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Love, attachment, comfort? What makes us stay in an unfulfilling relationship?


Seabreeze

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Love, attachment, comfort? What makes us stay in an unfulfilling relationship? Is it a little bit of all three? For me I was dating someone for about 7 years, but we broke up about a year ago and

 

she started dating someone for about 3 months and then we got back together. However it was all different I could tell she no longer cared for the relationship like she use to and I was the only

 

one trying to make it work....and I stayed for a little over a year until a few days ago when I realized I just had to let it go...it could have been, but just wasnt ment to be. I still love her and I am

 

still very much attached, but I realized she no longer feel the same way and I will be the one to lose in the end.

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I think we stay longer due to attachment. That comfort, stability and security is something that we tend to gravitate towards. - Not necessarily what we want or what we've worked towards it being or hoped it would be.

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Fear.

 

Fear of being alone.

Fear of maybe not finding another partner soon/again/ever.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of dealing with oneself (a relationship is a great distraction from dealing with your own &^!#, since there's a convenient target to blame for just about anything).

Fear of having to figure out your own future.

Fear of losing financial security/stability.

Fear of change.

 

A lot of plausible-sounding reasons really come back to fear at their base.

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I think Shes2Smart is right, it all boils down to fear. We also dont want to lose the comfort and security of knowing we have someone/someone to go home to, which basically also boils down to fear of being alone.

 

There are so many people in this world with different personalities, issues and needs, thats what makes it so hard to pick the right one for us, another that compliments us - it is trial and error. Sounds terribly cold doesnt it like that.

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Fear.

 

Fear of being alone.

Fear of maybe not finding another partner soon/again/ever.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of dealing with oneself (a relationship is a great distraction from dealing with your own &^!#, since there's a convenient target to blame for just about anything).

Fear of having to figure out your own future.

Fear of losing financial security/stability.

Fear of change.

 

A lot of plausible-sounding reasons really come back to fear at their base.

 

 

This is the hardest thing to face. How can you cope with this? This is my biggest problem right now, and I don't know how to approach it.

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This is the hardest thing to face. How can you cope with this? This is my biggest problem right now, and I don't know how to approach it.

 

Well...what are you afraid of, exactly?

 

The way to deal with fear is head-on, with a bright light and some logic.

 

What seems like a monster under the bed or in the closet when it's in the dark turns out to be shadows and a tiny mouse when we turn on the light.

 

So, what are you afraid of?

 

For me these days, my fear revolves around complete financial disaster. About, oh, once a week (and sometimes once a day), I have to logically talk myself back from the ledge.

 

I got downsized from a pretty good paying job 2 years ago. Decided to start my own business, so I'm doing that and working part time and slowly draining savings to get by for now.

 

I have to keep reminding myself the savings drain won't be permanent -- something will change and there has been slow, but steady, improvement in my income since I got canned. My business will really take off, or I will be offered a full-time position where I am, or some other job will come up -- Something will change, because something ALWAYS changes. I just have to keep moving forward until I create/find that opportunity. I can't let fear keep me stuck (by not spending the money I need to spend to market my business or by not letting my employer know I'd consider working full time, for example).

 

Still, fear takes over now and then and I think we're just a matter of days away from living in a cardboard box on the side of the road.

 

Nevermind that I have one last non-retirement investment account I can tap into plus a good chunk of retirement account money I can tap into if absolutely necessary. Do I want to get into these accounts? No. Not at all. Point is I have a safety net of my own creation that'll hold me for a good 2-3 years before I am flat-out broke living in a cardboard box by the side of the road kind of broke.

 

And that's 2-3 years covered IF every bit of income from my business and my job went away today.

 

Still, I freak out on a regular basis and either I or my husband has to talk me back from the ledge.

 

When I was single, after every break-up, there was a time of fearing that I'd never find another relationship ever again.

 

Everytime, something changed, I chose to keep moving forward, and would inevitably run into the next bf and evenutally my husband.

 

There were a few times where there was intense lonlieness & feeling very alone in the world when I was single...but through them I learned to comfort myself and be emotionally self-sufficient (which helps when I have to talk myself back from the ledge now about the financial stuff). When you get through that "dark night of the soul," you become stronger. You see the worst and weakest in yourself and you learn that's not all of who you are. You learn you can have those elements, but you don't have to let them rule you or dictate what you choose to do or think.

 

Acknowledging the fear, no matter how irrational or illogical, and dealing with it head on defuses it....avoiding it and trying to hide from it lets it grow.

 

After you have a few decades of life as an adult behind you, and you look back at the events that have happened in your life, it may start to dawn on you that the overwhelming majority of the things you were most afraid of never happened. And the few that actually did happen...you got through them.

 

One odd little factlet I have picked up along the way: On a physiological level, what we call "fear" and what we call "excitement" are the same set of physical/neurological reactions. It is what we choose to think that makes us interpret it as "fear" or "excitement."

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I LOVE your post Shes2Smart...

 

I find myself at 40, renting a flat, earning barely enough to pay the bills, my children not living with me full-time and possibly moving away with their Dad and his new woman, having just ended another failed relationship, wondering at times what on earth I am going to do!! WHEN will my life turn around so that I can stop having the constant FEAR.

 

I have almost constant stress...but I have to believe, like you, that things WILL get better. And you put it so well...

 

Great post.

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WHEN will my life turn around so that I can stop having the constant FEAR.

 

Oh, I've been living with a good amount of fear for about....45 years now.

 

There will always be something that keeps you on edge. The trick isn't so much eliminating it...it's learning how to manage it so that it doesn't stop you from moving forward and so that it doesn't limit your life/your world.

 

There's a book called "Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway" that pretty much covers this topic. I think the author is Susan Jeffers.

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Oh, I've been living with a good amount of fear for about....45 years now.

 

There will always be something that keeps you on edge. The trick isn't so much eliminating it...it's learning how to manage it so that it doesn't stop you from moving forward and so that it doesn't limit your life/your world.

 

There's a book called "Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway" that pretty much covers this topic. I think the author is Susan Jeffers.

 

...Can I get some water?

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Wanting to know and be known. If you leave your patner for someone else, you risk having to be a stranger for some time. If you stay with your partner, you may not get along completely, but you know each other so there is a level of trust or security there. You also feel "seen" and "heard" (unless there is abuse), and that is hard to come by. I read in a Psychology Today article that "attention is the currency of relationships." Some attention is better than none (just look at kids who act out to get their parents' reactions).

 

Being alone sucks, so we rather settle for someone rather than no one. We all need support in our lives. But it is better to have healthy relationships than bad ones. I think too many people chuck people away rather than try to work them out though.

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For me the worse part at the end of a LTR is the displacement you feel. In any real LTR you partner becomes a part of who you are. Once the relationship has ended a part of you goes with it and you have to figure out how you will fill that part again. Its almost as if you have to figure out "who am I now and who do I want to be". Its like starting all over..which for some can be the best thing, but others the scariest.

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