I hear your encouragement about validating her, but here's the problem;
I tell her she's a beautiful woman and she ingores me.
I tell how good she looks and she ignores me, how nice her hair looks.
I tell her what an intellignet woman and she ignores me and even seems annoyed.
I tell her how we; just me and her can sit on the sofa, without any TV or music and talk for six hours straight, and I said "who else can we do that with?" And she sort of aknowledges it, but very reluctantly.
I remind her how many times she's said "we were made for each other", and "we're sucha good fit".
The point is, every time I try to validate her worth, she seems annoyed.
She's annoyed because she doesn't want to hear it. It goes against everything she believes about herself. She has serious self-image and self-esteem problems, and she absolutely does not get what you're trying to tell her. You're trying to solve a problem that cannot be solved by you. Take a step back. I'm glad to hear she's seeing a counselor. Hopefully that will help her. At this point, I think she's feeling suffocated. She needs to spread her wings for the first time, and the more you push, the more she is going to see you as the person who is preventing her from doing that. From a woman's point of view, seriously...I get a little claustrophobic just reading your posts. I'm not saying you don't have the greatest of intentions, but she's just not ready. I strongly believe there is nothing you can do at this point that is going to change that. She needs to do that for herself...and I think nothing would benefit her more at this point than knowing that she was able to do that for herself. She doesn't want anyone to save her...she doesn't want to owe her happiness to anyone...she wants to stand on her own 2 feet and know that she can.
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Thanks for your input. I blieleve she does love me as a person and as man. And I beleive she does have a sense of loss. She is very good at hiding her true feelings, especially to me. You say that she bared her soul and left a gap you could drive a truck through, but how? I've done everything I know how to do. Back off, go back on. Tell her everything I feel about her, et.
I believe you are right. There's nothing I can do at this point but be there for her.
So this weekend, we agreed; intimate friends. More than friends, but I didn't try to pin her to anything but that. I gave her a foot massage which she said is ten times better than sex, and she got a huge smile and ohhhed and awwwed. She held my hand. We slept together, but just cuddled. I will step back and just let her be who she is.
Maybe some day she will come to know that freedom isn't free and she'll be ready to take that plunge. Maybe not. But I won't force the issue. She made that commitment to me for16 months. Maybe she'll come back to me. Maybe she won't. I need to give her that freedom and leave the rest up to God and time.
Hello RickyVilleza, you are most likely not going to like me. You may even want to skip this post. A lot of people here at Beliefnet are enablers. They feel good about enabling people. They as a rule don't have to deal with the pain of what they have enabled...
Now me and you happen to be the same age, so I am curious. You paint this really sweet picture of yourself, this really great guy.. So do you want to open up and share what's wrong with you? In my experience guys our age, seldom think the way you do, unless they see themselves as flawed... A lot of women here would love a boyfriend that treats them the way you claim to. So can you get real and share why you want so little?
Many suggest that after a divorce in a *normal* marriage (whatever that might mean) one should wait one month for each year of the marriage, before dating again. By my math I believe your girlfriend has been divorced for five months, not 34 months.
Now you say she is uncomfortable when you tell her she is beautiful... I think your words were she gets upset. As in angry? IMHO that is not a good sign. You are not her ex, nor are you her father, or therapist. Is she a project to be fixed? Do you see her as broken? You've focused a lot of your post on her "flaws" or at least what some would see as flaws, not gifts...So just how do you see her really?
Last questions, do you hear what she is really saying? Or do you hear what you want to hear?
DAH; I'm not looking to like you, I want the truth, so fire away.
Okay then there is no "truth" here, what we are talking about is feelings, and what you feel, is what you feel. Someone who suggest that what you feel is wrong, IMHO does not care about you. What you can get here are different ways of perceiving the same sets of facts, ways that **may** allow you to hurt less and hurt others less.
As far as my flaws; she tells me I am too clingy sometimes.
Either you didn't hear me or you are avoiding what I asked. I was not interested in her opinion of you, but your opinion of you. You know, the reasons we tell ourselves, that enable us to do what we do? What some have labeled as the tapes we play in our heads, the lies we tell ourselves...
I get selfish occasionally and bum out when I'm disappointed with her or she hurts me.
So she wants unconditional love, she wants to be unconditionally accepted, something that she is unwilling to return to you by the way...
I don't yell, but I get quiet and brood. She gets very mad at that and I haven't done it for several months.
Do you hear yourself here? I hear you have been hurt, (and lets be real here all real relationships hurt us at some point) but you are not permitted to show your hurt... Emotionally that is both abusive and manipulative.
I occasionally try to get lovey with her and she'll tell me to back off, and I do.
So I hear again that within the relationship she is permitted (and feels safe enough to) express her feelings.
As far as settling for too little, I don't think I do. Honestly. the 'I love you's' and the tender words have stopped and the sex stopped 4 months ago,
Okay so what happen 4 to 5 months ago? What changed?
but what I do get is a lot of loving. We make out like bandits when were together. We cuddle hold each other tight, she love bites me, carresses me: I could tell more, but it might be inappropriate. Everybody that sees us together tells us how much we look like were in love.
That is great, but my experience is that in the end it is not what everyone else is telling you but what you feel, and what she feels that actually matter. Now I could very well be way off here, but my guess is you are feeling less loved now than say six months ago? That you don't like the direction you feel your relationship is headed...
As a lifelong bachelor, I haven't had too many women and I've gone long periods without sex, so I don't need it. When we were having sex it was wonderful. I know she liked it too for 15 months. Oh, by the way, I know through her and her intimate friends that she has never had sexual relations other than her 34 year marriage until she met me.
Is this important to you? That she had only one other lover?
Perhaps this explains her problem, she has no one to compare you to? She feels a need to have someone to compare you to, and yet perhaps you have sent her the message that if she does you are out of the relationship?
I've always let the sex be on her terms, but it does get frustrating sometimes. But you know, a lot of women her age are burned out on sex. It is her, not me that tells me I'm a wonderful man and I deserve better. She's told me that since day one "why do you bother with me?"
And when she asks this question do you take it serious? Do you give her a reasonable answer? Or do you hear it as a pat on your back? As a complement?
I think you are wrong about your formula. As you know, California and other states it sometimes takes many years between legal separtion and final divorce. This is a legal phenomenon and may have nothing to do with a persons readiness to move on. She was legally separated for three years before she got her decree of divorce.
What I hear you telling me is she is almost sixty, and has had two lovers, one of which abused her, and taught her how to abuse as well. She has issues with acknowledging you as a "boyfriend" even if she is willing to have sex with you. That she has a poor self image, and feels the need for external validation. She is willing to express her feelings to you, but you are not permitted to display certain feelings (sadness) to her. That she is unwilling to be there for you emotionally when you are "down"....The idea of the down time is that one not use it to hurt someone else, you can be very good for her, at the same time she can be very "bad" for you... Of course you can also use this relationship to justify your lifelong bachelor status. This relationship works for you on one level. It meets your needs, or you would not be in it. The question is are the needs it meets for you healthy ones? The answer to that is often very hard to accept...
She's never seen her husband in that time except in court.It was she who decided to start dating a few men after a year and a half sepration.
But think of what it must have been like for her in court, facing him again, going over and exposing the old wounds. This would, I believe be an emotional time for her...
She is not a project. I do not want to change her.
Really? You wish to tell me you are totally okay with having sex with a woman who will not acknowledge you as her boyfriend? With having a relationship that is going no where?
I love her the way she is. For fifteen months she had that commitment to me, and that's all I want back.
Do you hear your words here? Do you hear that you want "things" the way they where? That my friend is you wanting change. There is nothing wrong with wanting change. Indeed it can often be healthy. But you need to acknowledge that you do indeed want change, and change doesn't happen without risk. There is the risk that she will not want your change, that she will not accept it as valid. That she will not see the behavior as wrong. Without seeing the behavior as wrong, all you will get is meaningless words. For her; her behavior works. Her behavior validates her beliefs.
You need to understand why this change in behavior works for her, how it is validating her beliefs. Before you can hope to change her behavior. Or you can decide that the risk of losing her is more than you are willing to risk and work on changing your feelings....
She always had a problem with the 'boyfriend' thing, but she called me 'babe' and she called herself 'your cutie'.
It is only recently that she refuses to acknowledge our relationship even though last week even, we did everything a relationship entails (except sex).
I have always found for me that a relationship entails a willingness to acknowledge it if nothing more than between the two people involved in it. When one refuses to acknowledge the relationship, the relationship is far from a healthy one...
We slept together, made out, caressed, et. She even lost her guard a couple of times and called me 'babe' and 'my boyfriend' But when she's on guard she purposely avoids those terms.
Again do you hear what you are saying here? That she lost her guard, that she quit pretending, that she got real... Is that all you think you have a right to expect? That you are only worthy of a real relationship a few moments out of the day? That you are okay with the person you are thinking about spending the rest of your life with feeling a "need to be on guard with you"? You are not her ex. Relationships need honesty, respect, and trust, and what I hear here is she does not respect you enough to feel she can be honest with you. Now you can get hurt, upset, mad, or you can work on changing that...That choice is yours..
I believe we all need someone we can be real with, someone we can get naked with. I see a very basic need she has not being met.
I think what's really going on here is that she is turning 59 years old next week, and she is going through a crises about her aging and beauty, and wants to flirt, go out with guys and feel beautiful. I'm just not enough anymore.
Perhaps because after many months you are not meeting a need she has?
Even though she calls me wonderful and exceptional and still finds me sexy and loves me physically, I'm just not enough anymore. She went out with a guy a few weeks ago and said she felt guilty about it because of me.
She likes you, she cares about you, and does not want to hurt you; but you don't make her feel safe. Perhaps at this point no man will address her need to feel safe, perhaps you can, perhaps you'll suggest counseling to learn how to make her feel safe? Perhaps you'll decide there is nothing you can do to make her feel anything, as some contend around here. Perhaps you'll decided she is just too much effort. IMHO she is crying out to learn how to feel safe, she is searching for a safe haven perhaps for the first time in her life.
Why? I never brought it up until she said that, and then I just asked her if it got physical and she said no. This was the same guy who a few weeks later groped her and sexually harrassed her.This I believe is what the 'just friends' thing is all about. She wants to go out with guys and tease and flirt and feel beautiful and not have to be accountable to me or me asking questions.
You could well be right, and if you are correct, for me the relationship would be over. Then again I could be right, and it would require a lot of work on your part, only you can decide if she is worth the effort. I do not believe you can love her unconditionally, you can I believe learn to make her feel safe with you. Learn to be her safe harbor, I believe the choice is yours...
Plus she's 2000 miles away and feels lonely and like I'm a dead end, even though were together 30% of the time and I told her I'd move there if she wants me to after a year or so.
What did she hear? At one time I heard you were unwilling to move, what is magical in a year or so? What changes then? She might; just might hear this as an empty promise, what makes her more valuable in a year or so than now? If you are really willing to move give her a date, a real date, and what is required. Give her goals to meet. Or do it now....
My guess is she really isn't feeling safe, and you are not making her feel safe. The person who makes her feel safe will have her, IMHO...
Well you now have at least two different paths you can attempt to follow.
You can chose to confront her, with demands, draw a line and attempt to force her to agree to it, and if she chooses not to, to hope the door hits her on her way out of your life. You can attempt to guilt trip her, you can attempt to manipulate her, tools I am very sure have been used on her it the past.
You can also pretend that you can't make her feel a thing, that you are powerless. So if she chooses to not fully trust you yet, it is her choice, and there is nothing you can do about it, it's beyond your control.....
You can take another road as well. You can find a counselor that has dealt with people who are recovering from abusive relationships, and both go to the counselor. A counselor who will help her deal with her trust issues, and help you deal with the feelings these trust issues are causing in you. Now if Kathrine is correct and you can not make her feel safe, or unsafe, then your girlfriend can not make you feel loved or unloved either!
There is the game playing/manipulation/I don't really need you at all path, there is the I can't do a thing to change anything, lets put it in God's hand path, and there is the she is worth some effort, lets try counseling to see if we can learn to be there more for each other path. I'm sure there are other paths as well that we have not thought of yet. You need to decide if you want a quick fix, if you wish to have someone you can dominate, by giving them ultimatums, and if she is unwilling to bend to your wishes are you willing to show her the door?
IM extremely personal HO, this is operating from a mistaken assumption. It is beyond our power to "fix" anyone. Of course, you can do things that could support her but you can't "make" her feel any way at all. You can't solve her problems, you can't heal her - you are not her doctor or her therapist.
Our past becomes a part of who we are, it colors how we experience things. While rickyvilleza may not have the skills to fully heal her himself, he can and is playing a role in her healing. He can do things, and make choices that will encourage and nurture her healing. Or he can make choices and act in ways that will scar her further, that will validate that men want to control her, and can not be trusted.
I happen to believe that if he wishes, that supporting her is far more likely to give an outcome he wants, than simply giving her a choice, and demanding that she choose, him or the road.
Your feelings are just as valid as hers, of course. You have every right to them, and to state what you want from the relationship, and what is acceptable and what is not. She has the same right, naturally, and seems to have been quite clear with you as well. But because it's not what you want to hear, you may not be "hearing" her.
I hear that rickyvilleza wants her in his life. I see that because of different life experiences they are not effectively communicating what they need/want to one another. I believe at this point it will take a trained counselor to help them connect with what they are feeling, his girlfriend might be unwilling to go this route, he might be unwilling. Rickyvilleza can attempt to "take charge/be a man" and force the issue, by drawing a line in the sand and telling her she will do this or I'm out of your life. Personally I see that as an excellent way to be looking for a new girlfriend.... One should not attempt to paint your partner into a win/lose situation.
While you can certainly love her, support her etc., you cannot "fix" her or "save" her.
So just what are we saying here? That one can not make a difference in another's life? ~ Clearly this is NOT true, her ex-husband made a difference in her life. Can RickyVilleza make a positive difference in her life? I'm willing to acknowledge that possibility, are you? Is it going to take more than simply waiting? I believe that simply waiting will no longer be enough... Can RickyVilleza "save" her? I guess that depends on just what we mean by "save" I'm willing to acknowledge the possibility that he can make a positive difference in her life, that he may will have already made a difference in her life.
People interact, they make a difference in each others life, that is what relationships are about. RickyVilleza has been given a lot of options in this thread. There are those who believe he can not reach out and touch her life and make a difference in it. There are those who suggest he draw a line in the sand, and give her an option ~ his way or the highway. Then there is my option that neither one of them is really happy with the relationship as it is. That they can at this point try a counselor and see if the counselor can help them make the relationship better by dealing with her issues as well as his. There is risk in doing this, and only RickyVilleza knows if she is worth the effort to him, and the cost.
Another option is to continue to wait for her.... An option that I believe RickyVilleza has tried for the last year or more, and that is not giving him the results he wants. I believe the older we get the harder it becomes for us to change in significant ways, that often we need external influence to acknowledge the need to change..
What one person sees as a loving act, another may not experience as that. We as humans often need help in understanding one another, what more loving act is there than a willingness to try and understand another? A willingness to acknowledge that one does not hold all the answers?
Everybody thank you for all of your input a few months ago. I am updating my realtionship with what's happened the last couple of months.
In mid March she started texting me these beautiful messages about how she needs me in her life, she loves me, and she wishes we we're together and cuddling, et. This all while I was still dating another woman. We had agreed to be just freinds and she said she was ok with me dating. That was her line to me then.
But two weeks ago she came and stayed with me for a few days. She finally admitted she was jealous and stung by my new relationship. We had a very mixed verbal exchange during which she told me that she was mad at me for 'pushing her aside', even though she had told me I should start dating someone else becasue she couldn't commit. In the meantime, she has not seen any men these last few months. During our exchange she alternated between being mad at me, and telling me I'm the best man she's ever known, and that she's jealous of my other Lady. When I reminded her how she told me she couldn't commit to me, she said "how drunk was I when I said that?" she said she scheduled her whole week to be just with me, and when I went out one night with the other woman,she bummed out big time
In the meantime, she's told me 'I love you' more times in the last month, than the previous six months before. She said she wanted to fly me out to Indiana.
Then, I had a long talk with the Lady I was dating. She recognized that I was still in love with my cutie. So she said "you need to go back to her". I told her "she won't take me back!"
But to my surprise, she did. I broke up with my new girlfriend and I am flying out to see my cutie for a week on her request.
I truly do love her. I told her I just want things to be the way they were before, and she agreed that's what she wants too.
I'm going to make another go of it in spite of the neurosis. I love no other woman, except my family members. I won't expect much, and I will not demand any commitment from her verbally. She has already demonstrated that she does love me and has not been with any other men in last three months. I know where I'm going, and it's one day to the next.
One day she'll tell me she loves me, and the next day she is aloof. This is her. But I want no other.
Please everybody, pray for us and me, and appreciate any comments/criticisms.
Ricky- A lot of truth to the old saw, 'You don't know what you got 'til it's gone." A corollary? "until you are in DANGER of losing it" fits, too.
Glad that the lady you were dating released you with class, though I'm sure that she's hurt, too. But see? The dating someone else thing was quite effective in helping your real love to get her mind right.
I hope things work out for you, and will pray for you both---but generally speaking, IME, God but rarely interferes with another's free will choices...meaning that if she changes her mind again, them's the breaks. After all, you seem to be leaving the door open for her to skedaddle when the fancy strikes her...so imo, you need to set some ground rules, some conditions, lest she break your heart once more---unless, of course, this is something you expect and kindof "enjoy," that is.
Quite a few young men, from my observation, have little respect for a woman once they have succeeded in the pursuit and conquest, especially if she remains welcoming and he has to exert himself but little. From what you've related so far, it seems that she may well be a female version of this kind of fella, in that she only wants you when she can't have you. Now that she DOES have you, beware the brush-off and the lack of respect/appreciation. If you don't insist that she appreciate and respect you, I think it more likely than not that very soon, she will take you for granted and disrespect you, iaw with that old Dr Phil'ism, "You teach people how to treat you by what you will or will not accept." IOW, once you accept disrespectful and unappreciative behavior, you will have taught her that this kind of treatment is perfectly fine with you.
"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance." -- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President