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12 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

In your case Vanush, you actually thought through your responses with logic and tact, you also tried to explain them to her in a way that made sense to the both of you while also taking into account how you felt when around her, and when you broke up/got back together. That isn't a bad thing.

--Rae 

Thankyou, could I clarify what you mean here? I am very instinctual in relationships, but also try to blend with logic and my head. This is the first time I've ever been faced with logic that told me this was a wonderful partner, committed, loving and more. But this collided with my instincts that said I wasn't in love. It was devastating for me to realise this fact, and still I grasp at straws to find what could have changed between us. 

Yes, it is certainly interesting Rae how we are constantly told to be independent and strong, but we also are natural for wanting companionship. We seek so many different things, some of them seem to be healthy and others not so much. And indeed, one person's "maybe" is a "heck yes" for someone else. 

Currently, I am fighting every inch of my body which is telling me to call her up, apologise and rekindle things. I know that would simply put us through more pain, and that the chance has gone now. Dopamine tricks us into doing things that really aren't good for us.

Kayc, I can see both sides of the argument of bad timing as fallacy now. When I reflect upon meeting Sarah for the first time, I was still affected by a previous relationship. I thought 1 year had gone by and I was ready to continue to look for my life partner. But the reality was, I was still heartbroken. This surely played a part in my emotional unavailability at the time, and meant we didn't have much of a chance initially. However, her anxiety in bringing up "what are we" also contributed to this. The timing for meeting Sarah was not ideal. But as I believe, the right person can beat all of that. I have experienced that before, when I met a former partner 1 month before she planned to travel the world. That is the one time I have felt true love, and I promised myself after that relationship that I wouldn't settle for anything less. 

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11 hours ago, Vanush said:

Thankyou, could I clarify what you mean here? I am very instinctual in relationships, but also try to blend with logic and my head. This is the first time I've ever been faced with logic that told me this was a wonderful partner, committed, loving and more. But this collided with my instincts that said I wasn't in love. It was devastating for me to realise this fact, and still I grasp at straws to find what could have changed between us. 

Yes, it is certainly interesting Rae how we are constantly told to be independent and strong, but we also are natural for wanting companionship. We seek so many different things, some of them seem to be healthy and others not so much. And indeed, one person's "maybe" is a "heck yes" for someone else. 

Currently, I am fighting every inch of my body which is telling me to call her up, apologise and rekindle things. I know that would simply put us through more pain, and that the chance has gone now. Dopamine tricks us into doing things that really aren't good for us.

Kayc, I can see both sides of the argument of bad timing as fallacy now. When I reflect upon meeting Sarah for the first time, I was still affected by a previous relationship. I thought 1 year had gone by and I was ready to continue to look for my life partner. But the reality was, I was still heartbroken. This surely played a part in my emotional unavailability at the time, and meant we didn't have much of a chance initially. However, her anxiety in bringing up "what are we" also contributed to this. The timing for meeting Sarah was not ideal. But as I believe, the right person can beat all of that. I have experienced that before, when I met a former partner 1 month before she planned to travel the world. That is the one time I have felt true love, and I promised myself after that relationship that I wouldn't settle for anything less. 

What I meant was, instead of just yelling at Sarah, saying "I don't know" etc, you actually sat her down and explained your POV, and you also explained it quite well in your OP. It made sense, it was logical and well thought.

You're quite right that our emotions and feelings trick us into doing things our head knows are no good for us. We've all done it. I struggled with walking away/not contacting Tim too. But I always tried to remind myself and my friends did too, that even if we got back together it wouldn't make my gut feelings, mistrust of him or the pain go away, and it'd end again the same way it did both times.before and I'd be back at square one of healing all over again. It wasn't fair to do that to myself.

Don't settle for less. Ever. Being EU after a relationship because of a heartbreak isn't a bad thing at all, it just means you need time to heal your wounds. However, when it starts affecting others then it's a problem. It seems like in your need to find love and companionship after, you found Sarah. Maybe the two of you weren't meant to last, but this was a lesson to make you realize that you still have some self work you need to do.

--Rae :)

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It is unfortunate, but it seems to be getting worse over time, I had a dream about her last night, that I was riding in her car. Perhaps missing her worsens as I prepare to leave the state for good. 

When I was with her it was clear it just wasn’t quite right, but now I am not with her I desire her, her kindness and her familiarity. I wonder if it is her I desire or just the connection. When she opened up she revealed one of the most beautiful personalities I’ve seen. And yet still, there was a key ingredient missing I think. 

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They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps because we forget all the things wrong...

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1 hour ago, kayc said:

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, perhaps because we forget all the things wrong...

This is definitely true. Also, because we convince ourselves that the "grass is still greener or it will be green next time," even when we've already been on the other side and know it isn't. Common feelings after a break-up.

What I've seen termed as "almost relationships" are harder to move on from because it never left the honeymoon phase and never came full circle. So, you get stuck thinking "if only XYZ thing had happened, maybe things would be different/would've worked out/this person was right for me" because you seemingly never had any "bad times," even if the red flags were glaring throughout the entire time you were together. Almost relationships really suck because you get stuck missing the person on their best behavior so you only have good things to say of them, and never really got to see who they truly were when hard times hit, you had a massive argument or other life happenings occur that test the strength of a relationship.

The age old saying rings true here: We desire what we can't have. It seems like the less you have her, the more you want her. But when she is within reach, you know it isn't right and want out. That may be a factor of you being emotionally unavailable.

My ex Tim was like that, especially after his father died. When we wouldn't see one another or chat much for a day or two, he was hot and couldn't get enough of me and wanted my attention. When we'd spend a weekend together, he'd act aloof and at times slightly out of reach. After his father's death and his ghosting me, he realized I had begun to move on because I went NC, he came back 3 months later begging to reconcile. When I didn't give in he pushed harder, when I finally started to give in, he fell back. It was a constant push and pull. It was exhausting. Don't let yourself fall into that trap.

You will get through this and these feelings will pass with time. It seems you are just going through the normal stages of breaking-up. But remember, YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.

--Rae :)

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Very poignant words Rae and Kayc, and I thank you so much, you’re words provide so much comfort to an absolute stranger. I have always believed in a common humanity, and this group represents it so strongly. It is so true, the push/pull that you’re describing Rae, it is exhausting and occurs when I let my emotional state get the better of me, without using my rational head. We are so risk-averse as human beings and in my heart as I approach a certain age I panic that I won’t be able to find someone. But the reality is to find true love and happiness I guess you have to risk not finding someone, and I am now ok with that. I believe I am emotionally unavailable, and am taking some time to work on myself. I feel like perhaps today I felt a little better for the first time too.

This concept of “almost relationship” resonates significantly with me Rae, have u had an experience like this? I knew so strongly it wasn’t the right thing for me, but I could not and maybe will not ever be able to describe why, it is intangible. For that reason she enters my thoughts frequently and I romantically fantasise about meeting her friends, family, feeling happy with her. Unfortunately in reality I wasn’t happy though.

Whoever you are and wherever u are, I hope you know what a huge positive impact you’ve had on this man’s life, thankyou

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42 minutes ago, Vanush said:

Very poignant words Rae and Kayc, and I thank you so much, you’re words provide so much comfort to an absolute stranger. I have always believed in a common humanity, and this group represents it so strongly. It is so true, the push/pull that you’re describing Rae, it is exhausting and occurs when I let my emotional state get the better of me, without using my rational head. We are so risk-averse as human beings and in my heart as I approach a certain age I panic that I won’t be able to find someone. But the reality is to find true love and happiness I guess you have to risk not finding someone, and I am now ok with that. I believe I am emotionally unavailable, and am taking some time to work on myself. I feel like perhaps today I felt a little better for the first time too.

This concept of “almost relationship” resonates significantly with me Rae, have u had an experience like this? I knew so strongly it wasn’t the right thing for me, but I could not and maybe will not ever be able to describe why, it is intangible. For that reason she enters my thoughts frequently and I romantically fantasise about meeting her friends, family, feeling happy with her. Unfortunately in reality I wasn’t happy though.

Whoever you are and wherever u are, I hope you know what a huge positive impact you’ve had on this man’s life, thankyou

Thank you, Vanush! Your words mean so much. When I first found the Grief group, I was trying to understand why Tim was acting as he was 3 years ago. In the time since, I didn't find a way to make him stay, I found reasons, support and a way to get over him and that I deserved better than what he was giving me. So now I just share my story and offer advice hoping that others who are in the position I once was understand that they aren't alone and that even though our stories are all different, they're all similar too. And most importantly: The end of a relationship is not the end-all of their identity or lives, something I struggled with understanding when Joe left me and again when I left Tim.

I had panicked for years too that I wouldn't find someone after my ex-fiancee left me because he left me feeling like no one else could ever love me. I was barely 22 when that happened and I am 27 now. When Tim and I broke up I felt that same twinge of panic that maybe those thoughts that I wasn't lovable were right, and for a while, I believed them again. In the years since, a lot has changed and I don't feel that way anymore. For the last just about three years is the first time I haven't actively dated, been in an "almost" or an actual relationship since I was 15 years old. I had to learn to truly be alone for the first time in my entire life and I am okay with it now. Yeah, I may not find someone, but that doesn't mean I have to live a life of agony or one without love and purpose. In fact I feel the opposite, that if your only goal in life is to be married, then you are not ready to be married or part of a couple. You need to learn to be comfortable with yourself, sit by your own bedside and hold your own hand and build a life for yourself before you try to build one with another person. This was something I failed to do for years because I wholeheartedly believed that my life would finally have meaning and make sense when someone else loved me, and I was so wrong because I didn't even love, know or understand myself.

I have experienced an "almost relationship" as well as watched countless friends experience the same and deal with the fall out. My couple of "almost's" lasted about 2-3 months each, and while it was fun, I knew deep down it wasn't right or going to last but at the time I was so desperate for companionship I didn't care. I dodged a bullet with both of them too, as I found out later that one had gotten drunk beat up a woman he dated after me and the other apparently had multiple kids he didn't take care of. I cringe but laugh at the thought of the things I did in my early 20's after my ex-fiancee left me. I was so unhealthy and damaged, but I learned a lot of hard lessons from all that stuff.

My best friend was notorious for this because she so badly wanted a family, she tried making every guy she dated into a family man. After she left her ex-boyfriend and father of her son, it seemed like she'd find a guy and move him into her house within weeks and then 6 months later they'd break up. She did this for years and as much as I tried to convince her otherwise, she would never listen. But then again, I was guilty of this too, just not to the same degree.

--Rae :)

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Rae, I have always said you are very wise for someone so young!  I, too, have learned the same things, a lifetime later, the last 8 years I have not dated or had someone in my life, I always had before, but I'm okay with that.  You learn more about yourself, you build confidence!  I have learned that the only feedback and validation I need is my own.  Yes, I miss my late husband, we had a wonderful relationship and I feel so fortunate to have had him in my life...perhaps it is because of having known him that I am not willing to "settle", I know what can truly be.  At my age it's not likely to happen again, but I've also learned never to rule out!  None of us knows what the future holds.  I remember my dear friends, Bob and Beth, who found true love in their 80s.

I wish you both well in your discovery.

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Yes certainly, it does amaze me Rae that you are so young, you have so much vital insight to share. 

I believe you have hit the nail on the head with these insights. The concept of being emotionally unavailable is an intriguing one. What scares me about this situation was that with the subsequent people I have seen, it triggered me to think of Sarah fondly. I do not struggle to meet people, and am constantly meeting lovely people who I think are great. I don't feel nervous about talking to people or not being able to find someone who cares for me. What scares me however, is that I look at a lot of beautiful people now and I feel nothing, no desire or willing to date etc. This is what you've called emotionally unavailable and I agree. However, it feels like Sarah almost broke through that. Even though I met her at exactly the wrong time in my life when I was still mourning over the loss of a relationship, she made me feel significant feelings (even if it did not work out eventually). This comes back to the concept of right timing, but it scares me to think how wonderful things may have been had I not been in that place of mourning, or in the place of emotional unavailability. 

More importantly perhaps, I wonder how much time it will be until I can find another attractive again. I hope sooner rather than later. 

Kayc yes certainly, the further things go away, I forget how it all made me feel. 

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On 10/17/2018 at 7:42 AM, Vanush said:

Yes certainly, it does amaze me Rae that you are so young, you have so much vital insight to share. 

I believe you have hit the nail on the head with these insights. The concept of being emotionally unavailable is an intriguing one. What scares me about this situation was that with the subsequent people I have seen, it triggered me to think of Sarah fondly. I do not struggle to meet people, and am constantly meeting lovely people who I think are great. I don't feel nervous about talking to people or not being able to find someone who cares for me. What scares me however, is that I look at a lot of beautiful people now and I feel nothing, no desire or willing to date etc. This is what you've called emotionally unavailable and I agree. However, it feels like Sarah almost broke through that. Even though I met her at exactly the wrong time in my life when I was still mourning over the loss of a relationship, she made me feel significant feelings (even if it did not work out eventually). This comes back to the concept of right timing, but it scares me to think how wonderful things may have been had I not been in that place of mourning, or in the place of emotional unavailability. 

More importantly perhaps, I wonder how much time it will be until I can find another attractive again. I hope sooner rather than later. 

Kayc yes certainly, the further things go away, I forget how it all made me feel. 

I was, and still kind of am emotionally unavailable by choice after Tim and I broke up. I am not dating or looking for a relationship, so I intentionally do not get romantically involved with others. I focus on friendships, rather than crashing my way into a relationship like I did in my early 20s. Being emotionally unavailable especially after a relationship can be a good thing if you use it properly and as a time of self-work, discovery, healthy selfishness, self-awareness, focus and as a means to heal yourself so you don't get wrapped up into another relationship before you've healed from your last. Where it becomes a problem is when people (like Tim for example) use their being EU as an excuse to treat other people, especially a love interest or partner like crap. Being enigmatic and having problems is not an excuse to treat others like they don't matter, and unfortunately too many people, especially on the modern dating scene do this. I've also noticed that many people try to find others to fix their problems, pin their happiness into others and give their lives a sense of purpose, and then when their fantasy of the "perfect relationship" gets shattered, they blame the other person and just move on to someone new.

One of the most important things I've come to learn from my heartbreak, bad relationship/life experiences and grief, is that people need to stop expecting their prince/princess to come crashing into their lives and save them and solve their problems (kinda like we've read/watched in all the fairytale movies and books). The only person you should expect that from, IS YOU.

When you no longer NEED a crazy, ridiculous romantic relationship in order to feel alive and like you exist; when you can just be as you are, that's when I think you're ready to be in a couple.

However, I will say, it is okay to desire love, connection and intimacy. We are humans and its natural. The problem is we attempt to go about getting these things the wrong way, and we misconstrue what love is/looks like for things like toxic behavior, abuse, mistreatment, superficial qualities like salary, job or status and that make them good on paper but not good in real life, the need to save others to avoid our own problems, etc and it never goes well until we learn to fix these things within ourselves before seeking intimate connections with others.

--Rae :)

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Amen, sister!  I have learned the same things!  I've been eight years without dating, only having "friends" and as of yet I haven't seen anyone worth becoming partnered with.  When you take the time to get to know yourself better, it makes it easier to see with clarity.  And I'm truly okay being me, just me.  We cannot put on someone else to be our savior and fulfill our fantasy of a fairy tale.  Relationships take hard work from both partners.  

Your post is worthy of printing, matting, and framing!

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Thanks, KayC. As I said in a previous post, until the end of 2015 I had not been truly single/alone with myself since I was 14/15 years old. I watched countless YouTube videos, read book and scoured this site for advice on how to move on, be alone and deal with myself and my own problems. It was really hard, but living the lifestyle I was just gets exhausting, draining, filled with misery and I no longer had a sense of self or identity and hadn't known who I was for years. It was always the same situations with different faces and eventually the cycle had to break. I felt guilty for being so selfish until my therapist straight up told me I needed to be selfish to survive because everyone else is, and it is fundamental to our survival to be a healthy amount of selfish. We need to put ourselves first because no one else will.

Alain de Botten gives a fantastic talk about how we seek out love and accept it as long as it's "good enough" and how problematic that is to our longevity and overall happiness. This is a fantastic video.

https://youtu.be/DCS6t6NUAGQ

--Rae :)

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Wendy, someone who used to be here with us, recommended Christian Carter's Catch Him & Keep Him, which I also thought was interesting, but it seems like the philosophy in Christian Carter's book/dvds is more what Alain de Botton is referring to as setting someone up for distrust.  

Interesting video...I know that I married the "wrong person" more than once.  I've heard some counselors say that you "will to love someone" and therefore it's not the wrong person, but that you're not committed enough.  I disagree with that as some can be diabolically wrong!  I do think there's a lot of things we can do to help our marriages, learning good communication first off!

All I know is, whatever went on between George and I worked.  It really worked!  Out of all of the relationships I've had in my lifetime, this person got me, our communication was great, we knew how to make each other feel loved and supported.  Was that mere coincidence?  I don't think so.  I don't put much stock by coincidences, I think we did the right things that worked for each other.  It helped that we started as friends and built trust with each other.

I did get a kick out of what this guy had to say...how we choose what is familiar, even if that is to make us suffer!  Not sure that's what we all intend, but a certain number of us seems to fulfill it!  :D

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On 10/20/2018 at 2:53 PM, kayc said:

Wendy, someone who used to be here with us, recommended Christian Carter's Catch Him & Keep Him, which I also thought was interesting, but it seems like the philosophy in Christian Carter's book/dvds is more what Alain de Botton is referring to as setting someone up for distrust.  

Interesting video...I know that I married the "wrong person" more than once.  I've heard some counselors say that you "will to love someone" and therefore it's not the wrong person, but that you're not committed enough.  I disagree with that as some can be diabolically wrong!  I do think there's a lot of things we can do to help our marriages, learning good communication first off!

All I know is, whatever went on between George and I worked.  It really worked!  Out of all of the relationships I've had in my lifetime, this person got me, our communication was great, we knew how to make each other feel loved and supported.  Was that mere coincidence?  I don't think so.  I don't put much stock by coincidences, I think we did the right things that worked for each other.  It helped that we started as friends and built trust with each other.

I did get a kick out of what this guy had to say...how we choose what is familiar, even if that is to make us suffer!  Not sure that's what we all intend, but a certain number of us seems to fulfill it!  :D

That's why I tread lightly these days when reading "relationship advice" from people like Steve Harvey, Dr Phil, Christian Carter, etc because as Alain mentions, the kind of advice they give sets up distrust, and sometimes unhealthy dynamics within the relationship.

"Will to love someone," woof that's terrible advice. LOL. We can all be willing to love a person, which is why you see so many people stay in abusive, toxic or addict relationships because they're told things like that. Or the age old "love conquers all" nonsense. I know I've been willed to love (and marry) some diabolically terrible people for me. But because I wanted to, and did love a couple of them, I thought we were right for each other.

We definitely DO choose what is familiar to us. I know that a few of the guys I dated were because they were wounded in the same ways that I was, and I was drawn to it. But we do have to learn that love is a skill that needs to be learned and fostered. And as time goes on, you should be able to identify the not so great things about yourself and bad habits you need to work on. I did eventually, but I've met people who are significantly older than me who still date like they're teenagers, and it's funny but also kind of terrifying. :)

--Rae

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3 hours ago, Rae1991 said:

"Will to love someone,"

Well I know I tried that for 23 years with my kids' dad, and you know what?  It never got any better.  23 years spent with a cold unloving person that although I cared about him and still do, the intimacy was lacking throughout.  He gave nothing emotionally.  It's like trying to deny yourself each and every day of your life of a very basic need.  He needed help and refused to get it.  We cannot fix someone, cannot change them and often cannot get through to them.  Unless we are both in a state of readiness and have done what we could to heal ourselves, if need be, we are not prepared to bring ourselves to the table, so to speak, of a loving relationship.  When we bring baggage to a relationship, we have just that, a relationship with a lot of baggage.  Some of us can attest to that!

Yes it is a choice to love someone, yes that will to love them is a commitment necessary to get us through the tough times we all experience within our marriage, but that alone is not all that is needed.  One of the best books I ever bought and read is "The Five Love Languages".  Such a simple small little book that is so true and makes so much sense!  I bought it in my marriage to my kids' dad, and tried talking with him about it, alas he wasn't interested.  I felt like I alone was working to save our marriage and it's kind of like trying to swim ashore in an ocean without a life jacket or a paddle to help you.  It ended.  Oddly, he ended it.  Now he's on marriage #4.  Has it gotten any better for him?  No.  As I heard Pastor Roy Hicks once say, we live in a world where people think if something isn't working, you switch jobs, switch homes, switch partners, but in the end you realize the one common denominator is you, and it behooves our effort to work on ourselves.  

I have saved your post and want to share it with my women's group during the week our lesson is on marriage.  Such wisdom you possess!  The truth is, rather than look to someone else to be our knight in shining armor, to rescue us, to fulfill happiness in us, we need to address ourselves.  And I'm all about therapy and counseling to help us!  Lord knows I've probably bought a bungalow for mine...and my dentist...over the years.  ;)

On 10/19/2018 at 1:50 PM, Rae1991 said:

I was, and still kind of am emotionally unavailable by choice after Tim and I broke up. I am not dating or looking for a relationship, so I intentionally do not get romantically involved with others. I focus on friendships, rather than crashing my way into a relationship like I did in my early 20s. Being emotionally unavailable especially after a relationship can be a good thing if you use it properly and as a time of self-work, discovery, healthy selfishness, self-awareness, focus and as a means to heal yourself so you don't get wrapped up into another relationship before you've healed from your last. Where it becomes a problem is when people (like Tim for example) use their being EU as an excuse to treat other people, especially a love interest or partner like crap. Being enigmatic and having problems is not an excuse to treat others like they don't matter, and unfortunately too many people, especially on the modern dating scene do this. I've also noticed that many people try to find others to fix their problems, pin their happiness into others and give their lives a sense of purpose, and then when their fantasy of the "perfect relationship" gets shattered, they blame the other person and just move on to someone new.

One of the most important things I've come to learn from my heartbreak, bad relationship/life experiences and grief, is that people need to stop expecting their prince/princess to come crashing into their lives and save them and solve their problems (kinda like we've read/watched in all the fairytale movies and books). The only person you should expect that from, IS YOU.

When you no longer NEED a crazy, ridiculous romantic relationship in order to feel alive and like you exist; when you can just be as you are, that's when I think you're ready to be in a couple.

However, I will say, it is okay to desire love, connection and intimacy. We are humans and its natural. The problem is we attempt to go about getting these things the wrong way, and we misconstrue what love is/looks like for things like toxic behavior, abuse, mistreatment, superficial qualities like salary, job or status and that make them good on paper but not good in real life, the need to save others to avoid our own problems, etc and it never goes well until we learn to fix these things within ourselves before seeking intimate connections with others.

--Rae :)

 

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3 hours ago, kayc said:

Well I know I tried that for 23 years with my kids' dad, and you know what?  It never got any better.  23 years spent with a cold unloving person that although I cared about him and still do, the intimacy was lacking throughout.  He gave nothing emotionally.  It's like trying to deny yourself each and every day of your life of a very basic need.  He needed help and refused to get it.  We cannot fix someone, cannot change them and often cannot get through to them.  Unless we are both in a state of readiness and have done what we could to heal ourselves, if need be, we are not prepared to bring ourselves to the table, so to speak, of a loving relationship.  When we bring baggage to a relationship, we have just that, a relationship with a lot of baggage.  Some of us can attest to that!

Yes it is a choice to love someone, yes that will to love them is a commitment necessary to get us through the tough times we all experience within our marriage, but that alone is not all that is needed.  One of the best books I ever bought and read is "The Five Love Languages".  Such a simple small little book that is so true and makes so much sense!  I bought it in my marriage to my kids' dad, and tried talking with him about it, alas he wasn't interested.  I felt like I alone was working to save our marriage and it's kind of like trying to swim ashore in an ocean without a life jacket or a paddle to help you.  It ended.  Oddly, he ended it.  Now he's on marriage #4.  Has it gotten any better for him?  No.  As I heard Pastor Roy Hicks once say, we live in a world where people think if something isn't working, you switch jobs, switch homes, switch partners, but in the end you realize the one common denominator is you, and it behooves our effort to work on ourselves.  

I have saved your post and want to share it with my women's group during the week our lesson is on marriage.  Such wisdom you possess!  The truth is, rather than look to someone else to be our knight in shining armor, to rescue us, to fulfill happiness in us, we need to address ourselves.  And I'm all about therapy and counseling to help us!  Lord knows I've probably bought a bungalow for mine...and my dentist...over the years.  ;)

 

Aw, thanks KayC! I try to spread what I have learned in hopes it helps someone else.

Funny enough, your ex-husband sounds just like my father. My mother tried for 16 years to get him into couples counseling, marriage and individuals counseling and he adamantly refused it. He has some emotional issues stemming from an abusive childhood and a life spent in and out of foster homes. He even refused family/adolescent counseling when my sibling began getting into legal troubles as a teenager. He acted the same way as your ex did-- refuse, deny and bury the problem. Emotionally he left my mom (and us) alone and "out in the cold" when it came to the most basic of needs in their marriage. The irony being, he left his second wife after 4 years because "she emotionally abandoned him" and he was unhappy. To this day he denies any wrongdoing or cheating as if we don't already know the truth and have moved on from the drama. He just finalized his 3rd divorce this year and is already looking for a new girlfriend/wife. He changes cars, houses and wives like it's a game, but I guess he's relatively normal in his ways according to modern standards of dating/love. It's so confusing I can't even keep up anymore. He keeps searching for "enough," but when he has it, or believes he has it, he still looks for something better. At 50, I am surprised he isn't exhausted. I was exhausted by 25 and I don't have kids or marriage.

It dumbfounds me that he still acts this way and refuses to accept that the common denominator is HIM, but I've just accepted that's how he is and he will never change. He'll just keep repeating the cycle.

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I've been told he was different when he was younger but seeing his best friend killed right in front of him in Viet Nam had it's effects, and he had an alcoholic mom that also left it's mark.  He needed counseling.  If I tried to talk to him about anything emotional, he'd stonewall me (shut me out).  I do feel sorry for him, he was a good man, I understood him, just couldn't live with it any more.  One thing I've learned, it takes more than one to make a marriage!

I guess I'm too old and too exhausted to go through all this any more.  Oddly enough, when I married George, the adjustment seemed so effortless, although both of us actually put in a great deal of effort.  We did so out of love and want to.

My son was incredulous when his dad got married to someone so messed up...he said, "Didn't he even look around before he got married?"  I answered, "No, he never did, he just went to town and got another girl."  As if you can build a marriage with just anyone.  I feel that's what he did with me too.  It's sad, he was so smart when it came to everything else!  Some people put in more effort buying new tires than they do selecting their spouse!

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10 minutes ago, kayc said:

I've been told he was different when he was younger but seeing his best friend killed right in front of him in Viet Nam had it's effects, and he had an alcoholic mom that also left it's mark.  He needed counseling.  If I tried to talk to him about anything emotional, he'd stonewall me (shut me out).  I do feel sorry for him, he was a good man, I understood him, just couldn't live with it any more.  One thing I've learned, it takes more than one to make a marriage!

I guess I'm too old and too exhausted to go through all this any more.  Oddly enough, when I married George, the adjustment seemed so effortless, although both of us actually put in a great deal of effort.  We did so out of love and want to.

My son was incredulous when his dad got married to someone so messed up...he said, "Didn't he even look around before he got married?"  I answered, "No, he never did, he just went to town and got another girl."  As if you can build a marriage with just anyone.  I feel that's what he did with me too.  It's sad, he was so smart when it came to everything else!  Some people put in more effort buying new tires than they do selecting their spouse!

Sounds just like my father. My mom loved him and understood he had problems, and tried to help. But he didn't want her help and after 16 years of him behaving as he did, she just said 'enough.' My dad's 3rd wife was nothing short of an attention seeking narcissistic mess. She's now a felon due to theft, money laundering and lord knows what else. He knew she was a mess, but believed her sob stories and that she was still a good person and that regardless of her past, he could love her enough to change her....until he started finding evidence of her indiscretions and illegal activities.

He's a smart man, has hobbies, a great job and is a good dad and grandfather; he just makes really, REALLY poor decisions when it comes to relationships.

19 minutes ago, kayc said:

My son was incredulous when his dad got married to someone so messed up...he said, "Didn't he even look around before he got married?"  I answered, "No, he never did, he just went to town and got another girl."  As if you can build a marriage with just anyone.  I feel that's what he did with me too.  It's sad, he was so smart when it came to everything else!  Some people put in more effort buying new tires than they do selecting their spouse!

My brothers and I said pretty much the exact same thing when he was engaged after his 2nd marriage less than a year later, then they ended and he got with his 3rd wife. It is astounding how little common sense and thought people put into such a huge decision.

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I guess I've been guilty of the same thing, but I've learned...so much so that I don't even find people worth dating anymore.  I realize a lot of it is where I live, but I'm too tired to put forth the effort anymore.  I'm not THAT lonely!

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Thankyou very much for that video Rae, it’s a fascinating one, I’ve decided to see someone and chat about relationships etc. Because it seems like I meet many lovely people, but haven’t met someone who I’ve really truly felt was for me. It’s so funny how that happens in life and I have been hoping that it is not me, and that I haven’t met the right person. Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn’t. Being alone has its real positives though, it was only the other night when I was thanking my lucky stars for being able to be alone on a hot summer’s night, it can get so hot lying next to someone. 

What ive discovered with a therapist has been fascinating. I think my inability to find th right person may be due to in some part to the instability in my life currently, living out of my home state for so long to pursue a dream and do further study, which will not be complete until early next year. With such an unstable and stressful existence right now and isolated from my long-time friends, I desire something to give me stability and calm. And it seems to me like that may not be able to be achieved until I find that stability which will inevitably come when I finish. I suppose it reflects what you have said here, we have to work on ourselves and be whole before coming together as a couple, only then can u bring a positive energy to a relationship. 

Sarah gave me that stability, but it wasn’t a romantic relationship. I believe perhaps I need to find that stability first, and I will then be ready to be in a relationship.

Alain de Bolton was truly fascinating, I am watching him again!

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5 hours ago, Vanush said:

Thankyou very much for that video Rae, it’s a fascinating one, I’ve decided to see someone and chat about relationships etc. Because it seems like I meet many lovely people, but haven’t met someone who I’ve really truly felt was for me. It’s so funny how that happens in life and I have been hoping that it is not me, and that I haven’t met the right person. Perhaps it is, perhaps it isn’t. Being alone has its real positives though, it was only the other night when I was thanking my lucky stars for being able to be alone on a hot summer’s night, it can get so hot lying next to someone. 

What ive discovered with a therapist has been fascinating. I think my inability to find th right person may be due to in some part to the instability in my life currently, living out of my home state for so long to pursue a dream and do further study, which will not be complete until early next year. With such an unstable and stressful existence right now and isolated from my long-time friends, I desire something to give me stability and calm. And it seems to me like that may not be able to be achieved until I find that stability which will inevitably come when I finish. I suppose it reflects what you have said here, we have to work on ourselves and be whole before coming together as a couple, only then can u bring a positive energy to a relationship. 

Sarah gave me that stability, but it wasn’t a romantic relationship. I believe perhaps I need to find that stability first, and I will then be ready to be in a relationship.

Alain de Bolton was truly fascinating, I am watching him again!

It's great that you've made the choice to talk to a professional and gain some clarity about your feelings. Instability is uncomfortable for many people, and tricky in that it drives us to seek stability (or at least, the illusion of it) in others without looking at why we're unstable instead. While it's understandable and totally normal to do this, it isn't necessarily healthy.

I too have fallen prey to the illusion of finding stability in others because I didn't have stability in my own life at the time, and believed getting into a relationship or dating would help me find it (because society tells us it does, weird right?) Long story short, I got into a "situationship" for a couple months with an equally unstable person.... and it went super well....just kidding LOL.

See that's the funny thing about life: You're going to meet thousands of people, and you're going to be attracted to a lot of them for various reasons. You're going to have relationships (friendship, romantic, familial, professional) with them. But until you learn to communicate, be honest, know who you are, be willing to be vulnerable, and understand that love is a skill needing to be developed; you're going to have a lot of unfulfilling, unhealthy relationships in all aspects of your life.

Sometimes a great person, love or relationship can inspire us to want to change or be better, but we won't change until WE want to.

Also, that being single and "alone" is not a bad thing. It doesn't mean you are lonely, either. I feel it is a necessary part of the human experience, especially when it is used to focus on self-growth, building a life for yourself and reflection. 

Always remember that even when you feel like you have no one, you still have yourself. You're the longest relationship you'll ever have. Don't teach yourself you're invaluable just because others fail to see it.

--Rae :)

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Yes that's so true! 

I have essentially been by myself the past 3 years, and I have built so much resilience in this time. Ironically in this time I have changed careers and moved states, confronting some of my most feared challenges.

I can also see the wise lessons it has taught both you and kayc. I am wondering, what were your takeaway messages from Alain de botton's speech? Mine were: 1. We shouldn't look for perfection in a partner 

2. We need to communicate and work on our flaws constantly so we don't fall into pathological patterns.

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Ergh, don’t you just hate the waves of emotion that come over you when you least expect it! It’s strange how I can forget so easily the feeling of it just not being right, that is distant in the memory, but I won’t forget all her positives.  it still burns really intensely! I am left to grieve over whether something could have been done to change my feelings at that time. Maybe had I worked on myself a little more I would have been in the right place, maybe had I stuck at it longer...

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