Here I am again!...
Once again, I find myself dealing with obsessive-compulsive anxiety over a relationship. I stayed out of relationships for about a year, then this man came along... and here I am again. The compulsions have gotten really bad... as I have allowed myself to get close to him. Now I am fighting all this anxiety and trying not to let my impulsive compulsions get the best of me. I thought I was ok... healthy enough to walk this path again... but it appears that I was wrong.
We agree that we each have issues we need to work on, and its best not to make a commitment right now. But, I find myself yearning for that. I had a very bad moment over the weekend in which I pretty much demanded a commitment. As I expected, he maintained his position that he is not ready for a relationship. We talked it through, and I thought I was ok... but the anxiety and the compulsion to call him is even worse this week.
I am working with a counselor and reading about relationship OCD, but I just do not know how to manage this. I frequently think we'd be better off if I just walk away... but I can't seem to do that either. I have my moments when I fool good about things, moments of clarity, and I know we will be ok, and that he cares about me, but mostly I am stuck in this cycle of obsessive impulsive-compulsiveness. I just don't know what to do anymore... Hoping someone has some insight and feedback for me.
Hi there, perhaps you struggle with codependency issues? I do, I am not sure what you go through but I can relate to the anxiety of not letting things just be, try to control them, etc...you have to be ok with yourself first and staying away from relationships so that you won't get hurt is not the answer either. Somewhere in you there is a mechanism in which you start giving the other person more power over you than you yourself should have and that is when you lose it. I am sure that if you stay still, breathe and be calm you know within you that you can let things go in the moment to find your peace. Do not think about tomorrow, think about letting it go now and you can start feeling in command of your center again. The book Codependent No More by Melody Beattie is a really good book. I do not know about OCD relationships but I am willing to bet that it starts with you and you must find a way to be happy with yourself and keep the balance when you are in a relationship. It is not easy but it can be done...
Bless you mardepp! I thank you for your response. I discussed co-dependency with my counselor, and while I have some of those characteristics, I don't fully meet the criteria, which is why I am looking at relationship ocd. I appreciate tat you mentioned that staying out of relationships isn't the answer either, because I am constantly obsessing about getting out, and walking away. I know I have moments of clarity, but I can't seem to get passed all the obsessing over the relationship. I know you are right about letting him have power over me. Perhaps I am repeating the dynamics of my marriage somehow, as my ex was very controlling... and I was always very insecure. I am confident and have good self esteem in every other aspect of my life... I just cannot seem to get to that point in my love life.
I can appreciate your mindfulness techniques, and I am working at that. The hardest thing for me is waiting for him to call. I have gotten into the habit of calling him after work, and when he doesn't answer, I deal with all this anxiety of waiting for him to call back. He usually does call me back. I wish I could just wait for him to call me first, like I used to, I know that I feel so much better when he calls first, and I want to get back to that place, but the anxiety gets the best of me. Ugh!
I have been considering hypno therapy to try and reverse some of these bad habits. Do you have any feedback on that?
I have never tried hypno therapy but have friends who had. I am not sure about your situation but in my case is an issue of self love. I have also been a pleaser when I shouldn't have and now it is a long painful process to get back. I have recently lost all my dreams, really after years of investing. I assure you it doesn't feel good. But, I can tell you that I did learn to manage to detach (not now, but I had in the past) well and have peace and let the other person take over...and you know what? when you get to the point that you trust yourself in the relationship then you will be able to trust him. And he will naturally call you and do all the things that you wish he did...When you have anxiety and you want to control the situation to feel better yourself think about how you will feel afterwards and how important it is for you that he calls you instead. Deep down your fear is that if you do not call him he will not call you on his own, but he will, you must trust him to lead or it cannot work. I struggle with some of the same but you will get better, you will...You are aware of it which is huge, now you can take the next step and work on you getting well. Reflect on where that impulse of wanting to fix or direct the relationship comes from. I am telling the same things I tell myself
It seems you have a good understanding of what I am going through. It all seems so ridiculous when I think about it, really. The obsessions really do not even make any sense. Perhaps my issue is self-love. My counselor did mention that I should work on my self esteem. This is difficult for me to understand. I think I am a great person with alot to offer anyone who wants to be a part of my life. I am very good at my job as a social worker. I am working on my MS in clinical psychology, which why this all seems so silly to me... yet I am having difficulty moving past the obsessiveness.
I thank you for all your input, and for your encouragement, and telling me that I will get better. I know I can see myself where I want to be, how I would rather be handling things, so I do hope I get there.
Blessings to you mardepp! I am sorry to hear that you have been through the same and that you feel you have lost everything. I felt that way for a while too. If you need someone to talk to about ir, I would love to return the favor.
You are more than good enough. Many of us forget this, along the way. Like you, I have been around controlling people at various points in my life. It can really mess up one's perspective of locus of control, personal power and boundaries. You start to become overly responsible for the other, and anxious of what they are or are not doing in the moment - and then over time, you become unaware of yourself (which also feels like powerlessness). You also develop the feeling that no one will 'catch' you if you fall, or that no one has your back. Not sure, but perhaps this contributes to the anxiety you feel. That on some level, we realize we haven't been there for ourselves, so we distrust ourselves - and we shift the responsibility to others, to needing them to be there for us (not their job), but we then don't trust them to do it either. Then this messed up energy just attracts exactly what we don't want into our lives.
It is actually good that your partner is standing firm on his decision. In a way, it is providing a counterbalance so you can start to work on yourself and let him sort out his own stuff. The book that Mardepp suggested is very good - I have read it as well.
Sometimes the positive changes are happening so slow, we think we aren't making progress at all - but we are. It's just that progress sometimes doesn't look like what we are expecting - "still losing it, but recovering faster afterwards", or "noticing what you're doing as you're doing it". It took time for us to develop patterns that don't serve us well - it probably takes quite a bit of time to find better ways. Trust that it is happening for you - even if you can't quite 'see' it yet.
Sometimes all you need is time, I think. To get on board with the person you are becoming. To get to the point where you know that you will be there for yourself, no matter what. To take responsibility back for your own well-being. And let others be responsible for theirs. Awareness is already a big first step. Don't beat yourself up. You are slowly getting there. Same thing I'm telling myself
Try to focus more on the parts of you and your life that make you feel good about yourself. And let the rest sort itself out
Thank you Danceur! I really appreciate the encouragement. I think you are absolutely right in everything you said. In fact, I tell others the same things... things that I should heed for myself. At this point, I know I need to take a big step back, and give us both some space. Every time I see that I need to do this, it seems that I feel even more needy and clingy. I had many moments this weekend where I wanted to just completely walk away... not necessarily to give up, but decide if this relationship is really good for me. There are some dynamics that are developing that I am uneasy about. I don't understand why I can't seem to pull back when I know that I need to. I know that this is the best way to give things the time that they need, and give myself the attention and love that I need. I decide to do this, then I end up calling him anyway.
We do talk in depth about the way we are feeling about the relationship. Me acknowledging that I want more from him was a big step for me, and he knows that. We talk about a future together, and he says that he will want to settle down at one point and I would be the person that he would want to do that with. He tells me that he loves me in a casual sort of way, like in mid sentence. He told me that no matter what happens between us that he would always love me. I on the other hand cannot tell him that I love him without a commitment, even though I know that I do. He also told me this weekend that he figures I will eventually walk away, not wanting to put up with his "s***"... and I tell him that it is a possibility at this point. I asked him if that was the reason for not wanting to be committed, and he did confirm that it was part of it. I guess I cannot really reassure him of anything at this point, because he cannot make a commitment.
Thank you for your time and attention here. I appreciate the feedback, and it does help me to be able to write about it to someone. I wish you blessings and send you healing energy for where ever you need it in your life. Blessings!
To me, it's a sign of progress when you notice differences between what you think and feel and how you act. That is awareness. Trust you are on the right track.
It will take time and practice to start trusting that inner voice and to believe that you will be fine if you take care of yourself first. One of the things I'm learning about is the concept of lack. Not sure if this is something you can relate to. But it's the idea of feeling like we will lose out (in various ways) if we don't do this or that (and within a certain timeframe) - even if that means acting in ways that aren't in our best interests. And putting up with things that don't make us happy - because we think we won't receive anything better than what we're getting. That really warps our perspective and our standards.
We are all learning from each other, no one is perfect. Baby steps, dear. I've learned a lot being here on this board, but it's taken time - and there's still so much to learn. I still have my low points - only human after all. The great thing about these baby steps, you may not see the road you've covered - but you will feel the difference in perspective. Even when you fall, you'll find that you're no longer at the same starting point you are. This is all part of the process.
Take care - wishing you light, hope and peace of mind
Thank you Danceur. I appreciate your encouragement, and I can definitely see the concept of lack in my life as you described it. It seems the universe has taken control and put me in my place, The guy I wrote about decided he needs a break. He said we would still talk, but he hasn't called in 3 days, and I refuse to call him at this point. I was calling him every day, and insisting on seeing him, so I know that I simply pushed to far. He did send me a couple of texts last night to see how I am. I just said I was ok, and did not elaborate. Told him that I missed him, and kept it short and sweet. I have the urge to send him an email telling him that I understand his place and his reasons... but I also think maybe I should stay silent till he calls or makes more effort to talk.
I know in time I will get used to not talking to him every day... and maybe even decide that this relationship is not good for me and pull away. I know that every day that goes by that I don't talk to him... that seems to be the direction that I am headed... yet, I miss him so much... and I cry every day about the situation... but I know I will heal in time.
Thank you for your response I send you prayers and positive thoughts to help you through your situation. Love and Blessings to you.
Hello Missy Mill, I hope that you are feeling better even though your post says you don't. I am actually going through something very similar at the moment. I picked up again this book "Women Who love too Much" and it was also very helpful as it was the book I mentioned the other day.
Once you understand that what you feel CAN BE MANAGED even though naturally you do not feel that way, you will start feeling better. Perhaps try to think of what you truly feel in your heart and TRUST that if this person will remain in your life he will be back. You are more than enough, you are amazing just in your own company. Trust that the person will miss you and return what makes you feel comfortable. And you will see a change, both in the other person and in you. You are letting go now, if that helps you now, do that.
I am learning that perhaps the key to relationships is to really let them evolve at their own pace and we really want to control and be in control but perhaps you do not have to do ANYTHING AT ALL!! perhaps the other person will start doing more if you can just be. The hardest thing of all, I know. Love to you!!
Thank you Mardepp! Your words are comforting, and mean more to me than I can express. It has been difficult. This is the first weekend that I have spent alone in 6 months. I am trying to stay busy doing homework, cleaning house, and talking to friends. I am trying to appreciate all the little things that I used to do around the house that I didnt even realize that I missed, like falling asleep on the couch watching tv. And the feel of burrowing into the pillows on my bed whan I sleep. I still cry, but it is getting easier. Sometimes I am angry at him for being so unfair... then I am angry at myself for letting this happen... and angry at the universe for having to be alone again... I am still confused about moving forward if he comes around... which I really think he will. But I dont have to make any decisions about that right now, and that is comforting. I do feel like I am letting go, in a way that I have never done before. I know at this point, all I can do is wait and see what the universe has in store for me.
Thank you so much for your care and concern. I wish you blessings and positive energy for your situation, and lots of love.
Just thought I'd give a quick update. He did contact me the Saturday after I last posted. We spent Sat evening and Sunday together. He seems to be a bit perplexed by my silence. He stated that he thought I would would blow him off and stand him up after he blew me off all week. Then he called again this passed Fri, and I spent Fri and Sat evening with him. This weekend he said that he thought I would have had a date. I am sensing that maybe he is a bit insecure bu the change in my behavior. However, I am a bit bothered that he thinks I can move on so quickly. I am trying to maintain the space that he has created between us and not push for anything more. Sometimes I still want to walk away and move on... not sure if I really want to tolerate his issues and wonder if the universe has someone better for me. I am trying to take it day by day, and dissociate from my emotions as much as possible, as they heave been too overwhelming for so long, ans I am just mentally exhausted from it all.
Thank you, and blessings to all who contributed so thoughtfully to my dilemma.
Radiantsun last edited by
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Missy, I somehow found this thread just now and wish to add some input to your dilemma:
This man is not reliable and will continue to be with you, then gone, etc. He is one of those who throws out the line, then reels it back in just as quickly. He has major insecurities and his insecurities are bringing out yours.
You say you want to walk away because you feel the Universe may have something/someone better for you. Well they do! It's not this man; he has been a stepping stone, and a journey into how far you've come with your own - as you'd described earlier - "obsessive" ways in a relationship.
The question here for you is: Do you want a full time, committed relationship, or one that is part-time when it suits you? This isn't having a go at you either: sometimes when we are very busy, a full on relationship can sort of get in the way and wear us out when we try to apply time to it, as well as what's going on in our lives.
At this point, I don't think you'd benefit from being tied down, even though it seems that's what you want on the surface. Think clearly, dig deeply, and I think you'll find that you're pretty happy being your own girl and not answerign to anyone, at least for now.
One other thing: the "on again off again" guys (and girls) are actually almost all control freaks. They control things by disappearing, then reappearing. Is this what you want?
I hope this helps!
Wow! I was surprised to see this thread revived. I am not sure why you bumped it RadiantSun, but thank you.
Moon50, I appreciate your input. Things have progressed somewhat since my original post. We have become an exclusive bf/gf thing, meaning that we are exclusive and he introduces me as his gf and such, but we still have the freedom to live our own lives. It has not really been an on and off thing. There was only the one short break. We agree that is someone else comes along that we want to date we will be upfront and honest about it. He feels he may still want to mess around. I think this is his way of hiding from the fear of a relationship. we talk about a future together and possibly moving in together, but there are issues we need to resolve first. I wrote more about this in another thread called "dreaming of my name", but its toward the end of the thread.
I still question the degree of commitment I want with him. There is a part of me that wants a partner and another child... I can see these things with him, but I am still unsure about him. I teeter between the insecurity and feeling empowered to do my own thing. I think my insecurty comes from my own fear of commitment, and abandonment, although sometimes I also think its my own empathic abilities picking up on his insecurities. Lately, I have been feeling more empowered to do what I want, and I am starting to make decisions to prepare for the future I want, with or without him. He says he wants a future with me, but is not quite there yet... as you said "throw out the line, then reel it back in just as quickly". I have made it clear that I will not wait around for him.
I think that I am growing comfortable with the amount of freedom that I have in this relationship. My ex was quite the opposite, very controlling. I have learned a great deal from this relationship, and am feeling more empowered to take care of myself as things move forward. So, perhaps this is heading toward being apart-time relationship as you mentioned. I know I have to find balance in it. Perhaps the universe has someone better for me. Only time will tell. My challenge is to keep mindful and in the present moment, enjoy what is good, and discard what is bad. Some days I am good at this, and some days I revert back to the OCD stuff. Yet, each day I get a little stronger.
Thank you so much for your response. You did confirm some things, just as you have for me in the past. I don't know if you remember, but you and I used to email each other about another relationship I was in a few years ago. Blessings to you! I hope all is well and wish great things for you!
Well Missy, firstly I'm glad you responded so positively to this reading, especially after all this time. I found it because of Radiant Sun's kind efforts at bumping it up, so there you are!
I am still at the same email address if you wanted to drop me a line I do remember emailing someone off here, but can't remember your exact name or the circumstances. And no doubt, I piled you up with some stuff about my own life lol!
Things are going well for me these days. I have a new partner who I've been with for a year and four months, to be exact. We're looking at moving to another, larger town as it feels like it's time for me to move on from this tiny town after 11 years of living here. Like you, I've had issues of dealing with abandonment and keeping my own independence in a relationship. We don't live in each other's pockets - sometimes we don't even have the same meal for dinner lol!
While I'm nervous about making such a major move after all these years, I know that I need to spread my wings a bit more and do things on my own without my partner a wee bit more often than I do here. It's hard to do that here because my friends are work mates and are working when I'm rostered off, so that puts paid to that!
Anyway, as I said, I am on the same email address if you wanted to drop me a line. It starts with greenday ... just in case you can't remember it.
Thanks for the feedback! It sounds like you're learning to be your own person in a relationship, rather than letting it consume you, and that's a plus. Our partners can't be everything to us, nor can we be to them, and that can be a very difficult, life long lesson to learn!
Take care, and hopefully we'll talk again
Radiantsun last edited by
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Thank you again RadiantSun. You helped me reconnect with Moon50, and now you can as well. It is neat how spirit works.
Moon50, I found youe email address and sent you an email. Feels great to reconnect.
Hi Radiantsun, long time no talk to!
Firstly I'm getting that you're either in your 50's or so ... is that right? Divorce is hard, and even if it might be necessary, amicable, or your choice, it's still a hard move to make. I left my ex husband when I was 48, and had to adjust to a new house, new job and the new dynamics of sharing my daughter 50/50 with him. All of that was hard, but I had the enthusiasm of a new life to take the edge off the pain.
However, it all came back to bite me on the butt earlier this year. I hadn't let go of the marriage ... or more to the point, the whole "we" thing. I'd been with him for 23 years, and my current partner was also with his ex wife for that length of time and had been suffering similar. We've been good at helping each other over these bumps in the road, although it hasn't all been a smooth ride! We both have abandonment issues and commitment issues and have been battling with those since we've been together. As I said to my 22 year old daughter: relationship issues don't change with age lol!
Enough about me.
Did you come home to an empty house and a note? I'm feeling a real sense of abandonment here; like you didn't know it was coming and he simply left.
Look, I can blow smoke up your skirt and tell you all the cliche things: that you'll be fine, you will come out of this stronger and happier, but at this point, none of that is going to help you. If you know of a good counsellor somewhere near you, I'd go along and talk. Talk, talk, talk. And seek out one or two good friends who can help you through this as well.
Did you keep the house? I'm getting that you're rattling around alone and that the house has become too big for you. Once the initial dust has settled and you feel more stable within yourself, a move will come for you.
I can't see a reconciliation with your ex husband either; it's like he's disappeared in a puff of smoke and taken what he could from you without a backward glance. I'm not talking material things either, but that could - or no doubt would - be part of it.
The main message I get for you here is: as hard and sad as this has been, imagine what a life spent with someone of his nature would've been like for too much longer. You're still young enough to find another life and another love. Remind yourself always that this divorce came about because of his issues, not you or yours.
You tried. He didn't and couldn't.
I see an interstate move for you, but not for a while yet. It's going to be a place where the weather is much more temperate than where you live now, and closer to someone who's important to you - children or parents or a very good friend you had to leave behind because of him. That old life of yours will come back around full circle and you'll find yourself surrounded by those who lift your spirit and calm you.
You will go through some rocky times emotionally for a while though. This is why I suggested counselling, if that's a possibility for you.
He turned pretty mean, didn't he? And it was a great shock to you. I'm sorry you had to go through this, but again, imagine having to look after him in his failing years. This way, you won't have to; he'll be someone else's problem! And I apologise if that sounds a bit insensitive or harsh. You've been spared, as much as it hurts and has exhausted you.
And stop whipping yourself for indulging in the odd habit that you feel is bad for you! You'll come out of that too, and the more you worry about it, the worse it'll get a hold on you. Remember you're trying to find quick fixes to numb the pain and that is entirely normal.
Phew, that's what I can give you at the moment Radiant! I don't know if any of this makes sense, and I hope that none of it has annoyed or angered you.
I'm praying this helps you some ... and wish you all the best on this part of your journey.
Got your message Missy, and will respond when I've sanded more of my table lol! It is great to reconnect again after all this time