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Holy epiphany, Batman

lilies21 posted 10/18/2017 21:34 PM

Between this, that, this, and a dozen other things this week, I had a realization and I don't know what to do about it...if anything. It hit me while looking at a house tonight. The house needs a lot of work. A LOT of work. I wasn't seeing that. I was seeing the potential. I was seeing what could be. I knew how to do all but a few things that needed to be done but that didn't deter me. I was mesmerized by the potential.

Then I made a list. Basically a pro and con list of the house. Oh my, the con list was so, so long. But it hit me that I do this with everything, even relationships. I did it with Asshat. I was young, naive, and it was my first ever relationship so even when my gut was screaming that something wasn't right, I let myself get blinded by how it could be. How it should be. I had one serious post-D relationship that lasted way longer than it should because I did the same thing there too: I was looking more at the good than the problems and seeing only the potential.

I'm a potential whore. Now that I realize that...how do I fix it so I don't end up on a money pit or find myself in another dead-end relationship...assuming I ever date again? Tips?

alphakitte posted 10/19/2017 00:09 AM

Do some research on “sunk cost fallacy”. It can be applied to relationships as well.

Also, consider time and emotionally input versus net benefit.

If you follow the disciplines it helps remove your tendency to chase elusive potential.

BJE49 posted 10/19/2017 02:20 AM

lilies21, You already have started to fix it by recognising you have this problem in the 1st place, what to do about it, I'm afraid I'm not sure what advice I can give you, perhaps some IC or just talking to friends and family may help, (((Huggs)))
For you in you finding the answer.

Regards BJE49

trying to smile posted 10/19/2017 04:55 AM

Well crap, after ready that I realise I probably am too.

SO calls me Pollyanna because I always try to look for the positive. Same thing?

tts

shiloe posted 10/19/2017 05:36 AM

I always try to look for the positive.

Duhh!

I thought that was supposed to a good trait to have

Chrysalis123 posted 10/19/2017 06:21 AM

Awareness is the first step, then acceptance. You've done the 2 already!

Now comes the next step...action.

Good work Lilies. That is a lot of growth. I remember when you first came to SI and understanding you were an extreme "Fixer" was not in your universe. Now it is.

Yeah for you!!

Minnesota posted 10/19/2017 07:06 AM

I could be a potential whore if the price was right.

Wait, what?....

lilies21 posted 10/19/2017 07:26 AM

I could be a potential whore if the price was right.

OMG, I have to clean my keyboard now. I knew how it sounded when I wrote that but I was tired and still kept it in. I'm glad I did because I needed that laugh!

Being positive is definitely a good thing but with me it can be a bit destructive in that I could end up hurting myself financially with a crappy house or emotionally buy getting stuck in a bad relationship..again. I guess I should stick to making pro and con lists help me figure things out.

[This message edited by lilies21 at 7:27 AM, October 19th (Thursday)]

TrustGone posted 10/19/2017 08:52 AM

Well crap, after ready that I realise I probably am too.

I'm with tts on this. I know I really had to teach myself if it appeared to be too good to be true it probably was. I think BS's tend to be fixers. When we finally realize that the only one we can fix is ourselves, it is really an epiphany of sorts. I know after the disaster of my marriages to XWH#1, I thought that XWH#2 was the answer to being happy. He was in fact a love bomber and a friend pointed the too good to be true theory at me. I of course thought I could tell if he was a bad person and ignored the facts.

I think making a pros vs cons list is a great idea. It makes it more in your face than in your mind/thoughts. I know when looking for a house I could afford on disability was hard. Almost all needed major work. I at first told myself I could do a little at a time to make one my dream home, but who was I fooling. I was going to be doing good to make ends meet after my SS ran out, much less renovate a house. I did finally find a really good deal and it was only a few years old and needed no major repairs and my payments wouldn't leave me broke every month. It was still a struggle to get on my income however, but I did it.

Now I am with SO who is making really good money. We could afford a bigger, nicer home, but have decided to keep mine and do some renovations to make it our dream home. We have already built a huge cabana with a therapy hot tub. We have begun the landscaping and it is already the nicest house on the block. We decided we would rather travel than put a lot of money into a house.

So it is great that you are making a pro's and con's list. I wished I had thought to do that before now. I know my pro's for SO far outweigh the con's and he has no major con's that I am aware of. He listens to me (he says I'm the smart one) and almost always sees my side of things such as keeping my house. It sounds like you are now applying a good thing to your list of what is good for lilies.

FaithFool posted 10/19/2017 09:00 AM

I think there's a difference between always trying to see the positive (good thing) and letting that trait eclipse your ability to see that there are enough negatives to blow the positives out of the water.

Which is why lists are always a good thing.

Pass posted 10/19/2017 09:08 AM

I'm a potential whore. Now that I realize that...how do I fix it so I don't end up on a money pit or find myself in another dead-end relationship...assuming I ever date again? Tips?

I've also been a total potential whore in the past. I can't remember where I read it, but I saved this sentence with a lot of my self-help stuff: "Codependency has been described as the addiction to the potential of things."

That's so true. I was always so sure that I could fix things in my marriage to make them good.

Sounds to me like you handled it well this time: You didn't buy the house, after all. Keep up the good work, dude!

DaysOfMyLife posted 10/20/2017 14:44 PM

My best friend told me that I've had enough fixer-uppers to have my own HGTV show

kpstartingover posted 10/20/2017 14:56 PM

I think this is really insightful.

Also, when we have hard or abusive upbringings, a common survival strategy is to develop an active fantasy life. You *have* to be focused on the future and on a situation's potential because the present reality is so awful. Conversely, we may become stuck in the past, romanticizing what life used to be like before the trauma.

It becomes such a part of who we are that once we're out of danger or away from abuse it becomes really hard to get rid of coping mechanisms that may have saved our lives at the time. I think mindfulness, accepting reality and staying in the present can be extremely difficult for those of us who have been through trauma, but it's the only way we can move forward and make good decisions for ourselves and our loved ones.

SuckaNoMore posted 10/21/2017 02:01 AM

Well then. Thanks for posting this.. apparently I do this too. 17 years with a staggeringly selfish (likely NPD) WW.

I've done it with jobs too and the occasional toxic family member or friend.

Shit. Something to think about. 😞

shakentocore posted 10/21/2017 14:17 PM

I was looking more at the good than the problems and seeing only the potential.

I'm a potential whore.

Thank you for this insight! Me, too.

I put up with bad behavior for so long...believing when a boyfriend would say "after I... (get a job, move to a closer city, graduate)...things will be better." I had the patience of a saint! And wrap co-dependence and "fixer" in there as well.

Even with WH, who was out of work for years. The best thing about his EA was that I told him I wanted a divorce because I was sick of living with a man who didn't have a job and wasn't even looking for something unless it was his "dream job." Well, once I demanded better, he suddenly wanted a job, any job.

My best friend told me that I've had enough fixer-uppers to have my own HGTV show

shakentocore posted 10/21/2017 14:17 PM

dup

[This message edited by shakentocore at 2:17 PM, October 21st (Saturday)]

SallyShrink81 posted 10/23/2017 09:47 AM

I'm here in the same boat. For me it's my FOO issues that I run as fast as I can from sadness and hurt and turn a blind eye to it until it's Christmas Eve and my husband tells me that he's still sleeping with PotatoFace. Then I'm devastated. A few months later I start dating Sparky and things go well until they're not. In hindsight I see it all but not during. Then again with NASA same thing. I will say I'm getting better at it but still needs a lot of work. I recently told my IC I've been doing nothing but crying. She said in way too chipper to cry and that I should be crying with everything that's happened. So now I'm working on processing 36 years of hurt and pain I've been avoiding.

cantaccept posted 10/23/2017 18:06 PM

Potential!!!

I even built a business (that crashed when the economy did) on potential!

Crap I was a potential whore too!

Now I say, fuck potential! Show me the final results please.

WHATSGOINGON542 posted 10/24/2017 07:58 AM

because I always try to look for the positive

I do the same thi g

lilies21 posted 10/24/2017 08:31 AM

Codependency has been described as the addiction to the potential of things.

^^^This is exactly how it is for me. I know I have gotten better with a lot of my codependent tendencies but some are still there, especially this potential thing. I've even had it with friends where if they tell me a problem, I immediately look for a way I can help. I give myself a kick (sometimes mental, sometimes literal) when I find myself wanting to do it. I've tried to adopt more of a sympathetic ear, sucks-to-be-you frame of mind instead of immediately trying to jump into something to help. If someone wants help, they'll ask. It's strange to put into words but it's like I have always felt that I need to be useful in order to be...valued? Accepted? Worth anything? I'll always be a work in progress but I'm getting better .

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