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Fundamental Differences...


teach1234

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It has been 5 days since my partner of 5 years broke up with me. We were in an on and off relationship for the duration and we often got into silly arguments which turned into massive ones due to a lack of communication and not being able to understand each other's thought processes. I am a very emotional person where he is very logical when dealing with stress and issues we have had.

 

Before we broke up, he had taken a week to think things over where I had limited contact with him. He decided that we should break up. His reason was that we had too many fundamental differences and although he cared for me, he believed that there was nothing that could be done to fix our ongoing issues. He said that our personalities did not gel and that he wished things could have worked out he just does not think it is possible. I wanted to do anything and everything to make this relationship work as I love him.

 

He cried and told me that the break up would be tough but we were not right for each other although he still cared for me deeply and that I will always be special to him. He said that he wished things weren't this way but our personalities just are not compatible although I am an amazing person. For the first time he acknowledge the amount of effort I had put into the relationship and said that he was grateful. He thinks there are people out there who are better suited to us.

 

 

I am the kind of person that doesn't want to give up on something that means a lot to me. I know that we don't have an AMAZING relationship but I was wanting to put the effort in to make it amazing as we have had an amazing time with him and I do love the person he is. Am I wrong to think that with effort, things could improve in a relationship? Are there certain times where two people's thought processes are so different that it just cannot work out however hard either person tries?

 

I understand that I need to move on and am trying to accept the fact that he does not want to be with me any longer but because our relationship was very on and off (he was the one to break it off every time), I am struggling to believe that this is completely over. I am terrified at the thought of never speaking to or seeing him again.

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I am the kind of person that doesn't want to give up on something that means a lot to me. I know that we don't have an AMAZING relationship but I was wanting to put the effort in to make it amazing as we have had an amazing time with him and I do love the person he is. Am I wrong to think that with effort, things could improve in a relationship? Are there certain times where two people's thought processes are so different that it just cannot work out however hard either person tries?

 

You can't change his feelings regardless of the 'effort' you put into the relationship. Both parties must believe that a relationship can work. In addition to this, the willingness to change their beliefs about the relationship has to come from themselves only. You can persuade him through logical, emotional pleas and immediate no contact, but him wanting to come back won't be a result of his own heart. It would be coming from a place of love (but not enough to stay), guilt, loneliness or pity.

 

As for the last question, I think there are times where thought processes are too different that it becomes very difficult to overcome things. Yet at the same time, there are plenty of relationships that are capable of marching forward despite thinking differences. The major thing about these relationships are that the people involved are very wise and mature in their approach. They are still able to communicate effectively despite their differences in thinking.

 

I understand that I need to move on and am trying to accept the fact that he does not want to be with me any longer but because our relationship was very on and off (he was the one to break it off every time), I am struggling to believe that this is completely over. I am terrified at the thought of never speaking to or seeing him again.

 

For the time being, you're doing the right thing by not having any contact with him.

 

You both accept that you have tried for 5 years together and it didn't work. A period of independent growth and self-reflection might be necessary for any chance of reconciliation in the future. Perhaps several months down the line you'll accept that you don't want to get back together.

 

It seems that you know that the worst thing to do is to stay as friends immediately after the breakup. I don't think it's definite that you will never speak to each other again, but even if both parties would like friendship several months down the line, there needs to be that grace period to allow things to re-adjust themselves.

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Kinda the same situation im in, we have a 12 yr age difference, but the problem was we differed on alot of values and life goals. My ex is still young where im more stable and secure in life, house, life ect. We grew up in different generations. Im more old fashioned and old school then he is. At first that wasnt a problem, but as time went on we didnt always seem to mesh well on alot of topics, money, politics, religion. Im not saying it cant work, but it can make it harder to understand the other person. You can still love them, but to be in a relationship can prove to be stressful and tireing, at some point those issues will have to be faced. However maybe you can find peace that the relationship isnt ending because of cheating, or lieing, but because your just not right for eachother or compatable. Its not you, and its not him. Just to people that met at the wrong time. He may feel that the issues are just to big to work out, im guessing you both have tried to work on alot of your differences but alot of the time they end up with you both fighting. Yes relationships do take some work,,and fighting now and then is normal, but when you both find that your fighting over and over about the same things then something needs to change. What were some of the issues you were having?

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Hi Lightjocj,

Thanks for your response. We had a lot of trouble communicating with each other. Every little argument would end up blowing up into an unnecessarily large one.

He is 5 years older than me and has some financial goals. He is saving up to build a house, he has a large amount of money invested in a variety of shares and he is very interested in understanding and knowing about the economy.

 

I have also started being interested in these things and see these things as future goals as he is always talking to me about them but I would find myself feeling pressured into doing these things with buy him. He would suggest that I invest a large amount of money in the stock market and for me to buy a house and list down all the reasons that doing these things would benefit me and when I would tell him that I felt uncomfortable doing these things without doing a lot of research myself first and waiting until I was ready, he would get annoyed that I was not taking his advice.

 

When he was my age, he was quite careless with his money and did not have savings. I know that he is saying these things because he wants the best for me and cares for me and because he would have wanted someone to tell him these things when he was my age but I felt uncomfortable and pressured into doing these things straight away. He is also very set in his own ways so he would often get hurt and felt rejected when I did not take his full advice. He feels as though I am making him fall behind as I am not comfortable in doing these things as quickly as he would like to and he feels as though he can't talk to me about these things as I don't know as much as he does about these topics. I am a very curious person and I love learning new things so I have tried to educate myself about his interests so we can talk about them but it just hasn't been enough.

 

He is also a very logical and straightforward person (His Myers Briggs type is ISTJ and mine is ISFJ) so sometimes the things he would say would hurt me unintentionally. When I would come home after a bad day, I felt as though he could not comfort me in an emotional way as he was not able to empathize with my feelings and would often try to give me solutions when a hug and some reassurance would have made everything better. He is very introverted and does not like to open up and share his emotions which I found quite difficult when we were going through hard situations. When we had arguments, he would often shut me out and try to remove himself from the situation which would then in turn make me anxious and filled with emotions and push him further away.

 

I think in the end, we both felt lonely. He felt lonely because he didn't feel as though he could speak to me about his interests and I felt lonely because my emotional needs were not being met. I was hoping that we could communicate and work through our issues but he believes that there is no solution to the issues we have and he is no longer willing to put in the effort to try to make changes.

 

I guess yes, our break up was not mutual but I am glad that it was amicable. There was no fighting or yelling and I find comfort in that.

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Thank you for your response.

Yes, I agree, it takes two to tango. I guess I feel frustrated because he just couldn't see a possible way our problems could have been improved or fixed when I saw potential and believed we could have something so wonderful. I understand why he would feel this way but I feel hurt that he has given up on us. I feel hopeless as this is completely out of my control.

 

I am so glad that the break up talk we had was not a nightmare. He was able to say what was on his mind and effectively communicate with me. I promised myself that I would not try to argue with him and that I would not let my emotions get the better of me. We were both in tears but we did not argue and I did not beg for him back. We gave each other a hug and parted ways.

 

Every day, I have the urge to and think about contacting him but I know that it is not helpful in this situation. I am still feeling very upset and down but I think this period of no contact is very important for me to think about the break up in a logical way and grow as a person.

 

Hopefully I will hear from him again whether it be to reconcile or for a friendship. I know it will take time but he has been such a big part of my life and I only have love for him. I would hate for us to become strangers. I might feel differently in a few months though, who knows.

 

You have helped me to see things a bit more logically and clearly. Thank you so much.

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That's one of the problems of being an ISFJ.

 

ISFJs have a difficult time leaving a relationship which is bad, or accepting that a relationship is over. They tend to put all of the blame on their own shoulders, and wonder what they should have done to make things work out. If they have been loyal to their vows and have done their duties, they will be at a complete loss as to what went wrong, and will have great difficulty accepting the end. They are "true blue" lovers, and may even remain faithful to their deceased partners.

 

I think it's very hard to distinguish between when to let go and believing that we can keep on fighting for the relationship.

 

Even now after 2 months (1 month of NC), I haven't let go my relationship as well even though I don't really see any solutions at the moment. I still have all our photos in my bedroom.

 

I dread the day when I put those things away - since that will be the day when you realise that you have given up completely.

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That description is me 110%

Are you also an ISFJ?

 

It's just one of the standard descriptions for an ISFJ. But yes, I'm an ISFJ who is going through a similar thing with the ending of a 6 year relationship that wasn't fantastic due to communication issues.

 

I think one of the reasons that my relationship lasted so long was because there was still love and in general ISFJs are very loyal to their partners and the relationship. We want to make things work.

 

But truthfully there have been so many times during the relationship where I also kept bouncing between "As long as I love the other person, we can try and find ways of making things work somehow" and "Is love enough?".

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Yes, I agree, it takes two to tango. I guess I feel frustrated because he just couldn't see a possible way our problems could have been improved or fixed when I saw potential and believed we could have something so wonderful. I understand why he would feel this way but I feel hurt that he has given up on us. I feel hopeless as this is completely out of my control.

 

It is understandable why he would feel this way. My ex felt the same way about some problems being unsolvable.

 

One of the reason I didn't fight this time was because... even if I thought there was relationship potential, even if I believed that the relationship would be so much better if we could just establish better communication. The reality is that it's been 6 years, it's been 6 years and we haven't managed to achieve this. Thinking that if we just put that bit more effort into the relationship is just wishful thinking on my behalf at this stage.

 

When we want the relationship to work so much, I think it's possible that we end up focusing too much on the 'potential' rather than the reality of relationship.

 

If things are going to get better then they need to be drastic changes.

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Einstein said something that made impact on me: YOU CANNOT SOLVE A PROBLEM USING THE SAME MINDSET YOU HAD WHEN YOU CREATED IT.

There are some deeply rooted problems in the way we communicate that makes it very hard to truly communicate. I suggest both of you read and re-read a book called Non Violent Communication, from Marshall Rosenberg. That man has studied human comunication better than anyone in the world. Look for it and try to make yourself a better communicator.

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Einstein said something that made impact on me: YOU CANNOT SOLVE A PROBLEM USING THE SAME MINDSET YOU HAD WHEN YOU CREATED IT.

There are some deeply rooted problems in the way we communicate that makes it very hard to truly communicate. I suggest both of you read and re-read a book called Non Violent Communication, from Marshall Rosenberg. That man has studied human comunication better than anyone in the world. Look for it and try to make yourself a better communicator.

 

Fantastic quote. Thank you.

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Unfortunately you are both again being who you are, he has presented a rational reasoning of not getting along, not being compatible etc. and you want to 'fix' it because you feel love, desperation, pain.

 

Sadly love doesn't conquer all and one person can't 'make it work' because she wants it to be so, when the other feels burned out on conflict and carefully deliberated that ending it is best.

I am a very emotional person where he is very logical when dealing with stress and issues we have had. Am I wrong to think that with effort, things could improve in a relationship?
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I could have written your story as my relationship ending for similar reasons.

 

Here's what I learned: That compatibility shouldn't necessarily measured by those good times, the warm fuzzy times.

It should primarily measured by how well two people work together when faced with challenges.

 

If you can't communicate and resolve issues all the warm fuzzys are for nothing.

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It is understandable why he would feel this way. My ex felt the same way about some problems being unsolvable.

 

One of the reason I didn't fight this time was because... even if I thought there was relationship potential, even if I believed that the relationship would be so much better if we could just establish better communication. The reality is that it's been 6 years, it's been 6 years and we haven't managed to achieve this. Thinking that if we just put that bit more effort into the relationship is just wishful thinking on my behalf at this stage.

 

When we want the relationship to work so much, I think it's possible that we end up focusing too much on the 'potential' rather than the reality of relationship.

 

If things are going to get better then they need to be drastic changes.

 

I agree with everything you said. I guess I am struggling to come to terms with the reality of the situation and am still thinking to myself "What could I have done better to fix this?" "Maybe if I did this, things would work out..."

 

I've just had a constant knot in my stomach thinking about this and trying to process everything in my head.

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Question for you: do you prefer to break up now or divorce 5 years after marriage when you have a mortgage and kids?

 

You're absolutely right. I would rather break up now before we got even more serious. I guess it's just hard to accept because I still love him and we did not break up on bad terms.

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Einstein said something that made impact on me: YOU CANNOT SOLVE A PROBLEM USING THE SAME MINDSET YOU HAD WHEN YOU CREATED IT.

There are some deeply rooted problems in the way we communicate that makes it very hard to truly communicate. I suggest both of you read and re-read a book called Non Violent Communication, from Marshall Rosenberg. That man has studied human comunication better than anyone in the world. Look for it and try to make yourself a better communicator.

 

Thank you so much. I will definitely be getting my hands on this book.

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I could have written your story as my relationship ending for similar reasons.

 

Here's what I learned: That compatibility shouldn't necessarily measured by those good times, the warm fuzzy times.

It should primarily measured by how well two people work together when faced with challenges.

 

If you can't communicate and resolve issues all the warm fuzzys are for nothing.

 

Was there anything you did to help you come to terms with the fact that it was just not working? I've just had a constant knot in my stomach for days now thinking and replaying everything in my mind. Did you and your ex remain in contact after the break up?

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Was there anything you did to help you come to terms with the fact that it was just not working? I've just had a constant knot in my stomach for days now thinking and replaying everything in my mind. Did you and your ex remain in contact after the break up?

He was the one that ended it so I am forced to come to terms. Honestly, I would have done it eventually but I guess I am more of a gluten for punishment so he beat me to the punch.

 

All the second guessing and wondering who would reach out first but when all is said and done, we are who we are and there is no changing it. He has the mindset in an argument that there are only winners or losers. There is no compromise and respect for differences. What do you with that??

 

Time gives you the gift of being more objective about it. When the emotions die down things come into focus.

No contact for me. It's the only way I can do it.

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