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elsewhereagain

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Posts posted by elsewhereagain

  1. I think you know you need to break up with him. It is so hard to do it but you really, really need to. 3 years feels like a long time to have invested in someone just to say goodbye now. But think of it this way: thank yourself it was only 3 years, and won't be anymore.  Steer yourself, free yourself from him ❤️

    • Like 3
  2. I'm glad you have communicated boundaries. Avoiding a person and the issue will usually lead to increased misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Not to say I haven't done that myself, of course. Just that I don't think it's a good way to handle things, and having also been on the other end of the situation (the one being avoided, me not knowing why or if I'm being paranoid) I can see how perspectives can become more and more estranged, leading to something like this.  

    I think she was probably being genuine about meeting up outside (as in I expect she thought that was considerate), but this has evidently been building up for a long time so it's not really just about that one meet up suggestion. 

    You've communicated your boundaries and been honest. Those conversations are so hard, and once you've had them, it makes you both accountable. Her, to respect your wishes, and yours, to respect your wishes too, by honouring your boundaries when they have been crossed. Sounds like you've done that and feel the way forward is to end the friendship. It might be worth giving it some space for a while so she can reflect (depending on what else she's done of course!). 

    • Like 1
  3. It's normal to feel this way, and as others have mentioned, it's not as cut and dry as 'jealous'. This advice is so generic, but it's also very true: focus on you. If you are getting prof help, that's great - keep going, keep processing  and healing, and seek out ways to reprogramme the line of thinking that gets you to this painful feeling of injustice. It's not fair that you have to heal, and that what he has done has had such a huge impact on you, and that he now has what you wanted in life while you are still recovering.

    I wonder though, if his situation is what HE wants. As others have said, pity that child, and the woman he impregnated. 

    But put all your energy into you, and remove thoughts of him and his life from the equation, in whatever way works for your mind. Keep going. Good luck x 

    • Like 1
  4. I've been in this situation before, and really wish I'd handled it differently.

    The advice below is what I wish I had done! 

    Find/build a script in your head of ways to respond (writing down and practicing would help me!) with a structure of something like

    validation of friendship + boundary + positive affirmation of what you would like/are willing to do instead

     

    Don't know if that helps, but hope it does!

  5. On 3/8/2021 at 3:50 PM, bluecastle said:

    You're on the path you need to be on, so keep walking it. There's another side to this, as there's another side to everything. You're getting there. 

    Reading your posts, I'm curious to hear you articulate what is being served by assigning certain labels to him—namely, womanizer and reformed. Per some of the above, that feels a bit like gnawing on the bone, or potentially fueling the very narrative you're trying to distortable from. Just speaking from the outside, I can't help but think that framing him like that invariably gives him more power than he really has/had.

    This is just me, but when it comes to relationships that go sideways, be they romantic or platonic or in some murky purgatory between the two? I try to settle on a pretty simple story, or at least a simple framing of all the craggy complexity, which is that it did not work.

    Sometimes, during emotionally acute stretches, I have to repeat this to myself to drown out the other places my mind is tempted to go. But I find it helps to remove, or at least mute, the instinct to think in binary terms and to blame—blaming myself, blaming another, and instead just accepting the sour fact that something I thought worked, or once worked, or I really wanted to work, did not work.

    Not sure if that helps at all, but I'll share it in the hopes that it does. 

     

     

    I just wanted to say that this advice has really been helping me over the last couple of days. What I've taken from it is the visual of a frame - actually visualising that frame and placing it over any errant thoughts, and the emotions that threaten to stir behind them. It's really helping. Thank you! 

    • Like 2
  6. Well done for getting things moving. I think it is interesting how you mentioned that while he was onboard with the idea of children, and prepared for the idea of early pregnancy, the reality was a shock. That sounds very much like what's happening here, with his suggestion of a divorce. 

    I think you are both probably traumatised. Having time away from each other to reflect and come back to yourselves sounds very necessary, and I'm glad you are able to go to Japan where you previously stated you'd be more comfortable than with toxic relations in Australia. 

    And don't take too much notice of any judgements on here. It's a place for people who are in pain or have their own issues, otherwise, they wouldn't be here. I guess those issues play out in all kinds of ways.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  7. You're not crazy. Don't doubt yourself. Write a list of 'facts' about what he has done/what's happened, and every time you start to feel unsure or you start to waiver, look at the list. 

    You must be feeling so betrayed. And you've lost the person you thought he was. It's a lot to deal with, especially, as you say, when you don't have the social support you'd usually have. I'm sorry you have to go through this!

    It's time to protect yourself and your heart and no matter how hard it is, it's time for him to go

    • Like 2
  8. 11 hours ago, catfeeder said:

    I agree that the term 'victim' is pretty triggering in this place, but it misses the point. 

    It's not about the label, it's about the ultimate power of your private self-talk, which is the most important thing to address.

    Lots of people believe that positive self-talk must be affirmations of rainbows and sunshine. Not true. The voice we run in our own heads has a default posture, which can set us up to sound 'like' a victim regardless of whether we use that term.

    A coach on my job taught that it takes 21 days to change a habit--that's how long he claims it takes to repattern the brain to create a new default. He suggested keeping a list of habits we want to change, but to only work on ONE habit at a time. I chose to change my internal voice.

    I was correct in viewing that critical default voice as my foundational habit that underlies every other perception and behavior that's based upon it. If I could change THAT, every other change to follow would at least be struggling less to work in my own favor instead of against myself.

    I opted to start speaking to myself as my own positive, inspiring coach rather than my own judgmental and blaming judge and jury--or worse, my inner saboteur that compared my progress or processes or outcomes against those who I imagined as far better off than me. 

    That's why I encourage you to make this foundational choice in the voice you choose to use, because the assertions you keep going back to only work AGAINST what you say that you want to accomplish.

    This doesn't mean that you must ignore the part of yourself that's sad or angry. It does, however, mean catching the self talk that you've previously accepted and reinforced, and kindly correcting that language with the part of you most readily connected to your highest intelligence. This will not only work in your favor, it gets easier and easier over time.

    Find a focus every day. When you wake up, decide what kind of day you intend to have, and shoot for it. Help at least one person over the course of your day, and you'll notice how well this can move your most stubborn self focus out of your own way. You'll start to observe yourself through generous vision, and you will enjoy the rewards of building yourself UP rather than assigning yourself degrees of difficulty that do not need to be so.

    Head high, and write more if it helps. Keeping you in my thoughts.

    This is a very clear and relatable way of putting it. Thank you! 

  9. 31 minutes ago, bluecastle said:
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    What I mean is that I think your most authentic self here is a self that sees this for what it is: a chapter, now over, that needs to be fully released (rather than analyzed and judged) I or order for the next chapter to start.

    But there is another you that is still wanting to validate a narrative of fairness, justice, retribution, consequences. An understandable, and very human, response to pain. Just don’t think it’s one that allows for your full self to shine and find the peace and freedom you crave.

    The more you lean into the former and away from the latter, at least from my vantage point, the more you’ll get what you’re really seeking, since it will be more about inhabiting yourself. 

     

     

    Oh I see, yes that makes sense and I agree. That's certainly my philosophy and what I'm aiming/seeking to do. 

  10. 1 minute ago, bluecastle said:

     

    I'm not saying this, mind you, to encourage you to think more warmly of him, but for yourself. Past these labels, what's true here? He is a human being who no longer serves your own humanity. Didn't work. Frame it like that, and the edge softens, the machete becomes a butter knife—and, with that, the wound can heal a lot more easily. 

    Or so I've found, here and there. 

    I agree!

  11. I think you should view it like this:

    You glanced over at a diary and saw a few words. You quickly looked away out of respect for your daughter's privacy. You don't know what those words might mean or the context of them. So park them, in your mind. There's nothing for you to do with them at the moment except continue to love and support your daughter, and look out for her, which you clearly do.

    She's finding her own way through a tricky teenage time in a world that is hyper-focused on gender and sexuality at the moment. Let her do her thing, and just be there for her. 

    Good luck 🙂

    • Thanks 1
  12. 1 minute ago, bluecastle said:

    You're on the path you need to be on, so keep walking it. There's another side to this, as there's another side to everything. You're getting there. 

    Reading your posts, I'm curious to hear you articulate what is being served by assigning certain labels to him—namely, womanizer and reformed. Per some of the above, that feels a bit like gnawing on the bone, or potentially fueling the very narrative you're trying to distortable from. Just speaking from the outside, I can't help but think that framing him like that invariably gives him more power than he really has/had.

    This is just me, but when it comes to relationships that go sideways, be they romantic or platonic or in some murky purgatory between the two? I try to settle on a pretty simple story, or at least a simple framing of all the craggy complexity, which is that it did not work.

    Sometimes, during emotionally acute stretches, I have to repeat this to myself to drown out the other places my mind is tempted to go. But I find it helps to remove, or at least mute, the instinct to think in binary terms and to blame—blaming myself, blaming another, and instead just accepting the sour fact that something I thought worked, or once worked, or I really wanted to work, did not work.

    Not sure if that helps at all, but I'll share it in the hopes that it does. 

     

     

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    It does help. Thank you. 

    You are right. It just did not work. 

    I just need to get better at the muting. Especially at muting the part that, when emotionally acute (to steal your phrase) reacts to "it did not work" with "BUT IT'S SO UNFAIR, WHY NOT" 😉 

    I guess 'womaniser' is just a shorthand way of describing, on this forum, the kind of person I mean. Some of his friends have even called him a 'predator'! (Not to his face, of course. That's the sort of toxic environment it ended up being around him...) 

    I want to believe that when there are fewer social restrictions in the UK (I currently live in quite a remote area), I'll be able to make some new friends, renew some old (different) ones, build new experiences and make connections and support systems with others that will lessen the social gap this loss has left. I'm sure that will help too. 

     

    • Like 1
  13. 11 hours ago, catfeeder said:
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    The guy showed you who he was a long time ago.

    You get to decide whether you'll surprise yourself by adopting resilience and thanking yourself for finally grasping that moving FORward is your gift to yourself, and your future is as bright as you intend to make it, OR, whether you will keep gnawing the same bone and drilling yourself into a deeper hole to climb out of.

    It's a decision, and there is no magic formula for it, other than to choose wisely.

    This will only be as difficult or as simple as you opt to make it. Choose well there, too.

    Head high, and consider living well as your best revenge.

     

     

    Thanks for your comment. Yep, yep, agree with all this. Making the decision is/was hard, but not as hard as practicing the decision, day in, day out, during a pandemic when structural, empirical change in my life cannot occur. I made the decision but every now and then, I am confronted by something that sets me back. This is usually the idea that while I have so much work to do, he's had such a destructive effect on so many people, including me, with absolutely no consequence. I think that's a pretty normal feeling of frustration for anyone to have, and doesn't mean I want to be or consider myself as a victim. You are right though, about the gnawing at a bone. Once that idea gets back into my mind, it's like a worm working away at me, and the part of grief that is rage, sadness and hopelessness rears its ugly head. THIS is what I have been asking for help on. How to get OUT of that hole when I fall back in to it. Making the decision isn't enough, it's the practice, too. 

    At the moment, I am trying to identify and write down any repeated 'thoughts' or negative thinking themes that come up when I end up back here, and then trying to write a 'truth' or objective (and positive!) thought next to it. I'm hoping this will help reprogram some of those thoughts. 

    The best thing I can do is have no contact with him and remove any way of finding or being exposed to info about him. It has been helpful when people have said this to me here. I know it already, but it is so helpful to have that decision validated. It's easy to doubt myself. 

    There's a lot of fixation in this group about being or playing a victim etc. I'm trying to rebuild my life after someone I cared about for 15 years turned in to someone else (and who now appears to be 'reformed' back). If he was always that person, I don't know and can't say. But the fact is that I didn't 'know' he was a womaniser and that he manipulated women until after I developed real romantic feelings for him, which happened as a result of a shift in circumstances which brought us closer together. I had over a decade of beliefs structured round him which were already part of my understanding of reality,  and that meant that I already trusted him and cared for him before any of the other stuff happened. A lot of the advice I'm getting has been conflated to the idea that I knowingly pranced in to an illusory idea of someone and got hurt. The situation is so much more complex than that, and I ended up very vulnerable, questioning my own reality and my own eyes. The bond I had with him was historical and deep, and I am now grieving it instead of fighting for it, because I have accepted that it has gone forever. I am also grieving that version of myself too, which was so tied up in my beliefs about his place in my life - which I recognise already is my own stupid fault. 

    I don't see myself as a victim. I don't think that I am not responsible, or to 'blame' for ending up here.  I see myself as someone trying to rebuild myself from a loss that has changed my life, my view of the world, my memories, and my view of myself.  Sometimes, in terms of the emotions associated with this, I go back a few steps. 

    I just want some people to tell me to keep going and that I can get there. And to give me any encouragement or tips - HOW to do it, for when things go off course. Therapy, of course, is a key thing and I look forward to when I can go back to it. 

    Thanks for your comments and for engaging with my post. 

  14. I was wondering about if there is an element of addiction too. 

    It's odd also that he gave you his phone to 'prove' he wasn't lying, when he was. 

    There's something psychological going on there, and as has already been said, it's probably just the tip of the iceberg. 

    Some people might not be fussed about a partner fantasising about a single life on a dating site, but I would hope that those who are unfussed would be given a choice about the matter, and would know about it. Your reaction tells you that this activity is NOT ok with you, and so you don't need to talk yourself round to it or try to see if it's a normal thing to do. And more importantly, he kept it from you. 

    The question of forgiveness is much more tricky.

    Therapy will definitely help him. But what will help you? Asking questions and trying to understand what has happened may help you, and you may want to forgive him, you may not. If you do, establish some very clear boundaries, and stick to them. Think about what things like trust, respect and honesty mean to you (these things can have different layers for different people!) and try and measure up his behaviour and his words with these values. And take the time you need, don't feel pressured to forgive him if you aren't in that space. Good luck 🙂

  15. A general word of advice to you, based on some of the comments I've seen ...( as you have been in a situation with someone who has made you doubt yourself and your behaviour so much and so often. (Look how you tell us, for example, that you weren't hysterically crying, you were just teary eyed. That's because of him. You feel you have to explain and justify yourself because he has invalidated your emotions, reactions and needs for a long time)

    Don't feel you need to defend yourself and your past to people on this forum! Save your energy for the people who want to give their time to encourage you and help you work through this x

     

    • Like 1
  16. 2 hours ago, LotusBlack said:

    Thank you for the uplifting energy. ❤️

    To be honest, I left Australia 6 years ago to live in Germany and then several years in Japan, which is where I was until I started my degree in UK. It was never my intention to move back to Australia as work in my field is very limited to not possible. My family is also quite toxic and I had been estranged from my family for quite some time. When I got pregnant I reached out and things are slowly getting there with them but if I return to Aus it won’t be to a reliable and supportive family, though my husband feels it would be despite the fact he’s never met them. I would be going there with the knowledge I’d have to start again and build my life up without relying on them really at all or having them too involved in my life. My mother was the only safe person in my family and I haven’t been back since she passed 3 years ago. A life in Australia, despite it being my home country, would be just like moving to a foreign country and starting again there. My primary reason for moving there again would be so that my son could have a relationship with my family, if they promised to treat him with kindness, and to get financial support through my government while I get my situation sorted out. Those are good reasons though.

    Ok that's not so ideal then. You don't need to close your eyes to imagine or get clarity on that!😂

    You have so much going on, I hope you are being kind to yourself. 

    Am I right that you can't stay in the country without the visa? 

    Saying that, getting a divorce takes a pretty long time. By what you've said about your husband, you aren't ever going to get what you need from him and moving on from him is going to be the best way. Why does he think the best thing for you would be to be with your family when he hasn't met them and you feel otherwise?! It doesn't sound like he's being very direct about what's actually going on for him. Is he worried about you and your mental health and trying to 'take charge'? Either way, going only on the info so far, it very much sounds like you deserve better. 

    Is there anywhere else you can go for some space? Can you outline your position to him that it might be too much to leave the country at this stage but that he could assist in some other way to give you both some time apart and some security? Given he is driving so much of this upheaval in your and his son's life, I think you are entitled to really look at what you need and how he can contribute/assist to that. You DO deserve that. 

  17. 3 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

    You wrote that your head had to catch up with your heart.  I replied above -pages above- why I thought that was too passive an approach on your part.I actually think I'm being kind in the right way - reminding you to grieve and also see your role, your choices, your responsibility.  Not that your head had to catch up with your heart.  Your words. 

    I think you misunderstood what I was saying about that. Thanks for engaging with my posts and taking the time to share your views, it has helped. Best to you too. 

  18. He wanted a reaction from you and got it. It sounds like you are focused on not seeing him ever again, but if for any reason you do have to encounter him, remember to practice the 'grey rock' technique. (Apologies if it's already on this thread!). The best thing you can do with this guy is grey rock the hell out of him if you ever have to deal with him in any shape or form. But hopefully you won't and you can instead concentrate on yourself and putting it all behind you. 

  19. I'm sorry for such a sad and stressful situation. You both have been through so much - you especially. 

    Leaving the country to take a break and recoup seems like a huge step and a massive decision. But it sounds like you really do need some time to recoup, reflect and rest. A supportive and safe environment is vital to that and so perhaps going to be with your family really is the best answer. To do so, you will need to let yourself trust that the right thing will happen. 

    You aren't going to get any real answers from each other by staying in the situation and dynamic that you are currently in. It sounds like in one way or another, you should spend some time apart. But I understand how hard this decision is, and how hard it is to know what to do. Especially when you love them.  

    Close your eyes and imagine yourself going back to Australia with your son and seeing your family. Visualise it.  Take note of how it feels. 

    I hope you are ok x

    • Like 1
  20. 17 hours ago, Batya33 said:
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    But there won't be growth or as much growth if she makes excuses like "my heart had to catch up with my head" or that she was "blinded" by love.  Certainly if someone lies and deceives the person who is lied to and deceived is a victim. 

    I never said I was "blinded by love" so not sure why that's quoted. Maybe someone wrote it about me. Or maybe you read that into what I was saying. Either way, I feel like you are projecting a little here and making very confident assumptions about what I am "blaming" and my "passive" head. These things seem like quite unkind and self-assured things to say to someone you don't know, and whose story, personality, life and situation you don't know.   

    I'm not a fan of the idea of 'victims' and I'm not making excuses for myself, or my feelings. I have been practicing detaching from him, the situation, the memories and the details of it, more and more. I think I've done a good job. I'm just not over the hill yet. I've appreciated the encouragement from people in this group. 

     

     

  21. 16 hours ago, DancingFool said:
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    I'd also urge you to get some counseling with a therapist who specializes in trauma bonding and abuse. Don't just go to some random one who won't have a clue. Take your time and be kind to yourself - unpacking what happened and how you got so caught up in all of that is going to take some time and a lot of work but it will be worth it in the end as you will feel stronger and better for it. It's a journey and one I wish you lots of success with.

     

    Also should say, very much agree about finding a trauma focused counsellor. Very hard to find the right one, and then you have to build up trust, rapport, etc. It takes time. Unfortunately I can't afford it at the moment, but I did find a good trauma specialist at the beginning of last year who helped me through the height of my distress, when a lot of trauma wounds were being triggered. I'm currently on a waiting list for trauma-informed CBT (CBT is  a big thing over here in the UK). I'm hoping that the structure and focus on compartmentalising and processing the past couple of years will be helpful in reducing the emotional setbacks I'm encountering, which aren't helped of course by lockdown. 

    I've come a long way and I'm glad to read, based on all the comments people have been making, that I've been doing the right things. 

    • Like 1
  22. 16 hours ago, DancingFool said:
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    You have got to let go completely of this idea of reform. People like that can not reform anymore than a weed can turn into a rose. It doesn't work like that. 

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    Also, it's not your job to wish him well. You job right now is to disconnect from him completely and permanently and that includes any shared social circles or mutual friends. You need to step away because the entire situation has been toxic to you for years and years - 15 years of your life. Only way out is cold turkey quitting and working hard to find new friends, new interests.

    Yeah perhaps so,  it's not like I'm trying to reform or 'fix' him or have it in my head that I could have or can. At present, especially at the time of writing the post, when I was looking for support to cope with an emotional, natural, grief-related setback after a long year of hard work that included therapy and inner work, the difficulty was actually getting round to the idea that he has grown and is now able to engage in relationships in a way that he wasn't before. It's more comforting to believe that he'll 'never change'. That's why I want to be in a place to wish him well. I think it's unrealistic to think that I'll be able to erase him entirely from my mind, that things about him won't come up, that things won't trigger memories. My hope is in the future, that when such things happen, I'll be able to let the memory pass through me without bitterness, and to bear him no ill will. It's an aim for the future, not a fixation. 

    Yes, I agree, that at this moment, dealing with the conflicting anger and pain at the idea of his 'reformation' is best done by not getting or looking for any information about him or from him. I very much agree with that. Making new friends is pretty difficult at the moment in a pandemic, in the UK where we have been staying home with no social contact for the last few months, and to a wider degree the last whole year.  That's partly why I came on this forum, for encouragement and connection with others. 

     

    16 hours ago, DancingFool said:

     

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    I'd also urge you to get some counseling with a therapist who specializes in trauma bonding and abuse. Don't just go to some random one who won't have a clue. Take your time and be kind to yourself - unpacking what happened and how you got so caught up in all of that is going to take some time and a lot of work but it will be worth it in the end as you will feel stronger and better for it. It's a journey and one I wish you lots of success with.

    Thanks, yes I've been doing all that. I think the point of my post has been misinterpreted, I'm sure it was to do with the way that I wrote it. 

     

  23. On 2/28/2021 at 4:58 PM, MrMan1983 said:

    Thank you, I needed to hear this was going out my mind hearing mates say all these things are normal. 

    People normalise stuff like this all the time and as a result we end up in relationships that just aren't right! Trust your gut. (But learn from any communication shortcuts you might have made - unconsciously or not -  that made this situation more painful than it needed to be :))

    • Like 1
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