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Relationship and TMS

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by jula, Jul 24, 2020.

  1. jula

    jula Peer Supporter

    Hi, maybe someone was in a similar situation and will have something interesting to say and give me some directions. I know many issues contribute to my TMS but possibly relationships with my husband and my parents are the main ones at play. Here I want to talk about the relationship with my husband.

    I am 29 and we have just had our 10th anniversary a couple of days ago. We had some problems after the honeymoon phase and I had serious doubts and wanted to leave but he convinced me to stay. About a year later my stomach problems started. It may have had something to do with that situation but I don’t know for sure. I am aware there were moments when I knew I was with him because there was nobody more interesting, etc. But now I do not regret not leaving the relationship at all. I am grateful I didn’t do that. He is the most loving and caring person ever and before him I chose toxic guys only that hurt me and he really is not toxic at all. I love him so much that it kills me to even think that in my mind he might be the reason I am unwell. I feel so guilty about it. Now most of our problems are my health related because I am desperate and he is tired of me looking for answers. We do have some problems but I want to work on them.

    I never ever want to leave him but there are these thoughts that maybe my body tells me to leave by giving me pain. I really hate the idea and it gives me anxiety. But I am in pain and so tired of this TMS that you know, sometimes I think that simply leaving would solve my problems in an instant but I guess it wouldn’t really. Or they would come back in the next relationship which I don’t even want to enter. It’s just my mind tired of being ill I guess, wanting easy fixes. I tried to figure out the reasons - some things pop up - sometimes I think if there is anyone better for me, I am a perfectionist so this has a lot to do here, that maybe I should look for someone who gives me more exciting emotions but there again I know that it would mostly be the honeymoon phase. I also am a bit narcissist and it also makes sense that I would love things to be perfect. There was also a time when I was so focused on myself that I was the toxic part of the relationship. It now kills me to think I was such a bad girlfriend. I now work on it and I am trying my best because I don’t want to hurt him further.

    But it all makes me feel like a horrible person because I was made to believe one shouldn’t have any doubts in a relationship, that it all should be natural and that if you need to work on a relationship it means it’s not really good. And that it’s not enough for a relationship to be good enough but it has to be perfect. I have many similar harmful beliefs and have trouble with them. I even developed relationship OCD 2 years ago when I associated the onset of stomach problems with my relationship. It made me miserable because I felt there is a huge internal conflict. I love him and know he is the best man ever but some part of me would want a perfect relationship always full of excitement while he is calm. There are a lot of false expectations about love that I hold and I logically know they are harmful but have trouble overcoming them emotionally.
    I cannot really convince that part of me that it’s the relationship for me. One part wants the relationship, one part wants to flee. And it seems as if I am looking for others to give me happiness rather than working on myself to feel happy from within. I know it’s not good to expect that others will magically make us happy.

    I feel so immature that any big decisions always make me want to escape. I always thought that big changes in life would bring me happiness and excitement only - we are about to buy a plot of land for a future home - and instead of feeling only happy and excited I have TMS issues and started again wondering if it has something to do with the relationship. What makes me wonder - even though it’s all conscious - I still have pain. Wouldn’t being aware of this put an end to it?

    I have no idea how to work on that. I am aware of many issues but still have problems. This whole topic makes me really anxious but I don’t want to be in pain forever. And I want this relationship to work. Even thinking that my body would force me to leave my husband makes me feel miserable. I sometimes even think that what if I have no pain and realise I need to leave. It’s really the last thing I want to do. It’s a good and safe relationship with a man that cares about me and makes me laugh. I want to have children with him and spend my life with him but at the same time it is really scary.

    Anyone whose TMS was also related to their relationship? How did you work on that? For me leaving is not an option, even though I am so tired of stomach pain. Maybe the relationship isn’t perfect but it is good and I love my husband.

    Of course this might be one issue to which I give too much attention also because I want to get rid of the pain and I am trying too hard. I might have more serious issues, or it might totally be something else, I don’t know yet and I am working on it. It might also be that it started because of that 7 years ago but I am still keeping the pain cycle on by different mechanisms. I am working on both desensitization and emotions as I read that some people are better after emotional work, while others improve by simply stopping obsessing and giving the pain attention. What makes it hard is that my stomach is upset to the point that it often hurts by simply eating or drinking, doesn’t matter what I eat or drink, even water hurts on some days. But I also have some intolerances so I want to clean my diet so that I can see the real scope of what is TMS and what isn’t. But the fact that I have TMS is 100% sure, when I developed a new pain I obsessed about my stomach issues improved by 70%. They are back to bad now but what I experienced was shocking and convincing that it indeed is TMS.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2020
  2. jamejamesjames1

    jamejamesjames1 Peer Supporter

    I can relate to the majority of this (I am male however, but really no reason for that to matter).

    I think a lot of this has to do with us (the TMS'er). I have often thought similar things because I think it is my brains way of trying to assign blame to something else (so I don't have to take responsibility for it) and or convince me there is a quick fix (I'll leave and then tomorrow life will be amazing!)

    When I'm thinking logically, I know that my relationship with my wife is good ("not perfect"). She has many qualities which make her a good spouse: she works hard, makes good money, is a good mother, supports me through my health/TMS issues (I'd be patient for like... an hour... if the shoe was on the other foot), pulls her share of domestic duties, we have a venn diagram of interests that overlaps right in the middle..

    Of course the perfectionist in me doesn't always see that. "Well, couldn't she be better?" YEAH! She could share ALL my interests (why does she like period pieces instead of horror films!), why does she want to go inside after being outside for 4 hours and not want to be outside the entire day when it's nice!, why doesn't her sex drive match my sex drive?, she's not nearly as funny as me.... could I do better???

    So the perfectionist in me is mad because I am not perfect because I don't have a perfect relationship because my spouse is not perfect. I have fantasies where I have a new spouse (don't want to be alone.. maybe there is something there!) and everything is magic because she is the perfect person. Although, I feel like if that were to play out the exact same pattern would just play out (not to even mention the stress I don't acknowledge from a divorce, custody, etc).

    The reason it's such a big deal is because your prime partnership IS a big deal. One of the biggest. Maybe the biggest. If you only saw your husband and hour a week it wouldn't be all that big of a deal.

    Further, I turn this same focus onto jobs, the kids, hobbies!, friends (should I have better friends? lol).

    Even the kids... Sometimes I can't wait to get home from work to see them.. then after 5 minutes think "I'm good, why did I even have kids?", and then once they are down sleeping I come into their bedroom to check on them and it just melts my heart watching them sleep and I'm filled with so much love. So I'm constantly flip flopping.

    I think for me (and maybe for you) it's how to not want things to be just so. Or at least to the point where we don't SUFFER because of it. Mentally I am there like 50 / 50. Like now, I'm in the "good" 50 and realize all of this. Yet at an emotional level this isn't good enough, you are settling for average, this is torture! You are supposed to be special! You deserve more! Why are you just giving up!!?!?!?! You can't possibly enjoy this "only above average" life. While everyone else I know actively admits they are jealous of my life (at least the parts they can see... great job, plenty of money, big house, beautiful kids, loyal wife, supportive family, fun interests and hobbies, sense of humor, in shape, decent looks). They don't understand that living in my body and mind is PURE TORTURE and so far no combination of drugs, therapy, mindfulness, self talk, journaling, deep breathing, etc has been able to change that.

    So in the end... how do we embrace and accept at an emotional level how grateful/lucky we are to be in the situation we find ourselves in instead of viewing it so negatively? I'm all ears.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  3. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    "He who seeks, let him not cease seeking until he finds; and when he finds he will be troubled, and when he is troubled he will be amazed, and he will reign over the All." JC in the Gospel of Thomas

    @jula... This is a really brave post.I believe Most people who are stuck are actually terrified to even THINK about what you just stuck your toe in.

    I have walked a long road down this and can TL;DR the whole thing with the fundamental problem underlying this topic.

    "Our Media and culture have somehow brought on the myth that our primary relationship is supposed to make us whole and happy. That desperately guarded LIE keeps many of us in misery" -baseball65

    "....and we are the gatekeepers of the lie." -verdict of no longer being miserable

    I would say after 21 years that our primary relationship (GF, BF Husband, wife partner,whatever) is at the root of a significant portion of TMS. Family of origin problems are probably a close second, and our primary relationships are usually just a re-do of those family problems, though our conscious mind objects. People's inability to look at this honestly and fear of what they might find keeps the symptoms in place. Sarno pointed out that our culture has moved more and more 'Me' oriented...Narcissistic, solipsistic,whatever... He is spot on. But, we can't undo the way we have developed in an eyeblink. We're here now and a lot of us have symptoms...what to do?

    Well, your doing it. Just the fact that you have the courage to look there is the beginning . You might be troubled, but if you keep looking and don't demand an outcome from it you will also 'rule over the all' which definitely includes being free from TMS.

    I could have made the same statement when I got well in '99. It's one of those statements we're supposed to make. I have also been divorced for a decade. I am happy, whole and at peace with it. I still love my ex-wife and we are great friends. In fact, both of us are happier now than we ever were married.

    I am NOT advocating for divorce. In fact, I did everything I could to NOT get divorced, but we never know how the path of our life is to unfold and it was my resistance to her requests that re-awoke some of my symptoms. In fact, resistance, in the form of thoughts is always at the root of TMS. Finding the depth of our thoughts and letting them just be, is freedom. Even when they are ugly. Exterior change in NOT required for healing ....interior perceptional change is mandatory! I was pain free LONG before my marriage ended.

    I have shortcomings. My ex-wife has shortcomings. As Humans we tend to look around us and when we don't feel good, blame whatever is closest at hand, the same way TMS ties to blame the last activity we did, or last thing we ate. It's very natural and often wrong. In fact, if we follow the process through, we might begin to see that it is OUR thoughts that are the odd man out, but we must admit they are there before we can begin the process of disregarding them.

    What you have begun to question is super duper important. We cannot lie to ourselves about values. BUT when I got to the end of that inspection and I was ruthlessly honest (as honest as I could muster) I came up with a very sad list. Even still, I held on to the 'belief' that you share here. When I was open to a new belief (like letting go of the idea that we are 'injured) I got see the world a little clearer. It was emotionally painful, but as Sarno said, most of us would deal with the psychological problem over the physical one if given a choice.

    This sort of mental obstinacy is the same thing behind our symptoms. It is one of the walls that our unconscious is trying to reinforce and it is a prime cause of TMS. MOST of Sarno's vignettes involve some sort of story with that at it's crux.

    I think that WE think, if we allow that thought to be, the structure is somehow weakened. Truth be told, people who need to cling to idea's like that are undermining their whole being with oaths they can't live up to. That's why a certain 1st century carpenter told us to not make oaths.

    Odd as this may seem, I can now participate in relationships that are less than perfect and let them just be. If my GF was to leave me tomorrow, I'd be OK. If she came home and told me she's sleeping with someone else, I'd be OK. If she demanded that I earn a certain amount of money , I'd be OK. The details of our life are like a river and we are just moving along downstream. Sometimes for awhile we paddle along with others, but they may get ahead or behind. Ultimately if our relationship with the All is OK, the details do not disturb us.

    One of the wisest men I have ever heard once said "These things might bring anger and sorrow... God can help you with sorrow... but anger? Your on your own?"
    He said this in the same year one of his daughters was murdered and the other died from alcoholism

    "become as a passer By" -JC the carpenter
    BloodMoon and plum like this.
  4. jula

    jula Peer Supporter

    @Baseball65 Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Well, by that „it’s not an option” I mean that it’s something I don’t want to do, it’s not about an oath, really. I am aware my life can go in many directions and anything may happen but now there is nothing unworkable in our relationship so this is why I don’t want to lose it. I love seeing my husband every day. But sometimes I feel like it’s my body trying to force me to do something I don’t want to do. And it makes me feel out of control - like ok, there might be something to it but to the point when the body wants me to make one particular decision? I really hope I will figure it out somehow, there are parts of me that love the relationship and parts that hate something about it I guess and it might be about some reconciliation. But seeing you dealt with TMS and it got better when in a relationship shows me it’s possible. I know I have some internal work to do and change internally.

    @jamejamesjames1 I can relate to what you have written, I am like this too in many aspects of my life. It’s always like I expect something to be perfect and when it isn’t I am disappointed.
    Baseball65 likes this.
  5. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    @Baseball65 This maybe my favourite post of yours so far but it has some tough competition.

    @jula It’s ok and in fact entirely natural to feel ambivalent about a relationship for a host of reasons and especially if you have a history of loving bad boys and the hot and cold dynamics of those relationships. “Nice” guys, good men can seem...boring, dull but that’s nothing more than an illusion created by a habituation to high-octane, stressful emotions. After a while that shit gets really tired.

    I can’t add anything to @Baseball65 words except that the longer you’re at this TMS gig, the more you realise it’s all about relationships and to quote Jon Kabat-Zinn “wherever you go, there you are” and unless you’ve gotten past yourself, you’ll take TMS with you.
    Balsa11 and Baseball65 like this.
  6. jula

    jula Peer Supporter

    Oh Yes, @plum I worked with my psychologist on that and she said the exact same thing, some people are prediposed to feeling this way and for them usually good guys seem boring and toxic a-holes seem exciting. Thankfully I never entered a relationship with such a toxic person but was definitely fascinated by such guys. And I am grateful I haven’t acted on it! But my mind really wants quick fixes and I tend to have a lot of „grass is greener” thinking. This is something I have to work on, because this attitude quickly makes me unhappy with what I have, you know, the perfectionist is me is running the show. Not really sure how to work on that particular issue and will be grateful if someone shares how they managed to deal with that. I really hate that part of my personality, which I know is not good, kicking yourself when you are down. I am really lost how to deal with it, of course I know it will always be a part of me but how to live with her in peace and do not let her dominate.
    Balsa11 likes this.
  7. Sita

    Sita Well known member


    Just an idea. Each time you are getting in this mind frame (the bad one) just tell yourself: "This is not me!" And then repeat. Try to concentrate on the good side, good personality trails of your partner, of yours, of your surroundings, of your house, of the food you eat etc. Notice the good side. It might take some time to do that, but it's just an exercise that you'll have to do/repeat, and then you'll see results.

    Nobody is perfect. It's unfair to ask perfection from a partner when you yourself, are not perfect. Why do you live him? What do you like about him? Think about these things. Everyone is struggling in this battle of life, just don't make your life more difficult. Do the opposite, make your life easier, more at peace, more easy by noticing the positive side of things. Just try to let go a little of this "the grass is greener" pattern of thinking. Actually, we have no idea what is in other people's mind. We might look at a person and his apparent facade/life and perceive that he has it all. When in fact, he might be miserable inside. Perception is not reality.

    Just my opinion.

    Take care!
    Balsa11 and BloodMoon like this.
  8. BloodMoon

    BloodMoon Beloved Grand Eagle

    When Lou Reed talks about his perfect day in his song 'Perfect Day' (lyrics here: https://genius.com/Lou-reed-perfect-day-lyrics (Lou Reed – Perfect Day Lyrics | Genius Lyrics)) there's a line where he says 'you made me forget myself'. And I think that's what we can want our partners/spouses and friends to do for us - make us forget ourselves, not just for a 'perfect' day or two - but (unrealistically) for all or most of the time.

    My first suggestion is that you consider 'forgetting yourself' / 'taking yourself out of yourself'/ 'getting out of yourself' by the giving of yourself - If you don't already do so, consider volunteering some of your time to other people less fortunate than yourself and/or to maybe an environmental project where you can be outside all day when the weather's nice if/when you want to. It doesn't though have to be a huge commitment or take up a lot of time; one off acts of kindness are just as good. Imo this article beautifully sums up the benefits of volunteering to the volunteer: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/life-gets-better/201503/get-out-yourself (Get Out of Yourself). As @plum says:
    My other suggestion is to make a long-term commitment to writing down three to five things at the end of every day for which you are grateful. Gratitude gradually alters the brain, see https://thriveglobal.com/stories/how-gratitude-actually-changes-your-brain-and-is-good-for-business/ (How Gratitude Actually Changes Your Brain and is Good for Business). Also, keep particularly noticing when you feel unconditional love, e.g. when you look in on your children when they are sleeping, and when you feel it for your wife and friends, and also try to notice and appreciate when others are giving you unconditional love; write all of that down too...and read back all of what you've written regularly and relive and savour those feelings.
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2020
    Balsa11 likes this.
  9. Baseball65

    Baseball65 Beloved Grand Eagle

    and @plum, it also gets tiring and confusing BEING that guy. I never understood why so many girls were interested in me when I was younger. I wasn't particularly good looking , had little money and was thrown out of every school and system I was ever involved with.
    I didn't have a car, rode a skateboard and oftentimes lived in abandoned houses. I had serious chemical dependency issues and was a criminal. Not very good candidate for the dating market, huh? Later I sobered up and became a musician and worked construction and that's about as far as I have gotten.... that and baseball.
    I went out with all of the wealthiest, Prettiest girls in school, and later successful career women....usually initiated by THEM. I had zero expectations of finding a partner based on my lifestyle, yet during some of the most dramatic self-induced crises of my life was when there was always a 'she' around.

    But the kicker is... in my life, every time I started getting my act together, women would LOSE interest in me and that goes all the way up to my late forties, and the last debacle of a relationship I was involved with. I was very, very confused. I was very very lonely and angry (TMS) too.... I didn't want to be a fuck up, but that was what usually attracted women to me.
    THEN I read a ton of literature about the phenomenon @jula and You both brought up. From the Male perspective. I have had a few other women friends admit it to me. It is just one of those red pill truths that IS. I am not a psychologist and even they probably couldn't fully account for it, though guys like Rollo Tomassi have made a good stab at it.

    This is a HUGE TMS maker. I know it is a pet rage of most of the 'good guys' I know. I always laugh when I hear single women say 'there are no good men left anymore'. Bullshit! I know tons of them who are single and lonely. The women in question don't realize that the guy they want to meet is HOME because he is responsible and getting ready for work, taking care of his Mom or his pets and other people. They are not going to find him in a club or even on a dating website...cause he is too busy for that sort of vanity.

    Reading Eckhart Tolle really helped me divest myself of that 'role'. I am no longer popular, BUT I don't give a shit. The myth of the lonely old man is just that. A Myth. I am like "Alex in Wonderland." Being alone is like being a child in a playground with no adults around... You are totally free to think and be however you want.

    I think in another time and place I would have been a monk or a religious. I oftentimes am jealous of them.

    Just thought i'd chip in on our side. Peace
    Balsa11 and plum like this.

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