A little introspection
Something another person wrote on here made me want to post a little more about my situation.
My bf and I are taking a "break" from each other for a few weeks. I find that getting back to myself and really digging deep into my feelings without his actions or presence aggravating things is helping a little.
I have to work on my own self-esteem. I bring all kinds of issues from the way I was brought up (and the way I have been treated in past relationships as well) into my current relationship that are not right and not fair.
My father ran around with other women sometimes. I just remember my mom talking about it and her pain was so large. She has never been the same since, she shut herself off from men completely and has not had a relationship since theirs failed 25 years ago.
I have this deeply ingrained sense that if your partner is sleeping with someone else, or even just being emotionally close, that means they don't love you and you are worthless. My mom based her entire existence around what my father did. To this day, she suffers from self-hatred because her relationship failed.
Growing up, my mom spoke of his freedom with such poison and hatred and jealousy, at the time it made me feel afraid, that my father is untrustworthy and cruel because he liked other women.
Then when I grew up and had my own relationships, two of the most important men I was ever with cheated on me and dumped me for the other woman. Even my daughter's father left us when she was four months old to be with his new gf.
Both of these men told me what they preferred about the other women, why I wasn't good enough for them and the other women were better than me (the reasons ranged from "she's thinner than you" to "she's fun to be with and you are not").
I fight those ingrained values and beliefs about my self every day. They are not right, they cause sickness, grief, and anger. When I feel free with my bf I am so happy. I want nothing more than to give him as much freedom and unconditional love as he gives me.
It's a struggle to get away from my roots and the pain I correlate with men "straying".
But what I am fighting for is so worth it. I love my bf so very much and despite my fears, I know he loves me and thinks I am wonderful. I can believe I am a great and worthwhile person when I am with him.
Thus the break. If I can feel worthwhile to myself independent of him or anyone else, then I have won.