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Thread: I just need reassurance

  1. #1
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    I just need reassurance

    I need a second opinion on a million thoughts in my head right now about my current girlfriend. So this might be a bit lengthy, just a warning.

    I’ve been in a relationship with a girl I met at work for about a year now. We’ve been seeing each other for six months even before that. She’s 20 and I’m 27, bit of a gap, I know. Also, she happens to be the second relationship I’ve ever had before. But she reached out to me and I started liking her the more we hung out. So we took a vacation together and ever since we’ve been a couple. A year later and I’d say our relationship is doing good.

    But I can’t seem to shake feelings of her waning affection, and my worst fear in the world is being betrayed even just once and never knowing it for the rest of my life. I can’t live not knowing what I should know. And this girl, as easy as she is to talk to and as often as she’s been on my side, I can’t help but think there’s always something she’s not telling me.

    We’ve only ever had a few issues before in the entirety of our relationship. There used to be this guy, good friend of mine, who was incredibly ripped and encouraged both me and my girlfriend to go out to the gym together with him since he newly got his new position as a fitness trainer. She thought he was fun and I had fun with him until one night but him and I got drunk together and he let slip his “I don’t give a f*** attitude.” One of the most prominent things he said was something along the lines of, “If I see nice on accident I’m just gonna say ‘hey you got nice tits’ I don’t care.” My girlfriends name was coming out of his mouth every ten seconds and it bothered the hell out of me, so I shut him down immediately for it and since then I only hung out with him when me and my girlfriend went to the gym together to work out with him. Since telling my girlfriend that she seemingly understood. But I realized it hadn’t sunk in since every time I asked her to go to the gym with me she didn’t want to go unless he was gonna be there to help train. And then one night it seemed like he was all that was coming out of HER mouth was his name. At that point she already had his Snapchat and I knew they talked periodically, but I didn’t want to be that boyfriend that restricted who my girlfriends friends could be. Unfortunately I had to talk with her about it as well because every second I was with her that night a dark pit grew in my stomach more and more. When I talked to her, she said, “If I wanted to be with him I wouldn’t be with you.” It didn’t convince me but I took her at her word.

    Beyond that, however, my friend had found another girl, and suddenly my girlfriend didn’t like her for a while. See, my friend had just come out of a heavy break up with a girl from two years of his life and he wasn’t taking it very well, as much as he tried to convince us he was doing fine. So when he got with this new girl who had a bunch of baggage, I assumed my girl was just using her sixth sense about this chick he was dating being bad for him. And she was, for the most part. She ended up breaking it off with him after two months, so now he’s single again and taking his issues out on the weights.

    Fast forward to this day, he still contacts my girlfriend a lot on Snapchat; hardly ever even talks to me anymore. However apparently my girlfriend doesn’t really like him much anymore since apparently she tried hooking him up with one of her girlfriends and she wasn’t interested. But she goes to the gym that he works at, and he’s apparently been getting too close for comfort to her friend, so now my girlfriend isn’t a fan of him at all anymore. Didn’t even invite him to her recent birthday party just to avoid drama. But recent changes have me worried again. See, the gym my friend works at coincidentally happens to be right down the street from my girlfriends house. He’s been working there for a while of course. She doesn’t even have her own car yet so it’s not like she gets out regularly, let alone had ever been in the habit of working out regularly. But just recently she decided to get her own membership there, whereas before—after the previous drama—she and I were finally going on our own and she would go as my guest. Now she’s going there with her mom every once in a while telling me that my friend is still stuck on her friend or so. I’m not necessarily in shape myself but every time my girl wants to go to the gym I hop in the car and take her and we work out for about an hour or so.

    But so much doesn’t make sense to me. I mean she lives with her mom and she only works a part time job so she has a lot of time to herself at home when her mom is at work and so am I. She has anxiety every so often that goes unexplained to the point that she tears up in front of me but whenever I ask her what’s wrong or how she’s feeling all I ever get is a shrug or “I don’t know.” Like she never thinks about anything. And she’s willing to talk about our relationship but hardly ever about how she feels. Granted, she’s very outspoken about loyalty and such. But in situations where I give her all my password info hoping she would return the favor she basically turns cheek and tells me, “It’s okay, I don’t need that, you’ve never given me any reason to doubt you.” And I’m in disbelief thinking, “but how? Not even once?” As she continues to go and keep her own phone a private thing when I’m damn sure she knows I’ve died thinking about who she texts and what she says about me. I just want it to be on her terms. We’ve talked ad-nauseoum about these things and it’s always the same answers. How am I supposed to take all these things on faith after everything? Without even a simple logical explanation? What am I supposed to think?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member WithLove's Avatar
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    The problem isn't your girlfriend. The problem is that no matter what she tells you, you don't trust her. You don't believe that she's on your side.

    I feel like you'd do better to look at yourself and figure out why you have trust issues and lack confidence in your relationship.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member reinventmyself's Avatar
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    A logical explanation for what exactly?
    You have absolutely nothing to go on and your hunch as you call it, is nothing more than garden variety insecurity.

    You keep dogging her to reassure you but it's your problem to work on, not hers.
    How am I supposed to take all these things on faith after everything?
    Because she's done nothing wrong and she's has acted in every way to earn your trust. Therefore she deserves it.

    The whole thing about giving passwords in an attempt to get hers made my skin crawl. You realize that's really manipulative, right?

    Dude. . Snap out of it.
    Until which time she actually does something to break your trust, yes you do have to have faith.

    The alternative is what you are doing now. Obsessing about nothing and making yourself miserable. It's eventually going to poison your relationship and she'll get tired of assuaging your insecurities.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Both of you just need to sit down and communicate better. She's displaying signs that she's avoiding communicating with you and shutting down. You may be giving off a very hostile vibe and I don't blame you because it sounds like there's a lot of resentment built up on your end. You've tried to silence your gut feelings for too long regarding the inappropriate conversations between her and your friend or whatever friendship they've got going on without you and the secretive use of her phone etc. I'm not sure why people these days are so protective of their phone usage. There seems to be an inordinate amount of importance placed on phones. There shouldn't be any defensiveness about any type of use over it and there certainly doesn't need to be any resentment or hostility towards its use. I don't have much patience for those those types of behaviours myself, going both ways. Regarding sharing passwords, it's up to the couple. My husband and I have no qualms about it (we both have no patience for over-defensiveness either). Broad generalizations are not going to work for everyone.

    Speak your mind a lot more honestly in your communications with her and most of all, you should be honest with yourself if she's not the right woman for you. You don't have to break each other down and torture each other. What you should be is strong enough to respect each other and walk away from a relationship that is not healthy or fulfilling to you (one that does not add to your happiness or peace of mind).

    If you are annoyed or insecure, it's valid. Go over with yourself why you feel that way and call a spade a spade. You mentioned not wanting to be "that boyfriend". Well, here's a good dose of reality: in life you're often going to have to find yourself being "that" person whether you like it or not because here's another reality check - most (the majority of) people don't want to be real or honest or "that" person. The least you can do is be honest with yourself and quit batting around the bush about what isn't your cup of tea or what isn't appropriate to you. Be free, free yourself of all these burdens and just be honest about what doesn't feel good to you. No one but you gets to make those choices.

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  6. #5
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    Look, I think both your communication style is probably not the best from what I gather. I do understand why you got jealous and worried regarding your friend from the gym and your girlfriend, because he's ripped and he was acting like he was into her. I think it's a tricky situation though because he's YOUR friend. You introduced them and you wanted to go to the gym so he would train you guys. So that's quite different to if she just went to the gym on her own and started hanging out with some hot guy on her own. Like, her friendship with your friend was driven largely by you, was it not?

    The thing is that if she has never hung out with him outside of the gym, but only for training, then I don't think you really have any proof that she did anything wrong. And she goes to the gym with her Mum, not by herself. If she wanted to be alone with your friend then why would she be bringing her Mum? Sounds to me like maybe yeah your friend is a bit sleazy and it's possible he had a thing for your girlfriend, but to me it sounds like it might be more on his side then hers.

    The issue here is that it was you that started the whole going to the gym thing so you are actually right, to then say she can't go to that gym anymore without any proof, is controlling. Do keep in mind that in general the gym is full of muscly guys. And the world in general is full of guys. So really anytime we're in a relationship we just have to have faith that our partner will choose us over other people.

    I think if you felt worried about the friend situation then maybe you should have just explained to your girlfriend how you feel and say you were a bit worried because of those comments he made. It's all about communication and getting things out in the open.

    Regarding giving your girlfriend your passwords and expecting the same from her, that is not cool. That's manipulative. People are entitled to their privacy and if she said she did nothing wrong, then you shouldn't be trying to snoop on her like that.

    Regarding that friend though, I don't know if he's really a true friend or that he's got your back. Like, I have some of my girl friends' partners on my Facebook, but I don't talk to them really because it's not exactly appropriate. I just act friendly to them when I see them together with my girl friends. There are boundaries and I think your friend was crossing them.

  7. #6
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    I’m sorry but maybe this wasn’t the best place to get advice. I do not not ever will believe simply hoping—not even vocalizing—that my girlfriend would extend the same sign of trust to me that I did for her was any kind of manipulative. At the end of the day she decided not to give me hers, and I never pushed it, as much as I wanted her to. To this day she still has my password and can look at my phone whenever she wants to despite never looking at it. My password has never changed and she knows this. To think that everyone here find this disturbing and would ever possibly hold it against your own significant other that they would hope for a simple favor of kindness in return for your own without making it a big deal simply disgusts me. I know at least that much is unhealthy for a relationship.

    There was some good advice here and there from some of you but I can no longer take merit of it considering none of you would seem to be bothered the way I was at the fact that my girlfriend during that moment was inconsiderate of the way I felt about my gym friend, giddily talking to him in front of me and telling me she was wondering when we could hang out with him again despite me already having a conversation with her about what he said and how I felt about him. I’m not saying my girlfriend did anything wrong, but if none of you see how nad that situation is I don’t think I can take advice from here after all. I just wanted to know how to approach my current situation and how I should feel about it. I never asked to be judged.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    I just need reassurance

    Take a seat OP... getting angry at us solves nothing.

    Giving her your password might be kind in your eyes but getting p!$$ed because she didn’t return the favour means you weren’t doing it out of the goodness of your heart, you were doing it because you wanted something in return... a selfish and self serving act to say the least.

    Her anxiety is probably related to the fact that you keep hacking on her about how you don’t trust her.

    Believe it or not trust starts from within.... you need to trust yourself first before you can extend trust to others. Consider looking at the reasons why you think your life will fall apart and you will literally die if someone wants to keep parts of themselves private... that’s about you not them.

  9. #8
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    Where did I say I was pissed? I was simply disappointed. Can I not be quietly disappointed to myself? I disagree with what you think giving passwords to phones and the like mean. To me it seemed like a sign that I had not yet reached a level of trust for my partner that I was hoping to achieve, and clearly still haven’t. I’m disappointed at the fact that I’m ready to share everything with her and show her my words match my actions, but it hasn’t even crossed her mind. But I’ve been past this disappointment for a while, and moved on with no need to want access to a part of her life she feels the need to restrict even me from when every other couple on the planet gives their everything to their partner.

    And for the record, I’ve talked with her a total of twice about my personal concerns over our year long relationship. Every other conversation I have with her is asking how she feels and what I can do to help when she has anxiety which is in fact NOT caused by any haranguing on my part—it’s a condition of hers that occurred long before I came into her life. I cannot be more clear.

    Unless someone can actually understand what I’m trying to explain I’m done here.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I think there's some misunderstanding. Julian, I think the members here are speaking from different angles but all saying the same thing. No one wants to see you like this (in pain or feeling like this regarding your girlfriend). When people post about their problems, we understand that there's a level of emotion there that is already pre-existing.

    The general idea is that when there is strife or an issue in a relationship, that difficulty arises not just from one area but it usually stems from multiple areas in the relationship that have caused that outcome. For example, the male third party in question is a friend of yours that you introduced to your girlfriend. This is a touchy issue because he is your friend, after all. You don't have any control over his actions but his behaviour towards your girlfriend (I would agree with you) is inappropriate. He's been using your girlfriend as an emotional crutch for awhile and she may feel useful and helpful to him in his situation. There's a friendship there or an emotional connection that can be taken out of context and if there is any room for any associations to be taken out of context, it is inappropriate to start, in my mind.

    When I responded to your post it was a bit wordy so the meaning could have been lost. What I'm saying is that you should feel free to discern what does or does not feel right to you when it comes to shared information or phone use in a relationship. Unfortunately your girlfriend just isn't showing signs of wanting to work with you or be open with you. It takes two to tango: if she's not willing to work with you or communicate with you this may be a dealbreaker eventually. I also wonder why, at 20, she's only working part time and still living with her mum. Is she doing part time schooling or does she have other ongoing commitments? I'm puzzled why a man like you would want to date a 20 year old who works part time with no other apparent commitments in life. At the risk of sounding harsh, do you think you're aiming a little...low? I'm not attacking your relationship. I'm just putting these questions out there as I don't feel you both are compatible to begin with even in terms of your life stages.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Rose Mosse
    I'm puzzled why a man like you would want to date a 20 year old who works part time with no other apparent commitments in life. At the risk of sounding harsh, do you think you're aiming a little...low? I'm not attacking your relationship. I'm just putting these questions out there as I don't feel you both are compatible to begin with even in terms of your life stages.
    This.

    A lot of what you seem frustrated with, frankly, is that an aimless 20-year-old woman—barely an adult, in the earliest stages of defining herself as an adult—is not behaving more like, I don't know, a mature 27-year-old woman.

    Regarding the sharing of passwords—well, I'm sorry, but that is an immature means of building trust with someone. Makes sense. You're trying to build trust with someone who is less mature than you, someone whose value system is still incubating, and so you're kind of leveling backwards in the hopes of seeing eye to eye. In the process you're getting twisted up in a knot, feeling edgy and panicky, and lashing out at internet strangers. You're staring down the barrel at 30, but your feet are moving a bit like a kid in the high school parking lot.

    No judgement, believe me. When I was 35 I got into a relationship with a 23 year old. Lasted three years. Cool woman, lots of fun, plenty of genuine connection past the obvious. But there was no denying that we were on drastically different levels, in different stages of life, and not really compatible. Wasn't super fun to admit that—because it meant accepting that there were ways in which I was more comfortable leveling down or staying frozen instead of growing, maturing, and leveling up—but it was ultimately more fun than the game of square peg and round hole that had me wondering when I slipped back into high school in some of the ways I was "communicating." To say nothing of what I was sometimes "communicating" about.

    There's another way to be, and another way to feel, inside a relationship than the way you're feeling now, and have been for a while. The stuff with your friend, the clash over passwords—those are phantom issues masking the big issue. This, I think, is all people are trying to communicate to you on here. But that's unlikely to be this relationship, but probably one with someone who's a bit more further along on her journey. With that person—and, yeah, with maybe a little self-work to soften the edges of some of your trust issues—you'll find a connection in which growth and trust kind of just blossom rather than emerge from tests.

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