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This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
How does one focus on themselves?
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Vaughn2885 posted:
Hello!

My partner and I have been together for 4 years, and during the 4 years I made a stupid mistake, and they also made a stupid mistake.

This has caused both of us to have to learn how to trust the other one again. At this point, it looks like my partner is able to do this... they're gaining friends (which is good) trying to go back to school (which is good) taking up for themselves (which is also good).

However, I find myself so wrapped up in them that I can't seem to focus on myself. Whenever I get ready to do something or say something I always think about how my partner is involved and wether or not it will hurt them in anyway.

This is starting to cause a bit of a depression for me, and I'm currently self-medicating with St. John's Wort due to this.

My question is: For anyone who has had trouble in their marriage, how were you able to stay with that person, trust them... yet move on with your life and live for yourself.

If this post is too vague, please let me know and I'll add more detail. I'm not even sure if this is the correct board to do this on.

Thank you so much for your assistance!
Reply
 
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GuardSquealer responded:
Seems like this is probably the correct board.

It might help if you were more specific about the mistakes that were made. At this point I would assume that each of you cheated with someone else.

Being able to forgive is something you will have to decide if you can do. First decide if you are willing to forgive and if you want to stay with our partner.

Then you have to decide under what conditions you would be willing to forgive them. Realize that even if you do forgive you will never forget. But once you have forgiving them you must be willing to forgive and not bring up the past.

And having a partner means that you do have to take them into consideration with all of your actions, as they all will also effect them. So it is a fine line between having a life of your own and being considerate of the other person in your life.
 
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darlyn05 responded:
I agree with the previous poster and would add a possible analogy of it being similar to being a parent in that you would still love your child and not abandon them or a close friendship/relative(contingent of the severity(tough love thing) where you may be forced to put some distance in the relationship).

Being individuals, everyone is different so what may work for one may not for another. And not everyone has the same time clock frame so to speak.

There always seems to be requirements needed in regaining or rebuilding trust. Transparency is key, as with honesty.

Are you saying that you are unable to trust your partner? And with that are unable to focus on your own interests and such? Are the two of you currently together? Are you possibly a bit jealous of your partners growth(maybe comparing it to your own growth)? Are you a bit insecure from what happened?

Try doing small things and slowly work them into your life.
 
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Vaughn2885 replied to GuardSquealer's response:
GuardSquealer,
What I did that was screwed up: I allowed a friend (against my partners' wishes) to move into our home as they were currently homeless. We found out (much too late) that this friend was addicted to cocaine. This caused us to lose our town home and vehicle.

Within 6 months of us loosing everything, I ended up getting us into a 3 bedroom home (which is what she really wanted), and two vehicles that were better than the one we had before. I did apologize for everything and informed her that I didn't expect her to trust me again right away. I even told her that I assumed it could take her 1-2 years to even trust me again.

What she did that was screwed up: She told me 10 months after it happened that she forgave me and trusted me completely. Then one month after that she developed a friendship with someone that she refused to let me meet. She would only go out with this friend when I was at work (as she choose to quit working and only go to school). She put a password block on her phone (something she never did). And would tell me of all the bad things this "friend" was saying about me, but never allowed me to meet this "friend" to defend myself. Eventually, she ended the relationship and moved in with her sister. At which time none of them knew about this friend of hers. Turns out that when she was with this "friend" she was lying to them and telling them she was with me.

Once I put my foot down and told her that either she end the friendship (since I wasn't allowed to meet this friend) or all hopes of us getting back together would be null and void... .she did end the friendship. She claims that the friend never wanted to meet me and that this friend believed that it wasn't their place to ever meet me as they were her friend only and not mine.

So, even though she says she wasn't cheating on me with this ex-friend of hers I truly believe otherwise.

Darlyn05,

At this point, I do not trust her as I should. If she had told me that she still hadn't forgiven me and didn't trust me and THEN met the friend that I wasn't allowed to meet... I would be able to handle this better. I can understand and work with you acting out if you haven't forgiven me and don't trust me. But, to tell me that you have forgiven me and do trust me... just to turn around and hurt me caused a very unbearable pain within me. During the time it was going on I lost 30 lbs due to me being unable to eat. I was eating about one orange a day because that was all my stomach could handle. So yes, right now I do not trust her as I should and I do believe this is why I'm unable to focus on my own interest.


We are currently together, and she's made a huge change (for the better). However, I do feel at times that I am jealous of her growth. I feel as if she stepped all over my emotions, and feelings to make herself feel better and help herself grow. Every time I tried to help her, she would do me terribly (EXAMPLE: She said that she wouldn't be able to finish school due to her not being able to get the funds. I took it upon myself to take out a loan for her (in my name) for all the funds she needed. In return she threw the check in my face and told me that she didn't need me trying to run her life for her.) Now, this makes me not want to help her at all... which also makes me feel like crap because I've devoted my life to her. And I feel as if I should continue to try to help her...


And yes... I am very insecure from what happened.





 
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Lefty2121 replied to Vaughn2885's response:
How long have you invested in this so called relationship? This to me looks one sided you doing all the work and your partner doing jack squat!! Please reevaluate this partnership before you get more depressed and resent her for this! If you don't already do...
 
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Vaughn2885 replied to Lefty2121's response:
I do apologize for the late reply, however we've been together for 5 years now. I do feel a bit of resentment...
 
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darlyn05 replied to Vaughn2885's response:
It sounds as though the two of you have differing values or expectations? of what is acceptable behaviors, somewhat, in relationships. If I had a friend of the opposite sex that didn't or refused to meet my partner and/or talked smack about my partner that friendship would be limited at the very least and I of course would question their reasoning behind any of it.

I think you are going to have to forgive yourself. We learn as we go. Have you expressed to her about your limited trust concerning the incident w/her friend and that it won't be tolerated in the future(it's an expectation so to speak)?

Give yourself permission to pursue your interest. Start with something small, get your feet wet first, start loving yourself.
 
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Vaughn2885 replied to darlyn05's response:
Granted, the past few months she's been very open with me concerning her friends. She no longer runs into another room whenever someone calls. She has a password block, but she willingly gave me the pass code (without me asking) and all-in-all she has been very loving shall I say.

My main issue is getting over the past I guess. It would be my mistakes as well as hers and it's pretty bad.

While she was still communicating with this ex-friend of hers (right before she ended our relationship), she ended up breaking her glasses. I gave her the cash (which was a high cost) to go get her some more glasses. Without my knowledge she lied and told everyone that my mother was taking her (when it was really this friend) and even though I was doing what was right and gave her the money to get her some glasses... she yelled at me and treated me badly. When I asked her why she said "I have to come to you to get the money for my glasses, that's why I'm mad."

She even admitted that I never, ever held it over her head that I had to pay for her glasses, but she was just so pissed off that she couldn't buy them herself that she took it all out on me. That was roughly about one year ago, about now it's still affecting me (as I now have an eye glass appointment at the same location this Saturday.)

At this point, I'm getting sick to my stomach thinking about it. At times I feel ridiculously weak, at other times I feel strong and think I can handle the world.

A part of me is upset because... she's not like me. As I stated in a earlier post, I apologized for everything... I literally sat her down looked in her eyes and held her hand while I apologized deeply for everything I did wrong. I told her that I understood why she wouldn't trust me (as I did something again her wishes) which was very disrespectful to her. I even told her that I didn't expect her to forgive me and trust me again for at least another year.

But, when she wronged me and I tried to talk to her about it... all I got was an argument. Or worse... I got a "Well, you hurt me too and I got over it... so get over it." I have yet to actually get an apology from her for what happened and I think that's where a lot of my issues lie. She has never actually admitted that she was wrong.

When I last pointed this out to her she said that it's hard for her to apologize for doing something wrong because during her childhood she was forced to apologize for things she never did. But, that doesn't push away the fact that she hurt me and gives off this attitude of "Get over it!"

At this point... I really don't know what to do. I don't even know how to feel. She has a job interview coming up and it looks like our schedules will be conflicting and we will only see each other about 5 hours each day (not counting when we're in the bed asleep.) A part of me is sad because I won't see her, but on the same token... a part of me is happy because I won't have to see her.

Sorry if this seems so confusing.


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