To ask you to analyse me/my relationship?(25 Posts)
Background: my mum was never a mother - she made it abundantly clear she regretted having kids and passed us around to relatives/neighbours/friends until she finally left when I was young. My dad had his own family, he was a nice man but I saw him probably twice a year. I moved in with a friend and her mum aged 12 and had my own flat when I was 17 and met DP 3 years later. I'm hard working, focused and ambitious.
I've been with my DP for 10 years. I love him dearly but I just can't show it, I feel like if I show it something bad will happen and I'll be left hurt so I choose not to and stay guarded. He puts up with that and shows me lots of love in various ways.
He cares for me immensely and shows it by reducing my daily/life stresses, little things like filling my car up with petrol to things like making all of my meals every day. When he's away, he leaves me precooked meals because I would just work all day and not bother eating.
I make him laugh lots and am supportive of all of his endeavours but I'm not sure I do much more than that. I struggle with commitment so, despite a proposal, we're not married and I don't know if I want children. He would like both but has said he'd rather have me - I've never told him it's a choice or anything like that. I also dislike sex, always have, he puts up with that too. Never pressures me or makes me feel bad.
I love him but know someone else could love him better. Outsiders are always telling him he's the lucky one and even say he's punching above his weight, this is purely based on looks and my job I think. In private though I'm plagued with doubt that I'm enough for him - if I asked him, he would tell me I am.
No wonder you're having trouble now, after a childhood like that. You were so lucky your friend's mum took you in - didn't she report your mum? Do you have any contact with your parents now? How about your friend's mum? Can you talk openly to her?
I think you'd really benefit from counselling. Your boyfriend sounds really great - a breath of fresh air on MN!
Did your friend's mum care for you as a mother?
Blow fishes, you have to trust yourself. It is about letting go, it is impossible to let go if you don't trust. If I were you I would definitely have counselling to help you let go of the past. Fwiw your dp sounds lovely, as do you. Just love him.
You sound so much like one of my best friends it's unreal. I'm always wishing she could see herself the way we do, to see how wonderful she is and how much she deserves to be loved.
I think counselling would be so useful for you, have you ever spoken to anyone about your childhood?
Thank you for replying, I'm feeling a bit silly now for posting. I've been a particular nightmare to be around this week and am wondering what the hell my DP is doing with me!
My dad died years ago and I never really heard from my mum again after she left. She contacted me via a friend asking for money but that was it. My friend's mum was wonderfully inclusive, I felt very welcome in her home and she went on to foster young people so I never really troubled her for advice or anything once I left and then I moved far away. We actually haven't spoken since I left. I have friends and good colleagues but would never be so open with them.
You are just fine. Get yourself a good counsellor, honestly, it will help. Don't second guess dp, he is responsible for himself. He is with you because he wants to be.
Not liking sex could also be to do with not being able to let go, to be vulnerable. Again counselling.
What's your boyfriend's mum like?
I can really understand you not wanting to get close to anyone, but you really have such a great partner and it's clear he loves you. It's worth a try, isn't it?
Do you really think you'd be bothering your friend's mum, by talking to her about your feelings? She must have loved you so much to let you stay so long - you know she didn't give up on you. I wonder whether it would be worth getting back in touch, even just sending her a Christmas card - I'm sure she'd love to hear that you're okay and in a healthy and happy relationship.
No wonder you have trust issues after a childhood like yours. But you sound like you have lots of self awareness, which is a great start of you want to change, and you wouldn't me posting of you didn't want to change.
It sounds like you want to be able to show your boyfriend love. What would that look like to you? If you want to show your love with affection, start REALLY small, just by holding eye contact for a fraction of a second longer than normal, or squeezing his hand tenderly for a moment. See how that leaves you feeling. Repulsed? Anxious?, neutral? Take it slowly, play with it, see what it feels like to let yourself give and receive a little love. Take it really slowly.
See I'm both similar and opposite to you. My dp is often the one who wonders why I'm with him, he doesn't ask frequently but just enough to show how insecure he is. I'm probably slightly better looking than him with a better job but as I say to him whenever it's brought up - 'I'm with you because I love you, and if anything changes I'll let you know'. Trust in him that he's with you because he loves you. He does these things because he wants to. Not many people can stay in a relationship that they're unhappy with without showing it, not least because saying it out loud is hard to say.
Our similarity is the not wanting to marry part, but thats mostly because of my parents marriage and the many affairs they both has throughout my teenage (and 'not as stupid as they think I am) years and unfortunately my dp translates me not wanting to marry into not wanting to commit (we have 2 dc isn't that commitment enough?!)
Councilling will help, it sounds like you have a few demons you need to punch square in the face.
Hope you're okay xx
He's with you because he likes and loves you best of everyone.,
I've never talked to a counsellor. Without completely giving myself away I work in medicine and I know this sounds awful but I just don't think much of counsellors for this sort of thing. I think they're incredibly useful for people who need someone to listen but I just don't know how they'd help and I'd feel silly not know what to ask them for help with, iykwim?
Physical contact is a struggle, I don't mind cuddling up to watch tv but I never initiate it so maybe I could start with that?
I'm so pathetic I don't really know other ways to show love so I often get it wrong and do things like buy him an expensive gift or make him a cake. It's like I'm a robot!
One step at a time. It is not all or nothing - wild passion and great loving gestures are not for you; but you can give a little at a time at your own pace. It sounds as though this guy is happy to wait and go at your pace. You understand why you cannot do it easily; but you will get there in your own time and in your own way.
Counselling could indeed be a help to you - you have a lot to get over.
As others have said, making contact with your friend's Mum might be a good thing.
Yes, sorry I had typed out that bit in my first post that didn't work for some reason. Sending my friend's mum a Christmas card is a brilliant idea, I will definitely do that and put my contact details in then if she gets in touch I'll go from there. I feel embarrassed by it all really, the fact that she had to take me in just makes me feel like such an imposition so I never wanted to trouble her again.
Blowfish, your post is very sad and reminds me of me many moons ago. I didn't quite have the same childhood as you however, the themes of not being made to feel important/wanted/cherished/loved as a child have stayed with me until adulthood and most recently have come into full force following the birth of my first child. I too was with my partner (now DH) for a long time (11 years) before I could commit to marriage and then I was lukewarm. DH wanted marriage from the year dot but I just could not commit as I did not always feel love for him or enough love for him. I can now see (after therapy) that the issue was not with him but with me and my perspective on life which was stuck in those awful themes and needed healing before I could move on. I think a part of me was needing him to parent me which is why I wasn't a fan of sex either. On the whole though I was terrified of the themes from my childhood reoccurring as they were too awful to live twice. This resulted in me dumbing down' my feelings for him. After some thereapy (psychodynamic and scheme thereapy) I'm chuffed to say that I have moved on from my awful past. I am now happily married with one child and fingers crossed another one on the way. My life isn't perfect and sometimes DH annoys the hell out of me but I've leRnt that such is OK and that I can trust that is normal in most relationships. It really sounds to me as though you are holding back on your present and your future because of your sad past and who can blame you. But it does not have to be like this which is the main point of my post (sorry for the long one!). In terms of the doubters, what's it to them. It sounds to me as though they are jealous of you and your DP. Ignore them and focus on what's in your heart (as I did) in relation to your DP. In the meantime help yourself to a better emotional future by seeking some thereapy. Good luck OP 💐
Could you set an alarm on your phone every day that reminds you to connect with your DP? When it goes off you either send him a nice text, or write him a note, or give him a hug/kiss. It's a very simple thing that can start to break through your walls.
You are going to get better btw - you've seen that there's a problem an you know what's caused it. That's half the battle already won.
Wow chocness, what an amazing post. Thank you so much. You don't know what it means to me to see that you've been through it and come through it. That's just what I needed to see.
It's difficult because to the rest of the world I'm an intelligent, functioning and stable woman. So to seek therapy is hard but I do realise I should try it. My sister had 2 incredibly dysfunctional marriages which ended in messy divorce so sometimes it feels safe to be shut off in my feelings but it's not healthy.
Bizarrely I have two horses that I absolutely shower with love and affection, DP always says he wishes he was born a horse which is also quite sad really!
That's a lovely idea sparrow, like a 'love hour' I can certainly try. Although my loving texts are usually 'dinner is delicious', I may need to put some thought into it.
Start out with whatever comes to mind - 'dinner is delicious' is absolutely fine. You'll slowly start finding other things to say.
Just because it needs to be said: the way your mother treated you is in no way your fault. You did not deserve it. You deserve love and it is totally unfair that you didn't get it from your mother. Allowing your DP to love you will be worth it. I think you know that deep down though.
You both sound lovely. He is very lucky to have you, because he loves you. True love is worth more than anything. It doesn't matter if someone else would shag him more often or say "the right things" more frequently, it's not that shit that really means anything, it's being with someone you love and who loves you back, even through all your flaws.
I think you could try relate and just say you want to work on communication with your dh, that your love for him is much stronger than you feel able to show in everyday life and see if you can talk about how you could help each other to feel as loved as you obviously are, and more reassured of how the other one feels (as I do think you need the reassurance as much as he does). Even if the actual counselling doesn't help, the fact that you went there for that purpose will help to show how much you mean to each other.
You shower the horses with love? I'm the same, dog and horses get loads of affection, DH not so much. Has anyone ever mentioned Aspergers to you? I know I'm on the scale. Animals are easy, humans not so much.
Same with me Blowfish. Before having DD I held a very senior role in a global company. Had quals coming out of my ears, fantastic lifestyle and a man who adored me. I too looked stable, if only people knew the reality. Only problem was that I couldn't enjoy any of it as I turned my feelings off to protect myself from further hurt. I was also the same as you with your horse to my dogs! Animals don't inflict emotional hurts so it's no wonder I/you can easily open up to them. They make us feel safe, esp with their unconditional love which is a heck of a lot more than your or my background ever provided. It's so very sad but it sounds like your sister may be in the same boat (my sis is the same in many respects as yours, seeking something externally to make herself feel better/feel something when all along it's the hurt self from childhood that needs healing first). I don't want to keep banging on about this but I cannot recommend thereapy enough in helping to open up and heal past hurts to enable the future to be a happy one. You sound like a lovely person and likewise your DP so please, look into doing some thereapy. It's not the easiest of things but it's saved my life on numerous levels and I can honestly say I am 1000% all the better for it. I don't know if you can privately message on MN but if you can and you want to then please feel free to contact me. I'm happy to share experiences on a more deeper level if that helps. Best wishes.
BlowFishes, when you text him 'dinner is delicious' I bet he reads it as 'I love you'.
Don't underestimate the power loving people have to see the love in others in whatever ways it can be expressed. You feel it but it seems to get stuck before you can say it, your partner knows you feel it and he knows it gets stuck.
PS I took in my son's girlfriend when her mother put her out at 16. Now, almost 3 years later, she still feels like she's imposing on me! It honestly doesn't feel like that from the other side, it actually feels like an honour to be able to do something so vital for someone who needs it.
Blow fish, you are basically my dp, he had a very difficult childhood and was rejected by both parents. He finds it very hard to show love where as I shower him in love like your dp. He refuses (so far) to marry me but we have a dd who he showers with affection and he adores animals. It has taken him a long time to make progress (5 years to move in together) but we get there in the end. As someone on the other side I love him to bits and I'd be devastated if he decided to end it because he thought I deserved better. If you're looking for ways to show you love him, it's the little things that I appreciate and love, the initiation of a hand hold, when he makes me a cup of coffee without me pestering, a thoughtful present (not about the money, totally about the thought) saying I look nice. I am totally overwhelmed and delighted if dp holds my hand or gives me a hug of his own accord or says he loves me in a text. It really is the little things good luck to you, you both sound like lovely people.
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