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Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:02 pm
by Tarantula

I'm still with the Italian guy. We've broken up three times in two months and I can't seem to stay away, even though he insults and disrespects me frequently, never apologises, and constantly doubts my loyalty. My friends don't like him and I'm losing all credibility because I keep going back. When we split, he doesn't try to fix it, he simply doesn't bother, and I chase. Now we've decided to give things another shot (in other words, I persisted and he merely sat back and enjoyed the attention, giving but the slightest of assents) and I think he's been lying to me about his Tinder use whilst we were split. I don't care, we were split, that's not the problem; but do I really have to add dishonesty to the mix of poo I can't seem to break away from?

I got chlamydia recently and we both got treated but failed to abstain for the 7 day treatment period so we probably both got it again. I missed a period and it's been a horrible pregnancy scare (during the last breakup, which lasted a week) but all tests negative. I'm scared it may be the chlam advancing. I don't want to become infertile. :(

I feel so hopeless about my relationship with him that I feel ashamed to even try and defend it, but I've got it into my head that he's too good for me and that's why I'm tolerating so much from him; I suddenly need him to like me because otherwise I'm unworthy. He can be sweet and he's very much a 'man's man' - will pay for dinner and open doors and do all that stuff. Fancies himself some kind of Scarface/Robert De Nero wannabe, swears a lot, but can be very affectionate too. But the biggest thing is just how much I fancy him. He's so so so gorgeous in my eyes, the sex is the best of my life, and I respect him for being the polar opposite of me: where I struggle to draw a line in the sand and stick to anything, once he makes a decision, that's it; he's like a fortress, where I struggle to defend even the smallest boundary. He's one of those guys who thinks it's weakness to pander even when you are in the wrong; I pander even when I'm indefatigably justified.

He's a serious hard worker, and I slack off all the time. I have so much regret over how I didn't try at uni, and how I've been dossing about for around a year. I had these big big ideas about starting a charity and getting a book published, but somehow, I'd find excuses to waste time everyday and nothing has really happened; I haven't achieved anything but my bank balance has been decreasing steadily, and by March, I'm down and out. The clock is constantly ticking and I bury my head in the sand. I saw this amazing charity job the other day but didn't even get invited to the open evening, even though I thought my CV was very impressive for that sort of thing, as I've been involved with volunteering for six years and have won awards and things. So that threw me completely.

I went to an assessment day for a graduate sales role last week and although I made it to the last six, got rejected by the end of the day. That was less of a surprise as the last rejection but served to cement my growing sense of being a loser at life. I'm scared I'm not good enough for any decent job and will run out of money and ultimately not amount to anything.

I was volunteering two days a week for an addiction charity but I kept skipping days because I'd spent the night before with Italy and can't seem to sleep well when I'm with him. So eventually I just gave up going in altogether and I feel I've let them down too.

I'm scared my friends will stop being my friends because they keep trying to support me through separating from this guy but I keep going back. He just impresses me so much, with his no-BS attitude and work ethic and good dress sense and overall badassness. But the flipside is that he can be rude and abrasive and he's not exactly a soft and cuddly kinda guy... except when we're alone together in bed and then he's exceptionally soft and cuddly which is what I cling to when he treats me bad.

Everything seems so hopeless right now. My relationship will probably not get better although I'll keep trying. Even if it does, my friends will never accept him now, and he won't give a monkeys about that. They've been appalled by some of the things he's said to me. And by now I wish I hadn't said anything ever about him, but it's typical approval-seeking behaviour. I want to prove to everyone how sorted I am with my super cool Italian bf and budding career. But nothing could be further from the truth right now.

I want to believe that if I make a special effort to try and understand him and not annoy him, he'll do the same for me and maybe there is a happy ending here somewhere. Sometimes he says things that make me believe, like when I told him about the pregnancy scare (and I thought he'd get mad!), he said he would definitely come with me to the clinic either way (without me having to ask) and even said that there's a part of him that would want to keep it..! He seems very future-orientated, serious about settling down, and all that stuff. I just hope that my flippant dumping him three times now hasn't knocked me out of the running for that. :/

This post has no particular structure or conclusive question. I just feel quite lost and down and ashamed right now.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:31 am
by Bel Bel
Please please please get yourself away. He is like an addition and sounds like a typical controlling guy, reeling you in with his nice behaviour, dropping crumbs of his niceness to keep you coming back but ultimately sooo wrong.
He is eating away at your self esteem slowly but surely and it is now coming out in your actions towards jobs too.
Can you write a list of all the bad points. Keeping drumming them into your head.
If he doesn't chase you can you go away with a friend for a week so you can't contact him. That way perhaps you can break the cycle.
You are sooo much better than this.
Ok so you didn't get the job that doesn't make you a failure. You got down to the last 6 that's impressive not the result of a loser.
Do you think some cognitive therapy might help you generally?

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:46 am
by rufio89
I agree with BelBel and I'd add - think back to me with "the ex". Look how long I stayed for, how long I kept going back. There's still stuff I admire about him, but it's actually pretty similar to the stuff you admire in Italian guy... he's strong and hardworking, strong minded, knows himself etc... I had moment with him when I didnt think it was possible to be happier, the sex was amazing, I really did love him.

DONT BE ME. Don't waste years of your life on him, you'll get stuck in an endless cycle and each time you go back, you feel worse about yourself, your self esteem plummets and you're more and more drawn into his web, making it harder to leave. This is going to keep happening. He's being horrible to you, consistently, he's controlling and it's emotional abuse. It's not ok for people to talk to you like that. You're not a failure. You're not LESS than him - but even if you were, it's not alright for ANYONE to behave this way towards ANYONE.

Imagine you're reading this as a visitor and someone else was posting. Think how strong you were with your long term ex - you loved him, your life together was ok, but he wasnt offering you what you wanted. Now you're overcorrecting. Youve always been strong and able to walk away and now the last 2 guys you've met, you've been drawn into the same web of narcassistic control that they're spinning.

You'll find a job, it just might take some time. You're still young, you've got plenty of time to get that side of your life together.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:26 pm
by Tarantula
Thanks for your replies guys.

However now I'm going to bat for the other side, just so you get a glimpse of how internally conflicted I am almost all of the time. At this precise moment I'm feeling positive about him because we just had a great weekend together. Watch how my perspective plays tricks on me.

Alright, he's said some pretty awful things to me that he later tried to claim was a 'joke'. And yes he has sent me messages asking where I am/who I'm with, and/or accusing me of doing things like sending selfies to other guys, just because he saw selfies on my phone, which in truth were intended for him.

Okay, so he had a bit of Tinder use whilst we were split up and fibbed about it later - he still deleted it anyway.

And yes, the makeup was orchestrated by me essentially giving in to the urge to text him until he eventually asked to meet. But then, the breakup was also my initiative. All three of them. In the last one I didn't even say anything, I just blocked him. Over something which he insists was a joke. I didn't call to have a go, I just vanished. That wouldn't have been pleasant for him to figure out.

So of course I gotta look at his side too. Every time he so much as sends me a text message questioning where I am, I flip. I throw ultimatums at him (which I don't stick to) and get markedly angry because I'm so desperate not to feel controlled. I get het up over a text. He's never told me I can't go out or do what I want to do; he just worries and has an overactive imagination. It's true that his suspicious jealousy has lessened in the short time we've been involved. But every time it emerges, I get so mad. I don't reassure him on the basis of how much I like him; rather, I hit him with the 'how can you think I would do that??' Which of course is a valid point, because I wouldn't.

He's not calling me to check up on me, he's not following me around, but he does consistently text me everyday, which is mostly sweet nothings and pleasantries, as you do. Makes me happy.

He takes me for posh dinners, introduces me to his friends, cooks for me all the time and generally makes me feel like some kinda princess when we're alone together... except when he says negative things that come out a bit abrupt and abrasive and I don't know if he's just like that or it's his limited English vocabulary. His friends seem normal, everyone's functional with jobs and girlfriends etc; there's no obvious personality maladaptation - if you met him, you'd probably think he was a decent, upright kind of fellow, very polite.

Yes he's short-tempered and irritable, but it seems to be part of the package where the flipside is that he makes decisions and takes control (in a good way), directs me through crowds and across roads (lol) and is very focused and driven. He does everything with such style, even the washing up! And he never lets me wash up. When we spend the night together we basically don't let go of each other, and it makes me think maybe it can work.

He knows my friends think he's bad and he actually cares about that more than I thought he would. He said he'd be happy to meet them whenever I want.

When things are good, they're SO good and I feel well looked after. When he starts accusing me of things... maybe I can find another way to respond rather than getting angry myself. I can't take it personally because I'm sure he'd be like that whoever he was with; this will sound deranged, but there IS something kinda sexy about his level of possessiveness. Can I change my attitude towards it so that I just laugh it off instead of getting so stressed?

So which part is the trick? Is he an emotional manipulator who's bad news across the board, or do I also contribute to the problem by overreacting, blocking instead of talking and being very trigger happy with the dumping? If I'm not gonna stick to it, what's the point...

Has there EVER been a case on this forum where we've told OP 'you need to get rid of him', and she's gone 'ok, done!' No I don't think so. More likely, the social rejection of her decisions merely served to further entrench her misery and indecision even more, because when you have feelings for someone - it don't matter what anyone else says. You gonna do what you gonna do.

So no I don't expect you guys or my friends to AGREE with my decision... but it would help if my people ACCEPTED it, because that would make me feel more supported, and therefore put me in a better position, and from there, I can make the correct decisions.

Today I'm feeling good in general because I have job interviews lined up too. Feeling happier in general makes me feel more positive about him, rather than making me detach and think 'naaah, not worth it.' Which I imagine would be the way things would naturally go if there was nothing worth staying for.

I hope I won't again be eating these words soon, but in the end I will play the cliche 'it's my life' card, in conjunction with the even more generic 'you don't know him' card, and together, I made a judgement call to stay and try to make it work with him.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:58 pm
by rufio89
You've not got me convinced Tarantula, but believe me you'll get no judgement from me, only concern!

I'm not sold on him. I think this is going to end up badly. I think he's bad for you. But as you say, it's your life, it's your decisions and ultimately it's your feelings that stand to get hurt if it goes wrong.

It all sounds so terrifyingly like my own words about W, that's my concern. I made so many excuses for him, I turned it round so maybe it was just as much my fault too, and I flicked between very very sad and very very happy. I think this guy is another W. BUT I went back and forward for THREE years before I finally dragged myself away. Before I stood up and instead of going "I dont need him, I dont deserve this", I said "this just isnt worth it". He looked much less enticing and impressive after that epiphany moment.

I know how hard it is to stay away from someone with that kind of power over you. I suspect that, like me, you've been drawn to someone like him because of the time in your life he's turned up, but that doesnt make it any less real. It's hard, you're going to have ups and downs and as I said, I think this is going to end badly, but yes, why not try. You might break up again. You might go through this cycle a few more times, but I'm confident that you have presence of mind enough to eventually walk away if the relationship makes you miserable. OR maybe it'll work out and I'm wrong and I'll eat MY words.

Just please be careful.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:25 pm
by Bel Bel
Tarantula wrote:
So no I don't expect you guys or my friends to AGREE with my decision... but it would help if my people ACCEPTED it, because that would make me feel more supported, and therefore put me in a better position, and from there, I can make the correct decisions.


As for above perhaps this is what you need to be saying to your friends. Whatever you do you mustn't cut them out for a man. They will only be coming from a place of concern too.

I do agree with Rufio and whatever you decide we will be here for you.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 10:12 am
by Tarantula
Well, I left him again. I stayed with him Friday night, lied awake all night thinking, then left yesterday morning. I just said that I cared about him very much but this relationship was causing me pain and I had to end it. He said he understood it was because of his jealousy and that was basically it. Oh, I pointed out it was the insults as well and gave an example when he asked for one. At which point he was like 'you should have left after the first reason, that was a good reason.' Then he scoffed and I thought 'I feel sorry for the next girl.'

(Grab a coffee)

It was a battle to see him on Friday as he had originally committed to seeing me but I had to fight for it. He said he had to go to Poundland and I replied I didn't want to do that as I'd rather do something fun with him, as in, so let me see you after that (for dinner, cinema, whatever). But because I said I didn't want to go Poundland with him, he kicked off, saying I didn't deserve his attention and told me to go and have fun with my friends and not 'bother' him anymore. He also heavily implied that the 'fun' I would be having with my friends would involve other guys. Even though I said with HIM, fun with HIM, not fun in general.

Then I felt guilty because of the magnitude of his reaction and I also felt, again, like the rug had been swept out from under me: I'd been saying all day that I couldn't wait to see him (as was planned, we just hadn't planned what or where), and it's like he took pleasure in taking that away from me. I suddenly felt like I was free falling and the value of seeing him, which was already high, skyrocketed and became a must. I became totally at his mercy, in my mind wishing I had agreed to go to Poundland when I had the chance and feeling that the whole thing was my fault because I'd said I wanted to have fun with him and he'd interpreted it as 'you're boring, entertain me or I'm not going to bother to see you.'

I even called him to try and sort it out and he just kept going on about how it was his only day off and he couldn't see me because he couldn't have the stress on his day off and he's 'not going to change his decision' about no longer wanting to see me because it's his day off, day off. Then he told me to 'let him calm down' so I got off the phone and he still didn't message for a while after so I again chased, asking what was happening. He said nothing, I can't have the stress, sorry. So I asked when I WOULD be seeing him and then he allowed me the mercy of seeing him on his original terms, going to Poundland.

I also told him plainly that he'd really hurt my feelings when he said I didn't deserve his attention. 'Go and have fun with your hurt feelings'. Oh, and he also told me that I'm too sensitive. How original, right?

.. So I've gone into minute detail about this singular episode because it's one of many like that, in the short time we've been together. If I don't jump when he claps, I don't get to see him. I'll be looking forward to it for days at a time but if I question him or show anything less than 110% enthusiasm, he'll take it away in an instant and stonewall me. He needs to be pampered with compliments at all times, and yet, when I have gone full throttle and said something particularly sweet (and genuine, mind you), he's sort of replied either sarcastically or nonchalantly or abruptly changed the subject.

I do feel like the victim in this because all I wanted was to see him and I was merely saying that I'd rather not go to Poundland so let's meet after you've done that. And yes, ok, maybe there was a small bit of frustration behind that text because I would like to go out with him more often but I understand he's working a lot so it's hard for him to do that, I get it.

When I did see him, I told him I was going out the next night with my friends and he said I was going to have orgies. I tried to reassure him saying that if anyone did try anything I would tell them that I was taken, and he scoffed and said something like 'after eight gins and tonic you gonna tell them you're taken?' As if to imply, as he often does, that I'm incapable of NOT shagging someone when I'm drunk, or just in general. We were sat in his barber shop and he just told me to go to the bar next door so I did. When he showed up I was busy chatting to these two lovely women I met, and he seemed grumpy about that, refused to come over and say hi and instead text me from another part of the bar saying 'you've made some new friends. Don't worry, have a nice chat.'

As soon as I got it and went to him, and we went home, and he was having a depressive episode in which he revealed that he never feels happy and doesn't think even lots of money would make him happy and he hates the jeans he was wearing and just wants to shoot himself (he said that last part jokingly but..). I was planning on being in support mode but when we got to his house he seemed to perk up and want sex so we did that, and although I asked him to go easy on me because it was hurting a bit, he didn't.

After sex I had a horrible pain in my womb (I've missed a period, but tests come out negative though I feel bloated and have put on some weight, so I don't know what's wrong with me. Clinic tomorrow.) and felt dizzy and sick and started sweating like I was having a panic attack. He rubbed ice cubes on me for half an hour until I calmed down and then we had something of a reconciliatory talk over the events of the day as I just lay there, feeling calm and honest for a change (instead of being constantly vigilant like I usually am to not upset him) as he was rubbing my leg and I thought 'maybe we can sort it out...'

... but he talked about his exes too much and by the end of the conversation I became dimly aware that he really doesn't care for me as anything more than an injured puppy that he likes to give a good kicking to when no one else is looking. He only cares insofar as he needs a target to reassure him, and supply sex on demand. It's not me as an individual. At all.

So it's no surprise I haven't heard from him at all. I never do, when we break up. He stone walls and that's it. He's probably arranging his next target. Yeah, the hardest part for me is that I cared so much for someone who doesn't really see me. He doesn't recognise me as an individual I'm just 'the woman' of the moment. Like every other. He perpetually gave examples of women who have cheated on their boyfriends with him, making every objection under the sun but ultimately putting out, and he used that to prove his point that I can't be trusted. He even gave one example of where two women who both had boyfriends invited him and his friend over for a foursome, one of them even took a phone call with her partner during the visit. To which I thought two things:

a) They are not me. And
b) What circles do you run in?!

Yeah he's an unhappy guy with loads of issues and, at 27, no drive to resolve them whatsoever. It's everyone else's fault, and he almost never says sorry. He did break me down piece by piece, ever since the first time that I tried to set a boundary and he got under it, always putting just enough effort in to keep me going, like Bel Bel said. Eventually all he had to do was NOT insult me, and actually, even if he did, I'd still come. So all he really had to do was tell me when and where and I'd be there no matter what. No matter if it was 2am.

... It was a nightmare, the only flipside being that when I wasn't around him, I could kid myself into thinking 'yay look at me, I've got a good looking Italian boyfriend'. Is that not the creme de la creme of life-sortedness? Hah. I needed the status, I needed my life to look a certain way from the outside looking in. It's 'cause of all the time I've settled in relationships in the past, now I want people to see us and think 'oh, she did well.' So my initial criteria when choosing a guy have become quite shallow.

Sometimes I wanna give up on it all and run back to D, the guy I was with for nearly three years, who says he still loves me no matter what. But I feel sure that that would be a disastrous move. Leaving him was the best thing that's happened this year. It's just that, since then, I can't seem to defend myself against narcissistic guys who don't really care for me.

I was so disposable to Italy. It's hard to swallow that, and where a healthy person would use that as leverage to NOT contact him again, for me, it's like I have to keep trying to prove my worthiness to him. I need him to like me so that I can like me. I've become dependent on his approval and feel tremendous guilt every time he throws a tantrum.

I think I've been emotionally abused by him but I hate to think that because it is oh so very far away from who I aspired to being when I first left D. I was so full of hope then.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:02 am
by Bel Bel
Well done for making the break. I really hope you don't go back.
You see him for what he is but YOUR needs are what are driving you back to him.
He is a manipulator and he knows what you need to hear.
PLEASE resist the urge to contact him because you know he isn't going contact you. He needs you to chase him yo fulfill his own needs so if you don't go there you can shut this down before it gets more toxic for you.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:54 am
by Tarantula
4 days later...

I think I overreacted. We talked and have decided to give things another shot.

... Hah! As if!! We haven't talked and I never wanna give things another shot, I was just joshing with ya.

I've maintained NC EXCEPT when I got haywired on Tuesday night and sent him a ':(', which of course, he didn't respond to. The next day I blocked him once again and he's blocked now.

I feel annoyed at myself that I caved, I should have seen it coming, I should have known that if I get drunk I'm going to slip up. Now the momentum of me leaving and even throwing my toothbrush away on my way out, and managing NC for a few days after - all compromised by that flipping text.

So you can clearly see that I'm still very much concerned with what HE'S thinking and whether HE thinks I'm a doormat or not. Really though he'd have to be stupid not to see me as a doormat because that's all I've been. I'm struggling not to hate myself for it, it's like all that displaced anger is now aimed at me for staying.

Why did I do it to myself? I experience fleeting feelings of utter rage sometimes when I think about all he managed to put me through in just a couple of months, but I suppose that's all normal part of coming out of this highly toxic arrangement.

I'm struggling. It really isn't easy for me right now. I get angry and I know he's bad news and I know everything logically, but then it's like that reality is too much to bear so I again kid myself into thinking maybe he's not all that sinister, maybe it was my fault - and then I want to text him to try and work things out. My mind is fluctuating madly.

But overall the majority vote is that I need to run like hell. Forget pride, forget shame, forget even who's fault it is (doesn't even matter in the end), forget past slip ups, forget what he's thinking of me (and he probably isn't thinking of me at all) - just RUN. And don't look back.

The last two guys combined have really damaged my self esteem, and I let 'em do it. I want to make a change but all I've really done so far is go on a date with a new guy, get haywired on that date, and end up having sex. Well done tarantula! Standing ovation. Incidentally we got on well, he's funny and seems kind but I can never tell until it's too late, can I? Plus I'm just exhausted so in a bit of a sticky wicket (that I created) now because he's texting all day and I feel guilty because I'm hardly coming to him with a clean slate. Plus if he turns out to be another narc it might finish me off!

Yet being on my own essentially means being constantly vulnerable to messaging the last one. If it is an addiction that I have (and I'm sure it is, I'm afraid), this is definitely the peak of it. Like I feel emotionally shaky if there isn't somebody texting me. How sad is that.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:57 am
by Bel Bel
I think it's perfectly normal to feel angry but give yourself a pat on the back for getting out before it got a lot worse.

You know you trigger is drink, any chance of staying away from it for a few weeks?

You need to make a pact with yourself that whenever a new guy breaks one of your no-nos that you break up with him, no excuses and no second chances. Write a list of what the no-nos are. You can even tell the guy what things you will not out up with. People can only treat you bad if you let them

And stop beating yourself up. You are learning valuable lessons each time you have an experience. As long as you take something from each experience and learn from it then it's ok.

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Thu Oct 23, 2014 2:18 pm
by snail
Tarantula wrote:4 days later...

I think I overreacted. We talked and have decided to give things another shot.

... Hah! As if!! We haven't talked and I never wanna give things another shot, I was just joshing with ya.

I totally fell for that, and even said out loud "Oh no" when I read it :lol:

Re: Can't seem to stop self-destructing

PostPosted: Fri Oct 24, 2014 8:55 pm
by Tarantula
That's a really good idea bel bel, to write a sort of dating constitution. Problem is, I constantly attack myself for lacking the integrity to stick to any line I try to draw in the proverbial sand. :(

I need to give myself a fresh start from all this madness that I've indulged in this year, but I don't know how to let go of the inner saboteur.

I called things off with new guy because I feel very messed up and not prepared to enter into anything new whatsoever. I'm just exhausted mentally, plus alcohol, plus smoking even - and I don't smoke - but apparently I do if he does. ](*,)

He took it well enough. The irony is he could be stable and alright, but it doesn't matter who he is because it's way too soon and I feel rotten still about Italy. So rotten.

I haven't gymmed for nearly two weeks and I love the gym. I'm still waiting for my period to arrive and it's a constant source of anxiety. Also I was told I'd be informed about whether or not I got a job I wanted on Wednesday but I still haven't heard. If I get it, I won't start until Tuesday so they might drop it on me last minute, which I don't appreciate.

So yeah, was gonna see new guy tonight but I cancelled, there was also another date arranged with another guy who I haven't met but I cancelled that too. Then an old flame swooped down on my whatsapp, ever waiting for the opportunity, like a vulture, and I didn't respond to him either. Really I'm like an alcoholic in a brewery here. I just want them all to go away because I'm starting to feel like none of them actually care about me, it's just sex =; and why wouldn't it be? It's how I've conducted myself lately.

Really right now I want to find a moon lodge full of women and no guys where we can chant Goddess names and listen to Chaka Khan. This place used to be called the Sanctuary in Covent Garden but they closed it down. :(