Boyfriend says words 5

Thanks for the coaching. Here is the next set of answers:

“Why do you believe the C is causing your pain? We know that the C is neutral because some people engage in open relationships and do not feel pain.”

I think the C causes me pain because I experienced emotional pain in the past: when other partners behaved in ways I perceived as disloyal, when R and I broke up three times in the past only to get back together, and when he says words or does actions that go against my manual.

I was in an open relationship in the past and we both felt emotional pain in different ways. I read a book about open relationships. I don’t believe people in open relationships don’t feel pain over that choice. And I don’t think people in monogamous relationships avoid pain with that preference.

“There is an opportunity to feel the discomfort of challenging our preferences. There is also an opportunity to feel the discomfort of standing up for our preferences.”

I find it uncomfortable to stand up for my preferences. I have found benefit in doing so, however, for example, finishing both of my degrees as a single mom. I know my boyfriend well enough to know that his reaction to me asserting my preferences may not be pleasant. I don’t think I can avoid pain either way.

“Resisting and ignoring won’t get us to a result that is useful. Deciding you have enough information to make a choice for your well-being is far more powerful.”

I think this is true and want to make a plan that will result in better relationship outcomes for myself and my current and/or future partner(s).

“When it comes to making a decision and committing to it, what obstacles do you anticipate you’ll encounter?”
I will likely feel regret if I break up with him. I am worried that we will just get back together again. I am worried that I will struggle to find a new partner. I am afraid I will be lonely and sad when I am single. I am pretty clear that I will be an emotional wreck in an open relationship. I just don’t think it is for me. And one of the issues is that he wants to get married and have kids. I’m not interested in being anyone’s side. If he wants to sleep with other people, I am going to stop seeing him.

“What solutions and strategies does your brain offer you to counter these obstacles?”
I have been through breakups before and come out better for it. I can learn to accept him and myself as we are without trying to change us. There are people who want to be in committed, monogamous, long-term relationships.

I can express my experience to him without expecting him to change his thoughts or behavior. I can go through discomfort in order to receive benefits that include: potential for creating a relationship that better fits my desires and goal of personal, financial, and spiritual growth.

C: Potential end of relationship
T: I won’t be able to find someone better
F: depressed
A: try to work things out with R, don’t communicate clearly with him or myself, continue to repress myself and make myself small, waste energy on drama and arguing with R and arguing with reality, don’t forgive myself for being imperfect, don’t recognize my inherit value and beauty, don’t take actions to create and experience respect and kindness toward myself and from others I choose to have in my life. Don’t respect his wishes and goals for his own life.

C: potential end of relationship
T: doing nothing is also a choice
F: neutral
A: take an honest inventory of the relationship, how I am thinking and feeling, and how he says he is thinking and feeling. Don’t take actions to increase drama and fighting, listen to myself and him deeply and with love, become willing to see things I am resisting or want to change, clarify and communicate openly and nonjudgmentally about my experience and expectations for intimate relationships, specifically this one.

C: Potential end of relationship
T: I am totally valuable, nothing can change that
F: strong
A: accept the conflict is happening, don’t work to continue the relationship despite my feelings or his, think about the things that will be available to me outside this relationship (independence, travel, not having to commute, not having to worry about him cheating, not being around him criticizing me, not being with someone who doesn’t recognize my full value). Be open to outcomes that I haven’t planned in advance, stop beating myself up about not being good enough, stop criticizing him for being himself, see his actions and words clearly instead of twisting reality.

I appreciate you taking the time to help me with this.