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Owning my Part in a Broken Love Relationship

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    Owning my Part in a Broken Love Relationship

    Hello Friends,

    So, as you may know from my other threads, I have suffered a lot of abuse. In the aftermath, I spent 6 years basically self isolated in my house so stricken with Social Anxiety (among other things) that I just could not even function in the outside world. Just coming out of this, I took to drinking alcohol in an effort to reconnect with people in the world outside my home. It worked splendidly, or so it seemed. I didn't realize at the time that I was in denial and masking my issues.

    I got out of the house! And I was socializing. In my twisted thinking, I was just going to charge the world head on and at least enjoy a little bit of whatever time I have left on earth. Bad idea!

    I ended up in a romantic relationship with a dear lady. Turns out she has her issues too. Whereas I operate on the extreme "flight" end of the fight or flight response tending toward avoidance, she operates more on the fight side of the spectrum tending toward confrontation. Fire and ice! We had a lot of good times together and everyone thought we were a perfect match for each other. Maybe if we were both less damaged this would have been true. But what is, is. It didn't work out.

    She repeatedly aggressed me verbally. I set a boundary that she kept crossing. I fled.

    Now, some 4 to 6 months down the road, I am sober and processing my stuff personally and in therapy. I am facing who I really am now, a person totally different than I used to be, different than I thought I might be when I was drinking. In coming to terms with who I am, I am also seeing how painful it can be for people trying to get close to me.

    Upon realizing how painful it can be to get close to me and how I seek out intimacy and then can't bear it, my heart is pressed to make ammends, own my part in the broken relationship, and hope that this lady and I can at least have a decent friendship. We both highly value each other's friendship and think well of each other despite our breakup.

    A couple weeks ago, I wrote a letter to my lady friend entitled, "What Happened?" I proceeded to delineate how I had failed on my end of the relationship. I didn't address her part in the situation. I feel that is up to her to address. I can only speculate. Nobody knows exactly what is going on in another person's heart.

    Out of respect for her, I did not send her the letter immediately. I wanted some distance from the letter so that I could review it and be sure it was what I wanted to say. I also was awaiting her response to my reaching back out to her on social media for friendly chit chat.

    Over the last couple weeks she and I have reconnected via social media. She's been a bit distant with short replies to my attempts. Yesterday I wished her Happy Thanksgiving. Today we chatted a little over that. I asked her if she would be interested in reading my letter. I didn't want to send it unless she wanted me to. She invited me to send it.

    Now I'm waiting.

    I've been pretty much a total nervous wreck over this letter. It's a big step for me. It's the first occasion I've had to own up to my shortcomings, my new reality, and how it must have been very devastating for her that I pulled away.

    I don't know what I expect from this forum in regards to this situation. Perhaps just simply to share and be heard. Perhaps to hear responses from you. Certainly to be encouraged! I feel like I need all the insight and encouragement I can get.

    My mood is good, but my bodily response is very high energy anxious. My thoughts are not particularly racing or negative, just kind of wrapped up in this situation.

    I appreciate any feedback you share.

    Thanks always,

    I can see how it would be stressful while you're waiting for a response from her.

    This kind of letter is always really tricky, because you never know how someone may take it or respond. So you have to be prepared that they may not respond or react in a way that you may hope, even when you send the letter with the best of intentions.

    I think at the end of the day, regardless of how she responds, your focus should be on your own progress, and the fact that you recognize your own part in things, and places that you needed to work on. So that's progress.

    All that said, I hope that she responds positively.
    Email me!
    Scars remind us of where we've been.
    They don't have to dictate where we're going.~Criminal Minds


      Thanks Catie,

      I chatted with her via social media this evening. We ended up discussing the situation very briefly. She is not ready to talk about it yet. I respect that.

      Thanksgiving last year was when we got together. So this is a sensitive time regarding our relationship. She said she will not read the letter until after Thanksgiving. I respect that too.

      Like you say, what's most important that I'm working on me. Part of that process for me is making amends. Of course, when it comes to doing that, we do our part and the response is up to the other person. It is healing for me to know I've done my part. I'm OK with any reaction (or lack thereof) which she has. My hope is that through discussing the matter we will both find some degree of healing and be able to move forward as friends.

      I don't know if she can handle being just friends. I am pretty sure I can. But I don't know where she is at since we haven't really spoken. She reached out to me to get back in touch. So now it's just a matter of discovering what she expects from the relationship and working with that.

      I was writing another journal entry tonight. As I typed, a thought came into my mind that struck me as funny. Don't ask me why it gave me a chuckle. Some of the most strange things seem to amuse me lately.


      That's the thought that struck me. Ole Spidey was in a perpetual double-bind. He loved Mary Jane, but couldn't be with her because of his "condition." He was a hero with ruthless villains. Anybody Spidey gets close to will be in danger, so Peter Parker can't get close to anyone.

      That speaks to my current condition. Because of my current aversion to most the normal aspects of being close, I am a "danger" to anyone who would draw near to me. And yet, I am drawn to intimacy just as all people are. If a person doesn't understand my extreme avoidance reactions or can't cope with that then they will be hurt when I draw away for my own sanity's sake. Maybe I should change my username to "Spiderman." LOL.

      Anyhow, just another piece of the puzzle in figuring out who I am now and how to live with what I have (or don't have, as the case may be).

      Thanks so much for all your feedback and encouragement.

      I appreciate you!
      Woodsy aka Spiderman


        UPDATE: All is well on this front. She read and appreciated the letter. She has closure and is moving on. That gives me closure and release.


          Hi Woodsy, that last excellent response to you was from Emily.

          I'm glad to read that you sound comfortable in the outcome. Close and especially relationships where romance is or has been involved can be choppy waters, for sure. And extraordinarily painful when things go awry. I'm sure it's a relief that good came of the contact.


            Oops! Thanks Catie for pointing out the last post to me was from Emily. Sorry Emily! I get a little spacey sometimes.

            Yes, Catie, it's good that this lady and I found healthy closure. That was the most important thing to me.

            Now on to more work on me!

            Thanks always,


              Originally posted by woodsy1 View Post
              UPDATE: All is well on this front. She read and appreciated the letter. She has closure and is moving on. That gives me closure and release.
              Wow, Woodsy, you are really doing a lot of healing work right now. This is good to hear about.
              Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery
              and today is a gift;
              that's why they call it the present.

              Eleanor Roosevelt


                Thanks Falena,

                I hope it's healing. Sometimes I'm really not sure. I do like your quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. Today is a gift. It's the most important thing we have.

                Thank you for your affirming words.



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