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Need help letting go, moving forward
February 12, 2009
4:38 pm
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82hopetoheal
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My relationship of nearly 5 years just came to an abrupt and unexpected end. I am absolutely devastated and feeling worthless and powerless. I am seeing a counselor to cope and work on my feelings and a physician for depression and have been for almost a month. Neither one seems to help for more than a day or so, and I fall back into the same self-deprecating thinking patterns. I would appreciate any help, advice, or support that anyone could offer. I will try to some up my feelings and situation as concisely as possible. Thank you!

I met C when I was studying abroad and we were both in relationships that were going nowhere. We ended it with these people back home (or at least I did, she strung him on for months before admitting she had been seeing someone else). Our relationship has had some good times, and I really value her companionship, but overall I feel emotionally abused and struggling for power constantly. From the first day we met she had this sense of superiority over me (she has a famous family member and her father is a prestigious professor, she comes from money and gets everything she wants without working for it). I am not a push over, and feel I fought a good fight, but I cared for her deeply and did not want to upset her. In the end she was constantly pushing me away and seeing how much I could take. And I took it…for five years. She beat me down to this shell of a man, and I found myself always helping her out and giving to her and she would not do the same for me. Then, out of the blue she says she loves me, but is not in love with me anymore. She says she doesn’t respect me because I put up with so much without complaining, and let her get her way all of the time. The truth is, I don’t respect myself either and am ashamed of not walking away from this toxic relationship earlier. Now, she is sending me mixed messages (and I her). She wants me to attend couples counseling with her to work on things. I know I have codependent characteristics and want to help everyone else before myself so I am tempted to go. But, she openly admits she is not in love with me and doesn’t see a future with me any time soon. She goes back and forth with this. When I am doing well, she will contact me and say she misses me and wants to work on things. I agree, then she says she made a mistake and thought she could trick herself into caring for me again. She says she thinks I am the perfect guy for her, and she doesn’t know why she doesn’t want me. I am so confused and devastated. Please help!

February 12, 2009
6:09 pm
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Bella1969
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82--

She is obviously manipulating you-- I have no idea why these types of people cannot just let us be happy and move on.

I am in a similar situation, and it is a struggle everyday to not call him; I think it is that I had expectations that he was the one with whom I shared everything, and was supposed to be the comforter when I got hurt. The problem is, he is the one who is hurting me, but old habits die hard and I still think if our relationship were "fixed", I would feel comforted.

Please know, this woman is the problem, not the solution in your life.

Take care!

February 13, 2009
2:09 am
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82hopetoheal
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Bella, thank you for responding. It helps to know others care and are going through similar situations. I feel the same way. I am having trouble letting go, because she still wants me around…just not in the way that I want to be there. I just found out today that she is going on a date before our “couples” counseling session, so that should be a huge red flag to how much she wants to remain together. She constantly says that she is depressed and doesn’t know why she does these things, but won’t take the steps that are needed to address her issues. I still want to be with her, but if she is dating instead of addressing her own issues I don’t see how she could remain a part of my life…even as a friend. I wish I could stay friends with her, but I feel she has hurt me too deeply. Thanks again, and if you need to vent I’ll be there to listen.

February 13, 2009
10:50 am
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StronginHim77
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First of all, this woman is not -- and never will be -- your "friend." She is a user and a taker. It's that simple and that sad.

You do not need "couples" counseling. However, I strongly recommend that you get into counseling with a good psychologist for YOURSELF, to address your own issues. Why would you be willing to tolerate such mistreatment, such abuse at the hands of this woman...for so many years? Focus on yourself and your own emotional problems. Or you will find yourself in -- yet another -- toxic and painful relationship in the years to come.

And do keep posting...

- Ma Strong

February 13, 2009
2:52 pm
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82hopetoheal
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Ma Strong, thank you for your honesty and support. You bring up the main issue. I am not defending the way she treated me--no one should be treated this way--but I have not been perfect myself in the relationship. I can't stop focusing on how my depression really drained her, and I can't solely blame her for making me feel depressed. I keep wondering if things would have been different had I been stronger and more assertive, and less depressed. I do this because--as you pointed out--I am desperately afraid of falling into this same situation with another girl. I am worried that there is something fundamentally wrong with me that caused me to seek out and stay with this type of person--or even worse--that made her this type of person. I made an appointment with a psychiatrist for this reason, because I feel I either have type-B personality disorder traits, or seek out people with these personality disorder traits. I don't understand why I can't let myself hurt, heal, and move on. Thanks again, my appointment is in a week so I just have to stay strong until then...one day at a time.

February 13, 2009
3:24 pm
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bereft
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hth. i'm going to approach your post from a little different perspective, okay? it seems to me that you two are still in a relationship. how does it seem to you?

your story has you as a victim, powerless, depressed, and therefore without responsibility. what you fail to recognize is the power and responsibility you do have in this relationship. it seems with all your "failures" she keeps coming back. how does it seem to you? although she says she's not in love with you, she wants to be in couples counseling with you. although she feels superior (your story) she wants to be with you.

perhaps what she's really saying is she doesn't love herself. you have the power to choose to accept her for who she is, because in reality she is who she is, and you are who you are, or you can choose to let her go. we really can't control or make somebody into something we want. i can hardly make a sandwich. however, our egos will choose to let others control us because that's our ego's story: "devastated, worthless and powerles." is that really true? it seems to me you're making decisions and getting the help you need. how does it seem to you?

you see? our suffering arises when we try to change what is, but reality always wins. your struggle is not with reality but with your ego who is trying to define who you are by telling you stories about itself and reality. as much as your ego would like you to believe it (your ego) is you, it's not.

example: "i found myself always helping her." who is this "i" you speak of and who is this "myself" the "i" is observing? it is your essential you finding your ego. when you attach to your ego-thoughts, these stories, you live them as if they're real. they are only thoughts.

from this new perspective, you can start asking questiosn such as, do i truly not respect myself or is that i don't respect my thoughts about myself? perhaps i really mean i don't respect her. we (our egos) are always projecting upon the world our story. maybe the relationship is not toxic, but your thoughts about it are.

when we try to affix blame to someone else, or the situation, or to ourselves it's a sure sign that our egos are calling the shots. learn to examine those judgements (e.g. "self-deprecating thinking patterns") that are creating your story. our unexamined thoughts would have us believe that reality is other than what it is, but that's impossible. reality always is.

begin by asking yourself four questions: are your thoughts, judgements, etc. true? absolutely true? then ask, who would you be without believing those thoughts? i bet a lot less depressed. what do you think? finally, can you give yourself one non-stressful reason why you should keep those thoughts?...and i'm not saying you shouldn't. just identify them, examine them, and see what happens to them. ahhhh, here's that thought again. isn't that interesting......it's lost its power.

i'm going to suggest you read byron katie's book, "loving what is." do yourself a favor and read what she has to say. then, suggest it to your girlfriend. grace and peace.

February 13, 2009
3:56 pm
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82hopetoheal
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bereft,

Thank you for your input. It is nice to hear a different perspective. I agree with much that you say. I do not want to portray myself as a victim. She did and does try to help, just not in a way that is helpful to me. She just doesn't want to see me depressed, but she doesn't want to be with me (her words). She openly admitted to me that for at least three years she was depressed and tried to take away the things in my life that made me happy because...and I quote..."misery loves company." Then, once these things were gone, she got to a point in her life where she felt stronger and was not depressed anymore, and was not attracted to me anymore because I was too needy (I am applying to med school and have wanted more support than she could give) (her words).

Sadly, our relationship is over. We are not going to couples counseling as I asked her why she wanted to go in the first place. She said she was not going because she wanted to stay a couple, but rather to have the counselor tell her whether we should be a couple. She says she has moved on emotionally, and physically (she has a date). She said she wants to see what else is out there and wants me to do the same. I tried to ask her why love isn't enough...we both still love each other, so why couldn't we work on things in a positive tone?

I completely agree with you that my thoughts defeat me, and they are not always accurate. However, I have not been able to shut them off. This is why i am seeking help. There is truth to much that I have posted, and I realized you are only hearing my side of the story. In future posts, I will try to be more explicit between things that have happend and been said and those that I simply perceive.

Thanks for the book recommendation...I will check it out. And thanks for your candid thoughts on my situation.

February 14, 2009
1:15 am
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mezzo3
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Hi, 82. I'm sorry for your pain. Just a thought: when someone says they love you but are not in love with you, that says to me that they have an unrealistic idea of what love is. In love, people grow together and help each other. But love comes from yourself. I agree with other posters who have suggested that maybe your partner does not recognize that love comes from within - that maybe she doesn't love herself. I am struggling with issues similar to yours and maybe to your partner's right now. I feel for you.

If you want to heal yourself, you might need to step back from the relationship. If you want to try to rebuild, I think it will take a strong committment from both of you. You are doing the right thing by talking to a therapist and accepting medication. Hang in there.

I found this article very useful. It describes the reasons why people can feel unloved in relationships. Maybe you and she can read it together:

http://www.shambhalasun.com/in.....8;Itemid=0

I wish you healing and peace. May you be free from sorrow and suffering.

February 14, 2009
11:36 am
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82hopetoheal
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mezzo,

Thank you for your thoughts. I read the article you suggested and it was very helpful. I went to the public library today and checked out a few books on positive thinking and mindfulness. I am also having troubles loving myself and likely also have unrealistic expectations of what love is.

I feel that I am a very spiritual person at heart, and have fallen out of touch with this spirituality for many years. This is because I was dichotomizing almost everything in my life. As I said before, I am pursuing medicine and therefore an analytic person at heart. I was having trouble seeing spirituality in the face of science. I plan to turn to an old professor/mentor of mind for help in this. He is a dualist, and a respected neurobiologist and Buddhist. I feel that I am ready to accept that we can unravel the secrets of "our world" without giving up the belief that this world is just a perception of truth, not the ultimate truth.

Thank you again. All of the support and advice from you kind souls has really allowed me to grow in my time of pain and need. I am starting to realize that reality brought me to this place, and that I don't know the reason I am here, but that I am supposed to be here. I plan to stop trying to control everything to create the life I have planned, so that I can live the life that is here already.

82

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