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New relationship woes

Old 12-07-2015, 07:08 PM
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New relationship woes

So, many of you know that I jumped into dating too soon(just my own observation, fyi) after I left my XAH. I was officially divorced in early June but I had started dating a man in April, a few weeks after I actually filed the paperwork. We're still together today and, honestly, things are going great. Actually, I've had friends, mostly program friends, tell me that they are envious that I found such a devoted, kind, respectful, caring, giving, man right away. They have asked me, "How?" and, "What did you do to find him and how are you making it work?" etc.

Honestly, I have no complaints about him. Any issues I had a few months ago about communication have been resolved because I expressed my concerns and asked him to step up and he did. He's been a supportive and loving partner. We've moved slowly and have now gotten to the point where our kids have interacted, he's spent time with my son including Thanksgiving, he's fixed my car, I've helped him do yard work, and I think we're good together. We have a real relationship and we're both accountable and respectful for our actions.

Here's my problem: I can't say how I feel about him. I've never been good at expressing myself and saying I love you is difficult to me. I have all these feelings for him and things I want to say, but I can't seem to say them. On the flip side, he's not said much either but he seems to say more about us and our future than I do and he talks about things months down the road or how I'll meet his Seattle friends in the spring, etc. He has not said the L word, either, but I wonder if I'm being true to myself by holding back in telling him how I really feel. I know it's fear. It's fear that he doesn't feel the same way. It's fear that it will be a case of unrequited love, even though everything he does for me and how he treats me tells me that it wouldn't be that lopsided a thing in the end. It's fear that if he knows exactly how I feel that he will run away and abandon me.

I know this all goes back to my being ACOA and having lived with my XAH for so long. I was in a 20 year marriage. I know there's no hurry to tell this man how I feel. He also seems to be taking his time. If you look at how we treat each other, how much time we spend together, how involved our lives have become with each other and with our kids, you'd think we have quite a good thing. And, we do......so why am I in a rush to just lay all my cards on the table and get it out there, LOL?

I was sick with the stomach flu over the weekend and he gave up plans to go listen to a band play so he could stay home and keep me company. It was wonderful to be cared for with no expectations or guilt. I was on the verge of vomiting on Saturday night and I look over and see him just sitting there watching a movie with me and I could have just blurted out that dang L word right then and there and then i thought, "Oh, that's romantic. Yep, tell the guy you love him and try to get a kiss in while your at it and then run for the porcelain god and go puke.....hmmm, probably should wait that one out, haha!" Oh, god help me, this falling in love in my mid 40s is fun stuff.
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Old 12-07-2015, 07:20 PM
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Hey, we should all have your kind of "woes"! Sounds to me like you both might be a little worried about being the first one to blurt out the L word.

I feel a little ambivalent about "I love you" these days. I've always loved saying it, and hearing it, but I've said it and heard it enough times when it was no longer really true that I've gotten a bit jaded about it. When it gets to be mechanical, just something that's expected, you know?

Seems to me that you're both expressing love just fine without the words. And better to have the actions without the words than the other way around.

I say, rock ON.
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:48 AM
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Lol, Lexie. I guess they're not relationship 'woes', it's more about my inability to express myself and my fears that circle around rejection and abandonment. After years of mistreatment from my XAH, I still feel that my physical body and my mind and my heart react to things the way they used to even when someone's intent is not meant to be hurtful or cause pain. I have a very difficult time not being a martyr and I constantly have to remind myself that someone isn't doing something 'to me', they are just being who they are (and I'm not really referring to my boyfriend at this point: just people and my reactions to them in general).

And, because of this pattern of thinking that I have, I find myself working through a lot of self doubt and negative thinking. Telling myself that this man is crazy for staying with me. If he only knew how incredibly psycho my brain goes when one thing goes wrong and just how much thinking I have to put into asking for what I want or need in the relationship, etc.

So, it's not just about me not saying the L word, either. It's about me taming my potty brain and training it to see the good that right's before me and being grateful for exactly where it all is today and to stop future tripping, etc. Some of it, I'm sure, is natural fears for women in relationships but the amount of obsessiveness to MY thinking is what gets me into trouble. I am the expert at asking, "What if?"

Anyway, yes, you are right, we both express how we feel about each other better through actions and through the fact that we always make time for each other when we can. He's a good man and I love his kids. His oldest daughter, who's 9, will crawl up in my lap and lay on me while we all watch TV. Very sweet kids and I'm grateful that they enjoy my company, as well.
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:53 AM
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I think you should print off your post and give it to him. There.

I am so happy you have found a nice person who cares for you the way you deserve to be cared for. Stop looking in the past and look to the future.

Many hugs, it's great to hear from you!
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Old 12-08-2015, 05:56 AM
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Here's the thing, Liz, you recognize what is going on in your head. You aren't letting it run away with you. I assume you're still seeing your therapist? (If I remember right, you were seeing one.) Just keep working at it. You may always have an element of that in your thinking--were you that way at all before you met your ex? None of us is perfectly balanced all the time--I think everyone on earth has irrational fears about certain things, in certain situations. Sometimes it's just how we're wired, sometimes it's due to past experiences. Sometimes I think the hallmark of mental health is just learning to "work around" our own limitations.

It's so great to hear how nice your life sounds right now!
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:46 AM
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Liz, I completely agree with Lexie...the big take-away here is how self-aware you are about the whole thing.

You know what I'm going to say to you, because it's what I always say to you. Be gentle with yourself! Remember...you have come so, so far. You are so much healthier than you were even a year ago. You will always have your emotional quirks and your imperfections. The man in your life sounds lovely, and you sound happy. Which makes ME happy for you.

I would imagine that the words will come in good time. But we all know that the words don't mean much without the actions to back them up, and the actions are OBVIOUSLY there for both of you. So try not to let the words trip you up too much.
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Old 12-08-2015, 06:54 AM
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BTW, good call on waiting till the puking had passed before expressing your deep emotional feelings for him, lol.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:11 AM
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Seems to me that you are doing great and in the midst of a loving and caring relationship. Not sure there is any "action" needed here beyond enjoying the relationship for what it is. Personally, I don't think you should overthink it and the L word will pop out all by itself some day by one of you and that will be that sorted. I enjoyed your post, after a day of cravings a little feel good felt good.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by ubntubnt View Post
Seems to me that you are doing great and in the midst of a loving and caring relationship. Not sure there is any "action" needed here beyond enjoying the relationship for what it is. Personally, I don't think you should overthink it and the L word will pop out all by itself some day by one of you and that will be that sorted. I enjoyed your post, after a day of cravings a little feel good felt good.
Aww, thank you! And, thanks everyone else who responded. I know I obsess over every little detail but it's gotten better the longer the relationship has continued. A lot of earlier insecurities have melted away and a lot of that is because I feel more comfortable with him but also because I'm becoming more comfortable with ME as a single mom, working a new job, adjusting to taking care of everything myself, and raising a teenage son basically alone.
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Old 12-08-2015, 09:39 PM
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I'm so glad you shared this, dear! I am too in the same situation. Jumped into a relationship as of August. So that's about 5 ish months since I left my exA. My new guy is not an alcoholic, but the transition to the relationship is a hard one. Having had a great foundation of recovery when I was with my ex and on my own has helped tremendously in my new current relationship.
I have nothing but great things to say about my guy and his sweet daughter as well. What's helped me is the communication. I tell him about my deep flaws of "insanity" and how my brain works. I work my program and he actually helps ease my mind at times.

One day at a time- this is great news!
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Old 12-10-2015, 05:49 AM
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I swear I work my program harder now than I did when I was married to the alcoholic and a lot of that was because HE was the problem, in my eyes. Once I moved out and moved on, I had to address those things that were in ME and see where my own skewed thinking was creating problems for me. My new boyfriend has no idea how crazy in the head I can be because I share all of that stuff with my sponsor and program friends. Life is good today and my new man is devoted and caring and I am glad I stayed the course with him and patiently waited for our relationship to unfold as it has. Taking it slow has been key and I'm really happy today.
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