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Clearing the Way

"Is there hope for our relationship?"

Hi Ayal,

I was surfing the net looking for answers and saw a post that was up and figured I would lay my concerns onto you and see what you think. I'm a 27 year old male dating a 29 year old female. Our relationship started on strange terms, she was married, I was dating a girl for 3 years. Both of us were very unhappy in our relationship and we leaned on eachother to help us through. In doing so we developed feelings for eachother. We have so much in common, enjoy doing the same things, listen to the same music, are both very active, and love eachother's company.

Well we split from our significant others in April, her's involving a divorce, mine moving out with my girlfriend. In about mid May we started dating. Things were simply amazing, we just connected on so many levels it was bliss. This lasted for about 7 months. After that time became an issue with us. We went from seeing eachother for about 2-3 hours a day to not at all or maybe a 1/2 hour. She was also very unhappy with her living arangements. She had moved out of her husband's home and into her mother's home. She and her mother have never really gotten along. So we decided to move in together in December. Well along with her she had a 3 year old son that also moved in with us. I have never been comfortable around little kids under 6ish but I really really cared for Shannon and figured that this would be a good way for me to get over this issue.

Well things were good for the 1st month, then we went to Florida for my sister's wedding and when we came back things had changed a bit. When we would get into arguments they would escalate into big fights, even if it was a trivial topic. From my end, I was concerned about her husband because after almost a year the papers still were not filed and when I would ask there was always an excuse. When I would be upset about something I was often told not to be so sensitive, when something bothered her ex, it would often bring her to near tears.

This might get a bit scattered here cuz there is so much and I may remember things as I go. So here I backtrack a bit. Before we started dating, we worked together. She would very often come into work in tears because of something her husband had done or said. As we started to talk she told me that he had cheated on her, was verbally abusive and didn't allow her to find herself. When we started to date we both agreed that friends of the opposite sex were fine but doing things 1 on 1 with friends of the opposite sex was a Bad Idea because it would put undo stress on the other person and wouldn't be healthy to our relationship.

As we went through dating things would come up as issues, for me it was the amount of time we spent together and how much time her and her ex spent together. For her the problems would come up one after the other. At first she needed us to feel like a family and I needed to take more of a role with her son. I explained that I was not used to living with a little guy and I would make an effort to become more active but it wouldn't happen overnight. Well I did make an effort and things did improve, but then the next issue became space. She needed time to herself to unwind and relax and didn't wanna have to deal with me or her son for a chunk of time every day. With my issue being how much time we had together, this sort of conflicted eachother's needs. We worked together, but couldn't talk at work because of the eyes watching how we interacted at work, so we would get home and right away her ex would drop off her son and we would have him until bed time, and when her son was around she has made it very clear that he is her focus and I come second to that. I have excepted this fact and understand where she is coming from, but when he goes to bed and we have about 1 hour to be alone together - which would be my time with her - she uses that time for her time which leaves us VERY little time if any. Then we go to bed and the day repeats itself.

Well I gave up that time with her so she could find peace and I hoped that when we went to bed things would be our time. Well that wasn't exactly what happened because she needed to feel connected before anything romantic could happen. Well I'm sure you can see the dilema. Because of this sex then became an issue. After that she became very short with me, I could say one thing that struck her as wrong and for the rest of the day, it was awkward. Also if I would call her on the phone she was very short with me more often than not.

Now with all these things happening I was watching how she was interacting with her ex. When he would call she was very pleasent and would talk to him for a long while, laughing and enjoying the conversation, and to tell you the truth that hurt me and made me a bit jealous. She then would do secretive things, for example she was gone and I needed to find a warm pair of socks, so I went into her sock drawer to find a pair and found a note from her ex saying how much he missed her and how if she ever changed her mind he would be there for her and whatnot. Recently when we would get into an argument she would often say that she wasn't sure if we were right together, but later when she would calm down she would say she didn't really mean that and it was just because she was mad.

Well just a few days ago I asked her if she would please ask her ex for the divorce papers back so she could file them and she said ok so she wrote him a letter. Previously she said that there was nothing she would say to her ex that she wouldn't tell me she said, but when I asked if I could see the letter she said no, that it was very personal. After thinking about it I could see her point, it was more the fact that she had changed her stance on the topic. She said she still loved him and he would always hold a special place with her. I could handle this, they did bring a child in together and they were married. Anyway soon after that we talked and she told me she regretted not giving him more of a chance when they split and that she now wanted to be able to hang out with him and do things with him again. She said she still loves me and wants to be with me, but how can I be comfortable with this when everything that was said to me has changed. I am a believer in the idea of "Dont let a fox into the henhouse". I just won't be comfortable with her hanging out 1 on 1 with another guy, and I would never put her into a situation where she would have to worry about it with me. Am I totally wrong thinking like this, is there hope for us?

Sincerely, Confused

Hi Confused - well, what's very pertinent here is how you signed your name. Whenever we feel "confused", that is a huge red light flashing that says: "Warning! Warning! You have given your POWER away to another person. You have lost your own sense of who you are, and you are losing energy. You are totally defining yourself and basing your life and how you feel upon how another person treats you. You've put your life in their hands - instead of in your own!"

Not a good idea, and not healthy!!

Have you read 'The Laws of the Universe' at the bottom of the home page? If not, I think it would be a great idea to do so. I invite you to read it many times until you get some strong and deep "ahas!" It will help you see what is going on: the important thing here is not the "she did this or she did that" - although I understand that those situations you described are painful for you as you are feeling not valued or loved. But the thing you need to see, in order to have a healthy life, and any healthy relationship for yourself, is what's going on here for YOU. What relationships show us is ourself - both the good stuff and the dysfunctional stuff, because it is a mirror for us - it shows us ourself and where we're at in our development. We can see our own issues in the issues of other people with whom we have problems. They are our mirror. And we are theirs.

You have given me a picture, with all of the difficult, messy, unworkable, and painful situations you have described, of 2 people, you and this woman, who both have the same issue. And that is that you both give away your power. She had an abusive relationship with her ex, but she, on some level, still seems to be pulled to it and want it. She was treated badly, or, more truthfully, she ALLOWED herself to be treated badly, but as soon as he says he would go back with her, she would probably go back to an abusive situation. She hides that note and hers in response and other things, including herself and her time and energy, away from you.

She has a commitment to be responsible and honest to you, I would think, as you are her primary relationship now, so that is where she needs to be honest and trusting and open and giving. But she can only give those qualities to you if she can give them to herself. The need to hide things away is what a child would do - a frightened child who has no sense of power. This says to me she doesn't have much sense of inner strength, respect, integrity, or power yet - otherwise she would have the strength to be honest with herself, which would allow her to see why she attracted someone who was abusive - an important thing to figure out, don't you think? And she would also be able to share honestly and openly with you. Neither of which she is doing. She's not mature enough yet to do this. And as she is a mirror for you, some of that may be what you need to look at in yourself. You can only receive being given to if you truly know that you deserve it and you can receive it. Otherwise, you will not be able to create getting that for yourself. How come you don't think you are important enough to receive or deserve being treated with enough love and honesty? An important thing to look at, don't you think?

Also - she has a child - that has been difficult for you, you mentioned, as in many ways you are still a child yourself - 27 is still very young in terms of the long journey we are on to grow in wisdom and maturity - you are just at the beginning, actually - even though when one is 27 we feel very mature. But the fact is, you want all of her attention, as a child would, and it isn't easy for you to give her her own time for herself, or allow her to give to her child, or you to give to the child, due to that. If you look at it honestly, is that happening? Another way that you are both a mirror for one another is that you are also ALLOWING yourself to be treated abusively, yes (?) Aren't you? How come? You aren't getting what you want or need, and things are going on that feel badly to you and that you are feeling hurt from, right? But still you want to be there, just like she wants to be there with her ex - so, I would surmise that you both have no self love, or being valued issues. Why is a person choosing to be in a place where they are mistreated and not valued? Somewhere, you don't value yourself.

Neither of you have developed, yet, the strength or maturity to allow yourselves not to be abused, or to take care of yourselves. You both are missing a sense of inner power that generates, or allows you to have a sense of self respect, self esteem, and self LOVE. When you love yourself, you don't hurt yourself by being in situations that are harmful to you - UNLESS you need that situation to learn something important about yourself. You are both looking for these things, love and self respect and power, being cared for, outside of yourselves - from someone else. From a power source outside of yourself. No one else can do that for us. We have to be our own power generators. And that is what you need to discover: How to do that. We can only give power to ourselves. We set people up to be our God - to be the one who gives us power and makes us feel good, but that's a false god - it's our job to do that for ourselves, to love and honor ourselves, as well as loving others - which we can only truly do once we have learned how to love ourselves, as we become clearer and clearer human beings, connected to our own inner spiritual power.

You are saying: "If she gives me time, then I feel good. If she does this, then I feel good." All of that is basing how you feel and whether your life works or not on what she does and what she doles or doesn't dole out to you - not on how you feel and what you give to yourself. Do you see how this is what you are trying to learn by being in this relationship? When we base how we feel on what another person does or doesn't do, we are like a leaf in the wind, being blown this way and that by however the wind blows. Instead, YOU need to be the tree itself, deeply rooted and strong in its own power... Knowing that you deserve love - and when you know that, and you love yourself, you will create someone mirroring that back to you - someone who is also mature, treating you with love and respect and honesty. That's being a responsible adult who knows how to and chooses to honor, love, take care of, and respect yourself. What the child does is look for someone else to take care of itself. As we mature and grow in wisdom and power and understanding, we learn to take responsibility for how we take care of ourselves.

I strongly invite you to get hold of and read the book, Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. She talks about this in a fascinating way. Pay special attention to the chapters that deal with the 2nd and 3rd chakras and their life lessons we've come here to learn. It will be a powerful thing for you.

Blessings, Ayal

95. "Can you give advice to my traumatized son?"

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