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relationship sabotage


loveisaparadox
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Looking back on the rough periods that led to the breakup with my gf over a year ago, I feel like I may have sabotaged the relationship to some degree. I don't know why, because I was really in love with her, but maybe subconsciously I thought I didn't deserve to be so happy. For sure, we both did or failed to do certain things that brought on the end, but in retrospect I feel like I was particularly difficult about some things that just seem so petty and unsubstantial now.

 

Does anyone feel like this, like they sabotaged their relationship and then regretted losing the person when things got out of control?

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Does anyone feel like this, like they sabotaged their relationship and then regretted losing the person when things got out of control?

 

I am not so sure about deliberately sabotaging but how many times do you hear on these forums "If only I realised then how much I loved him/her I would never have acted the way I did." Or some such lament.

 

It's people taking relationships for granted, getting lazy about them, getting their priorities wrong etc etc.

 

In hindsight it is always so clear to us.

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"Does anyone feel like this, like they sabotaged their relationship and then regretted losing the person when things got out of control"

 

totally. absolutely. if you don't then you haven't done the 'post review' and 'work' on the things that u contributed to the downfall. if u think u have no part in the failure then u are a few cards shy of a full deck.

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loveisaparadox,

 

Yes, I have those feelings. My experience is barely a month old, I am still having horrific levels of guilt for doing and saying some things which contributed to the end. This is not to say that my ex-gf didn't, but my conscience now tortures me for petty things I did.

 

She was in a demanding course of study, had exams, and I didn't supprt her effectively through the preparation period. I never demanded she leave her priorities and do things with me, but she said later, when I didn't get enough attention I acted like a spoilt child. A minor crime, but one that I can't seem to forgive myself now because as a result I have lost the woman who mattered most in the world to me.

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my 2 cents

 

"when I didn't get enough attention I acted like a spoilt child. A minor crime, but one that I can't seem to forgive myself now because as a result I have lost the woman who mattered most in the world to me."

 

well, what may appear minor to u was obviously major to her because that is the reason given to u. so, remember that lesson and keep the child that is inside u [not the spoilt part - no one likes that - keep the play, curious part]. remember what might seen trival to you, might not be to them. i think what really happened is you stopped communicating and working things thru....because what u mentioned should never end a relationship. best wishes.

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rightfromthestart,

 

Sorry - what I wrote down ("spoilt child" behaviour) wasn't the cause of the relationship ending, I was thinking aloud there - today I am feeling remorseful about some things, and that was a big one. It put strain on the relationship.

 

As to communicating, without wishing to sound like I'm justifying myself, I sadly was the one who was always willing to do that. She wouldn't or couldn't talk about difficult feelings. So, I wish she had hauled me up about behaviour much earlier, and I would've done my best to change it.

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I sorta did that... my ex did certain things in the past that hurt me badly.

And I thought that he "owed" me. When we split and he started taking apart the relationship (I thought it was all him). He asked me a number of questions that I never really paid attention to while I was in the relationship. One questions threw me for a loop. He asked "when was the last time you told me you love me".

 

Don't think I ever really said it to him or expressed it to him...

 

We were together for 7 years...

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hey 27...u shouldn't feel bad about saying something like that...maybe u did feel he was like that...maybe he was...just remember, that comment is attached to the emotion - and not taken personally [something an ex taught me].

 

as for qwers comment....saying you love someone everyday is the best...but if u don't feel that way, then that's why u don't say it...but remember, telling someone u love them doesn't have to be vocalized all the time...what's that old saying? actions speak louder than words....u can say you love someone in so many ways...say your partner is sick - and without them asking you, u bring them in some chicken noodle soup....the look in their eyes will make u melt....

 

make sense?

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hiya right..

 

yeah I get what you're saying, and I did love him, but lots of things got in the way. I was angry with him for a long time and even though I said I got over the things he did, I still felt he owed me and I'm not a really affectionate person. I know that (it runs in the family, my sis has the same problem with her partner just found that out this weekend).

 

Can you imagine you're in a relationship for 7 years with someone and they not saying they love you? that would panick me!!

 

I'm not trying to downplay his part in the breakup, but he's been hearing that he was the cause of "our" problems for years. I just never realised how important my part in the downfall of our relationship.

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"I'm not trying to downplay his part in the breakup, but he's been hearing that he was the cause of "our" problems for years. I just never realised how important my part in the downfall of our relationship."

 

wow. do u realize what a huge step u have just taken in your healing process? congrats! i want u to think about this for a moment - how could u possibly understand his behaviour, if u did not understand your contribution? i mean, the best way to 'know' someone else is to understand yourself first right? see, now u can do many other things that will help you. when u can see both sides of the coin - it is much easier to focus. i suggest you try this one little experiement - pretend you are the other person? what i mean, keep your own thoughts but just trade places. everything they did is now u doing it, and the same for them. how would u view things now? how would u react? this is really about finding out how well u know the other person and whether or not u would have reacted the same way if the reverse had happened. and of course, i have a ton of other suggestions, but, i think you are well on your way to finding peace of mind within yourself. best wishes.

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I totally relate to the spoilt child comments. I was feeling hostile in my relationship because she insisted in having our child where she lived, near her friends and family (understandable) and she wanted to stay there for at least a year post-birth. The difficult part was that my business, and thus our source of income, was where I lived, about 4,000 km away.

 

Honestly, I should have accepted the situation for what it was, and made the best of it. But instead, the child in me took over, and I * * * * *ed about the cold weather (it was like -30 in the winter where she lived) and * * * * *ed about how difficult it was to run my business and I refused to socialize with her friends because I was feeling so disrespected. I felt like I wasn't getting what I wanted, I felt like what I wanted was not unreasonable, and so I refused to cooperate with what she wanted. It was like a war of attrition. One of us had to back down, and it should have been me - after all, she was pregnant.

 

And therein lies the Truth of what happened, and now the source of my regret and torment. I have lost her, probably for good. The emotional charge between us is so volatile we can't even communicate right now. I'm pretty sure she is with someone else, which is creating a whole new level of resentment - being "replaced" as a father to my child.

 

It's so easy to see all of this now. But at the time, in the middle of it, I was ruled by my inner child and my ego, and I managed to wear down her love and trust. Total sabotage.

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"The emotional charge between us is so volatile"

 

hey, that's a good thing. u loved deep. and when u do that - its a wicked ride...i would rather that then boring old pork chops every nite for supper....and the good part is that 'volatile spark' is what actually keeps you both connected and feeling alive...its not always a bad thing...embrace the volatile! lol

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I did the exaxtly what you did I think it comes from control power thing and wanting her to back down rather you down..This is usually artifacts from previous relationships...mine was from ex-wife..she always find her ways to get me down, when I stop doing it, we divorced..She could not take it. I think we got to find take-give capable partners...not me me attitude and do the same...

 

Cheers

 

Eric

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You are right about loving deep - the risk is, of course, deep loss. And that's where I am now. But if not experiencing the loss means not experiencing the love, forget it. I would rather live hard and learn from my mistakes, any day. Unfortunately, I happened to choose a partner with a very low threshold for bull****. The compromise for learning some very important stuff about myself (and relationships in general) is losing her. The upside is, nothing catastrophic happened ... lots of big emotions, but no serious baggage to take away from this other than sadness and some regret.

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Sometimes it is instructive for me to hear of the details from a story such as yours ... you were describing the ways in which your inner child took over while you were with your ex.

 

In my case, my ex-gf was in her early twenties, and her threshold for understanding any irritated actions from me was even lower. In brief, she was studying, going through an exam period. I visited her place often, didn't put pressure to spend time with me in preference to her books. The last day of her exams coincided with an anniversary date of ours - the date we first went out. As she had said in advance she'd be celebrating with friends, I was fine with not seeing her that day, but when a second day also passed with her doing various things with friends, I got irritated and on the third day planned something with a guy friend. She then felt rejected that I'd done this.

 

She did put herself out during her exam revision for me, occasionally cooking for me, visiting mine. She had even put aside one weekend for a trip away to commemorate the anniversary. Problem was, I wanted to see her after the exams were over and when I found myself waiting around, I got impatient.

 

This was about as bad as our disagreements got. I was generally willing to spend time with her friends, plan days and nights out for the two of us, that bit was fine. Now, after we have broken up -- her reason for it was that we don't have a spark -- I bitterly blame myself for incidents like this which caused disturbances in the relationship. More than that, for not adequately seeing how much she was going out of her way for me.

 

Like you and others, I would dearly wish to be able to say well, that was a learning experience. But to have paid such a high price - losing her - is fuelling furious regret for not having been perfect and giving way to childish behaviour at times. We are not talking now, and don't expect to ever - hence all these questions coming to my mind.

 

How on earth do all of you out there deal with regretful feelings?

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re: regretful feelings

 

That's a good question, icarus, and I've been looking for answers myself. Sometimes the regret is almost intolerable, but I try to stay focused on the fact that they are just feelings and with the help of my friends and family, I can get through *any* feelings that crop up.

 

Specifically with regards to regret, I remind myself that if I could go back to the same situation without knowing what I know now, I would probably have reacted the same way. The fact is, I made decisions in the past, and they were the best decisions I could make based on what I knew at the time and where I was emotionally. I had no idea I was setting myself up for two years of hell. That's how strongly I believed I was doing the *right* thing at the time. Of course, I have learned from my mistakes, as you have. It is unfortunate that the learning has come with such great loss, but I now accept that sometimes great loss is required to knock the sense into us to enact real change.

 

Keep your fingers crossed. Perhaps the real *true* love of our life is down the road, and we will be thankful for having suffered through these learning experiences so that we are prepared for that relationship.

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