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View Poll Results: Better to leave or stay?
Talk it out 2 15.38%
Throw in the towel 11 84.62%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 13. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 12-28-2012, 04:16 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Listen to Becca. She speaks volumes of wisdom right here. I'm bolding the parts that happened to/resonated with me, and italics mine:

[Originally posted by Becca]

When I was 18 (and 21, and 25), I was far more likely to put up with bullshit in bad relationships (or in any situation). When I love, I feel intensely loyal, and it is very difficult to make decisions about what I need to do to take care of myself.

But the most important thing I've learned over time is devote more energy and loyalty to myself. That has given me valuable relationship skills, and has helped me develop healthier and stronger relationships with my lovers.

To the OP: Those of us who are significantly older than you have had the experience of living through and learning from some hard knocks, and of course we would like to somehow communicate to you what that's like, and what we've learned. You, of course, are not going to be able to hear that. And honestly, you shouldn't. There's no reason for you to "skip ahead" and try to look at things with the jaded eyes of a 30-something or 40-something or 50-something, etc. They say you shouldn't trust anyone over 30, and there's a reason for that. Be 18. Experience 18.

You describe a mess of a relationship, but this is the time of your life to be experiencing that. I could suggest that you leave this couple in the dust and go out in search of happier, healthier relationships, but you're not going to know what those relationships are like unless you ride this one into the bitter ground. (I disagree that this relationship needs to "run into the bitter ground", but that does not mean it will or should continue indefinitely.)

Meanwhile, though, take notes. Keep a journal. Learn from your mistakes. And try to do something generous for who you will be in 3, 5, 10 years: don't do anything permanent. Avoid the heavy drugs, and the babies, and over-spending on credit cards. Be very cautious about student loans-- you can't wipe those out in a bankruptcy.

^^OP if you get nothing else out of this thread, please let this sink in

As for this relationship, try talking to your partners about your feelings. Use "I feel" statements, rather than "you should" or "you do this" or "you do that." Pay attention to what works in conversation, and what causes arguments. Speaking with a low tone, quiet voice, can sometimes keep the arguments from starting. Don't keep a tally of who has sex with who. Keep a tally, instead, of how many nights you feel alone and sexually frustrated, how many days you feel unhappy with the relationships, as opposed to how many days you feel satisfied. Use that to judge how much more energy to put into this. And good luck.

[end QUOTE]
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  #22  
Old 12-28-2012, 08:59 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Alright, I'll go against the grain and say "Talk it out." But, leave "Throw in the towel" as an option. GalaGirl spoke of a three-strikes rule. I sometimes advocate something similar, only it is a "one-year rule." Doesn't have to be a year, could be a few months or something, but pick an amount of time that's the longest you think you can hack the current dysfunction in your relationship. Then tell your partners, "I need to feel like there's *some* kind of improvement by [such-and-such] a date. If there isn't, then I need to break it off (or at least take a break from it for awhile)."

I think the reason there are so many "Throw in the towel" votes is because people are concerned about your well-being, and want to encourage *you* to take care of *you.* Don't put up with unreasonable behavior. Decide what you (in your mind) perceive as rational limits, and what counts as evidence that someone is at least trying to do better. What do *you* need in order to feel like there's hope? Communicate that to your partners, and make sure it happens within some kind of reasonable time frame.

So talk it out first, but be prepared to throw in the towel if it comes to that. If you do end up throwing in the towel, by the way, do it amicably if you can.

I hope things work out.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #23  
Old 12-28-2012, 09:28 PM
BoringGuy BoringGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
Alright, I'll go against the grain and say "Talk it out." But, leave "Throw in the towel" as an option.
I didn't even vote in that poll, because I don't see it as a this-or-that solution. It is possible for the OP to be involved with these people without making them the center of her life and getting herself into something she can't get out of (creating a human being where one did not exist yet). I suppose she doesn't like all the remarks about her age and will go ahead and have a baby with this man just to show everyone that she IS mature and can decide these things herself. Oh well. Better it be a stranger on the internet than someone I care for, I suppose.
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  #24  
Old 12-28-2012, 11:37 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Becca and kdt26417 give other examples of how to employ having "limits" via other methods:
  • doing nothing "life permanent" at this time
  • giving a year's run before the next check in point.

I didn't think of those at first but on reflection -- I've had both methods at other times. Just right now, "3 strikes" serves me best. I think that's helpful to remember -- what serves you best at one time of your life may not be the thing at another time in your life. Having various tools in the "coping toolbox" helps. Being willing to be flexible can help in life's journey too.

Having limits and boundaries are part of what help create the personal standard in the healthy relationships you want to keep for yourself. What you will and will NOT tolerate. What does and does NOT feed you so you can thrive.

Could try some of the examples ones already given to see if they will serve you, could mix-and-match approaches, or create something totally brand new as a personal limit and come back to share that info with others.

By knowing yourself and the standard you create for yourself, that can help you assess the relationship you are in. Does it meets the bar or not? Can I be healthy here or not?

Hope things are going ok over there.

Namaste,
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 12-28-2012 at 11:40 PM.
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