Do I want or do I leave


Home Forums Complicated Situation / Mixed Signals Do I want or do I leave

This topic contains 18 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  M 4 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #933923 Reply

    Taylor

    So about a month ago my fiancé and I broke up. He got cold feet due to how his ex wife hurt him (she did him sooo dirty) and he left. A week after he reached out and explained what happened and we talked about everything. Since then we’ve been talking on and off. He told me he wants to fix our relationship and wants our family back and of course I do too. He has a lot going on with work and has told me he had a lot on his mind so I’ve tried to let him reach out and it push him. He tells me he wants to be with me but he is so stand-off-ish and distant with me. We’ve gotten into a few fights about this because I can’t tell what he wants. He has told me he just needs time to show me, which is perfectly fine and I respect that if it’s truly the case. I let my mind and emotions get too involved and I’m afraid he is just saying this just to say it and he doesn’t want me. I can’t wait around forever for nothing. But I’m willing to do what it takes to fix it if he just shows he is serious and will put in the effort. What do I do? Do I stay and trust what he says and wait or do I just go?

    #933925 Reply

    AngieBaby

    In my experience – personal, people close to me, observation – men who are cheated on badly or screwed over in a marriage or significant relationship with a woman rarely recover fully. It takes time and it takes doing the work, and for the guys who haven’t been both, they tend to be toxic. You will pay the price for another woman’s sins. You’re not the one with work to do – he is. And he’s jerking you around, from what it sounds like.

    There’s an article on marriage dot com called 15 signs of an emotionally broken man. Read it. If it resonates, there’s really nothing you can do to change him. He has to want to change and actually do the work. My two cents, based on what you said here – move on. Cut contact for a while to heal and move on. He would have to do a lot more than talk to get you back, but really I think you can do a lot better than someone else’s leftovers. Sorry to be that harsh, but I really want to get your attention and think about it before you give any more time to a man who dumped you because he couldn’t be all in to marry you due to another woman’s bad acts.

    #933927 Reply

    Rubi

    Is his issue only the getting married part? If so do you see yourself never getting married?

    #933937 Reply

    Eric Charles
    Keymaster

    “He has a lot going on with work and has told me he had a lot on his mind”

    This is not to be underestimated.

    The best way to understand and decode men is to understand that a man’s experience of life is felt as wins & losses, struggles & success, frustration & satisfaction.

    Men have all the emotions, but their primary emotion is “Am I winning or losing at life?”.

    That is, their experience of if they’re “winning” is so strong that it’s essentially the gatekeeper to all other emotions.

    If he’s “winning” or feels like his life is headed towards “winning”, then he feels great, loves his life, is happy, is content.

    If he feels like he’s “losing” or headed towards “losing” or “winning isn’t possible”, then he’ll be stressed, depressed, withdrawn, etc.

    Another important thing to understand about men is:

    It’s not about the relationship, it’s about the life he’ll have.

    If the relationship brings out the winner in him (and therefore he feels like he’s a bigger “winner” than he ever could be on his own), he’s happy in the relationship.

    If the relationship is felt as a loss (or a burden that limits him, limits his ability to “win” in meaningful ways, makes winning more difficult, etc.) then he will pull away from it.

    In that case, at best he will take space to solve his own problems quietly on his own, then re-emerge when he’s on stable footing “heading towards winning” again.

    His withdrawal might be the very best thing for the relationship. He doesn’t want to explode in anger when he’s stressed and say things he doesn’t mean. So in a way that isn’t immediately obvious, he might actually be doing what he thinks is best for the relationship.

    That said, again, for a man it’s not about the relationship, it’s about the life.

    The better you are able to “receive him” at his rawest, ugliest, worst, the less he will withdraw and the more he will reveal about what’s truly upsetting to him.

    Moreover, feeling like a “winner” or “loser” is largely a mood. After all, winning or losing at life is largely rooted in personal perspective, and his mood largely influences that.

    So the winning combination is intimacy + inspiration.

    Intimacy: Being able to “receive him” at his emotional rawest. The man underneath expressing himself without the usual polish and shine, but he’s revealing his pain… and his pain reflects his vulnerability… and his vulnerability reflects his heart.

    If he can’t fully express his pain in raw, uncensored form, then you are getting a watered-down view of his heart (if you’re getting any view at all).

    That’s the intimacy side. The dark side of intimacy, but also the important side! Anyone can receive the sunny side of someone’s heart, but that’s not a relationship or intimacy. A relationship (especially a marriage) means you are connected to the fullness of them. How could it be any other way?

    So that’s intimacy.

    Inspiration: Being still and receptive with them so you see the fullness of where they are emotionally. Then, gradually and creatively, you take them out of the “I’m a loser” mood into “I’m actually not a loser… I actually do have the possibility of winning, I could possibly win in the areas that are meaningful to me.”

    That’s inspiration. You’re not solving his problem, you’re seeing his pain and working with the emotions/mood to bring him out of the “loser” feeling and putting him in touch with the “I can win here” feeling.

    In its essence, this is the heart of relationship and connection. This is the essence of inspiration, and when you can have one of those inspiring interactions with a man, that’s when you push his “love button” hard.

    And it never gets old… The effect makes him fall deeply in love with you the first time you do it, and its just as strong the 10,000th time 50 years from now.

    Don’t worry about “fixing the relationship”. Just go forward with one question in mind:

    “Can I inspire this man?”

    If you can, don’t worry. Things will be great, things will work out.

    If you can’t, well… there’s nothing to lose. You can’t lose what you don’t have, and if you can’t inspire him you can’t push his “love button”… and if you can’t push his “love button” you can’t trigger his feelings of wanting to get closer to you, open up to you, connect with you, etc.

    Am I making sense here?

    #933943 Reply

    M

    So inspiring, I want to re-quote every word…

    Love how simple you make it:
    “So the winning combination is intimacy + inspiration.”

    … especially this “A relationship (especially a marriage) means you are connected to the fullness of them. How could it be any other way?” That question blows me away…. Exactly, how could it be any other way…

    And this “Being still and receptive with them so you see the fullness of where they are emotionally. Then, gradually and creatively, you take them out of the “I’m a loser” mood into “I’m actually not a loser… I actually do have the possibility of winning, I could possibly win in the areas that are meaningful to me.”

    That’s inspiration. You’re not solving his problem, you’re seeing his pain and working with the emotions/mood to bring him out of the “loser” feeling and putting him in touch with the “I can win here” feeling.”

    Gradually and creatively…✨

    And this:
    “And it never gets old… The effect makes him fall deeply in love with you the first time you do it, and its just as strong the 10,000th time 50 years from now.”

    Wow. This just blows my mind….

    Damn! Why did no one ever teach me this before when I set out on dating /seeking a husband those many years ago…

    “Can I inspire this man?”

    What a fantastic question to have in your mind when dating….

    #933944 Reply

    AngieBaby

    Eric, this is great advice and I appreciate that you’re repeating it here lately a lot so we can all learn it.

    In my experience, there’s one big, important caveat to what you’re saying – it applies to emotionally available men who want to be a healthy, loving relationship.

    With men who are not emotionally healthy and/or are dealing with some kind of damage, I’d say… not so much.
    There’s only so much you can do to “inspire” that guy. No matter how wonderful and inspiring you are, he’s not going there because he won’t deal a past hurt.

    In this case, this man called off an engagement due to fear of moving forward because (from what the OP says) he’s still dealing with damage from a past relationship. And now he’s saying he’s busy with work and needs time. Sure, it’s possible that’s true, but it’s also very possible that’s a stonewalling exaggeration or flat-out lie to keep the OP hanging on the line because he isn’t ready to end it but doesn’t want to step up either.

    Hey, we all have blind spots and hurt places at some point or another in our lives. Stuff happens. Life isn’t fair. How we each choose to react or respond is our choice. Hard things are a chance to learn a lesson and grow. But sometimes those hard things hurt so much that someone can’t find their way past it. It either takes years or it never happens for some people.

    Some men meet the right woman and they’re ready to do the work of healing and then they do the work. Some men are never going to do it no matter how much they say they want you, they love you and they want to have a life with you. It’s our job to determine which kind we’re dealing with. And in the case where he’s not ready willing or able to deal with his baggage, to walk away rather than get pulled into the drama and the downward spiral.

    The OP will find out pretty quick which way this guy is going to go. And if he doesn’t choose to step up and do the work to get over his ex and keep the OP in his life, it is NOT about her. It’s not that she failed to push his love button.

    My two cents.

    #933946 Reply

    M

    AngieBaby, it sounds like you’re still saying the same thing – if Taylor can’t connect and inspire him, regardless of why, that love button is going to stay unpressed.

    Maybe he needs space and he’ll get there once he’s dealt with whatever needs dealing with. I can so relate to this. Not now doesn’t necessarily mean never.

    But I think it’s down to character at the end of the day. If he’s given the space, will he be the kind of person Taylor can not just accept ups and downs with, but also inspire so he can live his greatest life?

    From what Taylor is saying, he sounds honest and what he’s saying sounds reasonable. Like he’s trying to figure things out and wants to get to a great place with her. He just needs time to do it.

    If work is overwhelming, plus he’s dealing with pain from a past relationship, he’s in a tough spot. He’s juggling two big things, neither of which are to be discounted.

    For a lot of women too, not just men, work is a huge priority and their career defines who they are to a huge extent. If this is at risk in any way, either by virtue of workload, or any additional personal pressures, then it can cause a person to close down or pull away.

    I’ve had people I’ve genuinely liked and even loved, put so much pressure on me to see them/spend time with them in some way or other, that I’ve eventually had to cut off contact with them and it damaged the relationship forever because they make my life harder instead of easier.

    Even when I’ve explained my situation and explicitly said that work is so demanding at the moment, and I’m struggling with xyz, they’ve nodded but just not appreciated the reality behind my words. It’s made me feel even more disconnected to them, because despite my best efforts they still somehow don’t seem to get me.

    When things are going well in my life and there are generally good times, I can show up for them and be all the things they need me to be and give them attention and love etc etc. But in hard times when I’m under pressure, I need them to take a step back and give me the space to deal with whatever’s going on in my life. If they can do that, I’ll happily come back to them once my crisis is over. If they make their company super supportive and a great place to be, I’ll get back to them even faster.

    I’m not a write-off or a unworthwhile person to be with. I’m not emotionally unavailable or damaged – but I have been terribly hurt in the past and I’m super cautious about who I let in now and I no longer neglect my personal needs no matter what the cost (because I now know it always backfires in the long run) .

    I’m just human dealing with the incredible challenges sometimes life throws at us. I’m dealing with hard practical challenges and traumatic emotional challenges too. They don’t define the whole of me or my whole life and future. What’s happening now, is just what’s happening now. I’m invested in growth and I want a great future, so even though things are impossible now, it doesn’t mean they always will be. What I want is a partner who can step up and look after themselves enough to be a great partner for me and help me walk through this sometimes lonely and painful life. To know when to step up and when to step back.

    Maybe I’m naive and too trusting, but maybe this is where Taylor’s guy is at.

    …….

    Ok, I’ve just reread your post, and it feels like I’m still saying the same thing as you in some respects.

    Hmmmm, are we just playing with semantics…

    The more I think about it, the more I think it comes down to character. Who is he at his core Taylor? How much do you believe in him? And how well do you think you can help him believe in himself?

    #933947 Reply

    AngieBaby

    M, I don’t think I’m saying what you and Eric are saying – I feel like you’re missing my main point.

    If I’m understanding the situation correctly, the OP and her guy were engaged and he broke it off because he got “cold feet” because of the damage he experienced in his previous marriage. She says he’s telling her he’s busy with work and needs time, while at the same time being cold and stand-offish with her. She’s getting mixed messages and she’s written asking what to do.

    I’m saying – he’s just made her pay for the sins of another woman. When you’re dealing with a guy who is that damaged from a past relationship that he’s going to suddenly break off an engagement, this is the crossroads. Either he’s going to step up and do the work to clear the past damage or he’s going to continue staying damaged. The problem is his “love button” isn’t available to be pushed, if you want to use those terms, because he’s too damaged.

    He’s saying he wants to fix this, but he’s busy at work and needs time. Yeah, maybe, but to me it feels like a blow-off to keep her on the line because he can’t get his sh*t together enough to be honest with himself and honest with her. I don’t know for sure. I could be wrong. Only the OP knows.

    Not much else I have to say about it. She can back off and give him space, but if I were her, I wouldn’t be waiting around for long before I moved on. He broke off an engagement over cold feet. VERY bad sign.

    If she moves on and he’s serious, he can return and do what’s necessary to get her back… if he can prove he’s healed the damage that caused him the doubt. But we see too many women come here asking for help because they’re so in love with a guy who just isn’t really available for a relationship and they try and try and still are left broken hearted. That’s why I’m skeptical here and not really agreeing with the love button thing applies in this case.

    #933949 Reply

    Maddie

    I’m with Angiebaby on this one. I had a long on and off push-pull relationship with a guy who I eventually learned through the experience was emotionally unavailable — but he did not think this about himself, so could not be honest about it. Not with me, and not with himself. Trying to take this sort of advice didn’t work on him or for us (believe me, I tried!), and that’s actually a good thing. If the advice doesn’t work and it’s because the partner is emotionally unavailable so it truly doesn’t matter what you do, then in a way the advice is working perfectly. Because if you’re looking for a monogamous commitment and/or marriage, you don’t want to prolong and get stuck in a situation with someone unavailable. It won’t be healthy and will be very lonely.

    Taylor hasn’t been back to respond yet, but my question at this point is, has he only been saying all the nice-sounding things he wants? Or has he taken any action to work towards them over the last month? The misalignment of what he says (he wants to be with you though wants to slow things down) and what he does (standoffish and distant) is a big red flag that he isn’t ready to deal with his issues yet, and likely won’t be on a timeline that’s fair to you, but depends on what, if any, updates there are.

    #933950 Reply

    M

    AngieBaby and Maddie, reading your posts I understand what you’re saying and I totally agree with you.

    I still stand by what I said too, so not sure where that leaves me…!

    In my own experience, and really just a personality trait really that I can’t seem to shake (possibly to my detriment!) I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I give people as much leeway as I’m able to without letting myself get walked all over. Sometimes it pans out great, other times not so much.

    I think love is a magical thing, especially when it comes from a place of centredness, inner strength and non-neediness. It allows you to see with an almost inner sixth sense when it’s right to keep trying and when it’s right to let go. The decisions I’ve made with other peoples highest best interests in mind, as well as my own, have always served to protect me ultimately.

    That’s why I think assessing your ability to lift another person in a particular situation and in life is such a cool way to look at it. This isn’t just even about guys, it’s about all relationships. I’ve learnt the painful hard way (more times than I should need to) that you can’t help someone who won’t help themselves.

    This is why I absolutely agree with you.
    At the same time, I recognise I’m no good for them either if I’m being adversely affected and/or I can’t help them get to a better place for any reason.

    Still it’s true, major bad news if you’re engaged and he breaks it off.

    The only guy I was ever married to, tried to do this with me when we got engaged and he became unhappy with me about something. It did not fly well with me. And I told him either marry me or I’m leaving (their were other cultural considerations that impacted me, but not him). He backed down and the engagement was back on. We got married shortly after and were married a long time.

    Now, I would never do it this way. Times have changed, but also because I take my time and I want to see who a person really is first.

    Whenever Eric talks about how guys are, it’s so weird, I can totally relate because I act more like a guy than a girl in many ways.

    What we don’t know from Taylor is what caused her guy to get cold feet. What exactly happened to cause him to put a break on things?

    I’ve done this myself, and it was precisely because I’d been hurt and I was worried that I was going to go through hell again. I wanted more time to assess the situation and whilst I was blowing hot and cold (and hating myself for doing it because messing people around is not who I am as a person) what would have made all the difference in the world, is if the person could have been cool, gotten on with their life whilst they gave me the space I needed to privately get my act together, and definitely if they could have been a source of light relief and inspiration and support when we did make contact.

    I could be wrong, but I feel like this is what Eric is trying to say. If you can do that, then there’s nothing to repair, because the relationship is going to naturally be on track anyway.

    If for whatever reason, this can’t happen, either because he’s asking for more than you have to give, or you’re needing more than he has available, then it was never really going to work anyway in the long run.

    I like what Maddie said about it being on a timeline that’s fair to you. Everyone has their limits and I think inside you, you always know when you’ve reached yours. The question then becomes have you the self-dignity and self-respect to walk away from something that is consistently not working. And before that, have you even the awareness?

    I definitely wouldn’t want to be with someone who wasn’t thrilled to be with me. I hope regardless of this guy, Taylor gets to a place in her own life (if she hasn’t already) where she loves herself and her own company so much, what the ex decides almost becomes secondary, because she knows she’s going to be okay and more than okay no matter what.

    It wouldn’t at all surprise me if, evidencing this he came back begging to be with her. Because who doesn’t want a slice of that kind of energy in their life?

    Anyway, I feel like I’m going in circles a little and not adding anything particularly valuable to the discussion any more!

    I do understand and agree with what you’ve said. I wouldn’t want Taylor to waste time on someone who couldn’t get their act together either.

    Who is he Taylor? What’s his capacity to come out of this stronger? Has he got a growth mindset or a fixed one?

    #933983 Reply

    Eric Charles
    Keymaster

    From AngieBaby: “In my experience, there’s one big, important caveat to what you’re saying – it applies to emotionally available men who want to be a healthy, loving relationship.

    With men who are not emotionally healthy and/or are dealing with some kind of damage, I’d say… not so much.

    There’s only so much you can do to “inspire” that guy. No matter how wonderful and inspiring you are, he’s not going there because he won’t deal a past hurt.”

    Right.

    This IS what a relationship with this man would be.

    What’s happening here isn’t an obstruction or obstacle to the relationship. This IS the relationship right now. This is a relationship.

    The question to ask in a relationship is: “Can I inspire this man?”

    Guess what? Sometimes the answer is no!

    And maybe it was because he was a narcissist or EUM or an avoidant attachment style or whatever. Or maybe it wasn’t.

    But the problem with taking people down that road is it walks people into the weeds when the question can be answered without the pop psychology lens.

    Can I inspire this man? No? OK, then it won’t work.

    Sometimes knowing that inspiration is the key makes it clear just how unworkable a current relationship is.

    She can make peace with it ending, and perhaps most important of all, she can enter her next relationship focused on what will bring success.

    But guess what? Sometimes guys go through tough times and it’s just that.

    It’s not some permanent brokenness in his psyche. It’s not some immutable characteristic.

    So I don’t like suggesting such options because of the “cold reading” effect it can have on the receiver of that advice.

    She already wants it to work, she is already scared and overwhelmed.

    So my approach is to get her back to a calm, clearheaded place and give her a constructive focal point.

    If the relationship is unworkable, then it’s unworkable.

    My point here is that when I give this response, it’s not “This applies unless he’s an EUM”.

    It’s “This applies regardless of if he’s an EUM or narcissist or avoidant attachment style or whatever.”

    #933992 Reply

    Taylor

    So I literally broke my phone minutes after I posted that and just now am seeing all of your responses. I understand what all of you are saying. I’ve known this guy for years. Most of my life and he’s an honest man. So here’s the hard part for me just being totally blunt and honest… I’ve known him forever. The good and the bad. This is completely out of character for him and everyone who knows him will agree. That’s no excuse I know but this isn’t like him at all. None of this behavior is. I love him and obviously want to fix this if I can but like Erik said sometimes you just can’t. I just don’t know if it’s to that point. We talked again about it more and he said he wants to make this work. I just need his actions to follow it. He is the farthest thing from an emotional person. He hardly shows any at all and that’s just him and how he’s always been. So I’m still not sure what to do other than go back and ask the questions Erik was talking about and see if this is fixable or not.

    #933993 Reply

    AngieBaby

    I see your point Eric. Thanks for clarifying. Sometimes I wish we were speaking on a group Zoom on this site – it can be hard to grasp someone’s full meaning just from written words.

    “Can I inspire this man?” is a great question no matter what’s going on. Thanks for the clarification on that and I’m 100% on board for asking that from now on!

    Taylor, here’s the thing. When two people are serious about getting married, all kinds of stuff comes up. If you’ve known him forever and this is out of character for what you know of him, then what you’re seeing is stuff getting real. In Eric’s terms, you’re truly getting behind the mask now into what he hides from everyone. You’re getting into the muck of the pain he experienced in his previous marriage, it sounds like. I’m guessing it’s unprocessed to a large degree and that’s why he bolted. He loves you enough to ask you to marry him and now he’s facing, what if it happens again. Some men would rather run and let a good woman go than face the possibility of going through that kind of pain ever again and/or face processing that pain they experienced in the past. And that’s not a put-down, that’s just a fact. Some women are like that too.

    Yes, ask the questions Eric suggested and see if his actions start matching his words. I really hope this goes your way. Hugs.

    #933994 Reply

    Taylor

    I also want to add here someone was asking why he really called it off. From what he explained to me it did strictly have to do with what went on with his ex wife. I didn’t want to include this but I also don’t want people making assumptions. There was a lot she did to him in their marriage that’s not post appropriate to discuss that ruined him on the idea of marriage. He told me all about this when we got together. He worked it out and got help for it. When we got engaged he did tell me he was still nervous I would leave him like she did. We talked it all out. The closer it got the more he had people who had no business In our relationship getting into his head reminding him of all his ex wife did to him. There were other things we had going on and he finally exploaded like a time bomb and called it off and completely fell apart in other areas. Again I do know this isn’t an excuse but there’s a little more detail as to exactly what happened with us. I have been reading your responses over and over again and know there’s a lot to look at. My thing is this person was the love of my life (cliche I know) I can’t just give up like he was nothing to me. I know that’s not what you’re saying to do. I’m the type to look at all my options and know when I make me decision it’s the right one. After all this is a relationship/marriage/family. We spend forever picking the perfect nail color lol. I need to do the same here. So if heaven forbid I do walk away I know It was right.

    #933995 Reply

    AngieBaby

    Thanks for the extra info.

    Glad to hear he sought therapy but he’s clearly not done processing. Suggest you and maybe he read the book The Body Keeps The Score. Talk therapy only rarely fixes heavy duty trauma.

    Rooting for you two to work it out and tie the knot.

    I also trust you will know when to walk away if there comes a point you’ve tried everything and there’s just nothing more you can do and you know you can’t change him and it’s not right to get married.

    #933996 Reply

    Taylor

    Angiebaby you’re exactly right. And not it’s not at all a put down it’s definitely the truth. I’ve seen it a lot. That’s also we’re I get stumped.. as you said he loved me enough to ask me to marry him. To step up and be a father to my daughter. To be completely open with me about all this with his ex and get help for it etc… so in my eyes and my
    Opinion if he can love me enough for that and to say he wants to fix this then he needs to love me enough to show it and at least put in SOME sort of effort. It may not be a grand gesture like we might do but actions need to match words and I guess that’s where those questions come into play.

    #933997 Reply

    Taylor

    Ignore all my typos!! New phone and screen are all kinds of weird lol we definitely need a zoom group mode on here!

    #933999 Reply

    M

    Taylor, you sound so wise and you remind me of me. When I left my marriage, I gave it every possible chance I could and I left nothing on the table. Now I have absolutely no regrets about the relationship ending – I’m clear in my head and heart it didn’t fail because of me and nothing holds me back from looking forward now.

    If I’d been married to a different guy (more aligned character), I’d still be married.

    What you said about this being out of character for him really struck me. I went through a really tough time a while back – really tough. Things were so hard, all kinds of things in my life broke down. I broke down. Even I knew I was acting out of character and I hated it. People would give me all this great well-meaning advice, but it drove me crazy. If they’d gone through what I’d been through, they would have broken down too. The human system can only take so much, beyond a certain point it goes into shut down and starts to operate on absolute survival mode. I know what that’s like because I’ve been there.

    If you’d have met me then, you wouldn’t believe I was the same person. I couldn’t even handle some of my closest life-long friendships because even the basics they were wanting from me, was too much for me to handle.

    The thing was, that didn’t last forever. That wasn’t the real me or who I am at my core. I’m a fighter and survivor so I did get through it. And to the family who stood by me and supported me and gave me the space and strength and belief I needed, I will always be grateful and indebted. Some of these were family, and some friends. But we share a bond now that is unbreakable because they shared the darkest times in my life with me and help me come out of it stronger. They didn’t judge me, because they knew me. They simply loved me.

    I’m slowly emerging and regaining my strength and climbing back to the top of my game. Who I am, my character, never left me. And I’m beginning to reconnect to friends I always loved, but couldn’t handle before.

    I’m not saying this is what your guy is going through, or that this will be the same and he’ll come back to you for sure and everything will be back on and rosy. I just wanted to give you a different perspective that’s all.

    I think one of the things that saddens me the most is the people who couldn’t stick around for me when everything hit the fan. They wanted to be around me when times were good and I could show up on a high for them, and having me in their life was beneficial for them. But beyond a certain point they cut their losses and disappeared.

    I’m still the same me I was before. I always was the whole way through it. But now I know what the word family really means.

    Also, for what it’s worth, the spiral downwards and everything terrible that happened afterwards was triggered by my marriage breaking down, and an ex husband who no longer inspires my respect (to put it very very politely).

    Life is hard. Sometimes it takes no prisoners. Until you’ve been to hell and back, you have no idea of what it’s like or what a dog fight it can be just to survive.

    #934000 Reply

    M

    (Okay I just re-read that first line, and realised how arrogant it sounds. It came out wrong! Wise is still something I’m very much working on. Pain and deep reflection, that I’m already on intimate terms with.)

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