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Please Help Me Rationalize This

G

GuiltyandConfused

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Macau
Hello.
I am new here and have been in therapy for only 5 months but have not received a diagnosis (yet). I started seeing my psychiatrist after my marriage began going down south. Long story short, my husband found out that I had been messaging a guy I used to work with. I honestly was just flirting with the guy a bit but never considered it as an affair, but my husband said that it was an emotional affair. Things took a turn for the worst when all the past issues he has had with me were brought to light. How I never made an effort to bond with his family in our 16 years of marriage, how I managed to ignore our kids by retreating to our room to watch Netflix for hours, how I was distant with him during the times that he suffered consecutive losses of family members, how I have been literally pushing him away whenever he initiates intimacy, and so on and so forth. I’ve toldhim that I’ve been feeling empty for a very long time, and that I had been unconsciously pushing people away not because I wanted them gone from my life but because I didn’t know how to make myself feel better and was literally doing everything I can think of to make the empty feeling go away. I’ve always known that I’ve had very low self esteem since I was young, and in therapy I’ve found out that my feelings of emptiness and emotional detachment were somehow due to my inconsistent upbringing (raised by grandparents wherein grandma treated us as a source of income more than a relative, physically absent parents since I was five, basically raised my younger sister myself since that age as well). My husband agrees that I may be suffering from emotional problems but can’t rationalize why I couldn’t make an effort to bond with his family and why I have been pushing him and our kids away. I don’t know what else to say to him. He keeps insisting that I never loved him which is the main reason why I hated his family and why I was distancing myself from everyone else. I don’t know what else to say to him other than I don’t really have a handle on my own emotions, and that there are certain periods in my life that I don’t feel any sort of emotions at all. While he was grieving I basically just let him be because I didn’t know how I was supposed to act around him or what I was supposed to say. I retreated to watch shows because I just was so emotionally drained at times that all I wanted to do was to escape. I flirted with that former workmate because the attention he gave me made me feel good about myself and that was that. And the worsT part of this is that I never felt guilty of my flirting because it never even occurred to me that what I was doing was inappropriate for a married woman!
I’ve also always had this feeling that my husband as well as my own parents never really loved me. I don’t know why I feel this, but no matter how much they all try to show me and tell me that they do I just can’t make myself trust in what they are saying. I mostly feel like the people around me are just there because they have to and not because they want to be with me. I also don’t know who I really am. I build relationships mostly by copying other peoples’ attitudes in order to make them like me. And the sickest part of this is that once I build a friendship with them and adapt their attitude, I make it a point to be the “best” among them. Say my current group of friends enjoy gossiping. What I would do is become the best gossip monger in that group! I also engage in endless negative thoughts about anything and everything.
I am so sick of myself, honestly. I feel like a terrible person.
I don’t know what I have. My doctor mentioned once that I show symptoms of general anxiety disorder but I am not sure if that’s the only thing I have. I’ve done some research and think that I may have some sort of personality disorder. I just feel so confused and alone and a terrible person who doesn’t deserve love.
 
D

Deleted member 91323

Guest
Hello and welcome to the forum. I can see both sides. To your husband you seem distant and not wanting to get involved. To you, you are feeling so sad and empty you cut yourself off from people.

I can understand you not feeling you know who you are and not really knowing what is expected of you. It sounds like your grandparents did not give you the love and care you needed and you had to just make your own sense of what it is to be a friend, partner and parent.

I can imagine you talking to the friend could have been because you felt so alone and empty and it helped you feel 'something'. You do not sound like you realised it would hurt your partner and you did not do this on purpose.

It is hard to support somebody when we do not know how. You did not know how to help your partner with their grief so you retreated. I can see why this would make him feel you did not care but this was not done to hurt him.

It is really good you are having therapy. It will help you to make sense of this all. You have learned quite a bit already which will help you to understand yourself more.
 
jajingna

jajingna

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 31, 2020
Messages
7,167
Location
Canada
:welcome: to the forum.

I don't think flirting is wrong, but some partners are insecure about it.
 
G

GuiltyandConfused

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Macau
Hello.
I can understand how the flirting would be a big deal to him since I had a history of cheating before we got married. He thinks that I should know better than to engage in behavior such as that when he and I know for a fact that I had cheated in the past. I told him that the flirting helped me feel good (at least momentarily) about myself, it lessened the emptiness I was feeling somehow. I’ve always been extremely insecure about myself and that attention just made me feel, I don’t know, special.
:welcome: to the forum.

I don't think flirting is wrong, but some partners are insecure about it.
 
G

GuiltyandConfused

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Macau
It’s so hard feeling empty and alone, honestly.
Right now our marriage is still on the rocks but I have been working on rebuilding my relationships, particularly with our children. I am really exerting more effort to be more involved and more present that I have been in the past. I’ve also started to connect with his family a bit more. I can’t really do much on this area at the moment as we live in a different country from them but I have been chatting with one of his siblings more. To my husband, I have also been more present. I pay attention to him, listen to what he has to say, and I am more open about my emotions to him that I’ve ever been. I am being the things that I should have been to him and the kids once we got married, and right now that purpose is what is keeping me going.
Hello and welcome to the forum. I can see both sides. To your husband you seem distant and not wanting to get involved. To you, you are feeling so sad and empty you cut yourself off from people.

I can understand you not feeling you know who you are and not really knowing what is expected of you. It sounds like your grandparents did not give you the love and care you needed and you had to just make your own sense of what it is to be a friend, partner and parent.

I can imagine you talking to the friend could have been because you felt so alone and empty and it helped you feel 'something'. You do not sound like you realised it would hurt your partner and you did not do this on purpose.

It is hard to support somebody when we do not know how. You did not know how to help your partner with their grief so you retreated. I can see why this would make him feel you did not care but this was not done to hurt him.

It is really good you are having therapy. It will help you to make sense of this all. You have learned quite a bit already which will help you to understand yourself more.
 
G

GuiltyandConfused

Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Macau
In therapy I was advised that I practice mindfulness techniques regularly to keep myself aware of other people’s emotions and I have been making progress on this. I don’t know how to manage my feelings of emptiness, though. My doctor told me that the only way I can “fill myself up” is to discover who I am. I have no idea how to start this process. I don’t have an identity of my own since I mostly act and behave in ways particular to each person that I interact with. I don’t know what I like and what I don’t. All I know right now is I don’t want to lose my family.
I haven’t really had the chance to discuss PD with my doctor yet as my sessions have all been about trying to deal with my current marital issues. I do want to bring up the possibility of me having one in our next session, though. Here are some of the reasons:
- I lie (or perhaps exaggerate grandly) about situations a lot. One particular example was my indiscretion before marriage. I told my husband (then boyfriend) that I was forced into it by the guy I had an affair with but that didn’t really happen. I just told the story like that so that he’ll feel sorry for me. As with other stories, they might not be all flat out lies but I do tell them in an exaggerated and more dramatic manner than they normally happened “just because”.
- I suffer from chronic negative thoughts. It’s like I always have “my” own voice inside my head contradicting every positive thing that happens to me. Say my husband gave me a nice jacket out of the blue. Somewhere inside of me I know that this gesture is sweet and thoughtful and that I should be happy and appreciative about it but the inner me’s voice saying “He probably did something wrong and is trying to mislead you by buying you gift! Don’t believe that!” is much more overpowering. My mother texts me to ask if I had brought a child with the sniffles to the doctor and inner me is automatically enraged and accusing my mother of questioning my abilities as a parent. I could go on about this but I will leave with those two examples.
- To make people pay attention to me, I tend to behave lasciviously and make sexual jokes a LOT. I’ve done this since I was in high school. I have attributed this to the sexual abuse I experienced when I was young but I don’t know if that actually caused this behavior or if this resulted from something else.
- I have no clear morals. This was pointed out to me by my husband in the early arguments we had about our marriage. I have disrespected him and the children because of my behavior. I disrespected him and treated him like sh*t throughout our marriage. I do not know what love truly is because if I did then I wouldn’t have done all that I have done.
- I am deathly afraid of being rejected and abandoned. My husband can’t wrap his around this because he thinks that if I didn’t want the people who love me to leave me I should be trying everything I can to make them stay and not systematically pushing them away. I don’t know how to explain to him that my behavior was actually a defense mechanism, that I was pushing them away because the thought (imagined, as my husband pointed out that my fear of this happening was all just in my head and had no factual evidence) of them all leaving me was too much to bear that I had to distance myself from them all for it not to hurt that much.
- I feel unworthy of love and affection. I’ve felt this since I could remember. I never believed I deserve to be loved by my family and friends.
- I am easily influenced by other people. I take on whatever personality they have and “excel” in it.
- I have chronic feelings of emptiness and emotional detachment. I also don’t know what my own emotions are most of the time.
I just want to get better.
 
M

ManDss

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,450
Location
Argentina
Hi there. Its quite hard to rationalize all that.

Try to think all in "small steps".

If you have some kind of thought you are not sure is right or wrong, try to take a good momment to think whats the right way to approach that though.

About your husband u should have good talk with him, without fighting, you can start the talk saying "hey, lets talk about some things, but lets try to dont fight, Im really nerveous about some things but if I lost myself in the emotions please try to stay calm so this doesnt become a fight".

Have a talk about what you both feel is going bad with your relationship, what he wants, and what you want, full honest. If you keep a word for yourself and dont share it, you loose !

Its quite hard to touch all the points you have mentioned on this topic. Therapy could be good for you.

Again, small steps. Think things slowly and clear.

Its good describe situations like u did. And then see that situation and think: it was that right ? Something went wrong ? I could aproach that situation with another attitude ? So when you have a similar situation in the future, you can feel more comfortable.
 
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