This topic contains 5 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Kathy 2 days, 3 hours ago.
May 4, 2021 at 4:13 am #866490
me and my ex were in a ‘more than friends’ state from 15 until 17. by 18 we got together officially and we have been in a relationship up until last month when i turned 23. we were in a healthy relationship for the first 4 years, despite having 2-3 breakups in between. we were young hence we kept going on and off, not really sure about what we wanted. but this time around, we broke up because in the last year of us being together, things got very shaky and toxic. i’m an anxious attachment style while he’s avoidant attachment. whenever we argue, he would just ghost me and not reply my texts/calls. we started having more and more arguments and disagreements towards the end of our relationships. i became very needy, insecure and clingy as compared to how i was in the beginning of the relationship. he also became more impatient, lost his temper often and raises his voice whenever we would argue. things got pretty rough where even the smallest thing could become a huge argument because of the way we approach the problem and communicate with each other. i now realize the problem and know what went wrong and why he decided to break things off. i didn’t know how to be emotionally responsible and always relied and depended on him for emotional support. i know i’ve got issues to fix, and he also has his. it’s been a month since we broke up today, and we have contacted each other in the most casual and polite manner (such as wishing him happy birthday and replying his stories). he replies in a very polite and happy manner too. i’m not sure if i should ask him whether we could work things out, i’m afraid i would come off too desperate or needy. i’m also not sure if we need more time to process but he seems like he’s happy now doing his own thing. the way he broke up with me was over the most stupid argument but it was due to all the pent up problems we had. he ghosted me for a week after breaking up with me and i eventually went to his place for closure. and after that we just casually contacted each other like how i mentioned earlier. please help..May 4, 2021 at 6:07 am #866539
You have to go completely No contactMay 4, 2021 at 1:18 pm #866882
You know this is not healthy for either or you, nor is getting back together when neither of you are capable of learning new skills or tools so to properly be in a healthy relationship.
Diagnosing yourselves is meaningless if you don’t engage with a professional. Problem solving is not easy, its takes a lot of introspect, dissection, and a proper diagnosis before you can start on self-improvement journey. It will take a lot of hard work to untwine the bad habits and/or traits you have picked up along the way but its not going to fix your relationship because you need TWO people fully on board, and both willing to do the ‘hard work’ for it to even have a sliver of a chance.
Growth, and maturity is accepting that remaining in a toxic relationship is very dangerous, long-term. I understand your emotions are all over the place, your struggling, he’s your ‘heroine’ (drug), and feel like you will die without it. Trust me, you will survive but you have decide if you want to thrive without him; or cause far more damage to your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-respect with him? How much poison do you want to keep drinking?May 4, 2021 at 3:06 pm #866917
“we were in a healthy relationship for the first 4 years, despite having 2-3 breakups in between. we were young hence we kept going on and off, not really sure about what we wanted. but this time around, we broke up because in the last year of us being together, things got very shaky and toxic. i’m an anxious attachment style while he’s avoidant attachment.”
I’m sorry you’re going through this. Part of the issue is you’re young and not yet very experienced with other men and relationships so you’re not quite there yet in seeing that the dynamic you’ve described was never healthy at all, or you’d not have broken up even the first few times.
If you have an anxious attachment style and he has an avoidant one, that’s a way bigger and more complicated set of problems than it seems on the surface even you first discover it. There’s a long and well-documented list of relationship incompatibilities because you both have completely different core needs and conflicting ways of trying to get those met. This is called the anxious avoidant trap if you look it up in more detail online. From your description of breaking up and getting back together several times, this is probably not actually because you’re young and didn’t know what you wanted, this is actually the common relationship pattern for someone with anxious attachment dating someone with fearful avoidant attachment. I once used to believe the same thing because I’d get in similar situations to you and think that it was just age and immaturity and we’d grow out of it. I can tell you after wasting years of my own time in multiple relationships like this that immaturity/age is an excuse and not true, unfortunately. No matter the age, it’s on and off and on and off until one person gets so desperate for reconnection and the other person stonewalls and is so desperate for disconnection, and the relationship simply breaks. The guy can be 40 and it still happens! Again, this isn’t obvious, it really took me YEARS to understand.
It’s good you’re trying to understand the insecure dynamic already, but what makes attachment theory helpful is not using it to figure out what’s “wrong” with your partner and dynamic and bend yourself to change for him and make him understand he’s avoidant to get him back and fix your relationship. You’ve also taken on a lot of the blame in your post. You both contribute equally to the toxic dynamic, and it’s not all your fault, so don’t take on more than your share of the blame. But also don’t assume that if it’s mostly your fault than you can find the magic formula to fix it and control the outcome. That’s also a thinking trap, you can’t control the outcome or the relationship, you can only control yourself and your responses. Fixing an insecure connection and changing it to a secure one is an extreme exception to the anxious avoidant trap and ONLY works if you have BOTH experienced enough pain in life to have the deep desire to heal your pain and change, and at the same time as each other. No one does this for another person, they only do it for themselves and on their own timeline. It’s extremely difficult and painful work that takes a lot of inner commitment and strength, but it’s worth it.
If you believe you’re anxious, you have a great roadmap to find a professional to confirm and work to heal it and become more secure! Focusing on yourself and working with a good therapist will change everything for you, including growing your self esteem and overcoming your fear of abandonment, which will make you much more attracted to emotionally available men and less attracted to avoidants who have incompatible needs.
Your fear of abandonment makes you have the miserable longing for him and desperate need for reconnection you feel. His fear of getting lost in a relationship makes him numb out, shut down, and have a desperate need to disconnect. If he’s fearful avoidant, after time that numbness will stop and he’ll switch over to feeling anxious to reconnect and fear abandonment instead and then maybe you get back together (only to break up again later and repeat the dance). None of this is romantic love, even though the longing feels like it. It’s you both having weak personal boundaries and being attached to each other, triggering wounds in each other from earlier in life that neither of you originally caused for the other person so you can’t fix for each other either. Those wounds reflect how you once learned to deal with your needs based on the type of difficult dynamics you encountered with others, probably family, when you were younger and before you met each other. But you are able to grow and learn new relationship tools if you make the individual decision to choose to do so, you aren’t doomed to stay stuck!
The anxious avoidant trap will always break your heart. I know you don’t want to hear this, but letting him go and focusing on yourself and your own emotional work is the only long-term way out of the pain you’re feeling right now. If you don’t give yourself the time to heal and address your own issues, you’ll either stay stuck in pain in a non-relationship with him or you’ll find another avoidant man (not on purpose, but this happens until you learn the painful lesson you need to actually heal) and repeat over and over.
You should go no contact as other posters said, try to accept it’s over, and find a good therapist you like so you can learn better relationship and communication tools and heal. I never chose to go no contact with anyone until my 30s, and the first time I truly did it was the biggest mindset shift ever! Because I focused on myself and started actually changing and eventually getting emotionally healthier, happier, and more secure. I hope that for you, too. Since you are so young, you’re WAY ahead if you start working through managing your anxious attachment now. I wish I’d had someone to point me in this direction when I was your age, though I did eventually find an amazing partner when we were both older.
It’s going to stay painful for a while no matter what you choose to do, so be nice to yourself. It’s okay to feel however you do and be where you’re at. It’s within your power to feel better once you’re ready, although that’s going to be through different means than fixing this break up.May 6, 2021 at 7:43 am #867736
Maddie, you just laid out exactly what went wrong in my 5 year relationship of 5 years which recently ended.
What great insight for anyone on here / I tried to connect and reconnect- he was the master of stone walking, so we broke.
Not hijacking, just expressing gratitude for saying this.May 6, 2021 at 9:11 am #867774
Maddie, You are good at this… I’m glad you joined this community!