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 damassteel
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 10
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Decide to be less difficultPage 3 of 3    (1, 2, 3)
Thank you all. I have made a decision. I will leave her alone. There is just too much going on that is unacceptable to me. In particular, the fact that our needs conflict way too much where our respective mental health maintainence issues are concerned.

Her's seem to require that I put mine on hold to help her attend to her own. I don't know how many times I've been away on business to get a call that she's having a tough time for some reason and that I should return ASAP, only to find a situation that might have waited till I returned in another day. The times when I needed to get some rec time to help my beat up soul feel better and getting a call summoning me back, JUST AS I'VE ARRIVED at my destination. Not attending parties and social occasions with my friends that I was looking forward to, because she wasn't feeling sociable that day.
I've tried all along to take the attitude that I should support her and be there for her, but the shape I must assume to do this is just too uncomfortable for me, and if I continue on in this manner, I don't know who the hell I'd be looking at in the mirror. Thanks all, now I know what I must do.
 damassteel
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 11
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/10/2010 4:29:05 PM

Most people don't like being judged, corrected, criticized, graded, evaluated or disapproved.

Most people resent being forced or even asked to change.

Most people prefer to be accepted and loved 'just' the way they are.

Unfortunately, for most people, unconditional acceptance is difficult and often impossible...
OP, it's up to you to decide what you are or are not capable of.


Exactly. She criticizes how I spend my time, my leisure activities, my public persona, My friends who aren't "real" friends, my need to have alone time, etc.
Now some here assume it's ME who's not accepting HER, WTF??
Sorry for the rant, but just thinking of it is heating my blood.
 IgorFrankensteen
Joined: 6/29/2009
Msg: 12
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/10/2010 5:10:04 PM
There's a saying in a movie I like (la Ciel Peut Attendre) that says something to the effect that the more insistent people around you get, that you are wrong and they are right, the more likely it is that THEY are in need of review.
In relationships, the greater the number of people who say that one person needs to change to make a situation work, the greater the certainty is, that there's nothing wrong with the person at all, and that the two plain don't belong together.
You have to FIND your match, you can't BUILD them from materials on hand. Let this lady find her own best match. It appears that it is not you.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 13
Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/10/2010 6:25:04 PM
I have bad news to you man. When your girlfriend says "I know I am difficult" is is not saying it as a great realization, or an epiphany to which she is now going to change. Nope. What she is really trying to tell you is that is JUST the way she is. Be it an excuse, be it whatever it is, she is not presenting that information as a point from which to procure change in her part, but for you to understand that is.

What you need to do, is dig out of her, what she means by being difficult. Yes, you have your own list, but that is not the point. Nothing will change if you say "yes you are difficult and here is where you are this, that and the other." It will not work at all. What you need to say is "Okay, I understand what you say, but can you give me your own examples where you have realized yourself, you were difficult. And do you think it was unfair to you or the other person?"
 arwen52
Joined: 3/13/2008
Msg: 14
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/10/2010 9:49:44 PM
Yeah, if I were being told by others that I was difficult, I'd definitely step back and think about how to put a stop to that.

I'm not a morning person and wake up slowly. I don't like talking much, don't want to have to make decisions, etc., for at least half an hour after I wake up. When I was young, I could be almost crabby. When my husband and I started living together, I told him one morning, "I'm crabby when I wake up." He said to me, "You don't have to be. That's optional." I immediately realized he was right, I didn't have to be crabby. I made a decision not to be crabby after that and completely stopped.

I still was slow waking up but I didn't act crabby, just sleepy. He was a morning person and often he'd bombard me with questions and requests as soon as I was up. I did politely tell him that I did not want him doing that until I'd been up for at least half an hour. He backed off and if he started doing it, I would just tell him, "Not now. Tell me later."

You *can* make a decision to behave differently. It's just good manners to treat the people around you well. We expect our loved ones to put up with stuff we wouldn't foist on strangers.

There's no excuse for being difficult on a consistent basis.
 damassteel
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 15
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 6:19:38 AM

What you need to do, is dig out of her, what she means by being difficult. Yes, you have your own list, but that is not the point. Nothing will change if you say "yes you are difficult and here is where you are this, that and the other." It will not work at all. What you need to say is "Okay, I understand what you say, but can you give me your own examples where you have realized yourself, you were difficult. And do you think it was unfair to you or the other person?"


I have decided to put an end to it, because I have already visited these strategies several times. She readily admits her part in our interactions. I have stated to her that what I can offer her is what I'm already offering, and that SHE must decide if it is enough for her. I have bent as far as I can in her direction and can bend NO FURTHER.
I cannot be a differnt person and neither can she; l'guerre c'est fini'.
 damassteel
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 16
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 7:23:24 AM
Let me make something perfectly clear here; She is NOT A B!TCH. To the contrary, an absolutely lovely woman. Hence my total and complete dissapointment that our relationship seems to have tanked. In most ways she is my absolute ideal; kind, thoughtful, sensual,intelligent, witty, attractive and whole lot else besides. It took me a while, but I fell completely in love with her.
I had always thought that being faithful, considerate,loving and kind would be more than enough to insure a couple's happiness. But I am beginning to see that it is not enough. There must be also be a certain difficult to define something to catalyze that mixture into real compatability. And we don't have it. For this, I'm sorrier than you can possibly imagine.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 17
Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 8:43:07 AM

Exactly. She criticizes how I spend my time, my leisure activities, my public persona, My friends who aren't "real" friends, my need to have alone time, etc.
Now some here assume it's ME who's not accepting HER, WTF??


I understand where you are coming from. And as you said, probably the best thing you can do is end the relationship.

I was in the same boat as you. Only that instead of her saying she was difficult as her excuse, her excuse was that she had cancer. The problem was that she would criticize me, I would criticize back and we began to drift apart to where nothing said had meaning, or would cause the other to change. We did split once, but got together again. But the problem when we got together, was that even though I studied some psychology and went to therapy and looked at what I was doing that was self centered, I corrected all those things. But even my psychologist told me that it would not work, because even though I had come to the middle, she didn't. She didn't think she needed to change anything, other than her realization that when she was under the Steroids, her ADD medication did not work and she became a total monster. She realized that, but the thing was that when she unleashed on something, it was something very rational. So she would complaint when I would tell her that she was doing it again and that there was no need to fight.

So my friend, when there is no middle ground, it is never going to work.

A good friend of mine, who is a very hot looking woman, but we are just friends was complaining about some guy that she was going out with that he was not ambitious enough. Then she said that look at you, you have owned your business, published fiction, wrote books, sold paintings and blah, blah... that guy just didn't have it. Then we switched the subject about my ex, and my friend said, what she was saying about me, should have been what ex should have expressed about me. And did the ex ever said that? No.

So she needs to appreciate YOU for what you are, not for what in her mind you may become. In some psychotherapy website they indicated that there are three huge things that take relationships down, one is sexual problems (never had those), the second is infidelity (didn't have those), and the third one is resentment. If all you can see about the other person are the resentments. Why didn't you do this, why are not not like that, then there's nothing to hold on to.

When we tried to get back together, unfortunately there was too much resentment of the why didn't this or the other. In your case, you have the same huge list.
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 18
Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 1:14:36 PM
What I meant was if one knows one is being difficult and that those difficulties are getting in the way of the realtionship thriving, identify them and start deciding to change the way you're doing things.

Really? Well, why don't YOU "just stop being bothered by the things she does."
Not so easy, is it?


The whole issue is about her unwillingness to accept ME as I am.

In exactly the same way YOU won't accept HER as SHE is? I'm getting a headache.


I recently had a conversation with a friend where he admitted a character flaw. My response to him was similar to what you said to your gf, "Well don't be."

I guess my point is, Who the hell are YOU people to decide what is a character FLAW and what is just part of one's CHARACTER?
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 19
Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 1:31:57 PM

outmind. So you broke up? The last time I was here you both were working real hard at the relationship. I am glad you could part as friends.


Yes we broke up again. And yes I gave it all I had. But the problem was that since she had cancer, she felt entitled. After her last two Chemos' she picked fights with the kids and me constantly. Then she would question the treatment, that it was not working, that the doctors didn't know what they were doing. Because she used to get obsessive, she would research the double mastectomy that they were going to do and find papers against the procedure. Because I did not obsess over the information she felt that I was not being emotionally supportive. Well, I got a respiratory infection, which are not contagious unless you are kissing or coughing in a person's face. She didn't like that, so she left. No, we did not part as friends.
 ItsMargo
Joined: 4/24/2007
Msg: 20
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 1:36:10 PM

I guess my point is, Who the hell are YOU people to decide what is a character FLAW and what is just part of one's CHARACTER?

I would imagine it is this part...

What I meant was if one knows one is being difficult and that those difficulties are getting in the way of the realtionship thriving, identify them and start deciding to change the way you're doing things.


I'd suggest that we all have flaws that get in our way from realizing life the way we would like to. Once we realize we are getting in our own way, and it is blocking one from having life work the way one would like it to... the only choice is to change. Change what? Either expectations or behaviours. Acceptance would suggest changing the way you expect life to work in order to accommodate your behaviours or changing the behaviours such that life works out the way you want.

Sometimes acceptance is finally accepting "this doesn't work for me".

People sometimes feel trapped by themselves and their own behaviour. They tend to view their behaviour as an integral part of their identity and collapse it or mush it in together. I would argue one can change this. We can choose our behaviours.

It does come from within, and usually one of the ways we figure out our counter-productive behaviours is by repeating the counter-productive behaviours with enough people in our lives that their repeated mentioning of it becomes distressing, well, repetitve. Then what?

Insanity is doing the same things over and over expecting a different result.
 damassteel
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 21
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 2:14:01 PM
We'd been taking a break for the last couple of days just digesting the content of our recent interactions.
Only a short while ago I was ready to throw in the towel, when she called sounding very resolute to tackle some of her issues that derail us. So I'm again willing to revisit this as long as I see some sincere attempt to deal with our stuff forthrightly. She gets to choose how it'll be done, as all I care about are results. She already has IMO come up with a few good suggestions on how we might flip our script; so let's just see.


Really? Well, why don't YOU "just stop being bothered by the things she does."Not so easy, is it?

Please, she herself has self-ID'd these things and understands the issues I have with some of her behaviours. In any case there is such a thing as cause and effect.
If someone is poking you with a pin constantly, that's not something you can change your attitude about, IT HURTS and the source of your discomfort is rather obvious, as is the assumption of what needs to change. Are you just being argumentitive or what?
 damassteel
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 22
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 2:18:40 PM
Please PM outmind. this is called thread jacking^^^
 GeneralizingNow
Joined: 10/10/2007
Msg: 23
Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 2:27:27 PM

Are you just being argumentitive or what?

Don't be a jerk, this is an opinion board.

What *I* am saying, and YOU are being obstinate about is that it may NOT be "just her". You are saying "she *she* SHE needs to change". No, what YOU need is to concentrate on YOURSELF.

I find it the QUITE amusing that no men have come on here railing against you for trying to change her, when MEN say women do this to men all the time. BS!!!!!!!!

The thing of it is, YOU say it's harmful to her life, so others have jumped on that bandwagon. I'm not so sure it is. SHE is getting what she needs out of life, or SHE wouldn't be doing it any more. She got YOU, despite being "difficult". She has, apparently, a fairly close family, or they wouldn't be bothered by her being "difficult". I dare say, SHE maybe gets to be around a fair amount of control freaks who label her "difficult" because she disagrees with these types who think they know it all. Basically, it sort of sounds like she doesn't get any respect. If SHE were writing, I'd say something along the lines of, "Dump him."

I have experienced myself someone labelling me, for instance, "argumentative" because I disagreed. I think HE is an arrogant bastrd, and a friggin' control freak, and HE should work on himself before flinging mud on his GF--or other posters.
 damassteel
Joined: 7/22/2009
Msg: 24
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Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 2:46:20 PM

Don't be a jerk, this is an opinion board.

You are indulging in quite a bit of speculation. Besides which, if you'd read my prevoius posts you'd know that I have accepted and owned my parts of this dynamic. You come across as having quite a large chip on your shoulder and just spoiling for a fight, calling me names and such. Kindly leave your baggage at the entrance.
Oh and I'm sure the size of your "chip" will be in evidence If you choose to respond.
 OutMind
Joined: 2/13/2007
Msg: 25
Decide to be less difficult
Posted: 2/11/2010 3:02:24 PM

Please PM outmind. this is called thread jacking^^^


Sorry dude, back to your thread. I think to resolve some of the issues that you too have, you are going to need a third person. That is why a counselor or group counseling would be the best. Why? Because like here in the forums, bull sh it will not work and a lot of times the problems between to people have to do with distorted thinking, in which one person takes one idea and spend it in their head until it becomes a big issue. The other reason why this is important is because it is not coming from you, it is coming from the third person. But most importantly, when it's is something that you two talked about, a lot of times people forget what they agreed to and the voice of resentment comes to the surface again. I lived through that. Thinks that we had agreed were in the past suddenly were thrown back at me again, so you do nothing but perpetuate a viscous cycle. However, if you love this woman, give it a try. It is so easy to do what many say in the forums, and that is to run, but it is really difficult and tough to actually work through some of these issues. Good luck dude.
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