Should I Stay in a Relationship that I Helped Ruin?
September 14, 2012 5:43 PM Subscribe
I deeply hurt my partner emotionally. I was insecure and stupid. She was there for me when I wasn't for her. Now, I've gotten all my confidence back, and she's not present in the relationship. I truly love her and want her. Should we continue?
posted by sunogenous to Human Relations (26 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
My partner and I have been together for almost two years (in November). We had an awesome beginning, as many couples do. We saw each other all the time, talked about everything, longed for one another when the other was away--we got along splendidly. At our core, I think we're very compatible. This is my first serious relationship (and really, first relationship ever).
A little after moving in together, which was about four months into our relationship, we fought at a pretty constant rate. It wasn't everyday, but constant enough to be annoying and potentially detrimental to our relationship. The arguments were mainly about the past, and it was mainly me that was having issues with her past. She is the type of person to bring her past into many of her stories. From my perspective, those kinds of actions are confusing and hurtful because I never really knew why she needed to talk about stuff that happened before me, and even years and years ago before me. I felt very unloved by her stories. It got to me so bad that I ended up lashing out at her, or making hurtful comments.
I have since done a lot of work on myself and saw the error of my ways. Now I'm quite confident with very little insecurity. Unfortunately, that constant heavy cloud above us lasted about a year, and maybe a couple of months. She's incredibly hurt by me, and rightly so. Throughout our year of fighting, she kept telling me that she loved me and the past didn't mean anything. She stuck by my side and was a great partner. I didn't always take her for granted during that time, but sometimes I did. I admittedly was selfish in my confusion.
Now here we are, and I'm over my "stuff"; but she's stuck in our past. There are days when she's not really present. She gets home tired from work and then watches TV for the rest of the night. We used to really connect, especially during sex. She's since stopped having sex with me for at least the last couple of months. (Sex is one of the ways that I feel loved. If you've read The 5 Love Languages, my "languages" are words of affirmation and touch.) She tells me she doesn't feel safe, and what happened has changed her view of me.
After all the work I did, I've realized she is the most important aspect in my life. All of the material things will fade in time, but my love for her will endure. I haven't stopped loving her, and I feel so stupid for what I've done. I know that I've also hurt myself in the process of fighting.
She's been very up and down. I think she may still truly love me, but seems confused. We were going to move apart next month, for a break with the intention of staying together, and were making plans to do so. But she told me last month that she wanted to get a bigger place with me and so we've been looking at houses and condos to rent together. Some days we have a lot of fun, and I feel we're incredibly connected. Just last week she told me our relationship was getting better. But last night we had a talk about our relationship, and she's down about it again and said she "can't make any promises." I inquired about what she meant by that, but she wouldn't elaborate.
At this point, I'm trying my hardest to rectify my wrongs. I know we can't erase the past, but I plan to stick around and "show" her that I am a great person and potentially great partner. Sometimes, though, I get discouraged and think maybe she won't come back around. Have I ruined it altogether? Should we bow out gracefully? I hate that I hurt her.
What do you think? Have you had an experience like this?