All the blogging these days, you know shit is up when I do that.
So I’m in an analytical state about life hence I’m here to reconcile the many different angles if problems I’m facing. And the possibly wrong narrative I’m assigning casual elements to.
- No one gets to be an ass just because they’re stressed and burnt out
- But we justify our own negative actions when we are in a poor state.
- He has said many mean and hurtful things to me that’s unacceptable
- HE loves me very much
- But in many ways he has no faith in me
- He definitely has learned helplessness
- I’m not helping
- He is reflecting and feeling bad and trying to change but in the most wrong direction possible.
- What parts of our interaction are exacerbated by my depression and what parts are exacerbated by his underlying issue?
It’s important that we do not assign blame in this exercise as it does not resolve anything despite our need to assign blame and pride.
So pebbi’s side. He is stressed and burnt out from work and has to deal with an emotionally unstable girlfriend, something he really doesn’t have the time and energy for. He’s already feeling like crap then recieved emails and messages saying he’s a terrible person. He’s tired and just doesn’t want to deal, he feels justified that he has not been fulfilling the (to him ) unreasonable demands from his girlfriend.
On the other hand he loves said girlfriend and can see how sad she is and combined with being told that he is a bad boyfriend, he apologizes for everything caused by his poor state which he thinks isn’t his fault (and it isnt) and in order to not make her sad, to just avoid all negative actions that could cause her to be sad (because it seems like the most obvious solution).
At the same time, he has a learned helplessness when it comes to providing emotional support and love. In past relationships and in the current. In the latest relationship he has made failed attempts which has reinforced his perspective that he sucks at giving love and support. Therefore with each interaction, he attempts less and has a shorter amount of patience in waiting for positive feedback. It doesn’t help that none of his attempts were met with positive feedback. (Aka success). He attempts to seek solutions the first few times but repeated failure has led him to the failsafe solution (to him ) which is to do nothing. Due to this learned helplessness and lack of success, even when presented with suggestions for resolution and improvement, he does not attempt to apply these solutions to their fullest potential and assigns failure to the interaction at the first sign of negative feedback, even if said negative feedback is part of the expected process.
His current state is that:
- He has learned helplessness in dealing with his girlfriend.
- Behavioral negative association of me and my reactions and states (Aka he thinks himself into me reacting in the worst way possible)
- Behavioral fear of being confronted with more error messages in the relationship
- Assigning self blame (that is reinforced) that he is not good enough and is bringing me down.
Okay, let’s go back to human mode before analyzing me. To me, yes he does bring me down, but not because he he complains it rants to me. Yet he falsely clings onto the belief that it is his burnt out state that is bringing me down.
I am also paying for years of learnt helplessness and his refusal to change because he doesn’t believe it’ll succeed and hasn’t the energy to try when he believes he will definitely fail…and past occurrences has not proved him wrong.
Okay my turn.
I have learnt helplessness with regards to going to him to share my vulnerabilities and feelings. The majority of negative feedback I has put me off opening up and communicating with him. I naturally react negatively to his attempts as I have a behavioral assumption that deep down he doesn’t respect my problems. This is reinforced by his outbursts during confrontations.
His reactions has led to me believe, without actual proof (and really no way to prove) that he defines me by my depression and anxiety and no longer respects me as a person. Although it is possible for that he only thinks of me that way in his poor state.
Now in terms of needs (his needs seem fulfilled, although now he is wary of fulfilling them). But let’s go to what is bringing me down : causing me to give negative feedback. Him complaining about his day doesn’t bring me down. His negative feedback, not to all our interactions, but actions done by me with the expectation of positive feedback from.him is what brings me down. Actions which I expect positive feedback for are:
- Doing nice things to make him happy
- Reassuring him
- Going to him for reassurances or when I am sad
My doing nice things, from my perspective, cause I can’t speak for his, is received with mixed results. There has been extremely positive feedback, indifferent feedback and negative feedback. As the latest feedback is negative, it is overwhelming past experiences and causing me potential learned helplessness.
Reassurance wise. He imagines I’m a machine where he puts in what HE thinks is the appropriate inputs he needs to get immediate positive feedback. I’ve repeatedly failed this expectation.
I imagine that he’s a machine that will repeatedly give me positive feedback until I’m in a better state.
What he sees as positive feedback from me is: me becoming happy
What I see as positive feedback from him is: understanding, acceptance and reassurance.
Our conceptual models of ourselves and each other and a mass of other thinvs are too different.
Back to human side. Humans aren’t machine. They don’t cheer up when you say “please don’t be down.” Becoming happy again is a complex process requiring many steps. The smaller the sad thing, the faster the process can be completed. I personally believe that it follows the 7 stages of grief. How fast you reach acceptance and move on depends on how emotionally impactful/big the matter seems to you. How people assist others is to help them progress to the final stage faster. Not to stop the process.
So the problem comes when he expects I stop being upset, I expect support through the the grieving process. For small things that bothers him, he processes them so fast that he doesn’t feel the sadness. I’ve stronger emotional granulated so I am more sensitive to the sadness and need to address each state more thoroughly. He also has learned helplessness in giving understanding and reassurance.
So my current state…is complex and im not in a good enough state to do a status report.
But I can say that I have learned helplessness towards all emotional reaction in relation to him now. I believe he sees the worst in me, I’m struggling to see better in myself as well…yea not a good time to report on my state.
So how do we fix this?
Okay let’s slowly TRY to apply causes.
His burnt out state is a contributing cause of his negative reaction to my attempt at providing solution.
But his burnt out state isn’t the cause of his negative feedback to my insecurities. It’s is learnt helplessness to providing people with reassurances and comfort. And also a behavioral and even visceral negative reaction to anyone with depression and anxiety.
So fact stands, it’s not healthy if you can’t provide reassurance to your SO, if you have a repulsive nehative reaction to your SO, its hurtful. There’s no justifying how he treated me even if we know why.
Problem now is that he isn’t listening to any troubleshooting messages now and is following his wrong conceptual models and giving me more wrong inputs and making my state worse. Thankfully we can mitigate this time some extent by not triggering as much input(not going to him) and at least show him regular interactions are safe.
In terms of opening him up to understanding me and providing reassurances I need..
You can’t tell people who are crippled by fear of failure how they can improve and where they’ve gone wrong until they’ve recovered and rebuilt some degree of confidence and success.
On my end…I have no energy to provide him with these confidence building little successes until I am okay.
Fact is I have been hurt, he has exacerbated my latent depression and doubts with his negative feedback (let’s not just assume he has no faith).
So now the only way to get started anywhere is to…first rebuild myself. Give MYSELF positive feedback so I’ll have more faith and belief and confidence in myself and unlearn my learned helplessness towards myself (Aka depression). It’s not my fault I’m in a poor state can’t give positive feedback.and yes my poor state is partially attributed to him. But we already know that, we get nowhere just blaming him. I get nowhere by remaining sad and sorry. With or without him I have insecurities I need to manage and overcome.
Logically, if we can’t get help from him to get over insecurities and get more confidence, get it from elsewhere! And i have elsewhere. My friends. My own journey of learning and discovery and healing.
We need to end this vicious cycle somewhere. Two people with confidence issues are bound to always perceive most interactions as negative, learn helplessness and be defensive these responses will be interpreted by the other as condescending and negative and it never ends.
So now you what annie spoke about. Why do you need him if he can’t fulfill your needs? It’s not healthy. We are supposed to make each other better. Love isn’t hurting the person you love.
I agree. I fulfill his needs but he doesn’t fulfill mine. But honestly, I think he can, he hasn’t tried. And we’ve hurt each other equally. But we do make each other better. And I do think he can support me in the future.
I love him and I want it to work. Haha stupid sentimentality in the end.
We need to stop the vicious cycle and start a positive cycle. One where he becomes confident with reassuring and I can go to him for my problems and we are both supported and become healthier and more confident people.
I can’t guarantee that even if I start giving him positive feedback and im in a better state, he will eventually become healthy and have real confidence. He needs to put in the work too.
And if I only give and don’t take, my needs will never be met and I’ll be drained, it won’t be healthy.
I don’t have an answer to that.
My thoughts are that we won’t know till we try. I haven’t tried giving him positive feedback and trying to start a positive cycle. If I fail and still get hurt after that, I’d have closure and can call it quits. At least I tried. In the right direction.
If I give until I can’t give and he still can’t change…I can let go and at least we will be parting on non-grudging terms that leaves us (me) thinking I’m too broken for relationships .
Basically, I think you’re worth it Christian Acevedo you dolt. I don’t know why, you are. I’ll accept all the painful consequences. At worse, this failure is a great learning experience. (Provided he doesn’t go into the territory of intentionally abusing me. Then that’s it. If it’s just a behavioral reaction that can be unlearned…I don’t want to give up without trying to make him unlearn it). If I give up on him..he’s been given up on too many times. As someone who has been there.. I can’t. I won’t. (I sound like an idiot, I know.)
All that being said. Right now I can’t give,am still hurt and still broken.
So right now, we just focus on myself and give myself small little steps forward to become positive again.
Nothing starts without me healing myself, especially for myself. I dont want to be in a negative state anymore. I don’t want to be miserable anymore.
Pebbi is right about the misery, though he has no right to point it out cause HE caused it and didn’t help fixing it and is making it worse.
- We stop letting him make us worse. Which means not going to him for sad stuff and triggering the vicious cycle again
- Focus on myself and regain my spark and self growth and be happy again.
This was a very productive post. Sorry speaker of creative mornings, I swear I was listening. Ish.