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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not generally the one to come online and seek advice, so this is quite a new experience for me. I came across this website when a friend of mine was having struggles in her marriage and mentioned to me she had been using this place for advice. I also understand this is a marriage website and while I am not married, I realized many of you have knowledge and advice which may help me. So I apologize if this is out of context and hope you will bear with me here as I'm unfamiliar to other relationship advice forums.

When I was eight, my parents moved us to a small town in Colorado due to work my father was offered (only child). This is when I met J. He was my neighbor and a few years older than me. I went to the public school while his aunt home schooled him (he lived with a single mother who worked- his father passed when he was an infant). J and I became great friends and had all of those childhood adventures you would expect.

When I was ten, my parents were hit by a drunk driver and were killed- my dad instantly, my mother a day later. While my mother was in the hospital and I was speaking to her, she asked J to stay strong for me and to always look out for me. I admire what she requested of him, but it was hard seeing her put something on someone like that. Especially now.

He and I have always been close and have fought through many trials together. He had been abused at one point while we were children by his mother's boyfriend- eventually the man disappeared and left them for good. J then had to take care of his mother who was recovering from drugs she had been taking to overcome the abuse. I helped him through that while he had helped me through the loss of my parents. I was taken in by my aunt and uncle, but my aunt died of breast cancer a year later. My uncle turned to alcohol to cope with it and while he never abused me, I took care of him and helped him to bed every night. Eventually he drank himself to death. I had been put into the system, but only shortly- a friend of my parents heard about what had happened and took me into their home, adopting me. I also gained a new brother and sister. We are all very close.

At one point during our teenage years, he confessed he loved me- and I fled, afraid. We hadn't spoken to each other in weeks but eventually moved on and continued daily communication as friends again. I had my share of boyfriends, he girlfriends. We moved out of the small town to the main city for school and work.

Anyway, I'll get to the point as I apologize for dragging this along. I thought a bit of history would help. He recently ended a relationship with a girl he had been seeing for no more than a year (a couple of months ago)- she was constantly snooping, jealous, controlling- you get the picture. He couldn't put up with her. As for me, I also recently ended a relationship with a man-a few weeks ago- I had been seeing for a year. I had caught him cheating on me and it was over in my book- and though it upset me, I never really felt like I truly loved him. I stormed out of his place after catching him and disappeared for a couple of days to cool off (we had been living together- which I understand was a stupid move).

Friends of mine have offered me to stay with them, so I have been staying with my brother and his wife (who is also my best friend) while seeking my own place.

Yesterday, I went to visit J at his place, who lives nearby. He lives on his own and has his own house. We hadn't really spoken much since my breakup since we've been rather busy with work. We had been chatting when my ex showed up at the door looking for me. I wasn't interested in speaking to him, so J asked him to leave. I guess they exchanged some harsh words and J came back inside, clearly a little angry, but telling me it wasn't a big deal- it was done and over. I instantly felt bad he was placed in the middle of this and got up to leave. J told me it was fine, he wasn't in the middle of anything. This turned into an argument- a rather heated one. I wish I could say how it led to this- but within the next moment, we were having sex and spent the night together. This was last night.

I left this morning while he was still asleep and my head is jumbled. It was intimate sex, not angry sex. I had never made love like that to anyone before and I am a mess. I don't know what to do. I had never seen that side of him before- it was completely new to me, experiencing him like that. Was it bad? No. It felt right. It wasn't awkward or anything. But that's what scares me the most. I'm afraid this is all too fast and this can break what we've had for so long. A part of me feels we'll lose that strong friendship we've built over the years. I confessed to myself I've been in love him for a very long time- I've just been so afraid to confront those feelings. Why? I don't know. Is there anything I can do at this point? I just feel a mess. Through the boyfriends I've had, I've never been in love before. Now that I'm confronted with these feelings for J that have come spilling out of me, my instinct is to run. I'm terrified. I can't understand why.

Again, I apologize if this is long. I needed to get it all out. Any advice would be great.
 

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I would guess that you have not felt safe since your parents died and, by safe I mean feeling like you were in a loving/caring environment that would not suddenly change. The type of repeated abandonment that you experienced in childhood can lead to internalized feelings of being unlovable and fear of attachment to other people. This is most likely why you are now “terrified” of your feelings of love for J.

A qualified attachment therapist can help you to move beyond your fears and help you realize that the abandonments experienced in your childhood were not your fault. Many terrible things can disrupt the safe and stable environment that a child needs in which to grow and thrive. And, these disruptions are out of the control of the child. Your tragic past DOES NOT define you, you are a precious and unique human being, worthy of love and happiness … you just need a bit of help to start believing it.

May I ask how old you are?
 

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I left this morning while he was still asleep and my head is jumbled. It was intimate sex, not angry sex. I had never made love like that to anyone before and I am a mess. I don't know what to do. I had never seen that side of him before- it was completely new to me, experiencing him like that. Was it bad? No. It felt right. It wasn't awkward or anything. But that's what scares me the most. I'm afraid this is all too fast and this can break what we've had for so long. A part of me feels we'll lose that strong friendship we've built over the years. I confessed to myself I've been in love him for a very long time- I've just been so afraid to confront those feelings. Why? I don't know. Is there anything I can do at this point? I just feel a mess. Through the boyfriends I've had, I've never been in love before. Now that I'm confronted with these feelings for J that have come spilling out of me, my instinct is to run. I'm terrified. I can't understand why.

Again, I apologize if this is long. I needed to get it all out. Any advice would be great.
I couldnt help but focus on your last paragraph and forget about the rest. You are realizing some wonderful feelings. If they are real, and it seems they are, then embrace them. Embrace the risk. It sounds like he is still into you also. Its wonderful that two people can be such good friends and then find love with each other. Being friends first can put you on a great foundation for a healthy life together if you choose to take it that far. I would embrace these feelings and not run from them.....you really dont live life until you risk a little. Yeah, I might slow down, but move forward with this feeling if you think its real. Dont run away.

And being "terrified" is a normal reaction to experiencing a new risk with a new love or emotion.....everyone gets terrified of the unknown to some degree.

I also think Reds comments above need consideration too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you. I appreciate your words as it gives me a lot to think about. I'm 27, he's 30.
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I totally understand being afraid to love, I am at that point myself right now. HOWEVER...this seems to be the natural course of things for the two of you, based on your history. You two know each other's histories, have been friends.. I think it would be worth giving things a try. :)
 

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((((HUGS)))))

I agree even though you have some really traumatic history to cause you to fear being vulnerable of loving someone risking the pain of losing them..We all have to take that risk in love or we don't get to experience it.Its that way with other relationships too.Children/friends and even animals.Is it better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all is the question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Thank you for your kindness. I went for a long run which seemed to help clear my mind a bit. I did have some therapy as a child, though I don't remember much of it. I'm not even certain how long it lasted. With all the events and moving about, it probably wasn't long. I've never considered abandonment issues before, though I suppose it seems to make sense.
My sweet brother came home from work this morning after a super long shift(he's a surgeon) and sensed I wasn't feeling well, but I told him I was fine and pushed him off to bed. However, I know if I come forward he can lead me to the right therapist to help. I'm struggling with the thought because the idea of taking that step is another deep fear of mine. I know he would do anything for me, though. How should I speak to him about it? In fact, due to my history of relationships and experiences, he's expressed concern before and had even suggested help. Those conversations never ended well.

I don't want to run from this. J is the most important man in my life and everything about last night felt so right. I also don't want him to be concerned about me running as I'm sure he may have that thought. I'm not good at this stuff-it's all so new. How do I let him know my feelings? Do I share these fears with him?
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I don't want to run from this. J is the most important man in my life and everything about last night had never
felt so right. I also don't want him to be concerned about me running as I'm sure he may have that thought. I'm not good at this stuff-it's all so new. How do I let him know my feelings? Do I share these fears with him?
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Maybe let him approach you first, and see what he has to say. Yes, share your feelings and your fears with him, isnt that what you have always done with him? If you are safe with anyone, its this person.
 

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How should I speak to him about it? In fact, due to my history of relationships and experiences, he's expressed concern before and had even suggested help. Those conversations never ended well.
Close your eyes and say "I welcome help".Doesn't mean you are beyond help or bad guy.In fact the opposite.Open to growth and humility that we aren't a rock is awesome and strengthens..Baby step at a time realize you aren't only a care taker that sometimes its O.K to need and accept to be taken care of..:)

((((HUGS))))))
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Maybe let him approach you first, and see what he has to say. Yes, share your feelings and your fears with him, isnt that what you have always done with him? If you are safe with anyone, its this person.
You are right- he is safe. We have always been open with one another. And I will let him come to me first to hear what he has to say. Thank you.

Close your eyes and say "I welcome help".Doesn't mean you are beyond help or bad guy.In fact the opposite.Open to growth and humility that we aren't a rock is awesome and strengthens..Baby step at a time realize you aren't only a care taker that sometimes its O.K to need and accept to be taken care of..:)

((((HUGS))))))
Thank you- I needed to hear this.
 

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Klil, I agree with Red and Captain that you are describing an abandonment fear. As Red describes it, this fear makes it difficult to want to attach yourself closely to someone. Moreover, it has the perverse effect of making you feel all the more fearful when your love for someone grows.

That is, instead of becoming happier, you may find yourself feeling more miserable because the more you love someone the greater your loss will be if he were to abandon you. It therefore is common -- with people suffering this fear -- for them to push their loved ones away from them, i.e., to preemptively abandon the loved ones before they a chance to do it to them. As Red mentioned, a good therapist will be able to help you learn skills for being aware of those irrational fears and for managing those fears.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Klil, I agree with Red and Captain that you are describing an abandonment fear. As Red describes it, this fear makes it difficult to want to attach yourself closely to someone. Moreover, it has the perverse effect of making you feel all the more fearful when your love for someone grows.

That is, instead of becoming happier, you may find yourself feeling more miserable because the more you love someone the greater your loss will be if he were to abandon you. It therefore is common -- with people suffering this fear -- for them to push their loved ones away from them, i.e., to preemptively abandon the loved ones before they a chance to do it to them. As Red mentioned, a good therapist will be able to help you learn skills for being aware of those irrational fears and for managing those fears.
Thank you. And thank you again, everyone, for your words. I'll give you a quick update:

I hadn't spoken to him yesterday, mostly due to work (he sometimes works late). However, late last night I received a text from him, reminding me I'm beautiful. I lost it at that point and cried, hoping nobody would hear the sudden sobbing. But, my brother was up and happened to be passing by my room (figures, right?). He came in, sat down, and hugged me without saying a word. He had sensed for awhile something was wrong. I cried like baby, then came clean about it. He spoke with me for a bit and recommended a good friend of his he works with to help me. So, I got that out of the way- and feel much better, though I'm a bit nervous about stepping in that direction. I'm just glad for the support around me.

I called J this morning, requesting to see him. We agreed for this evening, so I will be seeing him in a bit to talk to him. Though I thought I'd be nervous about seeing him, I'm really not- it's almost comforting. I'm looking forward to seeing him and talking to him to see where this is going. The only thing I'm slightly nervous about is bringing up my chat with my brother about help. For years, J has always been my "therapy" and outlet. So we'll see how this goes.

Thanks again.
 

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I hope everything went well with your chat with J.

What a wonderful brother you have, looking out for you like that. A true blessing. I admire you for being strong enough to seek help the way you did- and so quickly. It's clear how much you value this man.

Before I became serious with my husband (while we were dating), I too feared moving forward based on events in my past. When he first confessed he loved me, I also ran. Luckily with the support of my friends and family, I took a deep breath and told myself there was nothing to fear and he is a good, honest man. I sought help myself to move past my fears and have now been married for 6 years. I'm glad he was patient with me and I sought the help I needed. You will too. He sounds like he's completely worth it.

I'm also sorry to hear about your tragic past- J's too for that matter. It's wonderful you two have been such good friends for so long to lean on one another the way you have. I also agree this is an opportunity to embrace. He sounds like a great guy who has always adored you.

Best of luck.
 
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