I'll try to keep this as simple and to the point as I can-I really I appreciate any input you guys can give me.
I have had low self-esteem and abandonment issues for most of my life. My dad left when I was 10, my mom was not one to be affectionate, multiple "father figures" told me I was a failure and dis-owned me...my childhood was 18 years of disapointment after disappointment. I got married young and for all the wrong reasons, which also ended sourly 5 years later. I felt unloved, unappreciated, and completely worthless. I have never been good at expressing my feelings or communicating as there were/are always 2 major fears lingering over my head: 1. Fear of being vulnerable with people and 2. Fear of losing the people I love.
Trying to cut to the chase, here's where I am at today. I have been in a relationship with an amazing girl for 2 1/2 years. I love her with all my heart and she is truly the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, but there is so much f'ing tension in our relationship because of my stupid behavioral/communication issues. I know she loves me and she has been nothing less than an angel and totally patient with me for our entire relationship, but the stress and wear that my insecurities and failure to communicate brings have pushed us to the breaking point. I know I'm too clingy, too hyper-sensitive, and a pussy in general, but I have a hard time giving her space when she needs it and I don't know how to put myself out there to have the communication that she needs and deserves from me. I know it is exhausting for her to have to constantly walk on eggshells so I don't get butt-hurt, pull teeth just to get me to talk openly about things and be vulnerable, and all along putting her own needs/feelings aside to deal with mine. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT FOR HER. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT FOR US!! I want to be a source of strength, of encouagement, and a rock that SHE can cling to in the midst of her own storms. I want her to be able to talk to me without having to sugarcoat everything and for me to be able to talk to her without fear of "saying the wrong thing" and upsetting her. I want to give her a solid, healthy relationship and be as supportive to her as she has been to me. I don't know what to do guys. We had this huge fight last night and I feel like I'm losing her and that it will be for good if I don't do something now. Any insight and advice is deeply appreciated. Thank you!!
Live the life you want to live, start now.
When ever I encounter a scary situation with an unknown outcome, I ask myself-How long will I be dead?
One foot in front of the other, repeat.
When you fall down pick yourself up.
Several gentlemen have asked offline how they're supposed to deal with losing someone special at the end of a relationship. One follow asked (paraphrasing): how am I supposed to give up someone if I truly loved her?
I didn't get to that in this thread, because I don't know for a fact that the relationship is over yet; that's for someone else to decide. Most likely, the girl. They tend to be the ones to initiate the end of a relationship.
But, since it might come to that, and several other gentlemen's relationships have already ended, here is the answer:
First of all, love is not a function of circumstances. Imagine the following situation: you and your childhood sweetheart love each other very much. But alas, she is a princess of the ruling house, and in order to avoid a deadly invasion, the royal house has decided to marry her off to a powerful potential ally. If she does not marry the foreign prince, your kingdom will be MASSACRED. Everyone you love will be at risk. That includes everyone SHE loves too. If you truly love her, you have to accept the only way out of the situation.
So you say good-bye to her, wish her well, beg the foreign prince for his promise to love her and take care of her...because you love her.
The foreign prince swears that he will, and you know that he is good to his word and that she will be taken good care of, and have every blessing her heart desires (except you), but he's jealous, so he arranges that you can NEVER see her again, ever. Your good-byes are FOREVER.
But you can still love her in your heart, you can still wish her well, you can still cherish her memories and feel warm, loving feelings when you think of her. It's not the LOVE that hurts. If you love her, you should feel good that she's being taken care of, and has saved her people. You're not feeling bad on HER account. It's YOUR LOSS that hurts. You're feeling sorry for yourself.
You could, if you choose, continue to love someone after a relationship ends. Obviously I'm talking emotions, not "physical love". I assume that's the loss of which that hurts more; sexual activity is relatively easy to replace. More likely, though, you'll "move on".
But again, it's not the love that hurts, its your sense of loss. You're not feeling bad for anyone else (love), you're feeling bad for yourself (self-pity).
Now, that's fair, and it's OK to feel that way and by all means acknowledge it, but call it what it is, because otherwise, you'll make excuses for not getting over it. "Oh, I cared about her SO MUCH, I just can't get over this". AND, if you confuse self-pity with love, you will not be receptive to the HEALING ENERGY of REAL LOVE. Real love HEALS and will actually get you through the hurt.
Pure, mature love--designated by the Sanskrit word "maitri"--does not have "attachments", and is not conditional on "circumstances". You can have warm, loving feelings for someone separated by time, space, and even the chasm that separates us from those whose life-journey has ended, AS ALL OF THEM WILL.
Needy love is immature love. It's not a bad thing, but there is BETTER, and your next relationship could BENEFIT from mature love.
"Attachments" (in Sanskrit, "upadana") are realities that we refuse to accept. Acceptance doesn't mean that we WANT or agree with the way things are; it means that we pick our battles so as to have a snowflake's chance in hell of actually winning them. If something is beyond your ability to change it, then you've got two other choices:
1. Withdraw your attention and move on to other battles that you can win. Figure out what you REALLY want (to love, to feel loved, to be happy), and find ANOTHER WAY to accomplish your TRUE GOAL.
2. Focus all your attention on a battle that is impossible to win, and bitch and moan about losing it. You're fighting for something that isn't even your real goal! Your real goal is to love, be loved, and be happy, but what you're doing is making you miserable.
Instead, pursue your true goal, and find it another way.
You can still have warm, loving feelings if you want. DON'T FORGET TO HAVE WARM, LOVING, CARING feelings for yourself as well! Don't "punish" yourself for your losses. Instead, take care of yourself. Talk to your friends. Spend time in activities you enjoy. Get plenty of sunshine (fights depression).
Consider, too, your blessings. What if the relationship had not ended, but just kept deteriorating? What if you were trapped in a miserable, dysfunctional relationship?
Consider, too, your choices still open to you. Want to have a good relationship? You still can. With someone else, after you've burned through this, grown as a man, and come out all the better for it, with blessings to bring to the next woman in your life.
Smile, buddy. Just smile.