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Need some help to let go.....

(13 Posts)
Noname57 Wed 03-Aug-11 23:32:32

I need some help to let go of the relationship I'm in. 'd'p of 2.5 years, first relationship after a 25 year marriage. I love him dearly but I know he's 'just not that into me'. Help me to understand why I accept so little and think it's enough. On the outside I'm confident, gregarious, popular, on the inside I just want to be loved by him sad

TDada Thu 04-Aug-11 06:13:09

Sorry to hear. I think that you need to ensure that you maintain your self confidence....whatever you do don't worsen the situation by begging him....maintain your dignity. How about starting to diversify by focussing on your your other relationships;friends and relatives. How about joining an exercise class or tennis club or similar. Take up running with a set goal. If you haven't done so recently,get your hair done...essentially you should establish some other goals that take the focus away from this bloke.

Noname57 Thu 04-Aug-11 07:29:05

I think my confidence took a massive knock during my marriage. I did feel wonderful with Dp but it seems to be falling into the same pattern. I suppose what I really need to change is why I stick around when it happens, why I still feel this is 'love'. I know how I got like this (physically abusive mother, distant father, constantly insecure as didnt know whether this would be a good or bad day). Im intelligent and self aware enough (after a lot of work) to figure this out but I don't seem to be able to change it.
Tbh, I'm thinking of just giving up on relationships. I'm late forties and think I'll just plan the rest of my life as single

fastweb Thu 04-Aug-11 07:44:07

I'm thinking of just giving up on relationships. I'm late forties and think I'll just plan the rest of my life as single

That's a bit drastic love.

You seems have a lot going for you in terms of being able to work out what is a "good for you" relationship and what is not. Which is a massive advantage over many people.

And not only are you able to see that something is "not enough", you are willing to end it rather than hang around and hoping for some kind of transformation to happen.

That will stand you in very good stead.

You don't say how long since your marriage ended, you might not be quite ready, you might not yet have met somebody who is a good fit.

Why not take a break from looking for now, but be open to anybody of interest who you come across, but take it very slowly so you can gauge the temp of the water before you jump in emotionally.

If you feel you have a long standing issue with insecurity possibly ask your doc to put you on the waiting list for counseling. It could take a while to come through, which will give you a chance to extract yourself from this relationship, get a little distance from the initial sense of loss and then work with the counselor on addressing more deep seated issues that you want to tackle.

You are only in your forties love, there is plenty of life left in you yet and it's absolutely not too late to both deal with any residual issues from former relationships and have a future happy one. And hand on heart you sound self aware enough to make the above happen for you without risking the constant disappointment some people suffer, because they have no idea that the deeper waters are causing the chill on current relationships, let alone have a think about why that might be.

Wisedupwoman Thu 04-Aug-11 08:03:05

Trying to give you a link to a very helpful site noname.

If I'm unsuccessful, just google baggage reclaim.

McCharlieMouse Thu 04-Aug-11 08:23:22

OP - I could have written your first post! I read it and thought, hang on that's me! With exH for 9 years and just come out of 1st relationship since then with DP (lasted about 18 months). I'm not sure what advice I can offer, I'm still trying to work out why I stayed with DP (whilst simultaneously thinking I'd have him back in a second if he turned up at the front door today).

Like Fastweb says the fact that you are recognising its not enough is really positive, its the first step. Staying in the relationship may well just knock your confidence further (it did mine). Trying to make your DP love you isn't going to happen. Great advice about starting to widen your interests etc, less reliance on your DP for social activities. I'm trying to be proactive and get out a bit more (as much as I can with DS). It does take a little time between realising its not really working and doing something about it, you've got to get it straight in your head. It took me weeks and weeks to actually realise it was never going to work.

Take your time, try and plan in some fun things with friends and start some new activities if you can, you'll get there.

Brilliant link Wisedupwomen - just googled it and loads of stuff I recognise in myself, will read more!

Noname57 Thu 04-Aug-11 08:26:57

Thanks for the link wisedup, I've Read a lot of her posts already and she does make a lot of sense.

Fastweb, sadly the 'willing to end it' is the bit I'm having a problem with. Also, he's very 'push/pull' commitment-phobic, so whenever I try and walk he pulls me back and makes me feel loved. With my rational head I know what's happening but my heart just slips back into that childhood mode where I was just so relieved to be loved again. And that's my worry, I know what's happening, I know why I respond the way I do, I know it's not good but I don't seem to be able to stop it. Part of me thinks I should just stick around until I've worked it out and then it won't hurt, but I also know that's just making excuses because I will miss him so much.

fastweb Thu 04-Aug-11 08:52:05

but I don't seem to be able to stop it

Perhaps you are not ready to want to stop it ?

Which I think is normal.

When somebody still has strong feelings they are vulnerable to the "I pull\push you on elastic" game. But every time they undergo the "push\pull" the elastic weakens, and sooner or later it snaps.

You could just wait it out, or perhaps even hasten the cycle by putting some limits on his willingness to "pull".

Like saying for example "Fine OK, you say you want me to be with you, but you have mucked me about so much, this time I need a wedding date and a venue booked by you BEFORE we get back together before I can believe it is more than yet more words" (or some other significant condition you truly need to be part of the package to believe his "pull" is based on real, abiding desire to be with you, rather than a knee jerk reaction to you leaving).

It must be a condition that includes action by him to be completed before your return, not just words.

That works a bit like throwing a spanner into a perfectly oiled machine.

It is harder to be seduced by pretty words when you see somebody visibly baulk at putting them into solid action to support what is being spouted, cos they'd much rather limit themselves to just adding to the water vapour content of the air around them.

It is easier to resist being pulled back in when the pretty words dry up because they are being replaced with a million excuses as to why your condition cannot\should not be met.

What you might find is that you can't come up with a condition, because in your heart of hearts you know he'll never be able to satify it. Even that inner knowledge diminishes the power of his "pull" words, because they become that much harder to take seriously.

McCharlieMouse Thu 04-Aug-11 08:53:50

I get where you are coming from, I'm a little further down the line as my relationship ended about 4 weeks ago. It will take a bit of time, but you are half way there because you realise there's a problem. You just need to pull together the courage to make the final step. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't hard, and it does hurt but there will come a point when its clearer for you. I'd like to say to you, don't hang around, you know there's a problem so finish things now....but that would be hypocritical of me, I hung around.

Noname57 Thu 04-Aug-11 09:37:26

The elastic is getting weaker. I'm not really looking for the whole 'marriage/move in together' thing. I've got 4 years of teenagers doing gcse / a levels and that much change wouldn't be good. Which I suppose is part of the reason I stay around.

He does meet many of my needs. We are in constant contact (there's probably only been a few days when haven't heard from him for 24 hours) but a lot of it is instigated by me, he just responds. Guess the issue is that for me this feels like love and for him it's a functional relationship - ie I meet a lot of his needs but so could many others.

I think, if I admit it to myself, I'd like to feel 'cherished' and I don't. And that's not something I can make him do. It really is my problem here, why do I accept this because it is stopping me find that mutual relationship.

Noname57 Thu 04-Aug-11 09:50:06

And thanks to everyone who has responded. It helps to write it down and get some insight from people who don't know me. My friends are great but fall very much into the 'dump him he's not treating you right' or 'he's really hot and cares for you - wait it out' camps.

He is really hot, and sex is fantastic ( and after sexless marriage I needed that) so I'm also trying to figure out how much is love and how much is flattered that he found me attractive at all!

And yes, I do over-analyse. I've done a lot of work on myself in last few years and probably gone too far :-)

fastweb Thu 04-Aug-11 10:06:53

why do I accept this because it is stopping me find that mutual relationship.

Maybe because it does stop you ?

A good functional, mutually healthy, loving relationship leaves you wide open to something to lose, big time.

It is a risk because if you get to be happy, then you will know happy, and unhappy would be so much harder to bear, after having known joy.

I pretty much think I chose "badly" the first time round because I felt if I set my sights realllllllllllllllllly low, then the future fall would not be so steep, leaving me better placed to survive it.

I know that sounds odd. But I was so scared that loving well put me at a terrible risking of losing "good" love, with the consequent intense suffering, that I put myself out of the running by sticking with somebody who just couldn't let me fall that far, cos the relationship just wasn't that great. (I got it wrong cos it hurt like hell anyway, just almost all the time rather than only if the worst happened.)

I nearly ran away from husband 2.0, because I saw the future, it was good, and that scared the living shit out of me.

Could it be something like that that is under the bonnet of your current relationship ?

Noname57 Fri 12-Aug-11 23:26:11

Update: thanks for the good advice.

I took a deep breath and asked for a period of 'no contact' so we can both decide whether or not this is right. Going to take some time out to work out what it is (if anything) I'm looking for.

And fastweb, I have been accused of 'commitment-phobia' before - even by him, so I think there is a grain of truth in that. My marriage was a commitment, but wasn't a total emotional one. I did love him, but not totally iyswim. I always knew that would be able to carry on ok without him.

This time I did let myself love totally, but maybe I knew that I'd never have to 'act' on it because he was commitment resistant himself (we've both got baggage and I think we're both scared tbh).

Whatever the reasons, as the relationship is it's not an easy one, but I am moving in the right direction by calmly saying what I need, and believing that it is not unreasonable (and it's not, I just need to put some priority around that, I'm really not a clingy/needy thing).

So thanks again, just need to get through these next few weeks when it feels like part of me is missing :-(

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