to ask what a stable relationship looks and feels like(32 Posts)
Hi there everyone, I've posted a few times recently, I suppose trying to work out how I am feeling and what is right and wrong in a sense.
I am 29 and have recently been diagnosed with Borderline personality disorder after years of clinical depression diagnosis and hospitalisation.
I am high functioning, a single to mother to a seven and two year old, doing a full time Masters program after graduating with an honours this summer.
both boys have different fathers (5 years together and 3 years together) but this cause me a lot of shame, so much so i have been unable to make friends in my village, I joined the parent council, but simply cannot bring myself to attend meetings, i do not feel like a complete person, as though I'm tainted (apparently part of BPD).
I have been seeing a man for 11 months. He is charismatic, very intelligent, funny, full of love (although at intervals, not the same everyday maybe). I have had a voice telling me to leave for various reasons, the main one being his sexual fantasies for many months (which i have gone long with), have attempted to leave about 4 times, but he gets very upset, declares his love and i feel terrible, that I am seeing it all wrong, and that i should continue, that i am very lucky to have someone who loves me. The relationship is fairly long distance, i do the vast majority of travel. He is professional and older than me.
i feel as though i love him, but get anxiety around him I've noticed. I have started not staying at his house in the last few weeks as it doesn't feel like "home" anymore. But I am still in "crisis" so that could well be why, he was very upset at my leaving.
Its difficult to separate the BPD (in previous relationships i have left or engaged in stupid behavior) and the voice that says "this will hurt, you will be very upset, but this is not what you want" Its almost sitting in my throat.
So....what does a good, stable, healthy relationship look and feel like ?
thank you so much
It doesn’t look like that. Leave him. And maybe give relationship a rest while you are still in crisis. Do you have family around you?
I looks different to everyone, just like most things do. But the fundamental basis of every "good" relationship I've seen or known or felt has been kindness. Kindness in thoughts, words and actions. Without that basic kindness nothing can flourish.
If you have a voice telling you to leave, I'd listen to it. If he cares about you he'll understand the need for distance while you work out who you are when not in crisis. I also think a feeling of "going along with" anything sexually - beyond the experimentation wonder if I'll like this stage - is a sign all isn't well.
A secure stable relationship to me has always has acceptance, care and kindness at its core. I've sometimes found it difficult to accept care from others but that's different to it not being there in the first place.
Well i perhaps should say i did post about our relationship on this forum before desperate for advice, and i received a lot of responses, telling me he is manipulative and dangerous and not in love, but i requested to remove it because he saw it and was understandably extremely upset not only at my posting but also the responses.
Due to the sexual games (which he says are well behind us now, but this has been said before) i, for the first time have a lot of anxiety around sex.
i should also point out that during this crisis he has been incredibly supportive, and I have looked to him over anyone else, i value his advice and opinion.
jelly "A secure stable relationship to me has always has acceptance, care and kindness at its core. I've sometimes found it difficult to accept care from others but that's different to it not being there in the first place"
yes...he has been incredibly supportive, which i am very appreciative for, it is my nature to feel very grateful for love, but that little voice "you may pay for this in one way"
This man seems bad news. How did he see the last post? Is he checking up on you? Whatever these sexual things are that made you uncomfortable, trust your instincts now and end things. Good luck.
Thethoughtfox he messaged asking what i was up to, I was doing uni work but he saw the AIBU tab and searched through
To me, it's what I finally have. unconditional love and support. affection. not doing anything to hurt each other in any way - quite the opposite. enhancing each other's lives and being able to fully rely on each other.
Out of curiosity then, why are you posting again?
Nothing wrong with playing out fantasies long as both party's are happy with it, you are not OP and telling him that should be enough for him.
I don’t really know deck I suppose I’m worried about getting it wrong. That I’m lucky to have love and should be more appreciative of it, or if people in happy relationships have a little voice from time to time. I suppose I fear my version of reality may be a bit warped. And like I said, I’m very appreciative of love in all forms, perhaps even if it’s bad for me
You also said re the sexual games he said before they are behind him but were not. That would worry me. Does he say he is ok with it and then during sex try to convince you to go along because that is major alarm bells ringing.
I can tell him, later down the line, but I don’t want to disappoint, I have told him, but then it’ll come back again, granted not as bad as it was...I’m not crying outside some guys house because I don’t want to go and sleep with him...that’s not happening now. But it takes me a long time to decide how I feel about something, I don’t have very strong roots, so can take months, and now I can’t stop thinking of those times.
I don’t want to attack him, I’m worried he’ll see this again also. He does provide lots of love just now, but then sometimes not, and that’s ok, we lead busy lives. I had a work placement as part of my masters a couple of weeks ago and he bombarded me with love and said he’s never felt so deeply about me, but he said that before, months ago 🙈 but this what I mean, my perception may be warped
The first year in particular should feel like all the love songs were written especially for you two, you get a flutter of warm excitement when you think about seeing him, he's the thing you can think of to cheer you up when you are in the middle of drudgery, you want to lie in bed and have sex with him all day.
I think you should still be in the honeymoon period at 11 months in, but even after the intensity of the above wears off a little, you feel warm and safe.
Anxious doesn't feature
dippydippy we could be doing the dead and one of us will bring up being with another man...I do it too, I take blame too of course, but I do it now because sometimes I feel there’s something missing if not, that he’ll think it’s rubbish, I almost get angry about it during it. It’s habitual perhaps ?
It doesn't matter of you get it wrong. I know you are doubting your instincts but you aren't weighing up the risk of losing the only man who could ever love you. You're risking staying with someone who might not be as good for you as you could have. Good relationships feel good, not just acceptible or sometimes good. They feel good the vast majority of the time. Your emotional intensity wouldn't ideally be matched with someone else who has emotional intensity, as he sounds, but with someone who had a calm influence. So you can bring the creativity and emotional vibrancy to him and he can bring the calming influence to you.
dudsvil I have a very dear friend who does exactly that, she is medicanial for me, so I do know how that feels.
Yes, anxiety doesn't feature in a healthy safe relationship
Anxiety is about fear and so being in fear is not a healthy place long term. I understand we all get periods of fear in relationships, but prolonged fear and so early on and specifically related to that person....just no
Can you talk to a therapist in real life about this?
It might be that your feelings and anxiety right now are exacerbated by your condition (as you say, maybe you're in crisis), but it's also possible that you're more susceptible to a semi-abusive relationship because of it.
It would probably take someone "knowing" you in real life to help you work it out.
I’m on the waiting list for treatment. I actually feel as though I’m leaving crisis (certain terrible things have almost stopped completely) and feel brighter....but this inner conflict is causing me upset. The relationship has in many ways been abusive I believe, and I’ve been told.. But he always makes the point to say that no matter what, he loves me. I have been poorly for a long time, with bouts of flatlining and that is how I am able to function quite well. The diagnosis although upsetting is very good, I’ll get the right treatment (hopefully!)
"No matter what, I love you" can be incredibly manipulative / abusive
It can be used to excuse all sorts of shitty behaviour by shit heads.
Just called me a cunt? Well don't worry I love you really
Just coerced me into a sex game? Well don't worry I love you really
Talk is cheap. Look at actions
Love is a verb not a noun
A secure and stable relationship, in my experience (only had one - all others were pretty dysfunctional until I met lovely DH) is strong in lots of different areas. E.g.
You are kind and supportive of each other
You recognise each others needs and responsibilities as valid (eg to dependents, work commitments etc)
You treat your partner as an equal not a subordinate or a second class citizen or a hanger on or a part-time amusement.
You are able to do necessary mundane tasks together without feeling self conscious or worried that life is getting too boring.
You laugh together a lot.
You enjoy time together and time apart without feeling smothered or neglected. The balance is healthy.
You make plans for the immediate and mid term/long term future together easily, that are fun but also realistic and representative of and respectful of both partners commitments and desires.
You support each other emotionally and in your career plans. It's not one person doing all the loving and attention giving and the other receiving it.
You don't analyse every single thing said or done, you relax and enjoy each other's company.
That's my take on it.
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