Top products from r/relationships
We found 180 product mentions on r/relationships. We ranked the 402 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.
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1. The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts
Sentiment score: 17
Number of reviews: 19
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2. The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures
Sentiment score: 7
Number of reviews: 11
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3. Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
Sentiment score: 4
Number of reviews: 11
Stop Walking on Eggshells Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder
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4. Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships
Sentiment score: 5
Number of reviews: 9
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5. No More Mr Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life
Sentiment score: 3
Number of reviews: 8
No More Mr Nice Guy A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love Sex and Life
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6. Not "Just Friends": Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity
Sentiment score: 4
Number of reviews: 8
Not Just Friends
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8. The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert
Sentiment score: 5
Number of reviews: 7
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9. Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
Sentiment score: 0
Number of reviews: 7
Abusive husbandControling menAbusive relationshipdrugs and alcoholcounseling
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10. Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
Sentiment score: 3
Number of reviews: 6
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11. The Verbally Abusive Relationship, Expanded Third Edition: How to recognize it and how to respond
Sentiment score: -2
Number of reviews: 5
The Verbally Abusive Relationship How to recognize it and how to respond
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12. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life
Sentiment score: 3
Number of reviews: 5
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13. Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life
Sentiment score: 4
Number of reviews: 5
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14. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help YouFind - and Keep - Love
Sentiment score: 5
Number of reviews: 5
Attached The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find And Keep Love
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16. The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
Sentiment score: -3
Number of reviews: 4
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17. Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You
Sentiment score: 1
Number of reviews: 4
Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation and Guilt to Manipulate You
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18. Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You
Sentiment score: 5
Number of reviews: 4
FirsDa Capo Press Edition, 2009
Hey, our circumstances are different but are also somewhat similar and I know that when I made posts in the days and weeks after my breakup, so many people helped me and this is my attempt to extend that to you.
tl;dr of my breakup, I am a 26 year old male, we dated for 7 years, she left me 3 months ago because we became 2 different people.
Now that that's out of the way, I want to talk about our similarities and sort of the process that I've been going through, because I think it can help you. I will discuss the things that seemed to help me the most and recommend some things to get you through the tough days.
My world completely collapsed. At first was shock, I literally had no idea how to react. I didn't see it coming at all and that isn't to say that our relationship was perfect. We built a life together and a future, marriage, kids all of it. I was completely embedded in her family, nephews looked up to me, relatives all loved me, friends loved me. All of it was gone in an instant and I didn't know what to do.
The next week or so was me falsely thinking she must have been mistaken and that this whole thing was just going to be fixed when I talked to her again. I was pretty down, but I was sort of looking forward to talking to her and telling her we could work things out. She seemed confused at first and didn't know what she wanted, and this gave me false hope I guess.
We talked again and it was more clear that it was over, but I still couldn't comprehend what was happening. I went to talk to her with the intension of just talking about what I had learned about us and myself but it turned into begging and crying again which is EXACTLY what I DID NOT want to do.
The following week I felt like I accepted it, at least I thought. I started getting involved in so many things. I was seeing a therapist (highly recommended), playing soccer, going out with friends, reading self-help books, getting into ice hockey, I started p90x, I was planning events like hiking, and generally just being busy all the time. That week was much better, I felt like I was making positive steps.
The next week I hit rock bottom. I got a cold and all of my energy was shot. Finally reality hit and it hit really hard. For about 7 days I can say I was in a dark place, very depressed. I wasn't contemplating suicide, but I felt hopeless. I set out on a plan to better myself anyway I could so I took this time to try and turn it into a positive. I wasn't close to many people in my family and I decided to use them as a crutch for the first real time in my life. I cried to my parents, my brother, my aunts and uncle.
For the first time in my life I needed them and they showed up big time. Being able to break down like that and have someone talk you through it helps strengthen relationships with people you might not think you're close with. People will generally want to help you out.
After that awful week I felt better. I got my energy back and I started to distract myself again. On the advice of my therapist, I began to take more time for myself in an effort to be okay alone. I had made strides at feeling better while busy but I also needed to confront all of those thoughts and try to deal with them. I started to journal and set out to learn more about mindfulness. The journaling was slow at first and felt strange as I had never done it. I have probably written 12 or so entries now and it's definitely helping at this point. Journaling forces you to slow down your thoughts to get them on paper. This is huge and I will highlight this again below.
Mindfulness is still something I haven't done too much. I read a book on the topic and I will continue to pursue this as I read about the science behind it and how it can help a lot with anxiety etc.
This is sort of where I stand now. I am out of that deep depression and panic. There are times when I am overwhelmed with thoughts and feeling very negative about everything but I fight through it as best as I can. We have not contacted each other in about 35 days and even then it was just about money owed for the apartment etc. Am I over her? Absolutely not. I am learning to deal with it and try to move on. There are days where I believe it is over and days where I believe she might reach out to me and talk.
My goal right now? I don't plan on reaching out to her anytime soon. It is up to her right now and not me. I have goals to better myself and that is regardless of if she comes back or not. People will tell me that I need to move on and let her go. In a way, I am and I have, but in another way I have not let her go yet. I am okay with that, I am not going to force myself to hate her to rid the idea of her from my mind. Everyone is different and my plan is to seek happiness being single before I even think about reaching out to her or try dating of any kind. That is just me!
So... here is what I think will help you the most.
UNFRIEND/BLOCK SOCIAL MEDIA. This is the best thing you can possibly do... have his instagram? Unfriend and block, have his facebook, same thing. Do it for everything. It will only hurt you. It doesn't mean you are giving up on the possibility of being together, it means it won't help you heal right now.
Join /r/exnocontact and get a badge and every time you feel the need to talk to him, make a post and let people talk you out of it. You need to realize that not talking to him is the best thing you can do. It will help you move on, but it also gives him a chance to miss you. He won't want to get back together with someone in your state of mind. The only way to win him back is to try to move on.
YOU WILL BE OKAY.
I'm sorry dude, but you are getting a lot of terrible advice here, and I would know.
The way you describe this, it sounds like all the aspects of you that make you a man have been sucked out or worn away. I'm not saying that in some sort of men vs women situation, but rather speaking purely from an attraction point of view. Women are attracted to men. Particularly manly men, but not in the stereotype you might be thinking. Masculinity. Your wife doesn't initiate? And doesn't come? Part of that is probably because of her job. It is probably stressful and a lot of work.
But if you feel like this:
> I feel trapped and soul-sapped. I feel powerless. I feel like pre-cancer-diagnosis Walter White. And, at the same time, I feel guilty for feeling like this
Don't you think she would pick up on that? I'm not saying she won't/doesn't love you, but how could she be attracted to you when you feel like that?
So now how to fix it. Firstly, this book is a lifesaver: http://www.amazon.com/The-Married-Life-Primer-2011/dp/1460981731
Read the reviews. There's nothing hugely wrong with your life choices themselves, or the way you treat your wife. To the contrary of what the top upvoted posted said, a weekend to reconnect with your wife is going to do jack all. It might make you two feel better for 3-4 days. Like I said, jack all.
You need GOALS. You need to have ambitions, be working towards something. Passionate, ambitious men are attractive. Getting in shape can help tremendously if you aren't. Testosterone levels can help too, and there are lots of natural ways to raise testosterone levels(What did you think she was attracted to if not testosterone?). Does this mean you can't be a stay at home dad anymore? Maybe, maybe not. Not all goals are work/professional.
You need to be more assertive. Fill your life with things and activities. Pick fun stuff to do, then invite HER along. Don't make your life revolve around her. Your life should include your children, but it should not revolve around your children, at least not if you want to rebuild attraction. Filling your life with more things will build confidence. Giving yourself more options so that your life does not resolve around one limited set of things(Wife, children) will give you more confidence.
Confidence. Is. Attractive. Confidence is the most important piece here, but I listed it last because telling you to "be more confident" helps no one. Telling you ideas of how to BECOME more confident helps.
Get back into a metal band(Passion). Aim to become a world class chef(Goals). Start doing MMA or Krav Maga(Fitness & Testosterone). You can do this. And she won't know it/know why, but she will love it.
First off, it's totally ok to be vanilla. If you're truly not interested in rough sex, that's totally legit. You shouldn't feel guilty or pressured.
The absolute first step is to talk to her. You've got to be honest and communicative in your relationships, especially on sensitive issues like this.
As far as where to go after that, you have a couple choices here. If you're willing to entertain the idea of rougher sex, then there are resources that can help you. I've never personally read When Someone You Love is Kinky, but the authors are amazing and I've heard good things. You could pop over to /r/BDSMcommunity and get some advice over there. You could get on Fetlife and get advice there. There are lots of people out there who understand these issues really well, and they can help you work through it.
Ask her what she specifically wants you to do, and see if you can imagine doing it for her pleasure, as a service to her. If you recognize that what you see as unpleasant, she finds pleasurable, it might help you deal with it. Maybe you'll even eventually get into it. You obviously have some serious issues with violence, and maybe consensual and loving play with the appearance of violence will help you process it. But maybe not.
If you decide that you just can't give her what she needs, you've essentially got three choices:
You could see whether she's willing to give up the idea of rough sex. If it's just a passing fancy, that might not be a big problem. If it's a bigger part of her fantasy life, however, it might not work so well.
You could also break up with her. Sexuality is really important, and it's not shallow to break up with someone for sexual reasons. I get the impression you don't want to do that, however.
The final possibility is that you could discuss ways she could get her kinky needs satisfied without your involvement. An open relationship can go a long way towards fixing issues with sexual compatibility. There are a whole range of possible relationship designs that might work better for you than ordinary monogamy. On one end of the spectrum, you might find that you two take to polyamory easily, and just go all the way towards openness. On the other end, you might be able keep a lot of the normal structure with a couple tweaks. I know a lot of people who are generally monogamous, but who are allowed to engage in BDSM play under certain conditions (nothing involving genitals is a pretty normal rule, but you can choose the rules that work best for the two of you).
If you decide to go that route, come talk to us in /r/polyamory. The two best books are generally considered to be The Ethical Slut and Opening Up.
I didn't read all of the other responses but if not already mentioned your wife needs to go NC with this guy. If they work together she needs to get a different job elsewhere. She needs to give you a full timeline of events (conversations, flirting, texts, emails,phone calls etc.) leading up to and during this unrequited relationship. She must be willing to answer any and all questions you have.
Can this be salvaged? Yes. Have he read (and you as well) Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. This book is a staple and one of the two top reccomended books for your situation. (The other is How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair by Linda McDonald. The author has a free version on her website here or you can get it on Amazon here. Also, here is a good article for you.
At the very least this was emotional infidelity. She should never have to discuss any feelings at all. That is out of bounds when married. Her reaction should have been distancing herself from him altogether not discussing how to handle their feelings. If they both knew they had feelings things already went too far and boundaries were already crossed mentally and flirting was done to encourage it.
There is no quick and easy fix to 'get over it'. She will now have to earn your trust from the ground up and you will go through a lot of emotions. She must demonstrate true remorse (not the same as regret!) and be willing to do whatever possible to comfort you and earn your trust. Your relationship can never be what it was before. It can, however be good again and possibly even more intimate with diligent work.
Before ANYthing can be done to start to rebuild she has to go No Contact immediately though. Inviting him over is absolutely disrespectful, unremorseful and is downright playing with fire. If she is doing that she is still in a wayward mindset and that is not a good sign. At the very least she is downplaying what has happened and needs to wake up and see what she's done.
If you feel she isnt being truthful you have options. You can hire a lie detector and if she doesnt agree you know probably she's lying. If she does agree she may hope you'll cancel since she's going along in the hopes it will never occur. Many wait until right before the test and spill the truth. It's a way for you to get peace of mind at least knowing if she's currently being honest/faithful.
You need to make a list of your requirements. These are the things that must occur for you to give her the gift of even attempting reconciliation. That means consequences must be attached. If she doesnt comply with X.Y, Z then you separate for example and reconciliation is off. Generally such a list would include blocking him in every way, writing a very short, succinct No contact letter and sending it in your presence, giving you all passwords to all accounts and full access to electronic devices. Not being allowed to delete any emails, photos, texts etc. without you knowing beforehand. You should be allowed to recover previously deleted texts/emails to view for yourself what the relationship was. She should check in periodically and always be able to verify she is where she says she is. You should continue to use the location service on your phones but know that, despite your comment in your post, they are not always accurate. Have a back up to compare against. If he ever does try to contact her she must work immediately tell/show you. If he has a spouse or SO she should be told right away.
The most important thing that needs to happen is she needs to find her why; why she was able to jeopardize your marriage by developing a relationship with someone else. What is missing within herself that she is trying to fulfill. Is it low self esteem and she needs the ego kibbles? What is it? Once she identifies the reason she needs to work in fixing that issue so she can be a safe partner. While issues in a marriage can be attributed to both spouses in varying degrees, an affair is 100% on the betrayer. She had other options. She could have divorced, talked to you, not entered the new relationship at all, went to therapy etc. If she tries to start saying her decisions were in any way because of anything you did or didn't so she is gaslighing.
Lastly, here is a really great website/forum site dedicated to your situation. It is highly moderated and is an excellent resource for venting, getting sound advice and having a place to go where everyone understands from personal experience what you're going through. There is a variety of forums for all affected by all types of infidelity. Check it out
You want to be able to have sex with other people AND keep your relationship with your girlfriend. I don't think you realize how lucky you are to have a girlfriend who is willing to try to make this work with you, despite the fact that it isn't something she wants. The vast majority of people would respond to this with an outright "No." or end the relationship completely.
Your girlfriend is giving up a lot for you in order to make this work. She is losing the sense of security that a monogamous relationship brings; she is putting herself at risk of having her feelings hurt and having to deal with the jealousy that this is likely to cause her. She is putting a huge amount of trust in you to:
You owe it to this woman to not break her trust. You owe her complete honesty and good communication. You owe it to her to make good decisions and be mindful of her feelings. Even if you having sex with other people will likely be hard on her, there are still things that you can do to minimize this---and one of those things is reinforcing her trust in you by things like a) not lying to her or hiding things from her, and b) making every effort to not neglect her needs and feelings.
You've already failed. You lied about where you were going, you hid it from her when she called you, and you neglected her when she was in a time of need (if you had been honest with her, you may not have been able to get there as soon as she wanted you to be there, but you could have given her the piece of mind that you were dropping everything to come and be there for her). Instead, you made her feel like you were just "too tired" to be there for her in a time of need.
There's a good chance that you've ruined your chance to have an open relationship with this woman, or in the very least, you've made it 100% harder than it already was by breaking her trust.
And after all of this, you have the balls to say that you're angry and resentful about this (her friend died, ffs, and that's no one's fault and not something that can be helped). Look, I totally get that you were looking forward to this and now you feel disappointed, but you need to get your priorities straight. What's more important to you, a weekend of fun... or being there for the person you're supposed to care about when they're in need? There will be plenty of opportunities to have fun in the future, but your girlfriend needs your support now. It's not the kind of thing that waits until a convenient time, and knowing that your partner is willing to be there for you when you need them... well, isn't that one of the main reasons why people get into relationships to begin with?
Honestly, if you would have handled this situation maturely, this could have actually been a huge positive reinforcement for having an open relationship. If your girlfriend knew that you went to the festival (with the possibility of meeting other woman), but you dropped everything to come and be with her when she needed you, you would be showing her that she is your priority and that you aren't going to neglect her needs. Experiences like that can go a long way in terms of building trust and comfort in an open relationship.
Now, it sounds like you did drop everything to go and be with her, but the fact that you lied about where you were is going to overshadow that. (And please, please, please don't tell your girlfriend, "Well, I did drop everything to come and be with you". You don't deserve a cookie for your behaviour, so don't try to justify it by giving yourself a pat on the back for something you SHOULD do regardless.
In my opinion, I think that the two of you should end things. You're not mature enough to be in an open relationship, and it doesn't sound like it's something she wants anyway.
However, if the two of you decide that this is something you really want to make work, you need to:
The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships & Other Adventures (book)
Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships (book)
(Note: some of these resources are more geared toward polyamorous relationships, but they still have a lot of good information for any kind of nonmonogamous relationship).
First of all, you will be OK. Anything you feel is completely valid. Do not, under any circumstances make any life-changing decisions right now.
I understand the pain you're going through. It's not the most helpful thing to hear when people say "Move on," or "there are plenty of fish in the sea." Your situation is extremely difficult, the loss is excruciatingly painful. It does take time to recover, and I can vouch that it gets easier with time. My ex (of 2years) left me 2 months ago. Feeling alone is something that will eventually subside, but remain active as much as you can. Staying still/doing nothing will only give you "free time" to think about your ex. As for advice on what to do now - I recommend the following:
Honestly, a lot of these replies seem to be simplifying a very complex issue. Don't take that too personally, it's very easy to stand on the sideline and shout what seems obvious.
Open relationships aren't easy. It takes a ton of trust, mistakes, fixing those mistakes, baby steps, boundary pushing, etc. You've never done this before; he's been doing it for what sounds like a long time. Of course you're unsure and scared! Of course you have negative reactions along with some hesitant positive ones! That's totally fucking normal, miss. If you think this guy is worth it, and he's been completely honest and up front this whole time, I think it's worth a shot. He'll have to work with you and go slow and be patient, but if he thinks you're worth that effort, he will make it.
Read "The Ethical Slut" by Dossie Easton, and check out "Opening Up as well. I've found both of those to be really helpful in giving reassurance, advice, and teaching new ways to think about your relationship and to communicate with your partner.
I've been in open relationships and exclusive ones, and I've been in closed relationships that opened up for the better and visa versa. There's really no sure outcome of this, but if you both think the other is worth expanding your worldview and trying new (scary, but also trust me it can be incredibly rewarding) ways of being in love and being together... it can turn out really well. Good luck whatever you end up deciding!
> You seem to have a healthy relationship.
I think so. We are very happy together and have very few problems. Books that helped us negotiate our current relationship were: Sex At Dawn, Opening Up, and we also bought and read The Ethical Slut, but found it kind of silly. If you want to try this type of relationship, you have to sit down and talk about it. You have to figure out your own personal boundaries, set explicit rules, and trust her to follow them. Do you have a good friendship? Do you have a good sex life? Most importantly, do you trust her with your physical safety (STDs, etc) and your emotional/mental safety? These are all important basic questions that you have to set straight in your mind before you even begin to pursue the idea of an open or "monogamish" relationship.
EDIT: Also, please make sure you talk to your SO about safe sex and what that explicitly means to you. You both need to go get tested, so you know where you are starting out, health-wise. This is of PARAMOUNT importance.
You know what really helped me? Reading The Five Love Languages. Best seven bucks you'll ever spend on your relationships. Identifying your love languages may help each of you figure out why your love tanks have been feeling empty.
For instance, my love language is Quality Conversation. I feel loved when my significant other spends time talking with me, sharing opinions and emotions. My boyfriend's is Physical Touch. When I didn't feel loved, I automatically physically withdrew and he also felt unloved so both of us were unhappy. Knowing each other's love languages gives us a starting point on what we can do to help the other feel appreciated and loved, and when your partner feels loved he feels more inclined to reciprocate. If that makes sense. :) Good luck with everything!
Reading this i'm pretty sure that you both indeed DO love each others. You seek for advise, he says he loves you. Maybe it is just a misunderstanding and/or different ways of expressing love? What i can really recommend because it helped myself is Gary Chapmans book about the five languages of love: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Languages-Secret-That-Lasts/dp/0802473156/ref=pd_sim_b_1
I have nothing to do with him so this is not ment as advertisment (just in case anyone suspect this).
I wish you both good luck to find back a way of expressing your love! Hope you can solve it together and hope you feel loved and appreciated again!
Shocking similarities between your situation and my own. 25M broken up with a month ago by 25F of 4 years after a period of long-distance, ending plans for her to move to be with me, and after me having told her I could see us getting married one day. (I'm also a grad student. We might be doppelgängers.)
Although I didn't receive such a clear letter from my ex, my understanding of her behaviour and the things she said during the breakup have lead me to believe her feelings are very similar to those your ex expressed (or at least that is the narrative I have settled on).
I agree with the other posters that we need to accept that this is over and focus on moving on. Personally I have had no contact with my ex since I saw her in person and she finally unequivocally ended things (just over a month ago). I am starting to feel a sense of acceptance and (dare I say) even hope for the future (but don't get me wrong, I'm still constantly thinking about it, often slip back into sadness and anger, and expect to feel this way for a few more months at the least). It sounds like your breakup was less of a clean break and things dragged on for a bit longer - I'd encourage you to make a clean break going forward.
If I were you I would focus on building your new social life in your new location. In some ways having a fresh start in a new location can help you - you will not be constantly facing reminders of your time together. Since it is the start of the school year there are probably also lots of other people new to town - so get out there and find some friends! Forcing myself to get out and keep myself busy has been the best thing for me (although it's still important to allot time to feel your feels).
Here are a few other resources which have leant me some insight and made me feel a little better about the situation:
If you'd like to talk with someone in a very similar situation, feel free to PM me.
Try reading the book The Five Love Languages. Talk with your husband and make sure he understands that things like telling you you're beautiful (words of affirmation), date night (quality time), and initiating intimacy (physical touch) are important to you.
As you already identified, his "primary love language" might be buying gifts. You haven't mentioned anything about chores, but by helping out around the house, he may also be trying to show his love for you, perhaps in a way you don't fully understand.
So, first identify your needs (which you mostly seem to have done, you need to feel sexually wanted, and need to spend quality one-on-one time.) Then, have a serious and non-judgmental talk with your husband. DON'T expect one conversation to fix things, but use it to express your unfulfilled needs. Then, make sure to consistently thank and praise him when he attempts to fulfill those needs (by spending more time with you and initiating intimacy), and consistently assert your feelings when you're feeling unfulfilled.
If you're honest with him about how you're feeling and what your needs are, and appreciative of him when he listens to you and works on fulfilling those needs, I think you'll see serious improvements in your relationship.
mil-spouse about to be on 7th underway in 3 years. Married going on 8 years.
A) You can't go back to "where you were", because you are both different people now. Does it really matter what happened in the past? The future is where you have control. That said you do have to evaluate the past so you can learn how best to avoid those situations
B) You have to lay out what you expect from the relationship, and own up to what you did wrong
C) You have to ask her what she wants / expects out of the relationship when you are gone. This may mean you get to wake up an hour earlier than usual so you can talk to her when you are already limited on your sleep. This may mean emailing more than you care to etc.
D) Both of you take that 5 love languages test (I think it's ridiculous but has merit). It opens the door to discussing what the other one needs/wants out of the relationship. I recommend the military version but it only comes in book form. Long distance book club can help you out as well. (Both get a copy and read it). I also strongly recommend both of you reading the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work These books can help you set up a framework for better communication long-term.
E) If opening up the communication doesn't work, then it may be time to contact www.militaryonesource.mil for some couples counseling. Ain't no shame, and don't let your unit give you shit. Working on your marriage will make you look better. Getting your shit together in this area can actually make your work life easier. Having a true partner at home who has your back can make deployment 12 billion times easier than either not or having to go through a divorce.
Hopefully she is open to some of this. Good luck either way. Fixing this takes maturity on both parties, so hopefully she is on board.
Let's get the first thing straight: there was no assault, and from your description, he was drunk, she was drunk, he made moves on her, she shot him down, and he stopped. That is not sexual assault. Classifying it as such is a way you can justify your negative feelings towards this guy, but you are doing things a disservice by approaching the issue as such.
Next, I can tell you, as a bi man in an open marriage with a bi woman, poly, open arrangements, and other alternatives to monogamy don't work unless both parties are on board. If that is the case, both need to be educated and dedicated: educated on alternatives to monogamy and how to best institute them in the relationship, and dedicated to open communication, honoring the primary partnership, and respecting their partner/s.
In my past experience, it's very difficult to go from mono to poly or open arrangements. There's usually too much past stuff to get through that ends up projected onto the new relationship, and often times, one partner wants it more than the other. For me personally, as someone wo is not poly but is also nonmonogamous, the best relationships I have had have been when the relationship began as an open arrangement.
If you want to begin looking at poly/open/w/e options start reading and researching. Get a couples counselor. Learn how to communicate in new ways. BUT, I have to say, the way that this has been broached in your life is not the best way to get there. Tell her if she is seriously wanting to be poly, you require these things. After a month of research and meeting with a couples counselor, reconvene on the issue. If it's something you both want, then move forward. If not, time to move on.
A great book to get started with, and refer back to.
Great little book.
This book is heavy on the woo woo, new age shit, but these people have a lot of good info, if you can separate it from the enya bullshit.
Basically, the bible of open relationships for newbs.
I feel for you so much. My mom was never happy with anything I ever did, and still isn't. I had the same dilemma as you - good grades, good daughter, I didn't understand why I could never make her happy. I gave up trying to understand her a long time ago. What I did was minimize contact with her - I haven't spoken to her in months, although I do keep in touch regularly with my dad - he's the greatest.
Long-term goal - focus on going away for college, or getting the means to move out once you're 18. Get a job, find a roommate, get another job. You'll feel so much more empowered knowing you can take care of yourself. Dream about that moment, when you'll be free to do whatever you want, including not answering your parents' phone calls. And deciding to see them only once a month, instead of every week like they'd want to. (I'm just giving some examples here, but you'll be in total control of how often you guys interact.)
Short term - every time they try to put you down, you should reply by saying something you did good - I got an A in that class, or I did some other things. You should also remind them that you don't do drugs, never drank, never got pregnant. If they bring up examples of kids doing better than you (my mom had a neverending list!), you bring up other kids who are doing drugs, or went to jail, or don't get better grades than you. Remind them every day - their habit is hard to break, so you'll have to be very persistent and consistent.
I wonder if there's a counselor at your school. Talk to one of your teachers - there must be one you trust or like more than all the others. He/she can give you more information. I know that all colleges have free counseling for students, so worse case scenario, you'd have to wait a year to get into counseling. And the counseling in college is confidential, so your parents won't find out about it unless you tell them (or maybe if you're a danger to yourself, the college might have to notify them).
I found this book: [Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem] (http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Borderline-Parent-Boundaries-Self-Esteem/dp/1572243287/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1346530194&amp;sr=1-2&amp;keywords=bipolar+parent). Maybe you can find it in your local library - this way, your parents don't have to know about it. I found this book by going to Amazon, and searched for 'bipolar parent'. There are quite a few books there. Your public library must have at least one of them.
You've come along so far, please hang in there. It won't be easy, it will take years for you to repair the emotional damage that's been done to you by the two people that are supposed to love you unconditionally in this world, but the end result will be worth it. Please hang in there.
I've been in your shoes. I was married to a woman for 8 years. I loved her dearly but after 8 years of her picking stupid fights and leaving me every 6 months only to come back a week later, I had enough. Actually my health wouldn't take it any more. I was physically exhausted as well as mentally and I threw in the towel without any thoughts or looking back.
It's been really hard for me the past 4 years because like you, I thought she was perfect in every other way. I also knew that she suffered for being separate from me, but 8 years of being attacked had taken it's toll and that was it for me. I often feel like crying and have a hard time relating to people because of all the baggage I carry from that relationship, but after 4 years I feel I am finally starting to come out of this emotional hole I've been living in.
Since then I've learned that my ex has Borderline Personality Disorder. In addition to that I was enabling her behavior by being too forgiving. I am/was a nice guy who would forgo his own needs in order to keep harmony in a relationship. Robert A. Glover speaks about it really well in his book No More Mr Nice Guy . I was easily manipulated by her and a great patsy.
The last few years have been a great time of discovery about her and about myself. It's been very hard but I think I am better for it. If I hadn't gone through that bad relationship, I would have never found out my own weaknesses and worked on them. I'm still not in a relationship but I feel a really satisfying one is just around the corner, mostly because I am more of a whole person. Now my needs come first. I don't let anyone walk all over me.
Somehow I seem to attract manipulators because I've had to put my foot down many times with various friends since she's been gone. But I can do it now because my tolerance for bullshit has been whittled down to next to nothing. Now my needs come first and if you try to manipulate me, you are cut out of my life.
I don't know if you guys have a shot but if you do, you've got to understand that what you are dealing with is no joke and needs attention and work. She needs to understand that things won't get better without admitting her problem and asking for help from others and you need to stop enabling her.
It's not an easy road but I hope you better luck than I had.
Let me say right up front that this is colored through the lens of my own experience, so I am not necessarily unbiased here. :) OK, that out of the way, from the little we know, she sounds as though she flip flops on you. One moment she's OK and the next, pushing you away. She's tried therapy and treatment for depression which has been ineffective. She gets angry with you for no apparent reason, but refuses to tell you why. She acts like things are OK in front of others, yet when alone, she's a different person.
Man, if I weren't sure it's not, I'd say you were married my ex-wife. (I know she's not because the ages are wrong. That said, I went though exactly what you're describing for two decades. Why so long, you may ask? Well, she'd be great for a long time. Her grandmother lived with us for many years, which in retrospect made her behave more carefully.
All that aside, let me give you the end result. She was eventually diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. I won't get into exactly what all that means, but I urge you to look into it. According to my own therapist, as well as the one we both went to fora while against her "better judgement", BPD is underdiagnosed and is commonly misdiagnosed as depression because the symptoms in common are all that tend to get reported.
One thing that makes it extremely difficult to treat, let alone live with, is their brain apparently literally makes memories up to suit, even moreso than normal. They will adamantly argue that you did X, despite X never having been done. They're also most often perceived by those not close to them as very normal and even likable. There are a number of theories on why that is, but it's very common.
I read a book on it a while ago, aimed more at children of BPD parents, but my therapist thought it was useful. I found it immensely so. I'll ask her for the name of it and edit in a link later.
Edit: Holy crap, she got back to my text fast! Must have caught her at a good time. Anyhow, the book is called Surviving a Borderline Parent. I found it quite helpful, personally.
Good luck, man. Feel free to PM me if you want.
Have you ever heard of the book 'The 5 Love Languages'?
It describes the 5 different ways that people generally express love, which are:
People are usually a combo of two or three with one being really dominant. For example, I am quality time combined with receiving gifts and my husband is physical touch and acts of service, which can really make for some complicated holidays.
We recognize though that we each have different needs and desires and that's OK. So I think you should talk to your SO about this and maybe grab this book.
You can take a free test to find out what your love languages are on the official website. I have a feeling you're receiving gifts and your wife is not. Maybe think about the ways she usually expresses love to you. Does she ever complain about not getting one of the 5 above things from you?
You're comments remind me a lot of me a few years ago, and while I don't normally share what helped me get my head into a good place, occasionally I come across someone that might find similar insights from reading it. I think you have a problem with "Nice Guy Syndrome" even though you don't really think of yourself as that nice of a guy. The definition is pretty loaded and you can't really take the words at face value or use their normal definitions, because "Nice Guys" are anything but nice. Anyway, if you have time I recommend you check out this book (changed my life): No More Mr. Nice Guy by Dr. Robert Glover. Good luck!
Firstly, you should read The 5 Love Languages if you haven't already.
Secondly, you can not expect to have a healthy relationship if your attitude is "She kept things from me, so it's OK if I keep things from her!" That's childish, immature, and no way to treat your partner.
Thirdly, you should be direct and upfront with this girl if you want to continue the relationship. Don't hide things from her, especially things you think would upset her.
Lastly, the first few months of any relationship are great. That's what is known as the 'Honeymoon Phase'. Generally, it fades and either evolves into comfortable love, fizzles out entirely, or falls somewhere in between. Things between you will not be the same as they were then, if for no other reason than the fact that you now have a history together. Don't strive for that, instead work towards a happy, healthy, mutually respectful relationship with your partner.
IMO, when someone is acting out with anger they are actually manipulating those around them with the "survival tools" that they learned at a young age. Like a 5 year old screaming for what they want till they get it. Your parents are responsible for the nature of the relationship that they have with your sister. There is nothing you can do about Brandi if she is set in her ways and always reacts like a self centered adult screaming for control.
I think that the solution is in telling you parents to stop treating her like a child and more as an adult. She is 21 and the nurturing stage of parenting is done. They are now causing harm rather then helping her for the real world. Do not sit and listen to what your parents complain. Rather, let them know that they are allowing this in their lives (do it lovingly of coarse). You might even want to buy them this book, it has helped me set my own boundaries and learn to nurture my relationships in a healthy constructive manner. Giving me the courage to allow the ones I love to grow on their own while remaining loving and supportive without hurting myself.
Another few good books to read before marriage:
Gary Chapman - The Five Love Languages - The Secret To Love That Lasts
Matthew Kelly - The Seven Levels Of Intimacy
Both I've read and are amazing. I've got about a dozen friends who have done the same, it became like a popular thing to do. None of them have major issues. All are still married, and they attribute it to these.
You might also really benefit from reading a book called No More Mr. Nice Guy. Don't worry, it's not about becoming an asshole or anything like that. There were just a few things in this entire post that seemed like classic nice guy syndromes: doing all sorts of nice things for her and not getting much back, ignoring an issue that's clearly bothering you, and walking on eggshells when trying to bring up said issue. I'd definitely give that book a read.
The whole thing about her not being that into the baby is kind of a red flag for a much larger issue though. I would definitely encourage her to see a professional about this.
I am sorry. This was probably the BEST advice given to me when I divorced and honestly it turned my life around into an amazing journey. So now, I share it with you because anyone going through a divorce should read this book. It helps, a lot! Buy it today and start reading. Leave everything in the past and keep moving forward. Today is a new day. The pen is in your hand and you write the outcome so make sure it's an amazing outcome. You can do it.
Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You Paperback – May 5, 2009
by Susan J. Elliott JD MEd
I know that this probably gets thrown on here a lot, but have you ever read the book "The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts"? It has done wonders for my marriage, especially helping me understand the emotional euphoria that first comes with dating, and then slowly disappears, which so many of us classify as love. Don't buy into the lies that Rom Com's and TV shows portray as love because even the best marriages have times where they don't feel like being with the other person. I do not think you are a bad or horrible person for feeling this way, but I do think it would be horribly tragic for you to get a divorce, ultimately to discover that no human could ever satisfy this emotional euphoria you desire for an extended period of time, no one.
You are 100% entitled to your feelings and you have every right to choose to end your marriage instead of pursuing this.
That said, I don't see any harm in trying to have an open mind about it and doing some research and reading. You seem to take your marriage vows very seriously, and I think you owe it to yourself, your wife, and your marriage to give this option some serious thought. You can still decide that you don't want to do it. But I think you will feel like you did everything you could if you make an informed decision, rather than have a knee-jerk reaction.
If you decide you do want to give it serious consideration (remember, considering it isn't agreeing to it, just gathering information), there are some good materials out there. You can make a post in /r/polyamory, the people there are really helpful. There is a good book called The Ethical Slut that has a few chapters specifically devoted to this issue -- one partner wants to open up, the other doesn't.
Good luck to you and your wife. I am sure whatever decision you come to will be the best one for both of you.
I'm engaged to a woman with BPD, so I know where you're coming from. If she's looking for ways to treat it, definitely DBT is a great option that will help her learn to regulate her emotions. There are also other clinically-validated treatment options, including Mindfulness-Based Therapy, Schema Therapy, Mentalization-Based Therapy, and Transferance-Based Therapy.
As for your end, a little bit of reading up can be invaluable. I would start by reading When Hope is Not Enough, then check out Stop Walking on Eggshells and Overcoming Borderline Personality Disorder. All three are geared toward family/friends of people with BPD, and will give you great advice on:
I'm not saying this to diagnose your mom, but rather to direct you to some literature that might get you some support and potentially help you understand some of her behaviors. I'm in a similar situation with my mom, and a counselor at my university recommended the following two volumes (I found them at my library, but ended up buying them since they were so useful to me):
Whatever you decide to do - cut her out of your life, enforce strict boundaries, or simply build a better support network for yourself - I wish you luck. It's not an easy road, but making sense of that kind of behavior helped me cope immensely.
I feel like you are making excuses because there have to be plenty of options here. You say she supported you to have a good career. What do you do with your vacation time? If you have none for some reason, can you get some leave without pay? Can you find a new job that allows you to be around her more, even if you earn less money? Is there a university closer to home, or can you move to where she is? Can she study online?
She says she doesn't know if she can feel that way for you again. That doesn't mean she can't, it means that she is confused. Like I said, this is a crossroads. You either try like hell to fix things or she will leave you. First step, get yourself to marriage counseling, or at the very least buy yourself '7 Principles for Making Marriage Work' and read through it with her. Second step, plan a vacation or at the very least spend some time away from work to romance her properly. Spoil her a little. Write her a letter explaining how much she means to you and how you don't want to lose her. Talk. Laugh. Love. Third step, find a way for her to fulfill her dreams, preferably with you or her relocating so you are closer by. However if she lives apart from you for a while, so be it. If you don't let her fulfill her dreams with you, she will leave and do it without you.
Maybe it will work, maybe it won't, but you have to try if you love her and want to be with her.
I've been cheated on, found out on my own, gave my wife a second (and third...) chance and have regretted it. I doubt my wife has ended her affair(s) and am just waiting for the next discovery to do what I should have done the first time.
That being said, here are some things I suggest doing:
0) Both you and your boyfriend should read "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass. It deals with these things much better than any redditor (probably).
Also, if he agrees to stay with you then you can count on anything you had tried to hide being found out. Better to risk hurting him now and showing your honesty than to keep it covered until he finds out and thinks you're still cheating on him. Trust me, he will find out your secrets. The kind of jealousy you have instilled in him breeds fervent ingenuity.
Keep proof of where you went, like dated receipts or credit card charges. Proving that you're not doing something is damn near impossible, but proving that you were doing something else entirely (and therefore incapable of cheating at that time) is much easier.
Is it possible to forgive something like this? If your boyfriend is a saint. Forgiveness takes a hell of a long time, much more than just deciding to remain together I'll say.
Can your relationship be saved? Odds are slim but still possible. Is it worth the effort? Probably not. Everything I've suggested is from a marital standpoint, in situations where people have usually invested a whole lot more than what goes into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. I don't know if the things I've suggested will work since my wife didn't do any of these, but they are things I definitely would have wanted her to do, and would have made things a lot easier.
> We do keep score, that's a good way to put it.
Here's something interesting I learned in a marriage therapy class in grad school: marriage therapists used to suggest that partners in struggling marriages do nice things for each other in a "tit for tat" system. For example, they'd ask the couple to each do one nice thing for each other a day.
Research has shown that this is actually counterproductive. If a spouse is keeping track of how many nice things they've done and how many nice things the other person has done, they become less happy with the relationship. Inevitably, each partner can list more nice things they've done for the other person than they can nice things the other person has done for them. It makes them feel more resentful towards the other person, not less.
I know you've said you're a logical kind of guy and you like to be quantitative about things, but I think this is something you should think about: hard research shows that when you keep track of who owes who what, your relationship is likely to deteriorate.
By the way, the research we learned about in that class was mostly by the Gottman Institute, which is the leading organization in empirical research on predictors of marriage success. They write lots of books for lay people, which I'd highly recommend -- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, for example.
Dude, I've read it. It's such a great book - makes you think about yourself and others a lot. We actually talked about it before we started the relationship..our love languages. However, I'm still learning hers and how she is. Clearly.
The Five Love Languages
Might not be a bad idea for both you and your wife to read "Not just friends" by Shirley Glass.
There are boundaries in friendship. Cross those boundaries, and bad things can happen. For example, say your wife and her friend spend the a couple of hours talking about the best ways to save and invest for retirement. Cool. Now say they spend a couple hours talking about how each of their respective spouses is lacking in some way. That's not cool. One conversation can be shared freely with you. The other one you are never going to hear about.
It does not take a genius to see which of these two examples can lead down a troublesome road.
I'm gonna get real with ya. It's clear that you're very down on yourself and depressed and you think it's gonna be impossible to get out of that hole on your own. Well, I'm here to help you.
Now I don't wanna seem like a shill or anything. But this book is clinically proven to treat depression and it's helped me and my mother a lot in our personal lives. It teaches you how to avoid/combat apathy and depression, and how to improve our thoughts with cognitive therapy. It teaches you how to not get down on yourself. It's not a magic bullet but it really does help a lot when you understand how depression works and why you are in this specific position, and that it is all about thoughts/feelings, and how to try to help yourself think positively and in patterns that make you, well, feel good.
The book is Feeling Good by David D. Burns, M.D.
I recommend that you read it and try your best to do some of the exercises. Feel free to PM me if you want to know more about it. I recommend this book to a lot of people because it made depression feel a lot less hopeless for me. It made me feel like I could stop beating myself up and focus on doing stuff I wanted instead.
I've told people on this sub to do this before, but I honestly think you should take a look at this book. This is based on actual scientific research on relationships, not self-help BS, so I think it could be really helpful in this situation. This guy sounds like a pretty cookie-cutter case of someone who is avoidantly attached. This means that without serious therapy, he will shy away from intimacy and probably remain a commitment-phobe who won't meet your emotional needs. I can't tell you how to run your life, but I'd probably try to get out while you can and find someone who will actually want intimacy with you.
This book may or may not be of use ... but I did skim it and I did find it interesting: http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Languages-Secret-Lasts/dp/0802473156/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1343518143&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=love+languages
Different people have different ways of communicating "i love you" and it might help to understand his particular way in context of some logical guidelines.
You should read a book together called The 5 Love Languages. Seems like you two express love in different ways and need to understand better how to communicate this with each other.
The problem is (as you well know) that you can't force someone to get help. But you certainly can encourage him. Self-help can be very effective. I would check out this book, I've found it very useful: http://www.amazon.com/Feeling-Good-The-Mood-Therapy/dp/0380810336
To make sure OP gets the message in her in-box: Check out my comment here.
That place spends most of the time teaching you how to act like you don't emotionally need to be desired and approved of by women... in order to win the desire and approval of women. While also channeling bitterness and anger at women.
Instead he should try to actually work on himself and get to a point where he actually doesn't need the approval of women just to feel okay. In my personal experience, this is easier said than done. I recommend the book No More Mr. Nice Guy. Also, I'm married so this isn't my thing, but I've heard the book Models is also good.
The mother is deeply insecure. She's threatened by her loved ones interacting with anyone else on a deep emotional level, so she tries to disrupt those relationships. Controlling people is the only way she knows to deal with her own insecurities.
Honestly, there's not much you can do about the mom directly. She's lived her whole life this way, and if her husband can't even negotiate a way to see his own sister, you, as an outsider, are not going to have any luck convincing her to accept you as her daughter's partner.
What frequently happens in these situations is that the child, finally realizing that she needs to live her own life, will cut off contact with the controlling parent for a period of time. Without severing the contact, it's too easy to fall back into old patterns. Sometimes this lasts 6 months. Sometimes it lasts 10 years. It all depends on the people and the relationships.
From your description, my guess is that your fiancee is not ready to take that step. But the ball is really in her court. She has to decide if she's going to live for herself or for her mother.
The only thing you might be able to do is buy her a book on the subject to get her thinking. Toxic Parents is frequently recommended, though I haven't read it myself. Given your fiancee's time constraints, consider getting the audio version so she can listen on her way to school/work. But talk to her about it first. It's not the kind of gift you want to spring on someone, because then it looks like you are the one being controlling.
I just got out of an abusive relationship a few months ago. I have never been happier. My life is awesome now. GTFO (yes I know it isn't that easy. Read my story and you'll know I understand).
Also, read No More Mr. Nice Guy. It saved me. It gave me the understanding and tools I needed to become healthy enough to leave her.
Good luck, mate.
I highly recommend that you buy and read The Five Love Languages, first separately and then together.
This book talks about how little resentments can build up over time if your SO is not getting the type of 'love' that they need, and then how to identify and give the other person that type of love. For example, you may think that you are doing a lot for her, but if acts of service is something she responds to, and you're getting her gifts, she will not respond to you the way you would expect. If you are both willing, it is a great start to opening that communication up.
If not, then the next step is actual therapy.
Hoo boy, I've been in a similar situation. In fact I'm just sort of pulling myself out of a similar situation. So much of what you wrote resonated with me.
Here's the deal. I'm obviously not a therapist or anything, but I've seen a few, and I've found some things that have helped me, and I'll try to share them with you.
First of all, you need to stop thinking of this as something you're doing to your boyfriend. Depression and anxiety are mental health disorders. Think of it like a chronic illness or allergy. The goal should be to figure out strategies to let you live your life as comfortably/normally as possible, just like treating a chronic illness. Right now, your goal is to get through your last exam and finish your thesis (that was my big issue too!). So there absolutely are "treatments" for depression and anxiety, and they aren't all medication-based.
The thing that I've found most helpful is something called cognitive behavioral therapy. It's basically an attempt to train yourself to control the thoughts that make you upset and anxious, and to find strategies to help you through situations that trigger your depression and anxiety. This might be something you could ask your therapist to help you with, or you can try it yourself! Here are some resources that you might find helpful:
A book I've read that is full of concrete techniques to help yourself during times of emotional stress (like right now, when you have to worry about a thesis and an exam and a distant boyfriend!) is called Feeling Good. It's quite a popular book so you might be able to get a cheap used copy or find it for free online.
I just found this site which has a whole section of self help techniques for dealing with anxiety specifically is called AnxietyBC. I haven't tried any of the suggested techniques myself, but they seem to have lots of suggestions and further resources.
Finally, if you have a smart phone with app capability, you can try SAM. It was developed by a team of psychologists, students, and computer scientists. I use this app myself, and find it quite helpful in situations where I'm feeling particularly anxious or upset.
Again, look at this as a health issue that you need to find ways to treat effectively. There are lots of concrete techniques you can find online or in books, and your therapist may know a few as well. You may have to try a number of them to figure out what works for you. If you're persistent, you could get to the point where you are in control of your depression and anxiety almost 100% of the time!
As a side note, I've dealt with boyfriends who just don't understand depression and anxiety. I've tried giving them reading material I've found online or just talking to them about what depression is. Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn't. Depression is a confusing thing for people who don't have the disorder. I think the most important thing is that your boyfriend acknowledges that this is a health issue that is not your fault. Maybe that's as far as he gets in understanding. That could work for you two. You can develop a tool kit of techniques and things that make you feel better when you're dealing with a bout of depression or anxiety, and then you won't need to rely on him for support he doesn't know how to give.
Hope this helps....you can get through this, ok?
I think the general consensus is "end it", and i will add my voice to that throng. about 2 years ago i was in a similar relationship. I was in for about a year and a half because i was thinking "hey, it could get better, she cant be thisbad all the time." add in the fact that she was the neediest creature i have ever met or seen. and i can speak from experience, it doesn't get better man. also: good luck, my friend.
P.S. I know I had a problem with wanting to always be a "nice guy" and i found this site and His book very helpfull.
> How does one remain calm in the heat of a moment? Counting to ten just doesn't do it for me :<
You don't. You walk away, or have him walk away.
Also, for the emotional support, maybe he's not expressing his love for you in a language you understand. I can always recommend this book which works pretty well with most of that.
Oh hon. There are a lot of frustrated reactions here but I just wanted to say that EVEN IF this guy is not cheating on you (big if...), what he has just done has a name - it's psychological abuse. No, calling it abuse is not melodramatic, it's what he's doing. It is really not surprising that you're feeling confused, embarrassed and upset.
I'm not going to tell you to break up with him - plenty of people have given you that message already. What I suggest is taking some time to yourself. Switch off your phone (with or without telling him what you are doing, it honestly doesn't matter at this point as long as he doesn't get to talk out his preferences with you. This time is non-negociable) and tell any housemates that he is not coming in the house and not to let him in. I heard you have a kid - give them to a trusted guardian for a day trip or something so you can have the place to yourself. Have a hot bath, pamper yourself in whatever way you love best and just give yourself some TLC for a bit. You are worth the attention and you've had a big shock - you deserve the time to recuperate. Keep up the lack of contact until you feel a bit more centred.
OK, what now? Get a copy of [Why Does He Do That? ] (http://www.amazon.com/Why-Does-He-That-Controlling/dp/0425191656) and read through it, bearing in mind that abuse comes in all shapes and sizes and he has proved very well recently that he does not have to hit you to hurt you. It might not change your mind about staying with him but it will give you an insight into the more manipulative aspects of his behaviour.
I wish you all the best and hope things feel calmer and better for you soon.
Please read the book "The Ethical Slut". It's really awesome and right up your ally. You can totally have a primary relationship and companion and still date other people while being on the up and up. http://www.amazon.com/The-Ethical-Slut-Relationships-Adventures/dp/1587613379
I'd like to recommend a book called Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life. It's an amazing book that a lot of people I know have read. It's really a fantastic book. You're not alone, I promise.
>We can go over a month easily without physical contact.
Yikes. If that is applying to other things than sex, then that's a huge, huge problem (not that the sex wasn't in the first place). It's a long shot, but try having the two of you read this book - it's short and sweet, and it basically talks about making sure you're meeting the other person's emotional/physical needs in a relationship.
Oh, all the girls my ex husband cheated on me with started as friends. Always trust your instincts when female friends are concerned. Unless you're the type that's automatically jealous of any female interaction, your instincts will warn you when something is not right.
And something is definitely not right here. Your BF may genuinely have no present intention of cheating at all. But he has poor boundaries. And this means that there is a high likelihood that things may get out of hand some day. He's on a slippery slope and he may not even realize when things have crossed the line until he's in way too deep for his own good.
Now is the time for a serious talk about boundaries. No need for accusations or blame. But he does need to be open to the discussion and not dismissive or defensive.
Boundaries are the absolute key to fidelity. It's great to have opposite sex friends if you have good boundaries. Your BF has some work to do in that regard.
Highly recommend that you check out the following books:
Not Just Friends - http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0743225503/ref=redir_mdp_mobile
Boundaries in Relationships - http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/155874259X/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1372344185&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pi=SL75
Don't listen to people who tell you to keep contact with her, she is toxic to your life. My mother was not as bad as yours but still not very good mother and best thing that happened to me was that I moved across the ocean and I had chance to see her only 7 times in last 25 years.
You should read toxic parents by susan forward
attached was good for general info and I really liked this one for actual help IRL.
It sounds like you guys really don't know how to argue. There are appropriate ways to express how you're feeling, and the way you guys talk to each other isn't the most effective way to come to an amicable end.
There is a book called The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work that is excellent in teaching how to argue with your partner. If you are both willing to read it and try to follow the advise within, it would probably really help. If you can't come to a compromise at home, you would both probably really benefit from couples counseling.
Get him to read some self help books like No More Mr Nice Guy.
If you're really wanting to try an open relationship, I highly recommend you read The Ethical Slut. It's an incredibly eye-opening book about how to deal with some issues that might occur when you're in any kind of relationship, not just open relationships (working through jealousy, managing your time, enjoying intimacy, laying down ground rules, etc). And then, once you're done with that book (assuming this girl agrees to the open relationship bit), have her read it too.
Before making any decisions... I HIGHLY recommend reading Opening Up by Tristan Taormino. It is a fantastic introduction how to guide to open relationships. Even if by the end you decide "ok this isn't for me" I can't imagine not finding something useful to take away for any other relationship you go on to have.
Edit: Also, if you are seriously considering this change, visit /r/polyamory. /r/relationships is pretty biased against non-monogamy.
It may be that her low libido and poor self image is a reflection of your leadership in the marriage or lack thereof. Desire cannot be negociated, bartered, or bought. She has to intrinsically feel it or be led to it by your actions. A short vacation may be a nice start, but realistically it requires more time and changes. Furthermore it may add extra pressure for her to "be romantic" because of all the effort you put out.
Most of the advice in this thread recommends actions which will make it clear to her that you place her on a pedestal. While that makes for good storybooks, most of the time it ends up building guilt and resentment.
Spend a little cash and read Married Man Sex Life Primer.
Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud:
While it has Christian overtones (which irks me as an atheist), the fundamental message is clear about setting up boundaries to limit the hurt and guilt that loved ones sometimes place upon you.
You can love someone who is hurtful without having them hurt you.
If highly recommend you check this out.
This book will definitely help - you. For her, she needs to engage in DBT which she can start doing online.
This seems so simple, but everytime I feel myself getting frustrated or angry, I read every line out loud. (I'm also borderline)
Good luck :)
Read The Ethical Slut as soon as possible. You also need to acknowledge who you are to the men you're dating, especially if you think you're not "wired for monogamy." There are many men who aren't either, and who will like you for this.
One way to bring this up might be by reading The Ethical Slut in front of your boyfriend. That could help spark the conversation. There's another book called Sex at Dawn that has some problems but also describes how a lot more people than we realize probably aren't wired for monogamy.
Finally, consider posting to /r/gonewild if you haven't already. That'll give you a LOT of attention, but attention of the sort that might satisfy some of your hunger without giving the obvious opportunity to cheat.
It sounds like your husband is a verbal abuser/ controller. I know this because I personally had this problem when I got married.
Check out that book, I have a feeling it will ring true to you
I highly recommend going to your library and checking out the book Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself. I also recommend seeking the help of a counselor or therapist.
Your behavior is destructive and you need to learn the skills to deal with something like this without letting it ruin or take over your own life in the process.
Your MIL sounds a lot like my bipolar/border line mom. Glad its working out for you its a very difficult situation and the behavior is hard to explain to people outside of the situation.
I suggest reading "Stop Walking on Eggshells" ( http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Walking-Eggshells-Borderline-Personality/dp/1572246901 )
Its a helpful book for dealing with people who have a hard time with respecting appropriate boundaries.
>I know it sounds like bullshit, but I have no reason to lie to you since you don't know me and I don't know you. I had had exactly the same feelings years ago for a female friend of mine when I was living abroad. My behavior could even be described as an "admiration of foreigners."
You absolutely do have a reason to lie to us.
You are deceiving yourself into believing this relationship with your co-worker is platonic and you're desperate to believe your own lies.
You're also asking for advice on how to manipulate your husband into allowing you to have an emotional and most certainly physical affair.
I recommend you read this book.
Here's another one that's relevant: FOG; Fear, Obligation and Guilt. Poor OP has been dealing with this nonsense for so long she's caught up in a fear of disagreeing with her mom, a sense of obligation that she should fit into her designated role and feelings of guilt when she does not.
OP, have a look at Toxic Parents by Susan Forward ( I think there's also a pdf available).
I strongly agree that now is the time to break this cycle, as you're about to start your own mother and child story :) Good luck!
Psychiatric help ≠ counseling. She doesn't need pills, she needs help with her self-esteem, amongst other things, probably. Try reading about emotional blackmail. (Relevant Book)
Yeah, your brother sounds pretty depressed. Tell him that you love him and fear for his mental health. Suggest therapy or "Feeling Good" by David D. Burns (the book is scientifically proven to have approx. similar effect to that of cognitive therapy - I can't recommend it enough). If he won't take your advice, let him know that you support him either way, and that he can always come to you for anything.
Have you read 5 love languages? You should http://www.amazon.com/The-Love-Languages-Secret-Lasts/dp/0802473156
You should read The Five Love Languages.
This book should have some advice for you and your wife on setting clear boundaries and expectations with your father in law.
EDIT: Here is the writeup on this book from Dave Ramsey, which is who (whom?) I have heard recommend it.
Another thought. You are dealing with issues at the crossroads of communication, self esteem, fear of hurting people, and being hurt yourself. Here are a couple of useful books:
Emotional Blackmail Read it with the lens of what is being done to you and how you employ these tactics too.
I Need your Love, is that true It is about the entwining of "needing" to be loved with how you "need" to be treated. And how we are all poisoned by the idea that we need to never be wrong and need to be special at all times.
Also picking up a good book about non-violent communication can be very helpful. That tactic is about trying to address the subtext to communications. We say that we want one thing, but really it is more about what that one thing represents.
>why does he continue to fucking do this
Because he can. Your mother never left him. Your brother lives with him. You returned home to him. Has his alcoholism cost him anything that he really cares about?
You might find these two books helpful.
Codependent No More
I have a similar history as you and my stomach was in knots reading your first post. In my late teens/early 20's I was in a relationship that turned abusive, and towards the end he used my past as a weapon against me. It was like he constantly had to remind me that I was "damaged goods" to keep my self esteem low enough to stick around. Like your husband, he was a good man who destroyed himself with alcohol and mental illness that he refused to get help for. I felt like a failure when it ended too, although it was probably the best decision I ever made in my life. I think you know deep down what you have to do, and I applaud you for your courage in taking that first baby step.
Please don't let any misplaced feelings of guilt keep you in a toxic relationship. You cannot fix him, and in a way you are only enabling his self-destruction by staying around and making excuses for his behavior. He hasn't been taking any steps to get well from the sounds of it, and he's using being sick as a way to manipulate you (i.e. ending up in the psych ward any time you go see your family) This has clearly devolved into a textbook alcoholic/co-dependent relationship, and if I could give you one piece of advice it would be to find an Al-Anon meeting in your area, and start going right away. I can't even begin to tell you how much it helped me, in every aspect of my life. This book was a life changer for me as well.
Ending an unhealthy marriage is not failing, it is a way of taking ownership of your life back. It's actually quite courageous in a way. The fact that you married someone with these problems isn't a failing either. You have what many abuse survivors have-an innate sense of empathy for other people in pain. There is a reason so many of us grow up to be caretakers, and often end up with damaged people who hurt us. It's that empathy and deep understanding that draws you in. It's not low self esteem, or masochism, like so many people suggest. It's not a character flaw-in fact it can become a positive trait if you harness it the right way. From the sounds of it you already are through your advocacy.
Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that your story resonated with me a lot, and I'm pulling for you. I think you are on your way to making the right choice, and I hope you love yourself enough to go through with it. If you ever need someone to talk to who can relate, feel free to send me a PM.
I wouldn't say he needs that sub. However, he should probably read the book No More Mr. Nice Guy. Based on his responses in this thread, OP sounds like a doormat who goes out of his way to avoid confrontation. Reading that book might help him grow a spine and start standing up for himself.
You sound like you have an avoidant attachment style.
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Try getting him this book or a similar one. Remember, he has lived with her all his life, so it all seems normal to him. You may have to insist on counseling between the two of you for him to see the importance of drawing boundaries. She is skillful at controlling him and it will be hard for him to break free, but first he has to want to.
Consider reading this:Stop Walking on Eggshells. Without doing the armchair/internet diagnosis, I think this book is incredibly helpful for those dealing with a person close to them with a range of personality disorders, not just BPD.
One book I found recently has helped me tons.
Surviving a Borderline Parent
I, too, come from an undiagnosed borderline parent and also exhibit borderline traits (with my Bipolar II). It's a rough road, but self-awareness goes a long way. Make sure you find a counselor ASAP - either at your school or call around for someone who works on a sliding scale.
IDK about therapist and I really don't have any hopes that you can actually fix this. In reality, it's probably just wasting the rest of your youth. But, if you want some help, this book, Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder, is well regarded.
Attached, but you can get the same/better info by googling "attachment styles".
Gave me (anxious) a lot of closure regarding my (avoidant) ex.
[This] (http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025) might help you make the first few steps that are so difficult
specifically as it pertains to "stonewalling"
It's a whack title for a book, but top notch content. Written by the progenitor of evidence-based marriage counseling.
>"walk on eggshells"
You can't know without professional diagnosis, of course, and everyone hates an armchair psychologist.. but you using the words 'walking on eggshells' and your father doing a 180 and taking offense to the smallest things sounds exactly like borderline personality disorder.
But you seem like a well rounded kid (lol as if we can tell from a few paragraphs?), so I wouldn't think you were raised by someone with BPD.
Have him read this book if he's willing. It's pretty self explanatory but sometimes people need things spelled out for them. Especially guys.
Your story is starting to scare me. Please go get some pepper spray and/or a stun gun because I wouldn't put it past this crazy dude to try and attack you. He won't give two shits about a restraining order.
I also recommend reading this book.
The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker
Please stay safe and away from Jake!
I've been where you are. I feel your pain. My counselor recommended this book to me and it sounds like you could use it too:
Boundaries by Henry Cloud
EDIT: Or, spend money on pre-marriage couples counseling. Not the wedding, not one dollar.
[read this book] (http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025)
I am going to do something I very rarely do... recommend a book
Before you make a decision, you need to be informed.
Read this book. Even if you ultimately conclude that an open relationship isn't for you, at least make a more informed decision.
My girlfriend is a survivor of abuse. She recommends the book Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft. I think you might get lot out of it.
It WILL change your relationship.
If nothing else, get the book. It sounds like you are both trying, you just aren't reaching each other. The book will explain why.
Anytime either of you are feeling jealous, talk about it. No hesitation.
Be open and honest about everything, except: one thing to rule out early on is whether or not you want to know every detail of your relations? Really, this can be a kicker. Some open relationships thrive on "hey I want to have sex with this person, oh man, I had so much fun last night with __, he was massive and we went for hours". Others are "hey, I'm staying with tonight, I'll see you tomorrow". Then there are the ones that keep sex on the down low. When I was in open-relationships, I preferred the last one.
Never ask questions that you don't want an honest answer. Like, asking about how their body ranked up against one of your insecurites. Guys asking how big another guy's dick was. Girls asking about the other girl's boobs, a few extra pounds or what have you.
The best book on the subject is "Opening Up" by Taormino. Seriously. http://www.amazon.com/Opening-Up-Creating-Sustaining-Relationships/dp/157344295X
Read this. You have so much to lose from dating women like this. You will find another, no problem. Learn to be a good ender, and end this toxic relationship.
you should read this book.
I'd just keep an eye out for warning signs and make sure you keep open communications with her. You've expressed your unease already so I'd keep quiet because if he is an awesome dude, it'll just be awkward, and if he isn't an awesome dude, he'll use it as an excuse to isolate her from you.
you could also do some sleuthing, google his name and see what information about him you can find. it might either reveal some bad past she didn't know about, or the fact that you don't find anything might give you a sense of ease.
Is his mother Borderline? Serious question, because from your above description, it sounds like she has a serious psychological problem. It has to be up to your boyfriend how to handle her. He probably is stuck in a pattern with her, and really knows no other way to react to her. I recommend getting the book Stop Walking on Eggshells.
Are you sure this ex really has cancer? I bet the dude is faking it to try and get your girl back.
Check your local police department to see if she can get a restraining order against him. There may also be some stalking laws you two can look into to stop him cold.
This book has some great advice about people stalking you.
The Gift of Fear
Their advice is to keep the original cell phone as the "stalker phone." Keep it in a corner plugged up and just let the ex text to no end while she doesn't answer. As long as stalker ex thinks it's her number, he'll just keep going and she won't have to worry about it.
Next she gets two new phone numbers. One is a Google Voice number (http://voice.google.com) and the other is her new cell phone number. Give everyone who won't spread it to the stalker ex the Google voice number, which can forward all calls to your new cell phone number. If she has to (but the book above doesn't recommend), she can block all his calls and texts via the Google voice number if stalker ex finds out what it is.
It was cool for you to have hook-ups with her and boff her in the toilets, but since she did that stuff with other people too, it's...
You're right about the "it's my issue" part. Except... The "I'm a slut" bit sounds like (as you note a couple of times) low self-esteem, crossed with internalised cultural crap. A boyfriend who has also internalised shaming stuff about sex will not be helpful to her. It would probably help both of you to use this as an opportunity to grow a bit here. Promiscuity isn't for everybody, but with consenting adults, is there any reason it's a problem...? Probably not, except for the shaming. Which makes no sense, and which is more of a problem than anything that comes out of thoughtful promiscuity. I haven't read it but The Ethical Slut is very well-reviewed...
>I find solace in the fact she has never dated before
That's not really a loving/caring/mature slant on it. It would be one thing if she had not wanted to date; as is it almost sounds like her self-esteem is so far down she didn't see herself as somebody who could be another person's partner. That's a thing to grieve, really.
Dunno. If you don't want to love and care for the entirety of this person, it's probably not a good idea to half-ass it. But plenty of this relationship sounds promising; I'd work on it.
Read this book.
It sounds like you are both showing contempt for each other, which is one of John Gottman's (the author) Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. It sounds like you have other symptoms too.
A LTR cannot survice contempt. Unless you fix this ASAP I'm sorry to say this relationship is doomed.
You should read The Gift of Fear
She sounds unstable to a degree that she would physically harm you. Please be careful in your approach. You don't want to escalate this.
When one or both spouses are abusive individual counseling is usually better. Joint sessions turn into the abuser blaming the victim for everything while making themselves look good. It's called crazy-making.
Friends have found this book helpful http://www.amazon.com/Verbally-Abusive-Relationship-Expanded-Edition/dp/1440504636
Read the book, it will answer all your questions.
Short version, though: he enjoys having power over you. He is "nice" to you, sometimes, in order to stop you from leaving, but what he really wants is the feeling of dominance he gets from bullying and devaluing you. Get out while you can - you're still young and you can heal and find another relationship with a man who isn't a bully. Don't let this go on and on because it's only hurting you, and he will never change.
The books my therapist recommended me are:
The second is geared toward children of parents with BPD (which my mom has), which might not suit your needs, but the first is just about verbally abusive situations in general, and it's helped me a lot.
10/10. I'm going to stamp this as perfect for dealing with her. As for yourself, I'll recommend this book, and some advice.
Here's how you do this so that you move on faster, quicker, and stronger. I'm here to tell you how to make the best for yourself in the long run, I'm not here to tell you the things that you want to hear (e.g. that the relationship isn't fucked). You're only 24 son, this is ok, and everyone eventually goes through this shitty situation.
Breakup with her now and cut her off from being in your life, make sure all signs point to the fact that you are doing awesome (fake it when things aren't going well, because there are times your brain is going to tell you that everything is completely fucked and try to get you to do something stupid). If you wait, it means more heartbreak for you, and your brain is going to come against you in rejection and you could make the process last so much longer as your brain tries to figure out the why she broke up with you (some guys stay in this stage of depression for 6 months to even years and their ego never recovers). If you breakup with her, then you have the reason to latch onto for your brains sake (she cheated, therefore breakup) and you won't over think things which is half the battle of a breakup (and you can avoid the Long-term depression which is a battle you don't want). The most important point is going to come when you realize that you are the only person who can make yourself happy. You must do whatever you want for yourself right now. You can't expect anyone else to make you happy. You can't try to help others and expect them to do something for you down the road, right now you have to be 100% selfish. You lost yourself in this relationship and right now you need to completely reassess who you want to be, and go be it.
She's going to go to the other guy for support, and eventually things are going to go bad for them (a girl who cheats with someone, will probably -not always- cheat on that someone). She'll come back to you and you'll be able to have some fun, but don't get back into anything, it probably won't work. She'll regret cheating on you, and that's the important part, because now she respects you again (also, you've taught her a valuable lesson as an added bonus and she'll be a better person for it). If you take her back, she'll never respect you, but more importantly, you'll lose your respect for yourself. Self-respect is the only thing you can have for yourself as a man, it is the end-all-be-all. Without self-respect, your life will be a continuing string of disappointment in others, with self-respect comes the life you wanted because you earned it for yourself. Go splash some cold water on your face and accept the fact that it's over. Go over and tell her that you're breaking up with her because she cheated, and then don't listen to a word she says. Right now you're scared of losing something, and that's understandable, but we lose everything we get in this life, and this is just another part of it. That's why I'm giving you this advice. I'm telling you what you can't see because of your fear of losing something. What I'm telling you is that this is the beginning of one of the best parts of your life.
You will never be this free again.
You should note there is a chance this will not be the end of their relationship. People in this situation often require several attempts at breaking up before its final although id they've only been together 4 month that might not be the case.
I've just read this book:
The Verbally Abusive Relationship
I highly recommend you pick up a copy for your sister. It details the scope of verbal abuse (ALWAYS a precursor to violent abuse) and will empower her with the ability to detect the slightest hints of these behaviours in future relationships and call it out immediately.
In fact all people would benefit reading it. Verbal abuse is rife in our society.
If you don't like the content that's being posted, then do not participate in the group chat. Seeing the porn and constantly reacting in a negative way won't help you get over your insecurities. You have to put these insecurities into perspective and choose how to react rather than go back to feeling bad. It takes a conscientious effort to rise above those negative feelings. No amount of compliments from others will affect you in the long run, it's just a minor increase of feeling good. The fact that you need his constant feedback for empathy shows that it doesn't help.
The deconstructing and analyzing is stuff you should just do in your head. Give him the highlights of what your feelings are, with straight forward questions if you require feedback. The constant chatter of feelings can be exhausting. It isn't necessarily a diss on you. It's just that not everyone is wired to enjoy lots of listening.
Pick up The How of Happiness and Feeling Good so you can get some help with your jealousy and insecurity.
Pills don't work for everyone. She gave them a try and found out that they weren't for her. OP should respect her decision. "Drilling" this idea out of her is not only condescending and borderline manipulative, but it's nagging and it's only going to make her grow resentful.
OP, you said in a later comment that counseling isn't an option for various reasons. May I suggest a book that can teach her how to cope with anxiety? Feeling Good taught me more about managing anxiety and depression than medication or therapy ever did. You buy a used copy off Amazon for less than a dollar. You can probably find a copy at your local library as well.
Lots of people. "Why Does He Do That?" talks about about several explanations, the two biggest being: the abuser escalates gradually so that by the time they do something overt the victim doesn't have the resources to fight back, and the process of "traumatic bonding" means that it can actually be emotionally harder to leave an abusive relationship than a healthy one.
> If I randomly made friends with some guy, and never talked much about him... he would be PISSED. Like, he would think I was cheating - especially if I asked him to leave the room and stuff. So that's why I think I'm being 100% rational. He wouldn't deal with this, so why should I? I feel like he doesn't hold me to the same standards he holds himself.
You hit the nail on the head. Furthermore, check out a copy of Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass. The chances that your husband is cheating on you emotionally are high.
The real question is what are you going to do about it? If I were you, mandatory counseling and if he says no, filing for divorce. This is a serious matter that will continue to cause you pain and frustration until he gets his head out of his ass. He may never get his head out of his ass and treat you the way you deserve to be treated! The only person whose actions you can control is your own. If he won't talk, won't work on your marriage, won't get counseling, won't stop having inappropriate messages with other women late at night, then you have to decide what you're willing to put up with for the rest of your life and walk if what this man has to offer isn't it.
> I tried to explain it, but they all seemed really concerned about my ex who was having constant panic attacks over being “abandoned.” Everyone tells me that even though she made mistakes, she deserves some kind of closure and that I’m a monster for treating her the way I am.
> mom is angry that I’m letting her keep having panic attacks.
>My mom had invited her. When I realized she was at the front door, I snuck out a back window before she could find me and drove away. Now my mom is saying I’m not welcome at home until I talk with my ex.
This is some class A emotional blackmail BULLSHIT. From your mom and your friends, no less! She cheated on you and deserves nothing. Your method of leaving (saying "it's over" with no words) was way better than blowing up, like you said. You got to avoid begging, crying, and pleading that might have kept you in the relationship. I can't believe those closest to you are dismissing that cheating is abuse and are pressuring you to soothe her bruised ego. No. She is having "panic attacks" because she is an entitled princess who can't have her cake and eat it too. The injustice of this is maddening; I'm really pissed for you, OP.
Stand your ground and hold your head up high. Repeat to others: "I have no desire to contact her. It is over because she cheated on me, and that's all there is to it." Your mom can't be trusted right now because she tried to force you to be in contact with her. Hold onto the friends who aren't pressuring you tightly. Remember you're not crazy or unreasonable! I highly recommend the book Emotional Blackmail by Susan Forward in case you want some reading material.