kieranessa

What can I do if I discover my inner child dislikes & mistrusts my partners inner child?

15 posts in this topic

In brief, I had a dream within a dream last night---those ones where you wake yourself up from your dream because its too distressing-only to realise you are in fact not awake at all but  within yet another dream.  In the first dream I was lost, trying to get to a hotel and gig, I knew where it was but had forgotten the name of the hotel and street. I kept turning corners and ending up in different cities I've lived in. I kept bumping into random acquaintances who'd say they'd help but then I lost them too. I got so frustrated I woke myself up...at least I thought I did. It was night time, I was in a room with my partner, we were in separate beds, he was just getting back into his bed after using the ensuite (not sure how significant that is lol) I told him about the dream and how lost I felt, he was tired, uninterested and just wanted to get back asleep. I lay there in the dark of this second dream thinking -we need to talk in the morning- I suddenly had this realisation that my inner child does not like him. She's not scared of him, she just doesn't like him, mistrusts him and hides rather than be seen with him. In fact I realised its actually his inner child my inner child doesn't like at all. Then with this thought in my head I woke up again, this time in reality, very tired but all seemed to resonate.

My partner and I have had intimacy problems throughout our 8 year relationship...at the beginning I couldn't put my finger on what didn't feel quite right between us...I thought I was just being paranoid, I had this constant feeling he was hiding from me, keeping secrets. However, four years in he eventually told me he had a secret porn addiction that started before our relationship. A lot of the intimacy problems suddenly made sense to me but although he's broken this addiction for last couple of years things haven't got better. We function as a couple on a day to day basis, talk about whats needed, we have a four year old child, we work on creative projects together and to the outside world I'm sure we look like the perfect family. On a regular basis I have tried to talk about our issues but realise I am faced with my partners fearful inner child most of the time. It's impossible to have an adult discussion about things, he flies off in a huff, drives off in his car, doors are slammed-then he's back and acting if everything is ok, sweeping everything under the carpet, avoiding any kind of discussion...These are the periods I find most painful...I feel like I'm living in a fake world. I have a couple of friends I can really talk to, they keep me from feeling like I'm going insane. I have felt from the beginning of the relationship that I have to be the grown up one, decisions are left for me to make, I'm left to plan, remember things for our child- I'm so tired of having to be the grown up at all times whilst he plays the "poor me" role. I want the man but don't know where he is? I feel my adult self is stuck in a relationship with his fearful, sulky, secretive and rather manipulative inner child--I have to remain the adult, for our child's sake and my sensitive inner child doesn't want to go anywhere near this spiteful sulky kid...

The insight in the last part of the dream rings so true..."My inner child does not like or want to be around his inner child"  What does this mean?  Can it be resolved? 

Any thoughts, insights, words are deeply appreciated and taken with gratitude...

Thank-you for listening

xxx

Edited by kieranessa

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Hi @kieranessa

some of the advice that has helped me in my relationship.  ask yourself 4 questions everyday:

-have i authentically expressed my needs?

-have I received without guilt?

-have I given without expectation?

-have I shown appreciation (said thanks) for the things that matter.

A while back I decided that I gotta be me, and she has to be her and we need to see how well we get along.  The more I have been able to let myself be seen (and not hidden) I have found the better things have gone. 

Edited by Scot
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Good advice Scot, thank-you.

I feel the answer is yes to all the above bar number two....have i given without expectation? Not entirely. I feel I have given time and patience and support whilst he dealt with the porn addiction with the hope/expectation that it would improve our intimacy problems....it sadly hasn't.. So despite expressing my needs they are yet to be met.

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Does any of this sound familiar to you...

My intimacy need (“into-me-see”) seems to be higher than hers.  And I have some amount of fear about “going there” to that intimate place unless a person is willing to go there with me.  

Or maybe I have a tough time “tuning in to her energy”.  Or maybe she lets out her energy in such small short glimpses that I have to make sure that I don’t blink and miss it.

But I tell myself that this is actually pretty normal.  I think the usual stereotype is that women have a higher intimacy need than men but this isn’t always necessarily true.

We also looked into the 5 love languages.  My #1 love language is “quality time” with an emphasis on sharing and connecting. Her #1 love language is “acts of service”.

Edited by Scot
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You can't have intimacy---into me see....with a person who keeps secrets from you, no matter hard you try....even if they say they want intimacy with you.

I went to that intimate place together from the start, often finding myself emotionally stood up, rejected and alone...

I expressed authentically from the start my need for openness and honesty in a relationship, no secrets, no lies.....my childhood was difficult because of so many lies going on all around me, my natural instincts and feelings about things as a child were constantly blocked, devalued, ignored in an attempt to keep the truth from me...I became an insecure and poorly kid/teenager who had learnt not to trust or value any of my own instincts...or myself. I chose differently as an adult, learnt to trust myself again, value my feelings and feel happy and harmonious when surrounded by my closest open, honest friends who I can be totally genuine with.

So back to my dilemma. I find myself in a relationship with a person who struggles with intimacy and has done from the start, despite saying he wants it. When I see into this person I see a sad and angry little boy who feels like a victim, he feels safer hiding, being secretive, there is a lot of shame and self hate there that turns into blame. He is so desperate for love, closeness, intimacy but does everything to push it away. I feel guilty saying that although I love and care about him this extreme neediness makes me want to pull away, it almost repels me. And...my inner self/child now hides from him after expressing genuinely what I needed from the start and it being ignored, he did the very thing I asked him not to do, lied and keep secrets. I feel hurt that I found myself back in the dark with someone I love. I felt all the insecurity and confusion I felt as a child and he watched me lost for years, knowing how painful it was and still refused to tell me the truth about what he was hiding...in fact he fed into my insecurities by telling me I was paranoid rather than telling me the truth....he asked me to look deeply into his eyes and swore he was not lying....but he was. It may sound crazy but I do trust him now, he has apologised for what he did, he now holds no secrets but....there is part of me...I feel its my inner child, that can't let go anymore.. ..the dream I mentioned at the beginning of this thread...part of me is now guarded, dislikes his inner child.....its true I still have to play the adult role in the relationship, dealing with the angry, hurt, misunderstood boy...I'm tired. Am I trying to be superwoman? Am I ignoring signs for myself that this is not right? Is it me just not being able to forgive? I want my inner child, my lighter self to feel like it wants to come out and play, there is no space for it to do so here.

xxx

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Hmmm ... eight years together and having a child together.  You two will be in each other’s life even if you separate because you will always be the parents together.

Two books come to mind:

Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown.  Honestly, I haven’t read the whole thing but the basic gist that I got so far is that you have to be brave enough to be fully vulnerable, so much so that you have to realize that you might need to stand alone.

and

Loving-Kindness by Sharon Saltzberg.  Sounds to me like he (and you) could treat yourselves with more loving-kindness.  This is my own personal “hammer” that I seem to think will help with any problem. (When all you have is a hammer, all problems tend to look like nails.)

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Thank-you Scot.

I will order both of them. I have tried to have adult conversations about separating, if even for a while to see if we can create a new dynamic, its so stale here, the arguments and problems go round and round in the same circles. I admit it scares me but I'm left generally dealing with the actions of an angry, fearful boy who storms off, slams doors and makes it clear that despite our unresolvable intimacy problems he's not prepared to take one step in that direction or any responsibility unless I choose to bring it about fully. He promised me he will never speak to me again if I end this. I said this would be very hard to carry out as we have a child together. It's a very hard decision to make alone, especially when we have a child but part of me feels how nice it would be to be able to be a parent and focus my energy on my one real child....at the moment I feel like a tired mummy of two. 

Edited by kieranessa

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12 hours ago, kieranessa said:

the actions of an angry, fearful boy who storms off, slams doors etc. Etc etc

Ask him: would anything bad happen if he stays?

Honestly, unfortunately I can relate to that behavior myself,  lol I used to do that growing up when arguing with parents and I would end up just leaving because i didn't know what else to do.

Very-very hard behavioral pattern to stop due to its level of intensity and I am pretty sure you have probably witnessed how spontaneously it happens. 

Kieranessa, you have a lot on your plate . Not an easy situation because it's probably like having two children instead of one. Which is also what brings a lot of the intimacy issues. I don't know if you have any support. I hope you do.

My thoughts on this is that no matter what you both decide for the future , you still have to face one another . And to get to a solution here he has to step up and make it his conscious decision to stay and not close the doors or leave the conversation when he doesn't like smth.

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Hi Garnet,

Thank-you....you have hit the nail on the head re intimacy problems being difficult when the behaviour is childlike. As soon as I say I feel we should talk, the body language becomes closed, defensive and no matter how I choose and pick my words, believe me I've tried so many ways to approach talking about our problems...its a matter of minutes before he leaves the room, slams the door, walks off...

You are right, I do have a lot on my plate and failed to mention that my 82 year old mother lives in the garden flat of our house too. She moved in 2 years ago, health wise she is fine but emotionally very demanding and a domineering character who doesn't understand boundaries. I have to be brutal with boundaries or they are totally ignored.

Support wise I have many friends but only one best friend I can really talk in depth about my problems too,  one who totally understands and sees the situation clearly. She too is going through a difficult time in a relationship, different dynamic, different problems but we are there for each other by face-time, whats app, phone but not physically as we live in different countries. Its easy to see in this friendship how when the flow of love and support is equal no one feels depleted.

Today I'm having a bad day, feel like I'm crying inside but putting on a brave face. I am so tired, no energy. I feel trapped, I'm walking on a treadmill going nowhere in this relationship. If it wasn't for our child I'd walk out of the door and not come back today. I'm craving for strong arms around me, somebody to say "I'm here, I'll listen, cry on my shoulder, I'm still here" Maybe I read too many fairytales growing up? I don't want a prince to ride in on a white horse and solve all my problems, I'm just tired of having to be the grown up and the "strong one" in this story with a prince who turns into a dragon, spits fire then gallops off on his horse every time we need to talk and face our difficulties.

 

Edited by kieranessa

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3 hours ago, kieranessa said:

 

Today I'm having a bad day, feel like I'm crying inside but putting on a brave face. I am so tired, no energy.  Snip

 I'm craving for strong arms around me, somebody to say "I'm here, I'll listen, cry on my shoulder, I'm still here" Maybe I read too many fairytales growing up? I don't want a prince to ride in on a white horse and solve all my problems ...

 

Could you say those words that you wrote above to him?  

Maybe to finish your sentence it would better to say   ... “but right now it would be great just to be heard”

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Hello again Kieranessa,

There is a great discussion here on the forum that you maybe would like to read. 

Everything that I have already posted there I would post again. I hope you can get some insights for your situation.

Also if you have any questions please feel free to ask

Wishing you clearity and sending hungs

 

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Hi Garnet,

Thank-you. I read the discussion you mentioned : 

"However. If #3 is absent. Or if #3 has become a painful subject to even touch PLUS one more of the connections is "broken" then it would be one of the first red flags to look at"

I think a Red flag!

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Hi Scot,

I realise that your suggestion made me feel frustrated and angry! My problem certainly not yours for suggesting it. I just felt "How many times do I have to do this?" I have spoken like this so many times, opened up totally, shared my vulnerability, expressed my feelings. I've asked "Could you just stay and listen, hear me? You don't have to say anything" If he does stay then I'm faced with an irritated "Can I go now? Have you finished?" or "Feelings, feelings, feelings...its all about feelings with you"  He's actually laughed in my face when I've been upset and cried...he says its a nervous reflex reaction- he feels embarrassed...I can't bare it when he laughs...it hurts so much. I can't understand how seeing someone you love upset and crying could make you laugh? We just had another argument because he dismissed my feelings during a conversation about a money/budget app on his phone he's constantly typing into. He said my feelings are not facts so not relevant to discussion.

In the current situation I don't think I want these arms around me-primarily the reason I didn't ask...again.

 

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Hi kieranessa

There was a time that things were not going well between my wife and me.  She said maybe we are not the right people for each other.   That was actually a start in improving our relationship

A couple of things have helped:

- I decided “I gotta be me” and “you gotta be you” and we will see how we get along.

- I also decided that I will not leave my wife unless I understand exactly why I am leaving.  “I don’t know why we are having difficulties” is not an acceptable reason to leave.

i saw a video on YouTube of Ali McGraw talking to Oprah Winfrey.  In the video Ali says she finally understands why she divorced her husband(s).  “Because she didn’t show up for her marriage” she said.  I am gonna “show up” for my marriage.  I’ll be me and she will be her and we will see how well we get along.

good luck to you.

Edited by Scot

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Kieranessa, I think you have lots of red flags. The more things about you don't matter to him, the more you are not matter to him as a person.

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