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Trying to hide part of yourself from your SO


Lusif

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In my last relationship, I was pretty depressed and I told my boyfriend at the time all about it - he knew pretty much everything. Towards the end, I'd often shun his affections because I didn't feel worthy - once, I even cried during sex because of it. He broke up with me because he felt I treated him badly, and I guess this was to do with me arguing about him being too affectionate etc. (he was too clingy for me, but I probably could've handled it better).

 

I met my current boyfriend at uni, and since starting there I've tried to hide that darker side of me from everyone, because I feel it's better for me to concentrate on being positive - plus people will like me more if I'm the better version of me. I am a lot better these days, happier and more positive, but the dark stuff comes back sometimes, and I shut myself away because I don't want anyone to see it, especially him. I have on occasion really let him in, and let myself be vulnerable, but it's not something I like doing because I don't want him to think of me as miserable. I never ever shun his affections and I treat him a lot better than I treated the last guy.

 

Does anyone else do this sort of hiding behaviour in relationships? I do really want to get therapy for it, it's just sorting it out and stuff, getting round to it.

 

I want to put my best face forward, I want him to believe I'm independent and comfortable in my own company - and not devastated about having not made any friends of my own since moving here.

 

When I'm in a positive frame of mind, I don't feel this sort of inadequacy and I'm much more rational - he sees all of me when I'm like this. So am I okay to believe that it's pointless and possibly damaging for him to see my negative side?

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Take things slowly, and at your own pace.

You needn't feel obligated to share everything with everybody.

 

I do think that it is best to be honest with your S.O., but intimacy comes with time, and trust, and is not something that you can expect to happen overnight.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with taking time to get to know each other.

 

However, make sure that you aren't hiding things from a sense of shame.

If you do this, your bad feelings may only become more burdensome, and in effect, create a wedge between you.

 

In all honesty, if these sort of thoughts plague you, starting therapy before getting even more deeply involved

will really aid you in navigating these issues, and help you to lay a solid foundation from which your relationship can develop.

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You should be honest with your boyfriend. Clinical depression is an illness, and you can't hide it forever. He will know something is wrong, and if you don't tell him what that something is, he will think it is him that is the problem.

 

But, you need to try to treat your bf well, even when you are depressed. If you are feeling crappy, let him know that it is the depression that is the problem, and still make attempts to show him you care for him.

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I have HUGE anxiety problems and am actually quite OCD...my closest friends know about the anxiety and I actually choose to hide my OCD problems from almost everyone, even those who've known me my whole life. I have mentioned these things offhand to my boyfriend (of 5 months), but only so much as "I have anxiety sometimes" or "I can be OCD about some things sometimes," but I've never gone into any kind of detail about how bad they are.

 

I figure, over time as we get to know each other more and become more aware of and comfortable with each other's flaws, he'll be able to see how these things really affect me. I don't feel the need to come out and confess all my problems, because that could be overwhelming to him and might make him feel weird, like he all of a sudden has a girlfriend with issues. Really, if he can see over time that I do have these problems but I do know how to cope with them on my own, so it won't be as overwhelming.

 

So no, you don't have to come clean about everything. The longer you share your life with someone, the more these things become apparent. And the right person will see these things and be understanding of them.

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You're not obligated to be an open book to anyone. Everyone has good days and bad days, so please be kind to yourself and don't treat yourself like a freak.

 

You're entitled to have a bad mood now and then, and there's nothing wrong with being alone to nurse it. In fact, there are some cranky people who I wish would go off and do that sometimes--they'd spare themselves tremendous drama and people would get along with them a lot better.

 

Most of us are on our best behavior when first cultivating intimacy with someone. Experience and maturity teach us not to dump on SO's. Not because we can't trust them, but because it's not their job--that's what therapists are for. Doesn't mean you can't share parts of yourself you're not entirely proud of, but it also doesn't mean you must. There are no dictates as to when you 'should' feel comfortable confiding deep stuff to a partner.

 

Cheer on your good days, and offer yourself a time of choice each morning as to whether you'd like to shoot for another good one. They get more frequent that way.

 

In your corner.

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How long have the two of you been together?

 

It's pretty early days - I've known him six months and been with him almost two.

 

However, make sure that you aren't hiding things from a sense of shame.

If you do this, your bad feelings may only become more burdensome, and in effect, create a wedge between you.

 

It's weird, because when I'm happy, the 'depression' (for lack of a more fitting term) doesn't seem big at all, but obviously when I'm going through a 'phase', I get really insecure/ashamed about myself - I feel it's better to go off and cry on my own then go and be with people, because that always makes me feel better. I don't want him to see the insecure side of me because he says he loves my lack of neuroticism - which is right, I'm not a neurotic person most of the time. With my last boyfriend, it was as if I wasn't showing him my best side, since I felt 'safe' being depressed around him.

 

I figure, over time as we get to know each other more and become more aware of and comfortable with each other's flaws, he'll be able to see how these things really affect me. I don't feel the need to come out and confess all my problems, because that could be overwhelming to him and might make him feel weird, like he all of a sudden has a girlfriend with issues. Really, if he can see over time that I do have these problems but I do know how to cope with them on my own, so it won't be as overwhelming.

 

So no, you don't have to come clean about everything. The longer you share your life with someone, the more these things become apparent. And the right person will see these things and be understanding of them.

 

That's actually a really good point, I guess pouring out a confession would be needlessly overdramatic.

 

Most of us are on our best behavior when first cultivating intimacy with someone. Experience and maturity teach us not to dump on SO's. Not because we can't trust them, but because it's not their job--that's what therapists are for. Doesn't mean you can't share parts of yourself you're not entirely proud of, but it also doesn't mean you must. There are no dictates as to when you 'should' feel comfortable confiding deep stuff to a partner.

 

Cheer on your good days, and offer yourself a time of choice each morning as to whether you'd like to shoot for another good one. They get more frequent that way.

 

In your corner.

 

Actually yeah, I guess it's not his repsonsibility. And the second point, about choosing each morning whether I have a good or bad day, is an amazing idea. Thank you.

 

Perhaps you won't be so depressed with this SO?

 

It's been 2.5 years since the last guy split up with me, and I think I've come a long way. All I'm worried about is that last time, when the guy split up with me I really wasn't expecting it - partly because I thought he loved me too much to do that. So now I guess I'm more wary with my current SO, and perhaps less selfish. As a relationship it works a lot better than the other guy - I can already see that - and we're much more suited as people. Since I don't take this guy for granted as much, I guess I subconsciously treat him better.

 

When I'm actually with him, I'm generally really happy. Just sometimes, when I'm alone, I get to thinking stupid stuff about myself. The main 'issue' with me at the moment is that I've made hardly any proper friends at uni, whereas everyone else seems to have made some close friends by now. However, I suspect even if I made a load of friends, I'd still have some sort of 'issues' holding me back, so I think therapy is probably a good idea.

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I've been thinking about getting therapy. I used to see a counsellor at uni but found it wasn't proactive enough. This was before me and my boyfriend had become an item. He'd sometimes ask where I was off to and I hate lying, so I couldn't say 'A lecture' or anything, I'd just say 'None of your business!' in a lighthearted way. After we'd got together, and my counselling sessions had finished completely, I told him and he was supportive and like, 'Are you okay now, yeah?', I said yes.

 

If I started therapy now I couldn't not tell him, especially if he asked where I was going or something. But I wouldn't want to tell him, as I'm worried it'd bring our relationship down. I like being happy me with him and I wouldn't want him to think I have 'issues', or he's out of his depth.

 

I'm starting a new volunteering kind of job next week, and I think that might make me feel a bit better as I'm a little bored of staying in all the time. So I'll probably hold off the therapy for now.

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Yeah, it's like you don't want deception in your relationship, or to leave them out, but also you consider them part of your 'happy' side and want to keep it that way! And I guess it can be a worry about what they'll think. I suppose it's easier to compartmentalise your life more when you're in an LDR? How long have you been together?

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Yeah, it's like you don't want deception in your relationship, or to leave them out, but also you consider them part of your 'happy' side and want to keep it that way! And I guess it can be a worry about what they'll think. I suppose it's easier to compartmentalise your life more when you're in an LDR? How long have you been together?

 

8 months......

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You don't have to tell him about your dark side, or maybe not yet. It sounds like its a good idea to maybe not and just concentrate on being happy, like you said. He sounds very nice and you already say that you are much better in this relationship than the last one, because you probably learned a lot from the last one.

 

However, on the other hand, you should be honest with your partner if you find you are feeling bad a lot and need to share it with someone. Maybe the last boyfriend couldn't handle it very well or reassure you properly that you are 'worthy'. Hate that word, makes us sound like Kings and Queens and paupers and we are subject to "ranking" lol.

 

I have shown my dark side to my boyf of 5 months and he still stuck by me, though I think it tended to "bring him down a bit", so I decided not to concentrate on the dark side so much and just let myself be happy! My boyfriend is very reassuring tho! All that is needed is understanding and reassurance to make you feel worthy and it sounds like this guy is doing just that. I too had the same as you, hated the affection like I didnt deserve it, but now I love it. I have also cried when I have had sex, for that reason, though not with this guy. Dont fall into the pattern that you normally follow, make changes, make changes within yourself aswell to ensure you have a happy future. Be your own best friend. What would you say to a good friend of yours? I find that some people just decide they are depressed and concentrate on the negative things because that is just what they normally do, concentrate on the good and you will soon 'talk yourself' into not even having a dark side at all! Be happy! x

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mca1975 - Thanks, that really helped me feel better. What influences me I guess is that I live with a couple of pretty negative people and I feel that when I'm all positive they just find something negative to pick on, or that they're making fun of me. Like, I'll go for a walk or something because that tends to cheer me up, and they'll be like, 'You weirdo' (in a jokey way) and it's like, Do you want me to just sit in my room all day? Is that not weirder and more pathetic?

 

But either way. I'm gonna be happy me because it's the best me and anyone who wants to make fun of it obviously has issues themselves...? I came accross a quote saying: You get what you focus on. So I focus on happy, I get happy!

 

I guess it's wrong to even compare my boyfriend to my ex, because in most ways they are entirely different people and my current boyfriend is a much more positive person. Which is definitely a good thing, as he sees things about me in a more positive light than I do (he's complimented stuff I used to hate about myself!), and also I don't want to bring either of us down with my moods, so I guess that forces me to be happy. What worries me is that he'll get bored of me because I have no friends of my own here (I'm a really sociable person and I'm up for anything, nor am I a boring person - well, once you get to know me) but if he's a positive guy why would he think that anyway? I also worry that, say it ends for whatever reason (it also annoys me to think that as there is nothing wrong with our relationship!), I won't have him to hold me and stuff when I feel bad - I'll have no one.

 

But I really am going to try and forget all the cr*p and just get on with things, enjoy it. I'm starting a volunteering job soon and I am gonna at least try and make friends! I wish it came naturally!

 

This has turned out like a journal entry, sorry!

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