It has been about four years since I started my therapy, being concerned with the question: What to do with my relationship? Namely, I had extreme difficulties deciding if I should breakup with my ex or not. My emotions were running crazy and I had no good answer. My ex had failed to respond to my question if he loves me and told me that he likes me a lot, but he is not sure he loves me. Additionally he told me that he was never in love with me, but that this might not be important.
After having heard all this, I naturally focused only on “He does not love me”- I am unlovable. He will never love me. No, I am not saying that my ex was anyhow right in saying something like this after I had moved to another country for our relationship, but I also took it completely wrong.
It took me one month of therapy and I ended our relationship. I was scared, heartbroken and had no idea how much work was in front of me.
Today I probably would behave very differently in all the situations related to my ex, but one cannot turn back time. Now I can see how I was constantly putting out roadblocks, not letting my ex close. I was behaving often passive-aggressively and I was flirting with other guys. I constantly doubted our relationship and if we would make a good couple. In fact, when he told me that, he did not love me, my attraction towards him increased. That is a clear sign of danger and the easiest way to detect commitment phobia- Just see if you get more excited about unavailable partners or not. To me that has been the case for years. All the time that I could have had a great relationship with some guy who was actually interested in me, I was longing for the ones that were not. I could not help it.
Furthermore, the more relationships developed, the more anxious I became. I usually thought that this is just a sign that it is not the right guy, but I am happy that therapy made me realize that, it had nothing to do with the guys. It had everything to do with my fear of trusting anyone. After all I had been let down for so many times in my childhood. People had abandoned me, abused me, treated me like a servant- how are you supposed to trust anyone? I still struggle with trusting people, I think this will be the last hurdle to be addressed in my therapy.
The other problem was my shame. I had so low self-esteem that anyone who was willing to be together with me had to be crazy. If they accepted me and gave their love freely, they clearly were not worth my attention. I was used to working for love. When love came for free, it was not really desirable. The biggest catch were naturally guys who were not interested in me- after all, this kept me in safe situation were I constantly had to work for their love, never won it and could always be safe while following something did very well- improving myself according to someone’s wishes.
I have no idea how my previous relationships had worked out if I had not had commitment issues. I am not sure I buy that everyone who gets together with someone who has commitment issues also has the same problems. I do believe that at least some of my previous boyfriends are truly capable of creating intimate relationships, it is just that it was impossible with me. If I indeed believed that they were secretly as messed up as I was, that would be terrifying….for them.
I have come pretty far in my therapy at this point but still some hurdles remain. I still have trouble trusting my current boyfriend and relying on him. He is also not particularly reliable, but I am sure my problems contribute to our issues. I struggle to feel safe with him, still…. Commitment phobia is something that is so difficult to tackle, that as can be seen from my example, it can take years.
Some part of me feels sorry about all these years I spent on chasing all these unavailable guys. The other part feels happy because I am moving towards health. Who knows, maybe one day I will in a relationship were I can relax and live a happy family life. After all, I have always wanted a family of my own.