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Thread: Don't know what to do anymore

  1. #1
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    Don't know what to do anymore

    Hi, I am wondering if there is anybody on here that could help me or give me some advice or direction.
    I'm a 29 year old man and was in a relationship with my fiance for 3 and a half years. We have a child of our own together and she has 2 children from a previous relationship that I have grown very attached to.

    So around 6 months ago she broke up with me, the relationship in the beginning was very good, we would date, go out on nights out together, stay in hotels and generally just enjoy being around one another. I moved in with her after around 2 months and a year later we had our daughter.

    The relationship could be turbulent at times, we would have quite heated arguments and it did become violent once or twice but as bad as that sounds it was never an ongoing part of the relationship and just a blip so to say.

    The biggest issue was me and I know this. I would judge her constantly, don't get me wrong I love this woman with all of my heart yet in an argument I would get very personal. I would say hurtful things about her looks/body/past knowing either none of these things where true or they meant nothing to me or the relationship. This is when things got a little rocky, we started becoming distant, stopped going out together, used to say neither of us had time to do anything because of work/kids, really any excuse to stay indoors.

    Now since the break up I have been distraught. I know I have done everything I shouldn't have done. It started off at the beginning by her saying she didn't know what could happen and there was always a chance for us. Now we're 6 months down the line and she now says that it will never be a possibility. I am completely heart broken but I do not know what to do. I blame myself entirely for the breakup. I was horrible and would lose my temper on quite a regular basis. I just don't want to lose this woman from my life.

    I have begged, tried reasoning, tried saying its best for all of us and I'll be better. I'm seeking help for any anger and anxiety issues I may have currently but it all seems to be for nought.

    Due to circumstance we are still living together and stupidly on occasion we are still sharing a bed yet nothing else is going on. She got a new job and made new friends which she says are only friends and nothing is going on but I seem to be fighting with constant anxiety and the paranoia is crippling and all I seem to do is go back to begging for her back because I think if i don't she will meet someone else and that is me done for good.

    Sorry for the long message, it has been a very long 6 months and I feel like I'm stuck in a pit now.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about all this.

    If you're willing to really dig deep, I think the pit you feel stuck in can become the foundation for a rich and rewarding way to live—in your own skin and alongside another. Really hard part? You need to make that the true goal, rather than simply getting her back. The kindest thing you can do to another person is listen to them, and she has told you that she does not see a romantic future with you. So, for now, that's that.

    As, for now, it sounds like it should be. You've got some very real wires to untangle—and as a father, far more than a fiancé or romantic partner, getting them untangled is critical. So if anything should be your outside motivation to dig deep inside it is your child, not her. You are the model of manhood for your child, so it's time to be the man you want to be, a man he or she can look up to and lean on.

    Violence between two people is never, ever a "blip." Whether it was you or her raising things to that place—that is the place where the train has flown off the rails. That you minimized that, to me, only speaks to the serious amount of reflection and self-work you need to be engaged with. I hope whatever help you're seeking for your anger and anxiety includes talking to a professional. This is serious business, as you seem to know. Doubt you'd try to fix your own arm if it was broken, so think of this in the same light.

    I know how very hard it is to let go of the idea of being together again romantically. The history, the kids. Still, it sounds like the foundation of this relationship was very fragile—that you both moved very fast, whipped up a tornado in the process, and have both been spun around by it. Hard. Six months is a blink of an eye when it comes to rebuilding a foundation, and this one may very well be too damaged to be reconstructed in any way that can hold both you, save as loving co-parents to your child.

    The awareness you have to recognize certain behavior—the possessiveness, the malice, the name-calling—as having more to do with you than her is great. But it's worthless if you don't harness it into real change, and that's at least a year away from even being able to take stock of. And, alas, all those things were said, repeatedly. Those marks are forever and not things people let go of.

    Whatever the circumstance that has you still living together—I'd look to change that, fast. It's clearly not helping you think and see clearly, is pulling you back to the very state of being that got you here in the first place. Do you have family you can stay with? A friend? Big picture, and I think you know this, it sounds like anything would be better—for you, for her, for a healthy dynamic between you—than what you're doing now. Again, time to harness awareness into action.

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    Thank you, I hope you're right. The hardest part has been accepting her words and accepting that this is what she wants. I have somehow convinced myself that it is not her true feelings and she is forcing this decision upon herself and irrationally been using that to keep myself grounded.

    Indeed I know my daughter should be my one priority right now it has just been so hard to focus myself on anything but my ex. I have started Cognitive Behavioral Therapy but once again I can't seem to get it out of my head that if it makes noticeable changes to my personality maybe that is what will bring us back. Violence should have never entered any relationship I agree, it was shameful and will always be something I look back on and never get my head around to why anything could have lead to that.

    I wonder if you have any advice on the living situation? We are in a way stuck here for the time being. I have no family in the UK where we are and she does not speak to large swathes of hers, neither of us are in a position currently to move into another property, she working part time and myself paying the mortgage in the current property, and either she'll be looking after the kids while I work and when she is at work I am then with the children. For now this is kind of where we are stuck so is there any way I could put anything into action while we are still in such close quarters?

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    It's totally understandable that your focus is on reconciliation. That can be okay, so long as you can learn to observe that without reacting to it, noting that a lot of that is your own ego flexing its muscles. One of the best years of my life, from a personal growth standpoint, was a year in which I dug deep with the hopes of reuniting with an ex who had left me. My genuine attitude was that it would be a win-win, regardless of the outcome. Either I'd become a better man alongside her, realizing the story my ego was writing, or "just" a better man to live with as myself. At some point I stopped caring about the former because the latter was so rewarding, and in those rewards I was able to let go of the ego-produced fantasy.

    That said, I didn't share children and moved 1700 miles away form her while I was on that journey. It was like I knew my ego wasn't strong enough to do that work if I could drive by her home, let alone occasionally share a meal or a bed. At the same time, if I had a kid I think I'd be able to make that the focus pretty easily, observing the other stuff. My father is a shell of a man—a model of how not to be. And I've been determined to not emulate that my whole life.

    As for the living situation? It's tough. I'd probably start looking around the internet for a room you could rent—something cheap, something nearby. Not ideal or glamorous, I know, but if you don't give yourself the space you need—you all need—you're just spinning in a circle, deepening that pit instead of turning it into a platform for growth.

    If that's not possible? Well, in theory you can be on this path while sharing space. It just requires a tremendous amount of discipline and an ability to basically stare down your ego every time if flexes. And that is some next-level Zen sh*t. Can your daughter be your guide to that level of enlightenment? Maybe. But I'd still be looking for an alternative rather than using the hurdles as excuses to stay in a situation that in unhealthy.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    You need to move out. If you cant afford your own place, share one with someone. Next time dont be so fast to move in with a new relationship. Two months is way too soon. If you cant sort your head out on your own, get some therapy so you can learn to not repeat your mistakes.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Do NOT move out. Speak to a lawyer asap. You are paying for the mortgage and both of you have shared liabilities.

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    Thank you for your replies, I'm not sure what a lawyer could do over here, we're not very class action orientated on this side of the water and aside from having bailiffs force the mother of my child and 2 children that call me step dad, out of a shell they have called home, I do not think that would sit well with me or my conscious.

    I understand now we probably shouldn't have jumped right into moving in together but at the time we we're freshly in love, at the time she was the only one that drove and we lived 10 miles apart with one of us out of reach of public transport so it made a lot of sense then. Hindsight is a wonderful tool but unfortunately its not one that brings much in the way of relief as we can only reminisce on what has been done rather then go back and change it.

    Thank you again bluecastle, you are literally describing me down to a T right now. My exact thought on all of this is that I can fix this if I can get my head straight. I will start looking at this as a chance for bettering myself rather then for anybody else. I do feel like I am obliged to try here, I feel like I have let the team down with my actions so to speak and that its down to me to try and make up for everything.

    I will keep an eye out for places, I think one of my biggest fears right now is not spending whatever spare time I have with my daughter, even though that time is probably marred by me being depressed about not being able to fix what I have lost. She is currently 2 and developing at an exponential rate and missing out on any of that also scares me. I guess I'll have to balance what is right for everyone in this situation. I know the way I am at the minute I'd end up going to see them daily on some jilted pretense..

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Have you broached the topic regarding professional couples counseling or couples therapy with a psychologist? Would she cooperate with this suggestion as a last ditch effort to save your relationship?

    If she declines seeking professional help with you and she's adamant about not reconciling with you, unfortunately, she's permanently rejecting you. In some ways, I don't blame her.

    Your relationship is alarming after the 6 month honeymoon period. When you mentioned turbulence, heated arguments and VIOLENCE, none of those are mere "blips." It's nothing to sneeze at.

    I've encountered so many people in my life and whenever there are red flags such as gaslighting, 'not fighting fair' comments about body image / physical appearance / past and taking unfair tangents, that is hitting below the belt. It grows from bad to worse and now you've impacted not just your relationship with her but also jeopardized and fractured your standing as a father figure in the family.

    The best thing you can do for your child is to love and respect your child's mother. Apparently, you've failed miserably in that department.

    I know you're distraught and remorseful. Trying to win her back is impossible if she is determined to start life anew without you. That ship has sailed.

    At this point, all you can do is learn from your mistakes while knowing that she will make you pay for everything you've done to her in the past. You created this crisis and you are responsible for your actions.

    Learn how to be a better man. Exercise self control. Be a great father. Be a peaceful, harmonious person. Get help regarding your violent streak. Know there are harsh consequences in this life, grow up and mature.

    If you have a future relationship with someone else, take this bad experience and learn from it. Behave more wisely and you will be ok.

    I look at all negative experiences and negative human interactions in a positive sense because it's always wisdom gained and "note to thyself" for the future.

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    Thank you Cherylyn, Unfortunately not, and once again I am to blame for that. About 4 months before the break up my ex mentioned seeing a counselor but i brushed it off, I was honestly in complete denial at the state of the relationship, and I was in complete denial until about 2 weeks after the break up when I finally realised it had come to an end. I then went on to ask if we could reconcile and seek professional help and it was a firm no and no, I don't blame her either.

    Of course I am understating the severity of what happened and "blip" is the wrong term for what happened.
    I have also not heard the term 'gas lighter' until recently my ex told me that was what I was doing and I honestly had no idea, I, in my own world, thought I was justified in every argument and word spoken, it is only now looking back and seeing what was said and the actions I took I feel physically sick with the person that I was.

    Thank you for your straight talking and I will first and foremost reflect on the relationship, my actions and reactions and think long and hard about whether or not I can truly treat somebody with the respect they deserve before trying to commit again.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jarnold90
    My exact thought on all of this is that I can fix this if I can get my head straight. I do feel like I am obliged to try here, I feel like I have let the team down with my actions so to speak and that its down to me to try and make up for everything.
    Makes sense. The really hard thing is making your own self-betterment the genuine goal. Because, yes, if you get your head on straight you simply will fix this—this being your life. Whether that life includes a healthy romantic reconciliation, or not, really doesn't matter in the grander scheme. Both are leaps and bounds better than where you are right now.

    And if you make it too much about her—about a story of the two of you—you're at tremendous risk of backsliding, to the detriment of yourself and your child. You could have a good week, a good month, a good six months, but when your ex doesn't respond to that as you hoped you'll be livid. Not good. Not authentic. Transactional and superficial, you know? The ego loves to slip into the heart and wear it as a robe; don't let it.

    And all this? It's incredible stuff to get a handle on for parenting. Your daughter is going to do exactly what you don't want her to do approximately a zillion times, in ways big and small. Learning to not take that as a personal verdict on you is essential, both to showing her what love is and guiding her on her own journey into personhood and beyond.

    It's very clear you've been humbled right now, and also that you're highly intelligent. That's an ace combo. But part of that humility is because a jackhammer has been taken to your legs, a wrecking ball to your life—an easy, if painful, state to be humbled in. Key is to hold onto the humility as you strengthen, since this state of vulnerability is not permanent. You will rise out of it, as people do. This is not permanent. The shape you take, and the mode of strength you find, is really your choice.

    One tip? I would suggest that every time you focus on the idea of being back together you force yourself to take a moment to acknowledge you may never get back together. Breathe into that too, get cozy with it, so it's not a surprise every time life reminds you that, yes, that may very well be the way this goes. Intelligence is often defined as the ability to hold two or more opposing thoughts in your mind simultaneously; emotional intelligence is much the same, with thoughts replaced by feelings. When we can allow ourselves to feel the full spectrum without reacting to the ones that sting a bit we're on the path to connecting—with ourselves, with others—at a much more productive and sustainable level.

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