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kittenb
I have a problem. I have a (hopefully mild) case of "ring fever." I keep thinking about getting engaged. Now, a good portion of my relationship has been documented on the Bust board but, to recap, we've been together over two years and have lived together If he asked, I would say yes. However, I have no idea if he is thinking about asking. When my birthday came up in September, I thought he might. For Christmas, I really thought he might. Needless to say, he didn't.
I am not devestated that he hasn't asked. Dissapointed but not devastated. I've been thinking about marrying him for a long time but he moves slower than I do.
So I don't know what I should do. It seems that I have gotten everything I want out of this relationship by letting him come to things in his own time. Should I even bring it up? Considering I am in school, it is not like I have a ton of time/ to even plan/pay for a wedding. I don't know why I am so focused on it now. It just seems like it makes sense. We've talked about it briefly, he knows I want to marry him. I really think that I need to simply wait. He will ask when he is ready to ask. However, the not knowing is stressful for me. blink.gif
I think I just need some support. Is it okay that I keep lurking in the wedding thread here and looking at wedding dresses on-line? Does that make me crazy (it might be making me crazy)?
Anyway, thanks for listening. I needed to get that off my chest.
stargazer
QUOTE(kittenb @ Dec 26 2009, 06:02 PM) *
I really think that I need to simply wait. He will ask when he is ready to ask. However, the not knowing is stressful for me.


(((kittenb))) I think that is the best approach. The Geek seems like a genuine and good natured fellow. He will propose the proper way when he is ready. Nothing wrong with daydreaming about the type of wedding you will want. It just sounds like you are ready for that next phase of commitment in your relationship.
kittenb
Thanks star. I appreciate the support. cool.gif
turbojenn
Kitten, I totally agree with you and Star - let the geek propose when he's ready - you want to know that your partner is ready for the commitment. You've got all the fundamentals in place for a totally solid marriage - and that's the important part. But BOTH of you have to be ready for the next step - you're there, and you know the Geek is the one for you, so patience is the test for you in waiting for him to catch up. Marriage won't really change the life you share together, but walking down that aisle in front of all the people who've made you who you are is an amazing feeling, and you WILL get there when the time is right. Hang in there!
nickclick
kitten, what if you asked him? do you think he's not ready for marriage? or just the asking?
kittenb
QUOTE
kitten, what if you asked him? do you think he's not ready for marriage? or just the asking?


I thought someone might ask this. There are two main reasons, the first being by far the biggest. In many ways I have been the one to move this relationship forward. I was the first to say, "I love you." I was the one who started the conversation about us moving in together. I need him to ask me this. Otherwise, my own insecurities (formed way before I met him) would go a little crazy. I need to know that he wants this as much as I do and I want him to take the lead here.

My much smaller and sillier second reason is that if I were to ask I would feel like I should have some sort of ring and I could only afford something out of a gumball machine at the moment. rolleyes.gif
nickclick
QUOTE(kittenb @ Dec 28 2009, 02:06 PM) *
I need to know that he wants this as much as I do and I want him to take the lead here.

i hear ya. mr.nick is a worry wart, and i've had to take the lead and talk him down from many a ledge when it came to choosing our first apt, buying a house, vacations, adopting a dog. heck, even buying furniture requires research and all his brain power because ahhhh!!!! what if he doesn't make the right decision??? but i never did see that when we discussed getting married, when he asked or when we planned the wedding. he doesn't usually regret big decisions after they're made but still, it's a lot more fun to know he'd been just as ready and excited. (PS his car just broke down for good so here goes a week of car shopping, pro/con lists, etc etc etc..... wish me sanity please!)

kitten, it'll be worth the wait. in the meantime, here and here are kinda fun places.




kittenb
Okay, now you are just enabling my problem. tongue.gif
Seriously, thanks everyone. I appreciate the support and it helps me feel more patience. I figure I have at least until graduation (end of the summer) before my mind has enough free time to really go crazy about this. I think, now that the holidays are over, I will feel less anxious or pressured or whatever. It will happen when it happens.
angie_21
Hi Kitten, I'm a little late the party here, but I am in the exact same place as you, only it's been four years. After 2 years I started to wonder, it must be about to happen soon. Now I've just come to accept that no sweeping romantic gesture is going to happen, we've talked about it enough that when it happens, it'll happen, but it won't be a big deal. I mean after 4 years when you already live together, and you've both promised it's a long term commitment, well... it's kind of a moot point anyways, isn't it? I also think if money wasn't an issue (ring, wedding venue, food & alcohol for both our huge families! oh man!) we'd be married already.

I think it's up to you whether you want to ask him or not. If you know he will when he's ready, then I think you are already taking the best approach, but some guys do need the push We do live in a day and age when women don't have to sit around waiting and let men have all the power over when, if ever, a marriage happens. And since marriage happens after the long-term commitment instead of before, we don't put as much weight on it or feel the need to do it as soon as we used to. But part of that is because we (should) have open communication about what we want from the relationship to begin with. It sounds like you already have that, which is so much more important than the piece of paper anyways!
hellotampon
My boyfriend cheated on me. We've been together almost 6 years, living together for almost 3. Everything seemed pretty good. I was browsing online and saw some random thing about cheating so I impulsively logged into his facebook and saw a filthy disgusting message to some girl in his outbox. It was about getting together sometime soon to have sex before I got out of work. I can't even describe how I felt when I saw that. I called him up at work asking if he was cheating on me and he said yes. I screamed "we're done!" and hung up on him, then called my mom hysterically, and I guess she called him and talked to him about it. Then when he got home I beat the crap out of him and we've been going at it with these heavy emotional discussions ever since.

I keep asking why he did it, and he can't tell me. Just the usual "Yeah I felt guilty but I was thinking with my dick" answers. He says he's not actually even interested in this girl. He works with her, and they started flirting and one thing led to another. He didn't actually sleep with her but that was ONLY because I caught him first, so in my eyes he may as well have. A few days later he confessed that he did kiss her, so I'm wondering if maybe he does have feelings for her but won't tell me.

The night I found out, he dropped another bomb on me by saying, "I don't know if I can be in a committed relationship right now." He feels like we're married, we got together too young, he's missing out on his 20s, and for the last few months he's been feeling trapped and confused. These feelings come and go, and he's been ignoring them. Sometimes he's happy and sometimes he just wanted to get out. But that he does love me very much.

I've had the same feelings about us getting together so young (we were 19 and 20), and plenty of misgivings about commitment (because it IS scary). Difference is, I talked to him about it! And I did a lot of self-reflection until I knew what I wanted and was okay with it. I didn't hide it from him and I didn't hide it from myself. Plus, last summer he was talking about marriage, and I was the one who said let's not rush into this... maybe in a couple years. And now all of a sudden, after 5.5 years, he's just now realizing that we're in a committed relationship? Also, we have not missed out on our 20s. We've done everything you do in your 20s together, except sleep around (and after all the girls he went with before we started dating I figured that was probably out of his system- he's my #2, I'm his #17). We've gone on road trips, backpacked Europe, did a lot of drugs and partying (esp in the beginning). And now he acts like his life was over the moment he met me. In the last year or so we've come to the conclusion that if one of us has to move, we'll work something out. I no longer think, "Oh no what if he gets a job across the country? What if I have to move for college?" So I am not, and have never, held him back. Whatever he's wanted to do, he's done with my cooperation.

I've always had issues with cheating because my father did this to my mom when I was 14 and they got divorced and there was all this drama and it's been a huge thing in my life ever since. I made it clear from the beginning that cheating was a dealbreaker for me. It's the worst thing you could do to me. And yet here I am trying to "work it out." We start couples therapy in 2 days and I honestly am going into this blind- I have no clue if we're going to stay together or not. It's just hard when you love someone that much. I can't cry on my best friend's shoulder about this because he IS my best friend, and vice versa. I honestly believe he does love me. He's not one of those guys who withholds affection or won't say it. And I've always thought I would never find anyone more perfect for me. So it's really hard. I wonder if he subconsciously wanted to get caught, knowing this was a "dealbreaker," as a way out of the relationship. I keep asking him what would have happened if I didn't catch him and he'd slept with her, and he "doesn't know." He never wants to think of anything hypothetically. And I have this desperate urge to know every minute detail about what happened, in what order, how he felt, and why. My mother says I shouldn't go nuts like that because it won't work out, that there are some things better off not knowing.

Everyone I've talked to says that guys that age do this. They all know someone, or it's happened to them personally. He is graduating college this semester and is kind of freaking out about it. That's the only explanation I can think of for him acting like such a huge douche. We had a good thing going and he ruined it.

I've been attracted to other guys, naturally, but could never, ever cheat. I don't have it in me. Whenever I've thought about it, just hypothetically, I immediately feel horrible and guilty. So I'm having a really hard time understanding why he did this to me.
nickclick
(((hellotampon))) i'm so sorry this happened to you.

sounds to me like when he says he's missing out on his 20s by being in a relationship means he misses the freedom to whore around. maybe he thought he could get away with it and get it out of his system. or maybe, like a child, he thought it might be easy and might have continued to cheat. either way, sounds like he was thinking only about himself, especially knowing your explicit feelings on the subject. even after therapy, could you trust he'll not do this again?

ps i hate that "one thing led to another" bullshit. he is a freethinking adult with control of his actions. who cares how quickly or innocently it started. he could have made it stop and he didn't.

pps "all guys go through this" is some more bullshit. he should have broken up if he felt constrained by your committed relationship. cheating is lazy and selfish.

more hugs (((hellotampon)))
Persiflager
(((hellotampon)))

He's talking bullshit because he has no defence - don't let him shift any of this blame onto you! If you decide to forgive him and work it out (and I understand why you might, after all that time), don't let him get away with crap excuses.
karategrrl
Hellotampon, I'm new to this thread but not Bust Lounge. I am so sorry! <<<<<<hugs>>>>>

Five years ago I, too, was in a committed, feeling-married, living-together relationship that I thought was almost perfect. Then, come to find out he wanted an "open relationship" (which to me are two contradictory terms) and did all sorts of asinine things (similar to what your BF has done) which make no freaking sense. It fucking HURTS to be betrayed, grrl.

Therapy is good. Even if you do not stay in the relationship, my $.02 is, it will help you become firm in your decision.

There's no way to sugar-coat it--you've been dealt a shit card. But from your postings on Bust, I know you are a strong woman and will, in the end, do what is right for you--whatever that is.

--Hugs and strength vibes going out to you-- (and hope no one minds a newbie intruding)
hellotampon
Thanks everyone. You all made good points. He's visiting his family right now, a couple hours away. He left yesterday and is coming back tomorrow before our first counseling appointment. I have no idea if we're going to work this out or not. I probably should have just packed my bags right then and there, the night I found out, and went to stay with my mom, without even wanting to know what happened. That's what I always told myself I would do. I do agree that the counseling is going to help us personally whether we break up or not though.

I know that whatever happens I'm going to feel really shitty about this for a looooooooooong time, and I'm not looking forward to it.
stargazer
((((((((((hellotampon))))))))))))) Let us know how things go for you tomorrow.
kittenb
{{{hellotampon}}} I have to ditto a lot of what has been said here. If you want to do counseling then go for it. However, he has to take responsibility for what he did and aknowledge why he did it. I don't buy the "All guys do this at his age." It is a choice to cheat (emotionally or physically) not some rite of passage or developmental stage.
Good luck and I hope you get what you want out of this. I am so sorry that this happened.
rogue
*delurks*

Lurking because I'm not in a relationship right now but because I care about everyone here so I read a lot of different threads....I just wanted to say that I'm really sorry that this had to happen, hellotampon. I discovered an ex of mine was cheating in much the same way and it felt awful. I asked our roommates if they knew anything and that's when the shit hit the fan. We stayed together for another year after I found out (we didn't go to counselling or anything). It was hard. Really, really hard. I never trusted him after that. You and I are different people though, so it's entirely possible that you and your relationship can recover from this.

My father also cheated on my mother (but I was only four, and he's still with this woman) so I understand how you feel about cheating. It's absolutely despicable. I hope things get better though. You seem like an awesome lady with a good head on her shoulders and you don't derseve this.

Much love. ((((hellotampon))))

*relurks*
ketto
Wow, what's going on with all the cheating and breakups lately (check out the moving on thread)? Tampon, he sounds like an immature jerk. I don't buy those kind of excuses either and he needs to take responsibility for what he did. It's such an intimate breach of trust and I can't imagine what you're going through (((tampon)))

Paperboy and I have been living together about 2.5 months now. It's weird how easy it's felt. November and early December things felt a bit...stressful. I wasn't in a great mood and we were still negotiating our expectations and all that stuff. The last three weeks have been really good though. Still some stuff that we're working out.

I'm a lot neater than paperboy so he asks me not to do the stuff he plans to do (usually washing the floors and dishes - I do dishes 40% of the time, fold the laundry, wash the bathroom and kitchen, most of the cooking and shopping, and do the generally tidying - he does 60% of dish, laundry, and floors - I like this divide because I like being able to keep things tidy the way I want to) but then he leaves it to a point where I think it's gotten too far. I finally brought it up, prefacing that I didn't want him to get defensive about. He was okay with it and said he understood but then said he didn't like it when I just leave my breakfast dishes for him to do when he didn't eat anything. When I get angry I start to cry, so I gave him an "are you fucking serious!?" look and then started to cry a bit and started listing off all the things I do for him and how I don't just clean the stuff I use, I do everything for both of us. Right after I said that I think he realized that I do a lot more around the house that he just doesn't see. He felt really bad and gave me a hug and said he was really sorry and I do a lot and all that.

I'm always afraid we're going to end up in the kind of relationship my parents have. They're great together but my mom does WAY too much around the house - I think she's just gotten used to things being that way. My mom doesn't work outside the home and my dad does, but she does ALL the cooking, most of the dishes, all the laundry, all the floors, all the tidying, all the vaccuming, all the litter box changes, all the gardening, etc, etc. I made it really clear to paperboy that we need to have at least close to a 50/50 divide or at least make sure we both feel like we're equals.
nickclick
ketto, i know what you mean about being like our parents. my dad is retired and my mom still makes all his meals, cleans the whole house, does all the laundry, etc etc etc.... it's this farce where my dad says he WILL do the dishes or whatever but my mom does it before he gets to it. or that she doesn't like the way he does it. rolleyes.gif

i find myself either nagging mr.nick or just doing some chore myself often as well, because i'm also the neater of the two of us. i did make a point of saying that just because he doesn't mind a mess doesn't mean i don't, and he should respect that by at least containing his messes to less obvious places like his dresser, the basement, etc. and he has, for the most part. otherwise, i hate to food shop (i love shopping and food. ironic, huh?) so he does that. and he cooks. i do the cleaning. we both do our own laundry.

ketto, did you move in with him or vice versa? or do you have your own place? mr.nick has improved his unslobbiness since we moved into our much-nicer-than-his-old-dump house.
ketto
Exactly. Even when you try and help my mom she goes, "oh no, don't worry about it, i'll get to it." They don't even really seem to have issues with it but my mom also had a breakdown 3 years ago where it became painfully clear that she puts way too much pressure on herself. Sadly, not a whole lot has changed.

We both moved out together, so we were both living with our folks before. At my parents house, my room was immaculate and I pretty much kept myself confined there the last two years. At his mom's house he had the whole upstairs to himself (two bedrooms, large hallway, and bathroom with no shower or bath). It was soooooo messy but I didn't care because it was his space. There was always clutter and dust and overflowing garbage. He says he likes that I keep him clean and tidy. Even now he says he feels bad when his dresser gets cluttered but I always say that I don't care, it's not my dresser. tongue.gif It's funny because paperboy is so detail oriented that when he finally does get around to cleaning or doing chores he probably does them better than I do. It takes him almost 2 hours to sweep and mop our floors and we live in a fairly small 2 bedroom apt.
auralpoison
(((((HelloTampon))))) Let's go to Mexico or something! Some sun, some sand! Margaritas!

I wish I were better at the sharing of duties things.

Because of how I grew up, I have an unreasonable need to control my own environment. I'm not proud of it & I am trying to change. But it is so hard for me to be flexible with my environment because it was something so hard won. I had to move out to have even the most modest of control of my own space. Even then, my dad was a critical dick about things. For every tiny freedom I was given, I had to give something big up. INSPECTIONS. They were contributing to my not having to be in the ghetto dorms, afterall. I could have been stuck with a heinous roomie like most of my friends! They PAID for my having a place! So I sucked it up.

I hate myself right now. This was so painful. Part of me wishes I'd have sucked cock to keep from having to depend on my folks. I'd have felt better about myself.

ANYWHO! What you guys talk about with your family dynamics is sooooo foreign to me. My mother wanted nothing to do with anything & barely cooked, my dad refused to take responsibility for anything that wasn't home repair/"outdoors". . I took care of most everything, outside/inside. I did all the outdoors stuff outside of mowing, pruning & snow shoveling. Inside, I cleaned, I cooked, & once I could drive, I took over running the whole house. The only thing hard & fast in my house was laundry: we all did our own from about the time I was ten because my mom started intentionally fucking things up so she wouldn't be asked to do it anymore.

After I moved out? ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. My father had no idea just how little my mother did around the house. Things fell apart. Nothing was clean, the dishes weren't done, food wasn't on the table, his work boots were where he left them, nobody bought toilet paper anymore. Because he loved her so much (Andwas a punk as far as I am concerned), he started picking up the slack. For lack of a better word, my dad became a housefrau because my mother wasn't doing it. She hadn't had to do it for thirteen years, she wasn't about to start then.

The brief period where HB & I lived together? Was a fucking nightmare for me. Yes, he made space for me, he gave me my own good-sized room to do with as I pleased. HE IS/WAS A GREAT BOYFRIEND, I AM AN ASSHOLE. I enjoyed it at first. At first it was nice getting dinner together in between working. But for some reason once he came home? There was this weirdness about my continuing to work as opposed to being like, happy to be the hostess with the mostest. I was used to keeping my own hours & doing my own thing & I eventually broke. This was/is a failing in me as a human being. I am selfish & I am lazy as shit. I tried, but once it started fucking with my work? Yeah, I bounced. Which still hurts. I am a punk ass bitch when there is somebody that will go to great lengths for me. I SUCK.

He's a remarkable man. He's put up with a lot of bullshit from me. I hate to admit it, but I still don't really understand why he loves me. I don't. I'm SOOOOOO difficult.
hellotampon
Ahhh Mexico would be amazing!

We went to therapy today. I'm feeling much better. Still not okay with it, but way better. We're going back next week.
nickclick
glad to hear it!
starpiste
I'm catching up a bit after a long absence from here.

It took mr. SP and me a good 3 months to settle into comfort with the cleaning responsibilities. I tried to leave things that he said he would do, but he often left some things until I thought they were gross. Once I figured out what those things were I just did them. I picked which things really got to me, did them, and adjusted to the other things I could live with.

That just makes things seem so easy and is not reflective of where I am in my relationship right now. ugh.

I actually think I took this same attitude with something way more important than cleaning - having babies. I've known from early on that he is not interested in having kids. He knew that I was. We became happy with agreeing to disagree with me saying I wasn't ready now anyways, and him saying that maybe he might change his mind. It's now a year later. I have a much more stable job, I'm feeling like I'm older and one of my besties is pregnant. Back then we discussed what we would do if I got accidentally pregnant. I don't feel I could stick to that now. However, I'm pretty sure this would end in him leaving me.

This is adding stress to an already strained sexual relationship, and is just making me feel totally unattached to him. Although I guess I went into the relationship knowing this would happen. I don't even think I have a question, I just needed to get this out an don't feel I can take this to any friends right now.

and yay that therapy put you in a better place!
dayglowpink
(((hellotampon))) I'm glad that therapy made you feel better. It's hard to go through what you're going through. From my experience, a lot of couples can get through something like that if they are committed to each other and the relationship and both willing to do some hard work.

starpiste- you might want to check out the "maybe baby" thread in Friends and Family. There are a lot of us who have been dealing with issues similar to what you mentioned with you/your BF/wanting/not wanting kids, etc.
samiam
Impromptu of nothing but the current storms in my head, has anyone here ever attended AlAnon? I think that I may be a candidate, but am afraid to try. Thoughts? I have been posting the "Maybe Baby" thread about my latest relationship collapse and don't feel like rehashing here, but needless to say alcohol has been a prime motivator of much of my now-ex's behaviors. I seem to have a thing for addicts.
stargazer
Hey samaim, there is the addiction thread. Feel free to post there or the moving on thread. Some Busties have shared about their relationships with exes with addiction issues in the Lounge.

I've never been to Al anon, but, I went to Alateen as a teenager. I'm glad you have checked in here. Been wondering how you are doing.

((((samiam))))
zoya
hi Samiam - I've been to al anon. It really did help - you may have to go to a few different meetings to find one who's "personality" clicks with you, but check out a few. it's not a quick fix, but over time I did learn a lot about addictions and also that I wasn't the only one who'd been affected the way I was deeply affected by an addiction.
edie52
Hellotampon, how is the therapy going? I guess I'm in a similar situation. Except that my boyfriend has feelings for someone else but didn't act on them. I don't know what's worse, physically cheating or having real feelings for someone else. I would say that the former might be easier to get past, if it was truly just physical. But obviously both are really tough situations.

I had been posting in the moving on thread, but now it turns out we both want to try to work it out. My boyfriend had a huge crush on someone else. And after I found out, and we pretty much broke up (though not fully because we still live together and see each other all the time), he confessed his feelings to her. But she's not interested. So now, I don't know what to think. Obviously I'm glad that she's not interested, and he said that getting it out there and getting an answer is helping him get over it- but I don't know whether to believe him. Feelings don't just go away, though I guess the fantasy of her liking him back is over. He also said that he thinks things worked out for the best because although he wanted her he knows that an actual relationship with her would be a disaster (which I 100% believe, as I sort of know her too). I question what would have happened had she been interested too (he said he honestly doesn't know). I don't like feeling like he I'm the default girlfriend or 2nd choice- but he did tell me he cares about me more than anyone, and he wants to regain my trust. It's not going to happen overnight, but it will have to at some point if we're going to stay together- right now he feels guilty and like the bad guy and I feel betrayed and all these emotions are natural but very draining. I wonder if it's possible to just let them run their course?

Of course the more important question is what I want. For the past few weeks I've been saying that I don't know and doing more things on my own, which has made things more balanced between us and caused both of us to want to give it another shot. We had some great moments of fun and tenderness (but also a few horrible fights). So last night I told him that I do know what I want- to try to work it out, but for things to be different- for us to be happier, me less jealous and him more open and honest. But now I feel all vulnerable again.
nickclick
(((edie))) i hope it works out for you. i think that feeling of betrayal will run its course for sure. not to be a downer, but will you always worry that he may feel this way again about someone else? or do you think something was unique about this person and the place your bf in right now?
edie52
Nickclick, it's hard to say. Maybe I will always worry if it will happen again- but it's something I already worried about before, so I think there's the potential to worry about it less in the future, because one of my worst fears already came true and I know that I will eventually be okay no matter what happens. It's made me less scared of losing him, because I pretty much felt like I did and it sucked but it wasn't the end of the world. Also he's clearly NOT the perfect boyfriend as I thought so losing him wouldn't be as big a loss as I'd thought (I still love him though...). So I'm less concerned with hanging onto him no matter what and more interested in figuring out what we both want and what needs to change.

On the other hand I think he handled this extremely badly, so I don't know if I'll completely trust him or believe he's being 100% honest with me, ever. And he doesn't completely trust me either, because I snooped on him. If that doesn't change we can't stay together.

I think that he will always be attracted to other people, and I've only recently admitted to myself that I am sometimes, too. But when you're in monogamous relationship that's healthy and happy, it's no big deal, just something you notice and don't obsess over. What happened with this girl was a combination of things- our relationship was going through a rough patch and starting to lose steam (after having been together for a few years), he developed a crush/attraction, and it grew into infatuation as things continued to be difficult with me and he continued to hide it. So that's the place he was in, and there was also something unique about the person I suppose because she is uncommonly beautiful (trust me), and she also works in his field and is in the position to help him out professionally/socially through her connections. I think he imagined himself shedding all the baggage of our relationship and getting into a casual relationship where there's less pressure and more excitement and the bonus would that he could make new connections. Part of him must have known it was a fantasy that would never turn out that way, but he still couldn't help the feelings he had when he saw her.

Now he still wants to keep being friends with her so things won't be "weird" forever. I'm not against him being friendly to her, but I don't think he needs to actively be friends. It just doesn't seem like a good recipe for friendship- he has an obsession that is probably still somewhat present (though defused), yet he finds her personality "obnoxious," and she knows about his feelings and is using them to manipulate him (his words). I don't really care about him hanging out with her because I know nothing will happen, but I do need him to be honest with me about what he wants. And the fact that he wants to hang out with her makes me think that he's not as over it as he says.
stargazer
edie, so, if this woman was receptive, then your boyfriend would left the relationship? blink.gif What's up with this friendship with her? That's doesn't sound well or considerate of your feelings. Just my opinion.
dayglowpink
edie- I've been in a similar situation, and it was pretty hard. My boyfriend and I had an open relationship, but he ended up developing strong feelings for someone that he started a sexual relationship with. We broke up for a few wks about a year ago, then got back together, and then broke up again recently. It's a pretty complicated situation. He's still close with the other girl. I don't know if you know anything about polyamory, but is it possible your boyfriend could be poly? My ex is pretty sure he is poly but he has some issues with being in a relationship where the other person is poly as well. That ended up becoming really problematic in our relationship. There are a few forums that might be useful as you guys are trying to figure all this out (Polyamorous Percolations is one, and I think there's one called modernpoly). Are you going to go to couples therapy? It might be a good idea.
edie52
Yeah, it is fucked up. And inconsiderate. That's my opinion, too. I guess it's probably over.

ETA: Dayglow, I just saw your response. I think he might be poly. I mean, he has expressed interest in being in an open relationship. Not just so he can mess around; he also thinks it would be hot if I did. And one of the things he resents most about our relationship is my jealousy and the feeling he has to report to me. I was open to talking about it but have mixed feelings so we never gave it a go (knowing that everyone has to be for it and on the same page for it to work out). When we were semi-broken this past month I developed a pretty strong attraction to a few different people- people I'd thought were cute before but I'd never allowed myself to really feel the chemistry with (I have an iron will when it comes to monogamy) . And it was kind of empowering because I wasn't still all "boo-hoo, he likes someone else and I'm gonna be all alone." We aren't going to therapy because we can't afford it. But I am definitely moving out next week, so I guess we're going to see if the space helps us or if we just drift apart.
hellotampon
(((edie))) I'm so sorry. I think any kind of cheating is pretty horrid (like you, I have an iron will for monogamy), but I don't know if I could handle him having feelings for the other girl. At least in my situation it was purely physical Or so he says. I'm taking everything he says with a grain of salt. I mean how could he do this to me, knowing what it would do to me- this girl had to have been worth it, right? We're paying $60/session for therapy, which is cheaper than I thought it would be, and it's helping us figure things out. It still sucks though. It looks like your boyfriend did the same thing as mine- had doubts about the relationship and instead of talking to you about them, hid them and acted like an asshole behind your back.

I would NOT want him to stay in contact with this girl, and if she doesn't like him back and is "manipulating his feelings" then why would he want to either?
dayglowpink
If you are interested at all, check out these two books: Opening Up and The Ethical Slut. They are very useful for anyone considering an open relationship and figuring out if it's something you want or not. It is definitely possible for it to work if both people are on board.
Persiflager
((((edie))) That's such shoddy behavior, and so hurtful. He wants to regain your trust, but insists on still being friends with her?! Um, no, cutting off contact with her would be the very first thing he needs to do. And you are not unreasonable to say so.
dayglowpink
Also, edie, I wanted to mention that if you do want to pursue therapy, there might be a free clinic you could go to in your area. Or if you live in a city that has a college/university that has a psychology or social work program, they may have a training center that provides therapy by graduate students for free. A couple friend of mine did that, and it went well for them.
buttercups
Sooo my bf has been looking at pics of his ex-gf online. I'm not sure if this is a big deal or not so I need you level-headed ladies to put me in my place if I'm wrong. I caught him doing it a few times last year, which was our first year dating, and I was using his computer and saw that he had all these pictures of him and his ex on there (they broke up 3 years ago). He had pics of him and his ex making out in a pool and making out in other countries, and all crap like that. Ok that was fine I guess, I have pics of my ex too (not all quite like that though), but I could see the dates that he had looked at them and it had been pretty frequently throughout the year we had been dating. I confronted him about it and he at first denied it, then after i told him i wasn't stupid pretty much, he said it meant nothing, and told me he had deleted all the pictures. I let it go and that was that.

Then over this past weekend I was at his house and using his computer again and his internet died. I went to his history when it came back to get my site back, and lo and behold his history was full of facebook links to his ex-gf's sister's pictures. The pictures were all of his ex and her sister on the beach in bikinis. At least those were the ones he looked at.. I don't know if I should be upset or not. He certainly had not been looking at pictures of me anytime soon, and I'm the real self-conscious type, so this made me feel really bad about myself (did I mention his ex has a rockin body way better than mine?). I know he loves me, but I'm hurt. And I feel like he found a way around looking at pictures of her that he thought I'd never find out, since he deleted the ones on his computer and now he can just look at facebook. I was completely surprised by this, did not expect to stumble across anything. God I've snooped in the past, but this wasn't even blatant snooping and I get punished. Do I have a right to be upset? Should I confront him? ( even though I'm pretty sure I'm going to before anyone will have the chance to answer me).

Ugh I've got so much going on with school and stress right now, this is the last thing I need. Fuckin men!
kittenb
I would want to know why he is doing this and what he was getting out of looking at these pictures, especially since he knows it bothers you. As for whether you have the "right" to be upset, well, you are upset. You can't "unknow" this information. He and you need to deal with your hurt feelings. I can tell you that I would be unhappy to learn if my guy was looking at those pictures. Oddly, I think I would be more unhappy that there was no apparent conversation b/w them, just him looking at the pictures. It would make me feel horrible to suspect that he found an ex more attractive than he found me.
nickclick
i've been guilty of ex-spying on facebook. (i confess that mostly i just wanna see how miserable he is without me.)

maybe the pics he saw just happened to be bikini pics? you should still have a conversation, especcialy given the previous incident. you weren't snooping on purpose and you should tell him that it upset you.
buttercups
I confronted him about it and at first he kind of denied it until I let him know exactly what I was talking about and that I knew. I told him that I wanted him to show me the pictures himself. He said it was innocent and that he was just looking at those pictures because he had been at this place with them and wanted to see if he was in any of them. He went to show me the pictures and at first took me to a different album she had on fb that had a similar title. Sometimes I think this boy thinks I'm stupid. The pictures in this album were nothing big at all, and I asked him if these were the ones he looked at. He said he thinks so but he forgot exactly what he had looked at. I told him I knew the title of the album and this was not it. So I took over from there and found the right one and clicked on all the bikini pics and asked if these were the ones he saw. He said he couldn't really remember, but that he wasn't thinking anyways and didn't mean to hurt me. I'm not quite sure what to think. If the content of the pictures wasn't his ex in a bikini I probably wouldn't really make much of it, but I think the content of it is what's bothering me. He keeps insisting he didn't mean anything by it, but I don't know what to think since this is his second offense..
hellotampon
He doesn't remember? Oh that's rich.
buttercups
My thoughts exactly!
dayglowpink
Hmm, I guess I will try to come at this from a slightly different perspective. I have pics of me and my ex-BF having sex, naked pics, etc., and I am planning to keep them whether I am dating someone else or not. I would always want to have those pics for the memories, and I could see myself looking at them every now and then as well. I'm imagining, because I'm not dating anyone else yet, so I don't know how I'll actually feel at the time, but I am pretty sure that I wouldn't feel any less for another guy just because I still wanted to have memories of my ex. I know everyone is different, but to me it also wouldn't be a big deal at all if a current BF still had or looked at pics of someone else. My ex had pics of his exes and other girls he'd had sex with, and it wasn't an issue to me. OTOH, I know other people who would have a huge problem with it.
anarch
(((buttercups)))

Sorry I don't have anything else to offer. I can see dayglowpink's point of view, at the same time as knowing that if it happened to me, it would bother me. Though it would probably bother me less if he consistently did his best to make me feel desirable and loved and respected. (Of course, part of making someone feel loved and respected is to make things right when you've hurt them, even if inadvertently.)
ketto
(((buttercups)))

I have mixed feelings about this too. I can see dayglowpink's side but I could see it more if I was still single. I definitely have old pictures, notes, etc from my ex boyfriend. When I was single I might have taken them out to have a look every so often but I would say it's been a few years since I did that. We remained friends so I still talked to him online and we would hang out every so often. But now that I've been with someone for 1.5 years (and I'm not really friends with the ex anymore) I know that it would make my partner really uncomfortable if I was looking at pictures of him, especially if I was trying to hide it.

In buttercups situation, it sounds a little suspicious but he also may have just panicked after doing something innocent because he was worried about hurting her. It really depends on so many things though...personality, current relationship, past relationships, context.
buttercups
Thanks for all of the support ladies. I think it would be fine if maybe he was looking at just normal pics of him and his ex, but the first time I found him doing it it was all pics of them hard-core making out everywhere, and this time it was of bikini pics of her that he was not even in. So I guess I've just been having trouble thinking about what to make of it. I've pretty much let it go for now bc I care too much about him and in every other way he has been a great bf. I'm just insecure as it is and I hate having to wonder. He has since tried to constantly reassure me that I'm all that he wants, I just hope he means it. It's the content of the pics that's bothering me the most, not so much that he was looking at pictures of her. I know we all have pics of our ex's and I know I do too, but I've never been compelled to look at them so consistently..
sageykins
Buttercups- I'm not sure I can say anything because I've been in this mess of a relationship for a year... He's kept a whole bunch of pics of the ex -naked and otherwise- for the entire time. And I finally lost it when I saw the pic he got recently. He's had so many other issues though- or I should say we had issues. He wouldn't help with finances, or cleaning, or the dog very much, he was withdrawn, wouldn't talk about the problems, etc etc etc. So in the long run- he hasn't been a good boyfriend. And I hear you saying he has been...
I can't agree with dayglowpink because for me, when you're committed, living together- there is no need to keep physical reminders of that intimacy. Him keeping the naked pics, the sex videos- it ruined all trust I had that he kept them after I'd found them, and said he didn't want them/need them/look at them. Yet they were there for 9 months. And now she's sending him pics again. And he's forwarded them to his email...
Sorry, I'm off running on my own tangent. My point was for some people, it's ok, it doesn't bother them. Dayglowpink -she's unphased and that's cool. And probably I should spend some time with her to be more laid back about shit that really doesn't matter in the long run- I mean, I'm thinking about it and will it? I guess not. But for me, it made me so insecure, it hurt, and it hurt even more that they were kept. So I hear you loud and clear.

I'm wondering if he's continued to look now? Does he understand it hurts you and say 'I won't look again, I'm done, I'm with you'. Is he supportive of how you feel and realize his actions affect your emotions and thereby the relationship? And does he want to do things that will make you feel better about your relationship and him? That's what I should have been saying all this time- I guess I needed to vent a little about my own mess of a situation. How he is responding to your feelings and opinion of the whole thing is what matters now.
anarch
QUOTE(sageykins @ Feb 25 2010, 06:29 PM) *
And now she's sending him pics again. And he's forwarded them to his email...


Oh, my cod, as far as I'm concerned, that's completely different and entirely WTF. I mean, if they're sexy pics. (If they're ordinary non-sexual snapshots and they really are just platonic friends like, say, Elaine and Jerry were on Seinfeld, then ok...but the other things you describe sound awful anyway, so who could blame you for feeling insecure?)

(((sageykins)))
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