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Old 08-19-2004, 08:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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a complicated situation...

Hey guys and gals - wondering if you can help me out with something...

Almost a year ago I got into a relationship with this girl. She was in an abusive relationship when I met her and she pulled herself out, but I think I provided the impetus. Just for background's sake she was 18 and starting college, I was 21 and just finishing - we're both a year older now. From the beginning it was pretty clear that she was more into me than I was into her. I really liked her, though, and the relationship continued. We had problems off and on, but pretty consistently. One of my problems is that I tend to pick on myself a whole lot, and thus tend to pick on other people - a result, I think, of my mother hen-pecking me from an early age.

Over time I think I came to take her devotion for granted, and instead I focused on the things she was lacking. I am pretty political, I am into religion at large (though I'm Catholic, myself), I'm a trained musician, and she is more or less none of those things. I see myself as sort of part of a counter-culture - I scrutinize everything - and she is very much a pop-culture girl, though not to imply that she is shallow. Her and I have basic misunderstandings that stem from our world view, she grew up in a Jehovah's Witness family, though she isn't really one herself.

Now, we're broken up or put on hold or something and I don't know what to do. Her devotion and sincere love for me has driven her to do some amazing things for me. She talked to a therapist about some probs I had been having, read up on the hyper-critical problem I have, provided opportunities to help me fix those probs, she's put up with all my shit for 10 months, etc... So my query is just that - which is worth more? I have had no other girl (I've been in 3 serious relationships other than this one, all over a year - one for over 2) show me the same love as her, but the disconnect between our interests bothers me - our minds don't meet to agree or disagree on issues I, and the world, deem important. To her credit, she has slowly taken up the religion issue for herself, though I worry I was the motivation (which is probably the wrong reason to search). She has listened to me babble on and on about music, asking questions, trying to learn along the way. Even so, it still doesn't seem like enough to stimulate an intellectual exchange, though I don't know if that's just me being fucked up and too critical.

So, with all that info, what do you think I should do? Break up and move on? Cherish the one girl who will come to my side at the drop of a hat? I need help!!

Thanks a lot -
alto

p.s. if you have q's post them, I'll check up frequently....
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Old 08-19-2004, 08:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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I'm reading your post... and I'm getting a bad vibe... There is no disrespect meant here at all, and if I'm reading it wrong, I'm sorry.

She came to you after getting out of an abusive relationship at a very young age. (18 is young to be abused) She got herself out of that, but she got herself right into another abusivie relationship.

You have not hit her or intentionally caused her harm, however, constant criticism is a form of emotional abuse. She's tried to get interested in your life, and your interests but you claim "Even so, it still doesn't seem like enough to stimulate an intellectual exchange", so she's not smart enough or good enough for you, and you wonder if it's because you are too critical?

If you can accept her for who she is and what she is, flaws and all, she may not be a brain surgeon, or be conversant in foreign policy, if that's important to you, then move on, if you enjoy her company and how she treats you, and you can treat her the same way... then she sounds like she's worth it.

That being said, common interests are important in a relationship, do you have to share the same ideology? No, I think it makes for more interesting conversation, but it also can add stress.

What are her good qualities?
How do you feel when you are with her?

Can you accept her for who she is, you are grown now, your momma is out of it, can you stop criticising?
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Old 08-19-2004, 08:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
face f$cker
 
Location: canada
so you're gonna hang onto a girl who is devoted and head over heels in love with you....but you don't reciprocate the feelings??? Sounds kinda selfish to me. Sounds like you have a very 'ranged' personality.....and have some issues of your own to work on before getting real seriously involved.
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Old 08-19-2004, 08:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
* * *
 
Break up.

Quote:
She was in an abusive relationship when I met her and she pulled herself out, but I think I provided the impetus.
The reason that this is on your mind is because you feel guilty. You cannot stay in a relationship out of guilt. You know that it isn't working for you, and it is not your responsibility to protect this girl from getting into other negative situations.

Her willingness to do so much for you is genuine, but I'm sure that you don't like it because of how alienating it is. I was in a similar situation, and I realized that the Jehova's Witness upbringing is essential. From birth, girls in that religion are taught that the only things that give their lives meaning are God and being married. Of course she'll do everything she can for you, but you'll likely never gain that discourse and connection that you want with her. I know that it is possible to find something better, and if you stay with her that shows that you are willing to just settle for something unsatisfactory.
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you stay with her, it might be for the wrong reasons and that will eventually catch up to you. The way you feel about it now will probably not change. Ignoring those feelings and setting them aside will not change them. Why postpone the inevidable? It may not be easy to do but it wont get any easier the longer you wait. If she's not the one for you, let her move on with her life and you move on with yours. It will hurt her but she'll get over it as will you. Don't string it along.
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
She came to you after getting out of an abusive relationship at a very young age. (18 is young to be abused) She got herself out of that, but she got herself right into another abusivie relationship.

You have not hit her or intentionally caused her harm, however, constant criticism is a form of emotional abuse. She's tried to get interested in your life, and your interests but you claim "Even so, it still doesn't seem like enough to stimulate an intellectual exchange", so she's not smart enough or good enough for you, and you wonder if it's because you are too critical?

If you can accept her for who she is and what she is, flaws and all, she may not be a brain surgeon, or be conversant in foreign policy, if that's important to you, then move on, if you enjoy her company and how she treats you, and you can treat her the same way... then she sounds like she's worth it.

That being said, common interests are important in a relationship, do you have to share the same ideology? No, I think it makes for more interesting conversation, but it also can add stress.

What are her good qualities?
How do you feel when you are with her?

Can you accept her for who she is, you are grown now, your momma is out of it, can you stop criticising?
a fair asessment of my own issues - it just adds to the list of reasons to not be in this relationship...i don't claim to be a saint or even a good boyfriend and it's pretty clear that the reason this relationship is ending is more or less my fault, aside from the fact that our interests dont match up...she HAS tried, but i think its legit that it's not enough. i've never outwardly criticized her for not being "smart enough" or "interesting enough" or anything like that - most of the criticism i have towards her stays in my head, though it does shape my actions. the outward criticism i give her is the same as in any relationship. arguements are venomous both ways - she never sees things other people's way (not just me) i always think im right (in an arguement) even though i DO see what people have to say. i dont think the criticism is as bad as you're reading into it, but your point is well taken..

wilbejammin - thanks for the JW's perspective on this matter...it helps, as well...
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Old 08-19-2004, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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oh yeah....the other jacked up thing is that "moving on" is made much harder because we work together in a very interactive setting...
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hossified
so you're gonna hang onto a girl who is devoted and head over heels in love with you....but you don't reciprocate the feelings??? Sounds kinda selfish to me. Sounds like you have a very 'ranged' personality.....and have some issues of your own to work on before getting real seriously involved.
i guess since part of me wants to end it, i dont reciprocate the feelings, but at the same time, i WOULD do anything for her, and i have. a significant part of me says this isnt right and not cuz i want to reap the benefits of her love without being there for her...she probably deserves someone who has no questions about it though....
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
Loser
 
unfortunate. and i know its easier said than done, but if you have doubts...stop wasting eachother's time and move on. your 'counter culture' seems more important to you than your relationship with this girl. stop wasting her time.
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
Loser
 
Location: RPI, Troy, NY
First let me say that your view of yourself and my view of you contradict. You say that you pick on yourself a lot. I see that you feel to be superior to others. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.
You even say that you always think you're right. You took her out of her relationship, imposing yourself on her. She took your dominance and fell in love with it.

Quote:
To her credit, she has slowly taken up the religion issue for herself
You say "to her credit," as if 1) her becoming catholic is a good thing, and 2) she has done a lot of things that didn't earn her credit. However, from your narrative, I see that all she has done is try to totally devote herself to you and do everything she can to make herself seem worthy to you.
Women in abusive relationships usually come from a family where their father was dominant and abused them, emotionally or physically. They then grow to depend on this abuse. However, they also begin to think that they deserve the abuse, and that it's their fault they're being abused. She obviously thinks this way now because she's trying to change herself to make herself worthy to you. Her mind is reacting in the way it knows how, as if it's being abused.

However, there are plenty of healthy relationships where one person always thinks they're right, and may act the same way you are, so I don't see anything particularly wrong with your behavior. However, you can not allow the current situation to continue because she is in the mindset of being abused. Unfortunately, breaking it off will probably seem to her to only be the ultimate abuse, that she has become so unworthy in your eyes that you are no longer willing to be with her.

I see two options:
1) Stay with her. Seek help. Have her work out her issues.
2) Leave her. Make it abundantly clear of how you see the situation and that you don't see her as a horrible or unworthy person, just that you two don't work together. It would probably be a good idea to help her with the therapy stuff even if you're breaking up with her. At least this way, you won't be in a relationship you don't want to be in.
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Old 08-19-2004, 10:28 AM   #11 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Chicago
Sounds like you have already made up your mind as to what to do.

Don't let your work situation prevent you from moving on. It's not fair to you or to her to stay in a relationship that's not what you want.

You can love someone and care about someone and not be able to be in a relationship with them. Having things in common is important. Being able to be yourself is also important, for both of you.
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rukkyg
First let me say that your view of yourself and my view of you contradict. You say that you pick on yourself a lot. I see that you feel to be superior to others. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.
You even say that you always think you're right. You took her out of her relationship, imposing yourself on her. She took your dominance and fell in love with it.
i guess im defending myself here...it's not a superiority complex - i simply don't connect with her on the issues that matter to me, so we're not paired well in that regard..

Quote:
Originally Posted by rukkyg
You say "to her credit," as if 1) her becoming catholic is a good thing,
did i ever mention that she was going to be catholic? simply because i'm catholic doesn't mean that she has to march lockstep with my beliefs, though people in all religions are like that. i DO think it is 'to her credit' that she's taken up the subject of religion - she will only find out more about herself and her spirituality and be able to make her own decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rukkyg
and 2) she has done a lot of things that didn't earn her credit. However, from your narrative, I see that all she has done is try to totally devote herself to you and do everything she can to make herself seem worthy to you.
i've told her this a million times - it's not about her being 'good enough', it's about her and i having dissimilar interests. i cherish her devotion and fully recognize what shes trying to do. when i say it's not 'enough' i mean that it doesn't pull us close to the point where we can talk about things in those subject areas...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rukkyg
Women in abusive relationships usually come from a family where their father was dominant and abused them, emotionally or physically. They then grow to depend on this abuse. However, they also begin to think that they deserve the abuse, and that it's their fault they're being abused. She obviously thinks this way now because she's trying to change herself to make herself worthy to you. Her mind is reacting in the way it knows how, as if it's being abused.

However, there are plenty of healthy relationships where one person always thinks they're right, and may act the same way you are, so I don't see anything particularly wrong with your behavior. However, you can not allow the current situation to continue because she is in the mindset of being abused. Unfortunately, breaking it off will probably seem to her to only be the ultimate abuse, that she has become so unworthy in your eyes that you are no longer willing to be with her.

I see two options:
1) Stay with her. Seek help. Have her work out her issues.
2) Leave her. Make it abundantly clear of how you see the situation and that you don't see her as a horrible or unworthy person, just that you two don't work together. It would probably be a good idea to help her with the therapy stuff even if you're breaking up with her. At least this way, you won't be in a relationship you don't want to be in.
no complaints here....well stated and insightful - thanks

Last edited by alto92; 08-19-2004 at 11:28 AM..
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by alto92
i simply don't connect with her on the issues that matter to me, so we're not paired well..
I think you found your answer...
__________________
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maleficent
I think you found your answer...
i edited that part of the post, but i guess youre right. i just don't know how much that means to me in relation to how much her devotion means to me...
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:38 AM   #15 (permalink)
Junkie
 
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Location: Chicago
Quote:
Originally Posted by alto92
i just don't know how much that means to me in relation to how much her devotion means to me...
I hope that wasn't meant how it came out...

Having someone devoted to you is not a relationship, well not a mainstream relationship anyhow... (reminder to self, what people do behind closed doors is not my concern)

Mainstream relationships are a partnership. Equality. Both sides giving and taking to each other. It's not one person being devoted to the other, and the other person taking the devotion. Unless you are willing to give what you get... Be fair to her...
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Old 08-19-2004, 11:44 AM   #16 (permalink)
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ive always given her my devotion. i've been there for her when shes needed me, when she hasnt, and i always will, so long as she wants me by. im not leeching off her - we have a two way relationship. it's just that i dont know if our dissimilarities is grounds enough to end the relationship or not...
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