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Thread: Small, ridiculous problem with a larger underlying issue- Help?

  1. #21
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    I appreciate everyone’s advice and perspectives. His reaction yesterday pinged alarm bells in me but I have so much trouble trusting my gut in relationships so hearing all of your responses was helpful. I think I need to see a therapist or something to figure out why I’m seeking these sorts of relationships and how to stop. In my professional life I am in control and very high performing- people respect me and know not to push me around. I don’t know why I have trouble applying the same energy to my personal relationships.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lilymars
    In my professional life I am in control and very high performing- people respect me and know not to push me around. I don’t know why I have trouble applying the same energy to my personal relationships.
    Actually, that's not uncommon at all.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member Fudgie's Avatar
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    Competence at work doesn't translate over to relationship success. There are so many people who excel at work in challenging environments but then have failing or dysfunctional marriages or relationships.

  4. #24
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    Originally Posted by Jibralta
    Actually, that's not uncommon at all.
    I was just going to say that!

    lily, if you choose to stay, it is essential you grow a backbone and learn to maintain boundaries and stand up to him when necessary.

    Do not allow him to intimidate you; as has been said a trillion zillion times we teach people how to treat us through our actions.

    By apologizing and getting him another coffee, you actually rewarded him for his absolutely deplorable reaction and behaviour.

    Catfeeder gave excellent advice earlier, cut and paste to your fridge and read every morning like an affirmation.

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lilymars
    In my professional life I am in control and very high performing- people respect me and know not to push me around. I don’t know why I have trouble applying the same energy to my personal relationships.
    This is pretty textbook.

    The irony—speaking generally, not about you, though maybe this resonates—is that a lot of the same qualities that makes people successful are the same ones that get them into pretty abusive relationships. Lack of self-worth, in short, and a need to "prove" their worth in a sphere outside of themselves.

    In a professional environment that can fuel ambition and striving, a willingness to go that extra mile, work those extra hours. That brings success, and success gets you respect in a professional environment. So even if the fuel is a bit volatile (lack of self-worth, need for outside validation) the results can be productive, even healthy. You make money and are treated respectfully; that builds confidence, and so on.

    But in a relationship? It's different, if it has the same fuel. You may find yourself drawn to someone who does not respect you—or people in general—and then see if you can "earn" that respect by "working hard" and thus find a greater sense of worth. But that work, in this context, is more often than not just rewarding someone who doesn't respect you—since, well, that was kind of the point.

    Something to think about.

    You should never feel you need to "prove" your worth in a romantic relationship, or "earn" respect, because you don't invest in people who put you that position. Those that put you in that position? You divest. Or, in this context: you don't run out and get them another cup of coffee after they treat you like sh*t. That's the version of "going the extra mile" that drills you into a bad spot, rather than moves you forward to a good one.

  7. #26
    Platinum Member SooSad33's Avatar
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    No, I agree... He should not have reacted in such a manner. I would also be fearful.
    You should NOT feel such guilt about the issue or his reaction- but you do.... Not good.
    I don’t know. I feel confused and slightly crazy and totally ridiculous about this situation. I want to give him the space to feel whatever he wants, it’s reasonable for him to be upset over a messed up order and I should’ve just corrected it when I got the first cappuccino and realized it was wrong,

    Yes, of course he needs space to 'vent' his frustrations, but they should not seem so overly hostile.
    And do NOT feel guilt cause you got his order mixed up.

    someone who's setting you off like he is, I feel is gonna continue to just be a problem for you...

    Manage YOUR feelings better? No, it's him in this case.... See what it;s doing to you? YOu are now overly cautious, and with fears.

    What's best for you? Think on that... cause you dont want to end up worse nor should you - feel such guilt etc.
    Respect... understanding... working together... communication.. Many things to work in a relationship.

  8. #27
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lilymars
    In my professional life I am in control and very high performing- people respect me and know not to push me around. I don’t know why I have trouble applying the same energy to my personal relationships.
    Good observation! I'd question why an expectation of respect from professional colleagues--and probably even neighbors and strangers in public--would come so naturally even while the same expectation would not apply to a potential lover or someone who claims to love you?

    What kind of family dynamic taught you that love and disrespect are somehow related? Where did you pick up the message that familiarity breeds contempt, and that an erosion of respect is something you 'should' tolerate in order to keep a relationship?

  9. #28
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    My husband would have just drank whatever I got him.

    And, he could have gotten his own darn coffee for you both. If my hubs ever ridiculed me like the way your guy does, I would have poured it down the drain in front of him, or drank it, and told him to get his own coffee. Abusers will do things one by one until you always think it's always your fault.

  10. #29
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    What was his exact reaction? Was he threatening? Was he frustrated? Was his reaction something that you misunderstood? Of course he was disappointed: people like their coffee a certain way and his was wrong. Perhaps that was simply his reaction? If you are having a bad day, sometimes the smallest things can seem huge!

    Did he blame you for the mistake? Did he ask you to get another coffee?

    You can't let him make you feel bad about small things, but you are correct that you need to let him be upset sometimes. If you get anxious and cry every time he is upset, I don't doubt that it is quite annoying to him and probably makes him feel like a total jerk. When you came back, he tried to talk to you about it. It sounds like the situation just spiraled out of control.

    If you don't want to pay for things, don't. If you want him to be appreciative, tell him. But allow him to be heard.

    I'm by no means excusing his behavior. Nor am I excusing yours. Perhaps you need to deal with your own issues before you venture into a relationship so that you can avoid this type of situation.

  11. #30
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    Originally Posted by lilymars
    I appreciate everyone’s advice and perspectives. His reaction yesterday pinged alarm bells in me but I have so much trouble trusting my gut in relationships so hearing all of your responses was helpful. I think I need to see a therapist or something to figure out why I’m seeking these sorts of relationships and how to stop. In my professional life I am in control and very high performing- people respect me and know not to push me around. I don’t know why I have trouble applying the same energy to my personal relationships.
    My cousin makes 6 figures and speaks four languages - 3 fluently, one she can get by with general daily life stuff but nothing too technical. She was passed up an amazing man because she didn't feel fireworks the one time he kissed her, but lived with an abusive jerk, later married a smooth talking scammer, divorced him, etc...

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