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New man! Advice needed please :-)

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I am posting to try and get some advice about a new relationship I’m in at the moment. From my previous threads you would be able to see the following: that for two years I was in a destructive and painful relationship in which the other person lied and cheated with me and his ex for a whole year, in turns manipulating me back into the relationship whenever I tried to leave. Their relationship finally ended and I spent another year TRYING desperately to get over that first year, which would have been made easier had he understood the insecurity that had been created but he didn’t and would often turn it back around on me, making me feel needy and demanding. I have had to look carefully at myself to try and work out what it was about ME that kept me there all that time. Leaving him was very hard and I have had to be very strong to stick to it (we work together).


My life has generally been fairly difficult, having no supportive family at all (my family is VERY fragmented – all my siblings have the same mum but different Dads and my mum’s second husband abused us all, with the youngest two eventually being taken into care and later adopted and he ended up going to prison many years later), I lived with a lot of conflict and often violence as a child, I found out at 15 that the man I had called Dad was not actually my Dad at all, to meet my real Dad years later, briefly, but his family to kick up such a fuss that I never got to meet him again. More recently, I experienced separation from my kids (two girls aged 11 and 14) due to losing my job and home (they went to live with their Dad for 3 years whilst I got myself back on my feet). My marriage broke down around 6 years ago after many years of trying to patch it up. We have all been through an awful lot. After all this I am experiencing a period of relative stability – money is tight, and there are debts from my marriage that are yet to be resolved, but overall things are good – the girls are back with me, my full time job is stable, and I am coping on my own well.


About 6 weeks ago I met someone new....and I instantly felt that he was everything that the previous ex wasn’t, open, seemed very up front, made it clear from the start that he was against cheating etc (I learned that he had experienced something similar to me in a previous relationship) but I have taken my time in getting to know him. We have seen each other 2 to 3 times a week since then. Just lately though, in the last few weeks, I’ve started to get some negative feelings about certain things that have happened. We have always been able to discuss them afterwards and resolve them, but they have left a seed of doubt in my head...the most recent one was last night, which is why I’m seeking advice.


About week 3, he came with me to a friends birthday party...he didn’t know anyone there, but he was chatting to people. I knew a few people but there were a lot of strangers there, and at one point we pushed through a group of lads to get outside. When were out there, he said to me “do you know that guy there”, and pointed someone out. I replied that no, I didn’t know him. He said, “it’s just that I thought I saw you brush your hand against him as you walked past”. I was horrified as there was just no way, but when I answered absolutely not, he seemed cool with that, and when I pressed him for an explanation, he said, “it’s no problem, it must have been my imagination, please let it go”. He also explained that if he has concerns he believes in saying something.


He has a couple of times had an issue with my phone, the fact that I have it around all the time because if my girls aren’t with me I need them to be able to contact me, but also it’s an android phone and so my emails and facebook are all on there. He has expressed concern, and one time even told me that he finds it suspicious how much I use my phone. I told him that I am prepared to take his concerns into account, but won’t be told that I am behaving suspiciously when I’m not. I have offered to show him my emails and texts but he declined.

He can be what I would call “aggressive” at times in his manner. By this I don’t mean physically violent or even threatening but he does raise his voice, and during this conversation he has done so. However, I am prepared to accept that I am very sensitive to any signs of aggression and often feel by default that I have something wrong.


The most recent event, last night, was this: we had two friends round to my house, a couple. I work with the girl, she is a good friend and recently got married. I have only met her husband a few times. We had a nice time, Lee (my boyfriend) seemed relaxed although he is quite shy, but they liked him and it was a nice evening. We had a discussion about racism, as my friends husband is racist and we talked about his reasons and beliefs. I am extremely anti- racist and had actually told Lee this early on as I felt he was expressing some views that I thought might be too incongruent with mine, but we ironed this out and moved on. However, because it was a dinner party, it was kept light hearted and whilst I made it clear I didn’t agree with him, we had a laugh about it. As soon as they had gone, the first thing that Lee said was “I see you were sycophantic about Dan’s racism”, if that had been me you would have given me grief. I responded by saying that it was very different, it was friend, his racism didn’t affect me in the same way as if it was a partner, and that I couldn’t exactly ask him to leave..it was a dinner party!


He didn’t really back down, brought it up a few more times and then as I started to get upset he snapped, why are you being so precious about it, do you want me to leave or something, and sounded really angry. I asked him why he was being aggressive, but he just fell asleep. I didn’t feel able to press the issue again but it resulted in a chain of emails today in which he has been very understanding, and apologetic and we have agreed that the communication wasn’t good. I explained how it made me feel, and he said that he thinks I can be over sensitive to criticism but fully admitted he was at fault last night.


I am worried about a few things:

- Is my judgement to be trusted and am I ignoring red flags if I continue this relationship?

- Are these just normal “getting to know you” blips, and ironing out of insecurities etc, to be expected? He has been through a lot, has had difficulties with his children, problems with his ex and a relationship last year in which he was cheated on...


Feel a bit lost, I really like him in lots of ways, find him attractive and he makes me feel very attractive and wanted. Any thoughts?

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I'm far from an expert, but your post is ringing alarm bells on so many levels for me.


The business about the phone and him actually telling you it's suspicious is something I don't think is fair. If he's been on the receiving end of cheating in the past then it's very clear baggage from that (I've thought that myself, but never said it outright like that). Him calling you suspicious is in my opinion an expression of mistrust. It's one thing to not trust someone yet, as trust takes time, but that's going the other way and openly mistrusting.


Also asking if you know "that guy" is one thing, but openly suggesting you touched him up is crossing the line.


This guy seems quite passive aggressive controlling, or probably just flat out aggressive. For him to be behaving like this towards you after just a month or two says to me that he feels he can do this, because you'll take it and not leave him.


Given the newness of it, if you really liked this fella you could wait a little and see if he responds to what you told him today about how he makes you feel, but personally I'd be off. (Seems to be a common theme with my replies today)

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