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Topic: unsure what to do

  1. Wednesday
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    6 July 2016

    Hello,

    When do you know a relationship is over?

  2. JessF
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday
    Hello Wednesday, it's difficult to know how to respond to your post without more information. Going from your title, it sounds like you are wondering whether you should leave the relationship you are in. Is that right?
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  3. Starwolf
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi Wednesday,

    A simple answer to a simple question ? When you can't carry on any longer without further damage being done and there is no hope for change.

    Are you at the end of your tether ? Please feel free to vent/share your feelings if you wish. These forums are a safe place to do so.

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  4. Wednesday
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Starwolf

    Hello JessF and Starwolf,

    Thank you for getting back to me. I don't know where to start. I am tired of trying to make things work. He is a nice man but after a long time I haven't been able to get a good relationship with his adult children and it causes us ongoing problems. Tonight he is going to his daughter and her family for dinner but I am not invited. He is extremely anxious and I have major depressive illness, not a great combination.

    I also have chronic illnesses and he is about to retire. Our focusses our different I need to find a way to survive or give up and he wants to travel. My illness and medications stop me travelling and to be honest it's not a lot of fun either. I spend most of my day resting and often can't move easily, so walking any distance is difficult. We seem to be on different paths.

    I feel like I'm imploding. That I am a rotten person, it's hard to find myself in all of this. I don't recognise myself anymore. I am more and more isolated. I stopped inviting people over because he is not comfortable. Needless to say I am not making new friends and with everything it's too hard for old friends, most of which live interstate.

  5. Wednesday
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday
    PS. Yes I am wondering if I should leave the relationship.
  6. JessF
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    What a sad situation, Wednesday, I'm so sorry you're feeling like this.

    Well, my take is, relationships when they're working are supposed to enrich your life, not shrink it, and it sounds from your post as if that has been happening. You have been compromising your own life to make this relationship work, and it's resulted in you losing ties with other supports and friends in your life. I see myself in this situation, I have been in relationships like this too. You want to make it work, so you put your time, love and energy into it, but then when things start to go wrong, you find yourself adrift.

    I think the positive thing is that you know what has gone wrong, and you can see that you want different things out of life.Have you had this conversation with him at all? Getting everything out on the table should help clarify things one way or the other.

  7. Wednesday
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    6 July 2016 in reply to JessF

    I try to talk, but he says that we should just value the good times and focus on us.

    I find the family stuff incredibly hurtful and can't seem to rise above feeling rejected. He says he makes lots of compromises, he probably does, but I find them hard to see.

    He says that I am not reasonable and I don't understand. When I try to understand and ask questions he closes down and doesn't want to talk about our problems. He also tells me how I am feeling. For example you don't like travelling. I do like to travel, but can't and find it incredible frustrating. I'm trying to keep out of hospitals apart from my regular treatments. I had my children young and this was meant to be my time to do what I wanted, but I physically I can't.

    His anxiety seems to rule our life. We spend a lot of time talking about things that create anxiety in him. As with anxiety a lot of these things are quite small but trouble him greatly. I don't want to be his mother.

  8. Starwolf
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Thanks for the feedback.

    It seems that efforts to improve the relationship are one-sided. If it is the case, things are unlikely to change. Have you thought of both of you attending a counseling session ? Sometimes, when face to face communication is too daunting, putting your feelings into a letter can work out better. It can be carefully thought about, edited , read at leisure and read again. No emotional blurting out to be regretted later. Writing also helps clarify thoughts to ourselves.

    I agree that staying together is difficult if you're both on a different path. Depression and anxiety on both sides don't make it any easier.

    You are not a rotten person, just someone unhappy, with a lot to cope with and an important question on your mind. Only you can make such a momentous decision. Your well being is important, you deserve peace of mind and quality of life. Nothing wrong with wanting this for yourself.

    I suggest you navigate these forums and check the relationship section. Many of us are unfortunately caught up in similar situations and uncertainty. Comparing personal thoughts and ideas with other people's can be informative and inspiring.

    Welcome on board.

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  9. JessF
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday
    Not being heard is difficult, and it sounds like you feel very drained rather than fulfilled by your time together at the moment. I can understand how the family situation makes you feel rejected as well, it's hard not to take things like that personally. How do you think he feels about your future? When he says, 'focus on us', what do you think that means?
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  10. Wednesday
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    6 July 2016 in reply to JessF

    I think he wants everything. He would be happy continuing this way.

    He doesn't cope well if things are not perfect. If we go out and something goes wrong, this can be as simple as not getting a parking spot where he wants to park, it will spoil the day and we have to go home, everything gets cancelled.

    By focus on us he seems to mean we won't talk about his family or any issues (other than those he wants to discuss i.e. a work issue). He'll see them when he wants to and get sad if he doesn't see them, which he blames me for. Above all we're not to discuss anything that makes him uncomfortable. He likes the support I give him. Whatever he is doing must take priority at all times. If he ask for help with something I am to drop whatever I am doing and come to his aid.

    He worries about his health, though he is fit and healthy, any pain must be cancer. My job is to give him rationale response to his anxieties.

    We did try counselling. I had an interesting childhood and have worked really hard to manage its impact, unfortunately rejection is one of my hot buttons. Anyway in the counselling session (in my opinion) he sounded articulate and well educated and I sounded like I was avoiding the effects of my past. I wasn't I was just trying to talk about the reason we were there and conscious of the cost. I get my past hence the depression from an early age. I know and am honest about my hot buttons.I've come such a long way from that little girl.

  11. JessF
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    6 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday
    Wednesday said:

    I think he wants everything. He would be happy continuing this way.

    I think you have the whole situation in a nutshell right there. He is happy with the ways things are, you are not. You have tried talking, but things don't seem to be moving.

    I wonder if it might help for you to think about, and maybe write down as Starwolf suggested, five things you want out of a relationship to ensure your own needs are met. Try making them positives instead of negatives, although you can use the negatives to work out what positives you want (for example - "whatever he is doing must take priority at all times" might become "I want a partner who gives me space for my own friends and interests" or "I want a partner who shares interests/hobbies with me").

    By making positive statements you can start to see clearer where you'd like to be versus where you are stuck. It can also allow you to have a different conversation with your partner, one that is focused on where YOU are going in life rather than his failings. What do you think?

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  12. Wednesday
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    6 July 2016 in reply to JessF

    I think you are very clever!

    I was feeling that I was being really mean and just running him down. Thank you for helping to put my thoughts into perspective. I've tried writing before using I language and giving credit where due, but it hasn't worked. I'll try to work out the five positive things I want from a relationship.

    It's a scary step to contemplate.

  13. Starwolf
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    7 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi Wednesday,

    Thank you for clarifying your situation. The more you reveal, the more I feel that you have tried your best to improve the relationship. It hasn't worked out. This is a good starting point to contemplate the next step with a clear conscience.

    New beginnings are always scary but they're also exciting. You have been through a lot and need to take good care of yourself. You obviously can't rely on your partner to provide the necessary TLC. So it must be up to you.

    I agree with Jess that clarifying to yourself what you would gain and lose by moving on/staying put will help you make the wisest decision. Sometimes, we're not quite sure about what we want, but clear about what we don't.

    My best wishes are with you.

  14. topsy_
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    7 July 2016 in reply to Starwolf

    Hello Wednesday

    I read once years ago that when a woman is ready to leave a relationship she has already done a lot of the grieving ahead of time. As she has mulled things over & turned ideas inside & out, the realisation that she is not happy & fulfilled & what she would like for herself are all part of that grieving. So much so that be the time they leave, a lot of the hard mental, intellectual & emotional work has been done. This enables her to move on with hope & confidence.

    Whereas men, even though discussions are held between partners about the relationship, never seem to realise they firstly should have paid attention during the attempted heart to hearts, but it never seems to occur to them that their partner might go. They are stunned when it actually happens. (sorry guys, I really did read it somewhere & it was very true of the breakdown of my first marriage).

    I really don't know if that's any help to you Wednesday but it did help me. Take your time & consider carefully. Kind regards, Lyn.

  15. Wednesday
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    8 July 2016 in reply to topsy_

    Thank you JessF, Starwolf and Lyn I really appreciate your help.

    I guess I'm frightened of taking the leap at the moment. I keep hoping that my health will improve and I'll find my non medicated brain again and will be able to act. I looked at moving interstate to be near my daughter and her family, but don't want to burden them with my issues. We talk often but I have hidden a lot from them. I couldn't find anywhere near them to live ( that I could afford).

    Sorry brain fade. I really appreciate your help. Hugs to all.

  16. Starwolf
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    9 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi Wednesday,

    It's OK to be scared, a leap into the unknown is always frightening. More important is how we choose to deal with fear...sometimes it can protect us from danger. But when we're paralyzed into inaction, we may also fail to move away from an unsafe situation.

    I think your health will begin to improve if stress and pressure are taken out of the situation. Whether this can happen while remaining in the relationship is debatable.

    Taking one small step at a time in your chosen direction is the way to go. Reaching out for family support would help. You may find they'll be willing, even keen to rally around you. That's what most families do during tough times. Few are comfortable with the idea that one of them is/has been suffering in silence. You may be happily surprised. There's no need for you to face a difficult time alone.

  17. Wednesday
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    10 July 2016 in reply to Starwolf
    Thank you Starwolf. I've made a couple of small steps.
  18. Starwolf
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    11 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Yay ! Thanks for sharing your victories. I hope you are feeling proud of yourself.

    Please keep in mind that -over time- tiny baby steps do accumulate into long distance travel. Well done !

  19. Wednesday
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    12 July 2016 in reply to Starwolf

    Now I've gone backwards.

    I was trying to be tougher and focus on my needs. I was feeling less desperate. He is away at the moment. He's had a health issue and his anxiety has spiked. He has been in frequent contact asking me for help.

    I seem to be in a loop. I get to the point where I'm clearer on what I want then he tells me that he loves me and misses me and I get confused. I am so pathetic.

    I have a hospital visit in 2 weeks and need to get my head in the right place. He'll be back then and the combination of the two has me anxious knot.

    He's a nice man, that loves me, why am I being so horrid. He should be able to be himself and not be criticised by me. I am not sure why his adult children are struggling with me and don't know what else to try. I do know that it has now gone on for so long I have to protect myself with an iron will ( I don't seem to have one). I don't have the ability to deal with rejection.

    My own family disowned me at a early age. My parents referred to there 3 children yet she had 4, I was the one that didn't make the cut. I know I have far to much background, an easy target and am sensitive to rejection. But I have worked so hard on getting my head together. Too many tears over too many years.

  20. Ravenq
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    12 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi Wednesday

    first of all, take a deep breath & let it out slowly xx

    Times such as these are never easy honey, try to be gentle with yourself. Quite often we take many steps backwards. There is a similar battle going on in my head & heart with my relationship & like you, I am my own worst critic. My husband also struggles with anxiety & narcissism. He has me right where he wants me, continually second guessing myself. I really feel for you here because it sounds so familiar xx

    You are not mean honey, so be gentle on yourself ok xx

  21. Wednesday
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    12 July 2016 in reply to Ravenq

    Hi Ravenq,

    Thank you for your kind words, breathing back on track. I hope you are looking after yourself too. xx

  22. Lost Girl
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    13 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi Wednesday,

    I'm glad to have met you in the cafe. I'm sorry that things are tough for you right now.

    You have some wonderful advice here from kind and caring people.

    I suggest checking your list and perhaps writing more. Often when one part of our lives stops going so well we go back and reevaluate everything so it can be a really confusing time. There is some information about this if you search up Maslows basic needs.

    What I find helps is a list of what you want in life, in your relationship, your goals both short and long term. Then look at what you can and can't control on that list to make it happen. Once you have this I find things get clearer on what you really need and how those things are or can be met.

    An example might be: I need friends. What you can't control is that your partner is not comfortable with people at the house. What you can control is to arrange to meet them out or ask your partner to go out elsewhere when you want them over. Perhaps you can do this when he goes to his kids for dinner?

    Sadly you can't control how the kids behave with not inviting you but you can choose how to spend that time. I have a friend who immensely dislikes her partner's daughter for absolutely no reason. The way she talks shows that she just doesn't want to share him. You never know, your partner's kids may be the same as irrational as it is, try not to take it personally.

    It is nice to feel needed by someone and loved especially if you are unwell yourself and are needing that security and comfort. You both seem to fulfill some needs for each other but perhaps are questioning is it enough.

    I'd have a go at writing it all. Perhaps that can then be something you can use to talk through with him. I think Lyn has an excellent point about men not always knowing how serious it can be and it coming as a shock when the partner leaves. I have been through that too in my past.

    I also have a chronic tension headache that is constant so I empathise with your current pain and limitations on what you can do if you ever want to talk about it.

    Kind thoughts,

    Carol

  23. Wednesday
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    13 July 2016 in reply to Lost Girl

    Thanks Carol, you are all so kind that you made me cry, but in a good way. I don't feel I have control over anything. Every time I do I find I don't. I was really looking forward to having some space and time to think while he's away. But it's not happened.

    My health is a long and boring story and frustrates me enormously then I just resign myself to it, thank goodness for a cosy doona. I just want to wake up well, no more doctors, hospitals, injections, blood tests, tablets, drug infusions and no more side effects. I want to be able to move around easily. I want to be able to weed the garden and walk my dog around my neighbourhood (I drive to an off leash dog park). Sorry pity party.

    But I'm not alone am I. I am so sorry chronic headaches would be dreadful. Hugs.

  24. Wednesday
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    13 July 2016 in reply to Lost Girl
    PS I obviously have to take my portion of the blame for my relationship with the kids. But I give up now. Fairy tales aren't true after all. They have mum and dad and don't need an add on. After all they didn't choose me their dad did. It just makes me sad - that dam Brady Bunch show has a lot to answer for! x
  25. Lost Girl
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    13 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi there,

    All your wishes sound the same as mine xx I like a good pity party, they can be therapeutic in the right forum :-)

    Yes the Brady Bunch does indeed have a lot to answer for....Marcia, Marcia, Marcia haha

    The older I get the more I wish tv was a bit more realistic. Some things in life come as a real shock when it is not like tv.

    Have you got any hobbies or things you can do at home that make you happy? I had to take up crocheting again as it is one of the few things I can do without increasing the pain. I have taught myself how to make crocheted toys which has been fun.

    Carol xx

  26. Wednesday
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    13 July 2016 in reply to Lost Girl

    Hi Carol,

    I'm trying to find things to do that work for me. Painting dragon flies on the garage seems to be out of the question, ummm.

    Still thinking....

    Maybe some energy and motivation would help, working on that too.

    xx

  27. Lost Girl
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    14 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi Wednesday,

    Yeah I get that. I could do with some energy. I have so much I want to do but just can't do it. Netflix has been a lifesaver.

    Hope today is a better day for you.

    Kind thoughts,

    Carol

  28. Wednesday
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    14 July 2016 in reply to Lost Girl

    Thanks Carol. x

  29. Starwolf
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    14 July 2016 in reply to Wednesday

    Hi Wednesday,

    I'm sorry to say there's no such thing as a straight even path where emotional turmoil is concerned. Ups and downs are common and I agree that this roller coaster ride can be more exhausting than exhilarating.

    Needy men have the knack of baiting their partner back whenever they feel she may want to slip through the net. That's what narcissistic men do. They know exactly what to say/do to push your buttons. There is a tendency in all of us to believe what we would want to be true, even if evidence to the contrary is loud and clear.

    Growing up within a dysfunctional family makes us needy too. We end up feeling we are not worthy of love. We tend to believe everything is our fault when the reasons why we are neglected/abandoned rest on the other side. Having been left to our own device as helpless children, we're understandably scared the same will keep happening. We crave what was denied to us but often go looking for it in the wrong places because the mind follows and repeats learned patterns. But as adults, we will come to realize that we are far from helpless and able to make choices. As Carol pointed out there's a lot we can control but taking control and responsibility can be a steep learning curve. There again, small steps in the chosen direction will get you there.

    Please keep in mind that you are doing the best you can to get this complex situation figured and sorted out. The more you keep venting your feelings, the clearer they will become, although they are contradictory now and you feel pulled in different directions. Being emotionally involved makes objectivity difficult. This is why you are clearer when on your own than when your partner is around or pulling the strings...then determination disappears and you're lured back under control.

    Many women here at BB are unfortunately familiar with this process. Reading about these stories is helpful as it is always much easier to figure what is happening when not personally concerned. Then we begin to notice similarities with our own situation...

    You're on the right track, Wednesday. Be kind to yourself.

    Here for you.

  30. Wednesday
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    14 July 2016 in reply to Starwolf

    Thanks Star,

    I hate the way my past trips me up, it was I suspect similar to yours. I'm older and probably sound super wussy. I have done a lot in my life to make sure I didn't repeat patterns with my own children and acknowledge the choices I make that are not healthy. I made some mistakes over time, but I thought this man was different he is gentle and non-violent. I thought that his super anxiety was a good reason for some of his behaviour. Hey and who am I to complain about health issues. I am naturally nurturing, which is his attraction to me. Though I do have to remind him that I am not his mother. There was a big gap after I left my marriage, which took me ages. It was clear I was getting too hurt and my doctor pointed out that people only buy guns to shoot with.

    I thought I had figured me out. Maybe I am just plain needy too.

    People have/would describe me as calm, compassionate, strong and resilient, but what would they know.

    I've had to resign my job because of ill health. Funnily in my role I was sent in to sort out problems. One of my bosses used to call me Wolf as in the character from the movie Pulp Fiction. Haha, lucky he can't see me now. It's strange not working.

    I digress, you have mentioned narcissistic people, time to do some research me thinks.

    Hugs.

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