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#68451 - 11/21/03 01:48 AM pushed to the edge -- again!
stpbb Offline

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Hey guys. I'm stressing out here because my move is approaching fast & things are like a roller coaster with my ex (?) or whatever he is...

I talk about my new place (2 states away from where we live, 2 full days drive) & he starts talking as though he plans to keep contact & keep things going between us & even has brought up the idea of getting back together, getting married, & having a family.

Of course, we are currently broken up & he has also said that he is not sure if he will be sleeping with his ex gf when she comes to visit over the Christmas holidays for a couple of days.

So when I pointed out the discrepencies & let him know that he can't have it both ways when I talked to him this morning, he tells me "yes I can, i've decided that I can & so I can." I let him know that was unacceptable to me. I mean, I can't tell him what to do or not do with the ex, but if he thinks I'm just gonna wait for him to spend the holidays with her & then invite him to come into my new 'starting-over' life in a new place, that won't work for me.

well, he just called to let me know that he had a bad day & that two things had caused it - one was a business deal that didn't work out & the other was me 'bringing up' the ex gf this morning.

Am I totally insane, or is this really absurd for him to expect me to have no problem with this kind of emotional roller-coaster ride? And what's with putting ME on the defensive when he's playing around with my feelings for him?! I mean, I have given him more support and forgiveness given his confusion about the ex than could reasonably be expected & yet when I point out that he can't seriously think I'll belive he wants to marry me if he can't not sleep with her when she stops in for a few days I'M the bad guy?!!!

Please don't say just forget about him becaue the whole point is that I'm moving soon & I KNOW my life will go on, most likely without him in it given this attitude. But I would really like to leave on better terms than this. I am the single most supportive person in his life. He looks to me for support & I don't want to slam him emotionally because he has such volatile moods. i just need to vent & check in about it because I'm on frustration overload. Part of me is waiting for him to call again so I can tell him to take a flying leap of the next high building he sees, but the rational part of me knows that would not help me feel better.

And I also know my fuse is getting shorter because I'm stressed about moving. Plus I just got back from helping a friend move away from her emotinally abusive soon-to-be ex-husband, so men are looking pretty crappy in general to me right now, which is not my normal attitude at all.

Why does the emotional stuff have to be all my job??? I mean, I DO have feelings too. I have had numerous hours of stress, sadness, anxiety, grief, and other emotional suffering because of his emotional infidelity. He even once told me that he has always been in love with her & he was just using me for sex (which he later retracted, but it isn't exactly something I can erase from the memory banks), so maintaining a friendship in which she is in the picture is a bit much for me to take! I would not prevent him from doing what he thinks is right, but once again he wants to let her traipse into town for a few days & will sacrifice my feelings about things in order to preserve the option of sleeping with her. And then talk about marrying or getting back together with me! So he thinks I should just swallow it all & be there for him regardless of how it makes me feel!

It makes me sick.

Sorry to those with their own relationship issues, this is a big downer of a posting. maybe y'all will have some ideas of how to get through the stress of moving without totally destroying our friendship. Cause right now I don't see much of a friend in him, but I know I've seen one recently or it wouldn't upset me so much. I understand the on/off emotional crap he goes through. Pretty much any time we start to approach emotional intimacy he does something to f*** it up & I can forgive that. What really pushes me too far is him then telling me that I'm making his day hard for him! ME?!, Yeah, right, its all my fault -- I am responsible for all of it. Never mind that yesterday evening I fixed him dinner, had him over after his group therapy, listened to him talk about his therapy, rubbed his sore shoulders, put on some nice relaxing music & let him wind down in the safety & comfort of my home (while I did the dishes...). I'm the bad guy. I'm the b****, I made him have a bad day.

OK, I'll stop now. Apologies for the unpleasant outburst. Thanks for listening...And any suggestions for getting through this would be really helpful.


#68452 - 11/21/03 05:27 PM Re: pushed to the edge -- again!
outis Offline

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 2261
Loc: Maryland USA
So when I pointed out the discrepencies & let him know that he can't have it both ways when I talked to him this morning, he tells me "yes I can, i've decided that I can & so I can."
Geez, wouldn't it be nice if things were that simple? I've decided I'll be President, so I am. What do you mean someone else can have something to say about it? I decided. That's it.

Sorry for the sarcasm, but he needs a reality check.
Am I totally insane, or is this really absurd for him to expect me to have no problem with this kind of emotional roller-coaster ride?
Certainly seems like an out of touch expectation to me.
I don't want to slam him emotionally because he has such volatile moods.
Then just get on with what is best for you right now. Put yourself first, including getting the rest/relaxation/relief you need from the stress. Don't slam him, just deal with your own life. If you don't, who will?


"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

#68453 - 11/21/03 06:18 PM Re: pushed to the edge -- again!
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
For the record I dont think you're totally insane with your feelings about this. I would think that ANYONE subjected to the crap that you have in this relationship would start to feel crazy after awhile. I have been in relationships where there has been a lot of "I love you - I hate you" stuff going on and on numerous times I thought I was going crazy too.

First of all although your ex has been through a lot of stuff, and it is normal to be compassionate for what he has been through, this is a clear cut case of the need for rules and boundaries.

Yes, your ex partner has been through a lot of abuse. I grew up with a mentally ill, abusive alcoholic father who verbally and psychologically abused me for over 20 years. Our relationship even today is pretty hit-and-miss, depending on the mood he's in or the substances he's ingested. My fiance grew up with control freak parents and was molested by a "mentor" when he was 17. Many, MANY of us in this world have a lot of pain, scars and emotional baggage.

But I am going to be blunt here - NOTHING, and I repeat NOTHING gives ANYONE the excuse to treat another person with anything less than maturity and dignity - and I consider the crap that you have posted definitely less than maturity and dignity. And I think that this standard of behaviour MUST apply to all relationships - love relationships, friendships, and work relationships.

I know you have mentioned that in the past there have been elements where things have been good. But I think in any relationship, even the crappier ones I've been in I can always think of several things that were good about the relationship or even good things about the person. They were cute, charming, funny, we had some good times, great sex, my own abuse issues, the abuse issues of my partner, my history of depression, etc.. but in all of those past relationships, for many reasons, whether it be the person, timing, priorities, the RELATIONSHIP was just not workable.

And furthermore, for me, having an ex play a continuing role in my life after so much pain and hurt was just too toxic an idea to entertain. Whether it be the memory of the good times gone bad, the memory of their betrayals, seeing them with someone new (I will admit I dont even have REMOTELY the guts required to see any of my exes with a new partner, hell - I can't handle seeing any ex partners of my fiance let alone my exes with someone new in their arms!).

I also found that the constant presence of an ex in my life allowed my mind to play the "what if" game ("what if he gets better and we could be together after all?)" really shut my mind off to new possibilities and new opportunites in my life and really contribted to me staying stuck on the ex and not moving on. It was only after 15 years of staying stuck in relationships that were just not working I suddenly realized that I was in my 30's, single and not getting any closer to what I wanted - a marriage and family. And how and why did that happen? Simply because I refused to let go ideas and people - that somehow, deep down I believed that my dysfunctional relationships would eventually get better when all evidence was clearly pointing to them NOT working out.

So - on that note, personally I just dont make a habit of continuing a friendship of any kind with any of my exes. It takes love and respect to make a friendship work as well as a love/romantic relationship - and if it wasn't there for the romance, why would I expect it to be there for the friendship?

From what you have posted I am not sure it is possible to be in a healthy, mature, positive relationship of any kind with your ex at this time. I dont think that I would put up with that kind of behaviour, it ceratinly would not be a positive, life-enhancing thing. Although we all talk about the "unconditional love" of relationships and friendships, I dont think there is anyone alive who doesnt look at a relationship at least partly, as far as "what's in it for me". And if what's in it for you is insecurity, waffling, blaming, not knowing where you stand, yelling and all of that - what IS in it for you?

While I'm sure you'll be able to come up with some things that are beneficial from you being in the friendship, don't look at them outside the price you have to pay to get those beneficial things. And you should ask yourself - is it worth it?

Take it easy on yourself. It takes time to get through stuff like this. Be patient with yourself. You've got a lot on your plate with moving, with your friend's issues, with dealing with your ex. I would expect that your world would seem very confusing and your emotions will be running on overdrive for awhile yet.

Remember that moving has its own set of stresses. Through all the moves I've done in my life I've always had this weird phase just before I moved where everything that used to bug me suddenly looked rosy, and things that I used to adore I suddenly hated. I think its all part of the letting go and grieving period. Yes - you do grieve any loss and moving is no less of a loss than someone dying. You're saying good bye to a part of your life that you know and have a lot of history with, into a phase where it is completely unknown. It is a scary time so dont be too surprised if things seem all topsy turvy. And also dont be surprised if your ex starts to act all weird and strange with you - I bet underneath it all he IS feeling some sense of loss with you leaving and he probably is not aware of it, and not being aware of it his emotions about it are all over the place - being expressed as hostility, anger, disrespect, etc.

I do think that this move will probably be a very good thing for you. If nothing else it will give you some mental and emotional distance to see this relationship more clearly. I think it will give you a lot of peace of mind to be able to have that distance.

Good luck and stay in touch.


#68454 - 11/22/03 11:06 PM Re: pushed to the edge -- again!
stpbb Offline

Registered: 03/03/03
Posts: 103
Thanks for your replies! I am feeling much better today. Thanks for the encouragement and support. PAS, your points about moving are really true & I think I was underestimating my level of stress & confusion from the move. I'm just trying to get the stuff done that I need to get done & not worry too much about anything else.

We went out for dinner yesterday, which was a nice break as well -- it gave us a chance to just talk & relax & not think about my move, my house, the boxes everywhere....


#68455 - 11/23/03 10:53 PM Re: pushed to the edge -- again!
Tom S. Offline

Registered: 04/15/03
Posts: 161
Loc: Nashville, Tn
No one needs a life with anyone who allows them to feel anything less than NUMBER ONE, with the possible exception of God, but everything in perspective.
Bottom line; hold yourself out for 'the' guy who treats you like he would want to be treated, and you should be treated. And be ever on gaurd not be motivated soley by what he looks like or his earnings potential, irregardless of the power of those things influence.
That means contain your urges and emotions until he arrives, because you deserve better. But if you give in to those thoughts and feelings and compromise yourself, then you deserve whatever you end up with.
Tom S.

' None are so enslaved as those falsely led to believe they are actually free '

#68456 - 11/24/03 12:15 AM Re: pushed to the edge -- again!
stride Offline

Registered: 03/07/03
Posts: 202
Loc: B.C. Canada

I have just read your initial "Pushed to the edge" post and all subsequent responses. Given that I am currently in the process of moving out of the home I've shared with my S.O. for the past
15 months--a man who has yet to deal with his SA history and its effects--I can relate to some of the things you're going through right now for sure. Your candour is appreciated and, in fact, quite helpful to me. Why?

Well, your "pushed" posts have helped remind me of how important it is for me to let go of the "what ifs," the preoccupations with what my (ex?) S.O. is or is not doing and/or will or will not be doing once I'm completely moved out, etc.
I am also doubly reminded of just how self-centered he continues to be through all of this. I mean, after two years of my doing all I can, heart, body and soul, to be the most loving, supportive, understanding, patient, encouraging, respectful partner I can be, he has finally succeeded in pushing me away. The hurt and sense of betrayal as a result of his many self/relationship-destructive addictive behaviours, his denials and deceptions, his inablility to be intimate combined with his refusal to look at or work on them, etc just became too much for me.

After trying off and on for two months to get him to leave, I finally bit the bullet and left myself. He'd spent those two months alternately angry and hostile towards me, or trying to persuade me to stay. He kept saying he "was ready" to "be real" with me etc, and to work on stuff with me, when all the while he was doing coke (something I'd thought he'd quit when we hooked up)--even stashing it in our home--drinking, and jerking off to porn so much that he ended up with sores on his penis for a while there. The porn stuff hurt me most of all, given his inability to be intimate with me and his clear lack of interest in me sexually, and I told him several times during those two months just how devastating it felt for me to know that he nonetheless continued to keep and turn to his porn
despite how awful it left me feeling. Well, the last straw came when he asked me what was wrong one night and I, respectfully but honestly, replied that I was still feeling utterly hurt and negated by his refusal to get rid of the porn (etc). He lost it. Suddenly I was dodging dishes of food as he hurled them at me, watching as he started breaking things, listening as he called me a "C__t," and moved aside as he spat at me, etc. I said nothing throughout and became eerily calm. 10 minutes later I was out collecting boxes and began packing the minute I returned home.

I've been staying at a friend's since then and am going, at 41 yrs of age, to be moving into my father's basement next weekend. I am not in good financial straits at all and this whole situation is certainly not helping things. Meanwhile, my S.O. has stayed on at our place and insists that I should change my mind, that he "gets it" now etc. Still, he hasn't quit drinking, has no intention of seeing a counsellor (together or on his own), and is basically not doing much of anything that would indicate change. He says he's thrown out all his porn, but that's about it (and who knows if that's true or not anyway--God knows he's lied to me about such things numerous times before).

Anyway, he has told me, quite angrily, several times about how "disruptive" it is to have me here packing, etc. He's mad that I've not given him more notice. He's mad that I packed my can opener. He says it's "weird" to have me here when I come by to pack more, check my email, do laundry or whatever--as if I shouldn't be here or something. He owes me money but says I'm "just going to have to wait" because he needs his money for staying on here (he cannot afford it but likes the place and says he's hoping that if he stays here I might move back in after a few months), planefare to T.O. for Christmas, etc. Everything is about how inconvenienced HE IS by what's happening and while he acknowledges (briefly) having repeatedly hurt me, lied to me, etc, I am somehow still more-or-less the bad guy for leaving him in difficult straits.

It depends on whether or not I stick to his>
In the right formation,
the lifting power of many wings can
achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone.

#68457 - 11/24/03 12:26 AM Re: pushed to the edge -- again!
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
I've said it before......

"we're a difficult bunch of people to deal with us survivors"
But although our abusive pasts and disfunctional present might give us 'reasons' for our behaviours - it doesn't give us rights or excuses for them.

There are levels of decency that most of us manage to maintain, and when we don't we accept that and work to change our attitudes etc to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
OK, I know it doesn't always work and we do repeat our mistakes, but - a big BUT - we ( the guys here ) are working at our recoveries, and we're open to change, deep and personal change. How else are we going to heal ? And on the back of that work there rides a whole pile of other good stuff.

I don't think that the guy you care about ( less and less I think ) cares about himself enough to want to change at all, and that says everything about him, not you.

You've tried to help another VICTIM, and that's where he's stuck.
It's no reflection on you at all, you tried and the guys here would thank you from the bottom of our hearts for trying to help him, but he has to move on himself.

And maybe you do as well, with pride.


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

#68458 - 11/24/03 04:30 PM Re: pushed to the edge -- again!
PAS Offline

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 577
Loc: Canada
Originally posted by Lloydy:

You've tried to help another VICTIM, and that's where he's stuck.
I like this thought - my fiance said to me a while ago when we were totally stuck in the anger-go-round...

"You know, we get into trouble in this relationship when we continue to view ourselves as VICTIMS. As long as we continue this victim mentality we continue to feel helpless, and it creates a lot of anger and fear and we then operate completely in response to that, instead of waking up and realizing we are now grown ups and able to make decisions where we can direct our lives to the best of our abilities. We have to realize that in our lives as kids we were where we were due to abuse and control, but in our lives as adults we are where we are NOW mostly due to choice and circumstance."

When my fiance made that observation he went a long way from going from VICTIM to SURVIVOR.



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