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The Other Man / Woman The other side of the story: Support and discussion for those who find themselves involved with a committed partner.

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Old 23rd February 2018, 11:15 AM   #241
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Thank you Zahara. I am always so grateful when you reply. I really think you have a deep understanding of my situation and very good insight. And you clearly care... Thank you.

People keep telling me that I need to get out there and "replace" him...that talking to someone else will help me see there are other good men out there. And I feel such a pressure to be better and get on with my life and that time is rushing past me and I have to get my life together or I'll never be happy. I guess hearing my friend's news made me want to get there too... Not to be pregnant necessarily but to find the right guy. And have what I really want.

I can't seem to stop my brain from thinking of him. I don't want to. I want to be free of it but my brain just keeps going there. I feel like I'm honestly a crazy person.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 11:29 AM   #242
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When we were talking in Dec and January he said that they had planned a vacation in November before we started talking again and told me when it was. He has told me other times about their vacations so I know the kinds of things they do and don't do. When I was on my vacation this year in Dec, he and I were talking and he said she doesn't ever want to do anything but sit at the bar. And that it's fun for the first day but that they usually end up fighting. He told me this back when we were just friends when we just met.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 11:31 AM   #243
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People keep telling me that I need to get out there and "replace" him...that talking to someone else will help me see there are other good men out there. And I feel such a pressure to be better and get on with my life and that time is rushing past me and I have to get my life together or I'll never be happy. I guess hearing my friend's news made me want to get there too... Not to be pregnant necessarily but to find the right guy. And have what I really want.

The reality is that you cannot see. You are emotionally clouded. I've been where you are -- after every horrible relationship, I jumped on a dating site. It got me nowhere and even when a good guy was looking right at me, I could not appreciate him because I was caught up in my dysfunction. And in that dysfunction of having low self worth and the inability to love myself, I kept attracting the same type of jerks. I didn't know what I deserved and I didn't know my value.

Jumping on a dating site isn't the answer to getting your life together. It's going to take time and what you do with that time, self-reflection and the determination to push yourself past your comfort zone. There's no fast forwarding to a better life. You have to put the work into your self-development. It took me several years to get to a different perspective.

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I can't seem to stop my brain from thinking of him. I don't want to. I want to be free of it but my brain just keeps going there. I feel like I'm honestly a crazy person.
The brain can go there. It will. But you have to change the channel. When it comes to your head, don't dwell on the thought but counter it with something positive -- pick up a book, write/read your journal and remind yourself of your reality, put your workout clothes on and exercise, go for a brisk walk and listen to some soothing music, call a friend -- do something to change the channel. Dwelling is not an option. It's like weeds and the longer you stay tied to these thoughts, the longer you stay down.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 11:55 AM   #244
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The brain doesn't stop. It's not like it just comes a couple of times a day... It's consant, never ending torture. I am trying to keep occupied...i have four books on the go, I am applying to new jobs constantly to get out of this one, I have a friend visiting for the weekend.

But he never leaves my mind.

My therapist doesn't seem concerned about my self worth. She says I need to get into the driver's seat of my life and stop my fear from driving. She is very focused on action...getting a new job, getting myself back in shape etc. I guess she's thinking those things will add to my sense of self worth? She says who I am suggesting I am based on what I'm saying doesn't match who she sees in front of her...a confident, vibrant, well-spoken, interesting person. She doesn't seem as worried about me or my future as I am. Maybe she's not a good match? I don't know.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 12:33 PM   #245
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The brain doesn't stop. It's not like it just comes a couple of times a day... It's consant, never ending torture. I am trying to keep occupied...i have four books on the go, I am applying to new jobs constantly to get out of this one, I have a friend visiting for the weekend.

But he never leaves my mind.
Yes, it will be constant. It's normal. When it comes, change the channel. Sometimes it will be daunting and exhausting but you cannot stay dwelling. Exercise was very helpful for me.

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My therapist doesn't seem concerned about my self worth. She says I need to get into the driver's seat of my life and stop my fear from driving. She is very focused on action...getting a new job, getting myself back in shape etc. I guess she's thinking those things will add to my sense of self worth? She says who I am suggesting I am based on what I'm saying doesn't match who she sees in front of her...a confident, vibrant, well-spoken, interesting person. She doesn't seem as worried about me or my future as I am. Maybe she's not a good match? I don't know.
I had the same issue with a therapist. She said she saw me as a confident and strong woman but I think I was projecting that persona because I knew deep down inside who I really was and how I truly saw myself based on my past with men. And maybe there were parts of my life that I was confident and solid about but when it came to relationships, I had no sense of self or worth. I had a great job, moved halfway across the world to build a life of my own, financially secure, etc. I was strong, courageous and independent when it came to those aspects of my life but when it came to relationships/men/love, I could not see my value and my strength. There was a root somewhere in my core that I needed to work on.

Last edited by Zahara; 23rd February 2018 at 12:37 PM..
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Old 23rd February 2018, 12:52 PM   #246
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Zahara, I think we have had similar experiences. Everyone sees me as a confident, capable person. I am that person in so many ways. There is no way I would allow myself to be walked on or manipulated at work or really in any other aspect of my life. But this deep fear of people leaving me has made me a different person in certain relationships...when I think they're leaving, I hold on with all of my might. Even when I think hard about a possible life with this man, it ends up that I would likely leave him...and that's something he has said all along.

My therapist doesn't even want me to spend time talking to her about this guy or the relationship. She thinks he's a lost cause because of all the issues... That it's very unlikely that he will be able to break free from the toxicity of the relationship or the drinking. I get that... But I also feel like my direct issues are because of my fear of abandonment and low self worth in relationships. Getting a new job or getting in shape is not going to fix that.

I have a limited number of sessions with her. Work will only cover up to 8 sessions and then my benefits have to cover anything after that... But benefits won't kick in for a few months.

So do I just go with the flow with her or ask to take a different approach or what?
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Old 23rd February 2018, 1:05 PM   #247
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Zahara, I think we have had similar experiences. Everyone sees me as a confident, capable person. I am that person in so many ways. There is no way I would allow myself to be walked on or manipulated at work or really in any other aspect of my life. But this deep fear of people leaving me has made me a different person in certain relationships...when I think they're leaving, I hold on with all of my might. Even when I think hard about a possible life with this man, it ends up that I would likely leave him...and that's something he has said all along.
Yes, that was me. Fear of abandonment. No matter how bad the guy was to me, I held on with all my might. There were other issues that I struggled with as well, and when I met my 5th therapist, it all came together.

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My therapist doesn't even want me to spend time talking to her about this guy or the relationship. She thinks he's a lost cause because of all the issues... That it's very unlikely that he will be able to break free from the toxicity of the relationship or the drinking. I get that... But I also feel like my direct issues are because of my fear of abandonment and low self worth in relationships. Getting a new job or getting in shape is not going to fix that.
Yes, therapy is for you -- it is to work towards your core. He is just a symptom. The time should be spent on your self-discovery, not his. Your issue with him is just the gunk on the surface -- you need to dig deeper.

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I have a limited number of sessions with her. Work will only cover up to 8 sessions and then my benefits have to cover anything after that... But benefits won't kick in for a few months.
So do I just go with the flow with her or ask to take a different approach or what?
I spent a few sessions with each (4 therapists) before I finally clicked with the 5th therapist. She was interactive, she gave me homework, she asked hard questions, etc. and I instinctively knew she was the right one for me. You have to decide what is important for you in terms of what you desire from therapy -- for me I needed someone that could challenge me and had an interactive approach. The others just sat, took notes, asked a few questions while I talked most of the time. I got absolutely nothing from that.

I think you can tell her that you would like to take a different approach and see if it works for you but if you leave feeling unsatisfied, then find a new one. Finding the right one can be tedious!
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Old 23rd February 2018, 1:25 PM   #248
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I like her in terms of certain things for sure. She won't just let me sit there and vent about him because it's not helpful to my end goal. Like you, I need someone interactive. I have seen therapists who just sit and listen as I talk which in the end does nothing for me but allow me to vent like I already do in my journal, on here, with friends etc. I need to know how to dig deep into how to fix the base issue. I have known it was there all along but only seems to show itself when I'm in a relationship.

She's the only choice I have right now that's covered. They are meant for short term, acute issues (these 8 sessions that my job pays for) but I think I can keep seeing her after if she's covered by my benefits...which I have no idea about in terms of when they kick in. My department is very slow getting any info to me (gov't of course). So I will keep seeing her for now and maybe ask her if she has any suggestions for the direct issue of abandonment.

It upsets me that this has got me where I am. I know I have potential for a much better life than the one I'm living. It makes me so sad.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 1:29 PM   #249
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I second what Zahara said. Communicate to the therapist that her approach is not working for you. If it doesnít get better switch therapists. I had never done therapy before and stayed with a therapist that was not helping me for waaaay too long. She was not interactive and mainly listened to me talk. Because I presented as confident she assumed my problems werenít as serious as they truly have been. She did not get me. Totally not what I needed. I didnít know where else to go and kept going there for months. Waste of my time and money. A few months ago I finally switched therapists. My new one is so much better. She is interactive, completely clicks with me and I am not hesitant to tell her anything. I wish I had switched sooner. Needing to shop around for the right fit is completely necessary and normal.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 1:42 PM   #250
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Thanks Whatcomesnext. I agree that in normal circumstances shopping around is the way to go. Unfortunately I don't have the luxury to do that yet as this program selects the person for you based on the issue and they set you up for up to 8 sessions. That's all I get for now until my benefits kick in in a few months. I don't know that her approach isn't helping yet really because I've only been to one session. I'll see how things proceed.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 1:55 PM   #251
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It upsets me that this has got me where I am. I know I have potential for a much better life than the one I'm living. It makes me so sad.
Try to turn that around and find the positive in this because now you have a goal -- a way forward. You're taking your first steps and you are self-aware and reflective in where you want to be and what you need to work on. It's never too late. Look at this as an achievement because most go through life unaware, with zero insight into themselves.

What would be sad is you staying in an unhealthy cycle and doing nothing about it.
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Old 23rd February 2018, 2:02 PM   #252
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You're right. That would be sad. I guess I've always known this issue was there. I just figured it wouldn't be an issue anymore when the right guy came along. But I guess I can't seem to pick the right guy which is part of the issue. So I do recognize that it needs to change. I just want to be there so quickly and wish I was just dealing with it rather than having my mind consumed with this guy. It plays tricks on my mind...that somehow this guy is the answer to all my sadness. But he's not, and I do get that on at least some level.
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Old 14th May 2018, 10:05 AM   #253
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Here I am again. How do I change myself?

Well, it's me again.

We didn't talk for two months. I was feeling a little better, less depressed, but still missing him more than I could understand.

Then I got a random text from him. I debated not answering it. I waited hours to reply. But I did. And of course it all started up again. His telling me how miserable he was, how much he missed me, how everything reminded him of me.

I was guarded. I didn't give him back what he was giving me. I was trying to protect my heart. But slowly over the following few weeks I let him in again. For the first time, he opened up about his relationship and the issues that have prevented him from leaving. He made no promises to me but asked me to be patient with his situation as it was "delicate" and needed to be handled carefully.

I didn't push or make demands. Three weeks ago he said he was ready to end it and walk away. He asked if I was ready to do this with him. Things were on my terms. I had left the city he lived in but told him he couldn't live with me. He respected that and went to stay with his mom in a whole other city (about an hour from me) while he sorted things out. He came for a few evenings to talk. Then stayed the following weekend. It was really good to be with him again but I completely had my guard up and was worried that he would go back.

He ended up getting a job in the new city and was telling me every day how it was important to him to prove himself to me and build my trust no matter how long it took. We talked about future plans and he was more open and communicative than any other time.

Last (a week ago) Saturday night at 11pm he told me how good he was feeling about where we were and how excited he was to be creating this new life after an almost ten year toxic relationship. The next day I didn't hear from him. I found out later in the day, from my friend who lives in the original city where he and I met, that he had gone back to the toxic ex and begged her to take him back.

Two days later the ex found out about me and the on/off relationship he had had with me for two years. She wanted to hear my side. I said I wasn't interested in talking to her.

She has let him back. And they are not even talking. (I know a girl who is living there). And he has blocked my number. Before doing so he said "this has nothing to do with you or my feelings for you. It never has. I'm a mess"

I know no one will have any compassion for me. I have been unable to do the healthy thing for myself and let him go. Even when he was here for the weekend, I didn't feel great about him. I was holding resentment. But he seemed to making big strides to make changes and it felt like he was finally ready to move on from her. And I figured my resentment would lift in time. He knew I was guarded and said he understood and that we would build that trust in time.

I don't understand what's wrong with him. Or me. I have been in counselling for several months now. But the pain of not being with him won't go away.

I feel pathetic and hopeless. There's so much more to this but I've already said so much.

Thanks for reading.
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Old 14th May 2018, 11:46 AM   #254
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Am I understanding this correctly, that last weekend is another instance of him going back and forth? That this back and forth has happened before?

You refer to his other relationship as "toxic." How is what he does with you not toxic? He goes back and forth, back and forth, and now you find yourself feeling, in your words, resentful, pathetic, hopeless. How is that not toxic to YOU?

You cannot try to understand what is wrong with him...you have no control over him and his choices. Whatever the deal is with the ex is none of your business, try not to waste any more mental energy on it. So they're not talking...so what? It's not your problem. You can't control them and what they do.

But you do have control over YOU. And what choices are you going to now make moving forward to make you feel positive about your life?
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Old 14th May 2018, 12:03 PM   #255
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Yes. He has been doing this for two years. We have never been together when they have been but we have definitely talked and had an emotional affair. Then he would leave her, date me for a while and then go back. This the 4th time within two years.

It is toxic here too yes. I've put my happiness in his hands. I have been reading up on push/pull relationships and this definitely falls into that. I just don't know how to stay away. My heart says I want him, my brain says to never let him back in. I've lost my confidence and self-worth and have become someone I don't recognize.

No one likes him. Even his own kids have issues with him. There is just so much going on. It's been pure chaos.

I doubt I'll hear from him again since she knows about me now but if he does I don't know how to convince myself to not get involved.
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