August 24, 2006
My ex and I had lasted roughly a
year and a half. This was my first serious relationship, and her second
one. We met online and within a month of courting we decided to take
things seriously. Things were fantastic, and within 3 months together I
decided to plan a trip to Italy with her, which I paid for, it was
something we both wanted to do together. Nice!!!
6 months into our relationship, I was asked to move into her parents'
house by both her and her mother. I respectfully declined twice because
I thought that would be uncomfortable, but was eventually convinced that
it would benefit our financial situation together.
Look what happened here: Your body was talking to you - but you found a
good reason not to listen. Kind of like, "Oh, I love these shoes so
much! I want them even though they hurt!" Ouch!
The financial situation was the beginning of one of many problems. I
made a lot of money and she didn't. Although I didn't mind at first, I
spent loads of cash on fancy dinners and weekend getaways together.
Hmmm... Isn't that at odds with inconveniencing
yourself to move in together to benefit financially?
Part of our arrangement to benefit ourselves financially was for me
to be on two of her credit cards, her regular payments would benefit my
poor credit score and we could eventually buy a house together.
Bad idea. My agreement to this arrangement
quickly backfired as she called me crying to tell me her card had been
put on hold until I paid $700 to reinstate it. This happened about 3
days after I was added to the card. I felt very trapped and betrayed at
first, but her apologies and confrontation made me forget that. Big red
flag that should have had me heading for the hills, alas love is blind.
Love may be blind, but you're not. Do you see how you
actively participated in all
this? Put simply, you agreed!
Moving into her parents house went off with a bad start too. I asked
to compromise and spend more time at my apartment before I moved
out because I really enjoyed it there, and our privacy.
Geez, you really didn't want to leave! That was answered
with a crying fit and the statement "there should be no compromise in a
relationship". I thought this was an odd perspective. I needed to move
my desk into the room; I work on my computer a lot, that's my business,
the desk is very important to me. My desk was regular sized, but
required to move the bed over 6 inches. Moving the bed was unacceptable
to her, I told her she was being selfish, and I got another crying fit
and she said I can't move in now, half way through my move. I admitted I
was the bad guy. Yes, stupid I know, but now I didn't have my own place
to go back to and I was in a compromised position.
More accurately put: "I put myself in a compromised position." The point
is, once again, you agreed - despite your better judgment.
Early on in our relationship, I had promised that I would start going
to the gym. Healthy living was very important to her.
Wonderful! Then she should live a very healthy
life! My problem is, I didn't realize I hated the gym so much and
I worked a lot, so I didn't live up to that side of my bargain.
Why did you "have" to adopt healthy living just because it was important
to her? Why make such a bargain at all? If you make this kind of
bargain, make it only with yourself, not with another person.
Instead I decided to
begin playing paintball as my form of exercise. It's a very active sport
and kept me in good shape. This was not good enough for her, my weekly
time playing paintball was not giving her the attention she needed. When
I asked her if playing hockey, would have been different, she responded
"hockey would be different, and you love paintball so it doesn't count
as exercise". (It sure does "count," and even
better, you enjoy it!) Her ex played hockey,
that's why I asked. She knew how much I loved to play it and I think
that drove her nuts. I thought that response was a little crazy and
began to signal me that things were about to turn worse.
Her response was not only a little crazy, its also
controlling, dictating what forms of exercise you should or
should not participate in! The control is the real nutso part.
stuff: Yea, I know, exercise is a good thing and you probably
appreciated the push into it, but you're not taking responsibility for
yourself. You "agreed" to healthy living because she valued it - which
is not a problem - if you agreed to exercise because you wanted to
wholeheartedly - as in in it for yourself. But, whatever your stated
motivation was, it was clear you ended up not doing it for yourself. Ask yourself
how much of your motivation was about improving your health, and how
much was about pleasing her, or hoping that pleasing her would give you
the motivation you needed to do something for yourself? Wherever you
started, your feelings indicate that you feel controlled; that you did
not agree to do this for you. So you sold yourself out.
When you sold out, you actively participated in her covert
bargain to control you. And you started feeling cornered, coerced and
When you do something for yourself and for yourself alone -
say, because you decided to exercise (and how nice if she derived
pleasure from your achievement), you would not feel coerced or angry at all,
nor would you care whether or not she approved of the form of exercise
you chose. And you wouldn't pay much mind to her negative reaction had you
decided to quit, or to what form of exercise you chose. See, chose to do
the exercise for her, not for you. In doing so, you ended participating
in creating your own icky feelings of being controlled.
Prior to meeting her, I had a few unconventional sexual experiences. When
we met, I told her that these had happened a while ago and I was over
it. She admitted to having one too, as long as I was done with it, it
was cool with her. I'll get back to why this is important in a moment.
9 months into our relationship, our sex life became non-existent. I
asked her "Is it me?". I was told that I was ungrateful selfish and how
could I ever ask such a thing. Again I repented. This triggered her to
commit the next series of events.
Weeks later we're out drinking wine by the fire and she tells me
"you're going to be really mad, but I've been looking through your
emails, I thought you might have been cheating on me". I was irate and
betrayed and really let her have it this time. What she had found, was
that I had cut all communication with any women I had known around the
time I met her. But also, she found a sexual email to a male that I had
sent a month prior us meeting she found a sexual email to a person
related to my unconventional experimentation. The tables were turned on me, we were now
"based on a lie" and "I never would have been with you had I known
this!". Now I was a liar, and maybe I was, this was something I was
ashamed and embarrassed about, but a feeling I was able to repress when
we met. Repression never works. It
just makes things worse in the long run. You need to
get both clear and OK in your relationship with yourself and with your sexuality
first. Otherwise, you will be dishonest with both yourself and other.
More on this later.
This came up constantly in arguments. First
of all, your relationship proceeded much more quickly than it should.
You jumped into intimacy way before the friendship underlying the
relationship was ready to handle it. Had you guys slowed down, and
became friends first - in all likelihood, you would not have entered
into an intimate relationship because you would have discovered that you
couldn't trust her - or your ability to be true to yourself with her.
This gave her rationale to police my computer for the remainder of
our relationship (about 6 months). "It" didn't
give her the right to police your computer - you did! Once again, you
acceded to her control stuff. You essentially gave her tacit permission
to continue snooping because out of your guilt, your shame, your need to
have her, you did not do whatever you had to do to stop the snooping!
We moved out of her parents house into a place we rented. I
thought the new responsibility would better her. At this point I began
looking at some questionable porn on the internet to satisfy a curiosity
I had. Oh boy... This is strong evidence of a sharp internal split
inside yourself. You
found a way to shift away from her - in a distorted sense. But you
weren't even honest with yourself here! She
found it, and I was confronted with it cold and harshly. Being caught
off guard, and ashamed, I instinctively lied and said I had no idea how
it had gotten there. She knew that was bullshit; got up and left me.
Notice that had you been in touch with yourself
internally, and had you not been beholden to your co-dependent needs,
you would have left her long ago. Amazing how much we put up with to
satisfy these dependency needs!
I apologized, begged for
her back and admitted that the porn was of my doing.
Wow! See the loss of self here? Let's just do
anything we have to do to get the warm body back. She came
back, and we were slightly happy for another month. Then things started
going really downhill. Of course. You simply
plugged the latest leak in the dam when in fact, the foundation was badly
Since she was going through my email, I decided one time that I
should check out hers. Oh, the webs we weave...
I found a statement in there that said she loved her ex more than
me. I was hurt, but didn't bring it up. I know I was also being a
hypocrite by doing that, but what did I have to lose? Although I thought
using it as ammunition would be stooping to her level.
Now her ex was the greener grass on the other
side... She's as internally confused as you are! Can you see why an outsider would
wonder what you're doing with her in the first place?
4th of July weekend came about, we went on a great excursion to the
woods and camping. A few weeks before I had flirted with a girl on
MySpace, just a few emails back and forth. Notice
your response to the crazyness: you're getting back at her
passive-aggressively. You've begun to shut her out more and more, and move away
from her in your hurt and anger, yet you still stay in the relationship! During
the evening, after we became a little tipsy, she said she had found the
MySpace email, I admitted that I did that, apologized and things were
fine. Things were not fine. I was mad that
she was still digging through my email after all this time, so I brought
up what I had found searching through her emails, her love for ex
boyfriend. I was made into the bad person here again, that what she
meant was it was something different and I was making up my hurt to
cover my ass. In the grocery store on this trip, she yelled at me for
not picking up her case of beer, "What you couldn't grab my beer, but
you got yours?!!" My hands were full. I screamed back at her " F YOU".
By this point, all the events that had occurred, I was convinced there
was no repairing this relationship. But I couldn't break it off myself,
I didn't have the courage to face that reality of life without her.
Talk about selling yourself out! Like an addict.
Like the nicotine addict who rummages through the trash looking for a
cigarette butt in the middle of the night. Hey, a dog peed on the butt,
but who cares; it's a cigarette butt!
The ending was pretty nuts. I screwed up royally but it brought the
ending I couldn't face. Yep. Now you're being
honest with yourself. I was at a
point where I was prepared to cheat on her. She was still checking my
emails daily. I had an account which I didn't think she knew about, but
I knew she had the password to. I sent some emails to some women on the
internet looking to hook up. Your nicotine is
relationships. Love relationships. Love addiction. She found them not long after
I sent them, which meant she was looking at this account all the time,
it was one I rarely used, and only once for this purpose. There was a
big blow out on the phone. I lied to her and told her it was to get her
attention and I knew she was looking, all crap just to keep her from
leaving. I was so massively confused on what I wanted. I really wanted
her back now that she was leaving. Right. You
weren't ready for her to leave yet because you needed a budding
relationship in the works to feel OK.
Now don't get me wrong; there is a lot of complaining in here. There
were far more in between times where things were fantastic and we had a
great time together. But I am confused as to the source of my
dishonesty. I have been a truthful person my whole life until this whole
relationship broke me down. Maybe this
relationship will open your eyes, because you haven't been entirely
truthful with yourself. And if you're not true to self, you can't be
honest with anybody.
Now I question my own integrity. Excellent!
More specifically, please question your relationship with yourself, and
what parts of you you "can't stand" so you shove them aside.
What was going on here? Your dependency needs
led you to hang onto a woman who at some level you understood early on
was not good for you. Was this an abusive relationship?
Kind of, but not really. While she was controlling (which is
certainly about abuse), and
you bought into it (also about abuse), the balance of power was fairly
even. In truly abusive relationships, the balance of power is shifted
heavily in one partner's corner, and the other is too intimidated to do
much about it. You two were abusive to each other, so it was a "fair
dishonesty would have been totally out of my character before she and I
met. I think she may have been looking for an out all along.
You were both looking for an out, but each of you
had strong dependency needs which each of you let over-ride your ability
to be true to self. My guess is that you behaved in ways that were out
of character for you because no other relationship hit your deep,
internal buttons the way this one did. And it hit your buttons square on