Jump to content
MisterNowhere

Advice? I Think I Destroyed My Relationship...

Recommended Posts

ryn2
12 minutes ago, Serran said:

Some people are OK spelling it out and some need a person who can get to know them so they don't have to. 

The latter is also dependent on being able to give out consistent, clear cues.  A person who effectively has one setting for happy and one for unhappy is hard to read and interpret properly, even if you know them very well.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sally

It's impossible to really "know" someone who constantly switches from one direction to another,like a weather-vane.  You will spend most of your relationship time trying to defend yourself against their criticisms and complaints.  It's exhausting.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
40 minutes ago, ryn2 said:

The latter is also dependent on being able to give out consistent, clear cues.  A person who effectively has one setting for happy and one for unhappy is hard to read and interpret properly, even if you know them very well.

Oh I'm aware people are hard to read - my wife thinks the best way to deal with being unhappy is try to act happy ... but she's also not gonna tell me something is up, so if I want to know, I better learn those subtle cues and how to get her to open up and tell me, or our relationship would never work. Is it easy? Nope. She's so closed off it can take me up to an hour just to get her to tell me a simple "How was your day?" at times. But, I think it's worth the effort. :P  And the effort is important to her, because it shows she can't easily push me away. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

I wasn’t meaning to imply it was easy.  I’ve had two partners over time - one a passive-aggressive sulker and the other an angry yeller - where it was a problem... the former acted exactly the same no matter what was wrong, and the latter apparently genuinely did not know what was wrong himself until (days later, when) the anger had passed.  Neither of them saw my persistence in trying - or even willingness to try - to understand more fully as a good thing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MisterNowhere

 

On 3/12/2019 at 1:47 AM, Sally said:

You need space.  

 

Think about some ways you can develop some other relationshps so that you don't find yourself putting up with this horrible behavior again because that one person is the only person you have.  

Yeah... I ended up telling him I needed a "friend break" so we are only minimally talking right now.  It is just way too much to deal with him like this - with the sickness, the accusation, the lack of effort from him. All of our mutual friends have also blocked me on social media, and ignore me when I speak to them in public so I'm really worried he is talking about me and that is additional stress. I thought about the total no contact route, but I'm really nervous it will all get even worse if I leave him totally alone. I have been working to talk with other people which is nice; I'm just not use to having a large/medium, close friend group. I'm planning to resume/increase my activity with the "ace and allies" group at my school.

 

On 3/12/2019 at 6:47 AM, gaogao said:

Expecting people to do what you want without telling them what you want beyond vague cues....  is hugely, hugely manipulative and in my experience just gets worse. It's been a common theme with people who have been emotionally damaging to me, and has messed with my perceptions of things for a long time. I got to the point where i was always trying to read the minds of everyone around me and over-interpreting things that looked like cues that actually meant nothing and freaking out that I might have missed something  - because that's what this sort of behaviour encourages and what I've been trying to un-learn. 

 

21 hours ago, Serran said:

Part of a long-term relationship is learning each other well enough to be able to accurately guess what your partner needs at least a lot of the time. If you can't, for many people, that's going to feel like a huge incompatibility / issue on its own. If my partner had to spell out in detail what they needed, they would never ask for help and I'd never give it and then we would never have stayed together. Some people are OK spelling it out and some need a person who can get to know them so they don't have to. 

 

20 hours ago, Sally said:

It's impossible to really "know" someone who constantly switches from one direction to another,like a weather-vane.  You will spend most of your relationship time trying to defend yourself against their criticisms and complaints.  It's exhausting.

It is sort of a lose-lose situation for me honestly haha. I've worked really hard to reduce/make more appropriate my attempts at mind-reading because it was causing serious complications with/flare-ups of my GAD. Plus, my interpretations with R were often wrong so that was another reason to ditch the habit (but oddly my cue reading was a lot better with others). R was really inconsistent with his cues so it was always better to ask; except it was always like pulling teeth to get an answer. For the past year it goes like this:

 

After a long Tuesday he would be looking despondent over me not doing the dishes and asking him too; on a stressful Thursday R would be grumbling that I did do the dishes (because "doing the dishes for me does not help me" learn to self manage); and on a low-pressure Saturday he would be despondent that I mentioned the dishes at all (because I bring them up too much, and I should know that he will get to them eventually). All of this on the backdrop of there being no clean forks left in the apartment. Don't get me started on the moldy Instapot with broth in it from Dec. 2018 - it was still in the apartment like that when we broke up.

 

I never really minded the effort most days, but it wore me down having to take two/three hours everyday to get him to tell me about something (in the above example, the reasons he was despondent/grumbling). It also never helped that he never reciprocated the cue reading. I like to think I'm a lot more consistent when I give off cues, but he would always insist that they weren't a good form of communication and that I could not be upset when he missed them. This kind of double standard was really pervasive for us, and he said it was justified since I had "less going on" in my life. It is just an impossible headache to try and cajole someone who is 3/4th of the time like this. I feel like if he wanted to be understood non-verbally, he could have at least had some consistency and acknowledged my cues.

 

Also, just to clarify. We have never actually lived together. I just spent a lot of time over at his apartment because he never wanted to come to mine, and he had asked that I be there frequently to "motivate"/provide scaffolding for him. I tried to not complain and keep it in perspective since his mental health issues are untreated and mine are.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Serran
1 hour ago, MisterNowhere said:

 

Yeah... I ended up telling him I needed a "friend break" so we are only minimally talking right now.  It is just way too much to deal with him like this - with the sickness, the accusation, the lack of effort from him. All of our mutual friends have also blocked me on social media, and ignore me when I speak to them in public so I'm really worried he is talking about me and that is additional stress. I thought about the total no contact route, but I'm really nervous it will all get even worse if I leave him totally alone. I have been working to talk with other people which is nice; I'm just not use to having a large/medium, close friend group. I'm planning to resume/increase my activity with the "ace and allies" group at my school.

 

 

 

It is sort of a lose-lose situation for me honestly haha. I've worked really hard to reduce/make more appropriate my attempts at mind-reading because it was causing serious complications with/flare-ups of my GAD. Plus, my interpretations with R were often wrong so that was another reason to ditch the habit (but oddly my cue reading was a lot better with others). R was really inconsistent with his cues so it was always better to ask; except it was always like pulling teeth to get an answer. For the past year it goes like this:

 

After a long Tuesday he would be looking despondent over me not doing the dishes and asking him too; on a stressful Thursday R would be grumbling that I did do the dishes (because "doing the dishes for me does not help me" learn to self manage); and on a low-pressure Saturday he would be despondent that I mentioned the dishes at all (because I bring them up too much, and I should know that he will get to them eventually). All of this on the backdrop of there being no clean forks left in the apartment. Don't get me started on the moldy Instapot with broth in it from Dec. 2018 - it was still in the apartment like that when we broke up.

 

I never really minded the effort most days, but it wore me down having to take two/three hours everyday to get him to tell me about something (in the above example, the reasons he was despondent/grumbling). It also never helped that he never reciprocated the cue reading. I like to think I'm a lot more consistent when I give off cues, but he would always insist that they weren't a good form of communication and that I could not be upset when he missed them. This kind of double standard was really pervasive for us, and he said it was justified since I had "less going on" in my life. It is just an impossible headache to try and cajole someone who is 3/4th of the time like this. I feel like if he wanted to be understood non-verbally, he could have at least had some consistency and acknowledged my cues.

 

Also, just to clarify. We have never actually lived together. I just spent a lot of time over at his apartment because he never wanted to come to mine, and he had asked that I be there frequently to "motivate"/provide scaffolding for him. I tried to not complain and keep it in perspective since his mental health issues are untreated and mine are.

As I said, I don't think this was a healthy relationship and obviously breaking up is best. He has a lot of work to do on himself.

 

The "mind reading" shouldn't be so much mind reading as... learning about each other, which of course, the other person has to help with some (but you do have to read non-verbal cues too in any relationship). It also shouldn't result in any huge arguments/fights if you miss the cues, cause, it's hard to read people :P But, it can result in  hurt feelings - which - again... taking responsibility for our feelings is important. If he's hurt by something, the healthy route is to discuss it, not pitch a fit and throw a tantrum. 

 

So, anyway. My post was more "In general, this isn't a bad thing - it can be handled badly though and thus become a negative" (but so can most things). In his case... he obviously lacks the self-awareness and emotional maturity to handle communication in a healthy manner atm.

 

And it sucks your mutual friends won't talk to you. :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
gaogao
16 hours ago, Serran said:

 it's not really manipulative just to expect your partner to know you well enough to know how to help you and be disappointed that they do not. 

Maybe I wasn't clear - I wasn't talking about just privately feeling disappointed or even just telling your partner that you're a little disappointed by something they said/did because honestly that's fair sometimes. 

 

I'm specifically talking about blaming your partner for how disappointed you are when you know you weren't 100% clear. I do think that you need to take on some of the responsibility yourself if there was a misunderstanding, not blame your partner for misunderstanding you. I do think intentionally blaming or making your partner feel bad for not understanding your non-verbal cues is pretty obviously manipulative, even if they reasonably should be expected to know how to help.

 

There's nothing wrong with expecting to learn what your partner is like and vice versa. In any relationship it's natural to start learning what they want/need and expecting them/ expect to be able to anticipate that, but expecting it to the point that you will make your partner feel bad for not meeting your expectations and shifting all the blame on them when they get it wrong - and especially when you haven't told them exactly what you want - is extremely unhealthy and i stand by that.

 

edit to say: I'm the kind of person who often can't say what I want due to past experiences so my partner HAS to anticipate what I want/how to help a lot of the time, but if she gets it wrong it's absolutely not her fault and I don't think it would be reasonable for me to blame her for not knowing or make her feel bad for that. It's nice when she does know, but I don't hold her to it and if she gets something wrong at least she tried her best. I know I don't make it easy, but the fact my partner can deal with it is what makes her special. There are some things I anticipate with her too, and somethings I need specifically spelled out to me, but we all have our insecurities etc and if we get it wrong it can be painful but it's never someone's whole fault honestly and it would be unfair for us to blame each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
anamikanon
On 3/13/2019 at 3:21 AM, Serran said:

Oh I'm aware people are hard to read - my wife thinks the best way to deal with being unhappy is try to act happy ... but she's also not gonna tell me something is up, so if I want to know, I better learn those subtle cues and how to get her to open up and tell me, or our relationship would never work. Is it easy? Nope. She's so closed off it can take me up to an hour just to get her to tell me a simple "How was your day?" at times. But, I think it's worth the effort. :P  And the effort is important to her, because it shows she can't easily push me away. 

I agree. My ace can be really hard to understand when stressed. He has difficulty expressing himself in good times. In trouble? He turns into a big blackhole. Questions, interactions, care, anything goes in, nothing comes out grade blackhole. It is a tricky thing to know when to love on him and leave him alone, when to persuade him to talk to me, when to leave him alone completely, when to con him out of a sulk by surprising him with a tangent...

 

It depends on both of our state at that time - do I have the capacity to deal with what it will take is as important as what he needs in the moment. It won't help him if I end up making the wrong choice or not having the energy or bandwidth or sheer communication skill to see it through. And even after doing my best in the moment, success isn't guaranteed.

 

But the fact that I understand him and try matters. And he's said it in quieter times, when discussing our relationship, us. He has explicitly said that he doesn't know how to deal with emotional stress and just freezes in his head, but my caring matters. Even when the correct thing to do is leave him alone, me making the effort to understand what he needs it and doing it registers as caring. And when he needs to get out of his head but can't, me helping him out is like a lifeline.

 

But I don't think this is the situation with the OP. I doubt either of our partners will blame us or launch accusations if we fail to do it. And certainly not accusations of deliberate harm to the point of being a legal crime.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Telecaster68

Isn't there a different between something like that - someone kind of shutting down because they don't really know what they're feeling themselves, so they can't communicate it explicitly to anyone else - and someone essentially giving clues (consciously and unconsciously) which partners can be expected to piece together if they're paying attention? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ryn2

The place it gets complicated is where the clues for multiple states/needs/etc. - states/needs/etc. which are actually distinct and require distinctly different responses - are identical.  That effectively happens when the clue-giver can’t identify what it is they want to communicate, but it can also happen when they do know what they want to communicate.

 

There’s not much to be done in the first situation but in the second one speaking up (or spending some time adjusting clues) may help.

 

Otherwise all you can do is wait and see what happens, as sometimes the cause is obvious later on, but that has the potential to leave the clue-giver feeling uncaringly unheard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
AceofTrades

My view is hes a big boy and he could have said no. He can't use his imagined guilt to blame you for stuff he regrets the next day. I don't blame you for being distant, I would be too, not knowing if I was about to be blamed for some imagined fault. 😕

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...