She Can't Let The Past Go - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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She Can't Let The Past Go

About two years ago I went through a very bad cycle of chemotherapy. While chemotherapy is never a good thing; this cycle in particular saw suffering from things like paranoia and depression on top of the 'common' physical symptoms. As a result I was a real crank. I would snap a lot, I'd complain about the slightest things and moan about almost everything wrong with the world. Even I admit I was most horrible company during that time of my life. Sure it felt like my body was dying off and I was all sorts of scared and damaged inside but looking back I am truly ashamed of the nit-picking and snappy nature that possessed me and I've told her this and thanked her for sticking with me.

During that time, my GF claims she went to bed every night in tears due to my bad attitude. I've since gone back to my usual patient and calmer self now that my body is mine again and have apologised profusely, have done so much to make up for my behaviour but no matter what, the damage seems to be done and she still claims to be "traumatised" by those horrible few weeks. Personally I do feel that's quite an overreaction (compared to all the other bad things a person can do) but that's just me and I have to respect her feelings whether I agree with them or not.

When things are good between us, things are really good. Lot's of affection, lots of jokes and flirting but the second something negative happens (and it could be a simple disagreement on dinner) she brings up being traumatised and goes into full doom and gloom pessimist mode. No matter than I was on chemo and not thinking straight, no matter all the improvements made since then, her mind goes back to that time and how horrible I was and that she can't cope etc. As a result I felt like I had to walk on eggshells around her and asked her to seek counselling to help with letting these feelings go or finding ways to address them.

She did find a female relationship counsellor but I soon noticed her mood getting worse whenever she had a session. Again she would come home full of doom and gloom, talking about how she wasn't sure about us or how she couldn't see a future. She later admitted that as soon as she opened up about things, she would end up making herself more angry and upset and that nothing was working for her. The counsellor seemed to encourage this too. I managed to talk some sense into her (not something I think I should have to do) and she decided to quit her counselling as it was doing more harm than good. That calmed her down enough for her to go back to her loving self. That was until last night.

It wasn't so much an argument. We were watching something on television about people being trapped in their own mental bubbles and she mentioned how she prefers being trapped in hers as it stops her from thinking too much. I knew what it was leading to but still pushed and yep, I got the whole "we're back to square one, things are so awful, the world is ruined" treatment. She has since apologised and its back to full on loving mode but I know this isn't over by a long shot.

Any advice on where to go from here?

EDIT: When she does go into doom and gloom mode I remain calm and composed. I don't play the 'pick me' game nor do I point out the flaws that I see. I let her rant then calmly respond with the same "well you know my stance on the matter; I'm here to work with you and not against you but that requires you to work with me too" then leave the issue be. She knows that there is only so much apologising I can do and while I would love to change the past; I really can't. Only she can change how she responds to it.


Last edited by Celtic; 04-20-2017 at 03:17 PM.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:41 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:46 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

So she is aware of her own issue then, it seems? If she knows she cannot let go of this, then she should just bow out of the relationship. If she wont, then YOU should, because you shouldnt have to pay for those mistakes for the rest of your life. What happened was a unique circumstance and its isnt fair to continue to punish you for what happened. (not that I am excusing you from owning your behavior)

Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:53 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

Just a guess here, but i figure that what ever tones you are using during your disagreements are the same you used during your therapy. Patience and time will allow her to pass get that. She obviously stayed with you through it, its your turn to stick with her through her own sickness.

And i hope you are much better after your therapy.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:57 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

Nah I call BS. You went through what you went through and yes maybe you were a giant **** but if you've tried to make amends then cool.. doesn't justify the way she's treating you, and even worse you know she's playing on it and using it to instigate fights.

It's a form of manipulation, you're walking around on eggshells, even when you try to avoid the bait, she ties it around your neck and yanks it.

If she doesn't get her sh*t together then leave.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 02:58 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

Sir, you apologized. There is nothing else you can do. Your GF needs to accept and move on. If she can not, time to cut and run.

“You're painfully alive in a drugged and dying culture.”
― Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:09 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

You were a "crank" for good reason. You're over it, and have apologized even though it was largely beyond your control. Now she's being a crank (as you put it) herself, and needs to deal with it since the original conditions no longer exist. I am assuming here that you're no longer being a crank when you do have a disagreement. Or, you two need to split up.

Love is an ideal thing; marriage is a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

CELIBACY IS NOT HEREDITARY.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 03:21 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

I wonder why her therapist isn't telling her to unpack her feelings about that time in therapy? Usually therapists will explain that yes, you should know how you made her feel and acknowledge that and apologize for it, and make amends, but it isn't helpful to keep rehashing how much you hurt her.

There's a reason why they say women don't forget things their husbands/significant other did decades ago...many of us do tend to hold on to emotions that deeply hurt us. I know you've apologized, but have you acknowledged her feelings, that what you did was wrong? Maybe if you two had a plan to move forward, like "If I ever behave that way again, let's go directly to your therapist" it could help.

I've dealt with an issue that took me months to get over and every time my cycle came, it would rear it's ugly head and I'd want to rehash the entire thing over again. This happened every month for 5 months, until finally, I decided to take the issue to a professional and work through it with them so I could stop bringing it up outside of therapy.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 04:47 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

@Celtic, I'm going to guess that you and your GF had a pretty good relationship emotionally before you had your bad chemo cycle. That you behaved the way you did was very understandable and forgivable in terms of your health and state of mind. But it still came as a great shock to her - that you could become this person that she had never seen before. The fact that you have apologised and done everything that you can to make up for that, doesn't change the fact that for a while, you were someone that she didn't know. I'd guess that right now she is still processing the fact that under certain highly stressful and specific circumstances, her Dr Jekyll can become Mr Hyde.

From what I can see, you're processing this logically - you were clearly not in the best state of mind at the time. So your behaviour was not consistent with your normal behaviour, values and morals. And it is highly unlikely that you would ever behave like that again. Which is why it makes no sense to harp on it now. But she isn't processing this logically. Her emotional response comes from remembering the shock of you suddenly being someone that she "knows" you aren't. When we give our trust to people, we trust them to stay the person that we trusted. But you didn't (even if, as I said, this was understandable to us on the outside). I could see that might still jar her state of mind and she'd want to talk to you about it.

I agree that she should try to get another, better therapist to help her process things. Especially if they are impacting on her ability to be happy now. But can I also suggest something from your end? It isn't logical for you to feel guilt about that time - you were clearly not yourself. Yes, you may have behaved like a "horrible" person, but given your circumstances, this was entirely understandable and very forgivable. What your GF needs from you is not your guilt and apologies, but just your support in dealing with painful memories. Instead of saying "I'm sorry for what I did", just say "I'm here", "I am sorry that that time is still so painful for you to remember." Just acknowledge her pain and empathise with her. You don't have to be "in the wrong" to make her feel better. And remember that just because her pain doesn't make any sense to you or many of the posters here, doesn't mean that it isn't real to her.

“I have learned now that while those who speak about one's miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.”
― C.S. Lewis
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 05:29 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jessica38 View Post
There's a reason why they say women don't forget things their husbands/significant other did decades ago...many of us do tend to hold on to emotions that deeply hurt us. I know you've apologized, but have you acknowledged her feelings, that what you did was wrong? Maybe if you two had a plan to move forward, like "If I ever behave that way again, let's go directly to your therapist" it could help.
This is the Root Cause.

Very revealing, very true.

Some women grow a Tap-Root, a bitter tendril that grows straight from the center of the issue...and then straight down to the center of the earth.

It is impervious to "Round Up", or a carbide toothed Stump Grinder. Even Superman could not jerk it out of the soil.

Only the women who grew this Meany Beany Stalk can choke it off. She does this by stopping the grudge-nurturing of it. It then withers and suffers a woody necrosis.

Until she does this....you ain't got a chance.


This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:15 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

Quote:
Originally Posted by SunCMars View Post
This is the Root Cause.

Very revealing, very true.

Some women grow a Tap-Root, a bitter tendril that grows straight from the center of the issue...and then straight down to the center of the earth.

It is impervious to "Round Up", or a carbide toothed Stump Grinder. Even Superman could not jerk it out of the soil.

Only the women who grew this Meany Beany Stalk can choke it off. She does this by stopping the grudge-nurturing of it. It then withers and suffers a woody necrosis.

Until she does this....you ain't got a chance.
I think the man who loves her can easily "choke it off" by acknowledging her pain and/or fear and listening empathetically every time she feels she needs to talk about it.

As advised with an affair, her trust can thus be earned back.

One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman's emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax. -- David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 06:56 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

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Originally Posted by jld View Post
I think the man who loves her can easily "choke it off" by acknowledging her pain and/or fear and listening empathetically every time she feels she needs to talk about it.

As advised with an affair, her trust can thus be earned back.
On THIS, I will compromise.

They can Choke off each other or together Choke off the crux rhizome.

This....This is the nub of the stick that pokes me in the eye when the light of day energizes my optic nerve....SunCMars.... The Allegory of the Cave--> On this, I did a '180' and stepped out.

The Lion in Winter. Invictus..By Will, Shall... Saved from harm by my friends.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:11 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

It's always manipulative behavior to me when someone brings up past stuff that's already been forgiven and reconciled, when present arguments/disagreements come up. I think that if she can't ''let it go,'' then you need to let her go.

''Sometimes, you fall in love with the most unexpected person, at the most unexpected time.'' - Unknown
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:34 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

Hi Celtic,

I was in your gf's shoes.

My husband and I were immature for the first five years of our marriage. He was good at criticizing me and my work, made me feel like I'm not good enough and we both were bad at handling conflicts.

If I were to describe my first five years using one word, it is "hell". Although there were good times but it became a habit that I am nervous and defensive around him and my mind has reprogrammed itself to remember extra hard on the negative experiences with him...

That bad.

It is hard to forgive wrongdoings, especially when you put effort in repairing the relationship and the other person just kept finding faults.

But, you and your gf are in luck. Especially your gf. Why? Because I'm here. XD if she is willing, she will learn the greatest life skill: forgiveness and acceptance.

Invite her to read my post: it is written for her:

-------

You need to know that:
1) Your negative feelings and thoughts about your bf will affect him badly sooner of later.

I almost turned my husband into the very person I dislike: the bad guy. Did you read about how students behave according to teachers' expectations? Just Google keywords "teacher expectation influence students behavior"
.
.

If you want a better relationship, you have to let go. Give him a blank slate. View him as a new person with zero sins. Kinda renew your relationship with him. A new beginning. A new you and a new him. Kinda like a new relationship with a new person.
.
.

Negativity will eat the relationship. First it affects you, and then your bf and then Hope for the relationship.
.
.
2)How to forgive:

Understand that forgiveness is NOT about forgetting what he did. Because you can't forget.

To forgive is to accept that, yes, he was stupid/cruel/ and he had hurt you badly overtime. Yes, he ______. And you were ______ . and accept that you WILL feel hurt, angry and resentful from time to time in the future.


.
.
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You cannot forget that a person has hurt you.

You won't be able to forget the pain so easily.

You will feel hurt, anger, vengence and all that bad feelings again, although the degree this time may be lessen.

But it's OK. He realized now. He, innately, is a good person who wants to have a good relationship with you.


Yes, that selfish/rude/ uncaring behavior of that ignorant/insensitive person has hurt me.

Yes, it made me feel anger, hurt, vengence, hatred.

And it's okay. It happened.

.
.

This doesn't mean it is morally alright for what that person had done.

Forgiveness just means that the event had happened and you're hurt and he was stupid.

And you accept the reality of it, and decided to move on, and say, "it's okay. Nevermind. Let's keep on living peacefully and put this behind."

Once i have accepted what happened, the anger, hatred and all that negativity suddenly ... fluttered away.

And i am free to love again.
.
.

.
Ever wonder why some people are rude, uncaring, unkind or selfish?

I think it is because they are either insensitive (unable to put themselves in your shoes) or have not gone through you had. So forgive. At least your bf is smart now. Lol.

.
.
So, try:

1) telling him you are giving him a blank slate. A new beginning. From now on, he is a new person to you.

2) accept the past. You don't have to forget or let go. Just accept it happened and now it is time to have

A new relationship with him (a new person) how exciting.

I did it. You can too.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 04-20-2017, 07:35 PM
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Re: She Can't Let The Past Go

You apologized to her, and have tried to make it up that is all you can do.

She needs to understand you were fighting for your life, I would be scared too. I hate to say this but i think you need to move on and stop kissing her behind, if she is not mature enough to handle what you went through she will never let it go she will also use that against you no matter what comes up.



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