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How to Make a Relationship Really Hard Work

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I am bad at relationships. I would say around 90% of my past relationships have ended after three months, with the man putting his head in his hands and admitting defeat. The rest of them probably should have ended after three months but didn’t, and we ended up hating each other.

Having a relationship with HYM is difficult for so many reasons. For one, I have S, which means our time together is often interrupted by feeding, cooing, playing, and watching CBeebies, none of which is particularly romantic. Then there’s the fact my last relationship messed with my head so much I wasn’t entirely sure which way was up any more by the time it was over. And then there’s the fact I’m just not good at this sort of thing. And because I know I’m crap at it, I still don’t know how much of the last fiasco was my own fault. I mean, obviously the fact the ex was (is) a violent sociopath with great aptitude for making me believe everything was my fault was not my responsibility, but the fact I stuck around so long, and kept going back when I knew it was a bad idea, that is my fault. And I don’t know how many of the times he told me I was messing him around, playing games, being an unreasonable bitch, were actually me being those things, and how many were him just messing with my head a bit more. Because I have form for being an unreasonable bitch.
Poor old HYM has to contend with all of this, as well as my extreme tiredness and crankiness caused by S having a cold and not sleeping too well lately.
The main problem is that when I am pissed off with him over something, I can’t tell if it’s something I should legitimately be annoyed about, or if I’m just being a bit over-sensitive and, well, stupid. This generally means that on one day I might go mental at him for being late or for not doing something he said he would do, and then the following day it’s all fine and I take a deep breath and carry on. 
On the other hand, though, having a relationship with him is easy. I would rather be going through this whole “finding my feet in an odd situation” thing with him than with anyone else. I am good friends with a lot of my ex partners now, and don’t wish to offend any of them, but I really don’t feel that anyone I’ve been with previously could have put up with me and all the baggage that I’m currently carting around with me.

With the big things, like being violent or possessive or controlling, it’s plain to see what happened, who was responsible, and that HYM couldn’t do any of that even if he tried really hard. But with the smaller things, like when he does something that annoys me: is that because I’m unreasonable; or because I’m over-sensitive to that particular thing because of the way it was with the ex; or is he indeed in the wrong? The ex was a big one for passive-aggressive behaviour and was so good at using it, I am still now looking back at incidents and thinking “oh wait, yeah, that was probably him controlling the situation…” Stupid things like being late, forgetting to make phone calls or not getting around to doing something, take on a whole new meaning when they’ve been used to keep you in your place in the past. So I tend to react pretty badly if HYM doesn’t do exactly what he’s said he will do. Even if he said it when he was half asleep at 3 in the morning. This means I can’t tell if the problems we have are just me being a bit thingy, or if they are a sign that this will not work out. Literally every time I see him, he says or does something that highlights the myriad differences between him and the ex. I know that S and I are safe with him both emotionally and physically. But I also worry that I will end up sabotaging this relationship before it’s even properly begun. He’s bound to get sick of walking on egg shells, and it’s bound to happen sooner rather than later.

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Vicky is a mother, a blogger, a podcaster and a social media trainer. She writes about life as a single mother, parenting and lifestyle type things.

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