I am a pleaser. Sometimes I get into these relationships, usually quickly, and usually as a result of my need for intimacy, and I overlook a lot of potential relationship flags. I have this idea that things will change in time. That people will. That early on there’s problems because we’re working things out. But I think I expect people to change. And really when you work things out, it’s not that they change, per say. It’s that you accept the person and their “qualities”. As a result, for things to work, it’s really that I must accept the person, and change.
But as I’ve grown older, and undergone therapy, I guess I realize that some things I don’t want, some behaviors I don’t want to accept. Because, they are not healthy. And I am incapable of being fulfilled and happy, while accepting that these negative qualities must coexist within the relationship.
But while I’m aware of these qualities, I guess it takes awhile to act or really believe that it’s not what I want. I get caught up in the other things. The sex. The adoration. The passion. And I overlook basic fundamentals of healthy behaviors.
So I really think Gabriela is great.
But when I step back, I realize she really taxes me, similar to the way Devyn did. And I only reference Devyn because she embodied selfish behaviors that she was totally unaware of.
Gabriela commands all my attention and time, and does not naturally consider my feelings. Like, cognitively she does. But it’s not this default state.
For example, I bought wine and dinner and I’m cooking and I ask her to get some wine glasses. She brings one over. I look at her, and ask her if she’s not drinking. She laughs and realizes that she did not even think to bring me a glass.
It’s a minor example but I can cite countless situations where she just isn’t considering how I feel, or what I do.
And it’s not malicious. It’s like she’s always thought of her own needs, and she’s never really had to think of anyone else’s. It’s a reality she’s not accustomed to. But it affects me.
She can be very controlling. She expects my life to revolve around hers. She gets jealous when I spend time with my friends. She can be very condescending when you do something that she doesn’t like, even if it’s a small mistake. If you make a mistake, or do something that doesn’t align with her idea of how things should be, she has a melt down. She can be very critical, and obsess about flaws.
She’s a hostage to these behaviors. They all push me away, but she desperately wants me and my love.
It’s very similar to my ex.
The theme was “I hate you don’t leave me”.
Gabriela adores me and loves me to the best she knows how. But it takes a toll. And I’m not sure I want to put up with it, despite how much I know she loves me.
It was a similar dilemma with my ex.
It’s tough. I can’t blame or get mad at Gabriela. I can point out the behaviors. Sometimes she’s receptive. Sometimes she not at all, and deflects and tells me I’m too sensitive, or I have the problem, or kinda gas lights like, that’s not what I did it or how I said it. And it’s like… no…. it is. And I refuse to let you tell me otherwise. It is, because I felt bad, and you cannot tell me that it’s my problem that I felt bad.
Normally, if you point out a behavior to a self aware person, they apologize, and say, I’m sorry that wasn’t my intention. You talk it out. And try to see the others point of view, and make changes.
It’s not easy. But if you love someone I feel like that’s just what you want to do. Respect their feelings and try to care for them. And it’s a mutual effort.
Granted, that’s idealized.
Gabriela has worked on some things, but there are these patterns. These moods I contend with every week, that result in a melt down or argument. And they are totally unnecessary. Like, it’s all about not meeting her set of expectations, so then she says I don’t love her or care for her and she thinks we should break up. And I’m like. You’re being crazy. Of course she doesn’t mean it, but it’s like this triggered state, a “borderline state”, as a result of some deeper trauma, that invokes this lack of trust and deflection and paranoia and feelings of abandonment.
The most important aspect of a relationship is respect.
When you have someone who fails to acknowledge a person’s boundaries, they cannot respect you.
She lacks boundaries. Very smothering. Controlling.
And I largely believe much of this is a result of having an absent, emotionally abusive, alcoholic father.
But who knows all the dynamics.
She moved to the USA when she was 15 and has been on her own since, taking care of her own needs without anyone’s guiding assistance.
I adore her. I have such a soft spot. Like I did for Devyn. Like I do for everyone I love
Of course. I could be the crazy one. And I could be too sensitive. And either allowing myself into the types of relationships that allow me to frame my circumstance as victim.
Or I could perhaps do more to set clearer boundaries (which is hard for me to imagine what that would look like, because i do make efforts to be clear what I think is healthy and unhealthy)
But setting boundaries often leads to serious conflicts, and melt downs. And the boundaries only become real when I walk away, and refuse to compromise.
I definitely get a high off of getting validation, even if it isn’t the right person for me. It fills this juvenile “need” of approval within me. The affection is a medium of fulfilling self-worth. Probably because I lacked that attention as a child. And so, getting that affection assuages this childhood wound.
But it’s at the expense of a mature, healthy relationship. I’m too dependent on that type of adoring affectionate behavior, and overlook other aspects of the relationship.
I know those who fill this need also struggle with the same exact issues, or trauma, that I do, and that’s a major source of chemistry. Shared trauma creates a deep bond.
Setting boundaries has been difficult, because I run the risk of being rejected. My historical struggle with self worth made acknowledging my own boundaries a serious challenge. And now that I have, enforcing them is the challenge. And now that I’ve gained additional perspective, enforcing them early on, immediately, all the time is the challenge. I cannot wait or compromise, only to push back later, after an unhealthy relationship is already established.
The idea of not having someone to affirm my worth is scary, on a visceral level. Consciously I’m aware that I must demand the respect from my relationships that affirms self worth. But exercising that is different, because these fears are unconsciously driving my behavior.
It’s right to say that I am way too focused on Gabriela’s behavior.
But I guess that’s because on some level I don’t want to let go. I’d rather have her change and keep her, and maintain the source of attention and affection.
Because focusing on my behavior would, at this point, result in ending the relationship, because I think (although I may be wrong) she won’t change… and it’s not really fair for me to ask her too, especially on timelines that work for me.
Granted, I could accept her and choose to work through it, and view the entire relationship as a vehicle of personal growth. It’s hard to determine the pros and cons of a relationship. What needs it fills and what needs it doesn’t, and do a calculus that answers the question of whether to invest or divest.
Every relationship has issues. I keep thinking that one day I’ll find one that doesn’t, or doesn’t as much. But I tell myself that’ll happen once I work through my own issues. That I won’t find someone without issues.
And then of course I ask myself that if the relationship should be about me to begin with, and if I’m being a selfish asshole by focusing on her selfishness, and my unmet needs. Should my love for her overcome these struggles? Shouldn’t I love her in spite of her own short comings, and in spite of my unmet needs?
She’s a beautiful, sensitive person. She’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. She really adores me. I don’t know what that means, but I always ask if I have an obligation to love her and show her she’s lovable, in spite of how she behaves and how she makes me feel. Because isn’t that what I would want for myself? To be loved in spite of my imperfections?
Or I could just try explaining all these feelings to her and see if there’s any way we could work through it. As it is now, though, I’m exhausted by the relationship. And it feels unbalanced. And I guess I’m not sure she would be okay with it any other way. She “needs” it. She’s very needy. Whenever I pull back, and try to reclaim boundaries, there’s back lash. And I end up giving in again, because my tendency is to please.