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Thread: Perspective

  1. #31
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    When does she usually start vocalizing her doubts, so to speak? If she's whiny or complains a lot, it may just be her personality overall. Don't enable her and I agree with neutralizing it. There's a limit to hearing someone out especially if that person is taking an active role in bringing the relationship down or nitpicking/tearing it apart for illegitimate reasons (if she has no tangible reasons and also no ideas on how to work through things more constructively).
    She does it when she's stressed, we haven't seen each other in a while, before bed at night. It can be anytime really. I think she has a tendency of bringing things down for no reason. Placing questions in places where there needs no questioning.. So this makes me believe it is just her personality; especially in a romantic relationship as she said she has done this before.
    Because what she does is... Acts cold/distant --> vocalizes her thoughts/lack of feeling --> doesn't know what to do or suggests something dramatic like only being alone forever or breaking up --> We talk a bit and it subsides --> Says she doesn't know how to navigate things or that there's just so many things which stress her out --> we become close again; have a great weekend. There's usually her just starting some form of questioning at a major level which is slightly undermining to us.
    So when she expresses these feelings and thoughts, rarely does she offer a constructive direction. She almost likes to sit in her internal loneliness. And at these weird times she doesn't like to be touched or anything. She just shuts down completely.
    I haven't seen anything like it. It's like dealing with a stranger. And it's not lack of desire or interest for me because soon after she will 'come back' or we will sleep and the next morning she's back to her sweet self.
    I would chalk it up to a mood disorder. She even thinks she has one. Mental health issues and is sensitive to many things.

    Her father is bi-polar, her sister is bi-polar, and her mother was slightly abusive when she was a child; as was her father. Her father is out of the picture these days, her sister is unraveling fast, and she's close with her mother. Her father had also cheated on her mother for 25 years of their marriage. So her outlook on men isn't the greatest.

    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    You're supposed to be able to filter through that because you're the one dealing with her and listening to her in person. I'm surprised that you're expressing so much self-doubt. Maybe it's because you're very hurt deep down? Try and work on your self-confidence there. Sooner or later you'll have to decide whether you want to be with a negative person or with someone with whom you don't seem to get along very well with. I think if you're having this much trouble discerning these things, this isn't a good sign overall for the relationship.
    I am hurt deep down from her, yes. I think I've put up with more than I should have or been too understanding where I shouldn't have been. But God, it's difficult when you really care for a relationship or someone.
    I don't think the issue is self-confidence. It would have more to do with self-esteem -- a knowing I am okay as I am. I don't necessarily know how to make this better. Because that all has to do with the self, rather than a social circle or career.

    We get along very well. We have a ton of fun. There are issues which are hers, and throughout this conversation on this forum, I'm beginning to see I'm making myself responsible for them, as opposed to focusing on mine. And so I think I'm being duck-taped by her baggage and pulled down. But I need to start to recognize whats hers and whats mine. I see that I have a somewhat of a fixer mentality. But with assisting someone else, we can't fully focus on ourselves.

  2. #32
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    Originally Posted by rchubn
    Depression is a never ending game. If she has chronic depression she will always have chronic depression. It's not a phase. She could get help and medicate herself but there's still a possibility that her meds can become unbalanced again, putting her in a position where she has to do trial and error with new treatment.

    Depression isn't a choice and it's not taboo. She's chemically imbalanced. It doesn't matter how well the relationship is going, if she's chemically imbalanced then she'll struggle. You could be amazing towards her and she'd still have issues.

    I think you're approaching her depression as if its it's a concious choice. Numerous studies have show that it's not a concious choice. That being said, you should be there for her and stand by her while she makes herself healthy again and expect to do this more than once because she's going to have rough days, maybe even rough months and it's important that you separate: someone being chemically imbalanced due to reasons beyond her control and someone trying to be difficult and toxic.
    This is an important post to be noted. I do think she struggles with this. She doesn't take med's. But understanding that shes not consciously choosing this state of mind is important.

    She's a very high functioning person who has depression, so that's what makes things difficult to see if it is the issue. Smart woman who works in a law firm who is quite active socially and physically. Doesn't seem like depression right?

  3. #33
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Ok, sit tight until she goes away for the 6 mos. Then reflect, reconsider and decide what to do in peace and out of the eye of the storm.

    In the meantime consider that her family is a good window in to what it would be like with her, especially since she won't get treatment at this point.

    What you wrote here could be a crystal ball for you if you stay with her, take note:
    Originally Posted by Blackpebble
    Her father is bi-polar, her sister is bi-polar, and her mother was slightly abusive when she was a child; as was her father.

    Her father is out of the picture these days, her sister is unraveling fast, and she's close with her mother.

    Her father had also cheated on her mother for 25 years of their marriage. So her outlook on men isn't the greatest.

  4. #34
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Ok, sit tight until she goes away for the 6 mos. Then reflect, reconsider and decide what to do in peace and out of the eye of the storm.

    In the meantime consider that her family is a good window in to what it would be like with her, especially since she won't get treatment at this point.

    What you wrote here could be a crystal ball for you if you stay with her, take note:
    When is she going away for the 6 months though? There isn't a plan for this?

    She is starting to go to see a counselor next Monday. Her first session.

    Well, her family are aspects she has to deal with. It doesn't necessarily signify she will be bi-polar or she will become someone with extreme mental health issues, but they are make ups of her reality; personalities she has been exposed to overtime which would contribute to her "normality". But that doesn't go to say she believes that is what is acceptable. and within saying that, what and who we are exposed to does develop us, especially within the formative years.

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  6. #35
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Exactly. They make up her reality and thus with her...yours if you decide to ride things out with her. Of course you can hope for the best and prepare for the worst as a strategy, right? (sorry misread about time away)
    Originally Posted by Blackpebble

    She is starting to go to see a counselor next Monday. Her first session.

    Well, her family are aspects she has to deal with. It doesn't necessarily signify she will be bi-polar or she will become someone with extreme mental health issues, but they are make ups of her reality; personalities she has been exposed to overtime which would contribute to her "normality".

  7. #36
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I suppose we could be armchair therapists all we like and speculate into her brain and into the effects the pain of her past has caused. You can talk about her to a few strangers too if it makes you feel better (get things off your chest). You mentioned trying to shift your thinking and not giving into those moods yourself. The thing is - a lot of our mannerisms and moods tend to be influenced most heavily by those closest to us. You're absorbing a lot of that uncertainty and feeling destabilized too. Self-esteem/self-confidence... these are one and the same to me and I wouldn't bother splitting hairs. If it makes a difference to you, we can call it self-esteem. Don't absorb that negativity and learn to navigate around it.

    Since you are choosing to stay and support her /each other, after knowing what you know about her and accepting her the way she is, I think being more in tune with her needs and her patterns is key. Instead of wasting your energies for example getting upset or frustrated when she needs time to herself or doesn't want to be touched when she's frustrated, simply give her the space she needs and don't take it personally.

    I have to say though that it's fairly normal for people not to want to be approached or touched when they're frustrated. If she's not very approachable or overtired at night, don't get into complex conversations at night and let her be if she needs a few moments to herself. I'd strongly caution any armchair diagnoses of her and let her operate her own emotions as an autonomous person, resist that urge to baby her or get frustrated with her. Since she's still working out what's going on with her own self, don't meddle with it or overcomplicate things with your own ideas.

    You sound like a loving and supportive partner, by the way.

  8. #37
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    I suppose we could be armchair therapists all we like and speculate into her brain and into the effects the pain of her past has caused. You can talk about her to a few strangers too if it makes you feel better (get things off your chest). You mentioned trying to shift your thinking and not giving into those moods yourself. The thing is - a lot of our mannerisms and moods tend to be influenced most heavily by those closest to us. You're absorbing a lot of that uncertainty and feeling destabilized too. Self-esteem/self-confidence... these are one and the same to me and I wouldn't bother splitting hairs. If it makes a difference to you, we can call it self-esteem. Don't absorb that negativity and learn to navigate around it.
    I agree that we are open to absorbing certain perspectives and energies to those we surround ourselves with often. I do think her precariousness about life has rubbed off on me a little. She has good points generally, however she can certainly be pessimistic and skeptical more than what’s necessary. I believe this is just who she Is.


    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    Since you are choosing to stay and support her /each other, after knowing what you know about her and accepting her the way she is, I think being more in tune with her needs and her patterns is key. Instead of wasting your energies for example getting upset or frustrated when she needs time to herself or doesn't want to be touched when she's frustrated, simply give her the space she needs and don't take it personally.
    I think a big thing is letting her be open and free to express what’s on her mind. She is overactive in her mental landscape, and so she conjures many thoughts up and I think if she doesn’t express herself she becomes stressed. For me it’s important to know that it’s just part of who she is, and her words may not be too indicative of what she actually feels. Because many a times her words and actions have no aligned.

    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    I have to say though that it's fairly normal for people not to want to be approached or touched when they're frustrated. If she's not very approachable or overtired at night, don't get into complex conversations at night and let her be if she needs a few moments to herself. I'd strongly caution any armchair diagnoses of her and let her operate her own emotions as an autonomous person, resist that urge to baby her or get frustrated with her. Since she's still working out what's going on with her own self, don't meddle with it or overcomplicate things with your own ideas.
    I think this is great. It does get overcomplicated when I start to imbue my own interpretations of things. Not being frustrated but rather being an observer and supporter. And I shouldn’t be getting frustrated because she is being open enough with me to work on things with me. And I think that means a lot. The frustration comes in when my expectations are not being met; but this begs the question of why do I have them in the first place? And gives possible insight in to a mild or medium sense of codependency on my part.

    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    You sound like a loving and supportive partner, by the way.
    Thank you. I do believe I am.

  9. #38
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    Honestly, a relationship between two young people should not be this much work and this much mental gymnastics. Save it for when you are married 50 years and juggling being a caregiver to one another and have custody of a grandchild and are trying to keep everything balanced. you should be having some sense of ease in a relationship and if its this many eggshells, find someone with less baggage

  10. #39
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    Hey again everyone.

    So after all the last advice some things have changed in our relationship, for the better. We’ve had more ease and closeness. I’m not conflating her issues in our issues or taking things as personal. Everything has been calm. She started seeing the counsellor and yesterday was her second session. She is enjoying talking to someone.

    She called me last night and we talked about some things. Our relationship came up at one point (seemed like why she actually called in hindsight) and it seems she has some pretty big doubts within a lot of the good we do have. We talked about them. She said she can sometimes feel lonely that we don’t have that natural ‘soul recognition’ but believes we have a true partnership of care and support; feels like in relationships it’s often choosing between the two. She doesn’t know if that gap can be bridged no matter how much time elapses. That we don’t have this intrinsic relatability of how the other grew up and see the world in a similar vein.
    When she was talking about all this I was calm and not perturbed.

    This is the thing though.. everything has been going well recently. Real well. She’s made plans for my bday, lots of dates, etc etc. . And I noticed when things go well, she will openly start to bring up doubting topics like these and show us the “disparities” between us. And almost create innumerable amounts of question marks.

    I even asked her why she is doing it, and she said that when we were just relaxing on Sunday and being comfortable she wonders if that can last, and doesn’t know if she can just have that. It’s like she believes of something is easy and good, then it’s not working in some way.

    Why would she openly doubt like this, what’s the point?
    I get talking about uncomfortable things but it will probably just end up taking the wind out of the sails and me moving on without her.

    I ended the conversation by saying there’s now a lot I have to think about and it will be on my mind. It was a pretty non i praising goodbye.
    We see each other tonight as we have tickets to a movie.

    Thoughts?

  11. #40
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Hello again back.

    I'm happy to hear you've been more at ease, processing all this from a slightly different angle, or with different reactions in the moment. That seemed to have been important to you from earlier posts—pushing your thought pattern and perspective a bit. There are real rewards, in the big business of living in our own skin, to that sort of thing.

    To the specifics, however: Well, it's kind of more of the same, no? I don't mean that dismissively. This is just who she is, how she operates—and, more critically, how the two of you operate together. That does not change by changing our attitude and perspective and reactions, which is more about accepting, or seeing if we can accept, something that will not change.

    If you think of a relationship like a house, the foundation is the first thing that gets built, and it gets built pretty early. It's not math or science—or architecture—but for the sake of argument let's say the foundation is built in the first 6 months. (I'd argue even earlier, since each person comes in with their own personal foundation, but I digress.) That's the base, the thing that supports the house, that you lean on together for support. There are always some cracks. Time (which is the weight) determines if they're of the manageable or critical variety, with the early days of romance (month one, year one) a bit of an experiment: Have we built a sound home, or not?

    With you two, one thing that is deeply baked into that foundation are her doubts, her emotional unavailability, and your support and validation of these things. On paper those things sound like impediments to connection—I would say they are, both logically and from personal experience, similar to how potholes make a smooth drive difficult—but the hard fact here, from what you've offered, is that they are major points of connection for you guys. People find comfort in connection points, even if those points trigger discomfort—a strange thing us humans do.

    To put it very simply (for clarity of observation, not verdict-issuing) there is a way in which your relationship is built on a premise where she says "I am emotionally unavailable and unsure if I can do this" and you reply "That's okay, I'm here." Then you put on a movie, go out to dinner, chill out, and so on—those are the rooms of the house, the fixture and furniture, the weight, sitting atop the foundation of I'm unavailable/It's okay. What you are feeling right now is frustration at the cracks, I think.

    I can't get into her mind, explain her recent actions, her reasoning for voicing doubts in moments that feel relaxed and comfortable for you. First, it's important to remember that what is relaxed and comfortable for you might be the opposite for someone else, especially if that someone else's default is a state of emotional unrest and discomfort. And were I to venture an analysis, I'd say that is her way of getting comfortable herself, leaning back on that foundation, seeking the sturdy support of "It's okay, I'm here." She voices doubts, you listen, you guys talk a bit, you remain together—and, in that, there is a version of what all relationships are: systems of reward and validation.

    What would I be reflecting on right now, in your shoes? I'd be asking if this system works, for you, and your soul, and I'd be looking at all that less as a wild story of the human heart and more the way you would a home: Is this constructed in a matter in which you can feel safe, secure, and genuinely relaxed as opposed to "relaxed"? That means not equating "working for you" with "once things change, a bit," but being truly honest with yourself, and respectful of the needs of your own soul, about whether this can be enough without changing, ever. That means asking if you are truly "okay" with what you have told her and yourself, in words and actions, that you are okay with.

    You didn't meet last week. You're coming up on one year together. Things will ebb here, flow there—the furniture will change, etc.—but the foundation will not be fundamentally altered.

    If you were my close friend who I cared about, I would be struggling right not not to tell you that I'm worried for you, your happiness. Your care for her is evident, and admirable. You have certainly shown yourself to be a good, patient partner. But still: Is that care providing you with what you need, to feel cherished, cared for, safe? I'd say there is so much heart- and brainpower being exerted to dissect her, and her feelings about "soul connections," but I'd want to know if your soul is feeling connected. I'd remember the talks you and I had two year earlier, about what we wanted from a relationship, and I'd see some gaps between that thing you said you wanted and the thing you've been in for most of the past year. As your friend, I'd want to hear about how you feel about those gaps more than what she says, and feels.

    Hope that helps a bit. I took a pretty analytical tone here—mirroring yours, in ways—but I'm writing also as a person in the world, whose been down a lot of paths, and knows a bit about being emotionally unavailable inside committed relationships. I've been that person myself, more than once.

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