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when to stop forgiving???
July 31, 2001
9:52 am
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Lydia
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I was praying the turmoil was behind me and just let my guard down. I was actually enjoying the relationship I have poured so much in to for the past 2 years. The reality is hitting me now.

A while back, I posted a lot about manipulation and jealousy and how I felt my fiance was trying to control me. He really ruined a lot of days due to his own self-esteem problems and portraying his insecurity on me, in the form of jealousy.

He's been going through some rough times since his divorce began just over a year ago. He was depressed and struggled to find a new career, since the ministry was no longer suitable for a divorced man. He tried real-estate, spending months studying for the exam, while I paid the majority of the expenses. He failed it on the first attempt, which meant more wasted time and money while he waited to take it again. For some weeks at a time, he didn't work at all. It was a huge burden on me, my expenses went up, I had to pay for nearly everything or choose to stay home and not even go to dinner or movies.

He passed the real-estate exam the second time, then they closed the property management department he was hired to work at, so....out of work again! Now wouldn't you think there was another position somewhere to make use of this license he spent months and thousands of my money obtaining??

He decided to go into financial planning, with a firm I had initially considered. He went through the application/hiring process behind my back, concealing it all from me until he was hired. He knew I had been waiting years for the right opportunity to get out of the medical field. It was my time and my dream and he took it from me.

He acknowledged that this was wrong and hurtful to me. He barely worked for the weeks between his real estate venture and his new persuit, only further compounding the expenses I incurred as a result of him living with me.

He went through periods of anger, depression and worthlessness; as well as guilt. I rode the emotional rollercoaster with the hope that things would soon get better, as he continually promised me.

He failed the licensing exam, claiming he had too many distractions in his life, all of which he created on his own. Our relationship has suffered. He has lied and deceived me about his earnings, taking cash advances on all of his credit cards, until they were maxed out. Up until a couple of weeks ago, I had been making the minimum payments on his cards in addition to paying the majority of living expenses.

I have grown resentful, after a long period of being supportive and loving. I'm a "giver" and as a result, I'm financially struggling.

He now is taking the test again, after 4 additional weeks of study. He picked up an evening job in an attempt to reduce the enormous debt I've accumulated. It's helped a little.

Now he's filing bankruptcy, his credit card debt remains hidden from me. I'm sure the statements go to his PO box. He says he will disclose this to me, but he has yet to produce. I need to know what he has spent all of this money on and why it didn't help me.

Yesterday, I opened the mail and found a $240 charge on my gas card! I hit the roof because I had been missing the card from my wallet and he denied having it!! He claims he was desperate because he needed gas to get to and from his study class 60 miles away. He offered me excuses at first, then finally admitted he was wrong.

I don't trust him any longer. I feel used, to say the least. My love for him has diminished, as well as my respect for him. I can no longer see the man I fell in love with and would support in any way.

I hate to turn my back on him, he has broken my heart and put me in financial ruins! The stress of this past year has been far more than I endured from the husband I divorced.

I am in such a state.

July 31, 2001
11:44 am
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ranmar1
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RED Alert......He's going through a divorce and you call him your fiance after 1 yr? Think about it. How honest can he have been with his feelings about you if he hasn't even finished his past relationship? Sorry, but you were set up to be the comforting person, while he tried to get his life in order. You are right, you were used. The fiance title was just a hook to keep you around. I don't think he had any intentions of staying once he got his act together. Unfortunately, based on what you are saying, he will never get his act together. Are you willing to accept this? Is this who you want to spend your life with? Think about it. I think he did you a favor by making you wake up and smelling the coffe..
Kick his butt out now. No more using you. It's not going to change......
Randy

July 31, 2001
12:45 pm
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He steals from you. He will not disclose the whole story. He keeps telling you to wait, and wait and wait. Yet, he continues to allow you to take care of and support him... hmm...

when will it stop? when can you start receiving? Where is he looking to be in a couple of months? when things get better, will you seem as appealing to him?

Some things to consider... It's a give and take thing - right?

July 31, 2001
12:47 pm
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gingerleigh
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Ranmar is absolutely right, darlin'. You've been taken for a ride, and whether he meant consciously to take advantage of you or not, facts are facts. Take it from someone who lost $20,000 on a "husband". I could have been reading my own story in yours.

Of course, I could go off and recommend that you do exactly what I did, which is holler "enough is enough!", freak out, throw things and kick him to the curb, throwing his unpaid bills and study guides out after him, change the locks, leaving him wide open to tell the world that he left you because you were a psycho-b*tch-from-hell. (This approach worked for me, believe it or not... not like I really thought it through, just blindly new I needed to take care of myself, fight or flight reaction. I secretly enjoyed my new psycho-b*tch-from-hell status too... but I digress...)

But, obviously this approach isn't for everyone. What I would recommend is to start setting some boundaries, practical boundaries. Keep the cards you don't use often, your check book, important papers, and any other hock-able valuables (jewelry?) you have in a safety deposit box where only YOU have the key. Get his name off any assets you hold jointly. Cancel credit cards that both of your names are on. Once you have a lid on his spending of *your* cash, you can move forward with getting back what he owes you.

Keep in mind, sometimes just flat out cutting your losses is the best way to go. If it won't kill you to never be paid back, then it might cause you much less emotional pain to just let it go.

Ranmar, once again on the money about the 1 year divorced thing. People who are going through divorces should be off limits, should have red neon signs blinking on their foreheads saying "Damaged goods! Handle with extreme caution!" They need time to heal too, and most times are completely unable to be complete and loving partners.

And wait, do I read your post correctly? You say he started his divorce last year, but you've been with him for 2 years? That makes at least one year where you were pouring your heart and soul into a relationship with a man who was married to someone else? Lydia, the man is *messed up*, and he will only mess you up further. You write as though you feel like you are wrong in not trusting this man, and in no longer respecting him. How on earth could you respect someone who would cheat on his wife, no matter how awful the relationship is? And what does that say about his respect levels for you?

The guy sounds like an emotional and financial leech. OK, I'm going back on my original promise of not offering extreme advice... get this man out of your home, your finances, your life! He is *very* strong, very powerful to have infiltrated your life like this, and if you stay in his unhealthy influence, YOU WILL NOT WIN.

July 31, 2001
1:45 pm
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Ladeska
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It seems obvious to me that you are allowing this because you feel you deserve it for some reason. You can stop this at any time, but you aren't. So, it's time to be honest with "you". What kind of negative reinforcement are you getting that validates what you believe about yourself? True, he's doing what he's doing, but you are allowing it and there is a reason for that. Time to be honest with yourself and find out what that reason is....right?

July 31, 2001
4:43 pm
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Lydia
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What I've just read is probably the exact advice I would give anyone. For some reason (love is blind) I have not been able to see why I wouldn't listen to that advice.

Honestly, when he started working 2 jobs and handing me his paychecks, I wanted desperately to believe we were on the road to recovery. Up until that point, I was able to forgive him, knowing the complexity of his divorce and lifestyle change (leaving the ministry)

I had known him (as friends) for almost 8 years. We talked, played tennis...and that's it. To make a long story short, we both had unhappy marriages, mine was already in the process of divorce, and his was soon to follow.

Our friendship turned to an emotional relationship and I believed we shared a mutual love. The last year that he was "married" was an unusual one. Their house had caught fire and as a result they lived in seperate places. It wasn't a good time to present the divorce, especially for the kids.

There are always circumstances to each individual story. I'm trying not to rationalize, it was wrong but the fact remains, we had a relationship for a year before he moved in with me. Obviously, I would do things differently, given the opportunity again. But, "You can't unring a bell"

He is not giving me any negative reinforcement (that I'm aware of)to make me feel I'm deserving of such dishonesty and disrespect. For the most part, anything that doesn't pertain to finances, he's been wonderful. We have the same interests, etc., etc. I almost said we had the same beliefs, that is no longer true because I am honest. Not in a million years would I take someone's card and charge on it without even asking.

The bottom line is: I love him very much and have the fondest memories of our times together. Yes, those memories are partly negated by his recent behavior. I want to believe him.

Today, he called me from work to tell me he was selling some personal things of value in order to repay me some of the money he owes. He is working 12 hour days, seven days a week (for the past month) He promised he would repair the damage he's done and he wouldn't stop until he made it right.

Of course, those are the things he knows I want to hear. What he hasn't considered is the probability that I won't allow him to.

I'm so confused, hurt but mostly humiliated at the thought I have let this happen to me AGAIN!!

July 31, 2001
6:21 pm
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WEll... I'd go off alone for a while. Be by yourself. Know he's there... and that he SAYS he wants things to be right... just know this while you're alone for a time, if it provides you comfort.

Give yourself some space to take care of you. I know, I know the woman inside wants to take care of, to nurture. He's the perfect case. But YOU need nurturing! He's not providing that. Do it for yourself... you will feel fulfilled. You will feel worthy even when you don't take care of him. For a change, nurture yourself. You don't need him as a mirror or your beautiful soul. It's always been there. And it's for you.

And, try not to feel shame for being loving and caring. Try not to feel embarassment - we've been there!

July 31, 2001
7:58 pm
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Molly
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Lydia, Lydia,Lydia.....
Ok, so this was a rebound, found each other while in pain, licked each others wounds, played house, and during that time, the stress of all the change perhaps got to him, divorce, no longer a minister, and I bet you forgot to ask him about how good is he at a budget, hmmm isn't there some sort of thing where financial planners can't have filed BK? Hmmm great on the resume, sorry I just thought about that. There are so many jobs he could have done with that real estate license, but it does take some money, and lots and lots of work, but pleanty of assistant positions that are great for the newbies. Financial planners don't make all that much money in the beginning, I am sure that is why you haven't made the change. But the one thing that is unforgivable, is that he has broken the circle of trust, I am sure his guilt and what not contributed to his actions, but again, a man of the cloth breaking the thou shalt not steal??? Sorta makes you go hmmmmmmm And why wouldn't you let him pay you back, with interest, and then some, he has a big debt to you, a real big debt, and if you choose to continue this situation, for the sake of many things including your anger, and his character, he needs to pay you back.
No more enableing, no more ms. nice girl, its not worth it your soul is suffering. Will you ever trust again, how long before you stop feeling used, you know that love is not enough, is he really ever going to be a partner? I'm sorry your hurting and feeling the way you do, but there is only one way to fix it, and that is make some rules, make some changes, or.......... try the 50 ways to leave your lover song.

July 31, 2001
8:11 pm
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Lydia
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Thank you all for your kind words and support. Just to know each of you took the time to consider my plight is comforting. I shall consider all of the advice but I choose to make no permanent decision right now, while I'm an emotional wreck.

It's painful to look at him and see a man that is so different than the one I thought I knew so well. I'm so disgusted at myself for not being more verbal about the compounding debt, I just used my overdraft protection to cover the additional costs of supporting 2 people on my income. I didn't want to "rock his boat" while he was preparing for his tests. Well what about MY BOAT!!??

I'm wondering why I ever thought I could depend on him if anything ever happened to my career/income. I held all of the assets, he came into the relationship with NOTHING after his divorce. Not 50%...ZERO in lieu of alimony because she didn't work for 17 years. Should I have to pay for that?? I've worked all of my life, taking time from my precious children as they were growing.

I read something once about throwing and breaking cheap china for stress relief, I'm heading for the kitchen.

July 31, 2001
8:20 pm
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Listen...
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Punching the crap out of a big fat pillow works too!!

July 31, 2001
9:11 pm
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Molly
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Don't break the good ones,besides that is in the movies where the cleaning crew comes in after !! Wear shoes in the kitchen. Don't feel bad, all the financial warning signs were there for me, and like the nieve sweet one didn't want to rock the boat, but he sure let mine sink. he has himself real protected right now, and there is absolutely no security only what I create my self. I never thought much about money, but I sure do now. That is a funny thing about us women, we say that looks like a duck, we ask others does that look like a duck, they agree yup, sure looks like a duck, so then we sit back and say, what the hell am I going to do with a damn duck. So, go ahead and ponder until your ready to put the duck in the pond. You will know when your ready. I always screamed into the pillows, there was something about yelling until I laughed that was good for me.

July 31, 2001
9:32 pm
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gingerleigh
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Any serious physical exertion helps. Running hard and fast, lifting weights, beating pillows, punching bags, anything to release it physically. Get the endorphins running, clear your head.

August 1, 2001
8:19 am
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Lydia
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We had a serious talk this morning and he claims, no matter what, he's paying me back and "making things right" Perhaps for him, repayment is sufficient, but he has damaged my respect and trust in him.

I asked myself if there was a possibility that I could forgive him and move on...I love him so much, I'm sure in time, I could. Right now, my anger is in the way, not to mention feeling like a stepping stone for what benefits him.

He wants the opportunity to work on the damage he's done. He swears he never intended on "using" me, and that he was just in a desperate situation and devastated from the recent changes in his life. I have empathy, it's part of my make up, I understand that sometimes life deals us a hand that is hard to take and we struggle, behaving in ways that are out of character.

I know this man! I would have bet my bottom dollar that he never would have jeapordized my admiration/love/respect for him intentionally.

He is remorseful, I see it in his face. I wonder if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, or even if there is a light. It's been a rough year...because of HIM.

I'm in that "limbo" phase, feeling a little sorry for myself, angry at him and at the same time, wanting comfort and reassurance from a man that gravely disappointed me.

I feel like I keep drawing the short straw.

August 1, 2001
10:02 am
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Listen...
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maybe the remorse you see in his face is, in fact, his realization that you will not continue to be his doormat.

Not that you're asking, but i'd let him continue to "pay you back" and see that money is not the only thing he owes you... It's YOUR TURN to receive... sit back and let it roll in...

August 1, 2001
11:36 am
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Ladeska
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I realize you're not doing well and pretty much caught up in an emotional whirlwind. Been there, done that. It's so hard to make drastic changes when you're in the eye of everything and especially if he's doing his charmer routine. It works, no doubt about that. But, the thing to really focus on here is not that after you've hit the wall - he comes forward with all this remorse, blah, blah, blah. But rather - where the hell was he when he was sticking it to you on a daily basis? Um, did he not see how things were affecting you, or did he not care if he did see? Those are questions that stick out at me and the answers are not good ones, are they?

At the root of behavior which allows this is usually something that goes like this....I need to earn love from someone, I must be the martyr, the one who gives and gives...then and only then will I be worthy to receive... It also says that you have some control over him - that he should love you, care for you like you do him because after all - look what I've hung in there doing for you! So, that's an angle that's hard to really look at. Would we do that? Um, yeah, we would and we do. Being unhealthy in the way of not having good self-esteem and not estahblishing good patterns early on in life - will produce this in us.

But, recognizing it, identifying it - taking responsibility for it - is the first step in turning around and going down another path, so there is quite a bit of hope here. It can be done and the energy exerted will probably be less than staying in this tornado.

You guys started out on a shaky foundation and it's never gotten better really, not in it's structure anyways. Sure, he can provide good times for you. He has to though, doesn't he? I mean, in order to keep you around to feed on when he is deficient - he has to keep you mesmerized and a willing victim - right? That would be a smart charmer, wouldn't it? So, he's only doing what he has to do in order to keep you patted down. That's about it.

And as long as you are weak and confused and just wanting and needing strokes from him and the boo-boo eyes talking to you about how sorry he is, blah, blah, blah....he'll just keep feeding you poison laced with honey and you'll keep spiraling downward. So, all I'm saying to you is - you better take what energy you've got left and get the heck away from him because he is bad news.

Ah yes, I know all about the "I'm so sorry, I will make it up to you" dance. They are sooo freaking good at that. Can't tell you how many times my father used to abuse me as a child and then sit and cry about it, tell me it would never happen again, turn around and spoil me rotten for the next two weeks and then go and do it again.... What that does is keep one in a constant state of confusion and in a worn down state. It also keeps you hanging onto hope because when they are nice to you - they are sooo convincing with it. It's almost like a drug you get addicted to. It's so nice - it seems unreal. Well, it is....unreal. It's plastic and it's only done to pacify you.

But, once you "believe" that you have some kind of power over him, as he leads you into that belief....he's got you. He's the one at the controls and he knows that. But, if he convinces you - that you are the one he lives for, you are the love of his life, if you'll just hold on a bit longer all will be well, blah, blah, blah....he's the one who's smirking to himself and saying - wow, that's so easy....

It's a win-win situation for him, isn't it? And what are you winning here? As in - why are you here posting? It's not because you're feeling so darned good, that's for sure. It's because you are in turmoil and for good reason. All your alarms are going off and you're having trouble not unplugging them. Better listen to them...

As long as you dance with a spider and a snake - all you get is more and more confused and weary until you don't even have the energy to think clearly or to get away. And when they have drained you dry - they leave you in the dust and go find someone else to feed off of.

The trouble is - you will have anxiety over you not forgiving "you" for making a bad judgement call concerning him early on. You might stick with it because you want to prove yourself right in all the good you see in him and to complete the hope and the dreams you sketched out in your head. It's a pride thing with us. We couldn't have been this wrong, could we? I'll let you in on a little secret.....these people are very, very good at what they do, so give yourself a little grace and mercy here. And pull out of this with your dignity and your self-respect in tact before he takes that from you as well and you walk off going - it was all me, wasn't it?

August 1, 2001
12:11 pm
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Ladeska
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Dr. Irene says...

Sometimes we mistake guilt and self-assumed blame for love. Committing suicide for someone else's sake is not love. Sacrificing yourself for someone else is not love. It is domination.

You control your Narcissist by giving as much as he controls you through his pathology. Your generosity prevents him from facing his true self and thus healing.

But this you must remember as well:

The Need to be Hopeful

I understand the need to be hopeful. There are gradations of narcissism. In all my writings, I am referring to the extreme and penultimate form of narcissism, the NPD.

We often confuse shame with guilt. Narcissists feel shameful when confronted with a failure. They feel (narcissistically) injured. Their omnipotence is threatened, their sense of perfection and uniqueness is questioned. They are enraged, engulfed by self-reprimand, self-loathing and internalized violent urges.

The narcissist punishes himself for failing to be God - not for the maltreatment of others.

The narcissist makes an effort to communicate his pain and shame in order to elicit the NS needed to restore and regulate his failing sense of self-worth. In doing so, the narcissist resorts to the human vocabulary of empathy. The narcissist will say anything to obtain narcissistic supply from you. It is a manipulative ploy - not a confession of real emotions or an authentic description of internal dynamics.

Yes, the narcissist is a child - but a very precocious and young one. Yes, he can tell right from wrong - but is indifferent to both. Yes, it is a process of "re-parenting" (what Kohut called a "self-object") that is required, of growth, of maturation. In the best of cases, it takes years and the prognosis is dismal.

Yes, some narcissists make it. And their mates or spouses or children or colleagues or lovers rejoice.

But is the fact that people survive tornadoes - a reason to go out and seek one?

The Narcissist is very much attracted to vulnerability, to unstable or disordered personalities or to the inferior. Such people constitute more secure sources of better quality narcissistic supply. The inferior offer adulation. The mentally disturbed, the traumatized, the abused become dependent and addicted to him. The vulnerable can be easily and economically manipulated without fear of repercussions.

I think that "a healing narcissist" is a contradiction in terms, an oxymoron (though NOT in all cases, of course).

Still, healing (not only of narcissists) is dependent upon and derived from a sense of security in a relationship.

The Narcissist is not particularly interested in healing. He tries to optimize his returns, taking into consideration the scarcity and finiteness of his resources. Healing, to him, is simply a bad business proposition.

In the Narcissist's world being accepted or cared for (not to mention loved) is a foreign language. That is: meaningless.

One might recite the most delicate haiku in Japanese and it would still remain meaningless to a non-Japanese.

That non-Japanese are not adept at Japanese does not diminish the value of the haiku OR of the Japanese language, needless to say. Narcissists damage and hurt but they do so off-handedly and naturally. They are aware of what they are doing to others - but they do not care.

Sometimes, they sadistically taunt and torment people - but they do not perceive this to be evil - merely amusing. They feel that they are entitled to their pleasure and gratification (narcissistic supply is often obtained by subjugating and subsuming others).

They feel that others are less than human, mere extensions of the narcissist, or instruments to fulfill the narcissist's wishes and obey his often capricious commands. No evil can be done to machines, instruments, or extensions.

http://www.drirene.com/abuserpages.htm

August 8, 2001
11:58 pm
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Lydia
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I've avoided this site for a week, digesting all that has turned my world upside down. The last post from Ladeska hit me profoundly hard. I read the same line countless times: "Did he not see how things were affecting you or did he not care if he did see?"

I've sobbed every day this week, wondering where I would draw my strength. I've always been a spiritual person, and yet I feel utterly alone. I cling to the hope that he is sincere with his promises, but wonder what makes these different from all of the rest.

He read my post last week, honestly, I didn't think he would or I probably wouldn't have written it. He decided to "come clean" and admit he has been a charmer and manipulative in the past but was driven out of desperation, otherwise he would never have hurt me. He claims it was not intentional and continues to reaffirm his love and commitment to me. He says he will make it up to me.

I am very depressed and completely apathetic. I push to move on and tackle my daily tasks of studying in preparation for me brokers license. I'm having difficulty concentrating with the enormous debt lingering over my head and the pain caused by the man I believed was my soulmate. Words cannot describe my turmoil and heartache over knowing our relationship has been tainted with his lies and deceit. His confession was no great revelation, I've known all along that he has had a history of being a charmer, controller and manipulative. Somehow, I thought our relationship was "real", but from the very beginning, I was troubled with his jealousy, control, and manipulation of me. We had passed those hurdles, with a lot of undue heartache. Now, I question if our whole relationship was a lie. How could he love me and watch me suffer, working so hard to pay the bills and cause me heartache with his little outbursts and moods all along?

I hate myself for being so vulnerable, so strong in some areas and so weak in others. God knows I have supported him in all of his efforts, even at my own expense. I hung in there for him and now that I need his support, I feel abandoned and used.

I want to believe he is remorseful. I want to believe he has a conscience. I want to believe our relationship can be repaired if we are both committed. I want to believe he loves me and will make things right...if he doesn't, I don't think I could survive any more heartache.

Please help....what is wrong with me? Why do I love a man that has hurt me so?

I envy couples that have a deep, emotionally committed relationship, based on friendship, love and mutual respect. I know that this is in MY heart and dreams. I know I am capable but everytime I get involved with a man, he turns out to be someone different than he presented himself to be. He tells me promises that aren't kept and lies that eventually surface.

August 9, 2001
8:32 am
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janes
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Is it really love?

What is love?

Is it manipulating and using a person who cares about you?

What kind of minister was he?

Will he go to therapy?

Will you?

August 9, 2001
1:48 pm
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Ladeska
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Lydia....well, unfortunately - what he did is all too typical of a charmer/manipulator...boring even. They will feed you the line as long as you will believe it. This is the real deal....

No. 1 - Anyone who has good character in the first place - would not have done this to you. And no - it's not love. It's all "about him".

No. 2 - If the only stimulation he has to "supposedly change" is because you cried out in pain - BONG! wrong answer. He's full of it. If....he had a conscience in the first place - he would have changed course long before you were on the floor dying over here.

No. 3 - People who change - don't freaking talk about it - they just do it.

So....what you have here is - pain, pain and more pain if you stay in this spider's web. People like this disrespect you more every day you believe their lies. They are disgusted with themselves, but even more so with you - if you are weak enough (in their eyes) to be sucked in by them.

I do understand the grieving process that is involved with forgiving yourself for making a wrong choice here or a string of wrong choices. But, you do have to "forgive you". We all do this at some point in our lives. It's called....learning and doing it - hands on. Not sure there is any other way to do it.

I don't know why you end up in situations like this with men, but that would be something to figure out - once you are behind healthy boundaries and not being smacked up side the head every day by someone. You're too weak and vulnerable and you need to retreat to a place of safety and comfort and heal. You have that right as a person.

What I have done in the past when I've been in similar situations where all sides were coming in on me, relationship, finances, depression, health, etc....I just finally took the stance of...Okay - going to make this simple on myself. No. 1 - I've hit the wall, not going to engage anymore with whoever is making ripples in my ocean.. I'm done with you. No more talking, no more of me explaining shit to you, don't care what you think or say, get out of my face, enough is enough. No. 2 - So, my financial situation is crap! Okay...what can I do about it that isn't "worrying"? Do I file for bankruptcy, do I go to Consumer Credit Counselors and consolidate my debts into one payment a month? Do I get a loan and pay off high interest stuff? What? What can I do, what are my options that don't involve me sitting here every month - wigging, worrying and making donuts in the sand? No. 3 - I think I'll rearrange my whole world, maybe I'll create it with "only" things and people in it that I immensely enjoy and have no issues with. If they don't really make me smile, make me laugh, feel inspired and promote trust - then I won't allow them in my life at all. Will only give trust a little bit at a time - as it is earned. Period.

So, in a nutshell what you do is say - I'm done here. Not going to dance anymore, won't explain myself to anyone, but will ask so - what are my solutions? Then you pick one, execute it - if that doesn't work - pick the next option and execute it and keep doing that until one works, stop going in circles, and pull away from anyone that does. Let your No be No and your Yes be Yes and take the stance of - I don't owe anyone a computer printout as to why I came to whatever conclusion. It's my life, my thoughts, my feelings and you damned straight I have a right to them. It's called Boundaries and I have a right to them so shut up and move out of my way because I am coming through with or without your precious "approval".

It's time for you to cocoon....to create a place of safety for yourself - to hit your problems head on and say - Hey - so okay everything is a mess - here it is, on the table, in broad daylight - there it is! So, what's the best possible solution to make it better. Not going to bury this in my gut and spin around in circles anymore. I'm done with that. No more. If I go bankrupt, I go bankrupt. So shoot me. Whatever - but I'm not living like this anymore and I'm darned well not going to live under fear either..... I'm going to live - pro-active on my behalf and if I start on bottom - I start on the bottom. Going to look at all the ugly in the light and say - okay....it's freaking ugly - but, it's time to roll up my sleeves and hit it head on, plow through and look things straight in the eye.

And if you are looking to this man to be impressed or more in love with you because you have become his doormat - freaking forget it. He only disrespects you for believing him - yet one more time. No one respects a martyr, they just use them and throw them away. So, it's time for you to stop crying out and kick some major butt. One butt in particular - out of your life and start educating yourself as to "why" you want to be in this position and get this kind of pain for yourself. There is a reason and once you figure it out and identify it - you can get free of it. But, you will never, ever get free - while doing this dance with him or anyone else. Time to stop spiraling downward, Lydia and grab ahold of the wall and climb up and out.

August 9, 2001
2:31 pm
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Ladeska
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Lydia.....please go to his website and do the exercise....it will help.

http://www.newharbinger.com/cg.....+997400136

August 9, 2001
9:09 pm
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Molly
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Its just a habit, that cycle, that dance. The feel good moments feel so good, and PUNCH, just when your all warm and fuzzy, there it goes again.
i truly think these men have deep issues with women, need them, but truly hate them. don't beat your self up because you are kind and trusting, and duh, optimistic. The truth is we keep getting the lessons put before us, until we get the right answer. I need to check out Ladeskas referd site. Good luck on the exam, I hope your taking the weekend crash course first, heard its real helpful.

August 10, 2001
10:15 am
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OK - So Lydia, do you crave the extra "punch" that comes from waiting and waiting, anticipating his good deed of "changing", and that "punch" when he AT LAST follows through with a little remorse and promise?

I'm asking because it seems to be a MAJOR relief when one waits and the prize is finally presented. Almost like a high of some sort. I don't know if this is what's happening, but you might invistigate the idea...

Do you think you have an addictive personality? One who finds the rush of "shooting up" most pleasurable only after going through withdrawals? Is the "shooting up" akin - in this case - to doing without his love and affection for so long... and then FINALLY he gives a little... and it's like a little rush... and feeding the addiction...

Don't know. I may be completely off base here...

August 10, 2001
10:57 am
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Listen....this is very common - this cycle. It's the cycle we, who enable abusive/charmer/manipulators. So, it is a very real thing we do sometimes. Just hard to recognize and then do something about. It's like people live for the "good times" and will take tons of abuse in order to get it.

Usually, this pattern gets set early in life. Someone in our circle of family is abusive and withholds love, approval, support from us. We need it/want it desperately from them but all they give us is verbal and/or physical abuse, neglect and rejection. But as a child - we hope. We think we did something wrong. We immediately go into that spin of thinking what we can do different or how we can be better in order to earn/win their affection/approval. Then, as most abusive people are - they have moments of conscience, moments of temporary guilt. So, they go into this dance of buying gifts, or taking someone to a special event, lavishing all kinds of attention on their victim, saying I'm sorry, I did it because of this and that, won't do it again, you know I love you, blah, blah, blah. And the child learns to live for these moments....they feel so good. The child wants so badly to "believe" the adult. They hope. They erase the blackboard of all wrongs and thus.....the pattern gets laid.

And at the bottom of all this is horrible self esteem in the child. They are to blame for whatever. So, now they believe that they have to earn love and if they aren't good enough - they won't get it. They go into adulthood playing out the same scenario, even picking abusive people to continue trying to resolve this issue within them. "If I can pick someone who is similar or reminds me of this figure in my past....and if I can change them/be responsible for them turning around, if I can love them enough, give enough, be enough of a martyr, understand like no other - then maybe.....I can fix this inside myself and finally win the war that has been raging for soooo long.

Thing is - it was a very bad equation in the first place. And we unconsciously execute it over and over again without even knowing what we are doing or why. But, like I say alot - knowledge is power. So, once we know "why" we do what we do - we have a chance to "undo" it. However, it takes great fortitude - to go back to that child and say - sweetheart...you believed a lie...and it's time to take another road. That's tough because it's part of your fiber now - it feels good to go through the pain and then get a cookie for it. It's an established pattern and we don't know how to live any other way....we're afraid to leave what is "comfortable", to leave all we know.

But, if we don't find that courage....we will sink and never swim and we will repeat history and set in motion a pattern for our own children to follow, not to mention - that we will never achieve our full potential.

Upon recognition - we have the great opportunity to say - No More. I choose to walk another path, however hard, however unfamiliar. Because the fact is - one will expend more energy and more life force repeating the old familiar pattern than to turn around and establish a new one. One is about death, the other is about life.

Lydia.....time to clean house, weed your garden and only put in your freshly painted space....what is about "you" and your health, wellbeing and what is "true".

August 10, 2001
12:55 pm
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As a child I never knew what caused the "good times" versus the bad. So, I just threw up my hands. There was just no reliable way of knowing.

As an adult, I find myself still trying to figure out how to recognize the cause/effect of reward.

August 10, 2001
1:40 pm
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Listen....I understand. Well, the cause of reward - is based on that system of thinking you deserve a reward for being a good. It's all about "earning" something. And the effect of getting the reward is enforcing that whole system of thinking/behaving.

Sounds like you were in an impossible situation where the boundaries always changed. One day this, the next day that. Yep, am familiar. But, what happens is who we are and our self esteem - gets trashed in all that, so of course you will be confused. Who wouldn't?

At the very least we have to realize that in some ways we are emotionally another age that what our chronological age is. And that's okay. We may need to help ourselves - grow up in some ways that we never got to do previously.

Taking inventory of what's going on in your life right now is a good start. Who are the players? Who is close to you? How do they treat you? Are you role playing with them in this way of trying to earn love from them? Are you trying to constantly be good enough to deserve good treatment?

It's like undoing a sticky spiderweb a string at a time because if you do it fast - it's wrapped around vital organs and you might collapse. So, you have to do it gently, easy and understand what you are doing as you go.

It's called - learning how to parent yourself. It's hard undoing old patterns. Believe me - I know. But, it's not that hard.... far harder to live the other way.

If you don't mind me asking - what is going on in your life right now? How do you see your life? How do you feel about those close to you?

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