What’s you’re favorite quote, role model, or philosophy that helps you through feeling misunderstood, not allowed to say how you feel when others can, or that you need to put on a mask to hide/protect your insides? Feel free to skim or skip my journal entry below, but leave your thoughts in comments!
Feeling alone today. I love my partner but she has anxiety, which makes it difficult for her to empathize or listen to my feelings. It’s worse because of her difficult relationship with her father, so she’s had to do a lot of healing and more down the road in her relationship with men. I know I’m a great partner for her since I have less of a dominant communication style, which helps her feel more comfortable saying her thoughts and feelings. But I often wish she’d be able to do the same for me. I’ve been a doormat until college, where I learned how to open up and show my feelings with others. Had a lot of trust issues from being misunderstood and emotionally manipulated by my mom growing up. I just wish she realized that I need the same sympathy and listening she looks for in me.
Talked to my therapist about it. Which helped. It can just be a lonely road. I journal which helps too. I think I’ll try to keep building this friendship with a guy named Jon who lives about an hr away. He’s very receptive and not defensive about others being honest.
I’m hoping today I get a lot of work done. Getting into the flow can be super therapeutic, but my managers are kind of toxic and don’t listen. I just keep trying to be patient and show my care for other’s concerns, so that they’ll be more receptive to mine.
Thanks for listening!
sucks when you feel that you give a support that isn’t offered back to you…like you’re giving from the goodness of your heart and when you need others to reciprocate that to you, you don’t receive it…and especially when you clearly ask for it…it can make you feel truly alone and bitter…almost like any time you offer support thereafter, it feels like nails on a chalkboard because you’re giving something you know you aren’t going to get back.
I can totally relate to this, as I have similar bitterness / struggles in my marriage. I actually had a massive breakthrough in my counseling. What would typically happen is that I would open up (which is vulnerable for me as well) about my feelings, and she’d say something, like her opinion or thoughts that either didn’t take my perspective or contradicted them, and I’d feel immediately cut down, criticized. I’d tell her that it offended me, then she would get upset, and we’d have a conflict.
What my counselor helped me realize is that I was actually responding to her from my wounding with my dad. When I grew up, I’d present my feelings / thoughts / whatever to my dad, and when he would respond, it’d be the end of the argument. There was no arguing with dad, his word was law, so when he said something against what I said, that was the end of it. I didn’t realize but I was treating my wife the same way, w hen she said anything it meant that that was the end of the conversation, and I felt super pissed because I didn’t even get the chance to vent my full thoughts / etc. Now I’m being challenged to persevere in that situation and continue in the disagreement in communicating my thoughts even if it doesn’t go the way I wished it would at first. It’s my learning edge to press through that place of discomfort and grow in this area.
Maybe there’s something underneath your desire to have her listen to you instead of express what she feels back, and maybe it’s linked to your past…maybe there’s something that you have an opportunity to grow in instead of developing bitterness towards her, which divides you either externally or internally. If so, what a great thing to have the opportunity to grow through this challenge!
Hope this helps!
I just want to say, you seem like a stand up guy. The way that you talk about your struggles with your partner, without bashing her. I can tell that you understand that anxiety isn’t necessarily something that she can control, and even though it makes things harder for you, you are still there to listen to her. Not many people are dedicated to one person, and recognizing that mental illness isn’t someone’s fault. I’m sorry that things get hard sometimes. I have some anxiety, nothing really major, but I wonder how my boyfriend feels about it, and if he feels similar to you.
Props to you for going to a therapist. It’s viewed so negatively, but it’s honestly so healthy and rewarding to have someone to talk to, being their primary job. I really hope things look up for you. You deserve to be happy to, and also to be heard. Good luck, friend. Thanks for reaching out!