Author Topic: Dealing with the Emotional Rollercoaster & Dating  (Read 2714 times)

Captains wife

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Dealing with the Emotional Rollercoaster & Dating
« on: May 04, 2015, 10:42:59 AM »
I am not sure what to do so I am posting this thread to hear other's experiences on this. I have become a very emotional, sensitive person since my husband died suddenly almost 3 years ago - before this, I was definately a tempermental person (any of my boyfriends or my late husband would attest to this) but now my emotions just take over on occasion and I cry at the drop of the hat or lose my cool over little things. The funny thing is underneath it all, I am a rational person and I am self reflective so I can undertand when sometimes "it is me..." and I do try and take a step back and analyze both sides of the situation so I can be fair to the other person.

But I am having trouble dealing with these emotional rollercoasters while dating. If I am having an issue with the person I am dating, I know I should just sit down and rationally talk to him but I am finding this difficult. So these days, I tend to say to the person why I am upset but then I retreat to my "woman cave" for quite a while because I feel my emotions get the better of me and I "shut down". But I have more recently asked for time when this happens so I can have time to process my emotions (i.e. I tell him I will be in touch soon) and then try speak with him about what is bothering me when I feel less emotional, more rational. But sometimes I feel I cant talk to him at all so just let the issue slide and tell him nothing is bothering me. I am not sure this is good - and seems childish on my part. Also, part of the problem is that I dont know if what is driving this emotional rollercoaster is my grief, our relationship or both.

I am not looking for advice on my relationship but maybe how to better handle my actions/emotions. They really feel out of control sometimes, and what I think is over really small things or things where if we talked about it (rationally) they could be easily resolved. I have been trying to avoid meds (I havent taken anything since my husband died) but maybe I need to re-consider. I go to the gym, see a grief therapist...not sure what else to do at this point?

« Last Edit: May 04, 2015, 01:29:58 PM by Captains wife »


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Re: Dealing with the Emotional Rollercoaster & Dating
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2015, 12:49:34 PM »
CW, I wish I had some advice.  I've noticed too that my emotions have become rather supercharged since losing Tim, and I think of it rather like this:  my overall level of sensitivity had already slowly but gradually been going up my whole adult life.  I was one of those teenagers who scoffed at the thought of commercial or song or a poem or whatever making me cry.  But then I met Tim, and suddenly those songs that mentioned finding "the one" started hitting me in a tender spot, and I "got" why people sometimes shed happy tears. 

Then after we married, art that evoked the idea of losing him after decades together started to get me.  I was one of many who cried at the beginning of "Up," when the old man has to say goodbye to his wife and best friend and companion of many decades.  The thought of losing Tim, even as an old man, hit that tender spot. 

Then we started talking about when we should start a family.  And suddenly those damn "watching your kids grow" commercials would bring the tears.  (They still do, since that family will never ever be)

It seemed like every major life event wore away a little bit of my emotional "buffer," and I would eventually turn into one of those oversensitive old ladies who would cry (happy or sad tears) at the drop of a hat.

I think losing them so young (and maybe in our cases, also so suddenly?) accelerates the loss of our emotional "buffer," at least for some of us.  It's maybe a combination of just plain fatigue coupled with a real emotional loss-of-innocence, but I know I've already become that oversensitive old lady who cries at just about anything, decades ahead of schedule.  And since I've only dated one person since being widowed, I'm fairly certain my rollercoaster is more due my grief than a relationship.  I think my emotional callus had simply been worn away and I've become one big, heart-on-my-sleeve raw nerve.  And I have no insight as to if/when it may start to grow back.

I'm sorry you're having a rough time  ((Hugs)) I wish you the very best of luck navigating this confusing and often treacherous time 
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Re: Dealing with the Emotional Rollercoaster & Dating
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 08:35:07 PM »
Huge hugs CW. I also find that I am even more sensitive to issues that come up during dating as well.  I find that much of it has to do with hidden triggers that the other person is unknowingly doing.

I have found EMDR therapy to be really helpful for rationalizing and centering my emotions around these triggers. I am not perfect, and I have a long way to go, but it has helped me to desensitize a bit.
Gone but not Squish.

Miss you forever baby girl, my Pru!


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Re: Dealing with the Emotional Rollercoaster & Dating
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 05:19:48 PM »
I have been saying this the last couple years "I process emotions differently as a widow than I did as a non widow".   That means different things to me I guess.  Stuff that was a "big deal" before isn't to me now and stuff that wasn't a "big deal" before is now.  Confusing?  Yes.

I have always been a sensitive, emotional person.  I don't want to change who I am not at all.   I have to learn my emotions all over again though as a widow.   Because I process things very differently.   

I also have the new found ability/defense mechanism of completely shutting things off and becoming "cold".  I do not like that either. 

So it is a challenge to learn the new me and how I process emotions.   As time goes on I do find myself being better able to handle the rollercoaster.


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Re: Dealing with the Emotional Rollercoaster & Dating
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2015, 08:55:14 PM »
CW, I hear you. Sensitivity is a wonderful thing, a kind of new strength, but it does take some getting used to. I try to see it as an asset, something that always tells me how I'm feeling and helps me figure out what I need. You are doing great managing an absolutely crazy curve ball that life sent. Please be very kind and patient with yourself as you get calibrated to your post-loss emotional palette. Sending much support.