I am going to ruin this.. please stop me!(28 Posts)
I'm a regular member and have posted here several times under different usernames. Simply because by combining all my issues in one hit, I felt I could be outed in rl.
Ill try my best to keep this to the point but some background is relevant..
I am in my thirties with three children. almost two years ago I left an emotionally abusive and controlling relationship after 17 years.
From that, I continued to make bad choices in men, falling for the charm but never spotting the oh so obvious signs. It's fair to say, that my self esteem was zero, and even though I know deep down I am a good person, attractive and kind. I seem to spiral into doubting that, every time a relationship goes wrong.
I realise on reflection I should of remained single for a lengthy time after leaving my abusive ex. However, I was looking for someone to make me feel worthy and wanted. Pathetic I know, but that's all I wanted. Just to feel loved and appreciated. I wanted to prove I could do better, and it wasn't me that was the problem. But I continued to make bad choices making my already low self esteem hit rock bottom.
Fast forward to now, and I have met a seemingly wonderful man. He is different in every which way to what I have ever experienced. But I absolutely feel that I am going to ruin this.
He has a very respectable job, and I have met his family, friends and work colleagues, so I feel I have a true picture of who he is - his character etc. They are all lovely, say wonderful things about him.
The things that differ from him and my three previous (disastrous) relationships are:
1> The others were so full on with the charm at first. "I can't wait to see yous" etc. He on the other hand is quite laid back. however always makes the time to see me, even though his work schedule is mental at the moment, he always finds a way we can see each other. Nothing is to much iyswim?
2> The others were so cuddly, tactile and touchy feely at first. He will cuddle me etc. but it's not as much at all. I then think, is he not that into me?
3> Sex with the others was just that really, I always felt pressured into trying things I wasn't keen on, or basically the sex was kinky and never loving. With him, I'd say that we most definitely make love (although we are not in love at this early stage of three months). I like that of course. But I feel I have learned behaviour sexually, that I try to keep under control. Only because that's all I know. So even though I've longed for this type of loving sex, I still have that niggling thought or does he find me sexually attractive, does he think that I am boring in bed!
4> Unlike the others, he is very open and laid back about his phone. He gave me his password as he is a heavy sleeper and on occasions he didn't wake up to his alarm. He said I could just go into his phone and switch it off. I've also used his phone for the internet. If he has had messages from someone he dated or was speaking to on whatsapp (we met on a dating site) he shows me. I never ask btw. His openness and honesty is like nothing I've experienced before.
All of the above show that in theory, I probably have nothing to worry about. But I still do! I think he is going to get bored of me and cheat. If he doesn't reply to my messages on whatsapp (and I've seen that it's read and his been on during the day briefly) I think there's something wrong. I will say his messaging has decreased slightly, however, that does coincide with us seeing each other slightly more, and his job getting busier. I'm also over analysing things like the fact he's gone from putting two kisses on a message to one. Also, that he used to text me first thing in the morning, but sometimes not until mid morning or lunchtime. Plus, I know he has loads of female friends and admitted he gets on better with women. This is fine for me, except I know he has given this woman a lift into work the last week as she has injured herself. He's caring like that and the line of work he was in and is in now highlights that caring side of him. BUT, I'm now reading too much into it. Even though he has told me what he is doing!
I know I sound daft. But I really feel like he's going to pick up on my anxiety. I need to sort it. I need to be able to relax. I feel like I'm going crazy waiting for something bad to happen.
I never finished my counselling.. I should of. So I think that's something I will need to do. But the waiting list is horrendous. Is there a book I can read to help me deal effectively with these issues?
A final note to say that despite all the above, I've managed to shield my children from all these issues. They are very happy and well balanced. It's just me! Also, my current partner knows about my history and is very understanding and reassuring in general. But I don't want him to know completely what's going on in my head through fear of scaring him away.
Sorry. I didn't really keep this short did I!
Thanks in advance.
Just to say congratulations on your new dp. I don't know about it detail, but is this lack of confidence/anxiety something that the Freedom Programme would help with?
I know that CBT can be useful for anxiety. Do you have access to counselling through work? Even though this is often limited to a number of sessions, it would sort of 'tide you over' while you sit on a waiting list if you go via your GP.
OP, you could try Love Me Don't Leave Me as a stop gap until you go back to counselling: I don't date, but I found it useful to help me address some difficult behaviour patterns similar to yours.
Congratulations on finally meeting someone worthy of you!
There's a thread in relationships called 'scared he's going to leave me'
Some brilliant advice on there that resonates with your thread.
Have a read
Sorry - it's called 'scared of him leaving me'
newstartnewthinking You could almost say you wouldn't know a good bloke if you met one;! Yep, good ones do exist perhaps a bit few and far between. Not surprising that you do feel the way you do having all that past, it does take a toll.
But seems to me all is going well. No relationship is 100% perfect and i think that your out there looking for the slightest problem now i hear you say tell me something I don't know! and if that were the case I'd just suggest enjoy it, and him for who he is and you want to be as it seems to me you come across as a pleasant nice person who is just a bit anxious.
Sorry I don't know of any books I'm sure others do but let him know how you feel and communicate with him, and I reckon that this will be fine and have a happy ending:-)
Thank you for all your advice. I really appreciate it.
However, tonight, I am sitting here alone and quite frankly torturing myself. He was due to come over, but was doing a group study session. He has an important exam coming up, so I suggested to him that he leaves it to another day so he can revise longer. In fact, I suggested that if he wanted, he could wait for his exam to be over (end of week) before we next meet. I was trying to be understanding and perhaps trying hard not to show how desperately needy and ridiculous I am. I also read between the lines in his messages where he was saying about revising whenever poss etc.
So, he's read my message (this morning) and I've still not heard back from him. I didn't expect an immediate reply, as I know he was studying. However, I am so used to how responsive he was to messages before.. even if it was "Hey in the middle of something, message you properly when I get a chance. Hope you're having a good day" That now I'm thinking, why is he making less of an effort etc.
So, my anxiety is sky high. I'm basically sitting here feeling sorry for myself. I know he is a good person and nothing like any of my exes. But I do think he is not that into me anymore.
I now intend to tell him that its over. I started reading the book that was suggested to me 'Love me don't leave me' I'm only a few chapters in and so much relates to me that it's pretty scary. Except that it seems based on people who have had bad childhood experiences with family - my childhood was amazing, except I met the wrong (older and abusive guy) at 16. So I guess the book still serves it's purpose.
I think I need to focus on me though, as this book is making me think about my current relationship too much. I think I just need to work on me. Are there anymore suggestions on books to help me feel better in myself.
I don't want to add stresses to his life right now, what with his exam coming up. But tbh, I don't think he will really be bothered. I feel like he is slowly checking out.
He said to me at the very beginning that " you can always make time for the people you want to see' I feel like that isn't his sentiment with me anymore.
Please help. I know it sounds trivial compared to some of the
stuff on here. But it is affecting my emotional well being right now. I feel so unlovable. h
Hi OP, this was posted on another thread and it's very good:
I understand that you feel stressed out by this but I really hope you haven't dumped him because he hasn't replied to a text. The thing is, he is busy (doing exams), you are not busy in the same way. This means that he's on your mind all the time and he - quite rightly - has other things taking up his headspace at the moment.
I think it would be a shame to knee-jerk react to this when there's no real reason. Put your phone away, go and do other things and stop clinging to it for reassurance because you're reading stuff into it that isn't there in reality.
You took great care to lay out your relationship, how it is, how it feels - to make US believe it... but YOU don't truly believe it.
Do some reading while you're considering counselling. I'm wondering if it was working for you anyway? I think if you'd got anything out of it, you'd still be going. Maybe put it on a backburner for a bit.
If you haven't send him a 'good luck' text then do - and then leave your phone alone, stop checking it, and get on with your day.
I think you may be subconsciously testing him. If I dump him now, then if he cares he'll sacrifice his exam/career/life for me and rush to my side.
Wait. Check out the Freedom Programme to fill your time; it will be very good for you to nip those patterns in the bud. It'll help you recognise early warning signs, and boost your confidence.
He's got an awful lot on, you offered him space and he's taken it.
Thank you. I do appreciate your honest advice.
Thing is, technically I have a lot to do too. I'm trying to start up my new business and the paperwork is immense. But this is one of my problem. I can't seem to shift my focus when something is on my mind. So I guess I really am screwed up in the head and would benefit from counselling.
I didn't send the text. I bit my lip. He messaged and was friendly and explained how his studying went etc. He thanked me for being understanding and apologised for not seeing me much lately but reassured me that we will have some quality time when his exam is over and reminded me of all our plans we have to look forward to this year.
I am glad I didn't steam in and end it. I know the problem is me. I know I will still have the anxiety unless I deal with it sharp. I felt relieved last night. But realistically, I know I will go through these motions regularly.
My experience with relationships and men have been just so awful. It's almost like I can't and won't believe Ive finally struck gold.
Thank you again
Well, that will come down to some self-control and your own wish to blot these negative feelings before they take hold. Hopefully, the longer this relationship goes on, and the more stable it becomes, you will have a solid base of good feelings to think about rather than reviewing your 'history' that wasn't working for you.
You can do this! Keep at it.
Why does it have to be all or nothing? You can have a relationship that enriches your life without it becoming the central focus of your existence.
I do think it's important to find some counseling. Needing instant gratification every time you get the urge to communicate and ending the relationship over an unreturned text is a little intense.
Lealender whilst I totally agree with you wholeheartedly, for me, this thought process I have is not so straight forward. It's a little like asking a depressed person to 'just smile'. It seems so simple in theory but my past (half my life and all my adult life) has influenced my negative way of thinking. It's just not that simple but it should be.
I will go for counselling though.
Thank you lyingwitch. I see there is no problem with him. This is just normal basic stuff, right? I just have to learn this new way of normal as I've nothing good to compare it with. I just have to work on myself and do my upmost not to let him see how pathetic and needy I am for reassurance. Otherwise he really would run a mile!!
Thanks again for all your advice
I agree with LeaLander. It is very intense indeed and incredibly common and not particularly complex. OP you're no doubt an amazing gorgeous accomplished self-fulfilled woman - a full grown woman at that. Saying you are going to end it over quality and quantity of texts messages is what teenage girls do , not women. It's how he treats you that matters - not his texting style.
Threefishys, thank you for your response. As I have mentioned, I absolutely know you are right. However, if you read my first post, it is not just the text or quality of text alone. It is my past experience with relationships that lead me into the same negative thought pattern.
So, a change in someone's habit (i.e. they always text and now don't so much) - one example of a few. That instinctively makes me think back to ALL my past relationships where this has happened. There was a reason for those.. those men where having affairs and such like. So I associate certain behaviours with my past experience. I have NEVER had a good relationship before. The previous men were liars, abusive and players. Had I have got counselling after my long term abusive relationship ended, I no doubt would have had a better chance of not falling for the same type of characters.
This guy as I've stated, is one of the good ones. Do I think he is seeing someone else? no. Am I worried he is bored of me/I'm not good enough? I don't deserve or can hang on to a decent man? Yes! I see it is my problem. But as I did mention, I am simply trying to get advice or seek help to deal with my issues, so that I don't drive him away, or end it through fear he will end it with me.
This is all new to me. Being appreciated and having someone decent in my life. I just wish I could let go of the anxiety when something so trivial happens that is justifiable. It's my thought processes I need to address. I'm the type that when we have our first argument, I will assume it's over.
I know I understand and my advice to you is your a grown woman who this man wants to be with - don't give him teenage treatment even if it's just in your own head... You deserve to give yourself more credit than that. Here's some more advice as well...put the phone down. Let him text you first and when he does....put the phone down again. Not for any kind of power play but to prove to yourself that answering a text to a particular kind of time frame doesn't effect how you feel about him...so why would you think it effects how he feels about you. Wait an hour or two or three or all day if you want. Practice restraint and see how unimportant it becomes to you. You're in a good adult relationship and its a brilliant feeling so you need to do something practical to stop yourself obsessing.
And please dont think I'm being flippant and making it just about texts..I get it - I have to stem my daft fatalistic thoughts about relationships all the time...I've really took time and discipline to change my thought processes going into the relationship I'm in now...and we are over the year mark and very happy (online dating success ). I wish you the best
newstart... please have a look at that link I posted earlier. It's from another thread and it's excellent. It also covers exactly what you're feeling and I think it might help you a lot.
I don't understand why you have embarked on another relationship when you are clearly not ready.
Why do you have to be in a relationship?
Concentrate on your kids for now and find yourself! Find things other than man and sex to make you happy.
Thank you Threefishys. It's OK, I really get what you mean, and of course, you are spot on. Great tips and shall certainly give that a go. Totally makes sense. Also, I'm very pleased to hear your relationship is going well :-)
LyingWitch. Again I really appreciate your advice and I will look at that link now!
Throwingshade - Probably for the same reasons I kept getting into one bad relationship after another. I have been an emotional wreck, and admittedly have looked to find a man to make me happy. Possibly because I wanted to prove I was not all these terrible worthless things I was made to feel after my abusive relationship? Maybe because I wanted to prove something to myself (and others) that I can do better?
Of course, I know deep down that I should have remained single and continued with therapy, and that I shouldn't look to anyone to validate me or make me happy. But that would be part of my messed up and negative thinking. I acknowledge that. Fact is I am in a relationship now, and with someone lovely. I do not want to mess this up.
I concentrate on my kids 100%. My relationships good or bad have never interfered with my parenting skills or their emotional wellbeing.
I applaud your honesty OP and wish you the best.
I am in a similar situation, new relationship after a pretty rubbish marriage. I am so scared of messing it up and I worry about every little thing ( him not replying to a message, him being late, him not showing enough interest ), I think I get to the point where I push him away a little as I want to save my feelings if it doesn't work out. My man can be quite full on at times ( tactile, lots of kissing ) but then other times he is the opposite. I often worry he is going off me or he's getting too comfortable and the romance that comes with a new relationship is wearing off. I think really I ( and you ) are probably just worrying too much but I know it's hard not too.
Sounds like it's be worth finding the time to return to therapy, and try the Freedom Programme too.
I don't want to add to your woes OP but I gave my partner time to himself and he used that time to go out with friends, or a particular friend and then dumped me by FB messenger.
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