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A Relationship with myself - pls advise(15 Posts)
Im a long time lurker who has browsed this board a thousand times over, reading countless post that relate to my situation/s.
This is long, I'm sorry!
I've finally decided that I need a plan of action, and was hopeful that I'd get some support and quite frankly so tough love if needed to help me on a journey to being happy in a relationship with myself.
I'll try my best to keep my background brief and to the point. But can elaborate where need be.
I'm 34, have three children aged 5-14 years old.
I have NEVER had a fulfilling relationship. Most have been abusive (never physically) and the only two that wasn't, I sabotaged so early on because quite frankly, I'm messed up and emotionally unstable. I ended both because I thought they would.
On a scale of one to ten, I have 0 self esteem.
I dont trust men, even the seemily good ones. I think everyone will hurt me at some point.
If I had to describe myself, I'd say I'm attractive, kind and placid with a heart of gold. But also, not confident, doubt myself and continuously compare myself to others whether it be looks, personality, success etc. Basically, I never think that I am good enough.
My family are very sportive. My mum in particular. She said that the mistake I often make in relationships is that I'm too giving and accommodating so early on. She said that I should be 100% happy with myself and do what ever I need to find that confidence, before I even consider dating again. I agree. But admit, that I have always looked for a man to make me feel that. It's never happened.
So, my plan is this.
I'd like to feel physically fit to give me a little confidence boost. My aim is to loss around 14lbs and most importantly - tone up. So have invested in a work out DVD and healthy eating regime.
I was offered counselling before but refused. I am now on the waiting list. BUT, what other courses can I take to boost self esteem/confidence etc? I'm self employed and work is quiet atm. So now is a perfect opportunity to attend courses if need be, although funds are tight tbh.
I've deleted dating apps, all ex partners contacts and anything that may tempt me into the vicious cycle of flirting/trying to feel wanted through men!
I'm toying with the idea of deleting Facebook. I'm not a religious user, but I have become obsessive in spying on exes and their new partners and thinking, why them and not me! - I think this makes me feel worse.
Obviously I'm channelling in lots of energy being the best mum I can be. I've planned loads with the kids and they are my priority. But I don't have them all the time as my ex and I have split access. So I need to fill in the gaps with constructive stuff.
My mum thinks I spend too much time alone when the kids are not around. It's true, but it's because I struggle to strike up conversations with people when I'm feeling low. I tend to want time alone going over pointless negative stuff that makes me feel worse. I need to address this also.
Sorry to ramble, I don't have many friends and was hoping that some of you here would help me and offer support to keep going. I really want to be happy in myself, so that when I'm ready to date, I wont end up in yet another crappy relationship.
I know exactly where you are coming from.... Your not alone .... Iv always looked for happiness in men and at the age of 39 it's embarrassing... Another failed relationship I have started to pursue things I like its so hard as Iv just split up 6 weeks ago ....
So far I'm back at the gym
Started roller skating
Just done my motorbike test and passed
I'm going to taking motorbike lessens in the summer
I need to get my teeth sorted so I'm saving for that...
I'm avoiding going out to bars pubs clubs.
I went to the cinema in my own yesterday
I'm trying to spend time alone with my thoughts and journaling.
I have bought a cbt book and working through it .
There is also meet up.com have you joined there are lots of hobbies and groups you can join xx
I'm not convinced that losing weight will make much difference, it's how you feel inside not how you look at issue here.
Have you done the Freedom Programme? If not it would be worth looking at.
Are there any hobbies you enjoy that could take you out of home/work environment, connecting with other people - I understand it would be hard to find the time with 3 kids. Perhaps your mum could mind them one evening a week?
I think you need to work outwards but, the starting point, is what's inside. Certainly bin off the social media, if it's not helping. Angieyy1 makes a great point about hobbies & groups.
Working on your current mindset as well as your body is also something that you will need to do.
You're going to have to start loving your own self for a change. That's something scary right there isn't there?. You are responsible for your own happiness, a man cannot make you happier if you are unhappy inside. You have to love your own self.
The will to change has to come from within you (and through counselling). Its going to be a lot of hard (sometimes painful) work but it will be worth it. I see you are on a waiting list for that but I would suggest that you initially look at Women's Aid Freedom Programme. Its designed for women who have been in abusive relationships.
Where did this all start with you OP?. When did this lack of confidence really get going in you and where has that come from?. I would consider speaking to BACP about counselling, they also offer a sliding scale of fees and they could see you quite quickly. Counsellors though are like shoes, you need to find someone who fits in with you.
What did you learn about relationships when growing up, what sort of an example did your parents set you?. What was your relationship like with your parents as a child, did your dad leave you when you were young?. Was he really Mr Emotionally Unavailable?. What was your relationship with him like?
You need to ask yourself those above questions, all that needs to be considered. You are going to have to unlearn all the crap and nonsense you have learnt about relationships along the way.
Reading the sticky thread at the top of the MN relationships page is also a good idea
Thanks for your responses.
Angieyy1 - sorry you are going through similar. It really is crap isn't it? Sounds like you are doing all the right things though. Maybe we could go on this journey together?
Twinklestein - I agree that it should come from the inside. But there's no denying that if I feel more confident in my appearance, then the less hang ups I'll have when I do meet someone one day. My body image has always been some what an issue. I used to be really overweight. People would comment "at least you've got a pretty face". I lost half my body weight meaning I was slim and had a healthy BMI. Then people would say that I looked gaunt, skinny (I wasn't) and older. I gained a stone since then (still a healthy size 10-12) and people are commenting that I'm putting on weight again. I honestly can't win. But I want to feel healthy and energised. I know that by exercise and healthier eating, I can do it. Except this time, it will be purely for my benefit and I will have to grow thicker skin to those who pass judgement again!
I tried to enrol on the freedom program, but apparently there is no funding for the one closest to me. Frustrating to say the least.
As for hobbies. Sad, but I don't have any. I'm seriously racking my brains, but I really can't think what I'd like to do?
TheNaze73 - I've just done it. I've deactivated facebook and come off of Whatsapp. I'm far too obsessive. Plus, I should be doing positive things, not torturing myself with how wonderful everyone else's lives seem to be. Not easy though. Will have to try and stay disciplined.
AttilaTheMeerkat - My parents relationship is wonderful. They are still together and happy, 40 years on. I will say theirs is not a conventional relationship. i.e they are not married and do not live together. But it works for them. My dad always put us to bed, read stories, helped with homework etc. We ate together as a family, went on holidays and so on. Even to this day, my mum and dad are incredible supportive of me and are a great help to myself and my kids, emotionally and financially at times. My childhood was amazing. I always felt so let down in relationships because I wanted what my mum and dad had/have.
Today I bought a blank notebook. Was thinking of writing a journal/diary/plan of action... I'm not getting far!!
I have become obsessive in spying on exes and their new partners and thinking, why them and not me! - I think this makes me feel worse.
I can't stop that either.
If you don't have any particular hobbies, what about some voluntary work in an area that interests you? It's a good way to meet nice people.
If you're a size 10-12 you definitely do not need to lose 2 stone. I wonder if all the dieting has made you hyper-critical of your appearance? Getting fit is one thing, trying to lose more weight isn't necessary.
If you can't access the Freedom Programme where you are I would do psychotherapy/counselling instead.
Interesting thread - glad you started it it's something I've become very conscious of recently.
Watching with interest
Well done on getting rid of the social media The only thing you should be obsessing about is you. Small steps in the right direction I think. Well done
Some thoughts from me,
Try mindfulness and give meditation a go.
Treat yourself in the same way as you would a date in terms of planning nice treats, making an effort, enjoying the time etc.
"Self-compassion" is a good search term.
Try new things, even if it means doing a couple of things before you actually fancy doing them.
Find physical activities that you can do as much for enjoyment as for the physical health benefits.
Another one say the Freedom Programme would be great for you to do.
I'm glad you have decided to have counselling.
Get on the course that will be a great start.
I think losing weight and getting fit will also help you.
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