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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Major Guilt Trip

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Author Topic: Major Guilt Trip
averagejen
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I've been dating C for 9 months now. Since about 3 months ago, I've been feeling like there's something "not right," like I didn't feel the same way about him anymore. This is due to a number of reasons, the main one being that I'm naturally independent and really like my "alone time" while he craves constant attention/affection in a relationship and wants to be together all the time if possible. We've broken up a number of times but got back together within 24 hours because one of us tried to get the other back. I am taking summer classes at my university so I can graduate on time (because I'm double-majoring) and also working on campus. I feel like I hardly have time to spend with C (and even if I do have free time, I don't want to spend it with him because I just want to go home and relax). Lately almost every time we hung out we've fought, mostly over me not being affectionate/caring enough. I know that this isn't his fault but I can't force myself to be as affectionate as he wants me to be. Also he gets angry whenever I want to spend the weekend with my best friend, who goes to school an hour away and only comes home for the weekends. Last time we had a big fight, he said "Who would you choose, your best friend or me?" So I replied, "If you really cared about me, you wouldn't make me choose." Then he said, "Yes, but hypothetically who would you choose?" This went on for a while and I ended the call by saying "I'm done with this relationship." He called back and got me back in the relationship by saying that he's so alone/depressed/etc. (basically guilt-tripping me). On another occasion, he even threatened to cut himself because I left him. I don't know what to do. He can be a great guy, but I really think at this point I can be better off without this relationship. How do I avoid the guilt-trip and how do I end it without too much drama (or should I end it at all)? Any advice is appreciated.

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:)

Posts: 93 | From: So Cal | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kachina
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I'm sorry you're having trouble with this, averagejen. Threatening to hurt himself if you leave is a type of emotional abuse. You shouldn't stay with someone out of guilt, relationships should be enjoyable for everyone involved, and it does sound like it would be healthier for you to end this.

My advice to avoid a guilt trip is to cut it off completely, at least until you are sure you won't go back out of guilt. Don't answer his calls or read his texts or his emails. (You can block his number and email if this is too hard for you).

If you are worried he will hurt himself, you can call the authorities in your area and report it. It sounds like he needs to get professional help, you are not his therapist and are not properly trained to deal with things like that. Staying with him will not actually help him, so try not to feel guilty. You should not sacrifice yourself to try to help him, and it sounds like you can see the problems and lack of compatibility with the relationship and soundly have been trying to end it.

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~Kat
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Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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averagejen
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Ok what you're saying makes sense Kat. He also gets upset if I refuse sex because he says sex is the only way I show affection and I'm taking that away (which isn't true, I show affection in other way, just not as much as him). I just don't know how to tell him
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Kachina
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That is certainly not a healthy relationship dynamic. Manipulation and guilt-trips are not part of a good relationship.

You can say something like, "I think it's time for us to move on. We just aren't compatible. Please do not contact me anymore. If you feel like you might hurt yourself, please see someone qualified to help you."

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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averagejen
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So today I was in class from 1-7PM straight and afterwards C wanted me to come and "cuddle" with him. I mean, he is my boyfriend so that idea should be appealing or at the least not repulsive. But I felt overwhelmed, confused and frustrated because I absolutely did NOT want to hang out with him, at ALL. All this is telling me that being in a relationship isn't making me happy (obviously). But I STILL don't have the heart to break it off completely! I am going insane over this, and I know I don't need this additional stress over my school and work. Why can't I just dump him if I'm feeling trapped and see this relationship going nowhere?!

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:)

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Heather
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Well, what do you think is going on with you?

You say you feel trapped: maybe you can talk a little more about those feelings and what you feel trapped in?

If you think hard about it, what do you think staying in this is giving you? What might you be getting by not getting out of something unhealthy that you also don't feel good about?

For example, do you feel like you are somehow saving this person from harm? Or, if his threats aren't hollow (even though they likely are), that if you break up, and he goes through with them, it'll be your fault, so staying absolves you of any feelings of responsibility for an outcome like that? or something else?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Kachina
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Breaking up can be a very difficult thing to do. But if your putting it off because you "don't have the heart" think of it like this: delaying the inevitable or pretending to have feelings you don't is probably more hurtful to everyone involved than just ending a relationship that is clearly not working.

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~Kat
Scarleteen Volunteer

Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, "We've always done it this way." I try to fight that. That's why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise. - Grace Hopper

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averagejen
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I've always had a hard time saying "no" to people and I've always been the person who tries to please everybody else. So maybe this has something to do with me not being able to just break it off. I've been dumped by guys before and it's been a horrible feeling. I guess I just don't want to be responsible for making C feel that way. A small part of me is also scared that he'll do something irrational/harmful to himself if I do break it off. Once he told me if I ever dumped him, he'd do "an insane amount of drugs" to the point of overdosing. I know he's probably not going to do that but then again I can't be sure. I wish I could magically love him like I did in the beginning but the other part of me just wants to move on.

Also he's currently living about 200 miles away from his family (he's not even close to his family to begin with) and I feel like if he breaks down there will be nobody there for him.

I guess I feel trapped in this relationship b/c he acts like the perfect boyfriend for 24 hours after we get back together after a fight, but then just falls back to his old ways. He's possessive and jealous, and whenever we hang out, all he wants to do is lie around his bed and have sex (which I'm not into). Should I ask to take a break? Would that be easier than breaking up altogether? Or should I just break it all off permanently?

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:)

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Heather
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So, if I have this right, what not breaking this off offers you is:
• The feeling that you are pleasing someone
• A positive feeling in not being someone who says no
• Feeling like you are not causing the kind of hurt others have caused you before, and/or don't have to be responsible for hurting this person with a breakup
• Feeling like you have the ability to save this person from themself
• Getting what feels like the perfect boyfriend for short periods of time

Does that all sound about right to you? If not, how about making some edits, so you can really look at that?

Next, can you make a list for me of the positive things you think you'd get by leaving this relationship?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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averagejen
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Yes your list is more or less right.
I guess the positive things I'd get out of leaving is:

* Ability to hang out with my friends whenever I want to without having drama with my boyfriend
* Freedom to find somebody who's more compatible with me
* Not having to stress out about my bf being mad at me for not being affectionate enough
* No more pressures of trying to be affectionate, out of my comfort zone
* No more being pressured into having sex
* More time to focus on myself, school, etc.
* No more drama/fights

BTW I'm currently talking with C online about taking a break...I'll keep updating on how the conversation is going

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:)

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Heather
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I'd maybe restate some things as positive/affirmative statements rather than "nots."

For instance:
* Ability to hang out with my friends whenever I want to without having drama with my boyfriend = having the freedom to have a variety of healthy, positive relationships in my life that are supported

* Not having to stress out about my bf being mad at me for not being affectionate enough = the ability to be physical or affectionate on my own terms
* No more pressures of trying to be affectionate, out of my comfort zone = the possibility of only healthy sexual dynamics I want, rather than coerced actions
* No more being pressured into having sex = only healthy, consensual sex, not abuse or assault

But looking at both of those lists, what you get from staying, and what you can have by going, how do they both look to you? Which seems to be the better offer for you, and which seems to offer the healthier life?

As well, can you also see how some of the things in that first list keep you from some of the things in the second? For instance, being the person who never says no also will often mean being the person who does things they don't want to or doesn't get a say. Being so focused on pleasing someone else can mean not being pleased yourself, but can also mean you might wind up with people who aren't so healthy: who can feel pleased even when you're very unhappy. Avoiding some emotional responsibilities can also mean not really reaping interpersonal benefits or having partnerships of real quality. Sticking with people who you think need to be saved also means choosing relationships with people who actually aren't capable of being partners.

See some of what I mean, and how some of these choices limit other possibilities, not because of what someone else is doing, but because of what you choose? And how you have the capacity to make some choices that would make it far more difficult for the negative things that are happening to keep happening?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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averagejen
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Thanks for your insight Heather. I've been fighting depression for 5 years now but a year ago I've decided to stop seeing the therapist, instead only relying on antidepressants. Maybe this is a good time to go back to talking with a psychologist. I think that'll help me assert myself more and learn how to say "no".

As for C, I've had a face-to-face talk with him and we've agreed to take a one-week break with no contact. I've also made it clear that I don't want to have sex until I feel that I want to/am ready, and he has accepted that.

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:)

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