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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Looking for Feedback

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Author Topic: Looking for Feedback
Janie Jones
Neophyte
Member # 46161

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Ok, so I guess I just wanted a place where I could write this all down in some sort of coherent fashion and maybe get a little feedback.

The background on my relationship is that I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. We started going out my junior year of college (undergrad). This is my first relationship. I live in a different state than where I went to school, but I didn't consider our relationship long distance during that time because I was in school a majority of the year. I graduated in May 2009 and we have since been in a long distance relationship. We try and see each other once a month, but sometimes it is a longer interval because of work schedules. We talk almost every day via IM and also talk on the phone frequently.

Overall our relationship is really good. He is a kind, caring, trustworthy person and things have just "clicked" from the beginning.
We have had our minor disagreements now and then, usually about financial stuff, but the last time we saw each other in person we had a real fight. It started over something minor, but I know it was representative of a larger issue.

I almost never get very angry, but during this fight I did. I ended up yelling at him and when I did he had this look of fear on his face. After we had both calmed down and were rationally talking I asked if he had been afraid of me and he said that he was afraid I was going to hit him. I was really hurt that he would think that. I have to be extremely upset to even raise my voice. His previous girlfriend was manipulative and he recently learned through someone he knows that still talks to her that she has been diagnosed as a sociopath, so I asked if she ever hit him and he said yes. He said that she used to hit him when they fought, so I’m guessing that fighting is triggering for him.

He has been depressed off and on over the last few months. I have been strongly encouraging him to seek counseling. (Also, I have wanted him to see a therapist because he has had traumatic events in his life, such as 2 years ago his dad died suddenly and unexpectedly, and his mom is mentally ill ((and doesn’t get any sort of treatment or help)) and thrusts a lot of her problems on him, as well as being emotionally manipulative. ) He had seen his regular MD and got a referral to see a therapist but had been procrastinating about making the actual appointment. The day after our fight he finally made the appointment (he will be seeing the therapist for the 1st time tomorrow). A couple weeks after the fight he was feeling extremely depressed and ended up going to back to his Dr. and got a Rx for some antidepressants.

Before he went back to his Dr we had been having more problems with our relationship. He would vent to me when he was feeling crappy. When he is depressed he gets very fatalistic, and self-deprecating. I would get very stressed because I couldn’t do anything about it (i.e. help him feel better) , and so I would lose patience and become with him (and myself). I work around 60 hours a week, and don’t always sleep well, so that can make my fuse a little short also.

Because of all of this we decided to take a “break” from the relationship as it was. He said he didn’t want to be a “psychic vampire” through dumping all his emotional stuff on me, and I didn’t want to be frustrated with him all the time. So now he doesn’t talk to me about how cruddy he is feeling. He is taking the time to focus on himself and not worry about our relationship. We still talk everyday and technically are still together, but I am giving him space.

He says I can still talk to him about things when I feel stressed out (like if I had a bad day at work or something), but I feel like its not fair for me to do that when I can’t even handle listening to the things that stress him out.

I try to be as supportive of him as I can. When he finally made the appointment with the therapist and went and talked to the Dr about getting medication I told him that I was really proud of him for doing that and how glad I was that he did it. I feel like there should be more ways for me to be supportive.
How can I help and be more supportive as far as his healing from the past abusive relationship? I had known that she had been emotionally abusive (the physical abuse was news to me), but I had never seen any residual effects from it. He is such a kind and loving person and I hate to see him afraid or hurt.

Sorry if this is scattered. I’d appreciate any feedback or suggestions.

--------------------
I don't want you to settle, I want you to grow.

Posts: 21 | From: Northeast USA | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
loveyoumake
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Hi Janie Jones,

This is a tough situation for both of you, especially with you just finding out now, after being together 3 years, that your boyfriend was physically abused. I understand that you don't want to go to your boyfriend with your issues, but is there someone else you could talk to too? It's always good to have someone to talk to, in fact you can even come here if you just need to vent [Smile] but it's also always nice having a close friend to talk to in person. It's also understandable that you have a short fuse, with working 60 hours a week on top of normal day to day functioning, so this is something that I wouldn't feel too awful bad about because it happens to everyone. You can apologize and explain your situation, and more than likely (in any case) the other person will understand. Being sleep-deprived can reek havoc on you & your body! So take this time that you and your boyfriend are on a break to care for yourself too. Make sure you're getting some good sleep and do something that you like to do and is fun.

The best thing to do for your boyfriend is just to let him know that you are there for him. Explain that sometimes you're extremely stressed out (from work & lack of sleep, etc...) and even if you act like you don't care about his problems, you really do. Also, try asking him what you can do to help him out. Sometimes, in situations like these, people don't always know what to do or the correct way(s) to help, so it wouldn't hurt to ask him either [Smile]

I think you can find some comfort in that he does have someone to talk to- his therapist and primary care doctor as well. So, you shouldn't beat yourself up if you can't always help him, sometimes it takes a trained professional. I know you want to help though, because that's part of being in a relationship with someone.

I hope this helps a bit, feel free to write back about anything. I'm on here quite a bit. Good luck [Smile]

Posts: 113 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Janie Jones
Neophyte
Member # 46161

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Thanks loveyoumake.

I talk to my mom about most things. I also have a couple people I talk with things about, but not very in depth, mostly surfacey stuff. I have a hard time getting very close to other people, and working 60hrs doesn't leave a lot of time for a social life. However, I did just reconnect with one of my good friends from high school. [Smile] So hopefully I will be able to cultivate a closer relationship with her.

The biggest thing for me right now has been that I had planned on moving in with my boyfriend this fall. Now our relationship is in limbo, and I'm not sure where to go from here. I talked to a couple people about it. One person said that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to move in at this point in our relationship, which I see as good advice. For a while I was determined to move no matter what b/c I need a change in my life, but moving in with my boyfriend at this point would be too much of a rocky start. But I am still feeling really confused as to what to do next.

The other person I talked to is D. She works for my parents, but is a family friend and kind of like a surrogate grandmother (all my grandparents are dead). My mom had kind of told her that I wasn't moving in with my boyfriend (I'll call him J from here on out) as soon as planned. I told her that J was having some things he needed to work through, and that we were having a break. D kind of acted like we were broken up and that I should move on. She gave me the whole "there are other fish in the sea" talk, which upset me a bit. She also commented about how I am looking really good (I have lost some weight over the past year) and how I shouldn't have a problem finding someone else. I know she meant well, but her comments really hurt, like that my looks are all that matter, and that I should give up any sort of relationship with J.

Because of the break in the relationship and my still wanting things in my life to change, I have been feeling confused. I have been talking with J about how I'd like him to think about the definition and boundaries in our relationship now, maybe talk about that with the therapist, so we can make some decisions and go from there.

--------------------
I don't want you to settle, I want you to grow.

Posts: 21 | From: Northeast USA | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
loveyoumake
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Member # 41194

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It's good that you reconnected with a friend from high school, I too hope that you'll be able to become closer with her [Smile] it could turn into a good outlet for you and for her too! It's also good that you can talk to your mother too.

As for you moving in with your boyfriend, I think you should really think about this. I'm leaning towards your friend with saying that you shouldn't because I actually know of a similar situation. I have a girl friend, who was dating this guy and they'd been together, ohh, I want to say maybe 1.5 or 2 years. They planned on getting an apartment together because my friend was in college and her boyfriend had a job, so they were going to get an apartment that was in between school and work. They didn't end up getting an apartment together because a lot of our mutual friends were like you don't really know what can happen, you know? You could end up breaking up and then what do the two of you do about living and paying for the apartment? We all thought it could become a really sticky situation for them.

Long story short, they didn't end up getting a place together, and good thing too, because eventually they did break up and went their own ways. Both found new partners almost instantly, too. However, for my girl friend, just what their relationship had turned into made her so miserable, so it wasn't good for either of them, and it really was for the better that they went their separate ways. So, I just wanted to put that out there, because you really never know what could happen! and you don't want to get stuck in a crummy situation. So, I'd really think about it and weigh the pros and cons. [Smile]

Also, I completely understand about your reaction/feelings to what D said. When you care about someone, you don't want people to just disregard what you two have or had, and say that better things will come along or that "there are more fish in the sea." I don't think anyone really wants to hear that unless they are happy that a relationship is ending! You know? I know exactly where you are coming from. I can also relate to the thing that D said about losing weight and you looking good. I'm kind of experiencing a similar thing now, except pertaining to my boyfriend. Basically, my mom doesn't think my boyfriend and I"go together," but really, how can she even say that? She means that we don't have similar "looks" you know? I think she thinks that I could be with a more attractive guy, but since when does EVERYTHING have to be about a persons looks?? Can't you like someone for their personality too?? Plus, I find my boyfriend attractive, but my moms comments hurt. [Frown]

Recently, I've been learning to take things with a grain of salt though. If you are happy that's all that matters. If you're trying to work through problems, and end up being successful, then that's all that matters.

In the end, do what you want and what feels right for you! [Smile] Good luck with everything!

Posts: 113 | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Janie Jones
Neophyte
Member # 46161

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So a lot of things have changed since July . . .

My boyfriend ("J) and I broke up. He needed to work on himself and focus on his treatment for depression (therapy and medication). The long distance relationship wasn't working anymore. And it really came down to us growing apart in a romantic sense. We still love each other, but only as friends. The break up hurt for a bit, but not as long as I expected. I visited him a couple times over the last couple of months and things were just different. We aren't drawn to each other like we were previously. We had sex a couple times and we decided it wasn't really right for either of us. We had a great 3 years of romantic relationship, and are still able to be close friends, so I think all in all things have worked out well. We are still working on the details of our new relationship, and will continue to do so if/when we start to date other people (an advice on that particular situation would be helpful).

The biggest part of it all is that I am moving in with him (and my roommate from college, "C"). It seems a little crazy, but I think it will be good. I need to move away from home and be more independent. I applied for a job, and J and C had been looking at apartments over the last few weeks. I had my interview last Friday, got the job, and then signed a lease on a really nice apartment on Sunday. [Cool]

It all happened so fast, but its like all the right doors opened. I'm nervous since I have never truly lived away from home, but I really feel good about everything. Getting the job right away was a real esteem boost. I actually feel like my college degree is worth something.


That's it for the update so far. As always, feel free to comment.
~Janie Jones

--------------------
I don't want you to settle, I want you to grow.

Posts: 21 | From: Northeast USA | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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