Author Topic: Relationship  (Read 14123 times)

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #495 on: July 02, 2020, 07:05:36 PM »
Pro tip: take an ibuprofen before bed.  ;)
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #496 on: July 03, 2020, 01:12:45 PM »
Hops:

I see this time as dyin time.... for M to GET SOMETHING out of his personal T sessions, or not.  The couples's T can point him in a direction,  but he's not able to DO THE WORK with him.  I see your work with the T as help pointing out sign posts.  Identifying things, with help, and a controlled safe space for you to say what you can't say with M.... on your own.  You're doing that.  It's successful in that you've gained plenty of information, shared information and set goals M can reach or NOT reach.  You're close to figuring this thing out, bc everyone is finally laying their cards on the table, IME.  That's all information everyone needs to reach important conclusions. 

If I had to guess about what M talks to his T about, it's stuff like how he  feeeeeeels  about living with a mate who isn't as affectionate, available, happy to BE in his sunlight..... than he'd prefer. 

How he deals with his frustrations, fears and heartbreak, for surely there's pain and heartbreak involved.  Suffering. 

I don't know if his T is correctly gathering information, gleaned from shared T sessions, as to what's at the root of the problems, rather than faffing about with his frustration over the symptoms.

At some point, it might be good for the Ts to have a little chat, IME and sooner than later. 

In my world, Ts speak to each other and share information, bc there are goals to understanding what's going on.  That might not be the case with this kind of situation, but I have to wonder why not, be that the case.

I hope your entire day goes well. 

::thinking of you::

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #497 on: July 03, 2020, 02:25:39 PM »
Ibuprofen took, Amber. And it helped!
What comforted me about your post was how direct it was, and how you really acknowledged how hard I tried (not being the angel and him the debbil, but how very hard I've worked for quite a while in hopes of a breakthrough). IF (still not at final decision!) I do decide to bless 'im and let 'im go, your take gives me dignity and calm about it. I feel understood, big time.

I very much do not want to villainize him. I just think I'm at this basic place (well, good luck guys, what I of course mean by that is the insight o' the day, which could change tomorrow....you all are SOOOOOO PATIENT...... Two things:

1) I've come to think that neurologically, the H in ADHD is driving a lot of M's behavior, chiefly the compulsive talking over, talking nonstop, inability to listen. I read up recently on the H in ADHD and turns out, compulsive talking is a common symptom. That tilts toward the issue not being all about Nism, but a condition. I don't really care to drill into how his brain works further because it's not my place and not my job. And the prospect is exhausting, unless HE took it on, willingly.

BUT: If I could in Sikh-T next time say what I'm thinking, and just ask if M is open to evaluation and treatment for that specific issue (talking and listening problems), I might hang in a while. That would be amazing. (Expectations dial turning low.)

2) Whether it's about monster N-ego or entitlement or whatever, doesn't matter. BUT the fact that on occasion when pissed, M goes into a cold cerebral negative narrative about my character, which rocks my sense of self, ever again....I'd want out. That behavior simply be something he'd have to OWN, which is extremely difficult for him. I'm kidding myself, most likely. Won't fit his self-image at ALL.
(But too bad. That's his work if he's up to it...and I think chances are looow that under the stimulation of being frustrated or pissed, he'd have the insight to catch and stop himself before he goes to omniscient professor bullshit response/defense.)

On balance, I think realistic pessimism is my most appropriate course. But these two things, and only these...might possibly be reasons not to exit right away.

Thank you, for seeing what I've been doing with such empathy.

Lighter, I thank you too, for a ton of insight and ideas. Really GOOD ones. I think the only place where I flail away a bit is that although I genuinely love your empathy for M's experience (you've been extraordinary about that), I feel that maybe you identify more with his struggle than with mine.

NO foul! You are a fighter, a warrior woman, and deeply interested in how brains and nervous systems work. You are powerful and practiced in strength and power in ways I am not. So it's completely natural that you'd intuitively understand the more driven, powerful personality in this couple most readily. I am very grateful you have!

But, weird as I is -- I really, actually, am about his opposite. A "HSP" (highly sensitive poet) somewhat exhausted by the last decade (or two), and not strong, and weary, and 70. Although I'd love to take on the highly-focused, powerful observational/strategic exercises you suggest...I really don't think I can. I know my limits and mental proclivities. I'm in the FEELING garden, not the brain one.

You awe me, Miz Lighter. I really value your ideas. And please undrestand when occasionally a behavioral or observational template you suggest about M isn't quite in my wheelhouse. I'm working with uber-sensitive underwater currents that are 90% emotional, not scientific or athletic! But I'm grateful every time I read your insights.

YOU are the one who's hauling in the massive tuna that could feed us all. And wow. I'm a little feeder-fish, getting nutrients.

hugs
Hops
 
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #498 on: July 03, 2020, 04:31:26 PM »
Did you happen to notice me flinch before I launched into being direct, Hops? LOLOLOL.
Way too often lately, I've been asked - nay, it's been demanded of me - that I be that direct and the result was having to take on defensive measures against a direct attack on me - for doing as I was bid. (The damned if you do/don't... double bind situation.)

I think after some of the things I've experienced I've developed an allergy - at least a sensitivity - to that phenomenon of running around in circles of criticism - disappointment - shouldering the work in a relationship without reciprocity. So I recognize that pattern more easily.

Doesn't mean either of you are flawed in any way; just that you're trying too hard to make something work that will always need that level of effort. Then, the question is, if both of you have the energy for it - and ultimately, want that for some reason. Hey - some people DO; whatever floats their boat. I won't try to change them.

That's just not for me anymore. ;)

Glad the ibuprofen helped! SOMETIMES ya just gotta let the inhibitions drop and hold forth.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #499 on: July 03, 2020, 06:05:12 PM »
I have compassion for your side, Hops.  If there's any way for you to enjoy this man, and the safety and companionship of shared life with him....
then....
I say find out if it's possible with economy of motion and keep moving, whichever choice you make.

No regrets. 
No wondering if there's an overlooked pebble left on the field.


Hear Ye, Hear Ye

Today let it be known Friend Lighter has Friend Hops' interests in mind, ONLY, regarding Subject M's possibible ability to cultivate self-awareness and to self reflect for the sole and strict purposes of being a more balanced and joyful companion for Friend Hops.

Lighter cares not at all for Subject M's ability to get his nose off the damned crouton IF it doesn't serve Friend Hops.   

So sayeth Friend Lighter.
Amen or...
::possibly genuflecting::

 




Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #500 on: July 03, 2020, 07:12:00 PM »
Thanks, ((((Lighter)))))!

There may be an overlooked pebble,
and I have found the only two that I can make out (latest post on Relationship).

I accept I have hit my own wall and am relieved to back away from analysing.
I'll point out the two things I can, if I can get them out, and then releeeeeeeease.

Do not want to be vigilant about where he is in his growth process or what he's ready or not ready to do or try or think. It's taken all I got to do/try/think all I have for the last year and a half.

At this point in my life, that's not my primary work. That is instead, about me. My writing, my peace, my purpose. I really have accepted it might be better to be on my own.

So the rest is just be honest, state what I believe, and accept whatever he does or doesn't do about it. He has a right to his own limits too.

Still love the person. He just may not be my mate. And that's okay if that's how this turns out.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #501 on: July 03, 2020, 10:06:07 PM »
Sounds reasonable, (((Hops.)))

All you can do is SEE what's there, accept it, and take care of yourself, which I think you're doing an amazing job of.

Dropping expectation might make it easier to SEE. 

Light


Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #502 on: July 04, 2020, 07:59:42 AM »
I think that's true, Lighter,
that expectations can get in the
way of seeing reality.

As to whether standing up for
myself is fighting...it is for me, ime.
The stress of needing to do so feels
the same. Relaxed assertiveness isn't
fighting but it's hard for me to maintain.

Adrenalin, drama and hyperbole...ooof.

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Garbanzo

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #503 on: July 05, 2020, 03:21:21 AM »
Weekend lover only. Space. Slow it down?


Actually I don't know, I'm no expert.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 03:28:40 AM by Garbanzo »

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #504 on: July 05, 2020, 07:46:25 AM »
I've been pondering "relaxed assertiveness" - and what that might feel like Hops.

Best I can come up with is Greta Garbo's famous line - "I vant to be alone". But then, that seems too aloof and I don't get the sense you're aloof or closed off. Maybe some of Cercei's comments in Game of Thrones? (There always seemed to be venomous sarcasm in her lines tho; veiled threats).

I don't think standing up for oneself is fighting either; but sometimes it is the last step before fighting/arguing. The ever-popular (in my mind anyway) third path - is to simply become unavailable/walk away/don't be there. Sometimes that works; sometimes it doesn't and like it or not - one is going fight.

Just to throw even more goodies in our framework for thinking about things... some time ago I got curious about archetypes. And the closest conceptual tradition I've found, is the idea of the Divine Masculine & Feminine. Pretty sure you'll quickly catch on how that idea shows up in various belief systems. And how it's sometimes been misused, too.

But the way that I'm thinking about it, is that all of us have both masculine and feminine characteristics. Where we manifest the divine positivity/creativity or nurturing principles through our being. It's never a static energy either; so that makes it a tad tricky to nail down. Hol & I, I know for a fact tend to carry more testosterone hormone in our makeups... and so we often manifest the more masculine principles too. The tomboy phenomenon is the stereotype.
But Artemis, is the archetype.

That's all preamble to simply saying: I think "RELAXED assertiveness" might be considered a masculine (in the non-sexual definition) characteristic. And it comes from an inner confidence (maybe) that one can physically back up the intent behind the assertiveness. This theory is still all speculative; I haven't studied it IRL - anecdotally - enough to see how people actually manifest this.

There is an argument however, for assigning that phrase, to the feminine side too. An old cliche is that women hold all the "power" in relationships - and the reasons given are all over the map. So, again... that would be a self-confidence based in knowledge (secret or admitted) of ability.

I dunno... those are just some of the thoughts floating around in my busy noggin these days. I offer this as maybe another way to think about what you're experiencing... and we all know, maybe it fits and maybe it doesn't.  The words, "relaxed assertiveness", just struck a "feeling" chord here... I know how it feels, but I don't have enough experience of it, to date, to KNOW it well.

ugh..... rambling again.... LOL.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #505 on: July 05, 2020, 09:15:40 AM »
Thanks, Amber. I really like your rambles!

It's funny, though. I let the Sikh know early on that I (because: me, that's all -- personal history) felt quite uncomfortable with most religious language, and that included him talking about the divine in everyone. He was perfectly fine with that. Then later as he began talking about how this would happen because I'm a woman or that would happen because M is a man...I piped up that I really hate stereotypes that explain what's happening between people in gendered terms. And he was perfectly fine with that, although he said nope, he does see couples with these dynamics from his experience. (But he refers to gender-based explanations less now.)

So funny. I really like him a lot. And by the time I was done telling him what kind of vocabulary didn't freak me out (male privilege and male spiritual authority and all) -- it's a miracle (ha) we connect so well!

At the end of our last session when M delivered a condescending little list of adjectives that described my Croutongate behavior (two were "ill-mannered" and "petulant") the Sikh looked sad. I think that was a moment when he saw the other side of M and he felt discouraged about our chances.

But I'm still open, just feeling pretty good about observing and thinking and listening to myself until whatever needs to happen happens. Including in me. I can feel myself searching and processing, and that's okay. It'll take the time it takes.

Y'all have gotten me through the most difficult part already, with your incredible listening. THANK YOU.

hugs
Hops
« Last Edit: July 05, 2020, 09:31:29 AM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #506 on: July 05, 2020, 09:27:01 AM »
PS M's coming for dinner and I'm looking forward to it. Then again, my shoulders tense up a little. I think it's because his mood can vary and the hyper-factor he'll bring (he's cooking the cod here) if it's on crank, is not fun.

But so far I'm feeling mellow and still enjoying my cleaaaaan house. Pooch will be thrilled to see him.

If I decide to end the relationship (it's still IF), G, I think it's likely (if he is "AN N" as opposed to having strong N-ish traits) that there'd be a lot of emotional blowback from him, so hanging out or shifting to just friends would be difficult.

I still have the goal of remarrying and sharing life with someone. I know love is possible WITH compatibility. So for me, it's now just about seeing if M responds to the change in me with real change/insight himself. I'm not pushing for it any more. It'd have to be voluntary and persistent on his side, and given the intractibility of his nature, I think that's a tall order.

We'll find out. It's going to take time, I just don't know if that's two weeks or two months or two years. I'll know when I know. (I'm 80% there as it is now.)

hugs
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #507 on: July 06, 2020, 02:37:51 AM »
Response to Lighter from Tupp's thread:

I'm unsure of M's understanding too, but I am leaving that effort or capability up to him. I don't control it. I am looking directly at asking for what I want whether or not he is capable, and releasing the outcome. I don't expect he will get it immediately (or perhaps at all) but it is where I am and where I have finally become clear.

I will not demand he change his personality, because he can't. Saying what I need to say is enough. What happens after is up to him. I'll tell my two things:

1) I will spell out what the constant overtalking does, and the food obsession (they often merge), and how I can't imagine a lifetime relationship with so much chronic stress, because that's how I feel around it. (The food thing is secondary to the talking behavior, and perhaps should be saved for a later session with Sikh.) It doesn't matter whether I should feel a stress response around M, the fact is I do. I notice my shoulders tense when I think about him coming over. I can't change my personality either. We could each modify our tendencies to make the other feel happier, but not uproot our beings.

I have realized lately that I'd gotten quite suppressed in the relationship and felt as though I were losing track of myself. Maybe that's been my own DEpendence, and now I'm trying to rescue myself, not him.

So I'll let him know that clearly, and if he wants to work with his own T or a specialist on the H in ADHD that is likely the primary source of his out of control talking, then that would be a good thing (for him, regardless of whether we stay together). If he were serious about learning about and working on that...that'd be good for me too.

2) I have finally seen the pattern that when he is angry or frustrated, he can become icily cerebral and in a superior tone, goes into a summary of my character with elegant but demeaning descriptions that strike at my self-worth. It's his defense or attack, or both. He's done it just three times but I find it intolerable and have no interest in spending my life with him unless he recognizes it now and stops it now.

Tonight he was feeling depressed and wanted to be cuddled and though I'd been kind and pleasant all evening, I wasn't feeling like cuddling. Frankly, until #2 is resolved (if it even can be), I am not attracted to being physically close. He did a mini-version--something he's said before when I wasn't giving him what he wanted. He said, "You are resistant." I said to what? That implies there's a force or obligation I'm supposed to submit to. I am a free being and make my own choices, and that's an inappropriate thing to say. He backed off and I said I didn't want a distressing conversation about our relationship just before I try to sleep. (Of course, I've been wound up ever since.) He dropped the subject and left, but not before saying I'm going to stay, I don't want to go, making it like a little battle of wills, and I put his stuff together and basically said no, you're not staying. (I'd never sleep with him snoring like a trumpet in the next room, and also felt that he was trying to force me to take care of his emotions in a way that would allow him to avoid them.) He went home calmly, I sent him a sympathetic message about depression and he thanked me for it.

I know he wants to be cuddled and soothed and distracted from his own feelings and I have strong resistance to being in mommy mode. He just thinks I'm being cold but that's not it.

Boy. That little exchange about "You are resistant" holds a LOT. He really does feel empowered to declare who I am with any negative term he wishes. (When he's mad enough to do a whole list, my head starts whooshing and I literally don't recall the list, just the tone.) I am not in a relationship for that, to be seduced or coerced or verbally dominated into doing a man's bidding. I want to be with someone who owns his own shadow side and doesn't project it, and wants to understand his own inner workings.

All together, I think this is a very daunting prospect, that M would do all that deep diving willingly. So I think chances are, after that all sinks in, we'll most likely part.

And I'm okay with whatever happens. I feel clear, and I'm just going to sweep my side of the path.

hugs,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #508 on: July 06, 2020, 08:56:12 AM »
I'm constantly amazed at how deep you dive into it all, Hops, soooo many people wouldn't.  And you are such a wordsmith.  You state your case so clearly and concisely each time.  I've one thing I'm curious about as you mention M going through your 'negative' attributes at times - does he do the same with your positive ones at times (personally I see your 'negatives' as positives but I get that's not the way they're being projected by him)?

I hope you're able to work your way through everything from your end, Hops.  I don't like to think of you losing yourself in there and becoming suppressed.  No, no, no.  I'm glad you've got that very good therapist to talk things through with (and the gendered stuff would do my head in as well, particularly as I feel so much of it is constructed by society rather than being related to actual biology.  It may well be the T has seen couples behaving in that way but how much of that is learnt?  And how much of that learning contributes to the problems we see around us?  There's a whole other thread there!  Lol ) xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #509 on: July 06, 2020, 11:12:35 AM »
Maybe I'm just contrary, but the fastest way for me to lose interest is for a guy to tell me to feel the way he wants me to feel on command.

woof woof... he should just get a dog.

Success is never final, failure is never fatal.