ADVICE needed please

Discussion in 'Advice (Dear AE...)' started by Liia, Nov 18, 2017.

  1. Liia

    Liia Member

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    Hey,

    I'm in deep need of some advice. I'm currently in a relationship that will soon have it's fifth anniversary. My girlfriend is ... many things but let's just say that for month now we barely get along. She feels like a friend more than a partner. Our relationship took a hit when my mother passed away since then I've been through a rough patch. She has been supportive, as much as she could through my depression that lasted more or less one year. Since my mom's passing I have a real hard time to be intimate with her. Her being younger than me makes things more difficult since I've changed drastically from being this party girl that went out every weekend to being this girl that loathes having to go out on weekends with my girlfriend. Anyways she regrets having been there for me during all that has happened since we found out about my mother's illness. And now we don't get along at all. Each day we fight at least 4 times. We rarely end a day on a good note and she is becoming more and more violent (so to speak).
    So that's my life relationship wise with her let's call her Camille.
    This isn't the only trouble in my life my best friend/ ex is back. Let's call her Erica. We weren't exactly together but what we lived whilst becoming friends was overwhelming, passionate, tender, soft, funny etc. She is my best friend and I'd do everything for her. We weren't together because Erica was in a relationship with a guy and is straight except for us happening. What we had is ancient we met 7 years ago and what happened was on and off for 1 year and a half but every time she came back I went back to her and she did the same. Just since my relationship with Camille, Erica and I haven't had anything. That was ok but we still have a chemistry and we talk about ancient times laughing about it but nothing more. But since we have talked about things we've never had the chance to discuss before. And now she keeps telling me that I was one of her best stories.
    I miss her I regret never having fought for her harder although I have fought for her. Our timing just wasn't ever right. Now we are friends and I don't think we'll be more anymore but we still talk about what would have been.
    I think I'm lost in my life in my feelings in everything. Has anyone ever been in this kind of situation and give me advice? I've never cheated on anyone and I won't ever do it bit I need to know what to do.
    Thanks .-
     
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  2. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    How do you mean, "she is becoming more and more violent (so to speak)."? Do you mean the arguments are getting more heated, or do you mean, violent, violent...

    I would advice you to take care of yourself and separate these two things, your current and your ex. Deal with your current situation first. If there is something violent going on or there isn't but you are using that word because the trajectory of things between you two seem to be heading that way then it is a no brainer and deal breaker.

    If I were arguing as many times as you were and there is nothing there then it is time to go. The only consideration is that you are wondering if you are simply not yourself because your mom had passed? And you wonder if that is the only thing that caused this break between you and if you were not feeling sad then it would be normal again? I would ask her on a friend-mode talk, just set up a cup of tea and just talk. When we talk to a partner, there is the burden of all our past and future together to consider. But suppose you could ask her for this friend-pass and you can just say all you are feeling about this. (Don't bring the ex up, it will just complicate the picture and not get you anywhere).

    Lastly, I am so sorry about your mom's passing. Losing a parent can be a catalyst of sorts into our maturity and how we relate to others. A friend of mine ghosted me after his father's passing.

    Please take care of yourself and sort things out with your partner with that as a goal.
     
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  3. Liia

    Liia Member

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    Hello Greylin
    First of all thank you for your advice and taking time to talk to me. I'll try my best to answer it.
    She is becoming violent in every sense, when we argue she knows exactly what to say to be the most hurtful possible, to get to me because she says that it's the only way to get through to me since nothing can hurt me. And whilst arguments heat up she gets physical very quickly but nothing really bad has happened so far but I am dad to see that we've come to this.
    I will try to separate my current and my ex. I think we're on the verge of breaking up but we can't do anything real like a real break up cause we live together. She moved 1000km to be with me and she can't just up and leave. So I think we're both looking for an exit. Today our fight has become unbearable with the regrets she throws at me I'm getting tired of it. But somehow this situation has been going on since my mother died November 2014. Since then we've been trying but I think we can't reach anything anymore and we have had enough. I feel guilty that she left everything to be stuck with me and at the same time I'm angry at her because I've never forced her into anything. I had to move for university and she chose to come with. But I get her regrets she left a wonderful loving and very present family to come somewhere where she isn't surrounded etc. I get all that. Since my mom died I have drastically changed and I don't believe I'll ever be the same again and she will never accept who I am now.
    Asking her on a friend more is ideal but with her impossible either we're an us or we're nothing. She is very extreme in her line of thoughts which is something I've always struggled with.
    She knows all the story with my best friend and she is so jealous of her that I can't talk to Erica whilst Camille is in the room it's a horrible situation not being able to be there for your friend. Because even though our past Erica is and will always be my friend you know what I mean?
    Thank you for your kind words regarding my mother's passing. I'll never be the same again and believe you me I have tried now I'm just fighting each day by enjoying life's little beauties. They aren't enough to make me happy but one step at a time right? :) I am truly sorry about your friend's ghosting after his father's passing .
    Thank you so much really for your kind advice and your kind words. I will try to take care of me please take care of yourself as well.
     
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  4. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    If she is violent, then it is a deal breaker and there is no talking like friends. When you said she can't just up and leave, I was thinking, sure she can! I understand it is difficult to extricate yourself from this situation but I would leave the house, crash on a friend's couch for a while till she is gone. That is, if you can't get her to leave. If I understand what you are saying, she left her family to be with you and there is no going back?

    Please don't feel guilty for having her make that move, it is not your fault. You are right that it is her choice.

    And thank you, for your kind words.
     
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  5. Liia

    Liia Member

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    Dear greylin,

    No she really can't because in the time she's been here she didn't want to mingle with people because she wants to move back to her family and friends so what's the point in getting to know people. So I mean apart from my brother and I she literally has no one here. If I leave she will make my life a living hell. But maybe it'll be the best solution I'll think about it but I don't think it'll work. She is trying to move back for the new school year... She wasn't supposed to come back here anyways but she is as stubborn as me in trying to make it work but sometimes a lost cause is just that a "lost helpless cause".
    She can go back her family is really amazing, very supportive kind and loving. She is missed there and they want her home so technically she can go back she just wanted us to work but since it's not the blame is on me you know? She always puts the fault on others never questioning herself one bit... the problem is just that she's enrolled here atm and yo be enrolled back up there might cause problems so we may have to live like this till may/june.

    Thank you again for your advice greylin
     
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  6. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    No, really, she can.

    Will it suck? Yes, probably. Will it be inconvenient and expensive? Definitely. Is it an awful feeling, to end something with someone who rearranged their whole life on a gamble that didn't work out? Sure does.

    Does it break any universal laws? Nope. Not at all.

    You are living with a violent person (and I will add: an abusive person! your description of her emotional dirty fighting and escalation to physical violence is abuse, without the bruises). You fight multiple times a day, and do real emotional and perhaps physical damage to each other. This situation has been escalating for 3+ years. You are both desperately unhappy.

    All of your reasons for her staying are practical - it's be hard, it'd be expensive, it'd be unfair to poor Camille. But I argue that this current situation is hard and (emotionally) expensive. In fact, I think it is very dangerous for you to stay in this situation, and to continue to allow inconvenience/awkwardness toward Camille to overrule your own need for emotional and physical safety.

    Here are some words you could say: "Camille, I think that it is time for us to stop living together and to end our relationship. I will crash with friends for 2 weeks (/sublet a room/stay with my family/move out myself and pay next month's rent) to help with this transition. I am sorry if this is a surprise or difficult, but it is time."
     
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  7. Liia

    Liia Member

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    Hey lorienczhiu

    Firstly thank you for your reply which I had to read and re-read a couple of times to write this reply.

    You really think that can work? We've been together for so long that I can't imagine us not being together even though I really want to be happy again. Every time we break up for a day she comes back (I've stopped going back to her for some time now) I forgive her and things look good for 2 days then it all goes back to being shitty but being without her seems like a scary thought. I mean she met my mom and she has supported me through a lot don't I owe it to give it more tries? She is also the last person ever that my mother will have met that is a thought that haunts me. I don't know if it makes sense at all?
    Camille told me that she wants to leave at the end of the year so that she goes back to that other university for the new year. I feel happy somewhat to know that it could be a possibility... I feel so uncertain.

    I don't know if I'm making it out to be more than it probably is. It's just maybe she can't stand me anymore and to be honest I can't stand all that it provokes. I don't know if I am in an abusive relationship I just know that it won't hold forever now that we're at this point.
    Your last sentence we've said that but she begs me to stay and I give in cause I believe I owe her. I do owe her a lot. She stood by me when I wasn't even "human" and barely living after my mom died you know ... I was in a very deep depression where I was heavily medicated and she suffered a lot because of it of me... I feel guilty in a way maybe it is I who has turned this amazing girl (she used to be) into a girl full of hate towards me.

    Thank you for your response it is very kind of you.
     
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  8. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    You can't imagine life without her, and that means you are trapped in a life in which you are unhappy. I need you to read your own words and really think about what you are saying:
    You want to be happy. This relationship does not make you happy. But you cannot leave, because you cannot imagine living without this unhappiness.

    For the love of love, imagine it. Imagine a life where you do not fight with anyone. Where your home is a refuge from difficulty, not its resting place. Where you are not emotionally cut down by someone who knows you so well that they can hurt you in the worst way - and seem to want to. Where your time is yours to spend how you want, and your friendships are not monitored! Imagine more out a relationship than a bad fit and constant drama. Imagine making new friends, who share your interests, who understand that you will live the rest of your life missing your mom, who aren't trying to get you back to your early-20s-party-girl persona. And yes... imagine a girlfriend who responds to fights with serious discussions about what went wrong and how to change her/your behavior to make your home loving and safe (NB: this is my marriage! no one has to settle for familiar unhappiness).

    You can have all those things. Bite the bullet. End the cycle. Move on, and toward reclaiming happiness.

    In these situations, I find it very helpful to imagine what you would say to a friend who came to you with a similar situation. "Hey, I've been with my boyfriend for X number of years, and for 60% of that time, it has been really hard. We fight every day. We keep breaking up, and I realized a while ago that I wouldn't get back together if he didn't initiate it.... I don't like my life and am not happy, but it's a habit, you know? I don't know how to live my life without this difficult, exhausting, vicious cycle."

    You would, I believe, express a lot of surprise that your friend had spent more time in this relationship with it not working that it being positive and supportive. You would be really worried about her resigned tone, and probably give some advice about how if you keep breaking up and getting back together without changing anything, she's just setting herself up for the next blowout. You would gently remind your friend that relationships are supposed to feel like loving homes, not prisons.

    And then she drops this gem: "Oh, and I'm kind of worried that when we fight, which we do every day, he might hit me." And that is when you would clear out your spare room and call a crisis counselor, because you would never let your friend be miserable and in danger for another week, let alone six months.

    If you cannot do this in person, because she will beg you to stay, do it in writing. Ask a friend to go with you, and help you leave. Plan on blocking her number/social media/email as soon as you have done it. This will be desperately hard for both of you, because what you are is used to this bullsh*t, and your body and brain and wired to expect it. Your girlfriend is also used to this, and can't imagine anything else, and so she keeps begging you to hurt yourself and to hurt her in the process. That doesn't make it good, or right, or healthy, and you are the president of the Taking Care of You Society so you have to know better than your dumb central nervous system right now.

    And the best thing for you, paradoxically, is also the best thing for her. I know she keeps begging you to take her back, but sweetheart, that is not a good or kind action! This cycle is not good for her either; in this relationship and with you, she is a person who also fights with her partner daily, inflicts and receives emotional harm, is isolated from her family and friends, and living through the pain of a failed relationship.She knows this, which is why she has indicated that she wants to leave in a few months, but she is still a victim of magical thinking and doesn't want to admit that it's as bad as it is. It is not the right thing, or a good choice, to keep letting her opt for familiar damage instead of unfamiliar healing.

    A relationship devolved to contempt, cycles of breaking up, and violence is a relationship that is already over. Hard is not a reason to keep slogging through pain, and time spent is not a reason to spend more. You have a whole life full of love and friendship and better than this.
     
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  9. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Dear liia:

    I know what you are desperately trying to be kind to your gf despite everything. I understand that she had supported you and made sacrifices for you and you want to now do the same. But what you are trying to do and hold on to is not kind to anyone. I think your gf's actions are screaming that she wants her old life back. She wants her sacrifices to be acknowledged by you but she is not satisfied with whatever acknowledgements you are giving her right now so she keeps coming back to it. I don't think you can satisfy her. The nicest thing to do sometimes is just end something that no longer works even though you both still want it to work.
     
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  10. Liia

    Liia Member

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    Hello Lorienczhiu,
    Firstly I want to apologize for the late response I wasn't able to answer. Due to lack of time and no alone time without my gf hovering over my shoulder even if she can't speak English nor read it she is always looking at what I do so when we fight or when I can find some alone time I can respond. I hope you are not angry.

    Yes I am unhappy and I truly feel trapped. I know my words seem crazy and it is unrealistic to stay and accept all that but it's like I don't have the strength to change that its as if I know all that but as if I can't do anything about it. It seems dumb but I feel helpless in my own life. I've talked to my brother, we're not close or anything but he goes out a lot with Camille and he likes his "stepsister" so he knows we've had tensions and when I talked to him about me having enough like really and being over this relationship and being eager for this relationship to be over he actually said that I've never seemed so calm and over it and that it was weird that he'd never guess that it was so bad.

    I don't have the tendency to talk much about problems but now I am just sick and tired of her... of this. Yes you are right I do wish for a home that treats me right that feels just right. All that you've written I do want that I dream of it I wish it. If this is your marriage you are a very lucky woman and I am very happy for you and your wife.

    If it was a friend I'd even offer to break up for her ^^ and let her crash at my place. I know this situation seems crazy to read and believe me living it isn't a picnic but it feels surreal.

    I know where both hurting each other we can't stand each other anymore. And now today she has warned me that she'll leave for the second semester. And I've been warned to stop answering her when she's telling at me or else... I don't listen to that B.S. because she isn't the boss of me. Anyways it hasn't gotten to that point. She is just a huge ass. And now because she's got a huge ego she's sleeping on the couch and it's my fault. Anyways the fight is over but she keeps sending me threats like if I leave you're gonna have to do this ... and that... you'll see you'll miss me then... etc


    Thank you for your kind words and your advice I am trying to hold on to your words to have enough courage to do what you suggested.
     
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  11. Liia

    Liia Member

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    Hello Greylin

    Sorry for the very late response to your message but I am under surveillance ^^ so I write when we fight or when I find her too captivated in her stuff to be able to do write back. I am able to respond because we fought.
    This time words were thrown. She said she'll go back for the second semester. She's crying and calling me heartless that I've wanted that since the beginning and I feel like crap. I haven't moved for her cause my school was here and I had to move because of personal reasons I never asked her to do the sacrifice she did by coming but I feel like it's all my fault. Like I'm a bad person although I have tried to get more intimate with her. I have tried to accept her treating me like crap and talking to me like I owed her my life like she owned me. But I am tired of all of that I can't cry because I feel more relieved at what she's saying than sad. But that girl was my rock a couple of years ago ... how'd we get here... ? She is waiting for me to cry for her and beg her to stay ... she's saying I've wanted all that and that I don't have the "balls" or courage to break it off.

    Anyways... you are right I know you are. Thank you for your advice maybe I am not what she needs.
     
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  12. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    You teach people how to treat you. Your aim to compensate for her sacrifices is natural but letting her treat you like crap is not. It has only traumatized you and made her wretched. Again, letting her hover over you and letting her go on is not kind. You are not kind to yourself and you are not kind to her.

    She is now an abuser, how awful is that?

    Find the best tone you can to just get out of there and not have her follow you. Let her know you appreciate all that she once did for you but whatever is happening now is not ok for either of you.
     
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  13. Liia

    Liia Member

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    Hello greylin
    That sentence " you teach people how to treat you" is in my head right now. I see how me putting up with her attitude has made her think she can do what she wants. And that particular sentence is messing with my head. I have made her become like that.

    It is awful to think that I've turned her into this. She used to be so different bit then again so was I. I used to care about a lot of things but then when death is involved priorities change and things that used to matter greatly suddenly don't. I think that if I have tried for it to work was because of several things:

    - she is and now forever will be the last gf to meet my mom

    - my parents stayed together from day one of their relationship and I wanted the same thing so I wanted to work on it so that we'd stay together... I know how stupid or desperate that sounds but it's not people used to work on things even when it got hard they didn't just throw it out..

    - no matter my hurt or my anger right now I have and still do love her

    - her family is also so kind and amazing that even for them to not be hurt I wanted stuff to work out

    I don't want to throw out what We had just like that
    I know we have to call it quits though
     
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  14. greylin

    greylin Well-Known Member

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    Oh no! You should never take blame for abuse! If I suddenly start treating my gf badly and she puts up with it because things used to be good it would never be her fault. It would not be her fault because I came up with the abuse in the first place. Sometimes people don't realize how bad things got in a relationship until it is completely untenable.

    But please take responsibility for your own happiness and teach people to not treat you badly but in ways that you want to be treated. You did not ask for this and did not cause this.

    If you don't want to leave her, how about temporarily leave the situation so you are not abused and gain some perspective? Whatever is happening to you now is very unhealthy to say the least.

    I have been where you are and not wanting to leave a relationship. I also taught my abuser that I did not matter and only the relationship did. It was a completely ridiculous idea but I thought it. It took a lot of work with a therapist to completely rethink this. I did not arrive at such thoughts that I was so unworthy that I deserved bad treatment overnight. It took a lifetime to pick up such bad notions and took a lot of work to unthink that.

    You are not in a good place now, please get some help, friends, counselors, someone. I wish you the best..
     
    #14
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2017
  15. Bluenote

    Bluenote Well-Known Member

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    @Liia , I second Greylin's advice to reach out and get help. Get counseling, call a hotline, find a center near you. I am very sorry to hear about your mother.

    I grew up in an abusive family. One thing that abusers do is that they use guilt, shame and fear to control you. In many cases, that control means making you feel obligated and making you feel like you can't leave. Those feelings put you in a no-win situation. It feels terrible to stay, but it also feels like it would be terrible to leave.

    The truth is, it is not terrible to leave. It's just that the person who is abusing you has drilled that message into you - that you are horrible if you leave. They have drilled it in so successfully and well that you can't take a step back and look at the situation critically. Talking with other people and talking with a counselor can help you confront the messages your gf has drilled into your brain. The ones that have you feeling so trapped and obligated.

    Firstly, your gf has drilled the message that she is some kind of martyr into your head. She has played up all the sacrifices that she made to move "for you."

    But let's take a look at that. First off, she didn't do all of that just "for you." She did that for your relationship, for herself and for you. She had a choice to make - did she want to live in her old town and be single, or move and be in a relationship. She choose to move. No one forced her to do it, it was something she chose to do. She could have staid in her old town. She chose to move because she wanted something - to be in a relationship.

    Sure, the move wasn't perfect. She got her relationship, but had to give things up. Guess what, that is life, that is what happens. Rarely do people ever have everything that they want. Frequently they have to make choices between two things - like school and family, or moving for a relationship, or moving for work, etc...

    Making a choice and deciding to move does not make her a martyr - it just makes her an adult. She didn't make an amazing, unbelievable sacrifice. She is just an adult who made an adult choice - one that also benefited her.

    Keep in mind, I am speaking as someone who moved because of my wife. A number of years back, we had to move for her job. I chose to leave a city I loved (let's call it city A), my friends and my job - for my marriage and to be with my wife. I never once threw it in her face that I moved with her. It was a choice that we both made. We both benefited from it (getting to be together, her career improving so much). Guess what - I made new friends, made the best of that new city (city B) and started my own company.

    The move was great for my wife's career and a few years later she landed her dream job back in my beloved city A.

    Living in city B was ok. Not as great as city A, but I really worked at making the best of it. I made friends, picked up some new hobbies, took long weekends to go see people, worked out a lot, visited local tourist stuff - and generally tried to make the best of it. Sometimes I doubted if moving was the right choice, but I never once blamed my wife for it.

    Take a step back and ask yourself - what really happened with your gf moving. Did she have to move? Was she an adult who made a choice? Did she gain things by moving? Did she try her hardest to make the best of her new city? Are there things that she could be doing - like focusing on hobbies or trying to make new friends that could make this new city good for her? How many adults live their whole lives in one town and how many have to move several times for adult reasons (school, work, etc...)? Do those adults who move wind up destroyed by it, or do they learn to cope and adapt? Is it your fault or your responsibility that your gf hasn't really tried to make the best of it here? Is it your fault that she is - sad / angry / lonely / etc...? Would she be less upset if she did some things in this new city (took night classes, joined a running club, etc...)?

    Does she always have the option to move back home if she wants? Yes, it would be a hassle and an expense. But if this has been going on since Nov 2014 - she's had plenty of time to save up some money and find a couch to sleep on in her old city.

    The second bit is she has found a way to leave you feeling very guilty for changing. Look, people change. If they change enough, then sometimes relationships don't work (say, if someone turns into an alcoholic). But most people change. People go through rough times.

    Aren't those the wedding vows? In sickness and in health and all that.

    You shouldn't feel guilty that you went through a tough time. Part of being an adult is being there for someone who is going through a tough time. Your gf is a martyr for doing it - she is an adult in a mature relationship. If the stuff with your mum got to rough, she could have a) told you she couldn't support you as much b) insisted you get therapy / grief support c) asked for a temporary separation d) decided to move back home.

    You are under no obligation to stand around and let her hit you, just because she was nice when your mum passed.

    Keep repeating that sentence to yourself until it sinks in.

    Relationships aren't some kind of tit for tat score keeping. It's not like "oh they did x,y, and z for me so I must do a,b, and c for them." Both people are obligated to try and make the relationship healthy. They are not obligated to put up with bullshit and abuse because someone did x,y or z for them. Abuse is never ok. Love and support are not currency to buy the right to abuse someone.

    I know that this is a lot and that is why I recommended counseling. You can probably get it cheaper through school. Good luck and keep posting as much as you need.
     
    #15
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  16. lorienczhiu

    lorienczhiu Well-Known Member

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    Your mom would not want you to stay miserable for the sake of her memory.
    Your mom would not want you to say in a relationship that hurts you because she and your dad had something solid.
    Your mom would not want you threatened, under surveillance (!!), and being manipulated just because she met the woman who is doing it.

    I think you should try shifting your frame around your mom, because right now her memory is holding you here, and I think her memory can give you strength to get free. Your mother would want you to be happy, whole, loved. She would want you to be supported. She would want you to have amazing sex that you want to be having. She would want your relationship to provide the rock-solid, long-lasting joy that she always hoped and looked for - to be even better than hers was. Your mom does not want this misery for you.

    Other than that, I co-sign @Bluenote and @greylin's advice.

    It sounds like you are pretty isolated in this situation, partly by your own desire that it work. I think that not only does this need to end, you need to take the concrete step of building up your team. Call your friends who aren't too close with Camille, and tell them "Hey, things are ending, and messily. I really need some backup. Can we hang out/ get coffee/ can I come over when I just can't be at home?" You might feel embarrassed if you've been out of touch, but I promise that they want to hear from you and support you.

    As to my marraige... @greylin is right. You treat people how to teach you, with what you allow and what you adjust to and what walk away from. My wife and I are not lucky, we are very very hardworking, and have been really vigilant in teaching each other (and learning from each other) how to treat each other with firm boundaries and patient kindness. We decided after we had been together about two years that we did not want to have fighting as a pattern in our relationship, and we worked really damn hard to see and figure out our anger and insecurities and impatiences. It is a work in progress, but it's taken both of us deciding, really damn hard, every day... and maybe, after that, it's a little bit of luck.

    You need someone who will decide that they do not want to hurt you, no matter how hurt and angry they are. And who will make that choice again and again, even when life is hard or they have regrets.
     
    #16
    Spygirl, greylin and Nancy like this.

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