A very long winded situation

For the first time I'm going to put down the real thoughts. The real side of everything. Firstly 7 years ago I was dumped for the 2nd successive time. Via text. Whilst abroad. Relationship number 1 involved physical abuse and mental abuse. Just what I needed from my very first real relationship. And after 5 years of bullying at school. Great confidence boost right. No. Relationship number two involved violence. Being cheated on. In front of my own eyes. And being dumb enough to forgive. And then it happening in again. And I forgive. Then she dumps me for getting jealous while abroad. Common sense amazes me. But I get it. So I take two years out. Go abroad. Things are looking good. Although I self harmed alot and was depressed that whole time. Then I met a girl. Great girl too. Got together after two weeks of knowing each other. Helped her out of abusive relationship and self harm and depression and eating disorders. Then we move out. I've met most of her family by now. Things are good. Then I meet her cousin. In a bad situation. So I step in and support her alot. The years go by. I've had a child now and we enter the last year. Part of the support that I've had to give has been to do with rape situations. On 2 different occasions over the last year. One with the cousin. And one with a different relation. As always. I've stepped in to support. The other relation turns to drink and the cousin turns to me. I support both and fix the drinking. And I'm close to the cousin now. She's moving in with us all soon due to the good feels involved. And then before I know it. She seems different to me. Me and my gf are drifting slowly. No fault of anyone she's genuinely been great with every aspect of life. But I can't shake that feeling. Then I get a call. She tells me she's started having feelings for me. I tell her not to worry. I'll keep it between us. And to just talk to me. Over the next few occasions I notice flirting. I do it back. But then question myself about it all. I've not got feelings back surely. Scrap thought. Move on. Then playing around she's jumped up and landed next to me on the bed. We look at each other. And we both kiss each other. I stop it immediately but it's happened. And then we spoke about it. And it happened again. Hours after. I felt ashamed but I couldn't change it. I can't exactly say anything to anyone about it either. I keep quiet. We get closer. She moves in. I'd been sleeping on the sofa separately from my gf for about 8 months now due to having no bed frame at the time. This continued when she moved in but we shared the sofa. One day led to the next. We're closer and I've admitted the feelings to her. She's said them back. I'm stuck now. Cos I don't want to hurt my gf and child but my heart is feeling something right now that I can't explain. I've started to love her. Strongly. Far too strongly. And now it's gone on a good few weeks it's too strong to ignore. While on the phone she told me she felt like my gf too. And I said I understood what she meant by that. I just don't know why I understood it now. My gf then saw a text on my phone from her saying I love you. Then saw that I'd called her my girlfriend in a text. She was destroyed. I admitted it all to her. She blamed the cousin and kicked her out. I stayed with her and my child and it's been rocky for a good month. My depression and anxiety diagnosis helps me understand that I struggle making desicion sometimes. But I don't know how I feel sometimes. I've literally cried over the cousin not being around anymore. And I've tried to fix what's not broken but I don't feel like there's anything to fix. My gf is great to me. She's supported me even though I said I had feelings for her and she had to process that alot. They won't go away and that's the problem. My gf presumes they have gone. And I really wanted them to go but now I'm not sure if I want to stay in this relationship even though I'm honestly not 100 percent happy anymore. For no fault of anyone at all. But I don't know if I want the other feelings to go or whether to potentially risk everything and try and do what I think will make me happy. I know it's selfish to even consider. But is it right to choose my own happiness over the happiness over nearly everyone in my life. I just don't wanna feel like this forever but it's so hard to know what to do. I know this will give alot of people mixed feelings. And I understand them all. I had to have a voice about this. I've been silent for too long. I only really opened up to the one person that has been exiled from my life for reasons completely understandable. But should life just be understood? Or lived?. Please help me if anyone hears my voice

2 Replies

  • Hello Barrierjay, my, you are in a spot at the moment! Well welcome to the site, and I hope we will be able to provide some help, support, maybe advice, but mostly as safe space for you to talk about your feelings.

    Now to your post, you describe a multitude of events, that have happened to you and those close to you, that have included physical assault, physical abuse and mental abuse. From my point of view, these events need to be discussed and explored in a counselling environment. You appear to have taken on the role of rescuer to your gf and cousin, this is an exhausting role to have, as it can suppress your own feelings because you want to meet other people's needs before your own. We can all inhabit the rescuer role some of the time, but not all of the time.

    You obviously have a great deal of empathy towards those who have experienced similar abuse and violence as you, and this is a real gift to have. However, as you have unfortunately found out, empathy towards someone can easily move into feelings of romantic nature, especially if the other person is responding.

    You have found yourself stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do you stay with your gf and child even though you are not particularly happy, or do you leave? I really do wish I could give you the answer and relieve some of your suffering, but I can't. The answers to the questions you raise are within you, and will be based on your moral values, your experience of family, the strength of your families influence on you, how you see your future etc. The answers will take time to percolate through, but you will come to an answer.

    You write about happiness, and ask if you should not be happy? My answer to that is, no, not all the time. Let me explain, I am married, I love my husband, however there are times that he does or says things that make me unhappy, sometimes I will point it out and other times I will let it pass. Think I am writing about small stuff ? No, one of the decisions my husband took was that we were not going to have children. Big decision, do I stay or do I go? As a Christian it was important to me to stay in the marriage and so this was a strong moral reason not to leave. Was it hard? I can't begin to describe the pain, sadness, anger and disappointment I felt....and still feel 12 years later. I wanted a football team worth of children, my parents and his parents expected to become grandparents. This brought me great unhappiness. But I decided to sacrifice some of my happiness, some of my dreams for the future, so that I stayed in my marriage. This was not easy, and I had two lots of counselling to address some of the issues, and I will most probably need some more in the future. I love my husband but really hate the decision he made, I have not been 100% happy, all the time, and that is something I have had to accept. One of the things I constantly ask in today's world is 'why do people think they have the right to be happy?' Bad things happen to good people, that's life. I personally do not feel that I have any more right to feel happy, than the south sudanese mother who has just watched her child die through preventable disease or famine. Why should I have a greater portion of happiness than her? Perhaps being happy is about recognising what we have, the safer societies we live in, our access to education, emergency healthcare, a constant food supply and vaccinations, rather than focusing in on how our circumstances make us unhappy.

    Finally Barrierjay, I would advise you and maybe you and your gf to get some relationship counselling a.s.a.p. This will help you and your gf sort out what it is you want, once the picture is a bit clearer, then bigger, life changing decisions can be made.

    Good luck and keep in touch,


  • Hello Barriejay, a very long and complicated post its difficult to answer. Most of the post just underlines how fragile human relationships are, and that the romantic magazine ideas of everlasting love are often so far from reality.

    However I'll try and give you my thoughts on the situation but understand that I'm an old guy with old fashioned ideas. Through all of your post you have hardly mentioned the child you have had with your girlfriend. In my old fashioned world the happiness and future of the child would be my number one priority. While you ,the girlfriend , and the cousin were living your complicated lives , the child was a helpless bystander.

    A golden rule for anyone prone to suffering depression and anxiety is to lead as uncomplicated a life as possible, as it makes decisions easier. You may not be 100% happy staying with your girlfriend and your child but at least your girlfriend has been a constant friend. There is no guarantee at all that the cousin will prove to be the same. The fact that she's been willing to initiate a close relationship with you at the expense of her own cousin, who has had your child, probably means her faithfulness to you will prove pretty fragile and you might well be left eventually without her, but also without your girlfriend and child. This to me makes it likely that altho leaving to set up home with the cousin looks to you as if that will make you happier, there is a very good chance it will eventually lead to more unhappiness for you. The end result could be two more failed relationships, with the child's future more jeopardised. My personal opinion is that that is the most likely outcome.

    I can't advise you what to do but if I was a betting man, betting on your future happiness I would very definitely place my money on staying with your girlfriend. That also has an added bonus of appearing to give the best future for your child.

    A final piece of advice would be to repeat keep life as simple as possible. As soon as the cousin moved in with you ,lovers of a simple life would have been going " Oh NO, this is going to get complicated" .Complicated is usually another way of saying "unhappy".


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