Jump to content

maybe it's me...


mr.mac

Recommended Posts

I'm not sure that I actually have a question. Maybe I'm looking for an outside opinion or simply for a place to get my mind clear. Anyway, once upon a time I was married. We were young and not really sure on how to be and we just sort of rolled with it. As we got older I felt that she and I were becoming different people. I was always secure with myself and I sort of chalked it up to us growing up and apart and I was ok with getting a divorce. Well, the divorce was much more difficult than I anticipated and life suddenly became hard for me. I lost all of my security and I became incredibly unsure of myself. I did not feel like myself any longer.

 

I tried dating for about a year and it was a nightmare. I hated every girl that I went out with and I hated myself more and more. Most dates I couldn't wait to get home after about 5 minutes. And nothing was really wrong with the girls, mind you. I just felt lost with them, so I decided that I would stop dating.

 

Cut to 6 months later and I decide that I am once again ready to date. As fate would have it I met someone within days of deciding to give it another go. She and I hit it off and went out. Things started off really great. Unfortunately I realized that my insecurities are a huge problem for me. I get worried and nervous about everything. I'm worried about losing her and worried about upsetting her. I'm just a mess. Somehow we make it past a year and I'm starting to feel better about my place in life and in our relationship. The problem now is that she is so frustrating. She is so incredibly hot and cold that I can't really get comfortable with her. Considering the personal battle that I fought with myself to finally achieve inner-peace I don't know how to deal with her. I don't want to lose her, but I also don't know how to function when she's happy and fun one day and seemingly disinterested in me the next. I know that she loves me and she knows that I love her. I just can't figure out what the problem is. I know that relationships are a lot of work and I'm fine with that. I just think that being in love and enjoying what the other person has to offer should be enough to get through most days and for some reason it's not for us.

 

So, again...maybe it's me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does sound like the divorce shook you a bit, and it's not at all unusual that it's taken some time for you to find balance again.

 

 

Is it possible that your internal struggles; the insecurities and fears; are still affecting the way that you interact with her?

Perhaps she is doing the same? I mean, if you were hesitant/inconsistent for a long time, then maybe she was shaken a bit? Perhaps you are reflecting one another in this way?

 

Have you tried speaking very openly with her about how you feel?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I mean, yes, I think so. I try to be as open and as clear as I can be. Sometimes she is receptive and other times she pulls away. We have discussed what we both want as individuals and as a couple, but still things get messy. The thing is that, from my perspective, I'm pretty easy to please and easy to get along with, so I'm really having a hard time figuring out why things are so complicated.

 

I admit that I was inconsistent for a long time, but my desire to be consistent made me that way, if that makes any sense. I guess I was striving to find my balance and it took me a long time to get there. But, yeah, I can see where the reflecting would come into play. I know that I want to fix things and meet her in the middle. I just don't know how to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if you have reasonable expectations. I can speak just for myself that after the "honeymoon" phase, I was disappointed for awhile that things weren't 90% fun 90% of the time (a formula I completely made up that I decided most people probably were)

After a little attitude adjustment, I'm better.

Do you think it could be something like that??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if you have reasonable expectations. I can speak just for myself that after the "honeymoon" phase, I was disappointed for awhile that things weren't 90% fun 90% of the time (a formula I completely made up that I decided most people probably were)

After a little attitude adjustment, I'm better.

Do you think it could be something like that??

 

Yes, it could be any number of things. Do I think my expectations are unreasonable? Maybe. Maybe not. Here is what my expectations are: I expect to be loved, I expect to be treated the same way that I treat her, I expect honesty and I expect any problems/concerns to be discussed.

 

I do like your formula, though. And maybe, unknowingly, I have subscribed to that as well. I don't believe in dwelling on the negative and I try to find a silver lining in everything. Sometimes a situation becomes sucky, but what can you do? I try to roll with things and make a bad situation not so bad. I know that in my heart I want to be happy and generally I am. I just wish my girlfriend was able to enjoy and share in my happiness. And I'm not blaming her for anything. I think I'm doing something or not giving her something that can make her happy. I just don't know what it is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can totally relate to what you're saying. I am in a similar relationship - she goes up and down, and I tend to take it personally. All of us have triggers from past events. You may still be feeling abandoned by your divorce, so when she seems withdrawn, you feel crushed and lost?

 

If you're feeling insecure about your relationship, of course you're going to be overly sensitive to your partner's moods. When she's down, you're just waiting for something bad to happen to you - is she thinking about leaving you, is she upset over something you did, etc. Just breathe through it, step out of your mind and internal thoughts, and rationalize her behavior. Having differing moods is a normal thing - everyone has good days and bad days. Do you think she is in a bad mood too much of the time?

 

It could be that the two of you just aren't a good match. That's what I'm wrestling with right now. We've talked at length about each of our issues and are trying to avoid each other's triggers. It's been marginally successful. Does your GF have issues with you? Couples counseling may help the two of you understand each other better and learn ways to avoid each other's triggers. If you tackle this early, before things degenerate and resentments build up, you have by far the best chance for success. That's the direction we're headed.

 

Try a google search on preoccupied attachment and see if it fits what you're feeling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you're feeling insecure about your relationship, of course you're going to be overly sensitive to your partner's moods. When she's down, you're just waiting for something bad to happen to you - is she thinking about leaving you, is she upset over something you did, etc. Just breathe through it, step out of your mind and internal thoughts, and rationalize her behavior. Having differing moods is a normal thing - everyone has good days and bad days. Do you think she is in a bad mood too much of the time?

 

That's exactly how I feel! I always think "ok, she's breaking up with me now?"

 

No, I don't actually think she is ever in a "bad" mood, she just goes from happy and fun to silent and distant in a snap. It instantly puts me into "what did I do?" frame of mind. The problem is that we literally see each 1, maybe 2 days a week and it becomes so frustrating to me that half of that time together is awkward because of reasons that I can't really figure out.

 

And, thanks, I will do some googling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Try a google search on preoccupied attachment and see if it fits what you're feeling.

 

Anxious-preoccupied attachment

 

People who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment tend to agree with the following statements: "I want to be completely emotionally intimate with others, but I often find that others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I am uncomfortable being without close relationships, but I sometimes worry that others don't value me as much as I value them." People with this style of attachment seek high levels of intimacy, approval, and responsiveness from their partners. They sometimes value intimacy to such an extent that they become overly dependent on their partners—a condition colloquially termed clinginess. Compared to securely attached people, people who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment tend to have less positive views about themselves. They often doubt their worth as a partner and blame themselves for their partners' lack of responsiveness. They also have less positive views about their partners because they do not trust in people's good intentions. People who are anxious or preoccupied with attachment may exhibit high levels of emotional expressiveness, worry, and impulsiveness in their relationships.

 

Goddamn that describes me to a T. Ugh! Must. Change. Now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like you are starting to realize that a lot of this is about your own reactions to the relationship. Start working on your self-esteem. What makes you feel happy and confident about yourself outside of a relationship? Also, I would suggest therapy and reading a book called "The Worry Cure" which will help you observe and more objectively analyze your own emotions and reactions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It sounds like you are starting to realize that a lot of this is about your own reactions to the relationship. Start working on your self-esteem. What makes you feel happy and confident about yourself outside of a relationship? Also, I would suggest therapy and reading a book called "The Worry Cure" which will help you observe and more objectively analyze your own emotions and reactions.

Oh, I have realized that and I am working on myself a lot. I've started focusing more on doing things outside of her that make me happy. Working on my house, reading more, making plans with my friends, etc. I'm still being attentive and a loyal boyfriend, but with a much calmer state of mind. It's almost creepy how calm I have been these last few days. I will for sure check out that book, though. Thanks for the suggestion!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

These are great things! Best of luck to you!

 

How much do you share with each other, also? How close are you emotionally?

 

We share a lot. I definitely open up a lot more than she does, but that's ok, yes? And I would say that we are very close emotionally. Why do you ask? Whatcha' thinking?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We share a lot. I definitely open up a lot more than she does, but that's ok, yes? And I would say that we are very close emotionally. Why do you ask? Whatcha' thinking?

 

Haha, love that last sentence. I was just thinking that the challenges don't just end with you; it is a valid concern if she is hot and cold with you and I guessed that she is pretty emotionally closed too. Although you have some issues to deal with, so does she. If you are TRULY ok with the fact that you open up more than she does, then it's not an issue. But if you feel like it's lop sided and you are concerned that she lacks, in some ways, the ability to communicate her feelings, then I can understand why.

 

It is not surprising that a person with clinginess issues will chase a person who often distances themselves in relationships.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Haha, love that last sentence. I was just thinking that the challenges don't just end with you; it is a valid concern if she is hot and cold with you and I guessed that she is pretty emotionally closed too. Although you have some issues to deal with, so does she. If you are TRULY ok with the fact that you open up more than she does, then it's not an issue. But if you feel like it's lop sided and you are concerned that she lacks, in some ways, the ability to communicate her feelings, then I can understand why.

 

It is not surprising that a person with clinginess issues will chase a person who often distances themselves in relationships.

 

Yes, she is emotionally closed, but not always. If I ask her she'll tell me without hesitation, but doesn't always offer up info like I do.

 

I am truly ok that I open up more. It's my personality to be that way and it's hers to be more reserved. I'm cool with it.

 

But your last sentence...that's what intrigues me. Why is it not surprising? Color me fascinated!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, she is emotionally closed, but not always. If I ask her she'll tell me without hesitation, but doesn't always offer up info like I do.

 

I am truly ok that I open up more. It's my personality to be that way and it's hers to be more reserved. I'm cool with it.

 

But your last sentence...that's what intrigues me. Why is it not surprising? Color me fascinated!

 

Often times the way we love others, and the way we view love, is strongly influenced by our childhood relationships with our parents or guardians. If my father was very distant when I was a child, I might subsonciously seek emotionally unavailable men, saying that I'm simply not interested in weepy, emotional guys and like a 'man to be a man.' In this case, it may be that I actually want to be loved by a man like my father in order to heal the wounds of my past.

 

I'm not saying this is the case for you; it's just an example. But being clingy indicates that the person subconsciously feels that the best love dynamic is to want, chase, and try to hang on to what you can't have. The distancer seems more interesting, more exciting, and more worthy as a love partner than someone who is open, honest, and available because you have to work for their love and therefore their love is more fulfilling. But it's like trying to grasp sand; they keep slipping away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Ms Darcy, very good post, and I agree. I am far from an expert, but I wanted to add the little that I know.

 

There are many shades in what makes up clinginess. The reason you stated is true - clingy people generally didn't receive consistent reassurances of love and care when they were young.

 

That makes most clingy people extremely low avoidant. In other words, they just want someone to love deeply and to be loved in return, sometimes almost to desperation. I guess you can think of this as the opposite of an emotionally unavailable person, or commitment phobe.

 

But clingy people also can have a varying component of anxiety. Those are the ones that are anxious that anyone will ever love them and they chase many of the same types that caused their problem in the first place, as this component is more related to low self esteem.

 

I guess my point is that some non-anxious preoccupied attachment types do believe they are worthy of love and believe that they will find it, but they are miserable when they don't have it or think they are about to lose it, and that makes them clingy to hold onto it. I think it's a subtle but significant difference.

 

I agree that some people chase the exact type that didn't work for them in childhood, but I've usually noticed that happening to people with lower self esteem. I don't know where mr.mac is on this scale, but there are tests available online that could provide some more insight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...