Other People’s Models 5

Followup from a previous question.

LDR for four years. My boyfriend has a lot of thoughts, feelings and opinions. I feel like he is insensitive and like I have to manage my mind around interactions with him. He was talking about breaking up a few weeks ago, but now it seems we are not breaking up. I feel anxious about the relationship. I am used to being with him and I appreciate a lot about him. I would like him to be more respectful and I want to be in a relationship that feels steady and kind. I know I can’t control his actions, and I am working on understanding that his actions don’t cause my feelings.

Latest issue. I have been recommended to have minor surgery and have been procrastinating about scheduling it because I am afraid to get it. He asked me about it and when he heard the latest, raised his voice in frustration and talks to me about his frustration in a louder, exasperated voice about me not having had the procedure yet. When I tell him I don’t want him to talk to me about it like that, he gets exasperated and gets off the phone. Then he calls me back and we have a normal conversations and about other things. I coached myself, bit I still feel a bit annoyed and anxious.

C: R says words in a slightly louder voice than usual and has a different inflection in his voice
T: He is acting crazy
F: Mild panic
A: Talk to him calmly, tell him I don’t want to talk about it, explain my thoughts and feelings, try to exit the conversation, listen to him even though I don’t like listening to him, ignore my feelings, discount him, his thoughts and feelings
R: I act crazy?

C: Same
T: His communication about this does not match my preference right now
F: Slightly annoyed
A: Listen to him, wait for him to do his thing (getting upset then calming down), don’t take his criticism seriously, notice my thoughts and feelings, let him do what he does, notice my emotional reaction, get curious about what I want

Answers to coaching questions.
“When you think “If I am good enough, and please him, that will then feel good and we will both be happy.” How do you feel?

I feel anxious and like I’m not good enough. And dependent upon him to give me approval to measure if I am doing good enough. I don’t actually feel good in the process, but I do feel like things go back to normal when he is not actively disapproving of me. I think I am trying to control the future. And also like it is my job to make him happy. And maybe his job to make me happy in return. (This model isn’t working so well, lol.)

If I wasn’t forgetting about my own happiness, I would think more about my dream goals and plan for them. I would make time to do things I want to do outside of work hours. I would reach out to friends and family. I would say no more often. I would check in with myself and allow myself to rest and do more activities I enjoy.

What would love for yourself look like in this situation?

Allowing myself to rest. Thinking kinder thoughts about myself and others. Taking time away. Spending time outdoors. Traveling. Eating healthier food. Less screen time. Taking care of my body. Exercise, yoga, games, and maybe fun sports like tennis or dancing. Getting curious about steps to move from ‘just okay’ to ‘really awesome.’ Forgiving myself for being human. Not driving myself so hard.