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Thread: The person that won't go away

  1. #21
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    If you feel you need to constantly watch behind your back and feel compelled to check up on her just break up already. Clearly she still has feelings for this guy and clearly she hasn't been very honest. I'd exit this relationship, it's not gonna get better.

  2. #22
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I'm not surprised—and, being honest, I figured you were the one brining him up more than her.

    Was that the case before the bar night, or only after? I ask because I'm getting the impression that you carry a lot of hurt from your last relationship, and maybe, as Sherry noted, carried that hurt into this one a bit in the form of a suspicious edge. Whether that hurt carried you to connect to someone who is inherently untrustworthy or whether it preconditioned you to be incapable of trusting someone—well, that I'm not totally sure of.

    It's a bit like seeing trust as a test that someone must pass, rather than a thing you build together, with "Mike" representing a failure of that test. He's the thing you can find a certain form of comfort in (the comfort in not trusting her/women) at the expense of a deeper form of comfort (trusting her/women). I'm just riffing, of course, hoping to help you see it all clearly so you can make whatever choice you need to make with clear eyes.

    Can you say more about how you feel you've enabled this behavior, or what you meant by that? Do you mean someone being secretive?
    The bar incident really triggered me. It felt dishonest.

    I do carry hurt from my last relationship. It was a 15 year marriage with three kids. I was completely, totally trusting.

    That said, in the end, my divorce was what was best. We grew apart. I just wish she'd have ended it before the affairs. Yes, plural.

    I don't feel I had trust issues at all in this current relationship until the Mike/Bar incident. Like I said, that REALLY made me lose a ton of trust. When his name was first mentioned (couple years prior), I was surprised she was so forthcoming. It actually *built* my trust and made me think I was with someone who was going to be forthcoming about such interference.

    When I say I feel I've enabled the behavior, what I mean is that I've addressed each and every situation in an appropriate way - but it continues because I haven't taken decisive action. I trust that she'll be more mindful - as she promises she will - and move on from it. I honestly can't tell if this type of thing just doesn't register in her mind - or if she can't be bothered to "check in".

  3. #23
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    Originally Posted by Honeycomb8
    If you feel you need to constantly watch behind your back and feel compelled to check up on her just break up already.
    I don't feel a constant need. Just want to clarify. This was a one time urge.

  4. #24
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like you ever really healed fully from your past and the damage cheating did. You say that you fully trust your gf and yet one event viewed through a highly toxic lens of "I've been cheated on and have trust issues" has poisoned your current relationship instantly. That's not trust and that's not healthy.

    Your expectation that an adult woman should have called you over, kept you up to date, couldn't stay out for another game and socialize with people like an adult is really seriously misplaced. She owed you nothing, yet you keep beating that drum because of your past. It's not shady for two adults in a relationship to have an adult social life outside of each other. This situation you are describing wasn't exactly planned where you were expected to join her and then she disappeared on you - she already had a planned evening to herself. You are choosing to project your personal baggage to that and more importantly, you've been checked out emotionally since then. So no surprise that your relationship is now dead and disconnected. You've been emotionally punishing your gf with unreasonable, unrealistic, idealistic expectations for years and why? Over shaite your ex did.

    You are right to break up because your gf deserves better than this and you shouldn't date for a long time and get your head screwed on straight and figure out how to leave your past in the past. Do not date only to get triggered in and start punishing your current partners for YOUR baggage. Until you figure out how to leave it behind and heal, stay away from relationships.
    Last edited by DancingFool; 11-21-2019 at 04:26 PM.

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  6. #25
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    I honestly can't tell if this type of thing just doesn't register in her mind - or if she can't be bothered to "check in".
    She isn't doing it to hurt you... my suggestion is to stop taking everything she does personally and do a deeper reflection on why she might be pulling away from you.

    It's not her fault you were hurt in the past by infidelity, yet you continue to punish her by expecting her to completely give up her privacy in order to make you feel better about the relationship. The question is... what are you doing to make her feel better about the relationship? Why does she have to be the one going out of her way to prove her loyalty to you? What are you doing to show her that you trust her without her having to twist into a pretzel for you?

    You have held that one situation over her head now for literally years... and want to control everything she does... what does she get out of that?

  7. #26
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    Originally Posted by DancingFool
    Unfortunately it doesn't seem like you ever really healed fully from your past and the damage cheating did. You say that you fully trust your gf and yet one event viewed through a highly toxic lens of "I've been cheated on and have trust issues" has poisoned your current relationship instantly. That's not trust and that's not healthy.

    Your expectation that an adult woman should have called you over, kept you up to date, couldn't stay out for another game and socialize with people like an adult is really seriously misplaced. She owed you nothing, yet you keep beating that drum because of your past. It's not shady for two adults in a relationship to have an adult social life outside of each other. This situation you are describing wasn't exactly planned where you were expected to join her and then she disappeared on you - she already had a planned evening to herself. You are choosing to project your personal baggage to that and more importantly, you've been checked out emotionally since then. So no surprise that your relationship is now dead and disconnected. You've been emotionally punishing your gf with unreasonable, unrealistic, idealistic expectations for years and why? Over shaite your ex did.

    You are right to break up because your gf deserves better than this and you shouldn't date for a long time and get your head screwed on straight and figure out how to leave your past in the past. Do not date only to get triggered in and start punishing your current partners for YOUR baggage. Until you figure out how to leave it behind and heal, stay away from relationships.
    This man tried to interfere in my relationship. Yeah, I take issue with that any day - and in this case there are kids involved as well. I'd feel that way regardless of any baggage. I suppose you'd be just fine with it.

    The way you phrase this is, to me, extremely dramatic and unfair. You have very little context - yet quickly diagnose ME as the SOLE problem and go on a personal attack. My gf has PLENTY of personal time and space. We both do. We're not joined at the hip - nor is that what I want or expect. However, I think it's only fair in a healthy relationship to get some common courtesy communication.. I don't think it's fair to be left wondering if someone's coming home for dinner etc - when I've been given NO indication that wouldn't be the case. Again, that has nothing to do with baggage. i just think it's values and basic respect. You clearly disagree, to each his/her own.

    I never once said she couldn't stay at another game or socialize afterwards - only that I would have appreciated a quick text heads up so I knew she was ok, that I could make my own plans, etc. To me, when you live with someone and there are kids involved, it's healthy to be clear about things like this with your partner.

  8. #27
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    Originally Posted by maew
    She isn't doing it to hurt you... my suggestion is to stop taking everything she does personally and do a deeper reflection on why she might be pulling away from you.

    It's not her fault you were hurt in the past by infidelity, yet you continue to punish her by expecting her to completely give up her privacy in order to make you feel better about the relationship. The question is... what are you doing to make her feel better about the relationship? Why does she have to be the one going out of her way to prove her loyalty to you? What are you doing to show her that you trust her without her having to twist into a pretzel for you?

    You have held that one situation over her head now for literally years... and want to control everything she does... what does she get out of that?
    Shouldn't i also consider that she's actually NOT pulling away from me - but rather this is just who she is?

    Again, very little context. We both have plenty of freedom. Spend as much time doing other things as we do together - probably more. I really feel like I've come across the wrong way or something. I'm asking for better communication. Is it unreasonable for me to assume when she says "im going to my soccer game, see you after" - that probably means she'll be home after the game? Is it unreasonable to expect that, if she's going to be late, she sends me a quick heads up, just so I know and can move along? Maybe I was prepping a great dinner for us - or whatever - to surprise her when she came home. I really just think this is common courtesy. I don't see how that is controlling to think your partner might think of such things. I mean, I'm just not supposed to ever want to know anything about what to expect ever?

    Not expecting her to completely give up privacy and/or freedom. That's just nonsense - and again you only have so much context here. I haven't "held this over her head for years". There's been TWO mentions of this ever. When it happened, and in counseling. Not since - including this time. Something happens, we discuss, we both move on. But when it keeps coming up, it paints a picture. Ya dig?


    What am i doing in the relationship? She'd be the first to tell you all of the things I contribute to it. She;'s treated like a priority. Not the be all end all, but a priority. I have the common decency to let her know if I'm going to be out late night, for sure. I'd also absolutely be forthcoming if a pursuer she knew was around. Nothing to hide! Builds trust! I actively and consciously contribute to a strong relationship every day. I'm not perfect, but I do listen and learn. Again, she'd be the first to tell you that anything she's asked of me (all of which have been reasonable) have been swiftly and easily addressed. Far from perfect of course.

    I'm not asking her to "prove her loyalty". I'm disturbed that she's possibly pining over an ex. Normal to me. I guess not though? I give this my all - and yes I have feelings. I really think my words are being distorted a bit. Ah, internet.
    Last edited by trvekvlt; 11-21-2019 at 06:11 PM.

  9. #28
    Platinum Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    She lied. She does not have integrity. Half the cheaters out there lack integrity also. Many would consider this a dealbreaker.

  10. #29
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    I seem to have a bit of a different view on this...If you want to break up with your girlfriend based on a number of things, OK, sure. However if we're looking at just the "Mike" incident specifically, I don't actually think you have grounds to break up over that.

    Why are words like infidelity used here? Infidelity means that the person cheated. You have no evidence that she cheated on you. She told you about Mike honestly a few years ago. You asked her to stop talking to him, and she did. She deleted him off social media just like you asked. Keep in mind that not everyone asks their partner to delete their ex's. But she complied with your request.

    I understand what you're saying regarding the bar situation, she probably should have invited you. I'm not sure what the specifics are of why Mike was actually there. The thing is that she may have wanted to catch up with him but she didn't tell you because you're not OK with her even talking to him, let alone see him in person. Maybe she thought you'd get angry (which you would have). I'm not saying what she did was good, but maybe the reason not to mention Mike wasn't to cheat.

    Looking up someone on Instagram doesn't always mean she's got feelings for that person or whatever. I actually "stalk" a lot of people on social media when I'm bored and get curious. I stalk some of my ex's too but the only reason I do it is just curiosity. I don't have feelings for them or anything.

    Even if she does have a crush on Mike, a crush is not love. I mean, let's be honest, even if we're not single, we still find people attractive and can still get crushes. It's what we do with it that matters. She searched him but she didn't message him, right?

    To be honest regarding the Mike thing you sound a bit paranoid. Also snooping is not good and she could say you broke her trust too by doing that.

    Also it seemed like she felt she had to justify to you what she did in her past, like: "Oh don't worry, I didn't have sex with Mike". She doesn't have to explain anything about that relationship to you before she was even dating you. That was in the past.

  11. #30
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Can you provide some of the context you feel is missing?

    What I'm struggling with is understanding why Mike is even on your mind three years after that night at the bar. He lives far, far away, while she lives with you. It's just hard for me wrap those 700 plus days of life being lived alongside you with the idea that she has been "pining" for him, or the notion that he is a man who has tried to "interfere" with your relationship. Those are loaded notions, assigning power to Mike that has not been earned, and I do wonder how much your past has played a role in allowing them to catch fire in your mind. Because that's really the main place where this person "won't go away."

    You described that bar night as "triggering." My question is what was triggered, and how much that was already at play in your relationship prior to that night. It's a bit like you've found some kind of comfort—subconsciously—in nursing suspicions rather than letting them go, since it's basic human nature to not spend multiple years in a state of discomfort. So any moment of disconnect or frustration comes back to the questions of: Is she pining for this guy? What's really going on with her? So long as you are hardwired to go there it's hard to imagine there's anything she could do to rebuild trust.

    That gives another human (her) very little margin or error, if the smallest of infractions (being late, distant, forgetting the check in, etc.) come back to questions of fidelity and trust. It is also a form of control. I'm not talking about "control" in the classic sense, not accusing you of being some overbearing alpha who wants to install a GPS chip in her sternum bone. But obsession is a form of control: a way to handle discomfort and uncertainty, two realities of human experience and components of all partnerships. It's kind of the opposite of the other way, which is trust, something we cultivate in ourselves and extend to others as much as we "build" with another person.

    Metaphor: I live in a house built into a cliff. I like it: dramatic views that instill in me a sense of calm and thrill. The catch? Earthquakes happen in my city, so that threat exists. A few months ago there was a big one, which was disorienting—a concrete reminder of something that's typically abstract. I can process that earthquake in all sorts of ways. I can "breakup" with my home and move to the flats, in a home that isn't at risk of falling down a hill. Or I can process and let go of those fears, taking comfort again in the view, the lifestyle I like. Those are the two healthy responses. Less healthy is the third: remaining in my home but fetishizing the potential of disaster, taking a kind of comfort in paranoia. That's me "controlling" what of course I can't control.

    Has something like that happened here, with infidelity being your emotional earthquake? Was part of what you were looking for in new romance, after your marriage, a paradigm in which infidelity was impossible? I wonder.

    Of course, I'm not in your relationship, or your gut, so I can't say how much your intuition is spot on or how much your mind is carving out a doomsday narrative involving Mike. But it really doesn't quite matter, at a certain point. Neither scenario is harmonious. If you have found you want out of this—well, that is allowed, always, as relationships are optional. But if you want to stay in it you have to redistribute the weight, meaning you have to hold yourself accountable for your actions, thoughts, and feelings, and how your own reactions to them may not be helping things. That means letting go of the story that she might be "bad," while you are "good," and leaning into the truer story of two human beings who need to address some emotional corrosion that is inhibiting intimacy.

    Which might not be possible, at this stage Or it might be. Only you can answer those questions—and, ultimately, they're questions you ask and answer together.

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