Boyfriend says words 4

Ldr of four years. Disagreements about scheduling and concern about him seeing other women. Question about allowing negative thoughts and feelings.

Coach: “Processing pain means we choose to feel the negative emotion on purpose. We’re not trying to rid ourselves of the emotion. We accept that emotional balance means 50% of the time we will feel great and 50% of the time, we won’t… and that’s okay.”

I think I am still struggling with thinking the C is causing my pain. i.e.

C: R sends message “I can’t promise I won’t be spending time with women that you would categorize as a date”
T: He is seeing other women
F: Intense unhappiness
A: Cry, buy my first pack of cigarettes in many months, smoke cigarettes, don’t pay attention to what I want to do at work, forget to eat lunch, generate negative thoughts about myself, him, and the relationship, think of how much emotional pain I will feel if we break up, feel emotional pain, message him that that is not okay and he needs to call me after work.
R: I create the experience of him seeing other women

Coach: “In order to let go of negative emotions, we have to acknowledge that we created them with our thoughts. We can spend time with these thoughts, allow the negative emotion to be there, ask ourselves what we can learn from it and then release it.”

I do understand this conceptually. And I get that I might want to feel bad about some C’s, the goal isn’t to feel good about everything that happens.

I want to learn about how to stop turning these experiences on myself. I think there is a practical aspect that our want match around monogamy and amount of time spent together is not there right now. I don’t like that I have gotten in the habit of trying to work things out with him no matter what. I think I will feel a lot of pain if we break up.

Coach: “When you have pain, ask yourself: How can I accept this with grace?”

I can practice accepting things that happen that are not my preference. I can practice not beating myself up about things that are not about me.

It seems that he wants to date other women, and resisting or ignoring that is not productive. I can express to him my preference, but ultimately he gets to decide what he wants to do. I am responsible for the resentment I feel toward him and the negative thoughts I am thinking about myself. I also think I can do my best to communicate with him clearly, so I can get a better idea of what is going on and make more informed choices. I can also decide that I have enough information, and may need to make a choice for my own wellbeing.

Coach: “How can I use this pain?”

I think could use it as motivation to exit the relationship and learn how to be by myself for a bit. I could possibly use it to see myself and him more clearly. I think this pain is not that useful and is grounded in thoughts about past C’s where I think R and ex boyfriends are/were disloyal and untrustworthy.

C: R says words
T: He is untrustworthy
F: Paranoia
A: Try to figure out what is going on, argue with him, think about what might happen next, doubt my own worth, think negative thoughts about him and the relationship, make myself feel sick with worry and resistance to what I think is happening, make up stories to explain his actions, don’t take responsibility for myself and my choices
R: I am untrustworthy to myself

C: same
T: Whatever happens, I can have my own back
F: Neutral
A: Talk to him calmly and curiously about what is happening, stop spinning in frustration and dispair, remember to eat and take care of myself, stop making myself sick with worry, stop wasting so much energy on drama.
R: I have my own back and take responsibility for my part in the conflict.

Thanks for your patience with the long post.