How can we handle these conflicts better?

#30

Postby desperate788 » Thu Feb 17, 2022 8:04 pm

I think women are different they dont love as much as men do. And their attachment is weaker.
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#31

Postby desperate788 » Thu Feb 17, 2022 8:05 pm

Have you ever seen a woman drinking for a man?
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#32

Postby Ascendant78 » Thu Feb 17, 2022 8:34 pm

desperate788 wrote:Have you ever seen a woman drinking for a man?


From all the research I've seen, generally speaking, men and women tend to stand on equal ground in regards to emotions. Women tend to be more expressive of emotions because of cultural and social norms, but men feel just as much as them.

As far as the drinking, yes, I've known many women who started drinking because of a break up as well. I actually know three off the top of my head that started drinking wine after the breakup. No idea why they prefer wine, but that seems to be the go-to for most women.

It's really more of an individual thing than a gender thing. Both men and women can be extremely emotional, or extremely detached.

With my ex-girlfriend, she has a few VERY bad narcissistic traits when she's angry. One of them is a lack of object constancy (ability to retain positive feelings about someone while you are angry, hurt, frustrated, or disappointed with their behavior). That is why she is so quick to break up. At that time, her love is almost non-existent. It's all replaced with hatred and disgust. She flat out told me at times how much she hated me when she was angry. I was always her punching bag. She knew I can take it, but I sure as hell didn't deserve it.

Another bad trait she has when angry is a complete lack of empathy. She hurts you relentlessly. Even if you tell her how much pain she is causing you and you beg her to stop, she won't. She has no sympathy, no remose, no regard for your feelings, and intentionally seeks to hurt you emotionally.

It's hard, because when she's happy, she's so sweet and loving. But then, that anger kicks in and she's a monster.

I don't know if she can even fix it. I don't know if she will ever be able to gain control of those emotions enough to stop it. Maybe she doesn't even care to. Maybe she is fine lashing out at a spouse when she is hurt. Maybe she will just move on to someone that can be manipulated and controlled by it. I don't know anymore.

I will never understand how someone can be so hateful and intentionally hurtful to someone they say they love.
I just hope she can (and wants to) change.
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#33

Postby Ascendant78 » Mon Feb 21, 2022 7:06 pm

So, she apparently read this thread recently and messaged me about it last night. She told me she felt it was very one-sided and filled with "half-truths." So, seems like once again, I have done something wrong, even though my whole purpose of starting this was for us to get help. I even asked her before I posted it if she wanted me to change any of the initial post. So now, trying to figure out things I haven't mentioned yet.

One thing she would complain about is how she felt like I would ask her questions about her past in a way where I seemed like I was trying to catch her in a lie. That I'd ask about similar things in a different way later on, then if something didn't add up, I would point it out in a way that made her feel I was trying to catch a lie.

I'll give some examples. Let me know if you think I did these in an underhanded way...

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I know she loved DC and Marvel. However, I once asked her if she thought Henry Cavill (superman) was good looking or hot or something. She immediately told me no, he's ugly.

Several months later, she started using her Facebook again. I scroll back through her FB, looking at old stuff she posted in the past. As I'm doing so, I see a post about how she just watched Man of Steel, and that Henry Cavill got her so hot and bothered she "needed a towel" and how gorgeous he was.

So, shortly after I saw that, I asked her if she EVER thought Henry Cavill was good looking. Again, she immediately says no, he has a crooked nose, etc. So, I didn't say anything, because I wasn't sure how to address it. I nodded, said nothing, and went to walk out the room to think about how to address it without starting a fight.

Well, that wasn't a normal reaction for me. She knew something was up. So then, after a several second pause, she changed it to "well, I didn't find him attractive at first, but then eventually, he grew on me." She then went on about all the reasons she didn't think he was attractive at first, but he "grew on her." Went on and on for at least a minute explaining it in detail, so you can make your own conclusion on why she did that. Meanwhile, the very first time she saw him in that movie is when she wrote the post. So, I point it out, as obviously, she wasn't being entirely honest for some reason.

She said she doesn't ever remember posting that (so in her eyes, she wasn't intentionally lying), and gets angry, claiming I was trying to set her up. Complained that I asked her in an underhanded way. However, in my eyes, I was giving her a fair chance to be honest with me and she wasn't until she knew something was up. But, maybe it was her poor memory. I don't know for sure.

Oh, and she also complained because I was looking at posts on her FB from years ago. She called it "stalking her." She made me feel bad for looking at her past to try and learn more about her. I feel like she felt my sole reason for doing it was to try and catch her in lies. But I mean hell, I even scrolled back on my own FB after that to see the type of stuff I posted over the years. But with her, again my intentions were seen as malevolent and "stalking" her.

Did I approach that Henry Cavill thing wrong? I don't feel I did, but maybe that was underhanded on my end and she was right? Maybe looking years back on her FB was inappropriate? Was I wrong on this one?

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Another one was something she said to an ex. The guy has passed away, but she speaks SO highly of him that it intimidated me some back then. I mean she would say nothing but great things about him, and yet complained about so much with me.

Anyway, her and I have talked about twin flames. She told me months back that the deceased ex was the first one who introduced her to the concept. Now keep in mind, she ONLY told me he introduced her to the concept, and that he told her that HE thought she was her twin flame. She NEVER told me the feeling was reciprocated at that point.

So, again while I was looking at her FB, there was a post years back from when they were dating. To add, she claimed nothing went on between them until after she left her husband. But, I saw TONS of flirting with her, and she never once stopped him. In fact, she would encourage it in her posts. Considering he was blatantly flirting with a married woman, there was a time prior to this conflict where I called him a "piece of sh*t." I know that was way over the line and it was a horrible thing for me to do. It REALLY bothered me that this guy was blatantly flirting with a married woman, on public social media no less. So yes, I didn't think highly of him after that to say the least, and thought I would emphasize to her he wasn't as amazing as she always says he was. But, I know I did it in a really disrespectful, rude, and inconsiderate way. I KNOW I screwed up on that one, and I felt horrible after when I saw how much it hurt her.

But anyway, in one of her posts to him, she referred to him as "twin." So, one day I asked her if she ever thought he was her twin flame, making sure that's what she was referring to in it. She said yes. Keep in mind, when she brought it up previously, she ONLY said he thought she was his, she NEVER said it was reciprocated. Anyway, my immediate remark after was "but you don't think I am" (because I've talked to her about it and she doesn't feel we are). As soon as I made that remark, she told me to get help, that she was sick and tired of my insecurities, and threatened to end the relationship again. I felt it was a VERY legitimate question, as between how highly she speaks of him combined with her feeling something towards him that she doesn't towards me, that was something that made me reconsider the relationship. I didn't want to be second choice.

She later clarified that the reason she doesn't think we are is because she didn't believe in them anymore. The answer could've been as simple as that, but she turned it into a huge argument. She pushed me away the whole weekend, my birthday weekend. Because of that incident Fri, I went out for my birthday dinner alone.

Did I screw up here with the way I addressed the twin flame thing? Did I overstep my bounds? If so, how did I screw up?

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There are other things I do know I did wrong, but I had worked on them and fixed them. Like with me, I don't tend to have any boundaries. If she wanted to go through my phone, I always let her. My computer, my tablet, whatever. She knew the passwords to all of them. I never minded it. In fact, I liked when she took the time to look through them and find out more about me.

Anyway, there were three different occasions where I looked through her phone without her consent. Yes, I know it was wrong. The first two times were truly harmless. She was sleeping, I couldn't sleep, so I figured I'd look at the type of stuff she does on her phone. I wasn't looking for anything, but I will admit, I did have some trust issues then. In hindsight, I realize now it was a combination of me wanting to know more about her, along with trust issues.

Either the first or second time, I did not try to hide it though. She woke up, and I didn't try to hide her phone or anything. I didn't think she would get angry, as I trusted her to such an extent that it had only maybe 15% to do with trust, 85% me trying to learn more about what she does in her free time. Like with me, if someone looks through my browser history, they will DEFINITELY learn more about what I do in my free time, what I'm interested in, etc. I was doing the same with her, but she made it out to be a trust issue. Very little had to do with that, at least the first two times. I thought our trust and openness went to the extent where everything with both of us was completely open like that. Clearly, she did not feel the same.

The third time was much later on. Maybe three months ago or so. At that point, it was probably about 25% trust issue and 75% curiosity. Yes, I did have some trust issues at that point. But, I stopped myself. I was going to look at communication between her ex and her, but I stopped the moment I opened the app. I couldn't do it. I couldn't break her trust again. Of course, she comes into the room right as I'm turning it off. That was an argument as well, as she didn't believe I hadn't looked through it.

I also screwed up about a friend. There is a friend I have known for decades. Her and I slept together once a LONG time ago, long before the girlfriend. When she first asked, I lied and said I never slept with her. I know that I screwed up on that one. Later, I admitted it, but she felt like I slipped. As I was saying it, I knew I told her we hadn't in the past. I hate lies. The ONLY reason I had done it was because of other incidences with other women, and I was genuinely afraid that if I told her that the two of us had sex once, she wouldn't be comfortable with me talking to her. I lied because I was afraid it would become an argument, potentially a breakup, and that I'd have to cut off a close friend I've had for decades now. I know that's no excuse though. I feel horrible that I was so afraid of a breakup that I lied. I know that was my screw up.

Again, I fully acknowledge that was wrong of me to do. But, did I ever abuse her? No. Did I ever intentionally hurt her? There was ONE single time I did, after she was verbally assaulting me for several minutes, saying hateful things to me, and so I said a couple hateful things back. That was the ONE and ONLY time I ever did it. Even with it being retaliatory, I felt absolutely horrible for doing it. I NEVER did it again.

I know there are other things she feels I do wrong. Like it upsets her that I question her love and dedication to me/us. But I mean seriously, she has broken up with me over the last year more times than I can count. Anyone in their right mind would doubt her dedication to the relationship. But, if I state that, she gets angry and starts a fight.

It sucks, because at times we'd go for weeks on end without even a single argument. Dream come true, literally. That's a HUGE reason both me and my psychologist know it's not a personality conflict like she believes. Two people with a personality conflict would almost certainly never be able to make it weeks and weeks on end without conflict.

What are your guys thoughts on what I covered here? Sorry for such a lengthy post. My mind runs a million miles a second, and I'm trying to cover everything to make it fair to her. Hopefully, she will contribute here soon and add her own perspective. I hope she does, that was the whole point of this in the first place - both of us talking to you all and getting feedback/advice.
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#34

Postby tokeless » Mon Feb 21, 2022 7:11 pm

I suspect you enjoy the drama. If you are no longer together then stop analysing the toxic relationship you say you were unhappy in... move on.
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#35

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Mon Feb 21, 2022 7:16 pm

Ascendant78 wrote:What are your guys thoughts on what I covered here?


My thoughts are what in the hell is wrong with YOU? You keep focusing on her. Stop it. Focus on what is screwed up in your own head.

You are the one that for some crazy reason thought it would be a good idea to post your thoughts about all the problems she has in a public forum and intentionally involved her. On what planet is that ever a good idea?

"Hey sweetie, I'm going to post in a public forum all these negative thoughts about you. That won't be a problem, right? Then I'll create another thread about our break up, okay?"

Like tokeless aptly pointed out, you enjoy the drama. You are in here creating more drama. And that is 100% on you. Ridiculous.
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#36

Postby Ascendant78 » Sun Apr 17, 2022 1:20 am

Thanks, kick me while I'm down with insults. Came here for support, not to feed your egos by attacking me for a poor decision.

Normally, I didn't deal with BS in relationships. I'd walk away. The only reasons I didn't with her is because at 44, I NEVER had this chemistry with anyone before. Not even close. And she assured me multiple times it would change.

Until her severe depression kicked in, things were much better. It wasn't until that happened when she snapped back to her old ways.

Everything was "always my fault" to the point where I believed her. I truly thought it was the way I said things, my gestures, my tone of voice, etc., and that it was me. Despite no one ever telling me I had communication issues prior to her, she was able to convince me I did. Even today, I'm asking friends and family if they feel what she feels about the communication problems. Not a single one agrees with her. I guess my college didn't either considering I was chosen as commencement speaker, yet she still broke me down.

These people contort reality. They convince you that it's you. They make you feel like if you can just fix your problems, they won't have to stop treating you that way. I really, truly believed that. I mean yes, her rage issues were a problem too, but I kept thinking if I could just pay more attention to what I say, how I say it, etc., she won't do that to me.

The likelihood of me finding someone that I have the chemistry with her is astronomical. I didn't want to give up if there was a change, and I believed in us more than anything else I've ever believed in.

She even started finally doing counseling recently, and started realizing many of the things I said were true. She even broke down in tears one day, apologizing for how she treated me in the past. I thought she was changing.

But, that was about 4 weeks ago. It was great for a couple weeks, but then her mood changed and it was fights again. I don't even know what she actually apologized for, or maybe it was just an act. I don't know anymore.

You'll all be glad to know we broke up again this past weekend. We had our first ever getaway from the kids. A beachfront trip to just spend time together. It went great, at least I thought it did. About 2-3hrs after we got home, the arguing already started, over a simple question I asked her.

Let me emphasize again, one single question I asked that made her rage. FOUR HOURS LATER, she is STILL mad at me over it. She can't let go of things. Holds grudges for hours, days, or even weeks. I asked for a little affection before we went to sleep. It somehow snowballed into a breakup, of course not until after she called me an @sshole multiple times, told me everything I did wrong over the weekend, etc.

She made me pack up all I had at her place and leave. She has refused to talk to me since. So, you guys got what you wanted here. Happy? I'm not, I'm a shell of who I was.

I know what my problem is. It's that I truly, honestly feel with every bit of my heart I won't have something like her and I have. And our problems were always over petty things, and negative assumptions on her part that weren't even true. I felt it was such a simple thing to overcome, the negative assumptions and the rage, that surely, we could do it. We even planned couple's counseling, but she had one excuse after another to delay it.

As far as I know, she is still doing her own counseling, so I'm sure her counselor will continue to get it through her head that it wasn't me, it was her trauma and triggers. My counselor knew it was, two other counselors I talked to knew it was, and I know without any doubt that's what it is.

It might take her months of counseling to overcome it, it might take her years. I'm NOT willing to take her back with how she is now. I WILL NOT tolerate anymore abuse. But also, I don't want to give up on having my literal dream come true. The family and wife I've always wanted.

I'm focusing on me, focusing on healing, and focusing on getting to a better place in life. I don't know if she will contact me again later on, or if she's going to choose to date other men and learn that way that it wasn't us when the exact same thing happens again. She does that, I'm gone forever. In the chance she works on her, reaches out to me, and I'm still single, I would do couple's counseling with her with a HUGE amount of distance between us until I was VERY confident she realizes the things she needs to realizes, is not abusive anymore, and that we can work. But, I'm not waiting on that to happen. As far as I know, it might never happen. She might always be like this. Only time will tell...
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#37

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Apr 17, 2022 2:46 pm

Ascendant78 wrote:It might take her months of counseling to overcome it, it might take her years. I'm NOT willing to take her back with how she is now. I WILL NOT tolerate anymore abuse. But also, I don't want to give up on having my literal dream come true. The family and wife I've always wanted.


A friend of mine was in an abusive relationship. Besides being slapped around and punched in the face a few times a year she had her “literal dream come true”. If only the man she was with could overcome that pesky habit of beating the sh** out of her, then she would have “the family and [husband] she always wanted.”

It is good that you focus on yourself. Focus on what you need to change in order to avoid creating fantasies about changing another person into being your dream.
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#38

Postby Ascendant78 » Sun Apr 17, 2022 3:29 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:
Ascendant78 wrote:It might take her months of counseling to overcome it, it might take her years. I'm NOT willing to take her back with how she is now. I WILL NOT tolerate anymore abuse. But also, I don't want to give up on having my literal dream come true. The family and wife I've always wanted.


A friend of mine was in an abusive relationship. Besides being slapped around and punched in the face a few times a year she had her “literal dream come true”. If only the man she was with could overcome that pesky habit of beating the sh** out of her, then she would have “the family and [husband] she always wanted.”

It is good that you focus on yourself. Focus on what you need to change in order to avoid creating fantasies about changing another person into being your dream.


Thank you. I feel for her as well.

I don't expect anyone to be perfect, and we all have to make changes to some extent for another when in a serious relationship.

To add, I didn't go into it actually expecting to change her. After the first couple outbursts she had, she acknowledged she had issues, accepted accountability, said she was going to work on it and get counseling, and appreciated that she had "someone like me, strong enough to stand by her side as she goes through this turmoil." She made me feel like she was going to work on it for her, for us. She was VERY convincing. As time went on, the responsibility shifted from her, to me. It was a VERY gradual process over time. By the time I realized she wasn't making an effort anymore, even though the problem was still there, we were already enmeshed into each other's lives. Our love was too strong, and let it make me give exceptions to my apprehensions.

I know she should've been left alone to deal with it until ready for a relationship. I know it will take at least months, most likely years. I just didn't want to let go when I felt everything I ever wanted was right there in front of me, so close.

With her now doing counseling and starting to realize much of what I said was right, I still believe in her. She almost certainly does have a personality disorder, per three different counselors I have gone over things with in detail. But, I just hope through therapy and medication, one day, she will be able to handle a healthy relationship without sabotaging it from the inside out.

I wish you guys could understand. What it's like to want "the one" since you were 15. To have inspirational second parents who had a love you could literally feel when around them. They described it "twin flames," and you'd never seen another love like it. All your life after that, you aspire to find it. You try so, so hard to find it. Then, after almost 30yrs later and countless heartbreaks, you finally think you found it. Then, the dream come true slowly turns into a living nightmare. You don't want to give up on trying to find where that dream come true went. I still believe it's in her, in us, but that she isn't ready. Again, never in my life did I feel a love even a fraction as strong as her and I. Twin flames was the only way I could describe it, even though I gave up on it a year or two before that. It was the only explanation.

It's too much to explain, but if I give up on her, I give up on everything I believe in - beliefs and all. I'm not ready to do that yet. Yes, obviously her and I can't be together right now, but I can't give up on believing we should be when she's ready for it. I WILL NOT take her back until I know she's realized things she needs to realize, working on those things or resolved them, and even then, I wouldn't even think about meeting her face to face prior to couple's counseling. I'll be careful this time, if it ever even does happen again. I just don't know if too much damage may have already been done
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#39

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Sun Apr 17, 2022 4:21 pm

Ascendant78 wrote:I wish you guys could understand. What it's like to want "the one" since you were 15. To have inspirational second parents who had a love you could literally feel when around them. They described it "twin flames," and you'd never seen another love like it. All your life after that, you aspire to find it. You try so, so hard to find it.

It's too much to explain, but if I give up on her, I give up on everything I believe in - beliefs and all. I'm not ready to do that yet.


A belief in near mythical love is what I would focus on with your therapist. While unintentional, parents can set their children up for failure in relationships by presenting their own relationship as the standard by which “true love” is to be judged. Parents often shield their children from anything that might tarnish that belief.

And society is not much help. Romance movies and the desire to present a good public image as a couple adds to the fairytale. Couples only post videos or pictures that show the romance.

If I’m your therapist, I steer the conversation away from discussing her and more towards trying to understand the degree to which you have a healthy understanding of the dynamics of real vs fantasy relationships.
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#40

Postby Ascendant78 » Sun Apr 17, 2022 9:51 pm

Richard@DecisionSkills wrote:A belief in near mythical love is what I would focus on with your therapist. While unintentional, parents can set their children up for failure in relationships by presenting their own relationship as the standard by which “true love” is to be judged. Parents often shield their children from anything that might tarnish that belief.

And society is not much help. Romance movies and the desire to present a good public image as a couple adds to the fairytale. Couples only post videos or pictures that show the romance.

If I’m your therapist, I steer the conversation away from discussing her and more towards trying to understand the degree to which you have a healthy understanding of the dynamics of real vs fantasy relationships.


Thank you for the feedback. The couple I mentioned weren't my parents. They were a couple I became very close friends with over the years. Sort of "spiritual guides" when I was trying to find my way. I know their love was genuine. Knew their kids and multiple mutual friends. And that love was undeniable. Literally felt it just being near them. So, hard to find? Yes, absolutely. But mythical? No, not at all.

Yes, my aspirations are fairly high, but that isn't where my main problem here is coming from. It's that I found what I wanted in every way, except that she has damage that results in abusive behaviors. Yes, it's a huge problem, but what I've looked for is RIGHT there, and counselors help people like her all the time.

I have a close friend I've known for at least 15yrs now. She told me she used to be exactly like my ex-girlfriend in the past - sabotaging her relationships from the inside out. Always looking to blame the other person, making them the "bad guy." While it took her extensive counseling to get 100% over it, she DID overcome it. With how much more motivated and aware my ex is, I have every bit of confidence she *could* do the same. It's just a matter of whether she sticks with counseling long enough, and if she is willing to face that part of herself.

Another part of my problem is I love too much, and it leaves me getting hurt far more than the average person. My counselor and I have discussed that in extensive detail. She has told me things to do to try to pace myself more, and I usually do. Again, this ex was the exception. She broke down all my walls... but then tore me to pieces after she did.

I have a very hard time throttling emotions when it comes to relationships. But yes, I am working on it. Hopefully, she can work through this and it won't be a problem anymore anyway. Only time will tell.
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