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Peter_b 06-20-2005 09:08 AM

Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
I am completely confused about how I feel at the moment.
I am in a relationship for some years now and had the view that it was quite a healthy place for me, as in independent place with no codependence of any sort. Always thought that it would be always be OK one way or the other.
Have been with my partner for some years now and I should say its fairly complicated as in I amd going thru a divorce and its a pretty adversarial/scary experience to say the least. I also heve 2 children from my marriage. So there are pressures on my relationship regarding these issue. Thats all fairly 'normal' so far.
Recently my partners cousin died tragically off his motorbike. A truly beautiful guy, who I really liked and cared for. My partner was/is extremely close to her cousins and it has hit her hard. I want to be supportive and have tried as much as I can. I also have to look after my children , and they are always my priority. The funeral was like hundreds of miles away and I went to it and brought a number of my partners friends along also.
My partner was very tarumatised from the death and was very distant from me during this time. I could see where she was coming from and she despite her grief was tryimng desperately to support her brother and other cousins. To the point were she did not speak to me for 2 days. I considered this and said to myself that it was the grief and stuff....but I did feel isolated as every other eprsons partner was 'allowed' to give support to their wifes ,husbands girlfiriends etc etc. Any way I put this all down to exceptional circumstances.
The guy who was killed lived in a house with a number of other lads 1 of whom he looked after like a younger brother. This younger lad is a little vulnerable most of the time and at the funeral he felt it really bad. My girlfriend spent a lot of time with him as a result anD again this is all ok with me. Its just normal and I dont like to think I would be in any way threatened by it. I dont believe ours would be a healthy relationship if it was any other way.Some time went by and my partner spent most of her spare time in the home of her aunt giving a s much support as she could. So weekend after weekend went past without me seeing her. This gave me time to look after my own stuff and I had an opportunity to spend more more time with my daughter who is currently doing her leaving certificate examinations, a very important time for her. Then a month went past and a special mass was to occur in the home of the deceased. I was not asked as I had my own kids stuff that weeken. What i dident understand was the fact my partner used fake tan on herself before attending the mass. Now this is not tsoemthing that bothered me, rather it was just out of context.
The guys in the deceased house were traveling from the south to the north (where the deceased comes from and family live) for the mass. The more I thought about it the more it simply did not fit....and also the more I did not like where my mind was going with this. I resolved to put it out of my mind and forget about it. I tried to continue to support my girlfriend and we got very close and she also said she really appreciated my support and care. The thing is I was gettin closer than I had ever got before and I was uncomfortable with this. I dont like to be so close and undermine the independence we have achieved in our relationship. I know it sounds contradictory but its just the best way for be truly friends we need to be independent and from this friendship comes our genuine affectionate love for each other. This is also a learning experience for me having come from a marriage of 16 years which was so extreme , it was dangerous.
Next there was special mass in the south where the guys who shared with the deceased live. My partner went along and I was not going to go. But heres the thing. I was not asked to go. I did not think this unusual except when i asked why I was not included I got so much crap about not having been at the monthly commeration in the north etc etc. Now this confused me. I support my partner. I have a family of my own and with it responsibility. I dont have any responsibility to any other afmily....any support i give I give freely and along the lines of what i consider appropriate to the my relationship with the preson(s) concerned. I am not a cold person rather quite affectionate and people seek me out for honesty and maturity. I did not like that I was being so excluded from it all. Then anotehr strange thinh occurred. My partnet got her bikin line done before traveling to the south. Again I would not notice this except it was out of context! Like wearing a bikini to a christening or communion celebration. It just did not fit and I was again confused. Slowly over a couple of days my gut instinct told me something was not right. It just did not fit. My partner who I respect as much as I care for her was behaving somewhat strangely. I pondered asking what was going on but thought this would not be approiate given her grief (Only 6weeks atfter hetr cousins death). I felt confused and also hurt. My relationship was in trouble I felt and did niot know what to do so i did nothing.
Well, I disengaged as In i feel 'too much sacrifice sours the soul'. I stopped getting close to her and remained aloof. Whole weekends would go by without contact while she would be away with her family, cousins and aunts.
At this stage I am considering just gettin away from the whole thing.
Its bringing up a lot of bad and unhealthy feelings for me and I am stressed out by the thought of my partner not 'caring' for our relationship and still expecting me to acceot that she is away so often with the guys that the deceased lived with. It ahs come to a head now and I really think I need out...which would be terrible. I know my partner may need me .....but I also must look after my own emotional and mental well being to be able to parent my children and get thru the day without cracking up.
I dont trust myself to discuss openly and honestly with my partner the concerns I have. I have tried asking about the bikini line thing ans she asked 'what type of person have I become'? I resent my feelings being rubbished like that. I resent being made to feel like a codependent moonstruck teenager. I have been given no answers to any of my concerns. I have been let down very badly I feel and I also think I have overestimated my partner. I believe that my indepent attitude to this relationship has in some way allowed me to be 'compartmentalised' in some way. I have been put back intio my box now and will be taken out again when she needs support. Fake tans and bikini line just dont mix with grief and I canniot get this simple fact out of my mind. I do not have any power or influence over people. I can only hope that people will engage openly and honestly with me.
If that is not to be the case I have choices of my own. I do not have to accept behaviour that I dont like or is underming my self respect,dignity and esteem.Of my biggest fears , being manipulated is the biggest.
Because I cannot resolve this with her I dont believe it can be resolved at all. Its not somethibng I am prepared to take on indefinetely. I may be wrong and making a big thing out of nothing...but I dont get any help on it from my partner with it. I know she is grieving as she loved her cousin deeply and I also do not want to be the cause of further emotional turmoil for her, but I also have my own needs (not wants). I dont think I can live like this with her anymore.

evy38 06-20-2005 03:21 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
Hi Peter,
I'm not quite sure how to respond to this, except to say that yes, you really seem confused. You say you want independence, but freak out when she shows that she may be developing a life beyond you. You don't seem to be communicating with her very well. I get the sense that the idea of open communication violates some principle of atonomy with you. So, you are in the dark and getting ready to take off.
I'm really not sure what there is to resolve here. You have exactly what you said you want. Two independent people orbiting each other. There is no disrespect here. No cheating implied, so what exactly troubles you? Maybe you really don't want this relationship to continue in it's independent state? Well, thats what you signed on for. If you want to change it, you are going to have to try talking with her, about the changes you would like to make.

Peter_b 06-21-2005 01:42 AM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
Thanks evy38 fro your reply.
You have certainly given me something to think about. I would say that independence is the word I used to describe how I think my feelings should be towards my partner. Her independence is also important to me, however there is a significant difference between being independent in a relationship and being exclusive. I think that there is an element of exclusiveness about my partners behaviou at the moment. I should also say that this interpretation is mine based on a an understanding of the dynamics of our relationship. For me to love someone in an unburdened manner means no neediness means a level of independence is possible , that level being determined by each partner in their own right as opposed to by the other granting a level of 'freedom'. This to me is the experience that I am having and in the main its positive. My difficulty now is that there are somethings that just dont fit. Instinct tells methat my partners behaviour is not normal for us to date. When I touch on the subject , in a cynical way its put to me that I am being silly. The type of relationship I have is such that I am well able to determine for myself whats good and bad within it. IE ai am not burdened by any sense of codependence. I have the ability to see clearly what I like and what I dont like. I dont like the way I feel about this. So yes I am considering 'taking off'. On the basis that I cannot resolve the problem, I dont see any other option. Its just a pity that what I thought I had , I have not. Its just a pity that my partnet is behaving in an almost secretive manner. Its simple really, why cant she make me understand things. I want to understand rather than change. Cheating is implied. Of course it is. I have implied it, and without a better understanding of my partners behaviour my mind is going to ask all kinds of questions, whihc are, at moment being left unanswered or should I say unresolved. I attempted to discuss these issue last nite, and unfortunately she fell asleep during our conversation. This is quite understandable as she is under huge stress and travelling a lot. Iwould say lastly for any relationship to be lioving there has got to be a sense of validation , which I believe is implied at the outset. Its validated on a continuing basis during the livetime of the relationship ,hopefully. In my case I feel the element of openness and honesty has been irrevocably damaged. Again thanks for your kind and sensitive post.


junerose 06-21-2005 04:05 AM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
i think you need to take into consideration your partner's feelings about your marriage. you have been togther for "some years" but your divorce is not final. i'm not sure why exactly it's not final. it seems like you have just as much trouble letting go of your marriage as she has of detaching from her cousin's friend. it also seems that you have committment issues and i wouldn't be surprised if this is bothering your partner. you have reached a crossroad and are realizing that you "can't have your cake and eat it too." either you totally commit to the relationship with your partner and both of you agree to the new direction you are about to take together - which is going to involve a change in her behavior regarding her cousin's friend and an end to your marriage or you end the relationship with the current partner. you can't have it both ways. sorry.

evy38 06-21-2005 06:27 AM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
Im sorry Peter, your thinking may make sense to you, but not to me. You want to feel independent of your partner, but clearly she isn't allowed to feel that for you. You seem to want exclusive rights to her emotionally, but are only willing to be a friend with benefits. Sounds to me like you are both friends with benefits. If she is looking for more, this relationship, as it stands, isn't going to provide it. What do you want? I get the sense that you would like to continue on as before, commitment free. You haven't mentioned what she wants, though. I get the sense you may not even know what she wants? Again, maybe you two really, really need to sit down and talk about where this relationship is going.

junerose 06-21-2005 06:46 AM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
good and to the point advice evy

kitkat77 06-21-2005 10:51 AM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
Peter, basically it sounds like you're asking if we think she is cheating on you and what you should do about it.

First off, your referral to her as your "partner" instead of your "girlfriend", is a bit strange. When you mentioned partner I honestly thought you were speaking of a male. What is the difference to you? And what does she call you?

Keeping independence in a relationship is healthy and does NOT give you license to cheat. I'm having a hard time understanding your relationship though - the level of your commitment to each other is not clearly defined.

You've said often that she is in heavy grieving and that it is her priority right now. ???? Um my son lost his father 2 months ago and I know ALOT of people full of grief over loved ones and their LIFE is top priority, and it goes on. Everyone does grieve differently but what you mention of her behavior is bizarre to say the least. Equally bizarre is your comment of you cant leave because she may need you, and your making excuses for her other behaviors (such as falling asleep during a heavy discussion).

It sounds like she doesn't give a hoot about you really, and it sounds like you have become aware of it, albeit still in denial. THIS is the problem that you cannot resolve.

evy38 06-21-2005 11:35 AM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
Fake tans and bikini waxes DO NOT imply cheating. IT IMPLIES SUMMER! What this whole relationship implies is two people afraid to talk to each other, rely on each other and love each other. Last poster was right, from what you've told us, if you are expecting more then friends w/benefits, you aren't going to get it because you've played no part in creating anything more. It's easy to leave this kind of relationship. You are already thinking of heading out the door. I don't even think you've thought about what you want here, except someone to tell you she's cheating so you can move on? What do you want, Peter? You can't figure out how to get it until you know what it is you want.

greeneyes100 06-21-2005 01:04 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
Peter, I really disagree with some of the other posters here. If your instincts are telling you something is not quite right here, I think you should listen to them.

Some of the things in your post do seem out of context, as far as her behavior. The thing that really stood out was not the fake tan or bikini wax, but the fact that you were not invited to the events you mentioned. Maybe she thought you didn't want to go, but I still think she should have at least asked you.

If you have both agreed to be exclusive, you have a right to be concerned and you have a right to talk about your concerns with your partner.

Your dignity is important and it's sound as though this relationship is causing some loss of it and your self esteem.

If I were in your shoes, I would state your concerns clearly and concisely to your girlfriend/partner and see what she says. Ask her why she didn't invite you to those events. It doesn't sound like she is being supportive of your feelings, although you are being very supportive of hers.

evy38 06-21-2005 01:29 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
While most of the time I agree with Greeneyes, I just don't believe these two people have developed the ground work their relationship needs to see each other thru times of trouble. I think she doesn't invite him, because she doesn't rely on him, not necessarily because she is cheating on him. It almost seems that her relationship with her cousins friends and family is closer then her relationship with Peter. Could that ultimately cause a breakup of this couple because one of them is looking for more? Yes. But I don't think a fake tan and a bikinin wax means anything more then there is a pool or beach near by. Does anybody really expect this entire family to greive 24/7, crying and tearing of the cloths? Isn't it conciveable that they may try to get away for a few short hours? Does that make her a cheater? I agree with one thing though. These two need to talk ASAP.

junerose 06-21-2005 01:35 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
i'd just like to point out that peter is still married even though he's been with his partner for "some years." to me that says it all. he shouldn't expect from his "partner" any more than he is able to give. my gut says she's tired of the stagnancy of the relationship and is feeling used. this is a wake up call peter. either do it or get off the pot.

Lil'Pea 06-21-2005 01:39 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
I have to say that I agree with Greeneyes....that doesn't mean I am saying that the other posters opinions are off, just that its not what I got when I read your post. I agree that the tan/bikini thing is strange. Not that it implies cheating per say, but if she was going to these events to grieve, why are her tan and her bikini line an issue at THAT POINT IN TIME. Was she planning on being seen in a bikini while at these functions?

I'm not sure what to think of her actions. I mean, yes, she is grieving. But that doesn't mean that she cannot offer YOU any support when you express concern or hurt. Independence is good, and it doesn't sound to me like you are trying to take that from her. It sounds like you are more concerned that there are these strange happenings in between. Am i wrong about that? I don't know. Everyone is different when there is a death of someone close. Could it be that the death of someone so close to her has made her aware of her own mortalilty? Maybe she is a little freaked out by that and its possible that a feeling like that could cause her to cheat by feeling like she needs to live her life to the fullest. I am not saying this is what she IS doing, only that it is something you may want to ask her. If she can stay awake. I dont' find her falling asleep during a big talk excusable in ANY way. While I don't want to go so far as to say she doesnt' give a hoot about you, It DOES sound like she is falling away from the relationship. I would attempt to discuss these things one more time while acknowledging to her that you understand her grief but still need her to help clear some things up for you. If she still doesn't seem concerned about your very valid feelings, even after explaining to her how dire it is to save the relationship, then you have your answer. But like Greeneyes said, if your gut tells you something is wrong, you should listen.

I've always believed that all relationships are either for a 'reason, a season, or a lifetime' maybe that's the case here. Maybe this one was for a season, and its time for a change. That's only for you to decide.

I hope getting advice and input here helps you find some comfort.

Lil'Pea 06-21-2005 01:45 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
Hi Junerose....i just need to respond to your comment about his still being married. While I always find that your advice is sound (i've seen you on other posts! Hi again! ;) ), I have to add something.

Divorces are something that there are obviously two people involved in, and when I needed mine from my ex, it was not easy to come by. I couldn't afford an attourney and there were kids involved which always makes things more difficult. Especially if you cannot agree on the outcome. You can spend many many many months (and even years) going around and around serving each other papers, contesting the contents, serving again, more contesting. The courts are never in as much of a hurry as the parties involved are and you are always at the mercy of thier scheduling. So it can take alot of time depending on these factors.

That being said, it may not be the case here. So Peter, why IS your divorce NOT final? Because if there are no other good reasons other than "we haven't gotten around to it"....junerose has a great point.

junerose 06-21-2005 01:53 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
lil'pea, yes you are right - there may be issues with the divorce, and maybe i was a bit harsh. however, either way - whether peter has control over finalizing the divorce or not - it seems to me that the "partner" is not satisfied with the relationship in its current state - and that's the issue that needs to be addressed.

Lil'Pea 06-21-2005 01:57 PM

Re: Disillusioned...dont trust my own feelings
I completely agree with that! He definitely needs to open the discussion again because it is clear that niether one of them is happy with the current state.....

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