Making Healthier Decisions...But Still Don'T Have A Lot Of Skills

I just left a relationship with a man who was a commitment phobe.

I loved him a lot, and I thought I was establishing healthier patterns in my relationship with him.

He wouldn't commit. That was all the fights were about. As long as there was no talk of future, we were fine. And, since he was always worried about the future and did not plan on making a long term commitment to me, he was dishonest in our daily lives. He covered anxiety and didn't let me know what was going on. So, when he dumped me this month (at my lowest point, I have been in midst of a flare up of a chronic illness and several bouts of flu), I was heartbroken and confused.

He pushed me away once last month, and I should not have moved back to him. I had to bridge this big gap after he was distant after a fight, and I thought I needed to show him how to break patterns that he had repeated long term with his first wife.

He is not interested in a commitment to me or anyone. He needs to feel completely safe, and set all the boundaries in a relationship around commitment, time spent, what he will/won't give, and he has a hard time being present with emotion, even if doesn't have anything to do with him.

So, I left after the second big push. I stayed in the relationship as long as it felt he was deepening his commitment to me, but it is clear now that he doesn't value our relationship enough to address his underlying intimacy issues.

So, I left and know I have no choice but not to pursue him and just move on with my life. I am scared and I do not have much motivation or interest in a lot right now. No spark. I know a lot about what not to do. I don't want to date for a good while as I am hurt, shaky in being on my own and vulnerable, and trust issues are big right now. I am facing a significant loss of income, and I am feeling a little bad about myself right now as rejection hurts and I thought I was something different to him then a disposable plaything. Kind of feel stupid at 41 to get taken in this way, and questioning my judgement and reevaluating the whole experience.. I don't want to repeat old mistakes.

I don't trust easily and I let him into my whole heart. I don't know how I will ever trust a man again.

But, that is future work anyway, I need to get focused on the immediate path. Without external anchors, I have a hard time keeping propped up. I am on disability right now, and so I don't have a structured job to keep me disciplined. I have been through so much struggle and constant change in my life, I am having a hard time even seeing the point in trying. It seems I can't ever get a run of more then a year or a few months of stability and then, my entire life is up in question again.

It feels as if the color has been all drained off the page.

The positive is that despite all of this, I did walk on the relationship when it was clear that he was not going to give me the commitment I needed to move forward. The not so positive is that I still feel at some level it is my fault even though logically I know it is not, and he said as much. I struggle with validating myself. I practice (all the time), I sit with painful emotions as they come up, I try to just let be and listen to my buddhist videos. It has improved, I don't go down as far and beat myself quite so quickly or deeply. But, the feeling remains of it being my fault. If I....If I.....If I......I know so much on a logical level, but I still feel that way.

I am trying not to vest in the belief that this is how I will keep feeling. Especially since I have been sick (getting better, knock on wood) for a month and a half, it is a grey and snowless winter, I got dumped at my lowest point, and I was told that I was less a priority then skiing and extreme exercise. Not a place to take an accurate gauge of life possibilities, I do know. Best I seem to be able to do is not collapse under the weight of it, avoid self medicating, and stay with the feelings.

I want to do more then just maintain, though. I would like to feel engaged and excited about life and feel like there are possibilities again. And, though I honestly do not want a relationship of any kind (I feel like I would just punch a guy in the face right now, if he even flirted with me, I am so sick of the way I have been treated by men), I do not feel very optimistic about men in general.

I guess I just sit with what is until it changes. I know change comes. I have lived it enough. I am just tired of so much of it.
rosedl rosedl
41-45, F
2 Responses Feb 23, 2013

You are speaking my mind out, I am in the exact same situation and still suffering after a week of the third breakup. He will not commit and aslong as I don't bring up commitment he stays attached, the minute I ask what's next, he dumps me and comes back later at his convenience. I let him come back twice, because i thought he has finally agreed to commit and both times nothing changed. I am truing to hold strong and not allow him back if he does try. Inside i a, wishing he would. I would like to tell him that i now understand the pattern of dating a narcisst and how he makes my codependency exist. I feel i will never be able to be in a normal relationship. Inkeep repeating the same pattern over and over again. When normal guys try to approach me and give me attention i block them out and feel nothing. I am so hurt and so deep in sorrow

Well you have some insight at least as to what you need to feel and how to cope. My hope is that you see a good psychologist to help you get it right in life.

I spent 18 years providing love for my wife and working at giving myself away through it all.

I am at a loss, I left her in nov and am trying to do what it is you are. Stay away from the partying, women, drugs, and dysfunctional behaviors that drew me into the relationship that I have had with my wife. It is very difficult to feel my feelings and sort them out. I enjoy just the quiet in the room and feeling the loneliness, insecurity, fear, and the anger of what my wife has put me through as well as the mistakes I have made in this relationship. I have never dealt with me like I am now. I am as co dependent as it gets and I will be like this for most likely the rest of my life. Just knowing this tells me I do not want a relationship with another woman and it not that I don't trust them, its me, and who and what kind of person I draw into my life.

My wish for you is to find that place within yourself that empowers you to become greater then you are and you go beyond your imagination or expectations that you have for yourself.

I know this much god wants us to experience what we do to grow and become what it is that he expects of us and you will get there.

Good luck!

I don't think you have to remain co-dependent all your life.

It is wise to see that you are vulnerable to the same patterns, and you don't want to make the same decisions as in your past. I don't perceive the solution as running from relationships, but being aware of how these tendencies repeat in the future. And, they will.

All we can do is work to make them a bit better each time. In my last relationship, I did try to change patterns and I did succeed to some extent (actually a large extent because I walked when he wouldn't commit, I realized that my desires were healthy and the dynamic of his procrastination would be enabled as long as I allow it). I am heartbroken because I did not leave this man for lack of love. I love him with my whole heart, and I want to have a relationship with him. But, I know that if another person is not committed to moving forward with a future, you can't do anything. He is a classic commitment phobic, acted near text book in the way he handled the relationship and right down to leaving.

I know he loves me. And, I love him.

I can't be with someone who compartmentalizes his life to the point where love and commitment are viewed as superfluous and protecting the status quo trumps moving forward with what is right in front of you. And, ego trumps love. Holding grudges, retaliation, and punishment for an argument is considered fair play. It is impossible.

My work is to stop beating myself up for being unable to reach him and understand that this is his work (or lack of work, his choice) and keep my eyes on my own work. As I was the one who took the real risks in the relationship, and he held himself forever safe, I am splat on the ground with my wide open heart.

But, I am tired of viewing my ability to love as a pathology. I was kind to him. I was loving to him. I didn't blame him for my **** and worked very hard to own mine. All I asked was that he commit to me after being friends for a year and a half and intense lovers for the next year. The love was clear.

And, when I asked for anything tangible, he would get angry and blame me for pushing. No dreams for the future. No commitment to sever past ties.

So, yeah. I got angry, and I failed in being nice to him in the face of it. I told him off, and got sarcastic. Being mean isn't justified because someone else is...but I am only human. And, when I keep getting punished for getting angry at the unfair way he treats me, it is clear I have to stop letting him treat me that way.

There is no other way.

Now, it is all me. And, my dilemma comes from putting so much of myself in the relationship, I am drained and left without my own stability. Classic pitfalls of the co-dependent. However, I did maintain outside friendships, support, and interests (even if they don't move me now). I do have resources and friends (and he has no other close people in his whole life other then his daughter who is about to go away to grad school, so what does that speak to? He always said his daughter 'takes good care of him' which is so inappropriate a role for 24 year old girl to a perfectly healthy middle aged man, he can love her because he views her as never going away.

But, see, there I go again. I have to divest myself now from the reasons and understand that regardless of those reasons, we can't be together unless he wanted to address those issues which he does not. And, I can't wait around in some hope that our powerful connection and love would be enough to make him want to fight for it.

Letting go is not coming easy. It feels dishonest because of the underlying love. I realize that closing my heart to love is not the answer either, as feelings are what they are. Letting love just be no matter what form it takes and removing expectations of an outcome is the only way to heal, I have done it before.

It is the peaceful warrior's path. It is allowing yourself to burn away to let what is simply be. And, my co-dependency has shown me the contrasts of what love is rather then isn't.

Let go and let be.

nice! i have so much to learn. i am scared and yet empowered. problem is i have so much to deal with in this divorce that it just drains me thinking about it. i pray a lot and work hard with god on this. it is helping. my psychologist was out this week and i was a mess yesterday with this moving thing with a room mate that can not do any thing due to back problems. i just felt really anxious and needed to give up on the 12 hour day of moving. the lady next door had moved in and i was talking to her weeks ago and exchanged numbers as a neighbor deal and she called me asking if i needed any help packing and i we could have a beer or two in doing so. well i told her i was done for the day with moving but someone to talk to and have a couple cocktails with would be nice. so i went over and visited with her and her 16 year old daughter. it was nice and i told her it was nice to just hang out with a female and visit about life, struggles , and our relationships with god. it was a nice time! just need to keep her 5 foot away at all times! not a lol