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Hello tea drinkers, I hope your morning is off to a better start than mine. I talked to the man early this morning and I was left feeling like I have to end things with him. Not because he did anything wrong. He didn’t make me feel bad or hurt my feelings in any way. It’s just that our conversation made me realize just how close he is to his family, and I feel like I can’t compete with them to hold an important place in his life.

Yes, logically I do understand that there is no real competition for attention and affection, because it’s a different kind of feeling that you have for a lover or romantic interest. However, the illogical part of my brain doesn’t believe that. Not really.

To be completely honest, family has always been a sore subject with me. I’m not close to my family at all; I never have been and probably never will be. Aside from my brother (who happens to be dead) I’ve never felt like I belonged with them. My sister was my dad’s favorite and my brother was my mom’s favorite. Then there was me, the odd child out. Now that I’m older, I tell people that I was just a very independent child, but the truth is that I was independent because I felt lonely and unloved. And honestly, I still feel like that lonely little girl with only herself to rely on. I never felt like I had a real family that actually loved me.

So there it is. Another secret. Actually, that’s not the secret at all. The real secret is that when I see families that are happy, close, and love each other, I look at them with a mixture of envy, sadness, and disgust. I know that I’m not the only one. Many of my friends feel the same mixture of ambivalence when they see happy families as well.

It’s not that I hate families, I just don’t understand them. And yet I desperately want one of my own. Well actually, let me clarify, I want a husband. Not children. Children terrify me because of the issues I have with depression and anxiety. I’m afraid that I will struggle to bond with my own child. So there’s that. But when I think of being part of a two person family, my heart feels at home with the idea.

I have this desperate longing to be married. To be someone’s favorite. To be important. To be picked. To be loved. And as I work through these feelings in therapy, I realize that these are the feelings and needs of a little girl. Adult relationships don’t quite work that way. But in my head, I can’t quite seem to separate it out.

So back to the man. Realistically, I understand that he can love his family and love me too, and eventually (hopefully) I’ll be part of his family as well. I know that love is in abundance and there is more than enough to go around. But my real thoughts and feelings revolve around a sense of lack. I feel that if he loves them, he can’t/won’t love me. That’s been my experience with family my entire life. For me, family equals exclusion. And that’s been true for me as a child, as an adult, and as a long-term girlfriend; I’ve never felt included or comfortable in a family setting. Him being so close to his family scares me. I feel like I’ll always be in competition with everyone else and that I’m going to lose every time.

So where does that leave me? I mean besides crying all morning and eating brownies for breakfast, lol. I obviously have deep insecurities when it comes to family and I don’t know how to address them. Do I talk to the man about this? Do I wait and talk to my therapist next week? I don’t know what to do. Any suggestions?

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