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Thread: Should I set a boundary or is there no hope?

  1. #11
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by markoutsis
    I have been talking about all this with a therapist. Alone, primarily because I do want to understand why I need to be that knight in the first place. It’s certainly helping and a lot of what you are telling me I have been considering already.

    Unfortunately I love this person and yes that makes it hard to let go... She is coming with me to a future session - thinking of next week. I plan to lay all this out in a clear, concise, and non-accusatory way and see what comes out of it.
    .....This is you desperately trying to fix her and change her instead of fixing yourself. It's still you going "I can make this work how I want it to work." focusing on her and her issues rather than facing your own full on. Deep codepence isn't love, btw, it's fear.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Someone who struggles with insecurity and low self-worth will never be fully responsible, dependable or fair as consistently as someone who IS secure and has high self-worth. For as long as she doesn't address those areas or improve them, she will continue to make poor judgments and you will be collateral. You're overestimating and not being truthful enough about the situation (not being truthful to yourself).

  3. #13
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    So you are all convinced there is no hope?

  4. #14
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Her decisions don't suggest that she has good judgment overall. She's impaired. Sorry. I would not be able to move past that. A person's own judgment is everything. I would not be prepared to be anyone's watch dog, so to speak. I'd prefer my partner be fully functioning and able to govern his/her own life without much input from me and vice versa. The joys and connection should come from many other things but judgment should never come into question.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by markoutsis
    So you are all convinced there is no hope?
    I'm not sure any of us are qualified to answer that, as "hope" is pretty subjective. That said, I think you're pretty deep in a kind of "fixer upper" mode, where the relationship is both a form of personal therapy (if you can make this work, then you work) while also being a way for her to sidestep the real growth that comes from therapy, since you sort of provide an illusory version of that (you being with her means she does work).

    The white knight stuff, in short. The only way that "works" is if she remains the distressed damsel, and I can't help but see quite a bit of that at play here.

    It kind of sounds like neither of you really understand your own personal boundaries, and so the relationship is a bit of a "boundary experiment" rather than something that is built, and expands, inside co-created boundaries and symmetrical value systems. Can that work, or "evolve" into something more authentically workable? I'm not sure. At the moment there seems to be a pretty significant gap—wider than you want to acknowledge, though one you very much feel on a cellular level—between who she actually is, right now, and who you want her to be. Perhaps that's reflective of a smilier gap inside yourself—but that's not a gap we can "use" another person to close, since other people are simply whoever they are, not tools or patches for our own fragile human engines.

    In your shoes I'd be pretty frustrated—or, really, just kind less invested—by someone who prioritizes "not hurting" randoms at the expense of their partner's well-being. The less generous read on that? It's someone who is choosing, semi-subconsciously, the surface level ego soothing that comes from attention over the richer gratification that comes from building a castle that can hold two people securely. As an adult, I don't want to make it my job to teach someone how to build a castle, but to find someone whose building skills and design ideas are on the same level as my own, so to speak. That's just me, of course.

    I'm super open-minded, generally accepting of most things human beings get mixed up in over the course of finding themselves. But you can be "non-judgmental" about someone's humanity while also "judging" them as being an unhealthy influence on you or a poor compliment to your own humanity. As you proceed, maybe ask those questions from time to time—instead of focusing so heavily on her, focus instead on how being with her affects your own psychology and emotional equilibrium.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Did either of you recently end a relationship? It's very odd that you need couples therapy after dating 10 mos. Seems like a continuum of previous issues.

    This means basically you are in denial and want to "fix" her and are somehow stuck in analysis-paralysis and inflicting this on her. Stop If you can't be with her naturally reflect on that. You're backpedaling. You jumped into playing house now you have to force-fit things, rather than admit your mistakes..
    Originally Posted by markoutsis
    I have been talking about all this with a therapist.... She is coming with me to a future session - thinking of next week.

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    Her last relationship ended Dec 2017 and mine a couple of months after that.

    I can certainly see that I’m playing therapist and I shouldn’t.

    In terms of her actions or inaction when it comes to these guys I mentioned... I believe it is largely due to her reluctance to potentially trigger conflict. This is fear. She doesn’t want to upset people and that’s true for me also. I don’t believe she has feelings for them. Nonetheless it bothers me because it makes me feel deprioritized and not respected. I’ve also done a bad job communicating that effectively in the past.

  9. #18
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by markoutsis
    Her last relationship ended Dec 2017 and mine a couple of months after that.

    I can certainly see that I’m playing therapist and I shouldn’t.

    In terms of her actions or inaction when it comes to these guys I mentioned... I believe it is largely due to her reluctance to potentially trigger conflict. This is fear. She doesn’t want to upset people and that’s true for me also. I don’t believe she has feelings for them. Nonetheless it bothers me because it makes me feel deprioritized and not respected. I’ve also done a bad job communicating that effectively in the past.
    The point that you are missing is that in a healthy relationship with a healthy person, you are not going to have to teach them how to prioritize things correctly as per your standards. They will already be there of their own accord, because that's who they are. No fixing or talking or negotiating required.

    What you are doing is actually infantilizing her quite a bit by this assumption that she just doesn't know any better. She is an adult. She knows what she is doing. She is choosing to act in a way that pleases her. Who she is and what she is choosing doesn't work for you.

    So in reality, you have only two choices - accept her as she is and turn a blind eye on garbage treatment of yourself OR dump her and walk away and go find a person who actually fits you. Instead, you keep trying for an option that doesn't exist - if I talk to her this way and that, if I drag her to therapy and counseling, I will fix her and mold her into being who I want her to be. You are being toxic to yourself and you need to stop this behavior.

  10. #19
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by markoutsis
    I can certainly see that I’m playing therapist and I shouldn’t.

    In terms of her actions or inaction when it comes to these guys I mentioned... I believe it is largely due to her reluctance to potentially trigger conflict. This is fear. She doesn’t want to upset people and that’s true for me also. I don’t believe she has feelings for them. Nonetheless it bothers me because it makes me feel deprioritized and not respected. I’ve also done a bad job communicating that effectively in the past.
    See what you just did? You noted that "playing therapist" isn't doing you or her any favors, and then you went back to playing therapist, dissecting her "triggers," "fears," and "aversion to conflict," in order to...well, to what? I'd say it's a bit of a highbrow way to avoid saying something simpler—"Ugh, this kind of sucks"—which, to play therapist myself, could be seen as a misguided attempt to find solace in control rather than in connection.

    This is the big difference between being a therapist and being a partner. The therapist is not invested in the patient for emotional support and security, so their understanding of a patient's pathology is just that: understanding, not self-soothing or power-grabbing. As a partner it's more about accepting another's pathology, and finding solace there, rather than searching for calm by wrestling with it.

    It is human nature 101 to not like conflict, to not want to hurt feelings. But there is place where avoiding those things just creates more conflict, more hurt, you know?

  11. #20
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    Originally Posted by markoutsis
    In terms of her actions or inaction when it comes to these guys I mentioned... I believe it is largely due to her reluctance to potentially trigger conflict. This is fear. She doesn’t want to upset people and that’s true for me also. I don’t believe she has feelings for them. Nonetheless it bothers me because it makes me feel deprioritized and not respected. I’ve also done a bad job communicating that effectively in the past.
    And yet...she continues to engage in behaviour that upsets you.

    As such, I have a hard time buying into the idea that this behaviour with men is fear-based.

    I think she likes the attention, full stop. It soothes her fragile ego. The attention from one man - you - isn't enough for her. She enjoys knowing lots of men like her.

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