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Why Do I Emotionally Abuse Women?
Recently, I've noticed a pattern of behaviour in my relationships with women. I start to find fault with them, and feel the need to 'improve' them when deep down I know there's nothing wrong with them. Any help, please?...
QUESTION: How Do I Stop Emotionally Abusing My Girlfriends?
MORE FROM Junichi...
Hello! Thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.
Compared to me, most of the girls I'm attracted too are somewhat carefree. For example, if I like a director, I'll watch all their films, analyze them, read their interviews, etc.
My girlfriends usually watch whatever is on TV, and forget about it a week later. If we discuss it, I'll mention the underlying themes, to my girlfriends, the actor's wardrobe. Which is fine, but as soon as the relationship gets serious, I start overthinking the whole thing, "is she good enough? is she really worth investing into?"
The answer to that is always "she's not there yet, but with encouragement, maybe...".
So I start looking for what they like. To take an example, this one girl liked Ghibli films. So for her birthday I got her an interview book of Miyazaki. It may seem nice, but unconsciously the goal was to "coach" her, to "better" her, when in fact she was fine just watching these films with a bar of chocolate. Of course, them being who they are (incidentally a person I originally wanted to date), they don't change, I get frustrated, and things go down fast.
I realized I had been doing this for ten years only recently. Why? This carefreeness never bothered me at all until things got serious. I develop this constant feeling that I am somehow better than my partner, that I need to "work on the relationship".
How do I just chill, enjoy my girlfriend's presence like before without overthinking everything and not only making my girlfriend run away but probably traumatizing her in the process? Is the problem that I am unconsciously attracted to carefree girls because my brain automatically wants to "train them", even though the relationship was doomed to start with? Or is it fine for me to be with someone that isn't as "passionate" as me, and I'm an idiot for not knowing how to deal with it?
PS: it may or not be worth mentioning that I had a similar relationship with my 10 years older than me brother. When I was a teenager, he encouraged me to do something I liked (the piano), but it soon turned into him scolding me if I wasn't doing it every day.
He would also want to converse on why I liked certain things (things he didn't like), conversations which only goal was to give him the opportunity to scientifically prove to me that what I liked was stupid.
To give you an extreme example, he once slammed the door at me and not talk to me for a month because I refused to "explain" why I liked batman.
Overcome Your Insecurities: Here's How!
"I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better."
-- Maya Angelou
I love that you've come here, and asked this question so openly and wisely, I really do.
Kudos to you Junichi, kudos. And love. And wisdom.
So here's the complicated 'advice':
Stop thinking of yourself as an "emotional abuser", and start thinking of yourself as someone who does things a certain way, a way that doesn't work, a way that you're starting to see through.
Start to see yourself as an innocent, doing something the best way you know how, knowing that when you know better you'll do better.
Start to see yourself as a human being. Flawed, imperfect, but with an inbuilt capacity to always do better.
And as you are kinder to your humanness, your frailties, your ability to transmit pain rather than transform it, you might even start to be kinder to these women who are somewhat 'less perfect' than you'd like them to be.
And the fact that you're noticing these behaviours, and you can even source them to your childhood, reallly is half the battle won, it really is. So how do you win the rest of the battle? Ah, now that's a great question...
The simple advice?
1. Hmm, check out Byron Katie - especially any conversations on relationships - https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=byron+katie+relationships
2. Discover how you actually work, how life works, via the Inside-Out Understanding (aka The 3 Principles) - https://www.smnash.com/three-principles-understanding/
These words by 3 Principles practitioner ARE liberating, once grasped intellectually and then directly experienced in the heart (so to speak):
"Consciousness + Neutrality = Innate Health" -- Elsie Spittle
Meaning, it starts with awareness.
Next, be as neutral as you can be about what you're noticing.
Then job done.
Your inner wisdom will be heard by you, when it needs to be, and you'll know what to do. You WON'T be going round in your head trying to work out why you behave so badly, wondering where it all started to go wrong, you won't be trying to work out what's wrong with you, because... Nothing is wrong with you.
Does any of that make sense?
I'd be happy to talk to you about this further. (Or anyone else faced with problem behaviour they don't know how to solve.) But not from the perspective of 'how do I solve this particular (relationship) problem?'. Rather from the perspective of what problems really are. (Answer. They're Made up. By you.) - https://www.smnash.com/beginnings/
And finally, this all sounds like a problem with intellect.
The intellect feels it needs to know the answer. Otherwise, it feels at risk. Your brother, or rather your brother's intellect, seemingly could not comprehend how you could like something without being able to explain why.
There is another wisdom at play, though, that does not need explanations to feel safe, that doesn't need anything.
Allow me to introduce a man with a great intellect, Albert Einstein, to explain what I mean...
"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."
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