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Everything posted by leseine7

  1. Hi all, I've posted here before - around a year ago - about stress in my relationship with my husband since our daughter was born about a year 1/2 ago. We've had our ups and downs, but since COVID it's just been a nightmare and we have nearly split up many times. I'm not totally sure what the right thing to do is. Somewhere around Jan I started seeing a therapist after he refused to. I realized I cannot force him to see someone, even though I was deeply concerned about the amount of conflict in our relationship. Therapy was a wonderful help for me and I was able to really get a handle on so many things - not just relationship-related issues. For a time, that helped, but I felt like day after day starting around March we could not avoid fighting. Most of the time, I just feel like I cannot please my husband. He comes from a home where his mother is such a neat freak that the minute you leave the room, she's already cleaned up your place, the table, and put everything back where it originally was. She is the Belgian Marie Kondo (my husband is Belgian). I admire this quality in her, because try as I might - I cannot excel to that level of tidiness. But, I really do my best - I make charts, I clean the house top to bottom on designated days of the week while our daughter naps, I meal plan and prep with my husband, I make lunches and breakfast. I've noticed that I actually tend to do a lot more of the chores around the house, but this doesn't bother me. My husband takes care of the drop-offs of our daughter at daycare (when safe), or to doctors' appts, or he runs the errands. This all makes sense because I can't drive and he can. This all to say - I am not perfect and I sometimes forget things in the business of life (just like he does - just like everyone), and can't always make time for every single details, but I do my best. I can honestly say I am striving every day to be a better person. A better colleague at work. A better mother. A better person, a better wife. All areas seem to be going okay but my husband and I. I don't know how to explain this except to say that I feel overly criticised and when I repeatedly ask him to try to focus on what IS getting done and not to "keep score" of the number of times I've forgotten to write down when we're out of a grocery item, or forgot to fold the laundry right away, he honestly doesn't seem capable of this. The cycle is that he'll "joke" almost every day about how "Oh, Mom forgot to do that again..." or "why did you move that there? What are you thinking?" The jokes are confusing to me mixed with genuine arguments around how little I do for the home and marriage. Then I won't react positively to the "joke," and he will get angry and roll his eyes and sigh that I don't understand his humour. Then, I'll confront the jokes to try to understand what it all means, since it gives me a weird feeling, and he'll suddenly spill the beans that he feels totally alone and like he's running everything and has no help from me. Then I react by getting upset because I feel like I'm constantly on a hamster wheel of trying to get everything done so that he'll be satisfied. I recently achieved a promotion at work and I'll admit that I am busier as a result, but I block my schedule to be home right at 5:30/6pm. I take half a day off Tuesdays to be with our daughter. I make sure to take the time to take care of as many chores as possible in the hours we have - yet I still can't please him. I eventually blew up because on my side, while him having someone to take care of the house and home, feed him, etc., is a sign of love - mine is how we speak to each other and how we treat one another. I feel like just asking him to be a little bit nicer is impossible for him. I just want us to take some quality time together even if it means there's a night where we don't have all the laundry and dishes done ASAP. We never let things pile up and our house is as spotless as it can be with a toddler, but I can't meet his standards and I feel worn out. When I told him it would be nice for me if we could have a date night - even if it's from home and only once a month given COVID etc - he was super defensive and asked why I haven't planned one (I've tried many times, and he was always too tired or didn't think it was necessary.) I feel helpless. He says he loves me and wants to be in this marriage, but I feel like I'm his employee or something. I just want to feel comfortable at home and not always be worried about if I've done all the chores - especially since I feel like I'm non-stop doing them to begin with. One final note is about therapy. We had a bad fight a month or so ago and he reacted in a way that disturbed us both. (Major rage response - no physical violence but threat to harm himself) I exited the room and he sat and cried and promised to go get help ASAP. Well, he started going to therapy and didn't like the doctor he was paired with and has refused to go back. So I just feel trapped and concerned and freaked out, and our daughter has witnessed so much more conflict in her short life so far than I ever would have wanted. I need tips on how to stop the cycle - I am not looking to divorce right now, I am looking at finding a new therapist for myself, but need a lot of advice on this. TIA.
  2. I had to quote this whole thing. You're absolutely right - he IS doing so so much more. He's currently on parental leave from his job to be home with our babe for these two months. (I had maternity leave for the first three months, his company is awesome and gives dads two months after that). He was always eager to be a Dad, but it's alarming and scary and I totally get that. He's always thinking about ways to keep her healthy and to engage her while I'm at work. It doesn't help that we live in a foreign country where he is the native speaker(Dutch) and so he defaults as the responsible party for any new home things that are quirky and leave me scratching my head. The other day I couldn't figure out how our friggin heating system worked - and I actually speak Dutch now too. It's a lot on his plate, and I so do not want to ignore all that. I think a tactic I need to take is going back to meditating when I can, since a lot of the defensiveness comes from old anxiety thoughts ("he doesn't like me anymore," "I suck as a mom and wife," etc etc), and whenever I feel the need to defend, take a deep breath.
  3. This is something I looked into after it was suggested to me, and I am alarmed by how many of the boxes he ticks off. I am going to set up an appointment for us with our GP for the coming week.
  4. What a comfort this was to read. And wow, what a similar circumstance with the 3 months of 1 BR life with a newborn! I have considered hiring a cleaner, and probably will do so. Outsourcing can only help, I've learned :) I do think he and I need time to reconnect and to put - even a little - more attention towards each other. I am abundantly grateful I married someone who is at LEAST as infatuated and excited about being a parent as I am, but at the same time we probably will both sleep better at night knowing that we didn't sacrifice the years of joy and fun between us. Also, I do think the "laundry list" I make does nothing to help. I will approach this differently. If he questions what I do, the best way to go is probably NOT to actually make the list of "well, I did this, and this, and THIS..." you get the picture. In a perfect world, he'd already have seen all those things, but life is DEF NOT PERFECT as new neurotic parents!
  5. I'm ashamed to say that I did not know (although I could imagine) that men suffer from PPD as well. After researching this a little, I am alarmed and actually do think he fits the description. The tricky thing is getting HIM to consider a doc, because after discussing my concerns with him as calmly and lovingly as I could, he still viewed everything I was saying as criticism and kept repeating, "I'm happy!!!" Which is probably TRUE, in theory, but I see a lot of concerning reactions/ behaviours (yelling and getting frustrated at the drop of a hat, etc.), that are completely unnatural for him. I might consider talking with the doctor alone about it to see what they say?
  6. We have not had much - if any - time alone as a couple, which I suspect is an enormous factor. We both used to be VERY conscious of couple time and would prioritise that even during busy or difficult times. Part of the problem IMO is my husband seems to feel extremely guilty if we do anything without our daughter. I nannied for years before having her and I guess I might have a more relaxed view on things, because I fully adore and love her, but I don't have the same feeling of anxiety if we do something alone as a couple (obviously making sure she's in good hands in our absence). He's uber anxious about her being abandoned or us being "That couple that can't ever do things WITH the baby" and wants her along for every minute. I love that about him, but I also think it would be really nice if he could relax and have dinner out with me and know that our family friend, who is a mom of two and going to be taking care of her one day a week when we are both back at work full time in November, is probably not going to neglect our child!!
  7. I really hoped I wouldn't be writing this, but I need to figure things out, so here I am. I had our daughter end of May, and for the most part the motherhood thing has been wonderful. I love her so much. So so much it hurts. I am so proud to be her mother, and I need to emphasise this because I feel so guilty about all the rest. I had a pretty rough labor and my body has struggled to recover. That's one thing. On top of that, my husband and I had planned to move to a house (from a one bedroom apartment) just a couple of months after she was born. The house is lovely and in the same village as my office, so on that front I'm also very happy. But, it's a rickety old Dutch house in an old farm village, and there is a lot to do. House is in good shape. But still. It's a house. I have not seen my family much - most of them I haven't seen since Christmas. I live here in the Netherlands, and my whole family is in NY. My parents visited, but I was so stressed and busy with the move and postpartum craziness that I barely feel like I managed to enjoy any time with them. But (sigh) I have to admit the stress factor is 100% coming from my marriage. I hate to say any of this, because my husband is an incredible person. He's the type of guy every woman I know wants to be married to - doting, thoughtful, on top of things, cooks me dinner (honestly, he handles most if not all of the food situation at home), hands-on with our baby and just, overall, a lovely, attractive, loving man. So let me get this straight now: I'm very happy with him and I intend to work this out. The baby, the move and many factors in his family have caused him to be a nagging, at times neurotic, moody, critical person lately and that mixed with my sleep deprivation, homesickness and hormones is a tricky combination. When my parents were visiting my mom noted that my husband was not himself, and she seemed very concerned that I was "walking on eggshells." He was snapping at just about everyone, including my parents, which made me livid and I couldn't keep quiet about how shocked and concerned I was. We've been in a cycle now where he tells me frequently that Im amazing and handling everything beautifully, only to randomly be quiet, sullen and withdrawn for no reason. If I ask what's wrong, he will withdraw further. If he does eventually open up, it's usually in anger, and he'll tell me how he's exhausted because he's "Doing everything" and I'm not doing anything. If I react by telling him all the things I'm doing around the house/ in life in general, he says nothing and then challenges it by saying, "You make that sound like it's much of anything." He's always had a tough spot when it comes to home stuff. he gets restless and hates to clean, and I actually LOVE to clean, so I am the one who usually scrubs the fridge, organises our pantries and closets, irons, and so on. It's a relaxing thing for me, and it helps me feel like my home is in good shape when life gets nuts. But it's almost like, because he doesn't see me sweat over dishes, he doesn't realize that I am doing these things. Because I don't mind and don't complain about getting up three times a night to nurse our baby girl, it's like he forgets I even did it. I'll sometimes be nursing her while he's working on something in the house, and he'll turn and say, "Enjoying a little relax moment?" I cannot stress enough how abundantly out of character all of this is of him. I've reacted by taking a step back and writing to him when calm in a rational way to just say, "look, we need to find a way to chill with each other a little bit..." and he'll agree that he was out of line, he's sorry, he knows I'm doing a lot, etc etc. But then not three days later, he'll make a "joke" about how I am not doing anything, and I will be in the same position of wondering if I need to defend myself and tell him what I'm up to or just try to let it go, even if his comments break me down. I know that he's stressed out. I am too. I just miss how we were before the baby. He's always had his moody moments, but they've never been so pointed right at me. I feel like I cannot move in this house without setting him off. I feel like when I try to take a breather here and there, I'm almost certainly getting behind on something he wants me to help with. I'm also deeply concerned about his stress level because - again - this is truly out of character for him. Ive been trying to find us a couples counsellor for awhile now. It seems to be a fruitless search here, for reasons Ill get into another time. I just know that I cannot keep up with the demands he places on me and I don't want to watch our marriage go down the drain. Any thoughts out there are deeply appreciated. It's hard to write a post like this without making my husband sound like a monster so I do want to emphasise that he does so much for us and I'm sure there is more i can do to let the tense moments pass. I just wish they wouldn't arise to begin with. Ok, vent over.
  8. What about just saying upfront that it's a deal breaker for you? You'll get an honest response from a decent guy, and most likely he'd be able to set it aside for the relationship. I am a girl who likes and watches porn occasionally - I am a decent woman, and my husband knows I do this - it does not hinder our marriage or our sex life. However, if he said to me that it was a deal breaker, I'd cut it out completely. There's a difference between enjoying some sexual exploration and having an addiction to it.
  9. I actually want to ask you why you feel like being honest with her, in what seems like a perfectly respectful manner, is "screwing up"? You are her partner, and the person closest to her. Are you not allowed to occasionally and gently give her feedback like this? While I commend you for your ability to see that perhaps you could've been more sensitive (if you were harsher than intended), my feeling is that in a marriage you should be able to discuss these types of concerns openly. It's not the same as putting her down or being unnecessarily critical. In fact, she might need to hear it from you to help her have a different perspective. While she can't control your work environment and isn't responsible for how you feel coming home at the end of the day, her constant ruminating in negativity will only make the process of figuring out the fertility issues harder (and stress will make getting pregnant very difficult). I encourage marriage counselling because if this stage is posing some difficulty between you two, certainly going through pregnancy and after with all the fluctuating hormones, life change and sleep deprivation will be even more of a challenge. Every couple - even a solid one - can benefit from that kind of guidance.
  10. I have to agree with these other posters. Granted, I know nothing of the relationship you guys are in - if the intention is that you are technically co-parenting as partners and there is an equal balance of housework and childcare between the two of you. Unfortunately, though, it doesn't sound that way. It sounds like she was trying to help you out by nannying your kids one day a week and you are taking that miserably for granted. Let me be real: I have a three month old baby at home who naps for half the day and is portable - and can't mouth off to me yet other than screaming her little head off when she's hungry or tired. Even with that, it is a freakin VICTORY if I manage to do housework during the day. If I can shower, stop to eat three meals and even run an errand or two with her in the buggy successfully, my husband - who works, divides the work between us evenly and entered into parenthood willingly with me - kisses me and hugs me when he gets home and praises me for the one tiny insignificant thing I did. This my long way of saying that if it is that difficult for me with my ten years of prior nanny experience (getting paid for it) behind me, I cannot imagine how hard it is for your girlfriend, who had no hand in raising your kids, who has to deal with their attitudes and demands all day while you work. Forgive me sir, but you should be kissing the floor she walks on rather than giving her attitude for not waiting on you and your family hand and foot. If my husband got into it with me about what I've managed to do in the day to the point where I felt the need to justify all that I did, I would be extremely concerned about our marriage. If we were just dating, I'd be out the door. Are your kids alive? Fed? Relatively happy after a day with her? That's literally all that matters.
  11. Hate to re-open this thread (I might consider opening a new one, but I don't want to open this up to a huge debate just yet). I've been on maternity leave since May, and am about to return at the end of this month right on schedule. I met with my boss Friday to discuss my return schedule. As I mentioned in my latest update to this thread, I had sat down with him before my departure in April to talk over all the nitty gritty before I left. He'd made very clear how valued I am and how happy the company is with my work. He told me that when I returned, I would continue working with my direct report, whom I'd interviewed, hired and trained the months before I left, and would likely have one additional direct report on that team by the time I came back. This would put me in a leadership position, which I had already begun taking on happily. He also stated that I would be receiving a raise because I had clearly grown "significantly in value since beginning my role." I had helped double the size of our staff in the 8 months I had worked there before leaving, along with taking on significant operational tasks and going "above and beyond." In two separate meetings, he described giving me a raise when I returned, OR giving me a flexible return schedule of my working 80% when I returned without a ding to my salary. In the Netherlands, opting to work 80% as a mother after maternity leave is completely allowed and cannot be denied by the employer, but it's of course expected that your salary would take a hit. Anyway, a few things have developed during my maternity leave, personally, one of these being that there are no daycares in our area that will take our daughter for more than four days a week (they are all under-staffed), making it crucial that my husband or I stay home with her one day a week, opting for that 80% schedule. The other thing is that my husband's father was just diagnosed with lymphoma and will be undergoing difficult treatments in the coming months, and I do not want my husband to be the one to therefore take the four day schedule in the event that he needs to travel to be with him frequently (which we are anticipating due to his family dynamics). In my meeting on Friday, I laid out the desire to return on the 80% schedule, as my boss had offered before I left. I only brought up salary to say, "I know this normally means a lower salary." To put the ball in his court to address this, since he had mentioned twice that I was up for a raise and/or could take the flex schedule (without feeling it financially). He simply nodded and said, "it will be proportional to the hours you work." He didn't mention anything about direct reports in our conversation, and made it seem like I'll be returning on pretty much the same role I was at the very beginning. We left things very positively, and I did not discuss anything further because we had run out of time. I want to keep an open mind, because my boss is not someone who just throws around casual compliments or raises without careful consideration. But I can't help but feeling like my situation there has changed while I've been gone, which is disheartening. I'm uncomfortable bringing up the raise, and I'm bracing myself to see the hit in my salary with the one day off once returning. I should mention that, salary-wise, I am already making considerably less than the market rate here for my role, but I was okay with that when I joined because the company was just starting and personnel was very thin - I was one of a team of three at the time, and the workload was small. Since then, we've grown significantly and my role has naturally taken on much more responsibility, which I've been up for. I have not approached this role from a salary perspective, rather, it is the first role of this type (Operations) and I've been eager to learn and grow within it. I know from a financial perspective that the company can afford to bump my salary up, but I haven't said anything because, well, it's only been a year (less than that, with my maternity leave), and I didn't want to give the impression that I'm always just looking for the money. I would open up the conversation again to see if the raise is still on the table as discussed, however, for my sanity going in after a few months off being a new Mom, I don't really want to rock the boat and would prefer it be a smooth transition. The way I see it, two things may have happened: 1. He forgot about our conversations. (Always possible, given his insane schedule. He has had moments where he's repeated conversations with me or forgotten conversations we've had- I think this happens to people when they're stretched thin). 2. He decided against the raise after I left because my direct report did a great job (I think this is the fear of just about every working Mom who goes out on maternity leave with a maternity cover in her place). Ok, there is a 3. He is still planning to give me the raise and just won't change my salary when I switch schedule. He tends to just adjust the payroll from our accountants, so it is possible. But that would be a 20% raise to allow me a day off without any change to salary, so I'm kind of doubting this one. Any thoughts? Anyone else been in this predicament?
  12. Had an ex who pathologically (and expertly) lied to me the entire time we dated - for two years. I found out at the very end that he had dated two other girls the whole time we were dating. I'd asked him early on when we started sleeping together if he was seeing anyone else because he didn't want to use condoms (I was on the pill), and I wanted us both to be tested for STDs before we started sleeping together. When he finally confessed about the other women in the picture, he told me "But I used condoms every time. That was very important to me." I still want to vomit when I remember that conversation. Needless to say, after that convo I told him never to speak to me again, blocked him everywhere and got tested for every single STD on the planet. On top of those offences, he regularly turned into a raging monster on me out of nowhere and seemed to have a three-week limit of time where he could act peaceful and sane before randomly sending me texts in the middle of the night that made no sense, stirring up confusion and drama and, when I had broken up with him, accusing me of hacking his social media accounts (there's a long post about that in my history from 2014 if you're eager to read about that experience). I tried to break things off a number of times after feeling like he was unstable and he would show up on my subway car, in front of my house, and even IN THE SAME EUROPEAN CITY I lived in after I had moved away. In the end, after blocking him everywhere and finally piecing it all together, I determined that he must have had some kind of personality disorder. There were tons of red flags that he did that I wasn't aware of until after the fact. But, okay, that's my answer to "Anyone have similar experiences?" Here's my advice: Stop. Focusing. On. Her. I'll echo what others have said. It doesn't matter - sometimes it can help feel better by focusing on what was wrong with the other person but all it does is perpetuate your attention on her. What I find happens then is that in your fixation, you wind up attracted to someone else who has similar characteristics, get involved, and the cycle repeats itself. By thinking so much about her you are keeping that relationship alive. Break the cycle. Get away. Remember what happened and learn the lessons, but spend this time evolving past it with a therapist, good support network and even by writing here, if it helps. But believe me, she would probably only be flattered to know you've wasted a long time writing that lengthy post just about her.
  13. What's with the extreme amount of daily chats? This seems like an unrealistic (and unhealthy IMO) amount of contact during the day. I am normally a much bigger fan of in person chats than texting being the bigger vehicle for communication, but a phone call MULTIPLE times a day? Even in the pre-texting era, when I had a long distance relationship, I had one phone call a day, and that was more than plenty. So first off, have you told her you don't like calling that often? Has she explained why she is so text-averse? Is it literally for every single text you want to send, she requires a phone conversation? Also... do you guys have work? School? The bigger issue I see here is that you feel like you have to be in touch all day long. That is not a healthy foundation for any relationship.
  14. It's good that you are looking for professional help - I do not know Toronto well enough to make a recommendation for a specific service. I will say that lack of sleep is absolutely a trigger for unstable emotions. If you recognise that as a problem, then you should start there - try to start getting 8 hours of sleep a night, and if you struggle with insomnia then be sure to talk with your doctor about that and find ways of helping get more sleep. In terms of anger - what are the causes of your anger? Are you going through a particularly difficult time or a circumstance that's causing you to feel more angry than usual? Are you directing it at others? It is important to get ahold of your anger. We all get angry, but that's not an excuse to lash out, and if you know you don't have good control over it, you need to find a way to do so. When you feel anger rising, take deep breaths, remove yourself from the situation (walk away, if you are in a fight with a loved one, tell them "I need to step away so that I can calm down instead of saying or doing something in anger.") - go find a room or a clear area and breathe deeply for ten seconds focusing only on your breath. Do not revisit the situation until you are calmer. Find some activities or exercise that will also help - running can be a good way of channeling stress or anger. Meditating is wonderful and you can download the Headspace app and meditate for 5-10 minutes as a place to start. I am not sure if we are allowed to suggest a professional service on this site but if you have found something that might work - like the center in Toronto - I recommend you go asap to get a handle on any violent outbursts, which can be dangerous to yourself and others.
  15. Look, all we have to go on is your side of the story, but here's my take after reading your posts: 1. She left you, started a relationship with another man, and has made clear she is unwilling to work on the issues or talk with you about them. 2. You have had issues in your relationship going back awhile now. You seem to know what those were on your part. This is not one-sided - she has issues too. You are willing to work on them together and she is not. 3. She pressed charges against you for actions you state you never did. What you need to do now is focus on you, resolve the matter that is being brought up against you - work with a lawyer to settle the charges however possible. Move on from this woman because as you describe her she is extremely unstable and unpredictable, and these circumstances are not healthy for you or your family. Stop wallowing in what you did wrong, accept that it is over (and that is probably for the best), and try to work on mending the mess as much as possible for yourself and your kids.
  16. That's horrible. I'm really sorry you are going through this. He obviously should not have told you he loved you without being sure that he did, but it's good he's being honest with you now. (Doesn't make it better, but much better for you in the long run). How did you leave things? I'm assuming this was a breakup conversation, or does he still want to pursue things? As hard as it is to swallow, it doesn't matter if there's more to it or not. This man has told you his truth and you need to accept that and move on - you do not want to linger and try to change his mind, because you are already on very different pages and that never works out well. A year is enough time to really know how you feel about somebody and if he knows this now, he's telling you because he doesn't think it's going to change. Move on knowing that it was better this end before you get any more deeply invested.
  17. You should not marry him. As far as what you should do, well, that's entirely up to you. What sticks out at me throughout this thread is a) consistent lack of trust b) his insecurities and temper c) you were FLATTERED when he proposed. Not overjoyed. Not excited. Not happy. Flattered. After 6 years. d) His financial instability. He wants to marry you because he wants his insecurities to go away. He's insecure because you - whether justifiably or not - judge him for his deep financial troubles and corner him with his lies on a regular basis. He can't make you see him the way he desperately wants to be seen by his partner. No one should ever get married as the solution to a problem. And not that it needs to be said for the umpteenth time, but you should not join forces financially with someone who's finances are in trouble.
  18. What do you ultimately want to come out of this relationship? It seems like after 6 years of dating, you have not been discussing marriage or owning property together. I have to echo the concerns of others - why are you prying into his finances? Unless you are looking for someone to support you financially (which it doesn't seem you need with your financial health and retirement around the corner), or are hoping to eventually marry him, I too don't understand why you are going to such lengths to check up on him. I'm suspicious that what concerns you most is the lying, which would certainly worry me as well in your shoes, but might be the product of him feeling unnecessarily lectured/ judged for his finances to the point of humiliation. Not okay for him to yell and curse you out - ever. But if I were in his shoes I'd be highly annoyed by my SO constantly doing background checks on me. If there's no trust, why are you even wasting his time?
  19. I think we both were coming to OP's defence here, Cheryl. Just making sure my reply wasn't taken incorrectly! In complete agreement with what you said in your posts which is why I quoted you above.
  20. To me it sounds like he's saying, for whatever reasons, he's not able to be in a committed relationship at this time. Sure, perhaps his meaning is "I need space," but as others have pointed out here what he said was "need a break, and we can hang out sometimes." That is a heck of a stronger statement than "I need a little space right now." None of us can speculate why because we don't know. Maybe your freaking out at him created unnecessary stress during this hectic time and translated to him that he can't give you what you need and will be facing more and more months of tension between you two ahead if he doesn't take a step back. Maybe he wants to just focus on work without needing to check in with anyone. Maybe, regardless of the taboo, he did indeed meet someone and doesn't want the guilt of being tied down while having feelings for another person. Maybe, maybe, maybe. The only thing that seems certain to me is this: He wants a break. You want to be together. If I were you I would communicate that you are unwilling to be in a casual relationship at this point and if he no longer wishes to be in a committed relationship with you then this is goodbye. Then go no contact so he can't confuse you with his tears about the situation. He's either in or out.
  21. I was very much in your shoes for about 5+ years in my 20s. I went through two highly toxic relationships (I chose them, one was with a guy who dragged me through nearly 4 years of confusion and heartbreak + instability before we finally broke up, the second was with a pathological liar and sociopath whom I found out later had multiple girlfriends. If you're curious about those, I invite you to read my previous threads. I was in a very dark place while sifting through those heartaches.) I also experienced the death of a very close family member around the time of the first breakup. At that point, I had been depressed for a long time without properly dealing with it, and I began having round-the-clock panic attacks. I was living in NYC at the time and could barely function on a subway car because I knew I couldn't escape easily if I had another one. I lived in torture for about three months of this before I finally sought the help that saved me. I had been surviving on Xanax to get through the tough moments, which led to MORE depression (Xanax always put me in a serious funk the day after taking it), and the need for even higher doses and inability to cope without it. So, I decided no meds for me and I took the following steps: 1. I blocked my ex on literally every platform. He had no way of reaching me be it via email, text, WhatsApp, Instagram, linkedin, facebook, or anywhere else. I ensured that I could not be tempted into writing him or reading a single message from him ever again. 2. I sought the help of a very good therapist, making clear that I did not want to be prescribed any meds. I was in rough shape at that time but I had faith in my ability to overcome this. She worked with me using cognitive behavioural therapy and she was worth every penny I spent on her. I still use some of the tools she taught me to this day in controlling nerves and anxiety. Working with her did not cure my panic attacks at first, but it began to lay the groundwork of how to do so, and explained to me why they were happening to begin with (working out memories of emotional abuse from my father growing up, deep rooted feelings of inadequacy triggered by the harsh rejection I faced, feeling of no control and the obsessive need for it when my cousin died, and so on.) 3. Hypnotherapy: this was the turning point on my anxiety. I found a hypnotherapist who came highly recommended by friends of mine who'd seen him for performance anxiety (we were all musicians living in NYC at the time). My first session with him, I was having a continual panic attack - my hands were numb, I couldn't control my heartbeat and I was very close to going to the emergency room. Hypnosis works because once you surrender to the moment and "sleep," the hypnotist is speaking directly to your subconscious. This means that you can begin re-wiring subconscious beliefs and reactions that have been there for years - sometimes your whole life. After the first session with him, I felt so much relief that I sobbed on his couch for about an hour, floated home feeling better than I had in years and slept for 14 hours. I went back to him every two weeks for a few months after, and played sleep hypnosis recordings for myself while I slept at night. I have never had a panic attack since that first session. I used to not even be able to fly in a plane due to this affliction, and I've since moved to Europe and have to fly constantly - with not even a shred of the same feelings. Because once you identify that anxiety and depression are in your mind, and they don't control you, you can begin to separate from them and peer at them through the glass rather than feel them swallow you whole. 4. I worked with a nutritionist to take control of my diet, sleep and exercise. I knew that a lot of my emotional responses were hormonal in nature and/or diet related. I started running regularly, stopped drinking caffeine and alcohol entirely (I quit drinking 100% while doing the hard work at the forefront of all this until I felt a little bit more stable), adopted meditation and yoga as a daily practice, and watched what I was eating. I, too, would lose my appetite when anxiety hit, creating a vicious spiral wherein I was depleted all the time and lacking the nutrients I needed to be strong and sufficient and focused. Once I began looking at my diet as literal brain/mood-food, I thought of it as the medicine I needed to get through the hard moments. 5. Even when I was having a bad day, I said yes to outings with friends. I was mindful of the location - crowded, hectic bar scene was a no, but if it was just getting together at someone's home I went, even if I felt horrible. This is something that worked for me, because it got my mind on something other than my ex, my cousin, or myself. If someone I knew was performing somewhere, I went and attended and supported them. If someone I knew was having a celebration of something in their life, I went, supported them, and reminded myself that life is filled with good times and bad. I strengthened these relationships as a result, and that helped me to feel very supported in return - which kept a lot of my anxieties and depression at bay. I am an introvert by nature and when I go through hard times, my inclination is to retreat. Fighting this impulse showed me that I was capable of doing things I didn't think I was. It sounds counter-intuitive, but this helped so much. So I hope this helps in some way- it truly is the full write up of what I did. The end result was that, although I still feel anxious at times, I never panic and I have control over it. Although I certainly have times where I feel depressed, I take care of it and talk to someone as soon as it seems to be escalating. Once I worked through the darkest years of this, I felt strong enough to make the biggest step of my life and move to Europe, tackle my dreams and ultimately found my husband and recently had our baby girl. Life is funny in how it steers you. Some of us need a gentle nudge while the rest of us may need a hurricane to push us to our goals. I hope you can draw some comfort and support from this.
  22. Felurian, I want to echo what others have said here: you sound intelligent, grounded, and self-aware. I can see that you are far from attempting to paint your SO in a negative light, which also leads me to believe that you can do much better than wasting more years with someone who will take your clearly-stated values and toss them aside. Perhaps I am somewhat biased because I dated someone for a long time who reacted similarly whenever I would try to understand what our future held. There is nothing - and I mean NOTHING - wrong with knowing you want marriage. As you seem aware of already, the best thing you can do is to work on your insecurities around rejection before that day comes in order to ensure that when you do get married, it is not bogged down by worries and uncertainties you cannot yet harness. I have a hunch that you are a powerful, independent person at heart and that this person has been holding you back for the last three years. Relationships don't have to end in marriage to be successful. The success here can be that you learned deep truths about yourself and what you are looking for from your life, and that you did not sacrifice those values even when you desperately wanted to make it work. It's possible that when you guys meet you won't feel brave enough to stand up for these. Or that he will somehow say something to make it "okay enough" to continue on for another while before the next deal-breaking argument comes up. That's okay if that happens. Unless he has a way of proving to you that he is indeed up for the same level of commitment - I mean the EXACT same, and because he wants it, not simply because he does not want to lose you - I am certain you will eventually move on from this person when you are ready to. I hope you will update us here, and I hope you can feel the support you very much have from us. Know your worth.
  23. Actually, OP's question was simply, what should she do? And I think most of the above have indeed answered that. She should continue no contact, and continue healing. In my opinion, OP was more or less venting that she wishes she didn't still have feelings for him, because she knows that it is a dead end. Those are natural feelings even many months after a breakup. They will pass, unless contact resumes.
  24. You are certainly not ready to discuss marriage together, let alone moving in together, if you are panicked that he's "slow fading you" in the hopes you'll break up with him over this argument. While none of us knows the exact words said in this fight, you've outlined it as a fight because you want to know where this relationship is heading after three years. He has answered for you - he's not ready to discuss marriage or what he sees in the future, to the extent that he's even accused you of taking advantage of him. That is a pretty huge way of saying that he does not see this as heading to marriage. I also have to warn you that this relationship is clearly all about what he wants, with little concern for what you want. Are you willing to move in with him and then have to back down from anything "more" you might want because he did you this ENORMOUS FAVOR moving in with you to begin with? Since you explain that he didn't want to move in with you, and he seems to be incapable at his much older age of 30 of discussing important adult things like how compatible you are longterm without somehow spinning that as you "taking advantage of him," I would say that this is only going to get much, MUCH worse once you move in together. You are clearly in a position of weakness here, terrified of losing him rather than focusing on what you want. You only wanted to move in if you felt that it was heading towards marriage, no? Why are you even moving in with him if he cant answer that question for you? While it's totally fine for many couples to be together for years without getting married, and to move in together without that as the end result, it's not fine when one person in the relationship wants a solid future commitment in the form of marriage and the other doesn't. That is simply a recipe for disaster and heartbreak. I have to say, from what you state in your post, it doesn't sound like you are taking advantage at all - it sounds like HE knows that you want him bad enough that he can sulk and pull away and you will rescind your request for more commitment from him and give up what you want for what he wants. And I hate to say it but, judging from your post, that's exactly what you are doing. If I were in your shoes, I would - yes - give him space, but also address his reaction saying, "While I love you and want a future for us, your reactions indicate that you are not ready to commit further, and I don't feel comfortable moving in with you until we are more on the same page. I'm sorry for my negative reactions in our argument, but I hope you can understand and respect that I'm not willing to change my personal values around this important step for anyone, and while I hope you can be the one to take this next step with me I completely understand if you are not." Frankly, if he views taking a next step in commitment with you as some kind of favour he is reluctantly granting you, rather than an exciting step forward in his relationship with an awesome girl he loves, then he is just not that into you. I waited until I met my current husband to move in with someone. I was 32 when we moved in together. I was in a relationship with a guy whom your boyfriend sounds very similar to for about 4 years before figuring out that he was never going to want to commit. We used to have fights like the ones you are describing - it was always me "screwing up" and bringing up marriage only to be ghosted for days after those arguments and frantically apologising and saying I didn't actually need marriage, just kidding, I just wanted to be with him even if he wasn't ready and blah blah blah. Long story short: because I had so little respect for myself and what I truly wanted, so did he. We had a horrible, miserable break up. When I met my husband, he was the one eager to move in together - I never even had to have the uncomfortable conversation where I asked him where we were heading. It was clear from the start that we were on the same page about what we wanted. Find yourself something like that. Stop worrying about your boyfriend dumping you. Ask for what you want and have the courage to stand by that. And in the future - do whatever you can to avoid "drunken fights." Nothing wrong with having a drink from time to time (as long as you are doing so in a healthy way and not as a way to self-medicate during a stressful time, etc. etc.), but there's nothing worse than knowing you should have waited to have a conversation that was scary to have when you were sober, and it probably would have gone a heck of a lot better.
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