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Help! What is wrong with me.
July 27, 2009
5:56 pm
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thumkin
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I am bouncing from one spectrum to another. It seemed like for quite a while I was so ok. Now Im all over the place and a mess.

I have started dating my ex-husband again. I guess. We have gone out a few times and been talking a lot lately. He says he has changed. I can see he has changed some. And when we have been spending this time together everything has been good.

But I am so confused. I am scared or sad. A part of me wants this. So badly. Our girls would be sooo happy if we could all be together again.

We have been divorced for five years. But it was really a couple of lifetimes ago. I have been through sooo much since then. I have grown so much since then.

But and heres the part Im having so much trouble with. He has not said anything negative to me. He has not done anything to hurt me. He has been perfect. But just being with him makes me feel inadequate. I always thought when we were married his belittleing me is what lowered my self esteem to lower than dirt. But he hasnt done anything to me. And yet this morning when I woke up I had these horrible feelings like I am not worth anything. How in the world is this possible.

Why would just spending time with someone who has not done anything to provoke this cause me to feel so horrible?

Somebody please explain this to me.

July 27, 2009
6:15 pm
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CAMER
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maybe you are just getting "flashbacks" as to how he used to be. Even so, he may be nice now...but see how long it lasts.

And are you with him to recoup things, have a relationship, or more just so to "get along" and are you doing it for the childrens sake or your own self??

keep posting, it helps!

July 27, 2009
6:26 pm
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laughalot
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Question for you: If your girls weren't a factor, would you still want to get back together with him? Maybe deep down you realize you have grown since being away from him and getting back together with him would be like taking a step backwards and that is making you feel bad? Just playing devil's advocate here. I would say if you still want to pursue it, take things VERY slowly and see if he has in fact changed. However, during this time with him you should be feeling good about yourself and the future. Don't ignore what your gut is telling you. Good luck!

July 27, 2009
6:45 pm
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thumkin
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I cant say whether or not I would even consider getting back together if the girls were not a factor or not. Just because they are. However, I would never get back with him just for the girls. Part of the reason I left him in the first place was for my girls. Because I did not want them to grow up thinking it was ok for a man to treat a woman the way their dad treated me.

Maybe I am just afraid that he will resort to treating me that way again. But I dont know. Thats what I dont understand here, is why do I feel this way now when hes not being the same person I knew.

I do plan to take it slow. As a matter of fact I told him this morning we have got to slow down. I think a part of my problem is he has never and probably will never understand how the way he was was hurtful. He has realized some of the things he did wrong in the past, but I dont think he will ever understand really what was wrong with the way we were. When I left him, he really had no idea why I left him.

And maybe it never had to do with him anyway. I mean yes there are things we agree on and things we disagree on but for the most part we do have a lot in common. But maybe it wasnt that he was verbally abusive or that he was borderline on being physically abusive. Maybe it was me the whole time.

Could there just be something in him that triggers something in me to think I am not worth anything as a person, as a woman?

I have been dating off and on ever since we divorced. And in the last two and a half years since the boyfriend I was seeing, after my divorce, died I have been unable to meet anyone that I honestly had any real interest in. I didnt have the doubts about myself because there wasnt anyone I met that I cared about being with.

Is it that I still have such low self esteem? I have not felt like this in sooo long. Am I still just as pathetic as I used to be? Its like a realization that it will be hopeless if this is just me.

July 27, 2009
7:01 pm
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laughalot
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First of all, you are not pathetic! Please try not to feel that way. Maybe there is just too much history with him that you can't forget how you felt when you were with him before. He obviously wasn't good for you. Even though he seems to have changed, there is something about him that brings out insecurities in you. You said that when you were alone and weren't really interested in anyone you didn't have any doubts about yourself. That is the place where you need to be. If getting back with your ex isn't the answer, you will eventually find someone that you will feel comfortable with and will feel good about yourself at the same time. That person should bring out the best in you and visa versa. You are in the driver's seat. Take all the time you need and make sure it works for you. You WILL figure it out.

July 27, 2009
11:36 pm
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soofoo
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thumkin,

You feel bad around him. Let's assume that it's all his fault.

So you feel bad around him and it's all his fault.

Now let's assume that it's all your fault.

Now you feel bad around him and it's all your fault.

Now let's assume that it's partly his fault and partly your fault.

Now you feel bad around him and it's partly his fault and partly your fault.

Now let's assume that it's no one's fault.

Now you feel bad around him and it's no one's fault.

There are all the possibilities.

Which one do you like best? Just pick one. Because in the end it doesn't really matter. You feel bad around him. That is the point. Not whether or not he is changed or better or whatever. The relationship is not producing something good in your heart.

July 27, 2009
11:36 pm
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soofoo
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And there's nothing wrong with you.

July 27, 2009
11:59 pm
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thumkin
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Well it really does matter to me. The why I am having these feelings. If it is just something I am experiencing because of our past and it is something that will go away, I want to be able to work through that. This is the father of my babies. I dont feel guilty anymore that I left him, though I did at first, but I know he loves them as much as they love him. And I know I have feelings for him, not just as the father of my girls, but also as a man. I did spend quite a few years married to him.

July 28, 2009
12:17 am
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Thumkin- Of course you still have those feelings that drove you away from him. That is because the problem was never resolved. With our memories we have triggers and this man is triggering all the bad memories you have had of him.

The only way that your bad feelings from him will go away is if he never belittles you again and you replace those old negative memories with new positive ones.

It is the best thing for the kids if you two work it out. Keep us posted.

July 28, 2009
9:01 am
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soofoo
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Okay, it's important to you. If you know why you feel like you do around him, will the bad feelings go away?

I saw a brain doctor once explain that women's memories are strongly connected to emotion in a way that men's are not. When we have an argument, we recall everything that was said, and they do not. They aren't faking that. Also, s stimulus that happened while we had a painful emotion, will often bring that emotion back. For example, if someone died in your family on Christmas day, the return of Christmas season the next year may bring back more intense feelings of grief. Likewise, I think someone whom you felt worthless around as a result of his behavior, may trigger those feelings again by his presence even if his behavior has changed. Your brain remembers. Does this sound right to you?

If you are determined to change this reaction, I imagine it would take time, like Destinystar said. That may be a very good thing. Because then you will have real time to see if he truly has changed or if he's just putting on a show to reel you back in.

July 28, 2009
3:53 pm
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thumkin
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So it would kind of be like a reversal of Pavlovs dogs kinda thing. I have to condition my brain to not respond that way with him. He seemed to be pretty understanding when I told him I think we need to slow down. Of course then using the word understanding and him in the same sentence seems so foreign to me. And too that little voice in my head says maybe he just doesnt care one way or the other and whats really wierd and something I dont like is....

I got jealous. I have not experience jealousy in years. I mean many years. I did not like who I was becoming the last time I dealt with jealousy so I made the decision to change that about me. And now all of a sudden, all these years later I am experiencing jealousy? That is crazy!

July 28, 2009
5:32 pm
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fantas
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Perhaps it's one of two things: As it had been mentioned, seeing him as your partner is triggering the old wounds that you haven't gotten passed yet. You will need to get passed these by forgiving him and knowing that you have the power to change your circumstances at any time.

The other option might be that your intuition is warning you. It's possible that he hasn't really changed and is just buying time till he knows you guys are really back together before he starts up his old stuff. In which case I would suggest taking everything very slow and working through couple's therapy to see where he is with all this. Learn what he has done to change and be a more loving partner.

All things considered, it looks like your inner knowing is not at ease with this whole thing. Take your time until your entire body resonates a yes. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't make any changes until I'm completely at ease with the whole relationship. There is no rush at all. Keep us posted!!

July 28, 2009
6:33 pm
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castoff
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Hindsight is 20/20. You don't need glasses, you just need to follow your intuition.

July 28, 2009
9:41 pm
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thumkin
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Thank you for your replies. I plan on taking it very slowly and if he doesnt want to wait that long, well it wasnt meant to be. I wont say that I am not scared though. I think I just am not trusting myself. I hope that I will not ignore anything and the first time I find myself saying to myself I can control that I hope like heck I pay attention and run for the hills.

July 29, 2009
5:07 am
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soofoo
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What does not trusting yourself mean to you?

July 29, 2009
9:53 am
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soofoo
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Whenever you feel worthless, you are in a dangerous situation because you are not able (or less able) to stand up for yourself. I think this is particularly important in the beginning of a relationship, as it sets the stage. That's why I think you should avoid people who have that effect on you. You seem really vulnerable to this man. Have you dated other people in the 5 years you've been divorced?

July 29, 2009
10:21 am
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thumkin
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Because I know my past and know the bad decisions I made even when I knew better. That is why I dont trust myself. And even though I feel like I am a much stronger smarter individual now I still hold some doubt. I have caught myself doing that unconsious thinking where Im telling myself I can control a situation. Even now isnt that what Im doing.

By saying I am going to take it slow with my ex. Isnt that in some way thinking I am in control of this situation. I understand now that I can only control me but sometimes in the doing of things I think I forget to pay attention to exactly what Im trying to control and extend my trying beyond me.

What does it mean to me that I dont fully trust myself? Im not sure. I dont think its necessarily a bad thing. I think it is a way to try and keep myself in check. To keep me trying to pay better attention.

July 29, 2009
11:39 am
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Serendy
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Are you just hoping it will all work out with your ex because there is no one else on the scene?You mention that since the partner you was seeing died.You haven't met anyone else that you care about....It is hard being out there on your own and sometimes it all just seems easier to be with someone that you are familiar with...I've been there and done it...And unfortunately it all ended in disaster...Please listen to your instincts.You need to remember the reasons that you didn't want to be with your ex-husband in the whole beginning.I hope this dosen't sound harsh.But I am worried for you.

July 29, 2009
11:58 am
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thumkin
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I totally understand the concern your stating. I really dont think this is because I am alone. There are others asking me out. And my ex has been among the others all along. It has just slowly happened over the last six months that I talk less to the others and more to my ex. If you would have asked me five years ago if my ex would ever have a chance with me I would have said probably not. If you would have asked me two years ago I would have told you a snowball had a better chance in hell.

But we went through this small custody issue about two years ago and I finally thought ok I can no longer stop this. I hated his guts for trying to take my babies from me. But in the end when the judge made us go to a mediator something changed. When we left the mediators office he stopped me in the parking lot and said he wanted to talk to me. I told him I didnt want to talk to him. Ever. He asked why? I told him I didnt think I could ever forgive him for telling my girls to call his fiance mom. He told me he didnt do that but that day I did not believe him. But something about that day changed me and I think him. All the sudden I found the courage to stand up to him. I was no longer afraid of him taking my girls from me. I no longer sat on the phone and listened to him when he would try to tell me how I was not being a good mom. I took control of my life back from him. And he was ok with that.

I dont know if any of this is making any sense. But I know that day was when things started changing between us for me. He has always claimed to love me. Even when we were fighting he was talking out both sides of his mouth. But after that day in the mediators office and in the parking lot after, something has been different and slowly led us to today.

July 29, 2009
1:23 pm
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soofoo
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I am worried for you too.

You are conflicted. One part of you is saying "no" and the other is saying, "try". To me, not trusting myself means not listening to my gut feelings about a situation. My gut feelings are very often right. Even if I'm wrong about a person, I have learned that it doesn't matter. I do not owe anyone else my heart and soul, only my civility. I should only involve myself deeply if I really want to and it feels good. Never as a favor to someone else.

July 30, 2009
12:45 am
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Modesty Blaze
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soofoo everything you've said to thumkin was something I myself needed to hear. You soooo right. Why be around someone that makes you feel bad? Thumkin your gut is telling you not to get involved with this man again... Listen... I remember watch that guy on Oprah that talks about safety. He said women are the only species that will ignore their gut instinct that something is dangerous. We may not see it with our eyes but we know when danger is present.

July 30, 2009
9:53 am
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lucky831
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soofoo,
I haven't been here in a while, but I love your advice, it seems to be straight forward. It also hit home with me. especially about the feeling bad around him, no matter whose fault. That maybe we mix like oil and water.

Doesn't make the choices any easier, but brings it into perpective.

August 4, 2009
5:11 am
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soofoo
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Modesty Blaze and lucky,
I am really glad that what I said was helpful. Thanks for letting me know.

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