Author Topic: Relationship  (Read 14122 times)

Dr. Richard Grossman

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #525 on: July 13, 2020, 07:37:11 PM »
Thanks for sharing all of this with us, Hops.  You have set a wonderful example of facing and dealing with this very common and serious relationship issue.  I hope many people read this thread and learn how to free themselves and not be "voiceless."

Richard

CB123

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #526 on: July 13, 2020, 09:15:12 PM »
That was really hard, Hops. I know it took a lot of courage to put everything on the table and risk the critical response that you got. I am so glad you did it with Sikh there. That was a good plan. With that much stress today, I'll bet you feel like you are turned inside out tonight.

I'm glad you already have your patio get togethers organized. I'm looking forward to hearing that you were able to have a conversation again without being interrupted!

I wonder if you can continue to have cleaning help occasionally? I noticed that you were very soothed by that little bit of self care. It seems like you are already carving out time to write and read and think. I hope this makes it easier and less stressful to really gift yourself with that kind of attention.

Tomorrow will be another day....I hope you get a good rest tonight.

Much 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

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #527 on: July 14, 2020, 01:30:14 AM »
Thank you, from the heart, ((((Doc G)))).
I think the reason the last weird struggle (over a Roku box!) was the last straw for me was that my feeling of not being heard was overwhelming. I not only felt as though I were voiceless, but as though I wasn't even in the room. Yet I was, and making sounds, speaking words...and nothing I said changed his behavior in the slightest. Not at iota. It was a disturbing feeling and a clarifying one.

((((CB)))), it was such a comfort to read "that was really hard." Your empathy of that just came right through and means more than I can say. Thank you.

And you're right, I'm utterly exhausted. (M. called and said, so why don't you come for dinner Wednesday. As though...all is well, we'll just get back into our routine now. I told him I needed time to think but once the fog blew through, I know that's not what I need. I think it would be confusing and distressing to go right back to his house--same schedule that he follows, always Wednesday---with Pooch and go through the same ritual as though everything's fine. For me, a big dream has ended, and M spoke as though he was just fine, no big deal. I don't believe it, but fear a new pressure campaign if I slide back into his rituals/world too easily. I finally just said I don't know what I need yet, I'm grieving.)

I think I'll just email him that I'm going to need several months to settle down and adjust to the change before I'll know whether it's wise to repeat our dinner dates.
(Honestly, if I become well and strong I think it would be wiser not to. He really is N-ish. The Sikh told him, "For someone who respects women, you are dismissive to her...." I thought M kind of dismissed that the way he dismisses me, and then M asked the Sikh for the second time if he would come to dinner, "now that our professional relationship is over." The Sikh smiled and made some remark about being vegetarian. Maybe that was a nice "No" -- I hope it was.

Thank you both, and all--
Gratefully,
Hops
"That'll do, pig, that'll do."

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #528 on: July 14, 2020, 05:50:49 AM »
I think you should be very proud of yourself, Hops.  You've embraced every aspect of this, enjoyed the good bits, been incredibly honest with both yourself and M, worked very, very hard, been willing to consider other perspectives and you've been very open and understanding where M is concerned.  I don't think anyone could have done more, or done it all so gracefully.  You're willing to step away, despite your very understandable fears about your retirement years.  I honestly don't think I know anyone else as honest or as willing to go it alone rather than settling and making do.  I am awed by you.

I do think it might be best to have a complete break from M for a while before deciding whether you want to see him as a friend.  I thought him inviting you over to dinner and saying he was still willing to see you did sound a bit like he hadn't heard you again.  And maybe you just need a bit of time to get back to being you again.  I hope you can be very kind to yourself and look after yourself well.  I feel a bit sad you won't be seeing the nice therapist again!  He seemed like a really good egg :)  I don't think he'll be going to M's for dinner :)

I am sorry that things haven't worked out, especially as you've worked so hard and there were good bits.  But things are what they are, aren't they?  I'm glad you've not sacrificed yourself and allowed him to consume you.  We wouldn't want our Hopsie to turn into a delicate wallflower :)  Lots of love to you xx xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #529 on: July 14, 2020, 08:08:42 AM »
Uh-oh... just seeing all this Hops.

Good job! I'm really proud of you, for doing this as gently and gracefully as possible. Kindly even; but FIRMLY.

You are going to need some cocoon time now, recovery, realizing that though we truly wish it was the kind of world that we didn't have to go such extremes to stand up for and protect ourselves; to even be heard, recognized as a real person with our own feelings, and those feelings and boundaries acknowledged as important as the other person's... sometimes we have to and we CAN. Trust that self-knowledge. Many times, it doesn't take this much firmness.

I have a lingering worry though, over his dinner invitation - as if none of what you expressed about your feelings mattered or changed things between you. IIRC, one of your first observations and concerns that you shared was M's entitlement attitude. Saying he WILL see you... despite your ending the relationship... means he isn't recognizing your decision - nor your right or perogative to make that decision. Perhaps it'll sink in over the next weeks, but that's going to require you to constantly turn down his offers... and that means, you're not "done" yet. IMO, you need to be done to mourn the ending and could've beens... and find your self again, strong and optimistic and capable. You need the space; he perceives his need for YOU in his life outweighs your need for space. (Sorry, I AM a worrywort. I sincerely hope I'm just imagining the worst and this doesn't happen.)

Sometimes, it's simply not possible to remain friends after an attempt at deeper relationship. It's just not an ideal world, and some people aren't capable of that at the time - and may never be. If that person has trouble recognizing that other people are free to have their boundaries... even being friends is challenging. So instead of hoping to remain friends, for now - my advice is to hold onto your warm affectionate thoughts toward him, wish him well, and close that little energy Hallmark emotion-bubble with - "It was just never going to work out."

That's a whole lot of complexity and levels to navigate a path through, Hops. It's real WORK. And it's emotionally draining. We need to have a cyber "Amazon's bonfire" - a girl's night out - to commemorate what a task this has been and how successfully you accomplished it.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.

CB123

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #530 on: July 14, 2020, 09:16:57 AM »
Hops,
Him calling and saying "why don't you come for dinner on Wednesday" sent a chill through me. He actually couldnt have said anything that would have pointed up the problem more clearly. Wow.

I think your plan of taking a few months to settle yourself before entertaining that idea is a good one. And maybe, if you do, a neutral spot like going out and getting a burger where there is no power imbalance. You can even pick up the check.

I'm glad you're safe.

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

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #531 on: July 14, 2020, 10:56:59 AM »
Thank you ((((Tupp)))), especially for this deep image:
 
Quote
you've not sacrificed yourself and allowed him to consume you

On a feeling level, you couldn't be more perceptive.
I love the man but he is so powerful he feels "consuming". Maybe even "voracious."

And I do need several months of full separation/silence before I could risk a possible new connection. It may not be necessary, as if his N-ish side wins out in his hurt, he may do the full discard himself. One never knows, and yesterday he expressed a lot of resentment about my short "retreats" during our relationship, so I can't imagine how months of it will feel to him. Time will tell.

((((AMber)))). I swear, I think we all here have PhDs in insight:

Quote
...wish it was the kind of world that we didn't have to go such extremes to stand up for and protect ourselves; to even be heard, recognized as a real person with our own feelings, and those feelings and boundaries acknowledged as important as the other person's...sometimes we have to and we CAN.

That was bracing in all the best ways. Thank you.

I also think you're exactly right about the dinner invites (I had written him "in time, if it feels positive for us both") which he interpreted as "....[your email did not enter my awareness] ...So come on back now, in two days"). I plan to turn down whatever pokes come in. Lovingly but firmly. And if they become a flood, maybe not so lovingly.

I know from "the literature" about Nism that No-Contact is often the only way to fully move on. And that it's usually advised. I think that's more important with malignant N-ism (which M does not have) but I'm wary of going porous, so I'll be vigilant about when and how, and make sure if I do accept an invite one day (should they still be coming), I do it out of choice and not feeing obligated. Winter loneliness will definitely challenge my resolve, but maybe by then it'll be okay.

I sent him some info on Adult ADHD. Turns out that compulsive talking and inability to listen are massively common symptoms in those with the hyperactive type, which I believe M has. He's never explored it, so I said I hoped if he chose to, it would be a revelation and a help. Ironic that in the decade after being diagnosed myself (inattentive type, or likely the combined type), I wound up with a boyfriend who seems to have the same problem, different aspect. Two cats in a bag?

(((((CB))))) I understand the chill. It's an example of the "did I not just say something in plain English?" gaslit feeling I had during Rokugate. I'm thinking it's likely his whizzing brain rather than anything malevolent like stalking. I don't feel unsafe, truly. I think his own inner rules of conduct would not permit that kind of thing. (If he did behave in any antisocial way toward me, he'd find himself quickly facing the Great Wall of China.)

A neutral space like a park with a picnic is a much better idea than going to his house, and I will keep that in mind.

Right now, awash in gratitude for all this understanding, I need to do the cocooning and self care and simplicity.

Today: Watering the garden and taxes. (Talk about epic ADD procrastination...I have to sort whopping piles of papers today to even find the tax stuff, and that's before I go online and pick some freefile program to get it in by tomorrow!)

HEARTFELTLY,

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

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #532 on: July 14, 2020, 11:49:14 AM »
PS I sent M a last email for now, quoting my own that had said "in time, if we both want to, we could ...." and said that to clarify, I thought he had missed "in time" and for me it wasn't two days.

I spelled out that what I need is complete silence (including my own) for several months, to calm myself/resettle/process/cope--and that if in early October we both still want to then, I'd be glad to hear from him and we could do a nice picnic.

I wished him much love and support from his family and friends, and his T or even the Sikh (dropping a seed, since I have the feeling he'd do well with him, and maybe better than with his current young counselor provided by the University), and said as painful as the decision was, I have faith that we'll both be okay in the long run.

So now I've been as clear as I know how to be.

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

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #533 on: July 14, 2020, 12:30:36 PM »
(It did break my heart when M said on the phone, "You're my best friend" because I know it's true. I know he's going to go through some terrible pain.)

Okay.
Bye for now.

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

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #534 on: July 15, 2020, 03:39:02 AM »
Perhaps losing his best friend will be the spur that he needs to seek further help, Hopsie, to rein in those bits that have caused the problems.  Particularly if it is an ADHD related thing.  It might be that some specific counseling or perhaps even medication may help.  It's not something I know much about but he could use this as his own 'late diagnosis' moment and it might help him in the long run.  I think you've actually done him a great service, even though I don't expect he sees it that way.  But you've really shone a light into some dark areas and shown him that it is possible to ask for help, work though problems, speak openly and clearly about feelings and so on.  I've learnt that from you, just from reading this thread, so those lessons are there should he want to take it further.  And he does have support, as you say - family, friends, work colleagues and so on.  And I dare say you'd be open to email conversation if he wanted your take on something that came up in therapy or your opinion on something that had happened (possibly quite a long way off for him but if he did get to the stage where he was learning to listen I can't see you refusing to communicate in a supportive way).  So I think he'll be okay. 

I do know what you mean about winter coming.  I think thoughts of winter is what's turned my mind to moving (I'll go into it more on the other thread).  I did wonder if any of your other friends have been very careful with regard to precautions and might be up for a dinner date once a week?  Or if the patio heater idea might mean socially distanced outdoor buffets could go on after the weather turns colder?  Just wondered if it might ease you through the winter solitude.

I hope you got the tax thingy done.  Sounded grim!  Lol xx

Hopalong

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #535 on: July 15, 2020, 05:27:03 AM »
Tupp, we're dreamers, I think. Earnest proposals for things to become better (and how that might be achieved) or people's loads to be lightened (ditto). Deaf ears.

M's response to my ADHD info was... "Too late! Why take on a futile project when there's so much new to see and do!" I know that means he can't/won't undertake new therapy or study about himself. I get it, he feels old, fatalistic. His escape pattern has been on airplanes, running everywhere he can as often as he can. I think that's been his unconscious search for a stimulant. Seriously. Then he said I could still go to Dublin with him in spring if travel is safe. Felt like a bribe.

His next reply (to my last in which I expressed heartfelt concern for him and hope that he'd find love and support for this transition in friends, family, and T): seemed subtly hostile. Natural when you're feeling the sting of rejection, I guess, but this was unpleasant to read:
"...don't sound so serious. You've chosen what I think you have always wanted and sought: total independence. That always comes with a price."

He used to specifically admire my independence. And he knew also that I'd had a lot of fear for my future. So it seems to me...this was subtle ill will. (You'll regret not being with me, kind of thing.) Perhaps we're already in N-scorned territory.

Strike anybody else that way? I haven't answered either -- think I'll just let it lie.

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

Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #536 on: July 15, 2020, 07:54:45 AM »

"...don't sound so serious. You've chosen what I think you have always wanted and sought: total independence. That always comes with a price."

H

Ooh, Hops.  That sent a chill down my spine.  Very perceptive of you to spot it. No acceptance of the behaviour that's led to this, your kindness and genuine concern that he's okay and supported now, an implication that you didn't want to be in a relationship?  And the notion that being alone is somehow less preferable than being with someone and being unhappy?  Independence comes with a price?  The price being what, your own autonomy?  Not having to hide who you are because someone else doesn't want to see it?  You must pay a price now for not just accepting the things that were making you unhappy (even affecting your physical health)?  And the further implication that you can't be independent within a relationship?  There's a difference between being independent and being single - for some reason I don't think some men can separate the two when it comes to women.  Hmmm.  Okay.  I was having/have had some sympathy for M but he has gone back on my arse kicking list now.

I would let it lie, Hops.  You've been very kind and gracious and gone out of your way to try to make this easier for him - not that you needed to, that's your kind heart shining through.  Leave him to it now.  Polite refusal to any requests that come by but I wouldn't engage any further.  Circle your wagons, take extra good care of yourself and when the time comes that you do feel up to seeking male company again we'll see if Buck's got any single friends.  I have been day dreaming of you, Skep and your two Bucks double dating :)  Lol xx

lighter

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #537 on: July 15, 2020, 08:08:48 AM »
We're getting ready to check out of our lodging, but wanted to add support, Hops.

I don't think M' hostility was benign.  I think you're spot on.  I think he's ADHD running through everything over and over in his head.  Soon he'll be talking about it with everyone who can't run or roll away.

As for his " therapist" being young and from the University...I think it's more holding forth.  I don't believe for a second he opened up, was vulnerable, ever admitted his struggle, even to himself.  I don't think he could have.  Not where all his strength and competency come from.  That's too bad. 

You don't need M sniping at all your sore spots, Hops.  I do believe it will go on, as reality sets in for him, getting meaner.  I believe  you are his best friend too.  You were an excellent friend and mate pick for him.

He doesn't happen to be a good fit for you.   

:: Sending calm happy gardening vibes::.

((Hops))  Though M seems immune, you found the clarity you were Sikhing. 

Lighter




Twoapenny

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #538 on: July 15, 2020, 11:00:31 AM »


((Hops))  Though M seems immune, you found the clarity you were Sikhing. 

Lighter

Lighter, that is pure genius.  Lol xx

sKePTiKal

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Re: Relationship
« Reply #539 on: July 15, 2020, 02:20:43 PM »
Quote
   And the further implication that you can't be independent within a relationship?  There's a difference between being independent and being single - for some reason I don't think some men can separate the two when it comes to women.

Spot on, Tupp. I've experienced this firsthand. It's always subtle, but it's there. Where I really kick myself, is where I did it to myself - believing it was expected of me - until it was just taken for granted that this is who I was. (I wasn't; but didn't know thing one at the time, about who I was.)

Hops - is it possible that verbal engagement - any engagement with M at this point at all, beyond politely refusing invitations... is just exactly what he wants; what is feeding his sense of being entitled to further demeaning you, putting you down, and his sense of rejection?? (Oh woe is me, I did nothing wrong...)

As you continue to explain, even when wishing him well while reinforcing your refusal to participate in relationship... he's seeing it as a bargaining chip... a way through your defenses... a "gotcha" he can leverage to prop up his ego against the feelings of rejection.

This is why I said sometimes it's not possible to remain friends. What he's doing isn't "processing" and it's not fair. Reduce or end the exposure so YOU can go through the next phases.
Success is never final, failure is never fatal.