• This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Lisa.
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    • #166810
      Hereforclarity
      Participant

      Hi all,

      I’m writing here again because I’m struggling to tell the difference between knowing if I’m just a bit triggered from a previous abusive relationship or if I’m seeing red flags in my new partner. I’m feeling a bit confused in recent arguments. On the large part I think things are good? But we’re about to move in together and I’m so scared of history repeating itself. It might be that he’s just got a few ways of communicating that echo my ex.

      For context, he’s spoken to me about being codependent and he’s experienced abuse from an ex. He’s also very sensitive and done a lot of work/healing and is very clear about his needs in a relationship. I love this about him and consider Myself as someone that knows themselves well too. By his standards however I think he sees me as someone who struggles with intimacy/sharing vulnerabilities. This was true at the beginning of the relationship as I was still healing from the last ex to a degree. I’m wonder Now if His standards for what a healthy relationship- seem almost unreasonably idealistic?

      So recently There’s been a pattern where if he doesn’t feel I’ve listened to him enough when expressing his feelings – he gets very upset. To the point where he becomes very critical. He tends to then make quite big statements about what he needs in a partner afterwards. This will usually be the thing he’s just criticised me for lacking. This is mostly that he doesn’t feel I care/appreciate him enough. If I push back and try to share what I think is a more accurate picture of our relationship (that I do care very much and reflect on how I show this) – it escalates further and he sees me as dismissive.

      The thing is… I would totally agree with his stance if I was super uncaring or not very vocal about my feelings. I know I’m not the perfect partner, but I usually try very hard to love someone the way they need and show it as much as I can. I also understand that despite my effort – it might not just be the right way for him.

      I am struggling to understand the levels of importance he puts on subjects which I wouldn’t let turn into conflict. To me, his worries are relatively small things on the most part e.g. us not liking the same foods (as we have different diets), that we don’t share the same passions (despite being interested in each other/sharing values/interests etc.).

      This is starting to make me feel that I’m just not doing enough/not being enough for him and like I’m severely lacking in some ways. He’s always telling me he wants to build a future together whilst being very critical and nit-picking in the same breath.

      Recently he got so frustrated in an argument – that he swore at me. I’m really sensitive to this kind of thing after my last relationship.

      I’m really confused and wondering whether I need to address this general issue or how? There’s so much about this relationship which is great, he can be so supportive, fun and we share a lot in common. I love so much about him and I don’t think he’s abusive. This edge however is getting to me. I might just not be able to meet his expectations which I guess is more of a compatibility issue.

      Has anyone had issues like this going into a new relationship after experiencing emotional abuse in a previous one? I want to be able to keep my triggers and baggage in check. I would hate to sabotage this if I can help its .

    • #166851
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Hereforclarity,

      Thank you for your post. I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It can be really hard to navigate this after what you have been through- relationships can be triggering in themselves- you want to protect yourself from being hurt again, it may feel like there is an expectation for you to be vulnerable and open with them- which you might not feel ready for.

      Its important that you feel you can express yourself with your partner- that you feel loved and respected. Its okay for you to communicate your needs and set your boundaries- as long as you feel safe to do so.

      You can access free online courses created by or in partnership with therapists specialising in trauma at Bloom. These courses can be accessed in your own time and at your own pace and cover topics such as trauma, abuse and boundaries.

      Take care and keep posting

      Lisa

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