Holding a grudge

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Holding a grudge

Unread post by milkybarlife »


I have been with my boyfriend for over 4 years, we are in a serious relationship and live together, both late 20s.
We get on very well, but early on in the relationship he did something that really upset me. If it wasn't for the fact that I hadn't drawn a clear line in the beginning of the relationship (so it was partly my fault), it would have been a deal breaker. I don't want to get into too much detail about what it was.
After he did what he did early relationship, I was practically heart broken. It caused a huge premature rift in our relationship particularly in the trust. Ever since then, we've been 'moving on' and we have genuinely had beautiful moments and a deep connection. Anyone who knew us or saw us in real life would say they can't imagine us with anyone else. It's difficult for me to write this in my current state, but normally we are always laughing, we share the same views, we still have chemistry and attraction, we have respect and appreciation for one another, and on top of that he has even started to see a therapist to improve communication within our relationship. He is so mature, devoted, genuine. Our relationship as it is, couldn't be better and not only that but it is improving.

But this thing from early in our relationship, despite him changing it, haunts me. While normally I can push it down, I no longer feel like I can do that. When it bubbles up to the surface (I have learned to let it do what it needs to do) it tends to go away on its own, and the talks we've had over the years about it (he is supportive and always open to talk about it with me) have continued to make sense to me and make me able to see beyond it. But when it bubbled up this last time, it seems nothing from our talks helps anymore. Nothing I tell myself, nothing he can say, because the fact was for me it happened and I don't know how to accept that as part of my past or part of my story. If I cannot move past it, it virtually changes how I feel about him, it ruins it all. But I just can't.
The reason I am writing is, I am confused. I logically know that the thing was in the past, on top of that he has changed and has never done such a thing since, but I can't seem to reconcile that it happened at all, it changes the way I feel about him. While it wasn't cheating, I feel betrayed every time I think about it, it hurts.

I've heard many times that it should be a positive that someone changes, I'm also someone who is interested in buddhist thought and spirituality, and psychology, so I know that the present is more important and all that stuff. But I can't stop feeling like that past matters, and I don't know how to just feel like it belongs in the past and can stay there? He isn't the same person as he was then, but it feels like I can't force myself to feel that way anymore. It bothers me more than anything that it happened at all.

I'm also asking this because, just as strongly, I know that I want to be with him and that he is such a good person, and that if this were out of the picture, he would be the one for me. I am struggling with the ambivalence, the cognitive dissonance, and I am tired of having to fight my mind so that I can love him (in the verb sense, because I do love him) and not feel the way I feel when I remember it. Which is betrayed.

(I just want to clarify that this thing happened in the beginning 6 months of our relationship. Since we've been together almost 5 years, it is such a small portion of our time together, which is why it makes me more confused why the feeling doesn't 'lessen' as time goes by) please help...
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Re: Holding a grudge

Unread post by Sofi »

Hi there, welcome back. I'm sorry you've been dealing with this, it sounds super frustrating and confusing, even stressful. We can't help where our minds go sometimes, such as with past events that we've "gotten over" and moved on from, it's natural for our minds to sometimes go back and revisit those feelings. That being said, it's definitely stuck with you longer than it should've and it's causing a stress in your relationship that shouldn't be there if this event has been moved on from. If you don't think this is something you can actually move on from for good, that is a conversation you need to have with him, it's not good to stay in a relationship where you feel this grudge and betrayal from your partner's past actions. But I know you love him and you do trust him now, so I think it's worth putting in the work if you want to stay with him, especially since he has changed and is open to ongoing conversations about his past actions. Keep reminding yourself that people can change, if he has shown you that you can trust him and he won't betray you again, then it's important to lean into that trust. It sounds like you've forgiven him, so that's done, but the next step is to fully let go and move forward. Some steps that have helped many people are to understand why the person did what they did, to fully forgive, do some journaling or self relection where you express your thoughts and feelings, and learning to manage these thoughts. It would be good to start seeing a therapist (or if you already do, to talk about this with them) to help get some better tools to manage these thoughts and how they manifest, how you deal with them, etc. Like I said we can't control our thoughts or feelings most of the time, but we can control how we react to them.
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