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#67192 - 07/29/03 04:06 AM fear of change
stpbb Offline

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
I have been making plans for myself for some radical changes. I am looking at moving away from where I live now back to where I lived before I moved here. I have become stagnated in my job & when I started thinking about doing a job search, I just started thinking about why I am living here as opposed to anywhere else & decided that I really like the environment better there.

I am really agonizing over the fact of leaving behind my bf/ex. Part of my decision to go on with my own plans is due to his lack of commitment to this relationship & expectation that I tolerate situations & comments that are hurtful because he is suffering & therefore 'can't' control those things. I don't want to judge whether he can or cannot, but I dont' think being hurt repeatedly is a good choice for me. And I realized that I cannot make the decision to stay based on this relationship.

So I am making plans to check out jobs & housing etc in the other town & I find myself with really mixed emotions because I have kept alive a certain amount of hope that through his recovery we would end up being closer & the relationship would eventually have a future & I feel like I am making that an impossibility by going away. I also feel bad leaving him here because I know he does rely on my support.

We've talked about it & he makes comments about moving there as well, but he is very established here & I don't really see him being in a position to make that kind of change because of his low tolerance for stress.

Part of me wishes he would ask me to stay, but we both know that this move would be the best thing for me & he really isn't in a position to make a commitment beyond the level we have now.

He has said that he thinks it is the best thing & if he realizes that he truly wants me in his life he'll come after me. I try to be very kind about the leaving because I don't want to leave things in a way that is hurtful, but I end up feeling like I'm being dumped at the end of our conversations about it. I know it is natural for him to react that way, but I just feel so sad for him, for us, for what we had together before all these issues reared their ugly head.

Anyway, that is my vent, but I also have a question. He has said that he hasn't felt peaceful within himself since the situation in our relationship fell apart. This coincided with his realization that he couldn't face fatherhood & marriage which was the beginning of his realization that he had been abused as a child.

He is spending time with his ex-gf lately because he said that over the course of their relationship he did have periods of relative peacefulness & comfort.

My question is, is this related to the recovery coming up? I mean, for those survivors who have partners, while you were suffering through intense emotions in recovery, did you find peace with your partner? I guess I am just wondering about the dynamics because my own mental logic tells me that facing abuse issues would affect the comfort that you have in relating to your intimate partner. In other words, I wonder if he is looking at me & the ex-gf as a 'cure' instead of looking at finding peace within himself. On the other hand, part of my love & longing for him is due to the fact that he was a great comfort to me in my depression, so I know that certain people can help you feel better just by being around.

Of course part of me is just angry & hurt because I know that I've held his hand through the darkest parts of this & now that he is standing more & more on his own he associates me with the bad times. The ex-gf was an abusive b**** to him, and she never encouraged him to explore himself any deeper. She labeled him as an abuser & he believed it even though she was the one creating drama in their lives. So he just believed the same stuff about himself that he learned in childhood -- he thought he was bad, he thought bad stuff was his fault, he thought she must be better than him & he could only be grateful that she would stay with him. I never saw him that way & when he said he was just a sh**ty person, I told him he wasn't so there must be something wrong that was causing these issues to come up....I should say I don't take credit for that. I think he was on the path toward recovery when he left her & I think he found someone who believed in him because he was starting to have more faith in himself after rejecting her definitions of he got help, made changes, and the ugly monster of abuse came out from hiding & now he is dealing with it.

And I am the bad guy because it wasn't peaceful & nice during the past 2-3 years that we have spent together. And he wants peace so he pushes me away, makes more drama & is getting close to the woman who kept him down & depressed & subdued.


And I really miss him.


#67193 - 07/29/03 02:13 PM Re: fear of change
Sans Logos Offline

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5796
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...

I think you are wise in placing the focus of your life on YOU. You have enough evidence that there is not a healthy future with your bf.

I suspect he is vascillating and this is pretty typical behavior for those of us who experienced SA.

I really don't believe he behaved any differently in his relationship with his ex-gf than he did during his relationship with you. He sounds like a decent but very complicated person, and I am sure you have done your best to contribute to his happiness.

Cut your losses and move on while you still have good time ahead.

Just my humble opinion,


Ron Schulz, MSPC, NCC

#67194 - 07/29/03 02:35 PM Re: fear of change
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA

I feel sorry and glad for you. Sorry that the relationship seems to be drawing to a close, or might. Glad that you are able to look at what you need, what's best for you, and you have the strength and courage to pursue it.

My question is, is this related to the recovery coming up? I mean, for those survivors who have partners, while you were suffering through intense emotions in recovery, did you find peace with your partner?
In other words, I wonder if he is looking at me & the ex-gf as a 'cure' instead of looking at finding peace within himself.
This is tough. I did and sometimes still do act like my wife is supposed to "make things alright." It can't happen.

I don't have much of any peace at the moment. I'm trying to think of these days as shedding the pain I carried inside for so long. If I think of it as feeling the pain, I tell myself I don't want to do that.

Sometimes just being with my wife is comforting. It's a kind of peace, I guess. But we have so much of ordinary life to handle (3 kids, two businesses, house, slew of pets, etc) and I have so much turmoil now that peaceful moments are rare. Sometimes when those peaceful moments come I realize how many such moments we missed while I was running.

There are times when things get really bad and I'm in "flight mode," literally looking to get out of wherever I am, that I hear myself calling to my wife to help me.

Yeah, I'm looking for a cure, or a rescue, or something at times like that. I won't find it, of course, any more than I'll find the magic pill. But I can grow through this painful time, and I can enjoy the beautiful people who are helping me, especially my wife, if I keep my eyes open to the good things that I have. Sometimes the abuse tries to blindfold me, keep me helpless to toy with me. And sometimes I need help tearing off that blindfold. My wife has done that.

The friends I've made here help me, too, but you asked about partners.

Change is good. Stagnation is bad. Whatever changes you need to make in your life now can eventually lead to something wonderful that you don't even imagine yet.



"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse

#67195 - 07/30/03 12:00 AM Re: fear of change
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Aren't we all looking for our "cure and helper" ?

I am, even though I know neither exist.

My wife is the nearest thing to a "helper" I could ever wish for. For all our faults and weakness' after 29 years we know each other fairly well.

The "cure" ? there ain't one.

Even after all this time, and what we've shared through my recovery I can still be an arse.
Tonight I came home from my group, thinking wildly.
I sat silent through my dinner and came to the computer.
There were thoughts I needed to get down without distraction, so I've sat here for about two hours with headphones jammed over my ears, and I don't even remember what I was listening to, and typed like a madman.

I's 11-00 pm and I've just gone for coffee and I've given her a hug and a brief explanation on the way to the kitchen. I'll reply here while I drink it and then go to bed and explain fully.

But it's all about ME !

And that's wrong, it has to be about US.

Unfortunately you ex bf seems to be all "ME" as well. And if that's the case then your only option is to adopt the same attitude.

I'm off to bed, to do something about US !


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#67196 - 07/30/03 03:42 AM Re: fear of change
stpbb Offline

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks for your replies. I guess that is what I am looking for -- validation that I shouldn't be 'reading between the lines' so far that I overlook the obvious. I do believe that his behavior is a product of his abuse & that he is sincere in his intentions to heal. The problem is that while he recognizes intellectually that he must find that healing in himself with support from those who care about him, his behavior reflects old patterns and adaptations that 'protect' him by keeping him from getting too close or to be vulnerable.

He seems to think that I shouldn't be emotionally affected by his choice to spend two weeks with the ex-gf, even though, in spite of my reference to him as 'ex/bf' we really haven't ended this relationship. It is insanity for me & the most obvious demonstration of many subtle signs that he is too self-involved to care who is holding his hand as long as someone is there.

I realize that his behavior has most likely been similar in his relationship with his ex-gf. It is hers that makes it so illogical to me. I have discussed my perceptions of her with my therapist because of my awareness of my own biases against her & objectively I have to say that her behavior IS abusive. That makes it a doubly hard pill to swallow -- not that I would be thrilled & happy if he was rekindling a realtionship with another woman who was a positive influence! But it is not dissimilar from my feelings about watching close female friends who stay in abusive relationships combined with the rejection that his desire to be with another woman makes me feel.

Anyway, as has been stated again & again & again in this forum, I must focus on my own growth & my own well-being. I think the conflict comes from what has been discussed in other threads in this forum -- the fact that he is giving conflicting messages at the same time. 'Go ahead, move on, I'm not able to give you what you need' at the same time as 'lets be close, I want/need your company/comfort/support, I need you to be there for me'. If only I heard some message of 'I want to be there for you' coming from him, some desire to offer support instead of just demanding it. I guess the best support he has to give is to encourage me to move on, but it just seems really sad.

What I hear in all of your replies about your partners is a sense of gratitude for thier support and understanding that he just doesn't seem to feel toward me. You acknowledge your limitations, but simultaneously see this person as a precious part of your life. I don't know why he devalues me so much (though after seeing his mother, his ex-gf & learning more about abuse I guess I can see why he wouldn't have much ability to look for anything but danger and pain in a sexual relationship). I know that I have taken great care to respect his boundaries, offer love & support & work past the problems with him when they come up instead of blaming him & judging him. It is soooo hard to just let go instead of trying to discuss & defend that I am NOT causing the problem, NOT responsible for fixing it, NOT like his abuser, NOT trying to take anything away from him.

So thank you for letting me express it here & acknowledging it for me. I am resolved to avoid communication as much as I can until after the ex-gf's visit. I feel like the less I think about it or know about it the better for me. It really helps to be able to vent & find some point of reference about his behavior. Your honesty about your own relationships is incredible & really helpful. You show me that the patterns are similar, but also the clear differences in the sense of responsibility and caring toward your partners & your concern for their feelings in spite of your need to deal with the issues.

I admire your strength & commitment to your relationships & your recovery. It has been a real help to me in navigating these difficult issues & making good choices for myself.



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