October 21, 2006
interactive board was called “
Quandary! What’s Going On?”
I have stepped back in analysis, with lots of therapy and have a
little bit more clarity now than when I originally wrote you.
Great! You did such a great job in
helping me understand the last time. I'm glad!
In my past
relationship there was a lot of turmoil which I couldn’t understand
as we got closer. The woman in my life had these selfish streaks she
would never acknowledge and would fly off the handle into crying
fits when she didn’t get her own way. I tried to discuss serious
relationship issues with her like money, sex and what color we
should paint the bedroom. She began to direct our disagreements
toward me as the problem, and I began to believe her.
The person with the complaint is the one
with the problem. When you buy into their problem, you've
made it your problem! Her rationalization was because I
had never been in a committed relationship before, stupid me,
somehow it made sense. Hehe! Amazing how lost
we can become sometimes, isn't it? She would do very
controlling things like read my email relentlessly because she was
convinced I was cheating on her. I was actually very faithful to her
and she found nothing.
When she first
admitted to me that she was reading my emails, I had locked her out
of my computer, and that was met with crying and fits. Eventually I
caved again and gave her my password. Ouch!!!
Now you know, I hope, that that's soooo unnecessary! Not her
business and she's the one that needs to deal with her
suspicions instead of try to implement external control over
them. I never cheated, but she was starting to drive me away
with her severe distrust and control issues.
Of course! About 3 months into our relationship, she
terminated therapy and her medication (stratera). I found that after
a year together she was still looking through my email a few days a
week, obviously there was never anything for her to find. I became
very disturbed by this behavior. As you should
have. The only problem was that you doubted yourself and by giving
her too many benefit of the doubts, helped perpetuate it.
sympathized with her childhood, she is an only child. Her mother is
now on her 5th marriage. Growing up, her father had left
not long after her birth. She was able to rekindle that relationship
later in life, but I believe the damage had already been done.
Eventually he passed away at an early age when she was 18. During
her mother’s repeated marriages, she was subjected to being left
home alone often. Her step fathers ended up being pretty despicable
as well. One left her mother because he was gay, the other was a
violent gangster who beat her mom. The remainder I am not so sure
of, but I believe were less traumatic. Today she and her mother are
very close. What I didn’t understand until now, is how these
childhood experiences would impact our chance to develop a healthy
relationship. Often, yes. But how do you
explain individuals with traumatic childhoods who grow up OK? They
Just to compare
in contrast, my childhood was fairly stable. My parents stayed
together until I was 15, then I went on my teenage rebellion phase.
I was heavily exposed to the arts and athletics and my parents were
always involved. With success in my career, I made the choice of
independence at 19, but have always maintained a healthy
relationship with my family. It's all in the
past, nevertheless, there was divorce in your family as well. If
your family upbringing was so healthy, why did you rebel? Or leave
home so young? Could it be that - at least in part - that you see
things differently than she does?
There was one
major issue that stands out for me that I would like an opinion on.
It stems back to what I originally mentioned in my prior message. I
had admitted to her I had several unconventional sexual
relationships prior to our meeting. When she dug through my email to
satisfy her selfish insecurity, she discovered an email exchange
about a month before we met. This email never resulted to anything
other than cybersex, nothing physical. This was held against me our
whole time together. I had always resented her because her discovery
of that was just as deceitful as me not disclosing it. I don’t feel
I was obligated to tell her that so early, and that is my right. Was
this her attempt at gaining more leverage and control in the
relationship? Was I so horrible as to leave that piece of
information out in the beginning? I don't know
anyone who is purrfect. So you had a cybersexual relationship prior
to committing to her. So be it. Seems to be it would have been
pretty dumb of you to talk about it right off the bat. Or ever, for
that matter, unless you had a secret wish to send her running! If
the past relationship is not ongoing, and is not lurking in your
mind in a destructive way (which would indicate you are not ready
for any new relationship), why mention it at all?
What is your
analysis on this relationship now? Same as it
was before. You were not listening to your internal signals and you
let this woman ride you. If this should ever happen again,
with someone else, what do you suggest I do differently? (besides
the way I ended it) My only suggestion would
be to listen to your internal self more closely, and value yourSelf
more. Had you done that, you would have put the brakes on her much
earlier, and perhaps she would have left, or you would have left her
Now that I have
been able to look from a different perspective, and my attempts at
trying to make it work, do you still believe this was codependency?
All codependency is - essentially - is not
valuing yourSelf enough. You put you on the bottom of the list, and
other on top, and don't care that it is not reciprocal because you
don't want to lose the other person. So you give and give and give,
and get angry and resentful. People with codependency traits need to
respect themselves, and trust their feelings more than they do. They
need to better connect to their internal radar.
I know you've
been working on this, but don't expect any instant fixes. It takes
time. Just keep at it, one day at a time, one foot in front of the
other. See if you can pinpoint when and where in your
relationship you may have given her too much benefit of the doubt.
What would you do differently now, other than how you broke up?
I'm not sure why
you are writing... You want to explain things to me to somehow
change my opinion. Why? Are you trying to not blame yourself for
those events and outcome? Do you somehow feel guilty or badly that
you in some way were to blame? Am I supposed to recognize that
you're not "at fault"? (Well, you're not!!!)
All this as
opposed to accepting that you are purrfectly imperfect, which
is the lot of Human Beings, and that you and your former lady are no
exception... That we make lots of mistakes, that hopefully we
learn from our past (and sometimes we don't!), and it is purrfectly
OK that all of this happens, whether we like it or not - simply
because that's how it is... Understanding all this is why I
suggested you read the mindfulness stuff.
suggestions haven't changed, but I've changed the order to reflect
the emphasis on mindfulness.
This is your
book. Study it; live it. It will help you stop judging yourself,
being OK with all the "good" and "bad" that you are; it will help
you live in the moment, which, if you think about it, is really all
any of us have...
Wherever You Go, There You Are : Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday
Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Please go here to
read the posts.
to you Jim and thank you Readers!