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Thread: Too much baggage?

  1. #1
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    Too much baggage?

    I've been dating this girl for 2 months now, it's been good so far. She's sweet, kind, and I feel that we are mostly compatible.
    But in the past few days I've been thinking about the stories/experiences she told me she's had in her life, and made me starting to doubt if I should keep going, or break it off now.

    Her parents divorced when she was young, her father remarried soon after and both her and her twin sister moved in with their father.
    Growing up her step-mother was always mean to her and her father would keep quiet to not upset his wife, and they were always telling her stories to paint a bad picture on her mother.
    When her sister and her were 16-18 they joined a cult (a religious cult I think, not sure) that their father brought them along to, and they traveled to Poland a few times for it.

    After school both her and her sister went to a drama school, something they're both passionate and love a lot. They both moved out from her father's place and lived together, enjoyed the drama school/college life. They also reconnected with their mother and started talking again. She said those were her happiest time in her life.
    For some reason along the line of the school headteacher and her didn't get along, she were forced to quit a year before she were supposed to graduate. She was devastated.
    Without a degree she couldn't progress with her drama career, she started working in retail.
    After couple years her then ex found a job in a large city that was 8 hours away from her home.
    They agreed to move and live together. She continued to work in retail but after awhile her anxiety started to get worse, she thinks it's because she was far away from her family and friends, and the stress from living in a large/busy city. She went to the doctors and started taking daily medications for her anxiety.

    After a year she decided to part away with her ex and move back to her home, but this time to her mothers.
    She went back to college to study, and started dating, then moved in with this guy who she had an on and off, cheating relationship for a year. After things ended with him, she moved back to her mother's again.
    Soon after her sister broke up with her long term boyfriend so her and her sister moved in together. Her sister has serious anxiety but she refuses to take medications for it, she relies on her family for support, especially her as they live together.
    She hates living with her sister because her sister would never help out on house chores. But she would still go her sister's way cause she said her sister can be very nasty when shes angry, and also manipulative. It's just easier to go the way her sister wants.
    There's been a few times where I witnessed her sister having anxiety attacks, crouching in the corner crying. She would go to her sister to comfort her for a period of time then come back to me all sad and exhausted.


    I'm not sure what to do right now. I really like her. I think we are very compatible, she's kind and sweet, we like the same things etc.
    But I feel like she has very low self-esteem, insecure and anxiety.
    She always say sorry, even on things that wasn't caused by her or not to do with her at all. And she always refuse to take my compliments.
    There's this one time when I started a sentence with "I think we should....", she said she thought I was going to say we should breakup.
    While I don't think they are a deal breakers, I started to worry that we'll go spiral downwards when the honeymoon period fade away.
    Will her insecurities and anxieties between us calm down gradually as we grow closer, or will they get worse?

    Can I have you guys thoughts on this? Anyone have similar experience?

  2. #2
    Gold Member maew's Avatar
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    The insecurities and anxieties she has are unrelated to the relationship... and while it's a nice thought that you would be able to somehow fix or help her get better, she has to be willing to do the lion's share of the work on her own.

    She is who she is and expecting her to change drastically is probably unrealistic... and even if she does, it's a long road with a lot of bumps along the way. You need to decide if this is something you are able to live with.

  3. #3
    Gold Member SGH's Avatar
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    Hm, the fact that you detailed her entire life history on a forum and are expressing concern only 2 months into the relationship indicates to me that not only are the two of you incompatible, but that you are starting to become aware of aspects of this person you are not sure you can handle in the future.

    It sounds to me like she's lived a very difficult life and that she likely carries a lot of baggage with her. She should be with a partner that's ready to be supportive and knows how to support in the right way. I think it may be better if you walk away now, because you don't sound like that person to me.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Unfortunately she needs a therapist, not a relationship. This is TMI for dating when you're supposed enjoy getting to know each other. So yes, too much baggage and another real red flag is that she has unloaded all this stuff to a virtual stranger.

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  6. #5
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    It sounds like she’s had a very tough go of things. She can’t change what happened to her. I think everyone has baggage to some degree. It just depends on what we do with that baggage. I don’t expect you to carry that baggage but be more of a support system as she sorts through her life. We all need someone to understand our individual needs and be there.

    That being said, not everyone is matched to be supportive of one another. Not because we are terrible people but just because someone’s baggage may not be something we can handle on our life’s path.

    Don’t feel bad if you can’t be the one she needs. Let her go to find someone who is right for her on her journey.

  7. #6
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    Originally Posted by SGH
    Hm, the fact that you detailed her entire life history on a forum and are expressing concern only 2 months into the relationship indicates to me that not only are the two of you incompatible, but that you are starting to become aware of aspects of this person you are not sure you can handle in the future.

    It sounds to me like she's lived a very difficult life and that she likely carries a lot of baggage with her. She should be with a partner that's ready to be supportive and knows how to support in the right way. I think it may be better if you walk away now, because you don't sound like that person to me.
    I think I'm trying to think logically without the emotions in the way cause this relationship feels different to me. She's definitely not as confident and as secure as other girls I was in relationship with. This is not a big problem I guess, it's been going well since we met, but then I'm not sure if it's just cause we are still in the honeymoon period?

    I'm happy to support her, but I'm just worried that the relationship will get worse as time goes. People always say we can't change someone, they have to change themselves if they want to/feel the need to.

    Also I think from seeing and hear how her twin sister words and actions affect her family: anger and shouting, and manipulative talking when her sister is not getting what she wants, emotionally unstable and her anxiety episodes that drains everyone's energy etc. It's making me think twice that what if all these are affecting her so much right now, but she's not showing her vulnerable side/real colors to me just yet?

    Maybe I'm overthinking it. But I'm worried that she'll do what her sister is doing to her family, to me. I want to continue to grow a relationship with her, I want to help and support her, but I also don't want it to turn into a co-dependency relationship.

  8. #7
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    But I have to say apart from her background, there's absolutely no problem in our relationship at all. We both enjoy spending time with each other and we spend so much time together (maybe too much...).

    Since I met her it's been so happy and sweet when we are together. From these 2 months of dating I can picture/imagine a happy relationship with her that can go long haul, I'm willing to invest in us. But I started to second guess this when I think back to the stories she told me, the little interactions that show her insecure and anxious side.

    That's why I want to figure out if I'm just thinking too much/being paranoid.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    I don't think you are over thinking anything. You are actually seeing serious red flags and major concerns regarding her and her family. This is actually what dating is for - to get to know the person, not just the nice stuff, but the problem stuff as well. What you are describing, sounds like way more than just a hard time in life and baggage. As another poster put it, she needs dedicated therapy not a relationship. Dating her will mean getting pulled into the toxic drama you are seeing and yes, the longer you date, the more you will get personally affected by it. These things don't get better. Consider also, that they are still putting on their best behavior as you are still a stranger to them....imagine when that wears off and they really let fly..... Her and her family are a package deal.

    On top of that, anxious insecure people don't get better, they do get worse as the relationship continues. It's kind of counter intuitive to a rational person, but basically, the more they get attached and emotionally dependent on you, the more they fear losing you, the more anxious and insecure they become and eventually their insecurities become unbearable and result in what they fear the most - their partner ends up getting fed up and leaving. Problem for the partner is that you don't walk away without scars yourself if you stick around long enough. Insecurity is a constant poisonous drip drip drip that never stops and it will affect your own psyche as your first instinct will be to try to reassure and appease and appease.....but it's never enough and it never gets better.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Honestly, I don't think you're overthinking things at all. Yes, two months is very early, but it's generally enough time where we start to see some more shades of the person we're with. Sometimes those extra shades are the very things that allow us to relax, to lean in harder, feeling secure in where things are going; and, yeah, sometimes they are the opposite, as in your case. They give pause, unsettle, set off little alarm bells.

    That doesn't mean you need to react to it all this second, in some extreme way. Is she going to become a monster, like her sister? Are you on a fast-track to codependent toxicity? You don't know, so no reason to worry (too much) about that.

    Is she going to be someone who is generally less confident than you're used to, who seeks a lot of reassurance, and who repeatedly demeans her own worth? Well, yes. That you have seen. That is who she is, and it's not changing soon.

    Everyone, at the end of the day, has insecurities, anxieties, baggage. We do our best to cope with them on our own, so we're not unloading them onto others, and that's always evolving. When it comes to relationships, we want to pick people who doesn't exacerbate them—and, sadly, it seems that for her being with you (and probably any relationship) has that affect a bit.

    I've dated a few people who are less secure than me. Great women, strong women, but those insecurities were real, frustrating, and—no point in sugarcoating—can lead to some unfortunate dynamics. The danger is thinking, even subconsciously, that you can help them become more secure—by, you know, emphasizing that you're not thinking of breaking up, that you mean it when you say she's strong, kind, awesome, beautiful, whatever.

    Because, for at least a moment, she does seem soothed, doesn't she? She seems to believe it, and in that moment you are both rewarded. People like rewards. So she learns that it is rewarding to demean herself, because you will soothe, boost her back up.

    And that can become dicey. What you're maybe thinking is a phase, something she will get past as things become more solid, is often the opposite: something that deepens, a foundation hardening. And all that assuring can become exhausting—or, put another way, less rewarding. As, of course, feeling deeply insecure more often than secure becomes deeply unrewarding. And just as you get frustrated having to soothe, she gets frustrated relying on you to soothe—a frustration that, sadly, flares up those insecurities.

    Is that where this is all going? I can't say for sure. What I will say is that you have to genuinely like being the soother instead of thinking of it as a blip on the road to her becoming, you know, more like other people you've dated. If that's not a role you like, then don't play it, even now. Find another way to be supportive—the ways you know work for you—and see if they work for her, for both of you.

    If not, if in another month you're asking these same questions—well, by then you'll know that you're in something that isn't working.

  11. #10
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    What kind of professional help is she getting?

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