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Moving forward
October 20, 2008
11:27 am
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outsidethebox
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I've spent a lifetime hiding/ avoiding. It's become habitual, so ingrained, it's become my nature. So difficult to state "this is who I am, this is what I want." Prefering to be what others expect me to be externally, while living the life I want in the shadows.

My previous thread was "Hiding."
Now I'm fighting against my nature to move forward. It's not coming naturally, a struggle at every step.

On Friday, after the next in the daily series of explosions between my nearly 2-year long boyfriend and myself, I finally gathered the nerve to state, and this time not back down, "It's over. Time to part ways." He's been living with me in my home for 18 months. It's not an easy separation as he has nowhere to go. That's not my problem, I understand. Still it's difficult for me to force the issus, given my tendancy to want to be what others want me to be, to give them what they want.

But of course he's been an angel the past few days since then. As to suggest, "It's ok, see how good I am to you? You're the BEST! I LOVE you, you can be yourself and still be with me," and so on. It's not the type of thing that makes telling your boyfriend, "It's time for you to go, now."

It is decided, and I'm not backing down, that he must move out, that we are done. But I'm sending mixed signals in continuing to behave like his girlfriend. Still not able to do as I please in talking with my friends, still unable to write in his presence, still sleeping with him, cooking for him, befriending him. Heck, he says he needs money to move, that he can't leave because he doesn't have enough money. I told him I'd return the $300 he gave me for October "rent" (which also includes all food, utilities, misc. expenses of daily living) and wouldn't ask for anything more until he moves out...soon. I can see this lingering on and on through November, December...while I foot the bill, so he can amass money to leave.

I suspect what I need to do is write a statement of terms. Give him a timeline to leave. And separate myself from being his girlfriend, catering to his expectations as I do. And yet, I don't want my daily life to be miserable in the interim. So I comply to keep the peace.

Rrrgh.

October 20, 2008
11:48 am
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bonni
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take a deep breath. close your eyes and think about the ideal solution to this issue. imagine what it would look like if let go with love. its easy to fall back into the patterns of girlfriend behavior and you can be both gentle and firm.

1. change the sleeping arrangements.
2. ask him some questions about how he'd like to see your relationship change. can he move on to friendship? what does he want from his life? how can you support him as a friend and attend to your own needs?
3. ask yourself these same questions and prepare your life for change.
4. release the old relationship with loving kindness toward both yourself and him.
5. if you can envision a roommate kind of situation, I advise you to do it in the interim so you can both make the transition.
6. HOWEVER, you may prefer to be on your own. maybe you need solitude to stop trying to meet the expectations of others, so you can hear yourself think. If so, you will need to accelerate his timeline for leaving. help him brainstorm options.

can you let go with loving kindness?

bonni

October 20, 2008
12:14 pm
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outsidethebox
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Oh yes, I would so much prefer to let go of this relationship in a kind, gentle, loving way. He would want the same, no doubt, we have discussed this should end in a break-up. We don't want to be enemies, no regrets. It's clear to me it will be necessary for him to leave in order for me to proceed, I've tried moving forward in his presence but cannot. He's so insistant, so posessive. We can't be just roomates, that would be torture, and besides, every time I ask for space he's right there, begging to be close. It seems he's threatening an "all or none" situation, stating that if we break up, he will move away and won't ever be able to talk with me again. That may be the case.

October 20, 2008
1:51 pm
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bonni
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good, I see you can make that decision to allow him to move out and cut all contact gently. you've left the option for an amiable parting and he has the freedom to decline. that's part of letting go, separating his response from how you feel about it. Yes, its sad that he might move away, but you understand how maintaining the firend part of the relationship might be hard from him, so you can let him go in kindness.

you are there. just let go of the guilt. you are under no obligation to continue the parts of the relationship that don't work for you.

October 21, 2008
12:17 pm
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outsidethebox
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Thanks for the response Bonni. Pondering all this so intently, I can see that what I really do want is to let this relationship go. I'd love to remain friends. I DO feel guilty about ending the relationship, as though I owe it to him to continue to try, because he wants it so badly.

You write "separating his response from how you feel about it." Oh that is my downfall. I take on his hurt response and want to make it better for him.

Last night we talked for three hours...again. Mostly he talked, I listened, as always. I caught myself agreeing wtih his position simply to avoid further conflict (when I stated my position and it disagreed with his he started getting angry, so as always I eventually conceded.) I fear I left him under the impression that there is still hope. So now I need to again restate my position that he has to move on. I don't want to waste any more time arguing, debating, disagreeing about how I ought to be.

I'll keep in mind the idea of separating his response from how it makes me feel. I'm getting so tired, and still feel so trapped.

October 22, 2008
12:42 pm
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outsidethebox
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I cannot live the life I want to live with him. It's clear. He does his best to get me to change my mind, offering all kinds of hopeful potential, but when it comes down to it, he cannot and will not trust me. I cannot live in that, and neither can he.

So after presenting all sorts of "methods" to be together, only to hear my retort that those "methods" are flawed at the core, he then says "I'll get the hell out of your life by the end of this month, so you can have your friends and your writing without my interference."

Where will you go I ask. He hasn't a clue, says live in his car or something. It's winter here, nights are below freezing. I don't want to put him out on the street, and yet, he has to go. I think of giving him money so he can go. I'll never see it again. I think of just letting him stay for free so he can amass a but more money (he does have $1000 saved) but if I do that I MUST be able to move on with my life, no checking up on me, monitoring my activities, questioning me (did you go to the library today, he asks. I suspect he knows I've been writing here.) He checks my e-mail. He checks my wallet. He checks my odometer. He checks my credit card statements. He searches my car, my book bag. I can't stand it any more.

October 22, 2008
1:59 pm
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fantas
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Given your propensity to do what others want you to and ignoring your own needs, I think gently breaking this off will end back into the relationship starting all over again. As it is, he has begun to find excuses as to why he cannot move out and you are beginning to soften up. Are you sure you can be under the same roof and not take care of him like you have done in the past?

I suggest giving him, $400 and let him go. You can continue to be friends from a distance. This man knows you and will work on your weakness to get back into your good graces. You deserve the peace and quiet you want. Keep posting.

October 22, 2008
2:55 pm
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truthBtold
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outsidethebox,

First off, I soooo commend you for standing your ground thus far.

You are being very, VERY strong.

Secondly, I would say - EXPECT resistence from him.

That's the kicker sometimes - not being prepared for their resistance to change.

Comes out at 'cha from left field - then you start to soften etc.....

So - EXPECTING him to try every trick in the book to TRY and make you feel guilty, responsible etc... will put you at a greater advantage to see these tactics AS they are taking place - you know?

It is what it is.

My sense is that you have given him the 'benefit of the doubt' over and over again and have finally realized that the relationship is a dead end.

Am I right?

Stick to your guns.

Like you said, organizing a timeline and more importantly, following through with it is an excellent idea!

This is what I did in my 20's when I was involved with an abusive man.

I finally reached my breaking point and realized that I was damned if I did - damned if I don't with him and that was pretty much the last straw.

Again, I say - stick to your guns.

Don't let him try to guilt you in to thinking that you will somehow be 'kicking him to the curb.'

That's bullcrap!

He's an adult, afterall.

I don't know what the actual dynamics are with your situation, but for me, I was afraid that he would eventually get even MORE violent with me - so given that, I had to swallow my own pride temporarily and tell him that the reason for the break-up was my fault.

I had to use a little reverse psychology in this respect in order to finally free myself from him.

Don't know if your situation is as drastic as this or not.

From what you say about him - (checking your emails,wallet, odometer, credit card statements etc...) sounds like he is really controlling and will not give up without a fight.

Maybe even aware of your post here.

To which I would suggest going into your computer daily (or even after every post) - checking the "history button" and deleting it.

I am not computer savvy - so I don;t know if this would be enough.

Maybe you even have to 'empty trash' on your computer after deleting the history. Not sure.

Maybe someone else here can give some tips on how to post here then delete all traces from your computer.

Please continue to post and keep yourself safe!!!!!!!

October 23, 2008
1:14 pm
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outsidethebox
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fantas, truthBtold,
Your words are encouraging. What you write is so much where I'm at, what my thinking is. I am at the point of just saying OK, it's my fault we failed, it is I who can no longer make the "necessary effort" to continue trying to make this relationship work, I am asking you to leave. Actually I have said those things and am willing to take responsiblity for it being my "fault" this didn't work. I do eventually feel a sense of guilt for not trying harder. But when I step away from it I recognize the truth, that I did my best, and my best isn't good enough for him to be comfortable. He'll never be comfortable with me (or with anyone.) His life is a mess and I've wanted to offer him something better. Instead I'm just one more in the string of failures in his life.

I'm giving him $300 under the premise that he will use it to move on asap. For the peace I want it's worth far more than that (not that one can buy peace mind you! But in this case it will help.)

Regarding leaving a byte trail via computer, there is no amount of deleting one can do to clear all trace of activity from a computer, this I learned after having been searched and he found out I wrote to one of my friends (oh, such sin!) Instead I write from the library. But I suspect he has my account number. So I changed my password, and haven't yet heard reference to his wondering why I changed my password here. Regardless whether or not he knows of this or anything else I have nothing to fear as I'm doing nothing wrong!

I just learned that two of my friends will be in town this Saturday. Two of my long-term friends (of 22 and 10 years) with whom I've had little contact for the past two years, out of fear of the conflict that would result with him. Saturday is the date of our 2-year date of meeting. Which was a wonderful day. On the date of our first year together we spent the entire day arguing about my friends, ending up with me crying and brusing my head against the floor (self-induced), after he put a final end to my writing to my friends.

I want to see my friends on Saturday, they're only in town once a year and last year I missed them, because I couldn't see them (so to avoid conflict.) I'm torn whether or not I should see them on Saturday. Such conflict will result! I know I don't have to engage in it, and yet, he still lives in my house. Oh I'll hear all about how wrong it is for me to want to see my friends when he's still living with me. Despite the fact he is supposed to be moving out in the coming weeks.

It sucks to live with such fear. With so much hostility in my own home. I so much just want peace.

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