Am I subconsciously trying to destroy my LTR? (Long)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (66 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
The other day, after installing some new security measures in our home, and in the moment of trying to do too many things at once, I unwittingly left our front door unlocked when I left. Neither me nor my girlfriend were home for 3-5 hours during this time, just our pets (hers). Luckily, nothing happened! She discovered the unlocked door when she arrived home late in the afternoon and is devastated that this occurred - the main concern being if anything bad happened to the pets it would be really, really, really, REALLY BAD. As in she 'would have nothing to live for' bad. These pets she has raised for the last ~15 years, they are like her children. I'm feeling like a complete idiot, ashamed, horrified at my actions, beside myself with grief, angry at myself, extremely depressed, you name it. Her heart is broken....it's not the first time I've broken it. She has lost her trust in me. This is all so sad :( Why am I doing this????????
I need help trying to figure out if this is some sort of pattern that has been repeating itself for the last 5+ years, which is how long we have been in a relationship. Things will be fairly normal or good between us, then something will happen or mostly I will do something that is totally WRONG/stupid and it sets our relationship back. We'll make up and then eventually something else totally avoidable will take place, rinse, repeat. It's like I let my guard down or get complacent, and my lack of awareness/sensitivity is a big part of the problem.
I admit that at first, my emotional maturity was completely outmatched, and I didn't realize how ill prepared I was for this relationship until a little later. I had lied about things that didn't need to be lied about, i.e. I wasn't forthright, I cheated emotionally, said hurtful/insensitive things, I was not supportive during critical times, I was two-faced, acted aloof, not invested, even cold. Suffice to say I am a grade-A asshole. I have some pretty thick walls that were built up over the years since elementary school, and to these walls I attribute my general closed-off attitude and tendency to push others away... *which I fear might be happening here, either subconsciously or passively.* The reason I say 'subconsciously' is that over the past week, I have felt more positive about things between us, that I was seeing the forest for the trees, I felt like I was finally getting over all my terrible, relationship damaging problems. I felt strongly about letting go of all the B.S. and my hang ups, being an upstanding boyfriend/man and getting our relationship set right, and treating my girlfriend 100% the way I should have all along. And then I stupidly left the front door unlocked, compromising everything.
My girlfriend still finds a way in her heart to forgive and remain in our relationship, even through all the crap, because of her strong feelings for me - the feeling that she honestly does not want to be without me in her life. She does not have much of anything else to rely on, i.e. friends, a supportive family, except for her pets. And me, a quasi-asshole boyfriend. I love her and care about her very much, and I very much want to see this work and for us to be successful in every regard. We were seriously discussing engagement/marriage! I thought I would never get married or that I wanted to get married for a very long time. Part of me is scared by marriage, part of me knows it's the honorable thing to do - the natural progression of our relationship; part of me knows that my girlfriend is one of the greatest persons I've ever known (so there should be no fear, right?) and I have no serious interest in other women, etc. Yet there is this downright ugly cycle where I/we are doing good, I somehow begin to backslide mentally, I make a bad, bad mistake or something really, really bad takes place, and I or it ends up causing extreme pain to my girlfriend.
Ever since I the first time something happened between us (my fault of course), I know that I needed to put in a lot more effort to save the relationship. I've been in therapy pretty consistently for the last ~4 years. It's helped, but my girlfriend is wondering why this keeps going on. She is not in therapy - she was for a while, but discontinued due to her not feeling she was getting anything out of it anymore, and the fact that she feels that she can work through her issues on her own. She was had very painful life experiences, more painful than anything I've gone through. And on top of that she is extremely sensitive, has unjustified self esteem issues, is dealing with family of origin problems (who isn't), and much more, while dealing with the day to day stress of being back in school to get her bachelor's. Add to that the problems created by me in our relationship and you can understand the severity of the situation.
Just so you know, I am not trying to kick her out. I have been supporting her through all this the best I can, though very poorly emotionally. Again, I am in therapy. It seems that I am not working on this effectively. Thanks for listening.