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Thread: Self sabotage with relationships

  1. #1

    Self sabotage with relationships

    I'm a self saboteur in relationships and I'm about to ruin yet another one. This is my first flame from when we were teenagers, in fact he was my first sexual encounter, now 45 years later (62 and 63 respectively) we have reconnected. Problem is he lives on a boat 1000 kilometers away. When we first connected he used to message me multiple times a day and call often, then he was still organising his life before moving onto the boat. Since the move the messages are less and the phone calls just once a day because he is busier now than he used to be. The fact he still does this for me shows he cares and is keen to keep in touch but I'm the sort that falls hard and fast in love, which he knows because I've already, after 4 months, told him I love him but he tells me he wants to take things slowly as at our age he doesn't want to rush into anything, practically I totally agree, emotionally I find it hard to accept ... I've been single for over 20 years by choice, I've had opportunities but no-one I've really wanted to be with, perhaps because breakups are painful but more likely because for a while, many years ago, after a breakdown I turned my back on my child and have spent a long time trying to make it up to her. She is now an adult with her own family but the guilt for me lingers on. I wonder if I deserve happiness after the heartache I've caused others. The practical side of me says of course I do but the emotional side often runs roughshod over the practical side and goes of at it's own tangent. This is where the self doubt and sabotage take over. I imagine all sorts of negative scenarios... particularly him with other women, even though he assures me he isn't and I have no reason to doubt him. I imagine him calling me and saying he has found someone else even though he has given me no reason to believe this. This is one of the many things that I confront him over and he gets frustrated at my lack of trust. I also get jealous when he spends time with other people, including his family, as he is with them not me and I imagine him having a better with them than me and realising that I'm just not worth it, again these are my thoughts and not anything he has done. I also have a hard time dealing with his past relationships, particularly those he is still friends with, even though I have exes that I'm still friends with, the jealousy eats away at me. To me these are totally irrational thoughts and they cause great conflict within myself. It gets to the stage it consumes me and makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else. Eventually I manage to pull myself back together and move on but at the times of great personal conflict he bears the brunt of it with my irrational behavior. So far I have been very lucky and he has stayed through all this but I am frightened that one day I will just push to far... I need to find a way of diffusing these irrational thoughts and feelings of anxiety before they take hold and I lose control yet again. Lastly we do visit each other, I have just got back from a week on the boat with him where we both had a fabulous time and two days later I was back to accusing him of all sorts of things, this time was worse than ever... again he's forgiven me but for how long... any advice would be more than welcome

  2. #2
    Member simple cure's Avatar
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    Who knows, maybe you've had a few past experiences that taught you something that seems like a fundamental truth, like, other people can't be trusted, love can't be trusted, you yourself can't be trusted. So everything looks to you like it's that fundamental truth.
    Even though it isn't. And your broken past experiences were just that, flawed interactions with flawed people.
    Everyone has some of those. People who do the work learn how to control their behavior and thinking so they no longer reflect that flawed dynamic to everyone and everything. Or at least they can try not to.
    I think it would be worth it to you to approach some teamwork with a therapist and start learning new and better ways of thinking and acting, stop being in the back seat consciously while your emotions drive you...if you can't for some reason, read books, watch videos there's a ton of info out there about having a healthy relationship.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Why does he live on a boat? Is he recently divorced or is this a new lifestyle for him? Rather than try to communicate this much with someone on a boat, make an appt with a local therapist and sort out all these other issues.
    Originally Posted by ChiliPeppa
    I'm a self saboteur in relationships. 62 and 63 . he lives on a boat 1000 kilometers away.

    many years ago, after a breakdown I turned my back on my child and have spent a long time trying to make it up to her.
    To me these are totally irrational thoughts and they cause great conflict within myself. It gets to the stage it consumes me and makes it difficult to concentrate on anything else.

  4. #4
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    I think the real problem here is that the logistics of your respective living situations make this relationship very difficult to maintain, and he is not on the same page as you in terms of investment and commitment to the relationship.

    Are you irrationally jealous? Yes, if him spending time with his own family sets you off and you constantly accuse him of cheating. You know that's not good and it will drive him away. But is your insecurity entirely unfounded? No, but not for the reasons you fear. I don't know what the long-term plan is here, if there even is one yet, but my guess is that your real insecurity stems from not knowing if there is a future here. Is he planning to permanently live on the boat, 1000 km away? If so, how will you continue seeing each other? Do you consider yourselves in an official relationship?

    There are a lot of question marks in the air about your relationship and I would imagine that is what you're reacting to, deep down. You most definitely need to knock if off with the accusations that he's cheating, but you also really need to zoom out a little here and ask yourself if this relationship is really a viable one, long-term.

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  6. #5
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    Have u seen this guy in the last year in real life?

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    How much time have you/do you spend together in person?

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    Platinum Member Andrina's Avatar
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    You're carrying around too much toxic emotional baggage to be a good partner to anyone and to attract emotionally healthy men. Be alone and see a therapist, and then give the process time to work. Every person makes mistakes in life, but that doesn't mean you should spend your life lashing your back. If you had a friend who'd done the same as you, wouldn't you tell her to practice self-love and that she deserves the happy life she deserves?

    Do the self-work now so that finding a lifetime partner will go a lot more smoothly with less angst. Take care.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boltnrun
    How much time have you/do you spend together in person?
    Wonder this as well, as that will have an impact on how secure you feel when you are not with him.

    LDR's are very difficult and I don't see this as self-sabotage so much as maybe having a BF that lives on a boat 1000 miles away isn't your life's goal.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    This doesn't seem very realistic or sustainable in the long term. Maybe ask yourself what might you want out of life. I'm getting the feeling that you may be lonely and wanting love/companionship but are paralyzed by fear and regret in your life. I hope you understand that if you aren't able to forgive yourself, it's unlikely you'll ever move forwards. It's part of the healing process. Do you have a good relationship with your daughter now? How do you feel about your relationship with her presently? What other things are you doing for yourself to encourage you, help you feel grounded and happy? Do you have interests that you can have fun with now and then or access to other forms of mental/creative enrichment?

    You seem to have got the word 'self-sabotage' down pat. Was there someone who used that word with you or have you been aware of this categorization for a long time (discovered it on your own)? Your issue isn't that you aren't self-aware. You are very aware you are doing these things but aren't sure how to stop yourself or heal yourself going forward. I'd speak with a counsellor or therapist if you feel you need guidance. My humble opinion? I think your relationship with YOURSELF is more important that your relationship with this man.

    When you are done you might find that you need more/other things from a relationship than what this relationship can give. Ironic but not unusual. Don't be afraid to poke around at what's hurting you and what's holding you back or search for real help (people trained to help us when we need it). It's not too late to start over or turn a new leaf. Learn to forgive yourself and accept yourself.
    Last edited by Rose Mosse; 11-14-2019 at 05:14 PM.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    I can only speak for myself, and if anyone I'm dating ever got accusatory with me, it would be over.

    Decide whether you want in or out of this thing, such as it is. The guy is not a therapist, and he's being clear about his limits. Those are either enough for you to want to keep seeing him, or not, but throwing your emotional issues at him are not going to buy you anything.

    If you need help to avoid drilling yourself into a deeper hole to climb out of, see a therapist--it's what they are for. Short of that, decide whether your 60+ years have gained you the maturity to manage resilience and self control.

    You can keep feeling lousy about your own behavior or you can change it--or you can ditch the guy and liberate yourself from the exercise.

    It's a decision.


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