Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?

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C.

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Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« on: November 01, 2015, 08:16:13 PM »
I am in a new romantic relationship.  We've been communicating daily for about 2 months.  He contacts me daily, is kind, appropriate, attentive.  But now he's taking a few hours instead of a few minutes to respond to my phone calls or texts.  It triggers me. 

I don't want to scare him away, or sound needy, but I also don't want to experience this trigger.  Thoughts anyone?  Suggestions?


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Dutch Uncle

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2015, 10:19:02 PM »
I would like to ask you you a few things after reading this.
Though there's no need to answer any of them.

Apart from those questions I'd say: It's pretty normal that after the first 'high' of a romantic relationship the infatuation (? English is not my first language) subsides a bit, perhaps he is a bit ahead of the curve on this in comparison to you. I would not think too much of it. But hey, thinking is really not a top-priority/faculty when falling/being in love, so be gentle with yourself in this.  :hug:

The questions:
- What does it trigger to? Do you have any idea?
- What do you experience when he responds after a while? Do you then feel as good as when he responded 'instantly'? Or is it different?

Closing remark: You are a very loveable person. This new romantic relationship proves it. Perhaps you can say that to yourself (or your inner child, or your inner critic) when you get triggered.

 :hug:

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C.

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2015, 10:34:35 PM »
Thank you for the questions.  That's exactly what I need to meditate about, what does it trigger to...in the emotional mode it's hard to stop and think to understand.  When I'm not triggered (like now) I can do so.  And check in w/my T about this topic.

Usually after BF calls all of the anxiety subsides (one time in two months it didn't subside so much).  And I think that was b/c he said something I misunderstood and rather than clarify in the moment I let it slide and then thought about it too much bit afterwards.  I am learning how to assert and clarify in the moment.

Like you said, infatuation is the name of the stage.  Although, even though English is my first language, I don't care for that word to describe the stage, not hopeful enough I think.  Perhaps there is a better version in another language?  I am open to one.  He and I don't communicate in English either.

This last time when I was feeling insecure I posted here, processed and then called him when I felt more "settled."  We had a wonderful conversation.

That said those two questions you mention are spot on.  I will be paying attention and to them as things progress.  I don't know what it triggers to, but I do feel as great when he responds later as when it was "instant."

And yes, that inner child self-talk about being lovable is a great take away lesson no matter what happens.  I believe all of these "tests" life deals to us are signs of something we need to learn, so that is perhaps a big one for me and many of us who are healing from cptsd.

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steamy

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2015, 01:30:23 PM »
Hi C,

I have experienced the same thing many times and I can relate to those feelings of insecurity when in new relationships.

I think that three things are going on. firstly being "in love" or Eros, call it what you will, provides us with a huge rush of neuro-transmitters, seratonin dopamine etc  that act like opiates and can override our critical parent and makes feel nice and warm,. the work of Helen Fisher is an essential read to understand how they work like very strong addictive drugs.

what we do is associate our nice feelings with the person rather than the neuro_transmitters, a nice trick that nature plays on us. what also happens is that when the stimulus is taken away or threatened, serotonin levels drop and you do cold turkey, your body craves them which makes us want to be with that person. then your critical self steps on and starts to tell you that your lover and the source of those drugs has left and is not coming back. that hurts of course.

Additionally, if you have cptsd you have issues with trust and on a sub conscious level expect that your boyfriend will either just desert you or find somebody else. from experience I believe that this is the basis for most men being unfaithful, they have trust issues and will look for other love interests to mitigate the risk of being left alone. the fact that we are attracted to people who remind us of our parents means we play out a replay of our child hoods in the hope that we can find a partner who will care for and nurture us.

I used to secretly spy on new gfs to see if they were cheating, as a serial philanderer I was always expecting my partners to cheat, I had been in the military and seen so many wives out on the town picking up young guys. it wasn't until I left the military before I understood this as abnormal. I had a couple of nice girl friends who helped me with trust issues.

I have found that knowing the mechanics of why I feel pain helps me realise it's a brain trick and not real.

Best wishes

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VeryFoggy

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2015, 11:54:58 PM »
First off congratulations C!  I know this is a big step for you to trust yourself enough to try again.  Go C!  Whoo-hoo!  Now to your questions. I am automatically transported when I see love questions back to all of the study I have done of John Gray’s work (Men Are From Mars).
Some thoughts from his work, and not in any order:

1)    If a man has not overtly expressed any sort of withdrawal other than a slow down in response rate it generally has NOTHING to do with us.  It is usually something (not us) that is on their mind and taking priority, or circumstances we know nothing about that prevent them from making a rapid response.  In any case treating it this way - as HIS deal, HIS issue and nothing to do with you may help calm the fears.

2)   Another way John and his daughter Lauren suggest to get what we want from a person is to thank them and praise them and appreciate them when they do what we want, when they do what makes us feel good.  So the times that he DOES respond quickly?  Appreciate and point out how great it makes you feel, how special you feel to be high on his priority list.  It’s reverse nagging.  Instead of complaining you compliment and highlight and appreciate the behavior you want.  Or even if he is slowing down, you can still smile and tell him how great it makes you feel when you hear back from him quickly.  So it’s something to try.  There is NOTHING wrong with wanting to be important to someone!

3)   Another thing Lauren Gray suggests early on in a new relationship is to treat it like you would a pair of shoes you are thinking of buying. You are looking them over, so how do they fit?  Are they comfortable?  Are you looking for dressy and they are hiking boots? That won’t work!  It’s an experimental period for both people, and her point is you DON”T ask yourself if the shoes like you.  You ask yourself if YOU like the shoes. Putting ourselves first is a strange new way of acting for those of us with our past, but it is a part of healing.  Making what we think and feel just a tiny bit more important. So you can give genuine effort with what I suggested above, but ultimately you do need to be happy with the shoes!

4)   Last and not least is we need to have full lives ourselves and be happy ourselves to have a happy relationship. If we don’t have lives that are full enough, sometimes we can over focus on things that are not “deal breakers”. And make ourselves miserable “sweating the small stuff.”  So I would encourage you to have a list of “deal breakers”, and to live by your standards and what you want. You are equally important and deserve love care trust and respect.

All my best to you and I wish you happiness, peace and joy. You are a wonderful kind caring person who has a lot to offer and who deserves to feel safe warm and loved. 

Your friend, Vey Foggy

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tired

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2015, 01:10:14 AM »
When I get like that I need to snap back into myself. The problem is the attachment to someone else. Then if they leave even for a moment for any reason I'm lost in space. 

Try something that is just you . An activity that is only yours. If it's too hard and you're wrapped up in anxiety try going for a drive or taking a long shower with the intention of snapping out of it and then right afterwards do something you love that is solitary and unrelated to that person.

That's what works for me when I can pull it off .

It also helps if I say to myself oh well I guess he doesn't like me. He's going to leave me like everyone else does and I've survived before so I will survive again.  Basically a worst case scenario . I'm good at dealing with tragedy so that works for me.

What happens is that the person doesn't leave and I'm surprised and happy. It's weird. 

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C.

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2015, 01:53:57 AM »
Thank you everyone.  These are all terrific ideas.  Some I've tried successfully and some are new.  Either way it's great to hear the validation as well as stretch my skills.  I do the worst case scenario and it helps.  Also the reminder that it's a brain "trick." Sometimes I sense that new neurons are forming connecting the emotional part of my brain with the rationale part so that I don't get stuck and can assess things in a healthy way.

Things continue to go well by the way.

I love the shoe metaphor although I like to have a lot of pairs and types lol  But I think that in my case refers to versatility, not multiple people ;)  Like I can wear healed sandals the same day I wear hiking boots if I hike by day and then dance at night.

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C.

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2015, 03:04:11 AM »
I just started to explore Helen Fisher's web site.  That is exactly what I've been looking for to help me understand and explain healthy relationship development.  Like many of us I have very very limited experience either observing or participating in a healthy romantic relationship.  I love the way she structures the information, the extent of the research, etc.  Thank you.

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steamy

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Re: Help: New relationship and coping w/trigger(s): Suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2015, 09:00:17 PM »
C that's really great that you have found her work as valuable as I do. I was recommended her by a friend who is a professor of neuro-science in Fairbanks, if she has peers who think her work has value then that means we are on the right track.

I have never really been able to use strategies, as the critical parent is so overwhelmingly powerful, as is the withdrawal from those brain drugs. I just try to keep busy computer games help immensely.

After reading Fisher, I believe Valentines day should come with a health warning, as should boxes of chocolates, romantic weekends and tables for two.  ;D