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Update... I might see him today at church - reenforcements
February 23, 2004
12:58 pm
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nancee
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Marley,

I do think I avoid myself because there are things there that I don't like or don't want to face. It's much easier to worry about someone else than to worry about me. I've done this same thing for about 10 years now. It's not working. I need to see that and try to find something that does work for me. Like they say though, old habits are hard to break. I think being miserable and obsessive is just habit and I don't know how to be any other way. I don't know what will make me happy, but I'm trying to figure that out. It's hard to face yourself when you've been avoiding issues for most of your life. I am grateful for your input and hope I can be helpful to you and anyone else who is having a hard time. We can get through it together.

Nancee

February 23, 2004
1:18 pm
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artist 2
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Pretty amazing thread. Seems so much easier to read about than actually do it.

February 23, 2004
1:25 pm
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nancee
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How are you doing today, Artist? I want to thank you for making me feel welcome Friday and for talking to me. You really helped me make it through the day. And the weekend wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. It must be so difficult for you to avoid contact with your guy when you are in such close proximity. I'm afraid to go out to lunch for fear I might run into 'him', since we work in the same neighborhood. I am going to eat lunch at my desk and read some of 'Codependent No More' and maybe when I come back later, I will have something profound to say. Only kidding, I try to sound tough but I'm falling apart on the inside. At least I'm not crying today. That's an improvement.

February 23, 2004
1:30 pm
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artist 2
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nancee, why are you afraid to run into him? I'm glad you're not crying today - it feels pretty good, doesn't it? I'm so proud of myself for getting friends around me, and keeping busy... when all I really want to do is wrap myself around this man that I love. It's a silly, romantic, love-addicted notion. When what he probably wants is a woman who's independent and strong and has a separate life from him.

February 23, 2004
1:35 pm
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artist 2
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nancee, I didn't want to start another thread on this because I feel ashamed for feeling this: tomorrow he is having a meeting and has invited a fairly well-known attorney, a woman, and they share work on a lot of the same issues. I'm soooo afraid he will develop some kind of attraction to her. She's very strong and independent, I think.

February 23, 2004
1:47 pm
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nancee
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Artist, I don't know why I am so afraid of running into him. I guess because the emailing and talking to him was so hard and I know seeing him will just be harder. I had hoped that when he heard my voice last week that it might open him up a little but I haven't heard from him since we talked that day. And he was pretty indifferent. Even mentioned that he and his wife haven't filed for divorce yet and sounded really resentful when he said it. I don't know why he should have even taken that tone with me. I didn't break up his marriage, in my opinion, he did it to himself with his lack of emotion.

I understand that you are worried about him meeting with this woman. I fear the same thing with my guy. That he will hook up with someone he knows through work who is more together than me and who is independent and not clingy. But then I realize that he would probably not treat them any better than he treats me. He might give them a good roll in the hay (I can't bear to imagine it) but wouldn't be there when it counted, to talk to and to share things with.

I think that's what we need to work on, to be more independent and to like ourselves more. Someone said on another thread that when you start living your own life and put yourself first, stop being clingy and needy, that is when people swarm you like bees to honey. Kind of like I said earlier, that they won't come back until we have our lives together and don't need them anymore, and then there they'll be. Maybe we should start feeling sorry for them instead of for ourselves because look what wonderful girls they are missing out on? I'm not saying that you are feeling sorry for yourself, but I know that I am to a degree and maybe he is the one who is missing out on me, not the other way around.

February 23, 2004
1:51 pm
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artist 2
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Thanks nancee. That's a good idea to look at what HE is missing instead of what I might be missing if he were to hitch up with another woman. My ex would be throwing away the chance at reuniting with the most decent, hard-working, dedicated and loving woman he's ever had.

February 23, 2004
2:35 pm
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Kessie
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Artist, - and whoever else, - don't ever feel ashamed of what you feel; I felt that too, when I first started writing to this site I said that very thing. But there's no shame in loving someone, - its just that loving someone who is not returning your feelings in any meaningful way is no good for you - and it shows that you dont respect yourself. When the scales fall from your eyes, you will suddenly 'get it' and see things differently. Got to go now, speak to you later

Love K

February 24, 2004
1:57 am
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Zinnie
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Hi All,

I have just read through the discussion that has been going on today, and something jumped out at me - that all of you said, in different ways but it came down to the same thing.

You all feel that these men that you were involved with "needed taking care of." O.K. - I think as women, we have a maternal instinct and we tend to want to "mother" our loved ones. But... these "boys" and I say "boys" because none of you are really describing men *smile* - here - are supposed to be your mates - not your children!

Let me tell you something that I learned when I married the first time, and boy was it really brought home when I married the second time. Both times that I married, I married men who were very comfortable with who they were. They were very comfortable in having a wife that had her own interests and own desires and enjoyed having freedom. Don't get me wrong. There is nothing more that I enjoy than being a good wife to my husband. But, he is a good husband to me. He encourages me, daily to be the best person I can be. When I tell him I want to try something new, he is the first person to stand up and say "GREAT!" Sure, I tend to do things for him, little things to show that I love him. But, it's reciprocated. He will come home sometimes with something that he saw and got for me, for no other reason but "it just reminded me of you." I have had cancer for the last six years. There for a while, I was so sick, and in so much pain. He has to get up at 4:30 in the morning to be to work by 5:30 a.m. because a lot of the business he handles is in Europe, so because of the time difference, he has to be there early. I have woken him up in unbelievable pain at 2:00 a.m. He will get up, get my meds, rub my back, run me a warm bath, and talk to me until I can finally fall back to sleep. NEVER and I mean NEVER has he said "Zin - I HAVE to get some sleep!" We have been married 14 years in May. I still get "please" and "thank you" - he will ask if I need anything while he is up. So much of this is so simple, the simplicity of it all is what makes it so wonderful. This is the type of relationship I wish for you gals too.

I'm not saying that we have the perfect marriage. I'm not saying he does not have his days... just as I know I sure have mine. But, at the end of the day, when I lay down next to him at night - I can honestly say "this is my soul mate, and I am lucky he and I found each other."

This is what I wish for all of you.

Love,

Zinnie

February 24, 2004
3:51 am
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lulujazz
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wow, i've just read through this thread and thought i'd add a few words since the experience is so similar to mine.

i just got out of a 9 month relationship that was going around in circles. after reading this i realized that the reason i kept going back to this guy was because i loved the feeling of being needed. sure i cared a great deal about him but what kept me around the most was meeting his needs. twice i went back to him because he needed me or missed me. i did things for him to make him happy. bought him little gifts to say 'i appreciate you.' sent him cute emails. called him. he hardly ever called me. never bought me anything and only cooked for me twice.

i think the reason why we keep going back, or the need to talk to them when we see them looking down, is because we want to be there to nurture and comfort them. yes, perhaps we love them. but i think more importantly, its that feeling of being needed and wanted by someone that draws us back.

well, we are just as important and need to start focusing on our own wants and desires. learning about ourselves and listening to what we want and what we need. once you're happy with who you are and know what you want, it'll be easier to let others love us for who we are and it'll be easier to love others and make ourselves happy.

it's only been 3 days since we finally broke off this relationship for good. this weekend was the hardest because we were suppose to spend the weekend together in SF with a friend and her boyfriend. since the room was paid for, i went by myself with them. it really hurt being there w/o him and to see my friend with her guy because it kept bringing up memories of my guy. but u know what, i spent sunday by myself. i walked around the city. spoke briefly to this guy walking down the street-learned he's from the south bay. got my shoes shined! had a good time with learning about the guy who shined my shoe. observed the city waking up. heard an opera singer on the street. a sax player. had coffe by myself, for the first time, and treated myself to a fruit tart. i was able to see so much by myself and was totally absorbed in the moment! i felt alive with the city! and i realized i had to do this more often, by myself.

i admit, i still think about him. but it's ok to do so. we're only humans afterall and we have memories and feelings. but don't get so absorbed in the past guy that you miss the life passing you by and may even miss 'the one.'

life is so great ladies. don't forget to live it.

February 24, 2004
7:41 am
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artist 2
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Yeah we need to be needed - everyone does! maybe the thing is we're afraid that we won't be needed and then where would we be - nurturing is the basic nature of being female!

Zinnie, you and your husband have RESPECT for each other. I lost respect for my BF a while back for various reasons. He probably lost respect for me when I lost self-control. I think that may be as important to sustaining a relationship as the ability to love.

Lulu, I'm proud of you! I do things alone too. It still feels a little strange, but each time it also feels better, even more fun. It's important to keep practicing that, but don't forget to invite your friends along occasionally...

Life is the journey, the adventure.

February 24, 2004
8:12 am
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Kessie
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Hi artist, hows things? It does feel good to do stuff for yourself, doesnt it?
I notice the things you said about respect for each other - it's respect for yourself that you need to cultivate. When you hear yourself saying - with genuine feeling -
"How dare he do ....to me?"

- and you say it without the need to make excuses for him ie 'but he's got a lot to put up with/he's busy/he's angry because etc.etc. then you know you're getting there. Then you're finally seeing yourself as a person who doesnt deserve the crappy side of a relationship.It does take a bit of time, but do it, do it, do it.

Love Kx

February 24, 2004
9:06 am
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nancee
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Good Morning All! Lulu, good for you for going to SF alone and enjoying yourself. And I loved what you said about not getting so absorbed in the past guy that we might miss 'the one'. What an excellent point. My problem was that I was trying to nurture a guy who didn't need nurturing or being taken care of. I think I thought that eventually he would realize how great I was and begin to reciprocate. I see now that he would never be that person. The only way he knows how to communicate is physically, and I did feel close to him when we were being intimate, but afterwards I felt so empty. I never felt like we 'shared' something, I felt more like something had been taken from me. I don't want any more relationships like that. I have girlfriends that are single and we all take care of each other and are there for each other...why would I accept any less from a man? I expect my friends to treat me with respect and consideration, why did I let him get away with treating me with indifference? This is all new to me and I have a lot of work ahead of me but it helps so much to share and hear other opinions.

Zinnie, I think you put things in perspective for me when you described the way your husband treats you. I know no marriage is perfect, but the relationship you describe is the type of relationship I want. I want to be treated with kindness and consideration and have someone there for me during the tough times as well as the good ones. I know you are having a difficult time but I am happy to hear you have a partner who is there for you. And I appreciate that even with everything you are going through, you are still there to help the rest of us. A million thanks to you just for being you.

Nan

February 24, 2004
10:11 am
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Zinnie
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Hi All,

I think you are right when you say the key is in respect. Having respect for each other goes a long way.

Funny that I came here this morning and read this. Last night when I got home, my husband had already done his work out and run, and was waiting for me to get home. We are trying to watch what we eat at night, so we have decided to eat light - so last night I made us up some fruit and yogurt for dinner. He said "after we eat - I need your help on something for work." So, after we ate, he got his stuff from his brief case, and went over a presentation he is having to make today to both the EPA and the Hazmat people. He ran through it, and stopped and asked "how do you like the wording here?" Things like that. We went through this for about an hour and a half.

When he was done, he said "thanks for going over this with me - I really respect your opinion, and wanted to run it by you and see if you felt it was too long, too wordy, not clear, etc." This made me feel really good! It really did - to know that he respects my opinion means the world.

So, I guess you are right in saying - perhaps respect is the key?

Lulu - very cool that you went to SF by yourself! I have done that a few times myself... when I have had to travel due to work, I like to explore the city I'm in. For the most part, I generally end up with co-workers who want to check out the bar scene, and that is not for me - so I will go off alone. But, I have also traveled through the US and Canada by myself. Met some very interesting people along the way. Good for you!

I hope all are well today, and having a nice day.

Love to all,

Zinnie

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