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What mistakes did you make in previous relationships?

(63 Posts)
Bennifer Fri 17-Jun-11 14:57:06

I suspect a lot of relationships that end, it's rarely 100% the fault of one person. We all make mistakes, and it's good that we learn from them.

In my case, I can think of four mistakes I made.

1. When we got into difficulties, I confided in friends too much (which felt like going behind exDP's back)
2. When we were unhappy, I was too indecisive to change things (we should have moved)
3. I was too indecisive at to end it properly and it lingered too long.
4. When it ended, I said some cruel things.

What mistakes have you made?

I know I can't dictate, but I'm not looking for responses like "going out with them in the first place"

BooyHoo Fri 17-Jun-11 14:59:02

not leaving soon enough
not insisting on honesty when i knew i wasn't getting it
not being honest enough about my feelings for fear of the fallout.
i shouted too much when frustrated

Bennifer Fri 17-Jun-11 15:05:24

I think it's quite interesting, and brave in a way to admit the mistakes we made, thanks

Earlybird Fri 17-Jun-11 15:09:45

Overlooking 'warning signs' in the early stages because I was so swept off my feet

Being too flexible/amenable/selfless which resulted in some fairly one-sided relationships

Making excuses for his behaviour because I loved him

Wasting too much time with the wrong men - even though they were good fun, charismatic, intelligent and romantic - they were fairly narcissistic and thus bad longterm prospects.

No knowing when to call a halt and end things between us

Bennifer Fri 17-Jun-11 15:11:49

Earlybird, they're interesting, and I don't want to discount them, but they're not really mistakes, they're just his mistakes (IYSWIM) and you not acting upon them. You must have made some mistakes that were your own fault.

BooyHoo Fri 17-Jun-11 15:13:01

i also, always thought i knew best WRT the dcs.
i am stubborn aswell.

Bennifer Fri 17-Jun-11 15:17:59


I think that's what I hoped this thread was about, those mistakes where we did stuff wrong. Rather than a thread of ExDP was a bad person, and my mistake was to go out with him / stay with him / tolerate him too much, etc, I think it would be good to admit those things we did wrong that weren't the other person's fault.

It takes quite a lot of self-awareness IMO to admit to such mistakes

akaEmmaFrost Fri 17-Jun-11 15:22:34

I would be here all night if I listed mine. Mainly though,

In my marriage, allowing my boundaries to be eroded until I didn't have any left, honestly in the end I didn't know what was right or wrong. My head was so messed up.

Not dumping immediately when they behaved badly, if you put up with it in the first few weeks it will set the scene for the rest of the relationship.

Having an awful temper blush. When I was younger I would have said I was quite abusive in my relationships. It is horrible to acknowledge but it was what I learned from my parents and the way they dealt with and still deal with relationship stuff.

I was unfaithful a few times as well and I realise now there is no excuse for it but at the time I would justify with not being treated well, lack of attention blah, blah, blah from the person I was in the relationship with.

Being desperate for a boyfriend and coming on too strong too soon, overlooking warning signs so as not to be single.

God what a PITA I was.

Basically I am not a good relationship person and that is why I am not in one anymore and do not ever intend to be again.

BooyHoo Fri 17-Jun-11 15:25:08

EXP and i are just at a point now where we are both accepting responsibility for our own wrong doings so it is fresh in my head. if you had asked me 6 months ago i would have told you i had been afultless in teh relationship. blush it takes time sometimes to see things without rose tinted self-biased specs. that isn't to say that soem relationships really are one sided and one person really didn't to anythingw rong.

Earlybird Fri 17-Jun-11 15:25:19

Bennifer - my mistakes were staying far too long with men I shouldn't who loved me, but were unable to fully commit to a life and family together; men who were superficially kind and generous, but deep down were so selfish that what I wanted (in the larger sense) didn't matter much to them (and i was too enmeshed to realise and walk away).

I willingly allowed myself to be used for years. Oh yes, I got something out of it to be sure (not a complete masochist!), but in retrospect, what I gave up to be with these men was far greater. The relationships were not equal partnerships.

Whatever my faults were/are was almost completely a non-factor as I have tended to be with men who want things almost entirely on their own terms - and my huge mistake was allowing it to go on for years.

Bennifer Fri 17-Jun-11 15:29:23

Earlybird, I hope it didn't sound as if I wanted to dismiss your experiences

Bandwitch Fri 17-Jun-11 15:33:01

Made myself too available.... so afraid of losing men who weren't any particular prize. I was afraid to damand anything (reasonable things) for fear of scaring away men who weren't good enough for me anyway. Why did I not realise that if I had scared them off by demanding they treat me well, then that would have sorted out the wheat from the chaff.

One lives and learns, and I have learn ALL my lessons the hard way I think!!

Bandwitch Fri 17-Jun-11 15:37:41

Earlybird, really identify with your last paragraph there. Have had relationships ( a few of them) where I behaved very well! hand on heart I can say that. BUT.......... you can only be reasonable for yourself. You can't force another person to be reasonable, fair, respectful etc..... and sometimes when you bend over so far backwards to meet the other person in the middle, you realise that that was your mistake,. Because for them there is no middle, no compromise. It's their way or the high way.

But realising that you tolerated that for (in my case) 8 years is a huge eye-opener. It makes you realise that your bar was far, far too low. And why? confused

Montessorisam Fri 17-Jun-11 15:40:05

My mistakes; at the end of an 11 year old marriage.

Having a bad temper and allowing myself to get too upset to control myself.
Not insisting two years ago that we go for marriage councelling cos now it is too late!
On the other hand I stayed in this marriage two years too long cos it was all going wrong then and I stayed around to get my head messed up sad
Trying hard not to go into another relationship for AT LEAST a year ;)

Bandwitch Fri 17-Jun-11 15:41:29

ps2 Bennifer, actually, I really strongly identify with Earlybird's first post as well. It may not seem like lessons learnt to you because they weren't the particular lessons you yourself learnt, or needed to learn. But for me, when I finally had the self-awareness to realise that the problem was that my bar was so low my little pony could have stepped over it.... it was a massive eureka moment for me.

headfairy Fri 17-Jun-11 15:42:13

Not standing up for myself enough - I should have argued back when he told me I was fat or that I was just coasting in my career. I was far too spineless.

Actions speak louder than words... someone can tell you they love you every day, but if they don't support you when things are tough they don't really love you.

Hanging on to a relationship that I knew wasn't good for me and my self esteem because I didn't want to be the one breaking hearts. Actually it was my heart that was breaking.

Bonsoir Fri 17-Jun-11 15:42:24

The biggest mistake I made in previous relationships was not knowing (a) what I wanted out of the relationship (b) not knowing what I had to contribute to the relationship.

headfairy Fri 17-Jun-11 15:43:29

Oh Earlybird... you have said it far better than I could. I did all those things. And a few more.

BornSicky Fri 17-Jun-11 15:46:20

I compromised too much and lost my identity and control of what I wanted.
I should have confonted concerns sooner instead of letting them linger and become more problematic.
I should have been more confident.

I did all this before I had children. Now I have, I'll never make those mistakes, because I'll be making decisions in mine and my DC's best interests, instead of just being meek old me.

TechLovingDad Fri 17-Jun-11 15:47:20

Not seeing she was a lazy sponger, looking for a meal ticket when we were still in school.

Montessorisam Fri 17-Jun-11 16:14:10

Can I just add to mine please: Getting married in the first place!! ;)

Bennifer Fri 17-Jun-11 16:20:53

Bandwitch, as I say, I wasn't trying to dismiss those mistakes or lessons learnt, as undoubtedly a lot of the mistakes made will be variations on the theme of "they were bad for me, my mistake was in not realising this and doing something about it".

That theme comes up so, so often in the relationships forum.

What I'm suggesting is the flip side of the coin. What did you do wrong, what mistakes did you make? They're the more difficult mistakes to admit, and they're less discussed on this forum.

oldwomaninashoe Fri 17-Jun-11 16:21:54

Not realising what I put down to pre wedding nerves were serious doubts, and not having the courage to call off the wedding.

NanettaStocker Fri 17-Jun-11 16:30:10

I wish I realised that the bad sex meant that I would never be happy if I stayed with him. If I'd known more about myself, maybe we could have done something about it. It took another man to show me.

I wish I'd known what I was looking for in a partner. I didn't know til I found him though, didn't know it was possible.

dogfish Fri 17-Jun-11 16:48:19

Selfishness. Not in the superficial sense of always wanting to do things my way but more fundamentally, in not seeing how valuable she was because I wasn't ready to. Expecting her to fit in with my obsessions.

Saying harsh, hurtful things, which I will regret forever.

I really admire your sticking to your theme, OP. Some of the rest of you are evidently faultless.

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