- 2 years ago
Not sure if I’m too uneducated or haven’t had enough coffee, but can anyone simplify the OP’s updates?
Not sure if I’m too uneducated or haven’t had enough coffee, but can anyone simplify the OP’s updates?
I read your updates and here is what i would say.
You can safely set aside all questions about, did you do enough to plan the ideal proposal and take into consideration all her feelings about it. You did everything you could. You can set aside in it’s entirety any reasoning or questions about WHY she might feel how she feels about your brothers engagement and her hurt about it.
Why? Because it isn’t about that, it is about her instincts, about how she reacts to things that don’t go her way, or don’t fit into what she thinks should happen. THAT is the issue here. Her personality traits. The subject matter of the argument is irrelevant.
The concern moving forward is, can you get some sort of confirmation through therapy that she CAN and WILL change the way she reacts to things. You should do therapy together and your goal with the therapist should be, at the end of your sessions you meet with the therapist privately and get their honest take on if her behavior is changeable or not.
Here is the deal if her behavior isn’t changeable, which in all likelyhood it is not.
– She hides it more from you and gets sneakier about how she influences you.
This results in her manipulating you, influencing you against your family, verbal abuse where she puts you down and tells you all the things “wrong” with you to condition you to think you deserve crappy treatment.
– She just waits until she has more leverage over you to where she thinks you now HAVE to accept her terms and behavior because you can’t leave her easily anymore. AKA when you have children with her. We all have seen overly posessive mothers and have seen how that plays out and it isn’t pretty. The engagement gave her a taste of power in your relationship, and you can see how that went, imagine her holding the kids over you.
This could cause her to keep your kids away from family holidays, parties, and controlling the children. The children would grow up seeing this behavior and be heavily influenced by it.
In my opinion you still aren’t seeing the bigger picture here. This is what i tell my friends when they are in a relationship they aren’t sure about. If nothing ever changed, if this is how it always was going to be would it be enough? Would you be happy for 50 years of this? Because logically you can only assume that the way a relationship is, is the way it always will be. Assuming something will change is wishful thinnking in the extreme, and certainly not something i would base a life decision on.
I get that you think very similarly and finish each other sentences, but let me tell you something. As a woman i could do that easily. Women are great listeners especially when we want something. We gather intel from everything a guy says on dates, hangouts etc. It really isn’t so hard to then understand what a guys interests and opinions are and tell them back to him to get him to feel something for you. Hate to break it to you but that is SUPER easy. Call it, telling someone what you know they want to hear. But i am telling you, the fact that she can predict how you feel about subjects and ideas that I am sure you have told her about before, or she heard from a friend, or your parents etc. really isn’t that hard to do or that special. Men tend to talk alot and forget the details. Women remember EVERYTHING.
I also wanted to add an important part about you thinking that you two are on the same wavelength and have this understanding of each other and connection. It must not be that great because despite being able to “know you so well” she took 0 of your feelings into consideration in this situation. She cared 0% and knew 0% about how her actions would affect you and make you feel. But i thought she was supposed to just “get you”? See? she doesn’t actually deeply connect with you and understand you like you seem to think she does. If she did she would give a crap about how this was both of your engagement, she right now would understand your feelings on this situation. The last thing she would be if she really could finish your sentences is angry and confused.
What you really should be thinking about is what does she bring to the table? Does she add more joy into your life? Does she bring things into your life that you wouldn’t have otherwise? Unique things, special things. Will she make your life easier? Or harder for the next 50 years? Is she an asset? Or a liability? Will she support you and your family through tough times? Is her instinct to be kind and loving and patient? Because all of those things make a good parent and partner. I wouldn’t be marrying anyone who didn’t have those things.
I’m about to PM you with details about my own situation – you might find it helpful.
She sort of hears what he’s saying, but not really and expects things to proceed as is including The Wedding Date despite the OP saying otherwise. He loves her lots but has no idea what to do
One line in particular in your update hit me. The lack of empathy. I have found as I have got older that it is either in someone’s heart or it is not. Selfish people have that lack of what I consider a very important trait. Simply put, if you can’t stretch your mind to imagine someone else’s pain or emotions from the conseuqnces of your own or actions what kind of mother/ spouse will you make? Sympathy and empathy go hand in hand. I sure as heck could not marry someone who was immune or would shrug off someone else’s discomfort or suffering.
As to the finishing off of your sentences etc. I’ve had friends both male and female that I have experienced that with. That does not mean anything more than what it is. It does not mean that person is your soul mate. Simply that you think along the same lines to a similar conclusion.
Please OP take your time. You have had your eye’s opened, they may not like what they see and there may be a bumpy ride ahead but at least they are open.
I would never marry someone who dispalyed the utter lack of empathy your girlfriend has. No matter how “great” the connection was.
You don’t realize how important empathy is until you endure a relationship with someone who doesn’t have it. It’s impossible for that relationship to remain healthy over time.
Someone mentioned that all women want to be the center of attention after an engagement, and I’d like to firstly say, that’s not true. Second, I think there’s been a lot of confusion between anxiety and selfishness. I have anxiety, but I cannot think of a time when I’ve acted like what has been described here. My anxiety doesn’t make me want to be the center of attention all the time, as a matter of fact, it does the opposite. I don’t like being the center of attention. Lastly, OP, I just want to say I’m so sorry for what you’re going through. It’s apparent to me that you really love this girl and I’m so sad that things have transpired in this manner. I think the worst bit is her saying she wishes you both hadn’t gotten engaged. I think that really speaks volumes about your relationship. I can’t imagine ever thinking that. The two of you and your future together should be more important than the attention you get. I hope you both figure it out, but I think she will have a difficult life until she becomes less selfish.
Yesterday I ended the relationship in its entirety.
TLTR: Since the ultimatum, the most bizarre occurrences were when she twice tried to turn the entire event around on me in two separate moments where I was calmly asking for a little time to myself in my office to process my emotions (I had been crying alone recently both times and being around her was too much to handle). She’d come into the office and, despite me saying I please didn’t wish to discuss anything, she would not respect my boundaries. The 2<sup>nd</sup> time, which was even angrier, she looked me in the eyes and said among other things:
After steamrolling me entirely, she stomped off down the hallway saying “Way to make this all about you- is this what I have to look forward to in our marriage?”
My heart did not follow her down that hallway. I gave it 3 days going through the motions, doing my best to make it to a therapy session…but the disgust boiled over to where I couldn’t take it anymore and realized any amount of therapy, if indeed it could fix things at all, was going to take <u>years</u>.
Context added to story- In my 2nd post on this thread where I said wasn’t going to waste my time posting details, one of the things I didn’t post is that night she said she was “giving the ring back” and she put it on the table. She later said she did it to prevent me from going to a hotel (when I was trying to get away from her going out of control and belittling me).
Each day, I’ve been “discovering pain” because I’m now seeing prior events that should have been red flags for what they really were. I’m seeing things now without the distorted lens of “well, she just has anxiety so it takes a special understanding.” More events than I can count, and so many it surprises me I had even forgotten or allowed it. Just when I feel like I’ve remembered everything, something else pops into my head. While this was near unbearable, I held on in the moment with the hopes she’d confirm the therapy session I had reached out to book after the ultimatum.
It was also near unbearable how little she respected part 3 of the ultimatum: to not set a firm wedding date until progress had been made in our relationship. Yes, it hurt she half-heartedly went along with the 2 other therapy parts of the ultimatum (she outright said she disagreed on the personal therapy, but would agree to couples therapy would do the personal therapy because I was made her).
But then, for the 2nd time this week, she played a card I still can’t believe (but am not sticking around anymore to even analyze). Twice this week, she tried to turn the entire thing around on me…though the 2nd time much more intensely.
The first time:
The first time was when I had been trying my best to not let her constantly talking about the wedding affect me after giving the ultimatum I described in a prior post. I had been crying alone and let the wave of feelings pass and came out of my office for some water, and she suggested carry out. A change of venue/getting out of the house sounded nice. All day, the topic of our wedding had dominated everything else in terms of topics she was talking about. Finally on the way home in the car I asked “Hey, I have no problem talking about a wedding in the future, but I’d please like it if we didn’t talk about the wedding anymore tonight. Just know I’m feeling really emotional right now and am processing a lot.” She agreed and even giggled saying “Yeah, I guess I’ve been talking about it a lot. That’s fine.”
But then we get home less than 10 minutes later she starts talking about how she agrees with her friend “long tables are better than round for a reception because they are more elegant” and “this was going to be the trend in the future.”
Then we start eating our carryout and she further holds up a picture of Instagram stating “I totally like the sage bridesmaid dresses vs. the biscotti.”
Then soon after, finally she starts talking about something else related to our wedding being in the woods when I interrupt and say “May we please not talk about the wedding tonight?”
She lost it. I explained the exact sequence of events I just typed here leading up to my asking a second time, to which she said “No. I’m excited about it and you’re making it like I’m not allowed to be excited about our wedding.” Then she says I shouldn’t have “asked her in that tone,” which made my jaw drop, because I made a concerted effort (read: I was on eggshells) to use the best tone I possibly could in that very moment to try and not set her off in asking her a 2<sup>nd</sup> time to please not talk about the wedding. At that point I just tell her “Look, I feel we’re not communicating properly right now, I’m going to go in my office, we can talk about this later.”
Nope. 10 seconds after I close the door and sit down she marched right into the office, opened up the door and, despite me repeatedly asking to please give me some space and that we could talk when she wasn’t upset, she does a whole song and dance about how I’m “ruining the engagement for her” and that she “was the one hurting” and that I was making things about me. Finally when it became apparent she was getting angrier by the moment and wasn’t going to respect my request she please leave, I get up to walk out the door (I’m 6’3’’- she’s 5’5’) and she sternly (but not to the point of shoving or anything) puts her hand out on my sternum enough to cause me to pause. I ask her to “please take your hand off of me right now,” to which she says “Ohhh. My. God. Really?” in a tone indicating I was trying to imply in some way she was being physically abusive (which she wasn’t and I wasn’t trying to insinuate that). She just walks down the hall and I, happy she was leaving, stay in my office the rest of the night until long after she went to bed and I slept on the couch.
The 2<sup>nd</sup> time:
The 2<sup>nd</sup> time she did it, was 2 days later. I had come home from being with my best friend because I couldn’t take it anymore and needed outside perspective. I cried a bit on the way home and waited in the driveway for my emotions to settle before walking in the door.
When I walk in, she knew I was there and greeted me with a hug. It felt like she caught my smile fade quicker than what she’d like, because she asked me what was wrong and shook her head. I said “I appreciated it, just know I’m sorting through a lot right now.”
She pressed to know what was up, and I told her I think it’d be better for us to talk when I’m not feeling emotional and also I feel if we talk about it right now it’d upset her.
She says “If I’m going to be your future wife you’ve got to tell me things, why are you holding things from your future wife?”
(Damn as I typed that out I just realized the manipulation).
Anyway, because she said that line sweetly and had a look of true concern in her eyes it felt like she was going to listen (at least in the moment). I explained I had been crying a lot recently because of things like her giving the ring back, pitting me against my family, saying she wished we weren’t engaged, etc.
Nope. She interrupted my explaining with anger. She angrily said “I said I was sorry” as if that should’ve squashed the conversation right there (referencing the first time she indeed said she was sorry…which was via text message…bizarre unto itself…as if referencing your text message apology as proof you apologized was somehow a slam-dunk argument). I realized she was escalating so I said I’d be all ears to discuss things when she was ready to talk in a mature manner and that I want to be alone in my office.
Well, since I typed the TLTR out first knowing this way going to be a long post, you already know where this all went.
Called my parents yesterday morning to let them know. Dad offered to text rest of family we were ending things when I gave the signal so I wouldn’t have to talk to everyone (the thought alone was killing me) and so they wouldn’t wonder what was up on social media. Packed some things with a friend while she was at work, and sat her down as soon as she got home.
I looked up articles on how to end a relationship as respectfully as possible. I made certain she knew my decision was final (per the articles), and our only topic of conversation moving forward was a transition plan for her moving out.
All traces of social media affiliation gone. Went to my brother immediately after the breakup to apologize again in person and let him know the full extent of the story (already apologized earlier in the week via phone for what transpired after he came over and sat down with her). Wanted him to know so badly he didn’t do anything wrong or deserve any of what she was saying, but he had a right to know what was up. I told him I was so happy for him and to please proceed with his engagement as planned (as he showed signs of feeling like it might be inconsiderate at this point). I let him know a snippet of other things I’d neglected to see in the past so he knew it wasn’t an isolated incident (i.e. solely about his engagement), just an incident on a much grander scale than previously witnessed. Fortunately, after I told him a few things and he asked himself what he’d do in my shoes, he realized the extent of it.
I’m staying with a friend. My emotions cycle from sadness and hurt to disgust and anger….then back again. The irony is proposing to her when I did was best thing that ever happened to me. Had I not proposed to her when I did and had my brother not been planning on proposing soon, I would’ve never gotten to see her true colors and easily would’ve been in denial all the way to the altar.
Wow. Got a call from my sister as I was wrapping up this post. Bewilderingly, knowing full well my brother only wanted me to know about his upcoming surprise engagement, I found out last night my ex had the gumption to call both my mother and my sister (and who knows who else at this point) to spin whatever web she was trying to spin.
In “explaining herself,” I’ve since learned she let them know about my brother’s surprise, upcoming proposal plans to give context to her story. She knew he wanted it to be a surprise and that he hadn’t told our parents or other relatives- just me. Selfish to the very end.
Says it all right there.
I am so sorry that you had to end it like that. But, I think to end it now was far better than to move forward with the wedding.
Wow. I have no words. I’m so incredibly sorry bee. I’ve been following your story and I just want you to know that you are so courageous and so strong! It’s amazing how you’ve handled such a shitty situation with so much dignity. You have learnt some important lessons and going forward I know things will be better. Give it time. You know you did the right thing – no question, and it’s worth it. You deserve so much better. I’m sending you a virtual hug.
I am so, so sorry for all that you have gone through. The next little while will be hard and you will run the gamut of emotions but your family will be there for you I’m sure to help you come out the other end.
I know it is not what you want to hear right now, but somewhere out there is a woman who will be loving, kind and considerate of others and she will make you very happy, just as you will make her.
Oh dude… this whole thing is just… so much.
You deserve so much better. Your family deserves so much better. I’m glad you’re seeing the light and I’m glad that, from the sounds of it, you’ve got a really stable support network to help you through this transition and into a better future.
Your now ex sounds soooo much like my brother’s ex. She was so freaking manipulative and everything was always about *her* feelings. He wasn’t allowed to have any feelings or opinions, and certainly wasn’t allowed to lodge even the slightest criticism against her, no matter how reasonable and no matter how hard he tried to dance lightly on those eggshells. You simply can’t win with someone like that – either you end up a shell of the man you once were, or you break up and move on. I’m glad you chose the latter.
Be strong. It’s good that you have your family spreading the word on your behalf – having spread the word that the wedding is off makes it that much easier to stick with the decision. And of course, don’t hesitate to keep posting here. Sometimes you need perspectives from people who have no emotional investment in your situation. We are all more than happy to do that for you.
It took a lot of courage for you to break it off and I think that is great. As for your ex, that relationship wouldn’t have been healthy or fulfilling for her either. Just as much as you deserve to be with someone who cherishes you, she deserves to be with someone she can’t steam roll with demands because that kind of relationship would only lower her as well as the other person. Hopefully she gets the help she needs, and matures with time.
The best course of action from here out is to really sever all ties with her cold turkey. Id suggest that after you get any logistical things sorted out like moving etc. You block her number and email, and social media accounts. She might be the type to try and manipulate you further at the very least she probably will try to lash out and wound you by saying horrible things. You don’t need to give her a means to do so. I would also suggest that any of your family and close friends be told to block her as well and that if she does say something to them that they keep it to themselves as you don’t need to hear it.
You will find someone who is kind, who gives just as much as she takes, and would be a great addition to your family. Don’t be tempted to think this was it, or that you will have a hard time finding that person. That simply isn’t true. You are walking away with the tools to see behavior for what it is, and the strength to insist you deserve better. She can’t take any of that away from you. And when your brother proposes and you have that great holiday time together as a family just know that the happiness you see between them is yours too. Know that Love isn’t limited or used up. Your brother and his fiance are proof it is there, and it can be yours too when you find that person. Hugs!!