to articulate the whole issue that started this thing form me, which is me being worried/anxious about being in a relationship and her being less so. I told her, and I was brutally and kind of spontaneously honest, that I saw relationships as non-disney (this is not new to her, she knows I'm gunshy). That we needed to build this thing not on hope or dreams but on reality. That I liked the idea of having an escape card where either of us could, at any time, decide they wanted out, let the other person know, and we could move on friends. The gist of this, it came out after, is that I don't want to be so invested in a relationship that losing it destroys my world. And, moreover, I don't want that for her. We've both been hurt so, to me, it makes sense to not try to plan ahead in this one. Of course, and I understand why she did this, she heard me say 'I don't want to be in a relationship based on love or values, I just want a superficial meaningless bed warmer and I can't commit to anything." I told her that's not what I meant at all and that, in reality, we both want the same things but I am making a conscious decision to be very sure, overly sure, or as sure as I can be, that we are both making decisions about moving forward and life entanglement that are based on reality and not influenced by disney dreams or society's goals. I'm trying to avoid getting into something that may ultimately not work out. Of course, she heard I have no hope for this relationship so what's the point. Again, not what I'm saying. To me, I'm just being realistic and planning ahead. I'm still very positive and all of those other important things except I want to be waaay more careful about making real investments (buying houses, having kids, getting married).
Ultimately, I sense this disney thing in her and I just don't have it. Not for her or for anybody. I think I need a relationship that matures slowly with no societal pressures for goals or endpoints. Many people I know tell me that sounds like fwb but that is in no way what I'm looking for. Moreover, I don't know that she can deal with what I want. And truly, I don't want her to settle. I want her to have what she needs. Her history is not infidelity but of being dragged along into a marriage her ex never really wanted. She hung out way to long being hopeful. I do not want that for her. And I fear she may be making similar decisions with me.
Am I a dick? I feel like one. I feel confused. Like I really got the brutal honest truth out there and that I'm a cynical asshole for doing so.
If I were your SO, yeah, I'd probably be realizing that you would never allow yourself to fall completely in love again.
That we needed to build this thing not on hope or dreams but on reality. That I liked the idea of having an escape card where either of us could, at any time, decide they wanted out, let the other person know, and we could move on friends. The gist of this, it came out after, is that I don't want to be so invested in a relationship that losing it destroys my world.
You are basically holding her responsible for what your ex did.
I see what you are trying to say…but…Gomphus…it IS love. And love does have elements of Disney. Your brain is trying to force the nonsensical part of love into a nice, neat box where you never get hurt again. By keeping yourself emotionally "even", then not only will you never get hurt again, but you will never feel the immense joy that love can bring too.
we both want the same things but I am making a conscious decision to be very sure, overly sure, or as sure as I can be, that we are both making decisions about moving forward and life entanglement that are based on reality and not influenced by disney dreams or society's goals. I'm trying to avoid getting into something that may ultimately not work out.
Whenever you use "but" in a sentence, you just negated everything before it.
You know, what you are looking for is a crystal ball that will tell you, "THIS is the person that won't hurt me. So, OK, now I can fall in love." There is never, ever, ever a way to tell if the relationship will fail or not. All you can do is choose a person that is willing to communicate and work…and that you happen to be in love with.
The rest is unknown and you have to be OK with it. You have to know that you are willing to work on it. If I hear a guy say what you said, that you want a "get out of jail free card"…I'd probably leave. It does sound like you have no interest in really willing to commit to her (Lets face it, marriage doesn't really bind two people together. Marriage is a legal state. Two people stay together because they want to. It is simple as that.). Regardless of the rest of the words, she is going to focus on what you said. It sounded pretty…wounded. Jaded. Unromantic. Negative. And none of that has anything to do with your SO.
And truly, I don't want her to settle. I want her to have what she needs.
^^^You don't have the right to make a decision for her. This is your "get out of jail free card". I'm not going to do the work a relationship takes because, well, I'll just hurt her anyway. I'm just going to end it FOR her.
The only person you are responsible for is you. If you can't get past the jaded part, then she is responsible for being ok with it or not begin ok with it.
Where is the romantic parts? Where is the feeling that you have been lucky enough to meet someone who is willing to talk to you, put up with this jaded view, and has done nothing to deserve your unromantic viewpoint? It is like all you can do is focus on the negatives instead of all of the positives she brings to your life.
over think. over think. over.think.
It all comes down to stay or go, fight or flight. I just don't feel like I have enough information to make that decision. Maybe I never will and maybe no one ever does - I can accept that.
Overthinking is a real drag but whaddyagonnado
But I don't know what it is I'm ready for?
All I can say is that there are no guarantees, but if what ur offering is fine with her, then let it be fine with u.
Who knows, once u are completely healed u might meet someone who knocks ur socks off and u wont even mind the possibility of getting hurt because the joy that she brings will be worth the risk.
Can’t you see to your needs, and she see to hers, and you just help each other and enjoy the company along the way. You don’t have to sacrifice yourself to love someone. It doesn’t have to be this big, grand, potentially life shattering gesture. You can love someone and see a future with them as long as you are compatible and your values aren't in conflict.
Maybe that is the real issue, she simply wants to move faster than you and is struggling to understand why you don't. Same end goal, but different timelines.
Rephrase it to: "I love you and see a future with you (if you do…) but I need to slow down and just enjoy this time getting to know you without feeling a lot of pressure".
We over think. It is what makes us special.
I concede that there has to be some disney. I still carry just a little bit of baggage and maybe part of my gut feeling was that I know, deep down, that if the disney isn't there at least a little than it may not be meant to be.
I have learned so much from her, from you all, from IC. Tonight it actually feels like a blessing to have gone through the infidelity and all to be at this point of growth.
she doesn't cry. She was a little angry, blaming me for not knowing earlier before she got invested and I understand that.
…say, what? She doesn't cry? And, again, only she is responsible for how she feels. She can't blame you if she fell for you.
I'm kinda like this with dating…I don't know if the problem is that I still need to heal, therefore none of the guys are appealing. OR, if I just haven't met the guy that blows my socks off. Dunno. Waiting to see.
So, did you break up, or more…just wait and see?
It was comforting to know that not all break ups are b/c of an A or some other horrible drama. Not everyone is a jerk. Now with some space after that, I was able to run into him in a bar one time and enjoy a drink with him. He always was a nice guy. Just not the right guy.
“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” -foulton oursler