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I'm driving men away and sabotaging good things and just can't stop it

(16 Posts)
Zebra999 Sun 23-Oct-16 16:26:29

I don't know what the hell is wrong with me at the moment. I have been divorced for 4/5 years. I initiated the divorce. Exh a decent bloke but just couldn't get his priorities right and was emotionally very distant and unloving. He has gone on to get a new girlfriend and is very happy.

I had a partner after the divorce for around 18 months who turned out to be a gambling addict and sucked money out of me like you can't believe whilst telling me how much he loved me etc. It took me a long time to figure it out - it may sound odd but I'm a busy woman. I work full time with a long hour long commute job so I'm not around a lot so it was easy to hide the lies.

I have been single now for 2 years and I would like to have a new boyfriend now or at least explore the opportunity. There is someone who is interested in me - really nice bloke, honourable, upstanding, not a gambling addict smile, I've actually known him for years and was really taken aback when he said he liked me.

BUT I do think I am scarred from my previous experiences. I have a big thing about getting hurt and being let down early on.

Last night we were meant to meet at a party and he didn't turn up till much later though he did keep me informed the whole night as to what was going on BUT I was really looking forward to seeing him and was hugely disappointed he didn't come when I thought he would (it started at 8, he didn't turn up till 11 and I'd gone by 10). I totally lost my cool - like completely over the top. It is SO unlike me. He was horrified 'I don't need shit like this in my life' and 'bloody hell so aggressive' etc. and I suspect may walk away.

If I think about it, I'm just paranoid about being let down and getting hurt. He did also say to me that we fucked up by not agreeing a time to meet in advance so my expectations were different to his. BUT I do think he will have MAJOR doubts about me and him now.

What the fuck am I doing?! Has anyone else been through this?

Myusernameismyusername Sun 23-Oct-16 16:39:42

I think you over invested in him and probably did make him feel dreadful. It's difficult to know if his reaction was appropriate - was he horrible? I mean I would feel the same in his shoes, he had already been trying to manage your expectations of his arrival although I know how horrible disappointment can be.

The way forward now probably is counselling. I think you cannot go into anything new with all these strong unresolved feelings about your self worth.

A man doesn't complete your self worth, your self worth doesn't depend on it. Also you do have to learn to trust yourself and other people.

I think working through these things would help you and also apologising to him would be the polite thing to do, but if it's over accept that. It's a big ask to expect someone to put up with what is really, a big red flag

Zebra999 Sun 23-Oct-16 16:50:10

thanks for your honest answer

you're right, I did over invest. I apologised last night, he also apologised too in that he said he had really wanted to see me even if it looked like he didn't (I must admit, turning up at 11pm when you really want to see someone doesn't scream to me I really want to see you).

I think there are 2 issues - 1 is that my time is incredibly precious because I work full time and have my dc full time bar 4 days a month (that won't change) so when I am free, it is rare and I tend to get over anxious about not wasting that free time.

2nd of all, I do have trust issues. I have had a lot of counselling. I was abused for many years as a child by a family member and his friends and had alcoholic parents. I have probably got as far as I can with counselling and though it may not sound it, I'm in a good place and don't think I'm going to progress much further with the trust thing (though obviously that background I don't tell people!).

I think I just need to focus on trying to take things slower....and I'm not great at that!

IminaPickle Sun 23-Oct-16 16:52:48

I think your reaction to someone turning up at 11pm to one of your 4 free nights a month was totally proportionate. Don't doubt yourself.

Myusernameismyusername Sun 23-Oct-16 16:53:49

It's a trite saying about not putting all your eggs in one basket but it is true.
The limited time you have is making your brain speed things up like mad, trying to squeeze in everything when it's just not always possible. I do get your point about him making an effort and perhaps he doesn't understand your free time situation even if he says he does. Did you only stay for 2 hours because he wasn't there? That sounds like you may have cut your own nose off to spite your face (unless you had a valid reason to leave early) because if it was your free time you should be concentrating on enjoying that and it not hinging on seeing A Man. It should be about having fun,socialising and seeing your friends too

Myusernameismyusername Sun 23-Oct-16 16:55:56

I don't think it was a proportionate reaction to lateness. I mean there are far better ways of expressing to someone you are annoyed upset or disappointed than going mad at them and I think OP realises that. Going forward it's totally ok to be all those things but it isn't ok to yell at someone

Zebra999 Sun 23-Oct-16 16:58:24

yes it was a bit like that. Some of my friends were there but I had spent the afternoon with them and we had gone on to the party together. I was actually really tired (and had told him this) because I'd been out all day (had to drop the kids off first thing in the morning) and I'm a lousy late night person.

I probably could have stayed out later but I got annoyed about him not turning up and yes, I let it ruin my evening.

Myusernameismyusername Sun 23-Oct-16 17:01:43

That's a shame although it sounds like you did have a good day and evening up till then which is good!

It sounds like he doesn't really quite get your situation then maybe, and isn't rushing to make you a priority which made you feel angry

Let go of the anger, it's just destructive. Also the embarrassment too. You have learnt a lesson about managing your emotions and I think you should be cautious not to over invest in him

Zebra999 Sun 23-Oct-16 17:09:23

thanks you're right. It has actually really helped talking about it on here thlsmile. I felt such a fool but I need to clock it up to experience and take a massive chill pill x

Myusernameismyusername Sun 23-Oct-16 17:20:49

Good I don't think you should beat yourself up. Just see how things go with him if you can stay friends? I'm not convinced you sound like a good match!

JennyHolzersGhost Sun 23-Oct-16 18:07:35

Some good advice on here OP smile
I'd only add that - if at all possible - before you react to something, try taking a deep breath and doing a quick sense check. I know I overreact to things that push my own particular buttons and I'm getting better at learning what those buttons are and recognising my reaction for what it is. When I do that I find it easier to put that emotion down and go for a little mental walk to distance myself from it a bit before reacting - if that makes any sense.
Easier said than done, I know ! I found therapy very useful for helping me unpick my reactions and see the emotions that were driving them. I know you have had lots of counselling and say you don't think you will get much more out of it but just adding in case it might be helpful.

Zebra999 Sun 23-Oct-16 18:25:11

thanks jenny. Yes that's good advice. I let myself get wound up - like myusername said earlier the time pressure plus really wanting to see him just played out. I can see it clearly now, I couldn't last night but I'm going to take a big step back now and just relax and go with the flow.

Myusernameismyusername Sun 23-Oct-16 18:29:14

I get one night a week off and I have been guilty of trying to 'have it all' in that one night and I just exhausted myself!

JennyHolzersGhost Sun 23-Oct-16 18:34:29

It's hard when you've really been looking forward to something and then it doesn't pan out. Don't give yourself too tough a time over it. But I think you're right to step back. My general view of people - not just men I'm interested in but friends and colleagues too - is that things generally pan out in a fairly zen way if they're meant to. Go with the flow smile

Angleshades Sun 23-Oct-16 18:41:00

Zebra I totally get where you're coming from. I was in a very similar position to you and lost my cool when my then dp cancelled on me due to problems finding childcare. I had a bit of a strop as I'd been looking so forward to our evening together and we ended up falling out and he finished with me that night.

That was over 2 months ago and we're no longer in contact. I too was carrying the weight of an old relationship having gone wrong and therefore put too much expectation on this relationship which ended in disaster. The space since has given me time to reflect and grow and step back and think before giving knee jerk reactions to any arguments. Until I get this right I won't be entering into any other relationships in the near future.

I can understand that you find your rare free time very valuable. So understandably you want things to go right in your 'special' time. But life doesn't always work out that way. Plans can have a habit of derailing sometimes and we have to allow for this or else it just breeds disappointment, annoyance, resentment...etc and other negative feelings which is no way to live and will just lead you to sabotage the relationship further.

If this new guy you're seeing is keen enough he'll understand if you explain your point of view to him. Communication is key and I wish I'd just had a chance to explain my feelings to my exdp. Maybe something could have been salvaged if I'd just admitted why I was disappointed and owned up to my mistake. However it was not to be and down the pan it went. Hope you manage to sort things out with your fella.

JoJoSM2 Sun 23-Oct-16 19:24:28

Using foul language is not on, but his behaviour would have had massive red flags waving for me. Presumably the party started at 8 - so even if you didn't agree a time but agreed that you'd meet there, it's reasonable to assume he'd be there by 9. I'd give him one more chance by seeing if he invites me to a nice date. If no invite came for a week, I'd probably not bother with him.

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