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DEALING WITH OTHER PEOPLE
July 2, 2007
3:08 am
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courage to change
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Some of you will know my story a little, but I woke up today feeling highly sensitive again, and angry with myself.

Me and my partner do get on really well, but every once in a while he will say something, and I will either react because im hurt, or withdraw because im hurt and angry.

When ive shared previous things that he has mentioned, most of you have told me not to worry about it. But i do seem to get effected by what he says sometime.

I think he does suttle put downs to put me back in my place, when I get highly confident and excited. Anyway, I know no one is perfect, and about 80% of him is great. What I want to know is how I dont buy into his game. I seem to find it very difficult to say how I feel when he says something inappropriate, and I think this is the time when I need to catch when he makes his comments.

The other thing that bugs me is there is another women who he was friends with prior to meeting me, she was also an acquaitance of mine, and once a month all three of us go to a dance event sharing the traveling. The truth is I feel uncomfortable around her, I let her know too much information about me, and then it backfires. I get the feeling she is trying to find times to get lifts with my partner when I m not available. They have always shared lifts. So i guess i could just be jealous you may say.

I thought about this one, and dont think its the case. The truth is I feel she likes the attention from certain men, especially when they are not available. I had the same problem with her when I had my last partner.

There are other feelings around people where I do not feel insecure. However, she is not one of them.

I am not able to tell my boyfriend about this yet, weve only been together for about 4 months,and I really dont want to separate his friendship with her, and make things awkward for me.

As far as having boundaries, around the odd comment he makes, how do I let him know that I feel hurt by what he says, after he just says it.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

July 2, 2007
3:52 am
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fantas
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Courage...Perhaps the safest way to figure out what his intention for saying certain things is, is to ask him what he means by what he just said. You can also say that what he said sounded like a put down to you and you don't why he would want to put you down. I would be more likely to just ask him to not to speak that way to him again. As for the girl, I'd say trust your insticts and don't tell her more than you need to. All the best to you. Keep us posted.

July 2, 2007
8:39 am
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Hi Fanta

Thank you so much for responding. Meant a lot. But this stuff causes me stress inside, cause Im so aware of other people ways and myself, sometimes I really do not understand how to deal with these things, even though it appears so simple.

I will try and do that in regards to my partner. This is a new habit for me, speaking up for myself with partners. Thank you. And yes I will try to trust my instincts and keep my mouth shut.

Thank you for supporting me, and not questioning my feeling as being right and wrong. I now that most of the time my intuition is mostly correct, but I have a hard time trusting me around certain people.

Thank you once again, i so appreciate it.

x

July 2, 2007
1:32 pm
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Even if there is no real "problem" with his friendship with this other woman, your feelings are still valid. If it makes you uncomfortable in ANY way, that's all right and you need to communicate this. If he is sensitive and caring, he will not want you feeling insecure or uncomfortable and will change his relationship with this woman, accordingly.

I think feeling free to communicate our feelings (and have them accepted and validated -- not criticized) is vitally important to true intimacy in any relationship. If his remarks make you ill at ease or seem to have a "put-down" tone, please confront him about them ON THE SPOT. First, I would repeat back to him what he said, then say, "Is that what you said?" If he says, "Yes...that's what I said," then you should tell him IMMEDIATELY how his words made you feel. If they sting, if they make you feel belittled, demeaned, inadequate, blamed or wrong in any way, he must be made openly aware of their effect on you.

I would also add that there is such a thing as "gaslighting," wherein an abuser undermines his partner with a barrage of subtle, covert put-downs, insults and insecurity-inducing remarks...all delivered in a tone of innocence, but intended to DESTROY the emotional confidence and independence of the victimized partner. I do not know if this is what is going on here, but it can happen. Check out "gaslighting" by googling it on the internet. There is alot of good stuff written about it.

- Ma Strong

July 2, 2007
1:32 pm
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Even if there is no real "problem" with his friendship with this other woman, your feelings are still valid. If it makes you uncomfortable in ANY way, that's all right and you need to communicate this. If he is sensitive and caring, he will not want you feeling insecure or uncomfortable and will change his relationship with this woman, accordingly.

I think feeling free to communicate our feelings (and have them accepted and validated -- not criticized) is vitally important to true intimacy in any relationship. If his remarks make you ill at ease or seem to have a "put-down" tone, please confront him about them ON THE SPOT. First, I would repeat back to him what he said, then say, "Is that what you said?" If he says, "Yes...that's what I said," then you should tell him IMMEDIATELY how his words made you feel. If they sting, if they make you feel belittled, demeaned, inadequate, blamed or wrong in any way, he must be made openly aware of their effect on you.

I would also add that there is such a thing as "gaslighting," wherein an abuser undermines his partner with a barrage of subtle, covert put-downs, insults and insecurity-inducing remarks...all delivered in a tone of innocence, but intended to DESTROY the emotional confidence and independence of the victimized partner. I do not know if this is what is going on here, but it can happen. Check out "gaslighting" by googling it on the internet. There is alot of good stuff written about it.

- Ma Strong

July 2, 2007
2:29 pm
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Yes I will say something, and your advise is good. I was not aware, that although I have self esteem in all areas of my life, I dont have it as high as I would like with men. Otherwise I would not have withdrawn from my partner. Anyway, I will be aware of this next time , and do as you say. This is very good advise.

Thank you

x

July 2, 2007
4:43 pm
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Okay,so now I know how to deal with my man. I will put into action, next time i see him.

Tonight im really having a hard time. My feelings at the moment are very hurt, and sad, and roar. How do I deal with these feelings they are so strong. Ive tried doing a gratitude list. But I want to move my pain. I want to supress it by contacting old boyfriends, that is not the answer to take my focus away from my feelings. How am i meant to get rid of the pain tonight. Im trying to be kind to myself, but i feel so hurt and scared about the reality of my relationship and the future now.

Please help and give me ideas of how i can let go of the pain. Im good at carrying out solutions

July 2, 2007
10:01 pm
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The pain you are feeling is part of the panic of withdrawing from an addictive relationship to a toxic partner. We -- LITERALLY -- experience "withdrawal" when we step back from these partners and begin drawing boundaries. You are afraid. You are afraid of being abandoned, rejected and left alone. Old "pain" buttons from your childhood are being triggered by this situation.

Many of us have experienced the same thing. It is part of recovering from codependency. The temptation to call a man -- ANY man -- to fill the void and "fix" our pain can be overwhelming. Take it an hour at a time, if necessary. You are OK. You can do this and everything you are feeling is normal for any recovering codependent. And it DOES get better. ONE HOUR AT A TIME, OK?

Journaling the pain helped me alot. I would write down (while my memory was fresh) all the painful things my toxic partner had said/done to me. And whenever the grieving would hit, (and it DID hit), I would read that list and hang onto the Truth, instead of nursing false hope that he would change.

Abusers don't change. Toxic partners don't change. But WE can change and feel better about ourselves. Recover our peace and sense of self worth.

Don't give up. Keep posting.

- Ma Strong

July 2, 2007
10:14 pm
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fantas
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Hi Courage, I am not sure I understand where the hurt is coming from. Did you speak to your partner and he wasn't responsive again or it this from the previous times? Have the courage to feel your feelings. Write about how you feel and hold nothing back. Like you said, calling your exs wont solve anything. Hang in there. The more you learn to do this, the less your feelings will overwhelm you. It really works but really slowly....

July 3, 2007
3:25 am
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thanks to you both. I Slept well.

July 3, 2007
5:32 am
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Hi, just thought id pope by in my break, and tell you im feeling so much better today. I think the deep sleep, is also making me feel more positive.

I am so grateful for your input yesterday, I felt like an emotional wreck.

Anyhow, today, I am lot more positive in me. Im feeling very strong. Work is going real good, and I feel like i have regained my emotional power.

Thank you once again from the bottom of my heart.

Hope you are both having a good day, also.

xxx

July 3, 2007
12:37 pm
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fantas
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Courage, I am so glad you are feeling better today. Keep feeling strong!!!

July 4, 2007
8:27 am
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Thank you fanta

Really weird yesterday, had such a positive, busy day. But im amazed got to bed and started feeling anxious again. So didnt get much sleep.

I think im nervous about setting my boundaries with him, and im frighted that I will not be strong enough in myself to set them. In the past Ive let men cross my boundaries, cause i never new what they were with me, but today it never needs to be like that.

These are the things ive decided to do.

Im not prepared be put down in any way (if that is what he is doing?????). I am going to do what you guys suggest when he does it again.

If he is ever unresponsive to a text i send him, then I will also be the same with him (what you give out you get back). This happened Monday evening when I sent him a text, and got one just this morning.

The lady who I feel uncomfortable being around, who we give a lift to once a month. I have decided that I really do not want to participate in giving her a lift. I shall tell him this. (The truth is I feel so uncomfortable being around her, and I dont like her presence).

Well this is the new me, and yes im angry. Im angry at myself, for not having picked him up on some of the things he has said in the past.

I do feel stronger today, but very tired.

All I need now is to have the strength to follow it through.

xx

July 8, 2007
3:23 pm
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Im confused. Went out dancing with my boyfriend on Saturday night, even though I was exhausted. I thought change of atmosphere might be nice from my busy work schedule. Anyway, I did not get the attention i wanted from my partner. Basically, he was not asking me to dance as much as he usually does, and both of use were enjoying ourselves with other people. That was fine, but emotionally I felt so hurt inside, when I wanted to be dancing with my partner.

I guess in some aspects im a little old fashioned and believe the man should ask the women to dance, especially my own partner. As the night moved on, I could feel myself getting more and more insecure and worked up about the whole thing. At the end of the evening I told my partner, that if he wanted to dance with me he would have to ask me, and that I was not prepared to chase after him. So I detached from him and just had fun dancing with others. Inside i was hurting, cause it was like history repeating itself with another boyfriend i once dated. I just wanted to go home and run away from the whole situation, it just felt so painful. It reminded me of the time when my last partner would completely ignore me, and make me feel crap by not giving me the attention i so needed. He used this as a way of controling me.

Anyway, my present partner is not my past partner. And when I am secure in myself none of the above would ever bother me, but for some reason I was insecure and I felt like running away from where I was, and just getting away from the situation. I really did not know how to deal with any of this. In the past i would either get really angry, then feel guilt or I would withdraw and not say anything.

Later in the evening I told my boyfriend calmly, that I missed not having danced with him.

We spent the day together today at barbeque with some friends. He was lovely and attentive, but is aware that he hurt me yesterday. Im hurt inside, cause im frightened of my insecurities arising again and ruining my relationship with me. I just dont seem to have any control over my feelings when my insecurities get triggered, by others actions. I feel guilty for the way I talked to him. Im not too sure if I came across as angry with him last night or night, and need to apologise. But i really do not want to hurt his feelings. He is such a lovely person and so am I, but I really dont want my insecurities to ruin what we have, as I love him very much.

How do I deal with this stuff without loosing my temper, when it is anger and insecurities (sometimes)i feel inside . The other alternative is to withdraw. I find it very difficult to be calm and talk nicely to him under these circumstances. I know that if i did speak with him nicely, he wouldnt be half as hurt, or effected by me.

Please advise.

x

July 11, 2007
10:11 pm
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Courage to change if you go out to have fun make sure you do just that, have fun. Why ruin it by setting rules that are going to make sure that you have a hurtful evening? This new partner may be turned away if he feels that he is being penalized for behavior of someone prior to him. Just think about that and you will realize that paying for the sins of others is not in either one of you all's best interest.

It takes two to tango and one to say no. So in other words, what would happen if you just make yourself fun to be with, as if you did not have insecurities and so forth. It seems to me that you both played this game so to speak, like the other one didn't matter. Now what do you both get for your trouble - hurt feelings and detachment, the very things you do not want.

Perhaps you can have a little talk, not accusing one another but something to clear the air, BEFORE you are at another affair so you can just enjoy one another's company and not feel hurt inside. These type of things just escalate and become worse.

Don't withdraw but don't let the situation get so out of hand that all you want at that moment is to just hurt the other person's feelings. All that does for you is that eventually you end up hurting yourself.

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