Well thank-you for the compliment. I suppose I did some things better than previously.
In terms of boundaries. I'm not sure. The concept of boundaries still feels completely alien and abstract to me. And I would be in danger of hypocrisy by criticizing hers.
This caught my attention.
Why are you not sure?
Do you think being in a relationship and inviting someone in to live with you who is both unstable, has a lot of drama, and is flirting with you is not a boundary violation? Both to your partner and yourself?
I didn't say criticize her. Where is the hypocrisy?
In terms of her interpreting my wishes as something to rebel against then I think it does likely have a root in something more historical for her.
I believe her impulse to help might come from her childhood..... unsurprisingly. She has a sibling with a disability. And moved schools a lot as a kid. It seems she always had to be the one to defend them against the bullies. That contributed, at least is my guess anyway.
We all have "good" reasons. But I would be careful not to justify her behavior. She sounds very much like she's in a co-dependent pattern of rescuing to avoid her own pain/herself/her work.
She put you in what sounds like a perpetrator role here. Or, at the very least, a parent role.
As a result she left the relationship. It's like she is no longer with you or connected to you. She's in a fantasy of her own playing something out. She's disconnected from you. And you felt that in a big way -- it showed up in your own behavior (drinking) to manage the pain of that.
I don't think the relationship can go anywhere good (or healthy, functioning) with these dynamics in the works unless and until both become aware and do the recovery work.
I score very highly on consciensciousness, introversion and nuerotisism. And she, much of the opposite. I live in a world of fear and isolation, where discipline and organization are tools to "stay in the fight" in a world which I don't understand, mistrust and have never felt accepted by. Whereas she is musical, liberal, chilled out and has bags of faith in humanity. But is also very disorganized, procrastinates and frequently gets taken advantage of or in trouble. I sleep 4 hours a night and shoot bolt upright holding a knife at the sound of a squirrel on the roof....she snores through earthquakes lol.
Ultimately, I don't know if she's a good match. I can't really work out people or relationships. A part of me says no, another part of me says that our diverse skillset and perspective is a strength if it can be accepted.
I think the key piece here is "if it can be accepted," and that is an ideal.
Ideally, she would benefit from your sort of vigilance and looking out for danger to maybe tame her clue-lessness (seemingly) about consequences and dangers, and maybe she'd lighten you up a little and help you relax? Is that what you're imagining in an ideal situation? Honestly, I think that would take *a lot* of work, namely her being self-aware (i.e., would she describe herself this way and does she have this perspective of you and your behavior?) and is she willing to do the work of recovery?
It's one thing to be liberal and chilled out, procrastinate or be disorganized, but it's another to make a mess of your life (and have that impact your partner) if you can't take responsibility for your behavior and blame others when they try to move away from the consequences of your behavior and are immature (and I don't mean this as a judgement or criticism - immature meaning, act more like a teenager) and are willing to let men move in with you who are giant red flags and will likely try to sleep with you regardless of being in a relationship.
In terms of setting limits, then I'm not sure how to manage that either. Because my experience of being FA has been that it seems a catch 22. I have a need to connect, but doing so is wildly uncomfortable and depressing.
But then in theory it works with her because she's not truly able to connect.
I don't see another way than drink to satiate the unbearable discomfort when attachment wounds are triggered. Related is your comment about therapy. I have tried 3 different times now and nothing has so much as touched the sides. In fact I found therapy to actually be destabilizing, because the money I needed to fund it meant I had to work a lot of overtime and ended up more broke and exhausted lol.
Yes, from this vantage point you wouldn't. It's a coping strategy. What kind of therapy? I think the only ones here that could help would be more bottom up- IFS in particular is great (I don't consider it so much bottom-up) have you looked at NARM? I'll PM you more.
I still can't conceive how talking about something would help, aside from problem solving, but it rarely offers that. But I will admit I haven't tried any of the none talk therapies.what is IGS?
Right, talk therapies won't cut it here.
I suffer from depression and always hear that it's stigmatized and we should "talk about it" but I'm completely candid about my mood problems if anyone asks. But again I don't understand how talking about it helps.
You can also look at depression through the lens of shut down/collapse/freeze. Nervous system state dictates mood. If you were in a safe space with someone and your ventral vagal were "online," your mood would change. You're using alcohol as a way to regulate and change your mood. I didn't say talking helps (I meant other therapies, but probably didn't specify)
Are you able to ask her how she's doing and if anything is bothering her, noting the behavior change?
Yeah, we've had a few in-depth conversations lately.
A huge trigger for this event was a boundary I recently set. I'm sure part of the reason I did that was insecurity, but I'm also pretty sure I was justified in it. Or at least my worries are valid.
She has a male friend, or I guess he's more of a work colleague. I got on well with all the rest of her friends and family. No problems. And she introduced me to this guy about a year ago while he was embroiled in some kind of drama where he was actively cheating with one of her other colleagues, who is married and has a young child. There was a period of a couple months while we were kind of caught in the middle and she kept having to meet up with the woman who was cheating on her partner with this guy. And my girlfriend had to kind of act like the middleman/ woman. Meanwhile she was relating to me obviously how toxic this whole thing was. And I remember recalling I was glad to not be embroiled myself.
At some point last year I met this guy. And this was before I knew much of what was going on with his cheating situation. So I approached it relatively neutrally. Like I said I have got on well with all of the rest of her friends and family, male and female.
And I just got a very quick sense of unease about this guy. Something that was quite hard to pinpoint. Kind of like he was really nice to her, but very dismissive of me. He just kept trying to disqualify everything I said basically. Make passive aggressive remarks, constantly hint between the lines that I was a bad partner, but very under the radar stuff, like hinting that he could see a number of undone chores around the house, and if there were a real "man about the house" (aka him) it would be taken care of. Things like that. My best guess at the time was that he has a bit of a thing for her, or at least wants to sleep with her and was basically trying to undermine me.
It just all felt very uncomfortable. And I was glad when he left. The couple times since then I've met him. He's usually been drunk and pretty belligerent. And when all this cheating stuff came out the way he acted to his mistresses partner (who seems like a nice guy and good dad) was very obnoxious, very self-centered etc. Little concern that he was breaking up a family. I just always got the sense from this guy he was a consummate player, like a pick up artist or something. He seems to know what to say to women.
I have made it clear on several occasions that although I understand it's her choice who she's friends with. I really do not like this guy. And at the time even she was aware that he was acting in a very inappropriate manner with me.
Anyway, recently this guy has fallen on hard times for one reason or another and has lost his place to live. So my girlfriend considering him a friend and having some kind of saviour complex as far as I can discern by the amount of stray animals she takes in, impulsively asked him to move in with her. Although it's her place and she can do what she wants with it, I would have thought that something she might have discussed with me before hand.
So when she brought it up kind of very nonchalantly, "oh yeah so and so is moving in with me". I communicated my feelings about it. Basically saying I know it's her decision and I don't want to force her into doing anything, but I feel very uncomfortable about this situation and I can't support her in this decision.
I really get the impression with her that she's just doing it to be helpful. She is quite a consummate people Pleaser. But she's also very naiive. And has been duped or seduced by several "player" types in the past. Usually resulting in her cheating on her current partner with said player, then ending up in tears when she is discarded after being slept with.
Since I made my feelings clear and set the boundary, she has responded very negatively. I should add, I never told her that she couldn't move him in. I made it clear that was her decision and I would accept whatever that was. My boundary being that I said to her that I didn't think I could follow her if she made that decision. Basically hinting it would be a deal breaker for me.
She eventually recanted on moving this guy in after I made my feelings clear, but has been pretty resentful since.
I guess that's around the time that the flip occurred into what feels like a strong avoidant reaction. I have experienced nothing like it since I've known her.
I have significant doubts now as to whether my feelings and boundary were justified based on her reaction. If it was that way, and I'm the asshole, I didn't mean it to be that way. And I thought my feelings and communication of them were reasonable.