Was Your Relationship Good For You????

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My apologies for the blog being down. Thank you to the readers who alerted me. It appears up now!


I repost this now and again and based on comments, it might be time to run it again. Please think about it and what you want for your life. Thanks all!!

I did a post last year about what a healthy relationship looks like but here is a ten-question checklist for you to think about in trying to decide whether or not your relationship is / was good for you:

1. Safety: Were you physically, mentally, emotionally or verbally harmed? Were there times you were afraid of what your partner would do or say? Were there times you just dreaded seeing this person?

2. Self-esteem: Did you feel guilty, “less-than”, not good enough, not worthy in your relationship? Does your partner or ex partner criticize your behavior, your looks, or any other traits and qualities? Do you own that criticism and internalize it? Do you beat yourself up because of what you’ve done or continue to do? Are you taking the blame for the failures in the relationship? Has your partner broken up with you more than once because you haven’t changed or haven’t changed enough and you’ve been searching for the magic solution to make this person stay once and for all? Have you jumped through emotional hoops for your partner because he or she never seems to be happy with you? Have you ever hated yourself for being a fool for your partner?

3. Job/career: Did you call in sick because of being emotionally upset? Did you miss work to do things for your partner that he or she would not take care of? Did you neglect your job or career for your relationship? Did you obsess about your relationship to the detriment of your professional life?

4. Children: Were your children neglected when you were arguing with your mate? Were you frustrated or too upset to do things with/for your children? Did you swing between neglect and over-indulgence of your children out of guilt? Have you left your kids too long at a sitter or daycare because you needed to do something with your partner? Are you irritable or emotionally unavailable for your children because of the drain of your relationship? Do your children act rude to you because you’ve had no boundaries with your partner or you’ve been such as doormat for everyone, your chldren see you as one? Have you ever thought that your children may be rude to you because they don’t respect you and they don’t respect you because of the role you play in relationships?

5. Finances: Did you spend money on the relationship that you did not have? Did your partner siphon money off from you? Did your partner ask you “lend” him or her money and you loaned it even though you knew he or she did not have the means to pay it back? Do you spend money on self-improvement because your partner is critical of certain areas? Do you spend money on gym memberships or diet programs because your partner is critical of your weight? Do you spend above your means to be more attractive? Do you pay for things that your partner should pay for or help you pay for? Are you financially frustrated with your partner?

6. Stamina: Does the relationship drain you physically, mentally, or emotionally? Do you lose sleep or neglect your health because of the relationship trauma/drama? Do you have trouble sleeping or turning off your thoughts and that results in being a mess the next day?

7. Legal: Did you ever do anything in your relationship that could get you into legal trouble? Are you so wiped out that you forget small things like getting your car inspected or you are upset and speed or you become so upset you drink and drive? Are there things you are doing that could get you in big or small legal trouble that you would not be doing if not for this relationship?

8. Physical: Did you partner cheat on you and bring the possibility of an STD into your relationship? Did you neglect doctor and dentist appointments? Did your partner coerce you into sex when you weren’t feeling well? Did your partner fail to care about you when you were ill? Did you neglect your diet, your exercise, your daily vitamins? Did you lose interest in your self-care regiment?

9. Knowing what a good relationship entails: Have you forgotten that healthy relationships involve give and take, compromise, caring for and about the other person, acting in accordance with what you say you feel, acting with love and affection, nurturing and encouraging another person, being your partner’s best friend, helping and encouraging a partner to expand their horizons (not narrowing them), being a good and constant support for the closest person in your life. Have you forgotten all that?

10. Love: Have you forgotten that true love is reciprocal, unconditional love? Have you forgotten that love is an action? Have you given up ever finding reciprocal, unconditional love?

You’ve probably guessed that yes answers mean it was not good for you. The more yes answers the worse the relationship but even one yes answer is bad news and less than you deserve.

Use this checklist to think about and assess your relationship and what you want/need/deserve in the future. What you deserve are all NO answers.

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46 Responses to Was Your Relationship Good For You????

  1. just_hurting says:

    This article is so helpful to me. As I went over each of the questions, I realized I was giving mostly yes answers. Even though it doesn’t take away from the pain of the breakup, it does make me realize I was not in a good relationship. I’m not sure why part of my heart still wants him, though. I am also afraid I am never going to find someone with the qualities I am looking for. I am ok with being alone for a while, but I don’t want to be alone forever…

  2. IchooseME says:

    Reading this makes me angry. It just highlights everything I was doing right and kept doing to my own detriment when anyone else would have realized they were in a relationship with a person who refused to participate and gotten the hell out. I was an incredible girlfriend to him but it just didn’t matter and that is infuriating.

    How can I still be so angry about this bad relationship? How can I still find myself feeling disappointed that he wasn’t the person I thought he was? I do not want to care anymore about this person. I am so sick of it!

    I’m starting to worry that I won’t truly be over this until I have had a successful, healthy relationship which I have no experience with and don’t have the confidence or emotional energy to find. So I keep working on myself, being angry, and feeling lonely? I just don’t have the energy for this anymore. It’s like the spring that won’t come.

    • elle says:

      Ichooseme, You are doing the right thing. Allow yourself to feel that anger. Journal it out. Have disturbing dreams. That is how you go through it. The last thing you need is to try to avoid what you’re feeling by seeking out a new relationship. Eventually the anger will subside, I promise you. This fall when I found out that the bh I had been in exclusive relationship with had been seeing two other women at the same time (I had NO clue at the time because he used his divorce as the excuse for everything), I was so unbelievably angry, at him and at myself for being stupid enough to stay in the situation and then cry about it for a freakin’ year. The anger did eventually subside. I acknowledged my feelings, journaled them out, validated myself, and now I feel 100% better. We had so much of ourselves invested in the illusion – the promise. We miss how we felt when we believed in the relationship. Our head knows what the reality is, but we grieve the loss of what we thought we had. But every time I move a step forward I see how NOT ready I was for a new relationship at the step before. Time is on your side. You WILL get there.

      • IchooseME says:

        elle,

        Thank you for your reply. I really needed it.

        You articulated how I’m feeling absolutely. I didn’t have the words before but you gave them to me. Grieving the loss of what never was on top of a future that will never be is difficult, confusing, and just bizarre some days.

        I should be more patient with myself and my companion, grief. Just feeling a little weary, I guess.

        And thank you for your insight on dating. I should be focusing on healing myself, not some other potential BH or unsuspecting nice person…

    • just_hurting says:

      IchooseME, you sound just like me. I know you are exhausted. I am right there with you. I know you are sick of feeling bad. I am right there with you. I hear your frustration, sadness and anger. I am right with you. YOU are not alone. We are strong women, who are doing work so that our future relationships are successful. We are doing the work so that we can find a partner, lover, friend, not a jerk. Spring will come, we just have to go through the winter to appreciate it. Please be strong. You can and will get through this and come out on the other side a better, stronger woman. That is what people keep saying to me; I have to believe it, and I am saying it to you.

  3. Loveisallthereis says:

    SOMEONE HELP. I am not sure how I feel about doing this but after taking the advice of many others, I have not initiated contact with the recent EUA guy and today I took another step. Not sure if this is a VICTORY because I feel conflicted about it, but I went back on FB and removed the posts/pics of me with my most recent EUA (I dont think he is a full blown P, but he is def emotionally unavailable and has “come here, go away” tendencies). I also un-friended him despite the request he made when he told me he could not see us moving forward due to a lack in his ability to “commit” to what I was asking (exclusive, intimate, potential for long-term) which was to REMAIN FRIENDS. I just did not want to have access to the new pictures of him where his adorning female fans (he “friends” any and EVERY one on FB bc he has a job that ‘requires’ him to ‘network’ ….or so he says) are praising him and how amazing and good looking he is. I am still in a lot of pain, and trying to just focus on ME and it was hard to do that when I kept seeing his picture in my feed. I am a bit sad though and VERY much trying to get in HIS head, feeling guilt and other feelings like “what if he thinks that I am mad at him/a bad person/” or has his feelings hurt if he sees I removed our link on there. thoughts?

    • Susan J. Elliott Susan J. Elliott says:

      What he thinks of you is none of your business. Your emotional well being needs to matter more than his opinion.

    • just_hurting says:

      I am sorry you are hurting, Loveisallthereis, but I am proud of you. I understand the pain you are going through, I am feeling it myself, everyday. You took a big step unfriending him on FB. I know how hard that is. I am struggling myself with letting go. It is so hard. The mind says it is the best thing, but the heart fights against it. When my ex broke up with me, I unfriended him, all his family and friends, and blocked them all, I have also deactivated my account for a while, as I get no pleasure in FB right now. It will help to not see his updates, posts, etc. I have struggled at times with NC, as all of us have, and have faltered. We are human, and hurting, but we are the ones with the ability to get back up and keep moving forward. I pray a lot lately. For peace, healing, etc, that is how I get through. It helps me. You have to find what helps you. If it is praying, pray, if it is talking, talk, if it journaling, journal. Find your outlet and get the hurt, frustration and worry out. What he thinks, well, “It doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter”. That particular mantra doesn’t work for me, but it may for you. Be strong. I know it is a struggle, but be strong. If all else fails, I do 4 count breathing and think to myself as I breath in, “Peace, healing, love, care” and as I exhale I think, “Pain, sadness, rejection, hurt”. It makes me feel like I am bringing in the healing when I breathe in and ridding myself of the pain as I exhale.

      • Loveisallthereis says:

        @Justhurting and @ Goldie….

        I really liked the breating you offered of releasing pain, sadness, rejection and hurt and brining in love, care, healing and peace. Also, thanks for the encouragement in my decision to stay off of his social networking sites.

        Yesterday he called though, and I picked up. Being that this guy (in my mind, never did anything to really hurt me) broke up with me because he said he was not going to give me what I wanted (“deserved” in his words), I did not leave the r/s feeling like I was abused in any way so the whole NC thing has been a bit difficult for me because I feel as though I have lost a friend. So when he called, I wanted to know how he was doing. In speaking with him for a little over a half hour, I left the experience not feeling very “friendly”. I came to grips with the fact that what I WANT from him is to be more than his friend and I also have a fantasy in my mind that if I can just be a “good friend” as I have always been TO HIM, that one day he will go to therapy, get on a stable path emotionally and realize that we are good for each other. The conversation felt very matter-of-fact and void of deep feelings, at least on his part. I told him that I missed our conversations and I listened to his woes about the struggle to find work. And I felt like it was a pat on the back. I realize I still want more. Less pats, more intimacy. And I know I am not going to get it from him.

        • just_hurting says:

          Loveisallthereis-I am glad you like the breathing. I hope it helps you. My ex and I had contact last Saturday and he has told me he doesn’t want a relationship. It hurts a lot. I told him I couldn’t be friends, because like you, I want more than friendship. I did get some answers I needed that I couldn’t seem to get past and I did get some closure, if you ever really can get that. Enough that I am not stuck where I have been for the last 6 weeks. I actually picked up a book called, “How to fall out of love” that has some behavioral things I can do, and it is helping some, but I just can’t seem to stop hurting. I know I will eventually, and the pain is not as bad as it was in the begining, but sometimes I just don’t know how I am going to survive. You and I can lean on eachother. I know I need strength, and you sound like you do also. I am back to NC and intend to keep it that way. I am here if you need encourragement.

          • Loveisallthereis says:

            HI JUST…. I will look up that book and add it to my collection. Right now, I am having a hilarious read called “maybe he’s just an as*hol*” (sorry guys, i did not name it ) and it is helping to add a little humor to why its been my patter to pick men who the author calls “emotional wimps”. Yes, it does help to lean on each other. Its been yet another week since that last contact from him and it gets easier sometimes and then hard again. I just breathe it out and let myself FEEL…. which is essentially what I was avoiding (by becoming an emotional airbag/rescuer/ cheerleader/GAMBLER ON POTENTIAL in men ) in the first place. I will practice gratitude in this moment and be proud that I did well in a final job interview tomorrow and I have a second interview for a different job today. Potential moves in my day job are here. And THAT is ALL MY DOING because I do not need a “him” for me to succeed.

    • Goldie says:

      We have no control over what they think anyway, so doing what is best for yourself and your healing process seems like a good idea. With his FB feed being what you say it is, I agree that you’re much better off not seeing it! adoring female fans… sheesh… some men never grow up, do they?

      • Loveisallthereis says:

        Oh, and Goldie… when we spoke (as I mentioned above) he did not even mention FB or ask me why I had not reached out to him. He ended things with me exactly a month ago today, and I have only heard from him 2xs. While I’d like to believe that it did not rock me to hear his voice, I know that it did. And it felt very awkward trying to hold the boundary of “just friends” when I know that I want more from him.

        • Goldie says:

          Oh I remember that feeling. Luckily, it does go away with time. But it does take time though. I think it took me two or three months to stop thinking of my ex in that way. I, too, spent some time thinking that what he and I had was good. Everyone I knew was positive he’d come back. Doing the inventories helped me see what a huge cluster our relationship really was. It wasn’t just his fault, we both contributed – we shouldn’t have gotten together – I’m kicking myself now because I’d been on the fence about getting together with him until he told me he’d take me to NYC. I committed to him after that. Although he did take me, three times, and I fell in love with the city… that’s no reason to get together with a person. Not fair to him or me. I’m sure that, if you dig deeper into what you two had, you’ll find things that had been wrong all along that have eventually brought the relationship down… you’ll find the reasons why getting back together is a bad idea.

          In my case, the worst, in my opinion, started after I really got over him and wanted to stay in touch as friends… I knew he was over me too, because he was actively dating multiple people already… all of a sudden I saw him cutting contact, cutting me off from his town that I’d spent two years in, cutting me off from his friends and acquaintances, the people that I’d neglected my own friends to spend time with for two years… Telling me things about his friends that weren’t true, so I would stay away from them. Right after the breakup, when I asked him to send his friends my contact info so I could stay in touch, he instead sent them a good bye email on my behalf, that he didn’t tell me about… one of them sent it back to me and that was how I found out. In hindsight, I should’ve contacted those people myself and not asked him to do that… but back then I still stupidly thought he was looking out for me and doing things in my best interests. Over 7-8 months, he cut the contact to nothing, all the while saying that he hopes we stay in touch. I thought we’d been close, I thought we’d been friends and all of a sudden he could not wait to get me out of his life. I’m friends with my one other ex, I’m cordial with my ex-husband, still talk to their friends… this was all a new experience to me. So bizarre. Not gonna lie, I now enter my new relationship with some trepidation, because of my new knowledge that, once things end between us, I might never see or hear from this new guy again… that I would’ve had better odds of staying in contact with him long-term if we hadn’t gotten together. I’m bracing myself for it, since this is apparently how many people do things these days. My last ex caught me completely off guard with that stuff. I merged my life with his, because that was what he wanted me to do, and because I had no idea that one day I’d be kicked out of his life completely. I was recently able to reconnect with several people I’d met through him, though. And I’m glad I did; they’re interesting people and I am glad to have met them.

          I tried to have a phone call with him last week BTW. Didn’t work out quite as I planned, but yeah I did hear his voice for the first time in six months. Let me tell you, I could not wait to get off that phone. It did not rock me in any way, shape or form to hear that voice. You will get there. Keep the faith.

          • Loveisallthereis says:

            Goldie…. I will hold onto faith and your experience/strength. Hearing his voice was hard mostly due to the fact that there seemed to be feign concern in his tone but yet, the overall conversation felt like “business”, like I had called a neighbor, not someone I considered spending my life with.

  4. 1dogshy says:

    The furthest I have made NC for the last month and a half… is a week. I would cave and contact him in some way…
    Well I finally made it to 10 days and he V mails me…
    And my heart leaped hoping he saw and the light and finally loves me again…(my crazy heart)
    But no, …he thinks I owe him money for something!
    My counselor says to see it for what it is….
    He’s just finding a way to Contact me…
    I did reply with a short factual answer regarding the money…

    But it put me in a tailspin ALL DAY..
    Really seeing how Contact really sets me back…
    I am proud of me for making it past a week!
    I believe the next time he contacts me I shall ignore him.

    I think you did wonderful eliminating him on FB .
    Those… come here, go away people… are done in my life, if I am too much for you…
    (And I saw the Red Flags long ago…)
    Then I shall believe you …
    and not try to show you what a wonderful person I am who you will fall madly in love with…again….

    I have left my bf of 6 on and off years…in mid March (near our identical birthday)
    (He did somethin really hurtful for our bday and something in me snapped)
    This last 2.5 yrs together started off the best yet…
    But when he fell back into his patterns of retreating…
    I made one excuse (or excepted) after another..and another..and another…
    And refused to believe it wouldn’t work….
    I loved him too much to let it go.. or even stand up for ANYTHING…
    ……YOU all know the story.

    I am so indebted to the author , Susan, she put all the crazy thoughts into words…
    She made me feel UNDERSTOOD…huge!
    For my friends could not understand my inability to leave and my Intense Pain.

    I listened to her book day and night in text to speak on my kindle.
    I have done the inventory and rested..
    Now it’s time to go back to it.

    If no one told you today…
    I love you and understand you….and know you’re pain…

    My best
    Carolyn

    • mchinela says:

      Carolyn,

      I relate to everything you wrote completly! I have been NC for TWO yes TWO years this Sept 2012, we broke up Aug 2012 ( he got in a relationship the same time we were together pretty much , I still dont know or care for the full story) anyways, I would scratch my head wondering WHY DOES THIS PIECE OF CRAP LOSER MAN WITH ISSUES NOT WANT ME, A GOOD PERSON?? we would break up a lot and I would let him back because I had zero self respect…and a dependancy on this loser..

      I deleted my FB I thought life would be weird without it but its actually much better.. I realize being on a public site where I can see./anyone can see me is just not good for someone trying to heal..

      I love this book and the site and Susans amazing wisdom and insight.. there is a light at the end of the painful tunnel!

    • Goldie says:

      Carolyn,

      “She made me feel UNDERSTOOD…huge!
      For my friends could not understand my inability to leave and my Intense Pain.”

      I so completely agree with this. I had a close friend of many years say to me, “hasn’t it been two weeks since he left? why aren’t you over him yet?” And I know her, she meant well. She just hasn’t had the experience, not in many years anyway. When I first started reading Susan’s book, I had the same feeling, “whew, I’m not crazy, I’m not the first person on earth to be feeling these things” and you’re right, it helps tremendously.

  5. Loveisallthereis says:

    Carolyn, Just so you know… I saw what you wrote today( better late than never) and I copied much of what you wrote and sent it to myself in an email. I especially loved the part where you basically are talking about giving up on trying to convince him of my worthiness of his attention/friendship/turn-around etc. I also realize that the mantra “when someone tells you they do not want a serious relationship, believe them” is TRUE and the “challenger” inside of me, that stubborn inner brat who wants to vie for my unavailable father’s attention cannot rule my healthy adult self unless I let her !!!

  6. scubasteve says:

    I have been going through this exact question the last several weeks with my therapist. Was this relationship good or bad. And yes there were many many good things. But the “NO’s” started disappearing and became “YES’s” overtime.
    1) I was called dumb, and stupid.. I never made the right decisions and started doubting myself and my worth. Turns out she was always keeping score and when she finally blew up it was a laundry list of everything thing I didn’t do to please her.. The best story is when I was at Lake Placid once I left in a cab to go swimming with my training buddies while she was in the shower. I should have stayed and waited, but I sent the cab back for her to meet us. She calls me raging and demands that I come back down in a cab and pick her up… Of course I did and I felt horrible for my stupid and dumb decision… Little did I know that was her exercising control and me allowing it. Bringing out my codependency issues and passiveness…

    2 Self Esteem – Knocked below the ground… number 1 says it all..

    3 Career – Passed on an amazing opportunity in China because she didn’t want us to be apart.. I quit my job as a director because I too involved in my career and my career was important to me as a young 30’s person trying to get ahead. I took a lower level job that I am miserable at now. Taking such a large leap backwards.

    4. No Children..

    5. I spent so much money on us and her.. there was never anything to expensive for her. The best gifts.. The best dinners… granted she did spend her money on me as well..

    6. Sleep… Over 6 months now of horrible sleep… not good… not good..

    7. Legal… No were ok there..

    8. Physical.. well she never cheated… but constantly accused me of being unfaithful or lying or cheating…

    9.. Healthy relationship… It was healthy for a while at least I thought it was. As long as I was playing by her rules.. And I kept my independence and freedom to myself.. knocking off big accomplishments was always met with, is that really important to you. The engagement ring I got… “looked like a class ring”… I should have asked a girls opinion… WTF.. if you wanted to get married does it matter what an engagement ring looks like… Who cares what other people will think..

    10… Love… Unconditional… Love was only available when I played by the rules.. texted her appropriately and checked in when required.. love is not about being in constant communication and having a leash.. it is about letting a person spreading their wings.. and trusting them.. I have never felt so untrusted.. and unable to trust myself..

    So sad to see what I allowed and to get so emotionally attached..

    • just_hurting says:

      scubasteve

      I am so sorry you went through that. I understand, though. It sounds a lot like my relationship with my ex. I am also seeing a therapist. It seems to be helping. I have issues all the way back to childhood to deal with, and codependency issues also. Do you ever become so exhausted you don’t know how you function some days? I do. Things have been getting better, but when I have a bad day…boy, it is bad.

      • scubasteve says:

        Well.. more exhausted from trying to avoid conflict.. in my family life.. in my professional life.. etc.. I have become so passive and a people pleaser, that I just let people walk over any line in the sand that should be drawn.

        With her snooping through my phone, my email, everything.. always trying to prove I was lying or cheating. When someone is checking up on you constantly that fine love from love and attention and feeling like everything you do is wrong is terrible.

        Always looking over your shoulder is a terrible way to live. It is exhausting.

        • elle says:

          scubasteve,

          The kind of relationship you had creeps up on us so insidiously that it becomes “normal”. We meet, fall in love, commit… and when the other person’s behavior slowly changes and becomes controlling and abusive, we accept and rationalize, and gradually lose ourselves and our perspective. It’s not until we step away, take time to heal and look back that we see things as they really were. Even when our minds get there, our emotions are still in a time warp remembering the “good” and what we believed the relationship was. Give yourself time (I know, but it unfortunately does take time!) to let your emotions catch up to what your mind already knows.

          • scubasteve says:

            Wow.. thank you elle.. my therapist says the same thing.. and that her behavior would have gotten worse over time with every one of my infractions of the perfect lover.. so sad still.. to be dumped for someone thinking you cheated when you didn’t.. and to be dumped again over text because you didn’t supply the correct answer. So sad…

  7. knd393 says:

    scubasteve,

    I am glad you are talking to a therapist. It helps. Good on you for looking for answers and trying to be a better you.

    It doesn’t really matter if she went thru your texts, emails, lied, or broke up via text. What matters is that this person didn’t make you feel good. It sounds to me like she was just looking for an out. And she found one- even though it was a stupid reason, she would have found another. Maybe your socks didn’t color coordinate?

    Whatever: she opted out. And it wasn’t you! It was her lack of trust, faith and goodness.

    The key is to keep remembering that you are a good person. And you would not do that to someone, so quit trying to reconcile her actions, reasons or beliefs. YOU are all that matters, and SHE lost a good thing.

    It is now about YOU. Concentrate on YOU. Trust me, having been to h*’ll and back over my ex BH, once you start worrying more about you, it starts to get easier.

    Good luck. Stay on course dear.

    • scubasteve says:

      KND…

      Thank you so much for your kind words… Yes… I know she was looking for an out.. Her mother was devastated that we were getting back together and her mother didn’t accept me… because I lived in another state… worked hard… Stayed out of trouble.. treated her daughter like a queen.. but to her mother.. nothing is good enough and she picked at every flaw… and it was an uphill battle.. I am ok keeping one person happy but to keep a parental figure happy that is constantly nagging and judging you… it is tough.. really tough..

      And the mothers words exactly to her daughter were I am devastated.. the daughter is 30 years old.. the daughter lied constantly to where she was and who she was with… when she was with me.. staying with me.. going on trips with me.. I was such a dirty little secret..

      • mchinela says:

        scubasteve,
        The guy I am dating now, I feel out of any guy ive ever dated, his parents really try to run and meddle into his life, even the dreadful Bh had parents that butted out (maybe too much?)
        but this guys parents are super religious and he cant even tell them if i am sleeping over or anything because they will have something to say about it .. even though their two other children both are kinda wild (his sis I love her but she is a wild one partier and his brother has like 3 kids with 3 different women) i feel they are extremely judgemental and its part of the reason I dont know how much longer him and I will last ..

        so I can understand how you felt under the constant scrutiny of dealing with your girlfriends overbearing mother. Im lucky my moms always been so open , she has stepped in when she has needed to but she has always let me do as I need and please and I couldnt imagine at 30 years old having to lie about silly things as your gf has.. I am 27 and I feel anytime pretty much after the early 20s, parents opinions should be there but not overtaking the whole situation… thats something that would not have gone away and you have to take that into account..thats why I dont know how much longer I can be with my bf, hes 32 but i feel his relationship with his parents is that of one of an 8year old who tells them everything :-/

    • just_hurting says:

      I keep having to remind myself that the healing is about healing me and not about the ex. Things still are painful, but when I think back to the initial BU, I am realizing that it is not nearly as painful as it was then. I have been pretty good with NC, and other than the unfortunate accidental run in, I have no desire to see or talk to this jerk. I am working on my relationship inventory. I am on my couple day break before I review it and write my letter. I have been on a roller coaster of emotion since doing the inventory. I have 2 pages of negatives about the relationship and a page of negatives about the ex and only 1 page of positives about the relationship and 1/2 a page of positives about him. I also have hit a point where I literally hate him for hurting me, and am making peace with the fact that he does not deserve me and that I deserve someone who loves me for who I am. I have also hit a point where frankly, I would like to see him hurt the way he hurt me, and if given the chance, I would hurt him straight to his core like he did me. A part of me is waiting and hoping he comes crawling back just so I can tell him off and hurt him like he hurt me. I know revenge is not going to make me feel better, he just was so cruel at the end. I want to be cruel to him and hurt him like he did me. I have never had a man hurt me like he did. Not even my ex husband. I am just sick of feeling pangs for him. It is actually starting to really make me angry. Very angry, really, because I feel like I am wasting all this time and energy on a jerk who doesn’t deserve it…
      Has anyone else gone through or is going through this?

      • Goldie says:

        just_hurting,

        Yes. I have gone through this multiple times. I’ve read other people’s comments on here who have also gone through this. Finally after nine months, I can say that I’m at a point where I no longer miss him or want him back in any capacity, not even as a friend. The one time I talked on the phone with him, recently, was for just a few seconds, I felt awkward talking to him, didn’t want to hear his voice, and got off that phone as quickly as I could. Pretty sure he felt the same. I forgave him for what he did, as best I could. And I sent him an email asking him to forgive me for what I did. (Wanted to say it to him over that phone call, but it didn’t work out that way.) Because he and I both contributed to the giant cluster that was our relationship. He never replied, so I figure he never forgave either, but I do not care at this point. Took me nine months, I did the inventory three times, the letting go ceremony once, and one last thing I did was something that somebody else taught me, so I don’t know if it’s the right thing to do, but I will throw it out here because it helped me. What I was told to do was, sit down and write a letter or a speech, from your ex, to you, apologizing to you for everything that he did, exactly how you would want him to say it, word for word. Then read that apology to yourself every morning until you feel better. I found that doing this helped me forgive him. The important part is staying NC, otherwise new things will keep piling up that you will also need to forgive him for and it’ll be a never ending circle. Luckily, my ex doesn’t sound like he wants to stay in contact whatsoever.

        While I don’t miss my ex, I still miss his town where I spent almost all of my weekends for two years. Still miss the people I met through him, that I’d been spending time with for two years. I’m very slowly reconnecting with them, but it will take a while. My ex poisoned the well early on, so I hadn’t tried contacting anyone until a couple of months ago. Today one of them posted a photo of their town on FB and I’ve been feeling sad all day. I don’t miss the ex, but I am nostalgic as hell for that town. As an immigrant, I’ve got to say it’s a familiar feeling. I used to see my home town, and the town where I went to college, in my dreams for decades. I don’t believe this has anything to do with me missing my ex or wanting him back.

        Mine cannot come back. He burned the bridges pretty thoroughly; it is no longer realistic for him to come back. Honestly I felt relief when I found out. The possibility of him coming back, and putting me in a spot where I had to do something about it, was one of my biggest worries.

      • Goldie says:

        Wanted to add to my comment below where I say “I’m at a point where I no longer miss him or want him back in any capacity” that I no longer feel angry at him either. I noticed (and have seen others comment on this too) that I was switching between feeling angry at him and missing him/wanting him back. It’s like they’re two sides of the same coin… I wanted to feel indifferent towards him. Feeling angry, while an improvement over feeling in love with him, is still not indifference… I am indifferent now.

        It was not really until I saw the big picture of our relationship in its entirety, what went wrong, and what each of us did to contribute to things going wrong, that I started having that feeling of indifference. While I was feeling that I was a victim, that I’d been the perfect girlfriend and he was the controlling, selfish monster who hurt me for no reason, that was when I was feeling angry, but at the same time, was not able to fully let go of that relationship. It was when I was doing my last inventory that I suddenly saw my own role in what happened, clear as day. Basically I got into a relationship with a man I didn’t initially love or respect enough, in the hopes that he’d grow on me. He must’ve sensed that there wasn’t enough love and respect, but because he’s quite a mess emotionally, he didn’t know what was wrong, what he wanted, and how to ask for it. So instead he started asking for bizarre things like giving him my 100% undivided attention during our weekends together, staring into his eyes more, all around demanding more of my time and energy. By that time, he’d indeed already grown on me, so I gave him what he asked for, to the point where I was exhausted mentally, emotionally and physically. We both dropped the ball on that relationship, mainly because we didn’t have a good connection, didn’t understand each other, and didn’t communicate well. Knowing all these things, I am no longer capable of feeling angry at him. Hope this helps at least somewhat.

  8. just_hurting says:

    Thanks, Goldie. I know I did things wrong. I know I am not the victim. What you said about how you felt about your ex sounds a lot like the way I felt about mine. There is not a person in my life who wants me to be with him. I don’t know which is more frustrating to me. Finding out all these people didn’t like my ex, or only finding out NOW. I almost wish someone would have said something to me sooner, to save me the heartache, but truth be told, I would have not listened anyway. My therapist has been doing a ton to help me. I think back and there were “half-truths” he told me even on our second date. I should have bailed then instead of having it happen a year and a half later. I feel so rejected, but wonder if I would feel the same way if I was the one that ended it. I don’t want to have any contact with him at this point. I don’t want to be around him. I know I will eventually feel better. The one thing I do know is I do not want to date anymore. Everything I am discovering about myself only shows me that I just do not want to expend the energy in a relationship anymore. It is just not worth it. My therapist told me I have a fear of abandonment issue, and the thought of being alone actually sends me into a panic attack, but on the other hand, I don’t ever want to be hurt again. I am looking forward to the day I am ambivilant towards him. At just under 2 months in, I think I am doing well, all things said.

    • Goldie says:

      just_hurting,

      Wow, I think you’re doing well too! At just under 2 months in, I was still a nervous wreck and not over him. Also, you’re much wiser than I was in that you do not plan on dating. Two months after my breakup, my ex emailed me saying he was back on the dating site where I’d met him. So I went back there too because I wanted him to see that I was moving on. I worried that, if I didn’t start dating, he’d think that I was waiting for him to come back. In hindsight, who the hell cares what he’d think?! I dated for two months, met one great guy whom I turned down because I wasn’t ready; met all kinds of social misfits, whom I attracted because again I wasn’t ready. Although looking on the bright side, at the end of those two months, I met the man that I’m dating now… we took it very slow and postponed getting romantically involved for the longest time, but stayed in touch as friends and eventually got together *crossing fingers*.

      I’ve had well-meaning friends tell me after my breakup, that my mistake was that I’d attached to my ex emotionally, and advise me never to attach to any of my future partners… never fall in love, be distant. I said no, I’m going to go all in with the next man I meet. Otherwise what’s the point in getting together at all? But it has to be at the right time and with the right person… and if things go south anyway, I already know how to heal after a breakup. It will probably hurt again if a new relationship ends, but that’s a chance I’m willing to take.

      My friends didn’t like or dislike my ex, because they didn’t know him all that well. He didn’t like any of my friends somehow. He and I spent most of our time together with his friends. Then when he left me, his life didn’t change one bit, whereas I lost my entire social circle overnight… good times. My sons however (they’re 18 and 21), did not like him. Not because he was stealing their mom or whatever, but they named specific reasons why they didn’t like his personality… he just wasn’t a good match for my whole family, as it seems. But, just like your friends, they didn’t tell me about it until after he and I broke up. My 21yo has Aspergers, he’s a huge stickler for the rules and loves following strict schedules… and HE told me that my ex was too uptight. That’s pretty damn uptight!

      I did finally get out and see a therapist, about a month ago. Same one that I saw when I was going through my divorce. After three sessions, he told me I was fine and sent me on my merry way. I came to him asking to help me learn to read other people and to be better in touch with my own feelings, because I had failed to do both when I was with my ex… the ex was ready to walk out on me and I had no idea anything was wrong. The therapist essentially told me that, from what he could tell, I can read my own feelings just fine, and can read other people just fine, except for the one person who just happens to be hard to read… my ex. So it looks like I’m not the one with a problem, which is good.

      Good luck. I think you’re making a LOT more progress than I was at that stage!

      • just_hurting says:

        Morning, Goldie…
        I am doing well on some days, but on others, I am not doing so well. I don’t think I am over him, but I am trying. Honestly, I do have my days where I am a mess and a little part of me is hoping he does come back. I actually don’t want that to happen, because depending on the day, I would either tell him to “bite me” or jump into his arms crying and telling him I love him and take him back. I just don’t want that to happen. As much as my mind knows he is toxic for me; my heart is fighting me about it. Does that make sense?

        I am not even remotely ready for dating or a relationship. I did go on a date about 3 weeks after the BU, just to see if it helped me feel better about myself, but I just wasn’t into it and wasn’t ready. I am doing a lot of work with my therapist. There are a lot of issues I need to work out, and I want work them out. I am lucky, because I have my 5 y/o daughter to keep me busy and ultimately think about. Her dad (my ex husband) has been a God-send to me. He and I have a very good relationship, and we try and support each other. I am very lucky that way.

        Right now, I’m so bitter and hurt. I put everything into my relationship. My ex didn’t like my friends either, and his friends became my friends. I loved his daughters and family. Like you, I lost my social circle overnight also. I have had his friends and family contact me since the break up, and have told him and them that I don’t want any contact with them. He hurt me too much, and frankly I don’t want anything around me that even remotely reminds me of him (I got rid of everything he or his family ever gave me. It is all in the garbage, even stuff he gave my daughter…it is like I am trying to erase any memory of him from my life right now). It is way too early to be friends, and really, I don’t think we ever could be, or that I want to be. I wanted to marry him, and you don’t just recover from those feelings overnight, ya know? I think he wants to be “friends” because he wants to keep me on the line for when he is ready “for a relationship”. He was/is so controlling…it is like he doesn’t want to completely let me go. To quote him, he wants/loves me, but he doesn’t want a “relationship”. Well, you can’t have both. This is a black/white situation. I know he has driven past my apartment building to see if I am there, and I know from seeing what he did with his ex wife that he is going to do everything he can to “watch” what I am doing, maybe not forever, but for a while. It is in his controlling nature.

        My family didn’t like him, my friends didn’t like him. There is not a person in my life that wants/wanted me to be with this man; unfortunately my heart is battling that on some days…

        I am glad you went and saw a therapist. Sometimes it just helps to have that confirmation and reassurance. Sometimes it helps to have someone say that “you are not the problem”. I know I have issues, and one thing that hurts me so much is the ex told me I have “serious issues” and would tell me I was “crazy” or my feelings were “unjustified” if I didn’t agree with him or “wasn’t on his side”. Yeah, ok, I have issues, but so does he. At least I am doing something to take care of my issues and to heal so I can be the complete person I am meant to be.

        I think I am going to write the apology from him like you suggested earlier. I think it will help me move on, and on Friday night, I am going to do the rest of my Relationship Inventory. The review, letter, etc. I am all about healing right now.

        • Goldie says:

          just_hurting,

          Yes I do understand… been there. I too thought that my ex was the one; I wanted to grow old together with that man. Oddly enough he did talk about future plans, moving out of state together etc. right up until the last minute. And yes it does make sense to me what you say about your reaction if he were to come back. I had the same fears. When he told me that his new gf was someone I knew and was on good terms with, from his town, who works at the same place that he does… my very first thought was, “Whew, thank god, he can never come back now!” As over him as I am, I’m just better off without that kind of temptation looming over me.

          I actually think it’s very cool of his friends and family to have contacted you, though I do understand that you’re not ready for that contact now. For the first 2-3 months after my ex left, I couldn’t even think about his town or his friends. Then when I was finally ready and wanted to reconnect 3 months later, the damage had already been done. He discouraged me from getting in touch with anyone by telling me things about them that put them in a bad light; and who knows what he may have told them about me. Some of his friends, as well as his sister, have still been very supportive during that time, for which I’m thankful. All around though, I had not expected him to cut me out of his life and lock me out of his town, so completely and so fast. He sure enough did not do that with his ex-wife. The two of them were very friendly and in close contact for the first few months when he and I were together. And when they did cut contact, it was her idea, not his. They used to meet several times a month to catch up. He met with me ONCE in the nine months since he left. I have to admit I’m pretty bitter about having been booted out of his life with such force. I’ve always thought of myself as a good friend and someone whose company people enjoy; and he’s treating me like a rabid animal. To this day, this man makes me doubt myself sometimes – some days I ask myself, am I really the crazy ex, because he sure enough does treat me as one? Well, if I am, he’s certainly the first one to have noticed!

          Like you, I don’t want to be friends with him though; I think we never really were. We’re far too different to be friends. We met online and so went straight from being strangers to being a couple, with no friendship in between.

          It’s great that you’re working on healing yourself for your daughter’s sake. My kids were pretty much self-sufficient at the time of my breakup. So, I admit, I fell apart. And I think it’s very cool that you have such a good relationship with your ex-husband! I’m cordial with mine.

          Good luck with the rest of the inventory, and the other work. And I hope the apology letter helps!

          • just_hurting says:

            Hi Goldie. We also met online, and also went from strangers to a relationship very quickly. He was pushing to introduce me to his kids within a month and I should have seen the red flags then. I was thinking as I was driving in to work this morning, and he also talked about future, pretty quickly. Sometimes I think I just bought into it because he was giving me attention from my marriage that I wasn’t getting. I had only been seperated about 2 and 1/2 months and my divorce was finalized a 1 and 1/2 after we met. I have realized, from therapy, that I have almost a debilitating fear of being alone. To the point of panic attacks and anxiety. I am starting to wonder if it is more the fear of being alone that I am having a hard time with or missing him that is the issue. If I am truly honest with myself, there were times I couldn’t stand him. I would look at him and think, “God this could be my life, so controlled, not me”. I would have stayed in a situation where I was being treated very badly, to avoid being by myself. In my therapy, I have also discovered that he was my “do over”. He and my mother are so much alike, and I was trying to redo my relationship with my mother to get the love and acceptance I don’t feel I have from her. It makes sense in a way, but I never thought about it that way. Everything I hated about him, are things I don’t like in my mother. He gave me the rejection I felt my whole life, that my ex husband wasn’t giving (and still doesn’t) give me. That is pretty deep for me to think about. It is almost like I feel I deserved and needed the rejection because it is all I have known. I am realizing that is not a good situation. We both talked about the future, but as I look back, I was investing way more in the relationship than he was. I was doing all the work in the relationship, and he was not doing his share. All of my relationships, friendships, etc are like that. It took my therapist telling me that, yes, relationships and marriage are work, but they shouldn’t be something a person has to work so hard at. If you have one person who is working so hard, either it is not a good match, or the other person is not doing his share. I think it is a little of both. I don’t think he and I are a good match, but I also know he wasn’t doing his share. It really hurts to say that, because I feel like I have wasted a year and a half of my life on someone who did not deserve it. I don’t even feel that way about my 20 year relationship/marriage with my ex husband. I had to put in more energy in that year and a half than I did my entire 20 year relationship. There is something very wrong with that, but on the other hand, had I not had this relationship, I would not have gone to therapy with this particular therapist (I have been in therapy for years, this one makes me work) or read Susan’s book, and realized that I need to do some serious work on myself. I know that I am going to get through this, and I know I am going to become a stronger person from it. Right now, I just feel rejected because I did work so hard, as if I have failed, but I am begining to wonder what would have been more of a failure…staying in a relationship that was so toxic and bad for me or being dumped by a person who was so obviously has their own issues who isn’t getting the help…let’s face it, we all have issues, it is recognizing that you have issues and doing something about it that really matters. I don’t know if I ever want to date again, and I don’t know if I ever want to fall in love again, but I do know that if and when I do, I want to do it as a whole and healthy person. I want to do it as a woman who realizes her self worth. I want to do it as a woman who will not settle for less than the best. Today is a day that I am hoping he comes back so that I can tell him to “bite me”, and aim to hurt him as much as he hurt me. Calling him a Banana Head is a nice term today. I can think of many more that are more appropriate, however I just can’t type them here, as they would probably be offensive to others. I like the angry days much better than the sad days…so much easier for me to deal with…

        • Loveisallthereis says:

          HI JUST…

          I read what you wrote about the coin feelings of “I am doing well on some days, but on others, I am not doing so well. I don’t think I am over him, but I am trying. Honestly, I do have my days where I am a mess and a little part of me is hoping he does come back. I actually don’t want that to happen, because depending on the day, I would either tell him to “bite me” or jump into his arms crying and telling him I love him and take him back.” And I completely relate to the part where I know if he were to come back today and ask me back… I would say YES. I do not believe that my most recent r/s was with a narcissist/psychopath but i do know that he is emotionally unavailable (he admitted this) and LIKE YOU, he told me that he wants to BE FRIENDS. he even reached out to me a couple times, and I answered. Then I realized how painful it has been, the process of letting go.

          I swear, in the last two weeks, THREE PEOPLE (between family and friends) have told me that they have seen him out in the area. Apparently he ended up getting a job at a local establishment and I am FROM the community where he now lives. Unlike you, my friends and family adored him/ as did I. I want to believe it was a “timing thing” and I think that I agreed to being friends in hopes that he would get some therapy, grow in his courage to love or overcome the fear of intimacy and then see that I am here , that he would want me. I am in a lot of pain today (yesterday my girlfriend ran into him at the gym and he got into a talk with her about possible business ventures and gave her his card. She text messaged me a picture of the card) it broke my heart…. I helped him with making the design of it just over two months ago : /

          • just_hurting says:

            Oh, loveisallthereis…I know where you are at. I have many days like that. I actually have told my friends and family that I don’t want to know if/when they run into him. I have told him, his family and friends that I do not want to have any contact with them. Some of them think I am being a jerk, but I am not. I need to heal, and I can’t do it knowing/hearing about him and what he is doing. Our split was so acrominous and painful, that it did even more damage to my self esteem than the controlling, manipulative and abusive relationship did. It was like the straw that broke the camel’s back. I don’t want to tell you what to do, but maybe it is time for you to draw boundaries with him, friends and family and let them know you don’t want or need to know what he is doing or if they see him. It is hard enough in a small community to have the risk of running into him yourself (I also have this to contend with), you don’t need to add others in the mix. You need to take care of you, and if getting reports of his actions from friends and family is making it difficult and painful for you, then please let them know. I felt a lot less anxiety and pain once his friends and family stopped contacting me. No contact hurts a lot, but it hurt me way more to have the contact with him/them. I wish we could talk on the phone, loveisallthereis. We sure seem to be having the same feelings…

  9. Goldie says:

    Posting here because this seems to be the check in thread of sorts, for now… I need to vent. Just after I posted here with all good and happy news about how I’ve moved on, don’t miss my ex, don’t miss his friends as much as I used to, don’t miss his new gf (who is one of his friends, and who obviously no longer talks to me) as much as I used to… I jinxed myself. My dog received a Dx of a terminal illness this Monday. They said the prognosis is anywhere from a few months to two years. We’re hoping of course for the two years, but it’s still too soon, he’s only eight. Plus it kills me to see him sick and devoid of his former energy. As soon as I got the news, I knew that I’d feel depressed sooner rather than later. But all of a sudden, I am missing my ex’s town and his group of friends all over again. I even see them in my dreams now. I guess that is because I haven’t yet reconnected with my old friends closely enough that I could come to them with this; and I know that, if I’d gotten this news before the breakup, I’d have come to my ex and his friends with it and they would’ve listened and said something to make me feel better… I even miss being able to talk to him about it, which of course isn’t something I am going to do – I just didn’t expect that I’d feel even remotely like talking to him, after everything that happened. It doesn’t help that my new relationship is long distance and new bf is crazy busy right now. I will see him tomorrow for the weekend, so will be able to talk to him about my new situation and I know he’ll say and do something to make me feel better, but then he’ll be buried in work for a few weeks and I don’t know exactly when I’ll see him next time. If I don’t feel any better in a few days, I should probably go back to the therapist. I didn’t expect to all of a sudden be missing my ex’s friends and even my ex(???) when in reality I am feeling sad for my dog, and am preparing to eventually lose him (I still cannot get my head around this fact, to be honest). This is a weird side effect.

    • scubasteve says:

      Goldie… stay strong… dogs are the ultimate lovers..

    • just_hurting says:

      I’m so sorry, Goldie. Be strong.

    • Goldie says:

      Thank you both for your kind words. He is a good dog, and also my first dog ever. I’m hoping against all odds that we’ll get two years or maybe more with him; these things happen.

  10. scubasteve says:

    After months of therapy and lots of time to heal and introspection I have come to many realizations about myself and the relationship I was in and also another long-term past relationship that I was in.

    1) I became very codependent in the relationship and took the role of a caretaker to stay in a relationship with someone who had a lot of narcissistic/borderline personality traits. Always trying to please and never stating my needs as I became more and more fearful of rage, being made to feel ‘stupid’ or just can’t do anything right. Sometimes I thought I was doing everything perfect until when she would go into her rage, she would crush me with things I never knew were wrong. She was black and white, mostly everything was perfect and than, it was black, very black and than all of a sudden, it was perfect again.

    2) I am an enabler… I allowed bad behavior and breech of my personal boundaries to be tossed away. I mistaken attention with loving jealously and allowed it to get to a point where I was constantly being checked up on. If anything was out of my usual procedure, it meant that I was doing something wrong or up to something. I now know, I have never done anything to disrespect my past relationship and yet, I was made to feel that I constantly did. Although she said she deserved to be treated like a queen, I treated her like a God and yet I felt so horrible that I didn’t do anything right.

    3) Time to be autonomous and have a sense of freedom is important in a healthy relationship. Especially prior to engagement and marriage. A sense of self in a relationship is very important and healthy. When someone tries to enforce their beliefs, activities, morals, and feelings as your own, you are no longer you and you lose yourself. I will never allow I will never accept someone telling me that certain friends or family are bad people. This is unacceptable.

    4) I allowed myself to feel F.O.G. Fear, Obligation and Guilt are no ones fault but your own. If you don’t establish healthy boundaries you will allow your relationship to completely dependent on each other. I became a person who never said no and when I did, the guilt and fear was terrible. A sense of obligation, because that is what you do when you love someone was instilled in me. I now see this is not love and again this has happened to me in another relationship. If I make a mistake and hurt someone I will apologize and make my amends, but I will not accept being guilted, humiliated, or abused in any such way. That is not love and will accept nothing less. I want a woman who is not a girl. A woman that is ok being alone with her thoughts, lacks abandonment issues because she is ok being alone and supports me whole heartedly and do what is best for us and our future.

    5) I allowed someone to convince me what I was feeling, thinking and what I should be doing. No one can tell you what you are thinking and why you did something. If they don’t accept your reasoning or your thought process, it is their problem. I will never allow someone to make me feel like I am acting shady or without character when I am not. I believe I am a good person with very high morals that knows right from wrong. I can not and will not accept someone’s false projections and need to control me. The more someone tries to control me the more I separate from them. I did not enforce this boundary in my last relationship.

    6) I will not accept someone with trust issues before getting into a relationship with them. Something is wrong and I will not be able fix that no matter how open or honest I am. Trying to be a superhero for someone will only leave me hurt and brokenhearted. I am who I am and I would never cheat on anyone and if they don’t recognize that or see that than that person is not for me. When I start see trust issues emerge I will talk about it once and than once more, but I will not stick around for a third time. Searching through my things, my cell phone, my email, and getting my GPS of my phone is unacceptable. Needing to know where I am and who I am with or why something took so long is unhealthy and unacceptable. Providing this laundry list of my inner world will not make someone realize they can trust me and will not allow me to trust them. It will ruin any relationship as it ruined my last relationship.

    7) I will not accept a woman who is not true to herself and lies to those around her, especially about her relationship. If someone is not true to themselves they can not be true to others in their lives and true to those that they love. This is a very difficult thing for me to wrap my head around because I have stumbled with this in my past. But I now see it is something critical in order to have an open and honest relationship. If you can’t be true to yourself and true to those around you, you are not ready for an open and honest relationship. If I find myself not able to be open and honest with someone because I fear their criticism, judgment or anger, than that person is not for me.

    8) I will not accept someone who wants to change me so they can be happy or worse so that their family will be happy. If a person fell in love with me for me being me, than it is their fault for stringing me along and not being true to themselves and deceiving me into being in love with someone that they are not. I will change myself because it is what is best for me and my partner if needed, but will not change because someone in my partners family wants me to change. I have strong character and excellent morals. I will never accept someone telling me I have low moral fiber again.

    9) If a partners family does not accept me for me and does not see me as the wonderful, dynamic caring person that I am, than they are not good people and do not deserve my time or energy. I deserve nothing less in my life and trying to prove yourself constantly will only set you up for failure and destroy you. Your self esteem and self worth will go down and you will start to believe that you can do nothing right. I already have wonderful parents who love me for the good and bad that I am and our relationship has become much more open and honest as time has passed. I don’t need another set of parents to judge me and think anything less of me other than I am a good caring person that would treat their daughter with love and respect.

    10) I will not accept anyone that is not fully accepting of all people. That means no entitlement, no criticizing of people, especially those less fortunate and I will not accept someone who is racist by any means. Racism makes my skin crawl and it is the most vile self loathing thing in the world to me.

    11) I want a life to be an adventure. If someone is not ready to make their life and my life something different and to do what we want, not what others want for us, than that person is not for me. I will not be told what to do by my family and I will not accept what will make me happy from someone else’s family or friends. If my relationship, my activities and what makes me happy has to change to make someone’s mother or father happy, than that person is not for me. When it is time for me to get married I will get the engagement ring that is best for my partner and I, whether it is a piece of twine, a plastic ring or anything else. Our wedding will be the wedding we want, whether it is on a beach, Vegas, top of a mountain or in a church. It will be what is best for us and our future family, not someone else’s family. I will ask my bride to be’s father to marry me not because I am obligated to, but because it is the right thing to do and I will already know the answer will be yes because the parents love me already and treat me with respect like I am already family.

    • just_hurting says:

      scubasteve

      It sounds like you have really made a lot of progress. I hope that someday I am at the same point you are. How long has it been since your BU? I have been in therapy for just over a month. We are working hard to deal with my Fear of Abandonment, Self Esteem and Codependent issues. I am doing a lot of journaling and introspection. Do you have any suggestions that may help me in my process?

      • scubasteve says:

        Some days I feel like I took a leap forward.. others I feel like I have just gone back to ground zero. But I see a lot about myself and the relationship. Unfortunately I see my last partner has a lot of issues that she needs to work on before she can have a successful relationship. She completely sold herself as someone different when I first fell for her. Once her family starting pressuring her, she completely became a different person. No longer wanting to do triathlons, the thing that drew me in. She grew tired of my passion to fly and my spontaneity was desirable at first, but than it was abhorred. I am not a therapist, but I now see she had many borderline/narcissistic personality traits.

        I read some good books, including Susan’s. Codependency for dummies was eye opening to me. Controlling people by Evens, and also, Stop being a Care Taker. I also read When Lovers Lie. This really helped me see that me taking time to myself and doing my own thing and taking some of the freedom I deserve was not lying and I never did any of the horrible things that lovers do when they lie. A healthy relationship allows someone to grow, nurture old friendships and start new friendships and allows the person to do activities and hobbies they enjoy.

        I bought another motorcycle, the Harley I always wanted. I was crucified for it, even though when she met me I had one in a 1000 pieces in my living room. Yes motorcycles are dangerous, but it is not an unhealthy activity. And tinkering with a motorcycle is a healthy activity. I was not out at the bars picking up women. I was sitting in my living room modifying a Harley with my free time. Healthy. She would later tell me, a guy with a motorcycle is something she can’t accept.. I now see that a marriage with this ‘girl’ would have been asking for permission instead of coming to agreements and compromises.

        Hang in there.. Heal.. but don’t let the healing get in the way of your precious time. Enjoy the wonderful things life has to offer!

    • Goldie says:

      Wait, wait, *she* was racist, but said that *you* had low moral fiber? Oh boy.

      Some of what you wrote about your exes’ behavior reminds me of my last ex’s behavior when he was with me. I’ve arrived at a conclusion now that, if our partner treats us that badly – if they’re being passive-aggressive, controlling, inconsistent, irrational, demand more than anyone can possibly give, nothing we do is good enough, etc. – then we owe it to *them* to get out, as much as we owe it to ourselves. There’s something about our connection that brings out the worst in that person; odds are they’ll be a better person without us. That’s what I hope happened to me and my ex. I am certainly a better person now than I was with him. And I’m very hopeful he’s not being the insufferable d!ck with his new gf that he was in the last few months with me! I know deep inside he’s a good guy who means well, but the way he treated me in the end, oh boy. You and I should both thank our partners for ending things. I know I wouldn’t have had the spine to even consider walking out. Sounds like you were feeling the same way in your relationship too. I’m confident that a lot of the issues you describe above, will go away when you’re with the right person.

      • scubasteve says:

        Yes… her and her family had a lot of entitlement and racist stuff going on. Her brothers often said the N word often in my company.

        These are supposed to be good Christian Catholics.. I now see the irony in all of this that I had “lacked moral fiber”.

        It really is sad because as you said goldie, your ex deep down they are good people.. but her judging and criticism of me. It just devalued me so much.

        Funny.. I have been talking with 2 girls now.. both of them I have known for sometime.. Last night I went out to dinner and a drink with my friend … both ladies said the same thing to me… I am going to bed.. have fun…

        No checking in with them.. no explaining why I didn’t get home till 1030.. No asking what I we talked about.. And no one going through my stuff this weekend and looking for receipts or business cards or trying to catch me in a lie. It is kind of a relief to say the least. These are independent women that do what they want when they want… It is very different… both of them seem quite interested in me… they know the person I am and know who I worshipped my ex.. both have stated they were so jealous they never had a man behave like I do and treat someone like I treated my ex. I have gone on training camps and trips with these women .. they know how faithful I was to her and they all think she nuts to doubt my fidelity..

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