Author Topic: Relationship  (Read 14115 times)

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #510 on: July 06, 2020, 11:51:32 AM »
Morning, Tupp--
It sounds so small, one word. But the times he's said it in the past were when he was pressuring me or demanding that I do specific things that he more or less narrated. I need to be attracted, not narrated, if you follow. Or if I wasn't making a commitment promise verbally for marriage or whatever. "You are resistant."

I could cope with disagreement over using a word, if it moved us into conversation in which he was present with me as much as in his own head or agenda. And taking in instead of contradicting what I say. I think that habit goes deep. He says I am doing the same thing (contradicting) when he tells the Sikh, we'd had a wonderful week! And I say, please use the first person because for me, there was a day that was very difficult or painful, etc.

Quote
M going through your 'negative' attributes at times - does he do the same with your positive ones?

He does. It's an odd kind of listing that to me, doesn't feel like affection, but recitation. He's told the Sikh the list several times, and used to repeat it with me a LOT. The positives were kind of, you are: beautiful, intelligent, intricate like a Patek Philippe, literate, sensitive, and that is why I love you and want you in my life. I think he's being sincere and feels that this list explains it all.

Sounds good, right? Or I'm an ingrate? Or I should just purr and hush up because I get the list? The truth is I never enjoyed hearing "the list." It was the same every time and I started feeling like a piece of fine furniture that a salesman would describe the same way. I haven't felt flattered or appreciated with it, no sensation of love or affection coming over me, just mildly uncomfortable. I don't know if it's his delivery or what, and am sure he felt he is being kind to narrate what he judges as my good qualities. I can enjoy a compliment, it's not that...there's just something off about it. (I'm suddenly wondering if that's spectrum stuff. Oh Lord, please don't let me start to diagnose...).

Anyhow, I don't freak out when he's listing positives, of course, who would. BUT, when he lists negatives about me when angry but not admitting he is, there's a difference, I think. Maybe it's a form of passive aggression that I can't tolerate. Or maybe my skin's too thin. Or maybe there really is a pattern of verbal dominance that's exhausting to me. I have a very low tolerance for condescension and being criticized at length. If he would say, there a thing I want to bring up...a particular thing he thinks or observes about me he wants to talk about...then maybe we could and I'd learn something I should about myself. But a whole list of negative characterizations is overwhelming. (Maybe "You are resistant" is one? Because in truth, right now I AM resistant to sliding back into doing what he wants because we haven't resolved that devastating last session, or haven't resolved it enough for me to feel at ease, and I don't know how to cuddle and act as though I'm feeling really romantic when I don't).

Amazingly, we just had a good conversation the phone. I don't think we understand each other, but it's obvious we both care about our relationship. He is currently depressed over the pandemic, not being able to travel or fly (he is accustomed to mannny trips a year), and all the rest. He was also sad because today would be his mother's 100th birthday so he had a sad conversation with his sister and it's just so sad (she's been gone 11 years). What is wrong with me? Dates and timelines just don't move me into melancholy. I'm like a plumber with a calendar. I do notice emotional anniversary reactions but they pass quickly. More likely, it's just a sense of yes, that's when that happened, and I might ponder or feel melancholy for a bit, but then move on. For M, it is tragic, the passing of time. He talks about it a lot, life slipping through his fingers. I get it, we're basically the same age. I just don't like viewing age as tragedy, and maybe a historian has a different take. I get it.

As to understanding each other. I did get out that I am observing that I feel a lot of underlying tension when I'm with him that love doesn't fix. And I'm trying to be present to myself and pay attention. And I hope the Sikh can help us communicate better. And M shared that he feels criticized by me all the time and said "Doubt is destructive." Another theme he mentions a lot is that we'll die soon. So he'd really like us (me) to just hurry up and seize the day and go for it, with our relationship. I understand that point of view but don't share it, because an unhappy life together would be worse than being alone. I do think he's right that I think a lot about everything emotional. He says too much.

Hoo boy. "Doubt is destructive." I could say, "Doubt is protective." The truth is probably in between. He says (thinking it's a huge long time) "We've known each other a year and a half". I say (thinking it's not enough time to really know if our marriage would be wise or happy, given our struggles) "We've known each other a year and a half." I do understand how he's feeling. I don't perceive that he has much of a grasp of how I'm feeling. I think as long as I respond to his forcefield, it's great. But when I doubt, question, balk or dig into stuff, he thinks I'm being bad.

Then again, I felt better after we talked. It was friendly. Nothing really resolved but more honesty on the table. He acknowledged that he's concerned about us too, which is good. I dunno.

I'm going to email the Sikh (nothing detailed, just a sentence) to ask if it's ever possible to do a back to back two-hour session, or to have two in a week, and would he recommend that.

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

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #511 on: July 06, 2020, 12:14:02 PM »
Aw, Hops.  You do sound as if you are both on different pages but wanting to be on the same page.  Maybe it's possible.  I tend to hear 'You are resistant' as one of those things women get told when they assert themselves; 'you're difficult, you're aggressive, you don't care about me'.  Likely he doesn't mean it that way (maybe he does) but I think we all have our 'things', don't we, that bother us or grate on us for whatever reason.  I do like that he notices positives as well (I just wondered if he only does the negative listing) but, yes, I get that it's not necessarily a good or a useful thing.  I tend to think actions speak louder than words.  I think I mentioned on here before that I prefer someone making me a cup of tea to someone buying me a bunch of flowers.  One feels (to me) that someone cares about me, the other feels that someone wants to show other people that they care.  Most likely not intentioned in that way but I think that's what's important, isn't it - being able to speak your truth and have it accepted and being able to hear someone else's truth and accept theirs as well.  It's so complicated.

Definitely no to the purring and hushing up.  I can't imagine our Hops purring and keeping quiet!  Who would that strange creature be?  Lol.  Not thin skinned, to my mind.  There is a difference between, "this is bothering me, can we have a talk about it later?" and someone listing what they see as your faults.  It would bother me as well.  And yes, I get the not being moved by dates thing.  I'm always aware of dates - my mum's birthday is etched on my brain, as is my dad's and the anniversary of his death.  I'm quite into my own little rituals around my dad's death.  If I'm in the right part of the country I go to the place that his ashes are scattered and just sit there.  I do feel close to him there, not least because I know he lived round there when he was young and I can imagine him running around and playing.  My sister never gives it a second thought.  We're all different, aren't we?  And yep, I can understand the 'life is slipping away' thing but I'm like you, alone rather than together and unhappy.  My guess is you are much more ready to accept the possibility of being alone than M is?  I do hope you can find some sort of middle ground somewhere.  Whatever happens, no-one can say you've not put the time and effort in to this!  You deserve happiness, so, so much xx

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #512 on: July 06, 2020, 12:53:34 PM »
I also brought up my thinking that there are layers of compatibility, and I think we're (I'm) just discovering more about ways we are maybe NOT compatible, and that learning to really communicate well is the only way I see that we could offset those differences. Or something like that. Lord knows, I might be pissing into the wind.

But I promised myself to give it a little more time, so I am.

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

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #513 on: July 06, 2020, 01:35:50 PM »
Thank you, (((((((((Tupp))))))))).

I feel very understood and regarded so kindly.

That makes a huge difference. So now I'll let it go for
a bit, haul nose back out of navel, and enjoy a
lovely day on my own!

Sun's blazing outside but Pooch and I are cool
and calm, house is still clean (imagine!) and I am
back to my favorite emotion.

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

CB123

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #514 on: July 06, 2020, 03:15:31 PM »
Hops,
I love that cool clean house feeling. My oldest daughter still remembers it, too, since we cleaned together when she was home. We speak of it to each other with a kinda knowing look. I dont know that everyone describes it that way. She even remembers the years when I had a once a month house cleaner who came and just gussied everything up while I took all six kids to a museum or park. The sensation of coming into the house with EVERYTHING clean at once and that cool feeling of no little sweaty bodies running through the living room....!!

I had a moment when you described M's recitation of your positive traits. My ex did that and it became a bit of a stab after awhile. The list never varied, they always came in a list together, and were usually recited to someone else ABOUT me. (My M, as a contrast, would exclaim delightedly about something when I was doing it  and it was directly related to what we were doing at the time. For example, on trips I would read to him--whole chapter books and it so delighted him that he kept the books to remember them.) My ex's behavior was obvious enough that even my older kids as adults were aware of it and flinched as well. It's definitely a thing, Hops, so don't discount it.

I can't speak to your M's, but in my ex's case, I finally decided that he didnt really feel things in a genuine way. He knew he should. He knew what the right behavior was but I don't think he could genuinely FEEL it. It was almost like he was thinking on some level: I am married to her and in this context, I should say this. And then he would drag it out again. I think most of his genuine feelings centered on possession of me, and he could be angry if that wasnt honored properly. Of course, we had a whole canon of Scripture that he could use as ammunition, and did. He didn't use "resistant", but rather "unsubmissive".

The thing that I had the most trouble with in counseling (and we did a lot) was that the counselor did as they were supposed to and tried to help us see each other's point of view. Most of ex's point of view was that I didn't cooperate with various things he wanted from me. So from the counselors vantage point, it would help if I would cooperate more, and then ex could reciprocate with something I wanted. Sounds like you have dodged that bullet with Sikh, at least.

I get the part about dates as well. I can usually be very nostalgic about such things, IF I remember on the date, and hardly ever do. It sounds like when thinking of aging, both of you have worries, but maybe they don't mesh? I know you are worried about financial security, but I'm guessing that's not his worry at all. Are you clear about what he's thinking when he says that you dont have many years left? Is he worried about one of you becoming ill or incapacitated and having to be a caretaker for those end of life years? Do you have any sense that he would be a tender caretaker to you, if it came to that? I know that you would be to him, if you made that commitment. You were incredibly patient with your mom--I remember--and I don't think he should worry on that account. Have you ever reassured him of that?

Some people are just nostalgic. My ex's family was like that, and they had a hard time leaving at the end of a visit as well. You had to allow a LOT of time for goodbyes, and remembering one last thing to tell us, or something in the car that they had forgotten to give us. It was like the leaving was terribly painful, even if we would see them again quite soon. I noticed as ex got older, he became more like that. Maybe it's that sense that no visit is perfect and wanting to re do it until you can leave without regret.

I'm glad you are just taking the time to think it through. I learned to do that with M--we definitely had arguments, and fiery ones, and we actually would tease each other with them after and we could literally be crying laughing about it. But one thing I did with him was just say my piece and see what he did with it. Sometimes he would really adjust and he NEVER forgot, even things that I didn't remember. But some things, important things, he just didn't/couldn't. I had turned into such a nag by the end of my marriage that I just refused to reprise that role. After we had talked about it a couple of times, I put it down. Some things I had to put down ended up being deal breakers. I think that the reason we are still close is because I put them down and we didnt go out in a ball of fire. I just put them down and they ended us as a couple.

Anyway, that's just storytelling because I want to stay in the realm of what I know and not presume to give more.  You know your situation and won't be like mine, but if I tell you some of my story maybe you will know you are not alone. I remember that I definitely felt like, with ex, that I spent far too much time functioning as "mommy", tending feelings etc. With M, I never felt that way. I found sexual feelings are directly related to how much/little you have to "mommy". I used to ask my ex if he thought that whining was part of foreplay.

Well. So if anyone is stalking, they just got an earful!

Love,
CB



When they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way -- and it surely has not -- she adjusted her sails.  Elizabeth Edwards 2010

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #515 on: July 06, 2020, 03:45:26 PM »
Maybe the stalkers will learn something.

No sense worrying about what they think,IME.

Lighter

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #516 on: July 06, 2020, 04:48:29 PM »
Ahhh, CB, I'm so grateful for your reply. Thank you.

Quote
M's recitation of your positive traits. My ex did that.... The list never varied, they always came in a list together, and were usually recited to someone else ABOUT me.

This is often true, although periodically during the earlier part of our relationship he'd recite it to me often, and still dusts it off now and then. I feel as though the purpose is like "reminding himself of the relationship rationale" or something.

 (My M...would exclaim delightedly about something when I was doing it

That sounds like the difference between present-ness and professor-ness. Sigh

....we had a whole canon of Scripture that he could use as ammunition, and did. He didn't use "resistant", but rather "unsubmissive".

To me "resistant" is a LOT like "unsubmissive", which is why I dislike it. A lot.

Are you clear about what he's thinking when he says that you dont have many years left? Is he worried about one of you becoming ill or incapacitated and having to be a caretaker for those end of life years? Do you have any sense that he would be a tender caretaker to you, if it came to that? I know that you would be to him, if you made that commitment. You were incredibly patient with your mom--I remember--and I don't think he should worry on that account. Have you ever reassured him of that?

I think he feels panic over aging and losing his power and prestige, both of which are huge motivations. I don't think he's specifically worried about illness. Likewise caretakers. With his millions he could hire any help he needed. And, I think if he were unpartnered and really debilitated he'd move to California where his sons and their families would be very dutiful and attentive. Of course, if we were married I'd be very compassionate and dedicated to his well being sickness or health. I do not have the same sense he'd be a tender caretaker to me, it's not what he's good at (empathy or presentness). He'd be very responsible about hiring whatever help I needed. It would just be protection from neglect, and living somewhere pleasant. That's not nothing.

I used to ask my ex if he thought that whining was part of foreplay.

My M is a world-class whiner. He literally whines--it's a high babyish sound--moans like a hurt puppy, heaves huge sighs, and when that doesn't produce pats and cuddles, says something critical. "You're resistant" was just last night in that same situation. Huge turn-off. I am viscerally uninterested in mommying a grown man. I CAN love a grown man like an equal, loving and very affectionate partner. But I've been there and done that with one-way noticing and presentness. (When I did it for work, I was kind, patient to all and absorbed a bit of nastiness from the old gent, daily. He was impatient and ungrateful but we understood our relationship. In a love relationship, I'm not eager to sign up for that behavior. I'm very tender and forgiving when someone's in pain or afraid. But his whiiiiining, ugh.

CB, I really needed this. Your stories about our overlaps are soooooooooo helpful. I do think I can read the writing on the wall. Just going at it one line at a time. Thank  you so very much.

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

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #517 on: July 12, 2020, 11:29:28 AM »
I'm 90% decided that I need to end the relationship in our T session with the Sikh tomorrow.

It's still very hard. There will be pain and loss and fear of future. But I have been absorbing a ton of reviewing what Nism is, how drawn to it and comfortable I feel with it at FIRST. (And started re-reading our early, romantic correspondence which, on reflection, was absorbing at first -- we both dazzled with literacy and verbal pyrotechnics -- but actually draining and false-feeling later.) I don't doubt at all that M was sincere, but it was all so grandiose and high-flown.

What's really brought me to the breaking point is the ongoing stress of being with someone who, however well intentioned, simply CANNOT listen and simply MUST talk nonstop and simply CANNOT not-instruct/force-teach. Because it really is the only language or behavior he can do.

Therefore, I would have to simply "put down", as CB says, any hope of being known at a deeper level, or feeling a harmonious intimacy. M THOUGHT we were intimate soulmates from an early point, but that was mostly his flights of hyperbole. I responded in kind at first, but as our year went on, I realize I was feeling less and less romantically interested, and morphing into companionship, which has been comforting at times, but inevitably led to considering how we actually ARE as partners.

How I am is suppressed, frustrated and stressed. He just doesn't feel stuff or feel it in a way that changes him. And so be it, he's not going to have a personality transplant at this age, and neither am I. I've come to the sad realization that living with or marrying him would tax me to the core. Not because he's BAD, just because he is the way he is.

We had a stupid power struggle over who was going to program my new streaming system (had to buy an upgrade so we could watch Hamilton). He immediately wanted to take over "I'll do it" not "Would you like me to do it?". I said very clearly and more than once, I appreciate that you could do it, but I want to work through it myself because that builds competence. He kept barking instructions at me, and I repeated and repeated and repeated -- Could you just sit quietly and pat Pooch? I'm working with two remotes and two pairs of glasses (one for reading instructions off TV screen, one for the booklet, etc) so concentration's really difficult. Please, please, stop instructing me, stope telling me what to do, I can see the instructions and I will work through it, maybe just more slowly than you would.

NOTHING worked. He could not/would not stop barking orders, reading things off the screen loudly that added to my stress in concentrating. I must have begged him 10 times to stop talking at me and be quiet so I could think, and he literally could not do it. At one point I said what's so hard is that you can't control yourself. (Meaning his talking.) I persisted and got it all done but the experience was soooooooo stressful that I was drained and literally sweating. At the dinner table, I just said, that was extremely stressful. He just looked blank.

So I picture trying to share ordinary things in a shared home. I just can't. It doesn't matter what the event or task is...he Must Be In Charge. There's no harmonious teamwork. To this day it's a struggle to negotiate something as simple as whether I can carry dishes to the counter. Everything's a struggle for control.

I don't think M intends or wants to be this way but whether it's his OCDish or Nish or ADHDish issues....they add up to me feeling that I would be fighting to just be present, to take up space, to have enough oxygen. And I am Nish too at times, and super super sensitive, and introverted in a way, and just too easily drained by a personality as powerful as his.

That's just it. As much as I dread loneliness returning, and anxiety returning, and a quarantined winter alone coming up...I dread the petty power struggles and sometime putdowns (when he's mad, which he never owns, and gives a freezing cold condescending narrative of what's wrong with my character) more.

I think marrying or living with him would damage my health. And I guess that's the bottom line.

Another thing--I asked M if on occasion when it might really help, would he consider a 2-hour session or two sessions in one week? Because I think now is a time it might help us. He said that would be excessive and too much and...No. I asked because I am at that cracking point and he senses it, I think, and does not want to go deeper, to be in touch or work with with his feelings (much less mine) and resents the probing that highlights his own issues, and so forth. What I thought about later was just--he can concentrate passionately 8 hours a day on his scholarship. But me asking for an additional hour of T in one week, only in crisis, was "too much." During the call later, M said: Too much thinking! Too much talking! You have to Seize the Day! We'll be dead soon! etc....

At the end of our last session the Sikh asked, Hops, is one of your biggest concerns that your boundaries are not respected? I said Yes from my depths. And yet a week later M simply cannot or won't respect a basic request that he stop talking at me during the electronics setup I was doing. It felt HORRIBLE, but was also such a clear sign that no amount of discussion in T or suggestions from the T can penetrate the rigidity of his dominating behavior. It truly probably is out of his control, and if that's so I feel badly for him. But I think it contributed to my stroke in the past and could contribute to worse (because I am made the way I am) in stress-related health consequences over time.

During that last session I laid it all out, and I actually had chest pain while talking and my hands shook throughout. In hindsight, I think if talking openly about emotions and problems produces such fear, then I've got issues of my own to work on with my own T. But it also says something about how fearful I am of letting down my guard, or boundaries, with M. Because I do not feel fully emotionally safe, despite all his declarations about love and life (which go on for pages). He wants to INSTRUCT me into the relationship of his own fantasies (travel! food! diversion! distraction!) but he really cannot understand my own (peace, harmony, cooperation).

So, tomorrow, I need to tell M and the Sikh that I've realized that as we've spent more time, that I cannot continue the dream/expectation of a lifetime commitment.

It's really hard and I'm scared, but I think it's the right decision. I so hope so.

(Possibly, I could offer to remain his friend and occasional dinner companion. But I think it's unlikely, because it's so common among people with highly N traits to become quite unpleasant after you say No to them or stop cooperating with their plans. I would anticipate a lot of passive aggression and jabs of hostility. And I would love to be wrong.)

Despite all I'm saying here about M's dark or difficult sides, I will also miss him, genuinely. He has at times been delightful, playful, sparkling and fun. And generous (trips! food and wine!). I will miss those times. But I think I've gotten a clear vision of what a DAILY future or a DOMESTIC partnership would be like with him, and it's not happy. It'd be filled with his ego and compulsion to control, plus his reluctance or inability to do work that requires a deep encounter with himself. Too scary or too irrelevant for him.

He really is extremely fulfilled by his scholarship, and though it'll be very hard on him, I think returning to his teaching (online) this fall is exactly how he'll survive. He is driven, deeply, by his profession. And he has adoring family on two continents. He can talk to his older sister (his "guardian angel") for hours. So he'll have a lot of long-distance understanding and support. I have my friends.

Believe it or not, I still love the man. And I'm facing deep risk of my own in deciding to end of it. At my age, with some health fears and loneliness looming, some might think I'm mad to end it. But I believe that personal integrity demands that I be honest and open and tell it like it is.

It won't go down well. I'm scared but will survive it.

I'm wondering whether it's wrong of me to do this during a T session.

I could ask M if I might come by this afternoon? I could tell him then and then leave it up to him whether he still wants to Zoom with the T tomorrow. (I would do that regardless.)

Advice welcome on the in-person versus doing it with the Sikh? In-person might be better behavior. With-T is the only way I know I'll be able to speak my piece without interruption. But alone in-person might be more honorable.

Please do let me know your thoughts on the last paragraph...or anything.

thanks all,
Hops

« Last Edit: July 12, 2020, 11:54:32 AM by Hopalong »
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #518 on: July 12, 2020, 11:58:42 AM »
Oh, Hops, I am so sorry.  You have worked so hard at this and I'm truly sorry that M isn't able to do more of the dazzling, fun, interesting stuff and really dial down the OTT bits.  We all have our quirks and faults, as you say, but yes, they need to be a part of the package that doesn't overwhelm or engulf the other person.  My heart was in my mouth when I read your description of setting up the TV box and having your repeated requests for him to let you get on with it ignored.  I am of the school of 'do it yourself so you learn more' (although I will get someone else to do it if I'm completely outwitted) but to have someone insist on being involved when you've asked so many times for them to leave you to it just isn't on.  And yes, if it becomes a daily battle over meals, household chores, your poetry, and the various other things you've had these issues with, exhaustion will just become part of daily life and we don't want that for our Hopsie.

When I initially read your options for telling him (in person versus with the T) my initial thought was that in person would be kinder.  Then when I read you don't think you'll be able to say your piece without him interrupting if it's just the two of you my heart sank.  For you to be in a situation where you need a third party present in order to keep him quiet long enough for you to say all you need to is just not on.  So I think go with the T session.  I'm sure, you being you, you'll have lots of nice things to say about him as well so he will hear good things along with the parts he doesn't want to hear.  At least it means you'll be able to say all of that as well.  He might not get to hear the nice bits if it's just the two of you because he might not stop talking long enough to listen.  So I would go for the T option. 

And perfectly normal that you love him even though some of the stuff he does drives you nuts!  I don't think we get to choose who we fall in love with.  It happens; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.  I am truly sorry that it's got to this stage though.  I had been keeping everything cross for some kind of breakthrough for the two of you xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #519 on: July 12, 2020, 01:01:36 PM »
Well, I think you've you thought this through with lots of compassion for M and balanced that with your own self-comfort and needs Hops.

I completely understand being scared, too. Fighting my own self-battle on that same thing right now. If you need the Sikh, to say what you have to to say and be HEARD ('coz I can imagine there might be some total denial of the content & reality, on M's part when you speak the words) then by all means choose that method. It's NOT less honorable to admit you have your own limitations openly speaking your truth and needing a safe place to do so. That's a sneaky way of putting yourself down; worthy of my own tricks even!  ;)  And it gives away your power to M, in a way.

If we (sorry for the we) can't politely decline an open invitation to participate in a relationship without fear of how it'll be received - or what it says about US... then we're already at a disadvantage; it's putting someone else's desires and needs above our own. Saying that they matter more than ourselves. And I'm afraid I've misunderstood for some time, how that isn't "compassion" so much as a fuzzy boundary; perhaps sometimes even codependence or enabling.

It is known, that N's or the unconsciously Nish will train their source to do exactly that. And neural pathways are damned persistent; even familiar and therefore understood as "comfort zone". Breaking that understanding is one of my new goals for myself.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

CB123

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #520 on: July 12, 2020, 03:39:15 PM »
Hops,
I understand completely.

I think you should do whatever feels the most comfortable to you. Overall, it is going to be a hard experience all the way around. But your initial thought was that you would do it with the Sikh(for some very well thought out reasons) so I suspect that you would be more comfortable with that.

I am not comfortable having those kinds of conversations in personal space--yours or his. A neutral space is better, so either can exit when/if they must and the conversation doesnt go on any longer than all parties are comfortable with. Sikh could be that neutral space, IMO.

When M and I used to do things together even after our "break up", I made a point of meeting him with my own transportation. It just felt a little more even playing field to me.

You are going to be okay. You really are.

CB
When they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way -- and it surely has not -- she adjusted her sails.  Elizabeth Edwards 2010

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #521 on: July 13, 2020, 02:34:00 PM »
Thank you all, so very much.
I don't think I would have been able to have my come-to-reality decision without your wisdom, patience and support. I am so grateful.

I'll answer you each in turn but have 30 minutes until the appointment and am trying to figure out what to say. I'll start with gratitude, because I am grateful we gave it a try, and then explain I've reached a place of knowing it couldn't be a truly shared life, so I'm letting go of that.

If he wants a friendship, that might work. Or not. But I've got to say my piece.

If you see this, please send strength and serenity my way at 3pm EST!

Will update you later.

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

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #522 on: July 13, 2020, 03:35:23 PM »
Aw, Hops, sending you all the strength and serenity I can muster!  You have been, and are being, true to yourself and we all need that.  You will find the right words; you always do, and the nice Sikh therapist seems to be a helpful and calming influence.  And whatever else happens, you've both learnt more about yourselves along the way and you are right that you've had some very nice times as well.  I'm hoping it goes as well as these sort of things can.  We are all rooting for you xx xx

CB123

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #523 on: July 13, 2020, 04:22:18 PM »
Thinking of you Hops.

CB
When they are older and telling their own children about their grandmother, they will be able to say that she stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way -- and it surely has not -- she adjusted her sails.  Elizabeth Edwards 2010

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #524 on: July 13, 2020, 04:47:25 PM »
Thank you both.

It went okay. I started with all the ways I love and appreciate him and then said I didn't think a shared life could work. I had a few examples.

He argued with every example and the T said, what you're doing now, M, isn't serving you. (M also began criticizing me, about how "every time I turn around there's another boundary") and we offered competing versions of Rokugate.) It was absurd in moments but a couple key moments for me were:

After I said my piece, M said "I will continue to see you, because you are [positive attributes...]."
Didn't say, "I'd like to..." or "Do you think we could..." or "What I want would be...."

Just said, "I WILL continue to see you." I noticed it. Sikh noticed it.

M offered a lot of critical stuff about me and I know that was hurt speaking. I didn't take the bait. I'm glad/relieved about that. I did describe how frustrated and stressed I feel when my speaking something (clear, honest) repeatedly about what I need or want is sometimes as though I simply never spoke. Wasn't heard.

I even said that at times with him, I feel "voiceless." Sikh wanted to know if when M was doing something like he did with the Roku event, I could just say "Get out of here, I can't think" and I confessed...it's not how I'm wired. If someone doesn't/won't hear me when I say/ask for something in plain English repeatedly, I'm not just going to be blunter and louder. He understood.

I described him as a wonderful, amazing, remarkable, fascinating person and expressed a whole lot of gratitude for the experiences I've had with him.

The Sikh said that although he sees that we both genuinely have love for the other, he wasn't surprised. He has seen the challenges/patterns we have. I sensed that he was truly disappointed for us. What a good man.

I wound up explaining what an enormously powerful personality M has (a positive spin but also true) and that the way I am made, I just don't think I can take on the assignment of redirecting all that power without health cost to myself. But I tried to express it in such a way that it was also a respectful compliment. M IS an amazing steam engine of a person. He reminds me of a driven CEO of some huge corporation, but in his case, it's academic pinnacles.

We left it that I remain open to possible friendship, and M emailed that it was "too bad" and to let him know if I ever have a "change of heart." I replied that my heart would never change toward him and that I was very sorry, and that if in time simple friendship would feel right for us both, why not?

It was hard but not as hard as I'd feared. Time will tell. I think the grief and future-fears and difficulty of winter alone will wear in ... but I hadda do what I hadda do.

I am very glad we had our relationship and hope for another. Even if that's not to be, I'll still be glad I was with M for the time I was. The Sikh focused a lot on keep our loving feelings for each other, and said he understood that we wanted that to remain.

I really thought the Sikh understood.

hugs and so much gratitude (I could never have understood myself or my needs this clearly without you guys--ever)--

Hops

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