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Help: Confused and unsure


boyscout
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Hello there. This is my first post here. I ended up here because I'm not exactly sure where to turn. I really don't have the funds to go to therapy and with my current college schedule I don't know what to do.

My issue is with my current relationship. I'm dating a wonderful, beautiful woman who I am crazy about. We have a ton in common, our time together is filled with fun times, serious intellectual conversations and enjoyable banter and I find this relationship to be the most enjoyable out of ally of the ones i have been in up until now.

My issue is...I feel this hesitation deep inside of me I can't figure out. I have been in two long-term relationships (1 year or more). During the course of these relationships I was mentally and emotionally abused and told that I wasn't good enough but because I cared so much for them that I thought it was my fault and stayed with them.

My last relationship was with a long time friend (possibly my closest at the time) whom I've always had feelings for. We were together for a few months and I felt comfortable enough with her to give her my virginity (at the age of 20 years old). She soon after left me, slept with her ex and even though we agreed to remain in friendly contact she decided to ignore me. The ignoring me part afterwards being the most cutting part of it. I could deal with her leaving me so she could figure out what she wanted to do with her life, but her turning her back on me...really hurt me.

That was during the fall, but now in this relationship I feel this pain in my heart...I know I don't want to be with the proverbial 'one who got away' but for some reason I feel this hesitation in this one. There is nothing wrong with the girl I'm currently dating. She is very supportive, caring and brave. However...I do not know what to do. I DON'T want to feel this way anymore and I have not felt any better about it. I have been honest with her about it and she has been very understanding...but I don't want to put a strain on our relationship because of this.

Any advice?

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Guest ASchwartz

Welcome to our community, Boyscout.

I am pleased that you found us.

It appears to me that you have been badly hurt in the past and now, even though you are with a woman who adores you, you are reluctant. That is understandable.

However, could you tell us more about yourself and why and how you end up getting so hurt?

Allan

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My father cheated on my mother when I was young and a divorce followed suite. I spent most of my younger years being tossed between one house and another, making it hard to have a balance in life as to where my true 'home' was. I have always had low self esteem because I have been considered 'weird', 'strange', 'damaged goods' and a great deal of other rather unflattering things.

My father got the woman he cheated on my mother with pregnant and they got married. That's when shit got really bad. She pretty much did everything she could to destroy life for my sister and I as we knew it. This involved heavy verbal abuse and minor sexual abuse. I was also sexually abused when I was about 8 years old by my best friend (at the time)s older brother, something that caused a great deal of turmoil in me if you can imagine.

These things leave me with a pre-disposition to hate myself and blame myself for problems instead of seeking out other possibilities. I frankly have not really liked myself for years and to this day I am only starting to come to terms with the man I am. That is another issue...however....

Since my first relationship I was use to being emotionally abused. My first significant other had an absent father and a nut job for a mother and took out a lot of frustration on me...which I perceived to be the way to show her I love her.

My second relationship started out fine...until she realized that the person she thought I was going to become is not the person I was becoming and she resented me for it. She was always telling me I wasn't good enough for her friends, for her, that I wasn't 'mature enough' (even though I have always been known to be very mature for my age) and I internalized all of it until I finally gave up.

I think it's just that I take the blame on myself because it's easier and I don't realize I'm doing it until it's already done.

I hope this helps.... can anyone give me any insight as to how I might get passed this issue?

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These things leave me with a pre-disposition to hate myself and blame myself for problems instead of seeking out other possibilities. I frankly have not really liked myself for years and to this day I am only starting to come to terms with the man I am. That is another issue...however....

I think it's just that I take the blame on myself because it's easier and I don't realize I'm doing it until it's already done.

Hi Boyscout-

This is going to sound horribly cliched, but one of the best ways to improve your relationship is to start working on yourself. Hating yourself can lead to all sorts of unhelpful thoughts which will likely impact your current relationship, like "I don't deserve to be happy." "Good relationships always go wrong." "I am to blame for anything bad that goes wrong." You may also have some self-blame for being abused.... even thought it wasn't your faulty, many people think this way.

I would encourage you to look at our Psychological Self Help tools section of the website to help you get a handle on your thinking style. It is much more effective, however, to work directly with a cognitive behavioral therapist. Do you have access to a school therapist, or could he or she suggest a low cost alternative?

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That makes a lot of sense and that is something I've been struggling with a lot. It's been a back and forth struggle I've been dealing with for many years. She also has similar problems and I believe it is making things worse.

She has been beaten and treated poorly by every man in her life. Cheated on, beaten and treated badly in general. This puts stress on me because she is afraid I will do the same things to her that others have, which causes some frustration on my part.

It's a...complicated...situation.

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