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squirrelgirl88
QUOTE(Persiflager @ Aug 24 2010, 03:41 AM) *
Happy Relationship Paranoia

((squirrelgirl and snarky))


Hah! Love it. I need to send this to all of my taken girlfriends.
snarky7
Well maybe it's a sign of good things to come (let's hope) but tonight we did talk about purchasing a house - stemming from the fact I want my very own 4 walls and not have to share one with the neighbor - and how much we each could pitch in to make a payment. SIGH. I could hope that's a good sign.

Anyway squirrel - it's not fun to be scared, but most of us are about our relationships. I am. I remember the first night I met Julio in person - I knew before dinner was over that I wanted to kiss him. And when the kiss finally happened later that night, I knew I was gone. Toast. I fell hard. Hook, line, and sinker. As we progressed in our relationship and moved onto the more fabulous physical parts, I remember crying the first time - yes, I'm a girl through-and-through - because I was SCARED that this meant I was bound to get hurt.

But you know, I also remember thinking that I'd get hurt sooner than later. And it's been a year. *cheers for self!* It's not been an easy road in any stretch of the imagination, but it's worth every bit. Happy Relationship Paranoia and all tongue.gif

Keep doing what you are doing, though, squirrel - because one thing I do know is that you can't lose yourself or change your life over a guy. I did that with my son's dad. It's so hard to dig out of the hole you can make for yourself by giving up even little things. I had nearly 10 years to dig myself the hole, and in 4 years, I am making progress to climb out again. I feel good about myself and the things I do for the most part, but the damage caused in a poor relationship is scarring for sure.

But always do the things that make YOU happy. And if he makes you happy, TELL HIM! Tell him all the time until he can't even stand it! Remind yourself that you deserve all the happiness the world has to offer, and that he's dang lucky to have you. Tell yourself that you are all he needs and then some. (and yes, I'll tell myself to do all the same things)

Hopefully he'll have enough sense in one brain or the other to follow you as you live your life. biggrin.gif

(((squirrel))) g'night for now....
snow white
wow, good thing i took a look in this board. can i jump on the happy relationship paranoia train?

but first, squirlgirl88, as for exsisting in a couple with different interests, it can be done! welcome to my world. my man ("C") is a guy's guy; likes old school country music, heavy metal, doesn't read much (although i did succsessfully get him addicted to a series about a sniper, it felt good when we were both book worms), and LOVES to hang out and work on his big ulgy truck with our neighbor (they're off-roading junkies, which is surprisingly fun). he's also 8 years older than me.

needless to say i'm not into any of that. i'm pretty "girly". and we laugh about how opposite we are but sometimes i wonder what it would be like to "wax philosophically" into the night about books, movies, ect... but then i remember i'm never attracted to guys who i have too much in common with (that's just my own weirdness, the fact that i usually love how different he is). ya, it can be infuriating sometimes, but i try to keep in mind something my mom told me when i came to her w/ this dilemma "you don't have to have the same interests, you just have to care about each other". i like that piece of advice. i hope that helps alittle.

looks like i'll have to come back to rant about HRP~life calls.
karategrrl
Differences are totally fine and do stimulate a relationship as long as there is mutual RESPECT--neither one should disrespect what the other likes. And also it helps if the differences are about things you can live with--like, you can overlook your partner's love of sardine ice cream (just don't watch him eat it); but can you live with his wanting raise your child as a zealous Quaker Taoist Jew when you are atheist?

snow white, I also sometimes think how nice it would be to be more in the same intellectual plane as my man, have serious discussions into the night about spirituality and such things. My man generally does not read books (though he has ONE about bodybuilding). I just focus on all the wonderful things we do share, and there are many.

So glad I found this board. You ladies are great.
deschatsrouge
QUOTE(karategrrl @ Aug 26 2010, 01:20 PM) *
zealous Quaker Taoist Jew


LMAO! laugh.gif laugh.gif laugh.gif
snarky7
how goes the HRP battle busties?

My weekend with Julio was not spent talking about our relationship or the future but we did have fun just being together. That's what it's about right?

Hoping all's well for all of you.
buttercups
feeling sick to my stomach need advice asap. used my bfs comp last night to check my gmail and it automatically signed into his first cause yeah its his computer. wouldnt have cared, about to sign out to check mine, saw at the top of his emails his ex-gfs name...and i clicked it like an idiot. hes been telling me for years he wants nothing to do with her and would never talk to her again and not care, and yet..he initiated the contact.. it was for her birthday just pretty much asking how things were going and it was definitely flirty. they hadnt talked in awhile as far as i know. she answered, was flirty back and said that she had broken up with her bf. he answered back asking how she was doing with that blah blah blah. not a real serious offense clearly, and i shouldnt have looked at it and invaded his privacy, but i couldnt stop myself when i saw that name, because im a stupid jealous woman. and i think i posted it on here when one of hte other times i was using his computer i found out he had been looking at bikini-clad pics of her ( and lets just say she looks better than me too..really thin, athletic but with curves, pretty).

i feel sick and stupid now. i dont know why he would do this and not tell me about it too. anytime ive talked to my exs about something, even a little thing, ive mentioned it. now the lines of communication between them are back open, and i dont know why. and of course this comes at a time when im just going back to school and my life is crazy and we have no time to be together and pretty much have like a long distance relationship when we only live a town apart. does he still really like her? why after all these years would he say he would never start contacting her again and now here it is. i hate men. i hate feeling disappointed about someone i care and have trusted so much. its not a big offense, like ive said before, but for whatever reason it still feels like some weird kind of betrayal. i guess mostly because of his insistence, even after i caught him looking at pictures of her (and there was more than one occasion) that he had no interest in even ever talking to her again. and it would be one thing if she contacted him, but no he contacted her. ugh gotta go to clinical now, feel so bad. : ( this is what one gets for looking at things that werent meant for them to see..
Persiflager
(((Buttercups)))

Oh hon, I am sorry! Have you talked to him yet? What rotten timing.

Mind you, given how much this upset you, I can see why he didn't mention it! I'm not saying that's necessarily right, just that you might be over-reacting a teensy tiny bit...

Possibly similar story - my sister had an ex who was insecure, and used to get upset or depressed if she spent time with male friends. Now, my sister is definitely not a cheater, but she had good male friends (including other exes) that she wanted to keep spending time with. Insecure ex made this very difficult, so she started telling little white fibs to keep everyone happy - for example, she'd say she was out with just the girls when it was actually a mixed group. One night, Insecure ex gets up in the night and notices the message light blinking on her phone, can't resist checking it, and finds a friendly message from one of the boys referring to said mixed night out that had been described to him as ladies only. Cue massive drama.

I'm not saying you're as bad as him, but answer me two questions:

1) Could your 'flirty' be the same as someone else's 'friendly'?

2) Would you ever have been ok with him staying friends with her?
buttercups
Thanks for your response Persi, and I very well might be over-reacting because I do tend to do that haha.

But I'll update you a little and then you tell me what you think. So I called him this morning and I couldn't help but try to see if I could get him to say that he had contacted her. He has been going to his ex's mom who is an eye doctor for some eye issues and he had an appointment today. I asked him if he ever talked about his ex to her mom and he said "not really"- yeah right hahah, but whatever. So then I said I was fine with all that (why wouldn't I be) but wondered if being around his ex's family ever made him think about his ex or want to get in touch with her or whatever. He said no, that he never thinks about her and I have nothing to worry about. I pushed it a little further and was like "well what if it made you want to contact her or something" and he was like "even if I was going to you have nothing to worry about" and I asked if he was going to and he said no. I was then sorta like "ok well, as long as you're not thinking about getting in touch with her or anything cause of course I'd want to know". And he still said that nope, I had nothing to worry about.

Why the lying?? That's a simplified version of what went on, but I gave him so many opportunities to come clean and just be like "yeah, I did contact my ex, just wanted to know how she was" or whatever. I gave him so many chances to just come out and tell me. Am I being ridiculous or is there more to the story here? I can't stand lying. I know I played a game to see if he would admit it, but I don't see why he wouldn't take that chance for me to not get mad and be honest.
sybarite
Buttercups, I think the answer is in your post, when you admit you played a game to try and force a response from him. I also think Persi's got some good advice.

To be brutally honest, I don't think you have anything to really worry about with regard to the ex; I do think you're doing a lot of this to yourself. He didn't admit to contacting her because your repeated questions showed him this was an issue for you--and he doesn't want to upset you with something that honestly sounds inconsequential. I think you should take his 'even if I was going to you have nothing to worry about' at face value.

I do understand how you feel; years ago my bf would hang out with two different female friends and have long phone conversations with them, all of which bugged the hell out of me--not least because I was fairly sure one of them had a thing for him. He was unimpressed with what I realise now was my unfounded jealousy, and my jealousy in itself became a problem for a while. As it happened there was nothing for me to worry about, and if I had stopped worrying I would have seen that.

Try not to worry as much, easier said than done, but thinking the worst can almost become a habit. I really have been in your shoes, right down to that sick feeling you describe--and I know in these situations you can be your own worst enemy. Hope you feel better about all this soon.
snarky7
Oh Buttercups - that stinks. I agree with sybarite tho. It's a tough thing try to NOT be insecure with this type of situation. But take it at face value. If you are unsure about the relationship between you and your bf, then ask him directly. Don't make assumptions about anything or it will make you sick! Trust me, I KNOW!

Case en pointe - Julio and I were having some issues not too far back. I don't know what it was - distance was the biggest point of note - but I just had a "Bad feeling". I kept worrying about him "deleting" facebook posts or putting different email addresses on FB or other locations - email addresses that I didn't even know about. I felt horrible about it all, thinking the worst, but too scared to talk to him directly. To make a really long story short, we ended up arguing over something completely stupid and that pushed me into spewing my "worries" about FB and emails and everything else. I wasn't totally off in my feeling about us and the distance, but the talk pushed him to point out something he was simply trying to avoid pointing out, because he knew I'd get upset - hence the distance. Of course, I got upset, as expected - but - when I took a step back and looked at everything, it was really me blowing it all out of proportion. And once we could have a civil conversation, we've worked out the hardship and are moving ahead in a great way.

Anyway, I'd say try to just let it be and maybe ask him more directly about how he feels in your relationship. If he's a real man, he'll own up to anything that's bugging him. But hopefully it's just insecurity at its worst. I hope his response might (pleasantly I'd hope) surprise you.

Hugs to you Buttercups!
sukouyant
((buttercups))!!

I do agree with Syb, and like her I know where you're coming from I've been in your shoes of having peeked when I know I shouldn't have and getting lied to about what I saw. I've also been on the spied-on side of this.

My story which may or may not be relevant: A few years ago, when things were a little more casual (at least for him - for me, not so much) my BF started seeing a painter and announced that he was dumping me for her. It was awful.

Fast forward a year+ later, we're together again, he's staying at my house and same situation as you, he forgets to log out of his email and I see HER name. Of course I read it sad.gif and they're corresponding about him doing a portrait sit with her. This would never have been okay with me in a million years. Well maybe a million, but not 1+years with my bruised feelings and pride.

Anyway I seethed silently for a day not even knowing how to 1. admit I read his email and 2. even bring it up I was so mad/hurt/scared of how insecure I felt and of admitting that to him.

In the end I had to just blurt it out - and Buttercups, to be honest I didn't have the gumption to admit that I had read the actual email, I said that I saw her name in his inbox and I asked him what it was about.

I think if you decide to come clean, you should make sure you know what you really want from the situation and what you want to ask him to do. Stop contact with her? Be frank about it in the future? Ask him what he's afraid of when it comes to being frank with you. I guess he has fears as well, a little different from yours, and is going to want some reassurances too...

IMO - If it's going to gnaw at you, blurt it out. If it's just emails and you can let it pass, let it pass and keep showing each other a good time.
buttercups
Hey everyone,

Thanks so much for all of your thoughts and opinions. I did decide that I needed to let this one go, that it wasn't meant for me to see and whatnot, but not before he texted me later that same day that I was asking him what was going on and told me that he had contacted his ex and he was very sorry. He owned up to it without me having to say anything again, and even though he should have the first time it was good that he did it at all I guess. I didn't really get mad, just acted "indifferent" and tried to talk it through without letting my emotions get the best of me. I think that was because after reading all of your comments I realized I shouldn't get so upset. My sister also reminded me that nobody's perfect, and if this is the one mistake he makes its really not a big deal. He says he doesn't even know his ex anymore, and that he was just trying to be nice.

Sorry that you guys have had similar experiences. Mine also seems like peanuts next to yours suk, I would have gone bat-shit crazy berserk in that situation! So sorry you had to go through that.

Thanks again ladies and I'll keep you posted. Still feel a little trust issue but hopefully that will go away in time.
sukouyant
QUOTE(buttercups @ Sep 14 2010, 07:24 AM) *
Sorry that you guys have had similar experiences. Mine also seems like peanuts next to yours suk, I would have gone bat-shit crazy berserk in that situation! So sorry you had to go through that.


haha I didn't mean to throw my situation up against yours as worse - just didn't want you to feel alone - you should hear the epilogue to that story!

I'm happy it worked out well for you and your guy and you're feeling good. smile.gif
buttercups
Thanks Sukouyant, and no you definitely didn't do that- it helps a lot when others share their experiences!
Persiflager
General question for debate.....

Do you think it's possible to be in a relationship and never fight? And would you want to be?

I've got this friend (let's call her cool.gif. She's been in 2 long-term relationships - an 8 year relationship from school onwards followed by 4 years of being single, and now she'd engaged to her partner of 2 years. In all this time, and both relationships, B claims to have never had a fight with a boyfriend. Including the break-up with the ex!

Now, I know that people have disagreements about what constitutes a 'fight' in a relationship, and I'm sure they've disagreed or bickered in a minor way. But from what I know of B and the boys, I think she's telling the truth. She doesn't argue with people in general, and they're both very laid-back.

I think I should feel jealous of B, but I just don't! Lord knows I could do without the 'drunken scrabble argument', or the 'lost in a foreign country while driving on the wrong side of the road trying to find the hotel in the dark and the one navigating says 'right' when they mean 'that's correct, turn left'' argument. But the proper arguments I've had with boyfriends have generally been about important things, and resolving the conflict has been part of the relationship growth. It seems to me to be a part of intimacy, that you expose the raw nerves, and that must trigger a certain amount of protective defensiveness.

For that matter, I don't think I've got a serious friendship where we haven't wound each other up properly at some point. No matter how well two people get along, they must have some differences, and accepting/resolving those is an important bond.

So, what do you think? Do you feel envious of B, or sorry for her?

ketto
I wonder too what her definition of a "fight" is. I would say paperboy and I don't really 'fight' but we've gotten into it definitely.

I probably define our issues as arguments or heated discussions. We've had 2 or 3 very heated discussions but we've always resolved them in the same discussion and like you persi, they're usually important things that have been building, and we always feel closer after. I think it's all a part of a relationship and proper communication. Typically our issues arise because something small has started bugging one of us and we let it grow over time until one of us blurts it out. This happened more in the first year we were together but has happened maybe 2-3 times in the last year, if that. I think we both find it's a good clearing of the air, even if it feels shitty while we're in it.

I have three best friends, all of which I've known my whole life. I've gotten into numerous fights and disagreements with two, but I've never even had an argument or disagreement with the 3rd. I love her dearly and she's an amazing person so I think it had more to do with her personality than mine (I was a pretty hot-headed teen).

So I guess I too feel like I've never faught with my partner but I also feel like we've had the same kind of arguments you have. I feel like going through those kind of issues with the people your close to just shows how close you are. I've stayed friends with my friends for 20 years because they know me like no one else, good and bad and all. I feel the same way about paperboy.
snarky7
QUOTE(Persiflager @ Sep 15 2010, 05:26 AM) *
But the proper arguments I've had with boyfriends have generally been about important things, and resolving the conflict has been part of the relationship growth. It seems to me to be a part of intimacy, that you expose the raw nerves, and that must trigger a certain amount of protective defensiveness.


I completely agree with this part Pers. It's natural, I think, to argue or have heated discussions (props to ketto) over areas that are touchy for one or the other person in the relationship. A resolution to the discussions most typically means a deeper understanding of each other, and a tighter relationship, IMO.

Do you think B gives in too much or maybe isn't one to really speak her peace? I'd wonder how much she's really holding back? But maybe she's not that type of person, and maybe was lucky enough to find the right men too.
Persiflager
Well, she's the sort of person who'll accept invitations for three parties in one evening because she doesn't want to let anyone down. Which is well meant, but drives me nuts because (a) it implies that she thinks we'll be devastated if she can't come, and (cool.gif it means that she arrives late and leaves early from every party because she's fitting too much in.

So yes, the 'not fighting with boyfriends' thing is consistent with her general personality. I don't mind that, I think what bothers me is the vague sense of smugness about it. I don't think it makes her relationship superior! I think it just happens to be a reflection of their personalities (which are also not superior).
anarch
Yeah, everybody's got different styles. "Doesn't want to let anyone down"...a touch of people-pleasing, there, possibly, which might contribute to never fighting?
karategrrl
I don't have much useful to add, but I wanted to just chime in and thank all of you for your very constructive and insightful posts. Trust (and the goddamn ex-GFs!!!) has been a huge issue in my marriage...nice to know I'm not the only one dealing with these issues on, like, a way-too-regular basis.
Allison-Shine
QUOTE(Persiflager @ Sep 15 2010, 07:26 AM) *
General question for debate.....

Do you think it's possible to be in a relationship and never fight? And would you want to be?



OMG, OMG, OMG, I can't believe that this thread is touching upon this. A fellow Bustie asked me in private message if my boyfriend (of a year and a half) and I ever fought and I had to honestly tell her we really don't. I felt like a liar or just unusual in being honest. We do have an age gap (I am 24 and he is 33) so I think that the gap provides a buffer zone from conflict in addition to his maturity and his ability to be rational and tactful for the most part. But it can be a point of mild contention at times. The age gap can be an issue where although he highly respects me and my intelligence he still can go into his "you think you know it all but you younger girls/women don't know everything" or "you haven't been around long enough" "you have to pay your dues", when we get into disagreements, it can get patronizing. Sometimes I get at him with "being around longer isn't everything" and "you can still learn a thing or two yourself".

But in his defense he is quite modest about who he is and what he has accomplished and only gets into that mode mostly when his hot buttons are severely pushed by others. He has to be legitimately antagonized first.

But in the end we do not truly fight, argue in a hurtful manner, raise a hand to each other or storm away angry. We truly love, lust and respect each other, not always in that order! LOL. By not fighting are we umm... weird? Bottom line so far he is a keeper!
karategrrl
Hi Allison-shine,

First of all, sounds like you have a great relationship and are very happy. That is awesome. About your question up for discussion...I think a lot of it revolves around what your definition of a "fight" is. Sounds like you two have had your share of conflicts. Others might call what you have "fights," though since you don't yell, you don't define it as a "fight." Do I have that right?

And as for if I'd never like to fight...sure!! I would LOVE to never raise our voices, always discuss conflict or disagreements rationally and sanely. This has not always been the case, but I have to say lately things have gotten MUCH better and we are able to be saner more, and discuss things rather than have it turn into a shit show.
Allison-Shine
QUOTE(karategrrl @ Oct 4 2010, 07:44 AM) *
Hi Allison-shine,

First of all, sounds like you have a great relationship and are very happy. That is awesome. About your question up for discussion...I think a lot of it revolves around what your definition of a "fight" is. Sounds like you two have had your share of conflicts. Others might call what you have "fights," though since you don't yell, you don't define it as a "fight." Do I have that right?

And as for if I'd never like to fight...sure!! I would LOVE to never raise our voices, always discuss conflict or disagreements rationally and sanely. This has not always been the case, but I have to say lately things have gotten MUCH better and we are able to be saner more, and discuss things rather than have it turn into a shit show.



Shoot, I forgot to revisit this thread and answer your post karategrrl.

Yes, we are very happy and we both feel blessed. I would say we have occasional "disagreements" than true "conflicts". The age difference is the only occasional conflict that we may have resulting in differing viewpoints in life or whatever. Even if we dont yell, the argument can be acerbic in tone, but as I said it rarely happens.

A fight may be one thing to a person but not another. But under my definition of one, we really do not fight.
buttercups
So you hear that certain decisions like kids and stuff are a real dealbreaker in a relationship. I'm about to make some pretty tough choices, and I need to know if it's a dealbreaker or not. My bf of 2.5 years is applying to graduate school programs and almost none of them are in the area where we currently live. I am finishing school in May and then I'll be looking for big girl jobs. So it seems that since he is applying to programs and I will be looking for a job that I will pretty much have to go wherever he goes/gets into school, since his situation is less flexible than mine. I am not overly thrilled about this because I am very close to my family and he is trying to get into ph.D programs, which means we'll be out there wherever we are for at least 5 years. In that time my sister, whom I am very close to, is probably going to have a baby and that is something I really really don't want to miss. My sister and I never really had any family there for us when we were growing up besides mom and dad, so it's always been important to me to be there for her kids and be someone who is really present. On top of that I am going to be participating in a special program in the spring that is going to train me to work in community health centers in my state. It is basically a program for recruiting providers and therefore assumes that I am more or less going to be here. Though I'd want to do the program either way because it offers many awesome opportunities, I would like to be able to start working here and now I don't think I'll be able to do that- and my career is also something very important to me.

On top of all this crap, we were talking last night about making sacrifices for each other and I asked him if he would ever make a big sacrifice for me, like not having our own kids and maybe just adopting one at some point if we needed to compromise. I am definitely the childless by choice type and have never wanted children. The very idea of pregnancy has always terrified me and I'm not the "mom" type, I just want my freedom, life, and career. But he has always wanted kids and I found out last night how much. He pretty much said he could not negotiate on that because it's something he's always wanted his whole life and he would always regret not having his own kids. Ugh I didn't know quite how deep this ran because whenever I broached the subject in the past he always didn't want to talk about it saying it's too much in the future (we're 25 and clearly have a long way to go before marriage/kids). I know I don't want kids, and apparently he does more than I thought and it is a non-negotiable for him. Has anyone ever worked through this problem or is this a serious dealbreaker? I feel like if he was the one who had to go through with it then fine that's something I could deal with, but considering it would be my body being ripped apart and everything for something I don't want, well I just don't know. And forget all that "you'll change your mind" crap I've been this way forever.

With any other guy I could just walk away but I seriously think he is the one. He is so wonderful and treats me the best and I've never been so in love with anyone. I'm willing to relocate to risk not losing it I think but that would be a huge sacrifice for me. And we've never lived together in all this time because we were both in school and couldn't afford it- so who knows how it would work cause we haven't even had a trial run and the first time we try it I'll be miles away from home and everyone I know. But then again he is the person for me and I've never met anyone like him and I know there won't be another- and I know that he feels the same way about me. I want to stay with him, but some of these issues I just don't know how they will be worked out. I'm willing to make some sacrifices but I don't know if I can ask him to sacrifice the kids thing since it is more of a big deal to him than I thought. Ugh I thought most guys would be thrilled to have a girl who doesn't want kids! Guess I've found the true family man. So confused and I'll be needing to make the decision to go in a relatively timely manner : /
kittenb
It sounds like he is being really honest and true to his own wants with regards to having kids. Compromise is great when it can happen but I don't know that it can happen in this situation if you don't want kids at all. I am a little confused about that, though. Do you not want any kids, ever, or are you considering adopting someday? Either are valid choices and, no, I am not trying to say, "You'll grow out of it!" But I don't think he'll change his mind either. I just think you need to listen to what you want, listen to what he wants and be honest if you want the same futures.
As far as moving when he goes to grad school, it seems that by examining what you both want in your futures, you will come to an answer as to whether or not you should join him in his move.
Good luck!
buttercups
Thanks kittenb, I need all the luck I can get!

I really don't want kids ever, but I would consider adopting over having my own because pregnancy is just something I never want to go through. But ultimately I do not want any children, adoption would just be a compromise that I would be willing to make. He wants his own kids though so that's not going to help me much...
anarch
hey buttercups,

sorry you're dealing with major multiple stresses. Hugs.

The kids issue has come up at ask.metafilter a few times. The answers in this thread are the most relevant I could find in 5 minutes of googling "metafilter 'want kids'" but I'm sure there are others. Dunno if it'll help, but am linking it just in case.

Good luck and supportive vibes from me too.
buttercups
That link really did help, thanks anarch!

Looks like I've got a lot of deciding to do...I really want to put the kids decision on hold and just worry about that later after 5 years or whatever, but maybe that's not the smartest cause then I've just put more time and effort into a relationship that won't last. maybe I need to fake being unable to get pregnant...jk..sorta... wink.gif
Persiflager
FWIW, I think that having/not having kids is too big a deal for either to sacrifice; the resentment would cause too much damage to the relationship. I also think that a relationship would be unlikely to survive the stress of the adoption process unless both partners were fully committed and keen to have kids.

I think kittenb is right - it's a question of whether or not you want the same future. I don't think that anyone should make sacrifices just for a relationship, but rather for the sake of the shared future that you both want. And I don't think that anyone really has a choice over the core aspects of the future that they want.

Maybe you need to expand the discussion from kids/not kids to the bigger picture of what your life would ideally look like in, say, ten years time.

(((buttercups)))) Not an easy time in a relationship, and my heart really goes out to you. All you can do is be honest with each other.
buttercups
Thanks Persi! I know that it is too much for either of us to ask the other one to sacrifice, and I have to admit I haven't been able to get this problem out of my head lately. The more I think about having kids and trying to picture myself in that role the more I realize that I really truly can't.

I like your idea of going beyond the kids issue to just trying to see what our future could be like in general. Maybe that would be a much better thing to try and talk about because this kids conversation just gets frustrating. My solution thus far has been to put it aside completely with a "we'll worry about it later" attitude. I don't know if this is the smartest choice, but at the moment we don't want to break up and I don't want to picture my life without him just yet. I've been reading up on it alot and the majority of the world does see this as a dealbreaker. I guess I can bank on one of us changing our minds, though that seems like playing the lottery a bit at this point. I'm going to try to talk about where we each see other in 10 years though, try that approach, and see what happens.




anarch
Good luck, buttercups.
squirrelgirl88
No updates since Dec 3rd? - Is everyone off having problem-free relationships?! I haven't been on in months, but I'm in need of some advice. All of my girlfriends live far away/are busy with their own lives, etc.

I'm in love with a guy who thinks I'm a bit of a control freak. We've been having quite a few "serious" conversations lately. That doesn't worry me exactly, because I'd rather talk things through than let them fester. But this is apparently a big problem for and, vis a vis, a bigger problem for me. I am indeed a control freak. Not as bad as some, but mine comes from being an only child who went from living with mom and dad to living alone. I'm used to doing things for me. I actually believe in the strength of selfishness (to some degree). After a completely embarrassing, degrading, and depressing break-up more than a year ago, I adopted a "live for the moment, live for yourself" philosophy. That said - I need to figure out how to balance that mantra with this relationship.

I realize the control freak-ness and the selfishness go hand-in-hand. I do not want to ruin my relationship. But I honestly do not know what to do. Is it as simple as not making plans ahead of time or doing more things for myself instead of asking him to help/do them?

Any ladies out there with a similar issue? OR have you had this issue and dealt with it? Help!
ketto
Without many details it's kind of hard to know exactly what aspects are causing a problem for you. In what ways do the two of you find yourself too controlling?

Things have been pretty steady for us. I was stressed out last week and we had a bit of an argument but it was no big deal. Lately I'm getting really irritated because we tend to work opposite times and by 10pm I'm exhausted, just want to watch something mindless and go to bed, but he comes in the door, and starts talking very loudly about things that have happened at work and he's obviously really excited and worked up and starts trying to pull me into intense disussions about race and class. Sometimes I get so irritated when I just want to relax and he's making some goofy noises or trying to get me to engage in something intense. Yesterday he showed me this clip from South Park that I just did not find very funny and then he kept repeating the line over and over and I finally said, "shut up!" He was not impressed and a little hurt but we got over it. I've had to re-iterate a lot lately that I need him to take it down a notch when he gets home because I have trouble sleeping and he tends to bring up intense topics at that time. tongue.gif
stargazer
squirrelgirl88, well, I think the word is interdependence. You want a certain amount of autonomy which I think is healthy for each partner. Being an only child myself, I know some of my introverted behavior was hard for my ex. I think I am across closed off when I really think about it. I did not know how to share myself in a relationship. I spent most of my time alone as a child to avoid my folks. I got used to doing things alone and not fretting if someone didn't want to do something I liked to do. So, I think I was more rigid, stuck in my ways, and emotionally close off in my 20s.

What does your guy find to be controlling behaviors that you have? Have you discussed the amount of autonomy you need in a relationship? Not sure if what I wrote is helpful for you.

Uh, I'm not in a relationship so I occasionally write in this committed thread to support others. I figure my past fuck ups can help someone else. blink.gif

Persiflager
Details, squirrelgirl88! Give us an example to work with.

I do want to say that you're not a control freak. If the two of you have different approaches to planning, that doesn't make either one of you wrong.

Ketto, that sounds very reasonable!
squirrelgirl88
i know it's been a long time since i've posted.

here's an example of my "control freakness": last night, manfriend and i were talking about the plans for tonight. we're supposed to get snow tonight and because we're in the south, everyone freaks when 2 cm fall. i had plans to have dinner with my friend David tonight as well. so i said, "so, i'll go out to dinner with David, then you'll come over at 8, is that alright?" and apparently, he took issue with the way i said that. to him, this was dictating the plans. i didn't even think of it as that.

manfriend is very sensitive. i've never been with a man so sensitive. i don't want to delve into cliches and all that, but he is.

the main issue is: we've been discussing living together and right now, i can go home and get my space and think, etc. i'm afraid these things will turn into bigger problems if we live together. plus, i'm afraid of cohabitation in general.

words of advice?
stargazer
QUOTE(squirrelgirl88 @ Jan 9 2011, 12:13 PM) *
"so, i'll go out to dinner with David, then you'll come over at 8, is that alright?"


Uh, I found nothing wrong with how you said things. You asked if the time was ok for him. It didn't feel like everything was set in stone. You were sticking with your previous plans and letting know when you would be available. I mean, the other way to ask would've been totally passive aggressive and who wants to be with someone like that ("What do you think we should do?"). It almost implies that you have no idea what you want for yourself if you asked the latter way.

Do you have any other examples where manfriend thinks you are controlling? I think it is cool that you are being open to looking at your own behavior and willing to make changes for yourself. At the same time, manfriend needs to accept you for who you are if he wants to be with you. He is coming off a bit sensitive in your example.
Persiflager
What the ass? How is that 'dictating'?! Now, if you'd said "I expect you over at 8pm. Don't be late, mister!" then I might see his point...

Squirrel, your manfriend is being a dick. And I think he's the one being controlling, given that he's now got you worrying about acceptable ways to discuss dinner plans with him.
squirrelgirl88
star: he is definitely sensitive. i've found myself describing him to my girlfriends as "girlier than i am" on occasion.

persi: i agree that he's being controlling in this aspect. and i definitely brought this up to him later. i told him that i take issue with his sensitivity and that sometimes, he uses it to his advantage because he knows i'll cave. he told me he'll work on building up a thicker skin. i don't think he's really controlling, at heart. we definitely divide and conquer when it comes to planning dates, picking foods, etc. i've just never been with someone who is as particular as i am. this similarity sometimes makes it hard for us to agree on things. where he is particular and passive, i am particular and active. there comes the hard part.

here are the behavioral things he does that bother me:
+he's overly sensitive
+not very communicative (especially about feelings)
+passive (though not passive aggressive, per se)
+a little jealous of my male friends -- and i am one of those annoying girls who tends to have more male friends than female ones
+he's a little hard for me to read due to these things

I've spoken with him on these issues and most have gotten better and I hope they will continue to get better. i know every relationship is a work in progress. and i don't want to end something that's great 95% of the time because of the weirdnesses our personalities create when they clash.

i suppose i'm just worried that nothing will change or get better...
Lunalu
QUOTE(squirrelgirl88 @ Jan 10 2011, 06:47 PM) *
star: he is definitely sensitive. i've found myself describing him to my girlfriends as "girlier than i am" on occasion.

persi: i agree that he's being controlling in this aspect. and i definitely brought this up to him later. i told him that i take issue with his sensitivity and that sometimes, he uses it to his advantage because he knows i'll cave. he told me he'll work on building up a thicker skin. i don't think he's really controlling, at heart. we definitely divide and conquer when it comes to planning dates, picking foods, etc. i've just never been with someone who is as particular as i am. this similarity sometimes makes it hard for us to agree on things. where he is particular and passive, i am particular and active. there comes the hard part.

here are the behavioral things he does that bother me:
+he's overly sensitive
+not very communicative (especially about feelings)
+passive (though not passive aggressive, per se)
+a little jealous of my male friends -- and i am one of those annoying girls who tends to have more male friends than female ones
+he's a little hard for me to read due to these things

I've spoken with him on these issues and most have gotten better and I hope they will continue to get better. i know every relationship is a work in progress. and i don't want to end something that's great 95% of the time because of the weirdnesses our personalities create when they clash.

i suppose i'm just worried that nothing will change or get better...



hey squirrelgirl,

I don't want to sound soo pessimistic, but I've recently had to let someone go exactly for the same reasons that you shared here, plus he took my jokes too seriously, or didn't realize I was kidding, and being funny... I find myself increasingly intolerant of confusion and not-enough-communication that I had to tell this boy-in reference-to let me know when he's open to talk about his feelings, and don't contact me till then... because I was super frustrated that I couldn't even read if he was serious or not..and he didn't contact me for a good while. I sent him a happy thanksgiving message during the holidays and he got back saying "you told me not to contact you so i didnt"... i was like augh!!!... so I stopped thinking about it completely..and now he started texting / emailing again telling me he's made me a new years present.
i guess some guys are just like that.. they might have an extreme fear of being hurt, therefore they try to protect themselves by being super un-open and uncommunicative.

the other culprit behind sensitivity might also be a mood disorder? do you know anythign about his mental health? that might be good to check if you can...
squirrelgirl88
luna: (that's my cat's name by the way!) i understand exactly where you're coming from, but i'm trying not to be too pessimistic. i'm mature enough to admit that i'm some of the problem as well. i am very sensitive and nit picky as well. the difference between he and i is that he is so quiet about it. he has a tendency to let things build up until they become real problems before working them out. my preference is to talk about things before they have a chance to fester.

i understand your need to let this guy go. believe me, part of me says, "you don't need this!" but then another part of me says, "this is the happiest you've been in a long time" and "would you ever find someone who makes you this happy." my manfriend is so willing to put his emotions out there and tells me what's on his mind most of the time. but the other tiny percentage of the time when he's passive aggressive and silly, makes me wonder whether i'm going to be able to stand this in the long run.

this worries me terribly. i'm moving soon (hopefully). and at the moment, I'm not sure whether him moving with me is the best option for us both, even though we've been talking as if that's the only option. he said he feels like long distance would be a "step back," but i've found myself thinking more and more on that. long distance, however difficult, does have its perks.

...and now i'm just rambling. sorry.
stargazer
For what it's worth, Squirrelgirl, it sounds like you are handling things rather maturely. I guess the bottom line is if you can accept those differences in communication style as a couple. It sounds like you feel the positives outweigh the small annoyances in the relationship. Again, the bottom line is if you are willing to work with those differences.

Let us know how things go with the move!
squirrelgirl88
Thanks for the positivity, star. I'm not a naturally positive person; I have to work on it. And I feel I am being realistic about the whole thing. I know we'll have speedbumps (maybe even some significant ones), but until I feel I'm endangering my emotional and mental wellbeing by staying in the relationship, I'm going to continue working on it. I've always felt the things that are most worthwhile in life are the ones you have to work on. And yes, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives.

Again, thanks.
angie_21
Hi everyone. I used to be on these boards a lot, but I've been away almost a year because I've been travelling for school and work. And I'm hoping it's OK to barge back in and talk, because I think I really need it. This whole time, 8 months, I have been trying to make a long-distance relationship work with my boyfriend of 5 years. But, well, for half of that time I was out of communication with him entirely because of lack of technology, and the other half has been pretty stressful. There hasn't been a lot of time to work on the relationship, even though we have talked every night, we've been able to spend a total of about 2 months together over the whole time. And at some point I stopped feeling any kind of romantic attachment to him at all. Over Christmas I came home from school, and I actually felt like I didn't want to be there. I wish I could explain more about it, or that I knew what details to give, but I don't. There aren't any major problems with our relationship. We've been committed and secure the whole time, we almost never fight, we get along, we have the same political viewpoints and the same family backgrounds and work in the same career field. I love his family and we both have fun spending time with eachother's friends. I've always thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives together.

The only thing I can complain about is that for the last couple years before I left for school, things had gotten a bit boring. A pretty normal thing, after 5 years together, we were very settled. I was getting sick of doing housework and I'd heard all his stories a few too many times. Sometimes he can be a bit negative, and it's been nice to be away from it. And since I've left, he's been very emotionally needy, afraid of losing me. Here at school is the first time I've ever lived on my own, and it's the first time since we started going out that people all know me just as me, and not as part of a couple. I love being able to make all my own decisions about where I'm going at night, what I'm having for dinner, who I'm friends with and everything else in my life.

I guess I wish I could tell if what I'm feeling is just a side-effect of being on my own for the first time, or if it's actually our relationship. I don't know how to fix things over long distance, and I don't want to drag us through two more years only to find out our relationship has been irreparably damaged by the distance. And for the last few months it's been really hard to work up any kind of motivation to even try anyways, other than the fact that I know I should. I don't know why - I'm not angry at him, there's nothing I don't like about him, there's nothing to fight about. I'm scared to end something that until now has been really, really good, but half of the time now when I tell him I love him, I feel like I'm living a lie.

Squirrel, I am especially interested in what you said about the best things in life being the ones you have to work on. It is true - the things you work for are satisfying in a different way than the things that are easy to come by. How do you think we should draw the line between what is and isn't worth working for? When is it too much work, or when is there not enough gain, and how do we know?
buttercups
Wow Angie, this is something I can 100% relate to because it has happened to me before. After years of thinking about it, this is what I think happened to my 6 year relationship after I went away to college, and might be what's happening with you. As you've gone away, you've started to change and grow in new ways, and because he's in the same place he hasn't changed and is no longer growing with you. Instead, you are thereby growing apart. It is a very tough spot to be in as you feel yourself being interested in other people and new things and feeling like saying "I love you" is just routine instead of really meaning it. You don't really want that person to come and visit you in that new place, yet you still care about him, don't want to hurt his feelings, and may find it hard to officially move on after so many years of dating. But at the same time the attraction is dead, you no longer want to have sex when you see him and you feel like when you kiss him you're kissing your brother.

Well let me tell you that unfortunately my relationship was not able to survive this. The spark was gone from the person that I really thought I was going to be with forever, and it came as a surprise to us both. But I went about it the wrong way, so please don't do what I did. I dragged the relationship on for 2 more years because I was too afraid to hurt him and too afraid to let go at the same time. i was no longer in love, but I didn't want to admit it to him or myself. I ended up cheating on him because my interests and attractions went elsewhere. He couldn't understand it because while I had gone away and changed, he had stayed the same. In trying not to hurt him, I ended up hurting him more than ever. But even though I was no longer in love I still loved him as a person and cared about him so much, and I still do. After about 6 months of hurt and pain (and definitely some fighting), we were able to be friends again. We stayed friends for 2 years after our relationship ended, and now, as you may have seen in the "Moving On" thread, he stopped talking to me completely exactly 1 year ago without any explanation or anything. I recently found out he had been seeing a girl and got her pregnant after 5 months of dating. She is actually due in about 2 weeks. Crazy to think about.

I mean there were other things going on in our relationship that made it more difficult for me to be with him, and it sounds like you don't necessarily have those same problems going on, but it sounds to me like you have grown and changed and the spark is gone. It is possible to get that back with a lot of hard work and effort, but do you think that it is something that you want to get back? If you know in your heart somewhere that you have moved on and are no longer in love, you owe it to him and yourself to say something. See if you want to try working it out, or maybe you don't. Maybe it is just time to see that you once had a great, fantastic relationship, one that you will never forget and will always have a place in your heart, but it is time for a new chapter in your life. Trust me, he will thank you for it later and after some time you will most likely be able to be good friends. It will be better to be able to have that person in your life than if something goes wrong and then you are no longer able to. I just hope someone else can maybe learn from my mistakes. If you're not ready to give up yet, give it a trial. Go away somewhere alone together and see if you can reignite the spark. If you can, then maybe your relationship just needs a little more work, and if you find yourself feeling like sex is a chore and you don't want to be alone with him, well then you will know in your heart that it has run its course.

I'm so sorry you're feeling this way Angie, I know that it's hard. *hugs*
angie_21
Thank you buttercups. I'm scared that what you say is true. The spark is so far gone, and it's been 2 years since I've really wanted to have sex. I blamed it on me, the pill, stress, or maybe just a normal thing that happens in a long-term relationship, but really I've been getting more and more frustrated, and attracted to other people, while he still feels as physically attracted to me. Over Christmas I found it hard to even want to kiss him, it was just as you say, like kissing a brother. a few days before I left to come back to school, he came up behind me to surprise me with a kiss and I actually jumped away from him, almost afraid. I can hold out hope that if we can fall back in love, and that if I can feel more strongly about him, that this will change. Or I can tell myself my expectations are unreasonable and that the initial spark never lasts, in any relationship. Maybe both those things are true.

There are a lot of other considerations. We are tied together in finances, career, and socially so that it would be more like a divorce than a breakup. He is dependable, loving, and I know willing to stand by me through absolutely everything. Hurting him, even as much as I've hurt him already, absolutely kills me and makes me feel like a horrible person. I've broken up with guys in the past, and it was never so bad because they deserved it. He doesn't deserve it, he is a wonderful, sweet, caring, intelligent, and sensitive man who deserves the world. He deserves so much more love than I am giving him.

We have just started to talk about this, for the last month or so. It was impossible for him not to notice while I was away, and when I got back home for Christmas, that I didn't love him as much. I actually didn't even want to be home, and he could tell. We have had days' worth of discussions about it, but we end at an impasse because I can't say the only thing he wants to hear, I can't say I am still in love and that I have faith we can make it work, because I don't know if that's true. So much of the problem right now is, I don't even know what steps to take to "work on it" or to make things better. I don't know how to change the way I feel. I don't know what he can do either. The hardest part is trying to make myself want to stay. Things have been so stressful, and he has become more and more needy and depressed (even though it's my fault, I'm the one causing it because he is afraid he is losing me) and I just want to run away. But when I actually think about it, it's too terrifying to consider. Despite all this, I don't really want to leave either.

I remember reading recently about your ex's girlfriend being pregnant (I have been lurking once in a while, even if I wasn't posting). Jealousy is an amazing, irresistible force. I don't understand it either, but I can guess after 6 years it would be impossible not to feel something. But you know you made the right decision, and it is good that he has been able to have his own life.
buttercups
Hi Angie, unfortunately it sounds a lot like my situation after you elaborated even more. My ex was a very sweet, kind guy who would do pretty much anything and everything for me. My main problem with him was that he was not motivated to change his life, finish college, move out of his parents house (he was 3 years older than me and seemed to have no intention of moving out past his mid-twenties), etc., while I went on to completely supersede him in all those respects. Other than that he was nothing but loyal and caring, but when I went away I fell out of love.

Have you ever been in a long-term relationship before this one? Did you find yourself getting bored then too? If so, then maybe this is a pattern you've noticed in yourself and maybe some counseling might help you fight that- that is a process that I am currently considering for myself at the moment.

I understand that you guys are intricately tied together through many avenues, but that can't stop how you feel. Unfortunately, you feel how you feel and it doesn't matter how many mutual friends you have or whether or not you share the same bank account. These things have crossed my mind as well, as me and my ex had quite a few mutual friends after I had introduced him to them. I have to admit that he is still in contact with them (mainly because he stayed home and I left), and I don't really see them much anymore. Chances are you are developing your own life where you are now, with new circles of friends and possibly even a new career. Maybe you are no longer as tied to him as you think? And even if you are that shouldn't really be a reason to stay in a loveless relationship (even if he still loves you).

I'm sorry to say that he is probably going to become more needy and depressed as time goes on and you continue to move farther away from him. He can feel you slipping away and will resort to desperate measures to keep you with him. You are not a horrible person, you are just no longer in love. I know I felt like the bad guy and decided to stay in the relationship for far too long, and like I said before, I ended up actually becoming the bad guy because I cheated on him and could no longer be honest out of fear of hurting his feelings. I hurt him more by trying so hard not to hurt him. It's kinda like ripping off a band-aid- you have to do it now and it may hurt a lot for as shorter period of time, or you can hold out and it will hurt more and more for a much longer time. I know that part of you really wants to move on, but part of you is completely terrified of what that means and the possibility of losing that person. But if you really want to keep him in your life in the long run, the best alternative may be to let him go for now. At least then he will probably be the least hurt and you can continue to have a friendship in the future. I have sadly lost one of my best friends forever, but you don't have to, especially if you can manage not to do what I did. If you are really feeling like you can't break up, what about couples therapy? Maybe you could find someone and schedule it for next time you are home?

I hope this helps a little, I will keep trying to think of suggestions - more like things I wish I had done haha. I wish you so much better luck than I had!
Persiflager
Sorry angie, but I've been there too and buttercups is right.

It's been 2 years since you wanted to have sex with him? You haven't had any romantic feelings for him all year, and you were bored for two years before that? Dear, this is much more than a rough patch or losing the initial spark. I'm all for putting the effort in, but there has to be a flame to fan.

'I love you' isn't the only thing your bf wants to hear. He wants to know where he stands, and in his heart he knows that already. The second least hurtful thing you can say is 'I'm sorry, but I just don't feel the same way about you any more, and I don't think it's going to work out'. This impasse you have now is horrible for you both.

Once you have broken up, you can both start healing and move on with your lives. It's not easy, but it would be even harder in a year's time, when you've come to resent each other.

If he's so great, don't you think he deserves to be with someone who actually fancies him, and is excited to be with him? And don't you deserve to feel that way about someone?
angie_21
Wow. This is so much to think about. Until I left for school, it didn't feel like it mattered so much how often we were having sex, and it was OK that the romantic feelings weren't there because we were such a great team, and had built a very nice life together. I mean, it was frustrating for both of us that I would just go to bed and not want to do much more than cuddle. But there was so much good to outweigh the bad. Now that we are so far apart, it's so much harder to tell. I can't tell which emotions are real, and how much of my memories are accurate and not influenced by my current emotions. Even though the "in love" feeling is gone, I still love and care. When I first left back in June, I cried every day. And thinking about it being over makes me so very, very sad, and actually does bring back some of the lovin' feelings.

I am also very much afraid that we will work on it and begin to repair things, but when I go away again in the summer (out of phone/email communication for a few months) it will happen all over again. It's hard enough trying to figure it all out when we talk every day using skype.

Thank you both so much for what you have to say. The friends I have talked to have said the opposite, that I am just excited about being away for school, meeting new people and doing new things, and that grad school is temporary and when it is over I will be sad that I no longer have the same life to come home to. They knew the two of us together, and saw how good things were and how in love we were before.

I know I will still be thinking about this and unable to figure it out for a while. I know that it will only make it harder on both of us, but I am paralyzed. I am terrified to end something that used to be so amazing, without a good justifiable reason for being unhappy, and scared that I would end up regretting it.
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