Facebook share
LinkedIn share
Google plus share
Twitter plus share
Give Advice
Ask For Advice
Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 50

Thread: Limbo: EX-GF with Anxiety

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    32

    Limbo: EX-GF with Anxiety

    Together 16 months. Broken up for two. Ex has clinical anxiety and often isolates and withdraws. I am her first and only long term relationship and sex partner. Bottom line I was too clingy and controlling in the relationship, didnít understand how her anxiety worked, and talked about marriage and children too soon.

    She broke no contact two weeks in. She acknowledges Iíve been making good changes, without me asking if I have. She texts/calls all throughout every day. I donít ever text first so she feels the space she needs. We see each other every few days. We are occasionally intimate and regularly make out and cuddle though I initiate most of it. We just went out of state together this weekend for a comedy show and had so much fun. I ask for dates, she always says maybe, and always ends up wanting them when the day comes, not having turned me down yet. She says to our friends and family that officially we are ďbetween labels.Ē

    Other night, we were intimate together in a spur of the moment thing, and she got pretty sad and started saying how terribly scared she is. Of any outcome. Of breaking up again if we get back together. Of losing me if we donít. Of us hurting if he stay in limbo. She called herself insane. Iíve got a lot better at keeping my cool in these moments, and this monologue on decision making wasnít inspired by me asking for or talking about a decision. The night before that, we had just made out because I stopped short of sex saying I didnít want her to feel overwhelmed, and she said she felt good about it and that it scared her that she felt so good about it. This says to me sheís ready for certain things but not if it goes too far. Making out vs sex for example.

    My personal decision is to either keep the pacing where I am in control and continue to see her with a mirror communication style and stopping short of sex knowing she likes to move slowly, and see where this ongoing progress goes. Or I take a chance and lovingly step away and give her the chance to truly see a life without me and hope for the best. I still have swings of emotion I keep to myself where I am in a lot of pain with being in limbo but I donít want her to know because her anxiety is at an all time high since the breakup and she doesnít need to see me hurt anymore because my being clingy put us here. I love her with all my heart, though, and I will make healthy changes and do what it takes.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    36,664
    Gender
    Male
    Sorry to hear this. it sounds like she wants an on/off type of thing. Is she interested in or seeing someone else? Why all this limbo and in-between labels? What is she "afraid of"? It sounds like the breakup and on/off are confusing and hurtful to both of you. Can you make a clean break to clear your mind and reflect on what this is vs what you want?
    Originally Posted by MrWindupBird
    Together 16 months. Broken up for two.

    She says to our friends and family that officially we are ďbetween labels.Ē

  3. #3
    Platinum Member boltnrun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    12,799
    What treatment is she receiving for her extreme anxiety?

  4. #4
    Platinum Member smackie9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Surrey BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,480
    Gender
    Female
    Anxiety isn't just about feelings, there is also physical pain that goes with it that causes the panic in certain situations, and why there is withdrawal. All these reactions are to stop the pain, and anxiousness. It gets her in the chest, flush and burning sensation back of the head etc. It's a horrible feeling. Drug treatment is out. It's very toxic, and causes troubling side effects. Doctors will only prescribe it for 2 weeks then to get them off it by swapping it out with Morphine. Exposure/behavior therapy to retrain the brain is best but not a cure. Remember this....it can get passed onto your kids. That's something to consider when dating a person with a mental illness or disorder.

  5.  

  6. #5
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    3,033
    Gender
    Female
    When you love someone you often find yourself stretched past your regular boundaries. Forgiveness and self-care is key. If you don't have those for yourself and your own regeneration or self-renewal you won't make it as a couple. What other things are you doing to recharge? At this rate the relationship is not self-sustainable. She should still be receiving treatment for her anxiety and/or you should be receiving therapy and counselling as a supportive partner.

    You'll have to know when to step in and when to back off and when to pull the other person out of that mind space GENTLY. You're not a trained doctor so don't expect yourself to have all the answers right away. Seek help if you need guidance for yourself and your relationship. At 16 months in, this woman isn't someone you've committed yourself to (you're just dating right now). Be a bit more realistic about what you're up against and what you're willing to do. You shouldn't feel any guilt if you feel this isn't something you're equipped to handle as a partner.

  7. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    32
    Thank you guys so much for the replies so far.

    No one else is in the picture. She makes it a point to always be handing me her phone and stuff I think to show thereís no one else even talking to her. Iím her first and only real relationship so I can realistically say that itíll be a while for her to start seeing someone else even if we donít work out. And she doesnít hand me her phone because I ask if sheís seeing someone. Beginning of the breakup I admitted the thought of her with someone else hurts pretty daggone bad but I donít ever ask her or anything like that.

    She takes meds for her anxiety, and she has what we call burrito nights where she bundles up in a blanket and isolates in her room with the lights off and mainly just plays on her phone. Those are her primary helpers with the anxiety and depression.

    We were pretty committed. Practically lived together for like a year. We just alternated between my place and hers. I was considering buying an engagement ring. She always takes her time in things so I just sort of wanted those things but have been careful about not pushing to share a place or to get engaged. Now Iím obviously back at square one in a way but I still want to build a life with her if itís what she ends up wanting.

    I think my big problem is the uncertainty. The breakup took me by surprise. Iíd been frustrated and said a few things like I donít think she cares about me or Iím not a priority. I said it months before in a moment of emotional frustration. Iím not used to being the clingy type and itís honestly made me act not like myself at times. We had a weird day and she broke up with me, citing the old argument because she said she couldnít stop thinking about me feeling like she doesnít care or she puts me last always and it just really got to her. So I worry sheís going to just stop seeing me and Iíll lose her cold turkey despite all the time, communicating, and physical intimacy we still are sharing despite not having the daggone Facebook relationship status lol. Like I worry Iíll be stupid and will miss the signs again and next time she drops me itíll be for good.

    Today was a no touch day so far. She said she might want me over tonight but we got lunch and I could tell she needed her bubble of space today. Iíve handled it well but in the back of my mind I worry like will this bubble be the last one and THIS is where we end? Good friends supportive of the relationship outright beg me to see her actions and our continued closeness as good signs and ignore her verbal wavering and her anxiety and depressive breakdowns. I continue studying anxiety and mirroring her engagement and desire for space. I just want to do good. Sheís so special to me.

    Also, and I apologize for this giant post, but answering questions, I am currently seeing a counselor weekly. We are currently talking about attachment styles and emotional trauma. As far as recharging myself, I mainly spend time with friends. My friends have come up huge these last few months. We were the happy couple and people seem genuinely supportive of both of us. I posted our first joint post this weekend since the breakup with pictures from our road trip to see a comedy show, and relatives and friends and coworkers all really made it a thing to show support of seeing us spending time again. As far as recharging that is about it, as Iím finishing a semester in grad school and working a lot too. I want more hobbies, though. Thatís very necessary and a positive distraction from this stress.
    Last edited by MrWindupBird; 11-26-2019 at 08:00 PM.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    1,749
    Are you cutting off pieces of yourself to fit in a smaller and more manageable for her box? What if you have to stay in that box for ever, suppressing what you feel? If nothing changes how long are you willing to live with things as they are now?

    (You get to have deal breakers too)

  9. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    32
    To be honest Iíve reflected on this a great deal.

    A lot of the changes Iíve been making are changes Iíve wanted to make for a long time. I was pretty convinced I was going to marry this girl, and when we broke up I decided to take the opportunity to really make myself healthier. Iíve always wanted to be more chill and train myself to resist resentments. I also have to stop taking the word no personally and stop fixating on what a relationship lacks and focus on what it has. I feel like these are going to help me no matter the circumstances.

    In terms of deal breakers and deadlines, in my own head the three month mark is going to be an excuse for me to zero out the relationship and just have to trust that if we reconnect we reconnect. Thatís not a hard deadline but I need something more than I have now. Iíll start dating again and probably give myself a few months away from my ex. Our relationship had a ton of awesome in it. It really did. I recognize that because she has reached out to me so strongly and we have resumed a lot of couple stuff, Iím trying to steer the breakup like a ship missing the rocks where itís like I can heal this and get on a good track again. The three month mark, which is there at Christmas and New Years, will let me know okay itís truly crashed and thereís no getting it back. Maybe a new ship in the future is possible, but this one is dead.

    Also if she did start dating someone new or if the progress suddenly stopped for a significant amount of time, I would walk away for the foreseeable time. Iím finding as Iím doing better with respecting her space and her emotional needs as someone with the anxiety and depression comorbidity, Iím feeling better about stepping away because I know Iím really trying and I can walk away knowing I did try. Just tonight, I just got home and we had spent the evening sorta cuddling on her couch. She was fine with my presence leaning against her, but she didnít really want to be super close and she said she didnít want to kiss or anything tonight. In the past Iíd feel rejected or, Iíd secretly feel panicked itís a sign weíre not getting back together and this future Iíve wanted with her will never happen. But I take these opportunities to show that I can respect her wishes and her force fields, and I was just happy to spend the evening making food and laying around together. I am hoping she sees my authentic progress in being with her as-is, anxiety and all, and she decides all the trips and all the fun and all the love making and all the amazing memories justify giving us another shot.

  10. #9
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    32
    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Sorry to hear this. it sounds like she wants an on/off type of thing. Is she interested in or seeing someone else? Why all this limbo and in-between labels? What is she "afraid of"? It sounds like the breakup and on/off are confusing and hurtful to both of you. Can you make a clean break to clear your mind and reflect on what this is vs what you want?
    She says the fear is generally of me. Not that I would hurt her hurt her. Or be disloyal. But that I love her so much despite her low self-worth, and because I often am involved in scenarios where she cries and gets sad. This is mostly me taking her anxiety personally very early in the relationship and now sheís very scared she will let me down. And the other fear is of any outcome, she says. She fears we would break up for the same reasons because sheís still so emotional about us. Or she fears we wonít get back together. Or she fears that limbo will hurt us. As you can imagine I am emphatic that we stay simple for now and just enjoy our time together. Getting into these labyrinthine fears and stuff just isnít super constructive at this point.

    The breakup was hard. Blindsided, I begged the first night. But that was it. I was proud of how well I respected her space, but we were both a wreck for a month. I became manic with self-improvement and she cried, without exaggeration, for a month. She spent a lot of time at her moms and just set up shop in a spare bedroom and cried and isolated. There were also job issues plaguing her at the time, and she was in a rough place.

    A clean break is not presently possible as we work together and are neighbors in our apartment complex. I am readying myself to take my own space, though, if I decide itís the best chance to rekindle eventually.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Cloud Nine
    Posts
    36,664
    Gender
    Male
    It sounds like "breakup' is just another label or neologism of hers like "burrito" or "no touch days", etc. Ask your therapist, out of curiosity, about the phrase folie a deux.

    You are not broken up if you are still dating. She seems to be creating all the limbo and breakup things she claims she fears most. The best thing you can do is start living your own life and stop being like a therapist to her. From your description at least, it sounds like she's got a lot more going on than anxiety.
    Originally Posted by MrWindupBird
    Or she fears that limbo will hurt us. A clean break is not presently possible as we work together and are neighbors in our apartment complex.

Page 1 of 5 1234 ... LastLast

Give Advice
Ask For Advice

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •