Need Validation Very Very much

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Need Validation Very Very much
« on: May 23, 2019, 08:49:07 PM »
Hi all,

I am having boundary problems with an ex-boyfriend.  Very Ex.  Say over 35 years ago Ex.  I will call him S.

When S and I were going out in college, we got very involved in poetry, and joined up with C, an amazing poet.  We worked hard on our poetry, and we were seen as a poet-trio, asked to do performances and readings quite often.  It was a wonderful synergy that the three of us shared.

So many years have passed since S and I were involved as a couple.  I am happily married to another man, retired, and my memories of my relationship with S have faded.  We dated a LONG time ago.  He is also married, with two grown sons.

Well, in the last year or so, C and S have gotten interested in poetry again.  They want to work on poetry and do readings and performances as a trio again.  Fine, okay. 

Problem is that S, my ex, and I had a disagreement on the phone about how one of these performances should be handled.  There was anger.  He said some weird things that upset me.  I emailed him that we should just let it lie, as we weren't getting anywhere.  And I just put it aside.  There were things going on in our household.  Health problems, including a cancer scare.

Maybe 2, 3 days passed, and he started in.

And with your kind permission (and patience), I'd like to share the emails he started sending to me.

Here's the first: 

"Itís painful to me to feel separated from you, I miss you, N."

That flummoxed me.  My husband wasn't happy with it, either.  Inappropriate? 

Here's the second:

"N, I am really concerned about what's going on / not going on with our friendship.  It's not like you to not respond, and I haven't heard back from you.  I don't like to jump to conclusions, and in the absence of information, i go in different directions, unsure of what's real, what's really going on.

If I've become a persona non grata to you (which i sincerely hope I haven't), this will be the last time i reach out to you.  I don't want to cause you more pain.

But, jeeze, how could that be?  How could you throw the baby out with the bath water?  If I've displeased you (again), c'mon, I'm a flawed human being.  So are you. 

The problem with trying to talk to you in the absence of your responses, is that I really don't know what's going on.  You may not being responding because of a million things in your life unrelated to me. I don't know.

You mentioned (pre-)cancer treatments and scares, alluded to a really rough patch mental-health-wise recently, and of course there's stuff with caring for Stephen post-operations, etc etc.  I don't need this to be about 'me', if it isn't.  I'm not really sure what's going on.

I wish you'd throw me a bone, if you could.  I don't know if you're waiting for an apology from me, or if I'm a mosquito-fart in the dessert of other issues in your life.  But about fifteen years ago i must've said something so terrible to you that you stopped speaking to me for years.  This looks like repeat #2.  When we got back in touch a couple years ago, we've had so much more fun and benefit -- that I don't know how or why you'd toss me.

N, you're great.  I love you.  I support you.  If you're mad at me, be mad at me.  Tell me.  I'll fight for our relationship, but i don't want to hurt you.  If my trying to reach you hurts you, I'll stop as of today.--S"

I wrote back telling me he was jumping to conclusions.  My husband and I were dealing with health issues, as I said, including a cancer scare. 

His response was how relieved he was, as if he didn't hear anything about our health troubles.   

We spoke on the phone today, and I told him that both emails were inappropriate.  And man, my husband sure didn't like either one of them.  But S argued, and I felt confused, gaslit.  He was talking circles around me.  He said I was jumping to conclusions.  He spoke about something that happened between us 15 years ago.  I have zero memory of that.  He tried to argue that if I didn't remember 15 years ago, then the email didn't mean anything, right?  It was just a misunderstanding.  And N, you are mentally ill, so.....  That was his trump card.  Pull that one out a couple of times to make me doubt my perceptions.  Then he got angry when I told him he was not to speak in that way to me anymore.  He said he didn't like "taking orders."  I asked, "Would you have sent that yearny, frantic, romantic-y email to C?"  And he said, "I don't really talk to my male friends.  I expect more from you."  And I said, "I don't want more expected from me."  That made him angry. 

Then the inner stuff started in me.  Memories long put to bed opened up about our break-up years ago.  Very painful.  I started remembering things he did when we dated, which hurt me very badly.  Unspeakable, weird things.  I started thinking about how he felt the need to zing me.  Just say something a little mean, but ambiguous, so if I were to call him out, he'd just say, "What are talking about?" 

I'm really distraught.  Do his communications with me sound inappropriate?  Sound like something that would upset your spouse/partner?   Sound Narc-y?

Any advice?  I don't want flare-ups. 

Thank you,
« Last Edit: May 23, 2019, 09:03:48 PM by LittleBoat »


Three Roses

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Re: Need Validation Very Very much
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 10:40:14 PM »
Do his communications with me sound inappropriate?

Sound like something that would upset your spouse/partner?
Yes, definitely!

Sound Narc-y?
Yes, he does sound quite self centered. And I think this comment reveals his motives and sense of entitlement to keep contacting you when you've been clear you're not receptive -

And N, you are mentally ill, so....

Idk what he's referring to. Cptsd is not a mental illness, it's a traumatic injury. So if he's referring to that, he is sadly misinformed OR he is being manipulative, to chip away at your defenses.

Imo a true friend with your best interests at heart would behave in exactly zero of these ways. But all the above is only my opinion. Keep us updated, we care.  :hug:


Not Alone

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Re: Need Validation Very Very much
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 11:54:43 PM »
It sounds like your gut is telling you that his communication with you is inappropriate and manipulative. I think your gut is right. Trust your instincts.



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Re: Need Validation Very Very much
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2019, 11:06:38 AM »
i agree with 3r and notalone.  unfortunately, he is not the one who will stop this, which means that it will be on you to do so.  i've run into this situation myself, and it's not easy.

several thoughts come to mind.  you can block his email, not answer him back, let the relationship go, tell him you decided you have enough on your plate right now and don't want anything else, that your spouse doesn't like this correspondence and you don't want to continue it, or anything else that comes to your mind.  the thing is, you have to be sure of what kind of relationship you want to have with this man. which will (it sounds like) either be all the mish-mush he's sending your way, or no relationship.  he doesn't sound like he's respecting anything you say.  that gives you an idea of what kind of person he is, what kind of relationship he wants.

i was once told, when i was having difficulty in a similar situation, that if i don't say a clear 'no', then i'm leaving the door open for the other person to continue trying in an attempt to wear me down.   and, continue they will, as you're finding out.

just thoughts of my own.  if any are helpful, feel free. if not, ignore please.   sending you best wishes for this, and definitely validation for all your own thoughts and feelings about what's going on.  and, here's a  :hug: if you want it.