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Confusing warm fuzzy feelings with love II!
February 8, 2000
9:28 pm
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VRJ
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You wrote, " Through many rationalisations over many years, your bf most probably has come to believe that his way of interacting with women is the only way to guarantee that he can have what the woman has to offer and at the same time retain his own individuality. From his heavily distorted perspective, he probably sees his past relationship failures as not being largely a result of his behaviour but as being due to the untrustworthiness of women in general. His battle with you in trying to 'bring you to heel' is probably to ensure that he is in control of you and not you in control of him. If you don't succumb then he will probably reconcile himself with the sad thought that you were just like the rest; untrustworthy with his emotions, likely to hurt him and out to dominate him."

That's good. It's almost word for word what he has told me about his past relationships including that he never felt unconditional love from his parents.

But such superficial behavioural 'change' will be pursuant to you passing his 'tests' and meeting his 'needs'. The first time that you do not and he feels 'trapped', 'unloved' or 'inadequate' he will 'withdraw'.

He did that yesterday. He reverted again. He left a message in the morning. I go to work a bit early for coffee before I start. He said 'I hope he's worth it' meaning who? Some guy? The guy I used to go out with? Who knows. But he did come back. After our talk on Saturday, I had told him that this going away stuff just wasn't working. He had done it over and over with no change (one of his favorite sayings is you can't do the same thing over and over and expect a different result). So, he did come back last night. I told him he had been childish again and he even joked saying that he had been a child at one time after all. Then, something I said reminded him of something else that bothered him but I told him I would think about it from his perspective and get back to him. He stopped after work today to get something I needed him to look at but decided to do it at home. So, that is an improvement, staying in contact, withdrawing but without going away. I find that acceptable. We'll see if it lasts.

You say that "All the above conjecture of mine about the motivations behind your bf's behaviour says more about me than about him" and maybe that's true but helpful to me all the same.

" So your bf was receptive at the meeting. Now, where to from here?"

I decided to do a trial. I am going to forget about my insecurities (ha, do my best anyway) and concentrate on his. I am going to accept what he says and feels as being valid and deal with it from an objective viewpoint. I.e., if this is what he feels is there something I am doing to bring it on? If so, what can I do about it? If not, what is he perceiving that I am doing, etc. His feelings are real to him. And I'm thinking if I deal with his insecurities without retorting something like 'you do that too' it will actually help me to be calmer, less insecure (because sometimes I think I talk myself into it) and more able to respond rationally (instead of defensively) . I will be able to concentrate on what he is saying instead of thinking about my response. What I am going to do is be accepting, trusting and rational. I told him that I expected openness and honesty from now on so I had better be prepared to handle it. And I really don't expect him to become totally honest and open over night but I think he'll probably try little things first to see my reaction. So far, and it's only been 3-4 days, it seems to be diffusing things somewhat. I feel much calmer too. It's hard work worrying and wondering and being crazy!

February 9, 2000
3:55 pm
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VRJ.

You said,"I decided to do a trial. I am going to forget about my insecurities (ha, do my best anyway) and concentrate on his. I am going to accept what he says and feels as being valid and deal with it from an objective viewpoint. I.e., if this is what he feels is there something I am doing to bring it on? If so, what can I do about it? If not, what is he perceiving that I am doing, etc. His feelings are real to him..."

Well... I hope you can cope with your own emotional pain without reacting. Both of your past childhood emotional experiences and the then learned responses will be doing the 'tango' together. To curtail your childhood learned emotional responses in favour of a new cognitively derived one, will be a very difficult thing to do. Your 'buttons' are going to be pushed.

Another major problem for you will be to know and understand what it was that triggered off an emotional response in him. You can be absolutely sure that every time the bf 'reacts' it will be at least partially due to 'something that you are doing'. Both you and your bf are complex beings. To understand the nature of the complex interactions 'as they are happening' and to respond appropriately will take the wisdom of Solomon.

I really believe that the best chance for this relationship to work is for both of you jointly to see a 'good' therapist an a regular basis. This of course requires that your bf see that he has 'problems'. In addition, another prerequisite for this therapeutic approach is a deep commitment from both of you to make this relationship work. A third requirement is the realisation that you both have chosen a long hard road to tread. It will be a journey of painful mutual self-discovery. The rewards will be great and the life long journey well worth making. The equally painful but 'easier' way out is to part company. But the choice is both yours and bf's to make. For both your sakes I hope the choice is an informed one. All the very best to both of you.

February 11, 2000
9:52 pm
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Tez, One last note.

The problems as you see it are "To curtail your childhood learned emotional responses in favour of a new cognitively derived one, will be a very difficult thing to do. Your 'buttons' are going to be pushed."

So far, so good. I have been keeping myself very aware of how I feel and how I want to respond and not doing it. Last night I called, he was rude and sarcastic, so I just said I would talk to him today. Today he showed up all nice with some things I had asked for while ago and acting calm and receptive again.

"Another major problem for you will be to know and understand what it was that triggered off an emotional
response in him."

You're right, that is trickier. The best I can do right now is to know what I do that sets off the response. I can't yet determine why. I did a few very simple things lately that really diffused things. They were things that I feel are unnecessary but not hard to do so I just did them.

"I really believe that the best chance for this relationship to work is for both of you jointly to see a 'good'
therapist an a regular basis"

This won't happen until I figure out one of the fers of his. He had been seeing one so I thought I maybe would too and went to the same one thinking it made sense. He freaked at me and never went back to the guy. Too much information getting out I guess.

"another prerequisite . . . is a deep commitment from both of you to make this relationship work."

This is in place.

" A third requirement is the realization that you both have chosen a long hard road to tread. It will be a journey of painful mutual self-discovery. The rewards will be great and the life long journey well worth making."

That's positive. And I think we knew that already. So, I think we'll go forward. When I talked of concentrating on his insecurities I didn't mean giving in to them or humouring him, I meant understanding where they are coming from and why, as discussed above. I figure once I figure that out I can decide how to work with them and then have a much greater liklihood of having my needs met. Give to get you know. And instead of keeping bashing away, telling him over and over what I want, and my point of view, I've stopped. Even though it seems like he is ignoring them, I realize that he's smart, he has ears, he's heard and understood. His fears and insecurities are the only thing holding him back. So it's another paradox I guess. Do the opposite of what I feel like doing. Perhaps it was my maladaptive behaviour in the first place causing some of the problems. Actually not perhaps, but likely. It will be fine. And we will find meaning.

Out.

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