Defining myself outside of a relationship

Old 09-29-2009, 05:30 PM
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Defining myself outside of a relationship

I think I've come to the realization today that I can't define myself, or feel comfortable with myself outside of a relationship. I find lately, that no matter how I feel about myself, no matter what I'm doing, I continue to focus on my exABF. I have been unable to focus mostly on the good things in my life, like having loving family after being estranged for 15 years, buying a great home for myself, and having the health and freedom to do what I want. I think it's because I'm scared to be on my own. I'm feel like I'm less of a person outside of a relationship. Reconnecting with my family has actually increased that feeling. Seeing that they are both in really strong loving relationship makes me feel more alone and like a failure. It makes me see how closed off I've been in regards to relationship in the past 15 years. I've begun to envy them and everyone in relationships and am now scared that I'm never going to have another relationship, or have the fun I had with my exABF, ever again. I find I can't be happy outside of a relationship and I don't know how to fix it. I need to stop focusing on others, especially my ex, and focus on me, but I finding it extremelly difficulty to do so.

I actually thought I might be ready a week ago to date and subscribed to 2 internet sites, but as soon as I tried to look, I broke down in tears and missed my ex. I removed myself and just realized I'm not ready. I want to be, but I'm afraid now that I've closed myself off, while at the same time, don't feel complete without a relationship. So my emotions are all screwed up, and I've become depressed. I'm trying to move forward but feel I'm my own personal block, and unless I know how to deal with it and be content and happy within my own skin, that this is the way it's going to be.

Any ideas or things you have found that help with this?
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:30 PM
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5 months since my breakup (1 year relationship).

Longest I've been single was 6 years....and I don't want to be single that long again.

Longest relationship has been 8 years, and that one was a really good healthy relationship. We just grew apart as we grew older.

Find I can't be okay with having a night home by myself, but if I have a boyfriend around, I can lounge with nothing to do quite content.

I busy myself with endless trips/projects/stuff (I love doing it all) but I wonder if I do it more to fill up my time so I don't have to be alone with myself...
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Old 09-30-2009, 12:18 AM
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I don't think that you should avoid crying, it is a bad but also healing experience that will help you get over your ex. Some people need to cry it out to get over certain things thats what i find helps me. Try to pity yourself and feel the emotions, if you miss him then tell yourself you miss him but you can't go back to that. After a good cry you will feel this amazing clarity/calm. It helps me but maybe its not for others, I don't know
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Old 10-03-2009, 06:37 PM
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I feel as you do. Wife is ACOA and in denial. She has tried many changes in the 15 years we have been together to be finally happy, and now leaving me is the change that will do it.

She left me and the kids. I know your pain about fearing being alone. Being ok with being by yourself when your partner is with you, but feeling totally unfulfilled doing the same things after she/he has left.

I feel and suffer, she seems to be fine.

It's my feelings I have to deal with; my angst. It just is so hard. Can feel so hopeless. Even when you realize you have to live and recover for your kids and not so much for yourself.

I am in therapy and its helped. No idea where I would be if I had not gone. Even with that, it sucks, it kills and is the worst experience of my life. I considered myself a strong person before this experience, and the fact I am still fighting for myself gives me hope I am.

Five months. Wow. I am 30 days in. I wish I was five months. Good luck.
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:07 AM
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I couldn't define myself outside the parameters of a relationship either. I'd rationalize that because maybe I'd go a year or two without one that I was 'fixed'. Ugh.

What helped me?
*Working the 12 steps, whether through Alanon, ACoA, CODA, AA, whatever support group was appropriate for me, and with a sponsor who had the kind of recovery I wanted.
*Individual therapy/counseling-this has been an invaluable resource for me through the years. When I am in desperate need of a big emotional overhaul, I get back into counseling/therapy.
*Journaling-writing down my thoughts and feelings, including my greatest fears each day.
*Reading-"Codependent No More" and "Women Who Love Too Much" were both eye-openers for me

One of the most uncomfortable things my sponsor had me do early in recovery was to actually sit in a quiet house (no tv/radio, etc) for 15 minutes by myself. That liked to drove me nuts because I did NOT want to be faced with myself, and myself only!

Seriously, it's a gradual process learning to love ourselves. My biggest roadblock for so many years was every time I was struggling in my life, when I was the most vulnerable, I ended up in another relationship.

Today I recognize that 'white knight in shining armor' crap that runs through my head during difficult times, and I don't act on it. I can honestly say that doesn't enter my mind nearly as much anymore!

I hope this helps a little!

:ghug2 :ghug2
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