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I need a pep talk


1a1a
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Posted (edited)

He reached out. 
 

He’s been grappling with what happened on Friday all weekend and he can’t find a solution. 
 

I shared the push pull dynamic with him and he said he recognised it but his reasons for withdrawing were different. 
 

He said he’d tried everything he could think of to make me feel secure and it wasn’t that he wanted space and receiving that message didn’t make him feel any better (but he wasn’t engaging because the damage had been done Friday night. He’s not happy, I’m not happy, it shouldn’t be like this in a relationship). 
 

I asked if he’d been setting himself on fire to keep me warm, he said yes. 
 

We’re not compatible. 
 

He thinks we need to focus on ourselves right now. 
 

To clarify, you mean to break up don’t you? You’ll have to explain if you meant something else.

 

Yes, you understood that right. 
 

I didn’t cry, I didn’t beg, I didn’t plead. 
 

I did tell him if he wanted to do relationship counselling I would very much be there for that. He said he’d think about it. I guess, I can see it too, that we are not clicking. And I still dream of over coming it, and that is the fantasy. Two people working together to navigate their differences. Meanwhile every other person outside of the relationship and now even him inside is calling it a losing hand. Just let it go. And I guess, I haven’t been the one on fire trying to keep the other warm. 
 

How I wish it hadn’t all happened like this. 
 

And that I had worked on my anxiety earlier. 
 

Although you may note, where is he working on himself in this? And I did ask him how do we make space for him in the relationship and he can never answer that with anything concrete. So I guess me saying I wish I could have made that space for him is just me over functioning at this stage. 
 

I knew this was coming and I don’t feel like the bottom just fell out of the world, but god it’s sad. So so so sad, we invested so much time in each other and we couldn’t make it work. 
 

I think I already missed him and grieved him in the last two weeks when I mistakenly felt like the relationship ended (and then my feelings caused the relationship to end. But, someone who naturally, instinctively wanted to connect with me when when they were busy, would definitely be a better match for me. And that is not he, and he hurt himself trying to be that person and then was hurt by me when it didn’t work. What a trap!)

 

I guess at least now I can go for an extended working holiday overseas, which is an experience I think I need to have for personal growth. But it doesn’t feel right. Hollow consolation. 
 

And I guess at least now I’m back in the psychs office. This relationship might have taught me I still don’t love myself enough to form a meaningful connection with someone. 
 

So much sadness. 
 

He left the door open, call me any time. But I won’t do that unless we’re getting back together or it’s way in the future and I’m over him.

 

God it took me so long to warm up  to this guy and now I’m there, all in, needily invested. And he’s out. 

Edited by 1a1a
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@1a1aI'm sorry about the break up.

It'll take time. Please surround yourself with good friends, family, ice cream and good movies. Reap the good moments and lessons. And, Take good good care of yourself.

This too shall pass.

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I'm sorry you're sad and disappointed and even angry/frustrated with him -that is normal.  Another vote for ice cream!! I think this is a blessing in disguise.  Keep distilling this to common sense simplicity -you two do not have enough in common to be in a long term romantic relationship.  No analysis or thinking needed. 

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On 5/30/2022 at 4:57 AM, Jibralta said:

What always stands out to me when you post about this guy is how you portray him as "good" and yourself as "bad." When he's cold and dismissive of you, it's somehow your fault, you have to change to make this work. Your narrative never makes your relationship needs ok. You reject yourself.

I suggest you go back and reread what Jibralta said at the bottom of the first page as it's constructive and relevant to the way you've thought of yourself while you stayed a long time in a relationship that was no longer fulfilling. 

He wasn't as communicative as you and that's your cue also observing when a partner has checked out. I think he checked out long before Friday and likely has been detaching for awhile before now. 

When you find someone isn't compatible in the future, pause and gauge whether there's room for growth. You wanted it to work and it also prevented you from seeing that he was not willing to work on the relationship anymore or meet your needs (communicate at a level you needed). 

Go back to what you find acceptable in a relationship and redefine your needs. I'm sorry about the break up. Yet, remain strong and when you do start to date again, don't negate or reject your own needs and what you want out of a relationship.

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Be careful about making this about some mysterious character flaw that you might have that drove him away.  We become attached to people we love and when we feel them pull away it scares us. 

Yes, you may have pursued him but in this case, most would.   He wasn't merely requiring a little bit of momentary space.  He was actively checking out and deep down inside you knew it.  Nothing you could have done would have changed that.

Be kind to yourself.  I am sorry this has happened.

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He called me tonight, to see how I was. Not to reconcile. We talked, I told him where i was. He told me he felt like I was all talk but nothing changes. I said I never even reckoned with my anxiety before, I had this fantasy of him as the reassuring partner who’s steady presence would help me fix it when really I had agency this whole time and can take it in my own hands. This is a new thing for me. He said, ‘stick to the plan, let’s work on ourselves for now’ and he said, that he was a stable guy who likes stability in his life and being with me was like being on a roller coaster (my saying I was ready to move in with him and then stalling on it was given as an example although ultimately he became ok with that because maybe I was right and he was trying to go to fast, and he doesn’t at all understand where the last two weeks conflict have come from. My activated  attachment trauma I think.)
 

Although it would have been clear talking to me that I hadn’t lost heart and still wanted to work things out, I feel like I did a good job of staying calm and listening to him. (That’s his biggest problem, he feels like there’s no space for him in the relationship. And there, might be an incompatibility indeed because I am at a loss as to how to engage with him in a way that doesn’t make him feel like that. If we did relationship counselling maybe we could find out) and not pleading for us to get back together. 
 

So, I think he got hurt by my insecurity (which is foolish, he shouldn’t take it personally but I understand it) and he doesn’t trust I can change. 
 

There has been ice cream, and heater use (unheard of for me but it’s numbingly cold and lonely and I can fix the cold bit with the press of a button) and excessive journaling. And today I needed to move a lot of stuff out on the kerb for hardrubbish and my housemates all helped and we were industriously moving junk out of the driveway and it felt good to be getting rid of that stuff (like I’m moving my life in a good direction) and really good to have their support doing it. 

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Here I am still bargaining and hoping we can make it. In a week or so when it’s clear that’s not happening I’m combing through this thread and my others and writing down every single observed incompatibility/source of conflict that you’ve all be able to pick out from what I’ve shared and putting them on a master list of no. 

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You know. . I have anxiety and have struggled with certain partners in the past.  I don't believe I was ever looking for someone to help manage my anxiety *with me, but what I have learned is that I've made choices in men that have spiked my anxiety.  I practiced buckling down and tried to reign it in like some out of control wild horse and at times successful, but exhausting non the less.

I have learned to accept this is who I am and without trying I've coincidently found someone who doesn't trigger any anxiety in me.  He doesn't have to reassure me or do anything out of ordinary.  It turns out that he's - merely consistent and transparent.  I suppose the most surprising thing is that it can be so simple - 5 years later. 

Not to say I'm no longer anxious.  But because of the dynamic between us and his nature, when I feel it coming on I can easily dismiss it.  We compliment each other.

It may be possible this just isn't the right guy for you.

 

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Posted (edited)

Consistent and transparent. Is that really asking too much? In a way my ex has been amazingly consistent in his affection. Transparent he is not though. You would have to communicate to be transparent. 
 

He did call again. We talked for an hour. I still want to reconcile (well, I haven’t given up on the idea that we do compliment each other and just need to learn how to be a couple. Maybe that is more work than is reasonable or possible? But maybe it is teething issues? But then you’ve all been following along and you probably remember a laundry list of non compatibilities my mind has filtered out, can’t love over come them? I know love alone is not enough but we’re not like the awful combo of someone who’s love language is touch paired with someone who’s touch averse. Now That is an incompatibility. Ask me how I know! We do want the same things just at different paces, we like living the same lifestyle, we eat the same food, we speak each other’s love language, I thought we were both committed. )

 

I learned he’s not an introvert, he’s an extravert, just one who likes alone time. He’s still staying in that room with his friend. So he hasn’t been alone and he hasn’t thought about us. It didn’t work, push it out of mind and focus on working. Thinking about it hurts too much. 
 

He says he feels very hurt. And he says I’m really good with my words and when I talk like this he wants to be with me. And I might want to do these things with all my heart but I don’t actually do them. I told him some things I’d done to come towards him (getting my teeth cleaned when he mentioned bad breath, that kind of thing) he was unmoved. So where I say I can listen to him better and practice empathy, he doesn’t believe me. He thinks we’ve already had this conversation multiple times. I don’t think we have. He said, you know how when you’re getting to know someone there’s a learning curve while you work out how to be with them. Then it levels out. Well his has leveled out and he doesn’t know what else to do and my feeling so insecure even after he’s done everything he can think of really hurts.

 

I told him more than anything in a partner I’m looking for someone who’ll turn towards me and work through problems. 
 

I guess the reality is that is not him. The romantic dream he was selling was just a prop, not the real deal. 
 

But I still feel like I need to try and reach him. That’s like sticking my hand in the fire. Why do I feel like I need to do this to feel like I gave it my all?
 

 

Edited by 1a1a
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It still hurts because you're adjusting. As painful as it is, it is not uncommon to feel this way.. you're still realizing that he has opted to end things. The truth is no matter how much you want to try, he did end it with you. It may take you some time to realize that keeping in touch with him isn't a good idea. 

In the meantime, keep writing and letting it out. Either here or privately in a journal. You're not alone in any of this and we're here to listen.

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Posted (edited)

I read what you wrote and this is the main reason you are not sleeping because you're indulging in all this psychobabble meandering.  Puppies also are consistent with affection lol.  Feelings aren't facts.  It doesn't matter why you "feel" you need to keep pounding your head against the wall. You choose not to react to that temptation by doing something else.  Yesterday I felt like breaking something from the parenting stress.  Instead I angry-scrubbed the floor.

I don't have the time, the privilege even, to run with every feeling, every impulse to its often irrational end.  I show myself not that I ignore the feelings -ever! - I choose a reaction that will move the ball forward in a productive way. 

When my husband and I got back together there were 9 days where he didn't call me - 9 days in between platonic "date" number 2 and 3 - almost 17 years ago.  I felt like chasing.  I had no idea if he was interested in reconciling.  If he was feeling what I was feeling.  I felt all sorts of things.  We had no other date planned and I knew he was leaving town again in a couple of weeks.  I allowed myself one email to him (so a total of two contacts in 9 days from me) - a funny dream I'd had - and he responded and he asked me to get together again I think the following week maybe. 

It wasn't because I reached out -he was going to be in touch, there was a reason he hadn't been although it was never 100% clear.  Had I acted on my feelings differently -gone down the rabbit hole as you do, over and over again, there's a decent chance he'd have chosen differently -been concerned that I was overeager, overwhelming him, desperate.  I gave him space to come to me.  It's not easy to choose a different reaction.  I found it extremely hard.  But I had my eye on the long term prize.  I didn't want to rock the boat of the fragile beginnings of a potential reconciliation.

I am not saying you two should reconcile ever -I share this as an example of why sometimes you have to say "uh who knows??" as to why you are feeling one way or another. 

This is how you give it your all.  You accept that you don't have to run with every whim, every feeling, every impulse you have that pops into your head.  You refuse to indulge in overthinking, in the love language nonsense (yes, the way you are manipulating it to make excuses is not what it's supposed to be - yes there are legitimate ways to consider love languages)

Just let the feeling exist, choose a reaction that doesn't involve this sort of indulging, telling yourself fantasies, telling yourself that the more you label and immerse yourself in psychobabble the more justified you are in sabotaging your health and future opportunities. 

 

Edited by Batya33
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