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The soap opera continues


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This may not be a question as much as it is a vent. (Long read as per usual)

 

I'm not so sure that my boyfriend really understands the severity of the situation. I have come to a point where I refuse to sit back and let him torture me about the past. A point where I put my foot down about who I want to hang out with, and who I want to add on facebook as a friend. A point where I don't want to have to walk on eggshells and deal with jealousy in my life all the time. I have the patience to not walk away this instant, but consider this the beginning of the end if things don't change.

 

At the same time, I wonder if I am being unreasonable... abusive, in some form, even.. I wonder if we are even compatible.

 

He keeps joking about buying me an engagement ring for Christmas. I tell him that if he were to propose, I can't guarantee that I would say yes. He seemed visibly hurt by this, but I just feel like he is living in a fantasy world. Propose? Are you kidding? Listen, I want to work out our problems too. And I am not willing to give up without a fight either..but slow down. Getting engaged is the completely wrong thing to do right now.

 

Then he says to me, that what is the point of being together if we are not moving forward? I agree. He says, if by this time next year we are not happy as a couple, then the relationship can end. What a strange thing to say, right? At the same time, I'm relieved that a time limit has been set, because I sit back and wonder how long will I fight this fight? How long will we continue to try and work things out before we realize it just isn't going to happen.

 

I couldn't even say "I love you" will a full heart the other day. I just haven't felt completely happy & secure in this relationship in so long. Of course it doesn't mean that I don't still love him & care for him..it is just clouded with all this conflict.

 

The other day we went out shopping for ornaments and a Christmas tree. We stopped at a small restaurant I used to work at for a short time. I got up to go to the restroom, and ran into somebody I worked with then and work with now. A short spanish guy, he's gotta be in his 50s, despite working 2 or 3 jobs is always smiling. Can't understand half of what he says, be he always wants to have a conversation and I just smile and try my best. Anyway..so I saw him and chatted for about 45 seconds. I get back to the table and the boyfriend is quiet.

 

I ask him, what's wrong? Genuinely, could not think of what would be the matter. Nothing, he says. I ask again in that "Really though. come on, I can tell" tone of voice. Again, he says nothing. I get enraged. I can obviously tell something is on his mind but he refuses to tell me. Like a child. I start furiously eating my salad, while he puts down his fork and looks glum.

 

After a minute of silence.. "Who was that?"

 

"Oh, him?" Are you kidding. I can't even remember his name. "He worked here back when it was X restaurant when I was here, and he works at Y restaurant now." I describe him as I just did above.

 

Now, I'm even more enraged. Not only did he put me through 5 minutes of unnecessary silence/drama but is he really jealous of a 50 year old bus boy? Really? I can't even say hi to people anymore?

 

Anyway, we talked it out while we finished lunch. I feel like progress is being made, but still the fact that these things even happen get me worried.

 

We had a good talk later that evening, and it brought light to why he would act that way when I said hi to the bus boy. "Do you like Spanish guys" he asks. Naturally, I say no. I am with you. I like you. His insecurity over the matter comes from the fact that I was "with" a spanish guy before we started dating.

 

I feel its necessary to note that I was a victim of rape and said person was mexican. I was in an abusive relationship at the time where it was drilled into my head that I was a worthless and it was all my fault. Enter into a relationship with a married man, also mexican. Coincidence? I don't know. I'm not a psychiatrist. Maybe in some effed up way I was trying to have a "do-over". Like it would erase what happened or whatever? Who freaking knows. I still have not worked out exactly the reasoning for any of my actions following the incident.

 

Back to boyfriend. So the fact that I was "dating" a spanish guy before us, and also that I was apparently flirty with another spanish guy at a party we had, and apparently flirty with another spanish guy at a different party.

 

This is a revelation and it took my boyfriend to put the puzzle pieces together for me. I am mortified and embarrassed beyond belief because I come to find out the one spanish guy I was flirty with was a friend's boyfriend and even she mentioned it to my boyfriend at the time. I think.. what is wrong with me? I try to reason ... maybe I was just talking to her boyfriend and it seemed like flirting to both of you because I got really excited about going to Costa Rica and wanted to practice my spanish.

 

I am absolutely taken back by this pattern that I never noticed before. Or maybe its just a result of where I work and who we know? Not for nothing, me him and our friends all work in restaurants. Umm..there are a lot of spanish people in restaurants.

 

Then, the conversation shifts to drinking. That he notices a visible change in me when I am drinking/drunk. He says I lean in a little closer, stare a little longer, etc.. This upsets me I know in my heart I would never take anything past that ultimate boundary. But hearing this is almost like watching a video of yourself after you've blacked out and you're like "oh my word..is that me??".

 

So he politely requests that I do not drink if and when I choose to go out without him. I was hesitant at first (hesitant to give up some of my freedoms, which could be seen as being controlled in a relationship) but all things considered, I think it is a wise choice.

 

Any insight is welcome. Any insults are also welcome, as I know they will ultimately come my way.

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His insecurities are too deep...your personality is who you are.

Behavior can be modified...fundamentals will not change.

 

Are you, along with not drinking, never to speak with anyone of Spanish decent?

What's next? Tall blond men? Musicians?

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Still incompatible. Have you really not had any professional therapy regarding being raped and abused? I'd advise doing so if you haven't. You may have some issues going on that you don't realize. Was your involvement with the married man before or after that? Some therapy would certainly help you understand why you are who you are. But you are definity not compatible with this guy.

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Alright, well thank you all for your input. I had a such a big revelation today. I recalled another scenario with an ex where he said I was being flirty while we were drinking with a group of people. SO ... i'm a disgusting flirt when I get drunk. This is fantastic news. I feel relieved just being able to recognize that and admit it.

 

I understand why all you would say we are so incompatible. You only hear the bad.

 

I think I know some of the reasons why my boyfriend acts the way he does, and I believe he can overcome them. I know that I have a multitude of problems myself. It makes sense to me why I would seek out the attention of men by being flirtatious. My self esteem is sht I grew up being ridiculed constantly. And what happened to me? Oh forget it. I think I have a grasp on it, but I'll never truly know without some head doctor.

 

What do you all think of his deadline? If by this time next year we are still having problems?

 

I would LOVE to hear success stories about couples who were having problems, got the help they needed and are living happily. I hate how everyone just says "end it". I feel like that's the easy way out. Or maybe i'm just being blindly stubborn and I'll come back and read this a year from now and curse myself.

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Alright, well thank you all for your input. I had a such a big revelation today. I recalled another scenario with an ex where he said I was being flirty while we were drinking with a group of people. SO ... i'm a disgusting flirt when I get drunk. This is fantastic news. I feel relieved just being able to recognize that and admit it.

 

I would LOVE to hear success stories about couples who were having problems, got the help they needed and are living happily. I hate how everyone just says "end it". I feel like that's the easy way out. Or maybe i'm just being blindly stubborn and I'll come back and read this a year from now and curse myself.

 

I think you will be hard-pressed to find success stories of troubled relationship where one is a "disgunsting flirt when drunk" and another is "insecure and controlling" going on to live happily ever after with each other.

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Like I said, I went through a bit of therapy on my own. (Which I found largely unhelpful.)

 

I've reached out and gotten an idea of our options as far as couples counseling goes but no appointments set. I suggested maybe we ought to seek out self help books, also.

 

Nobody is wanting to end the relationship right now. Its not like he wants to end it and I am begging us to stay together, or vice versa. We are just coming head to head with our personal demons and its affecting our relationship with eachother. Thats how I see it. I could dump him tomorrow, but i'd still have issues which would cause conflict in the next relationship. Thats how I feel anyway. It's not us as a couple. It us as individuals, having unhealthy habits as a result of our pasts.

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It would most likely be this one. I feel like I've grown so much as a person, and matured.

 

My first "relationship" was freshman year of HS. It was an older guy, junior, who had asked me out. We met over the summer before I started HS. He was practicing ROTC and I was out in the field being a band geek. I don't remember much, we dated for about a year. He was always pressuring me about sex, and I wasn't ready. I was insanely jealous of his pop star crush on Britney Spears. Completely immature relationship all around. We lasted a year.

 

Moved onto an incredibly sweet guy for 8 months. We barely even kissed. He changed, as is common through highschool (from skater guy, to goth, to preppy guy). I'm almost 100% sure he is gay. Good guy.

 

Then, met what I would consider to be my "high school sweet heart", even though it wasn't until I was about a senior. I lost my virginity to him. We dated for 2 1/2 years until he left for college. He broke my heart, swept the rug out from under me when he said he wanted to break up (over Xmas break) Said he wanted to have the college experience or whatever. I was crushed. We soon got back together after he pleaded his love to me, said all he could think about was me anyway. We dated for another 2 1/2 years until the relationship fizzled out. I was never over how he broke my heart. We never talked about what happened over out break and it ate away at me. We couldn't balance his female friends (we didn't get along) and our relationship. We drifted apart and I started to fall, foolishly for a coworker.

 

Then, I started dating the coworker. This is the alcoholic, immature, irresponsible mess of a guy. I was so glum about my past relationship, how he never wanted to go out and have fun, that I took it to the complete extreme opposite. What a loser. I regret this relationship entirely. I was so excited to move out of the house, I did it too soon. Then, the rape. Then.. I felt obligated to stay with him because I was so much under his control that I thought he deserved my companionship because he allowed me to stay with him even though i did what i did. I remained in this mess of a life for another 8 months or so. It was full of verbal, emotional and physical abuse. I was trying to receive the help I needed, but every time I talked to a professional, he told me that they only say what I want to hear to make me feel better. That it is all my fault and I wanted it. I can't articulate my exact emotions or state of mind, but eventually enough was enough..we started to fizzle out, too. I sought comfort in someone who was a total creep and just waiting for me to fall. (This is the married guy, who had been trying to court me throughout my entire relationship)

 

I got involved with the married guy, but it didn't last long. 3 months at most. I was living at home and had more time to seek the help I needed without someone talking me out of it all the time. I was gaining independence because my mess of an ex was still hanging on to our relationship and wanted to get back together. It took him 5 months to finally get the picture that we were broken up. He pleaded to change, but there is no coming back from what I went through.

 

I cut ties with everyone bad for me. Focused on myself for a while. That is when I met my current boyfriend. I wasn't looking for a relationship, and neither was he...but we were so attracted to each other. We both worked at a hotel. We would spend hours hanging out at the front desk with a mutual friend just talking. Until 5 am even. He asked me out and I was hesitant, but at the same time, I hadn't felt the kind of joy I felt with him in so long. I felt reborn. I had the kind of feelings and felt the kind of relationship like before everything happened. I felt like "the old me". I felt healed. Like, finally, I found myself the kind of wholesome guy that I can be the kind of woman and live the kind of life I want to live.

 

And here we are today. I'm finding things out about myself as we go. As is he. This is the most mature and true relationship I feel like I've ever had. Like I said, we are coming up on 3 years.

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So in other words, you have never experienced a healthy adult relationship. I suggest you get some individual CBT to talk about the rape, abuse, your experience with a married man, involvement with the alcoholic, and whatever issues you may have with your father. Next, I don't think working in a bar is a good idea for you. It's a sexually charged environment filled with many unhealthy people. It presents a skewed view of normal behavior you don't need right now. This guy is wrong for you. However, I don't think any healthy guy would tolerate the way you interact with men. I'd just focus on the individual therapy. You'll learn a lot about yourself, gain confidence, and then be ready to try a relationship. I honestly don't think you have any chance without the therapy. I think you will learn to view and relate to men in a completely different way.

 

What was your parents marriage like?

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Obviously I am going to disagree, because I can't help but feel offended. So, I say I believe that I am in a healthy adult relationship right now (or what is becoming one anyway). I really think that both of us are at a turning point in our lives when it comes to relationships. Neither of us have ever bothered to mature and come to terms with our quirks because it hasn't mattered in the past. He has said he wants to marry me. I feel the same way, albeit hesitant at the moment.

 

And again, I will probably piss you off with my stubbornness, but I have to insist that its you who has a skewed view-- and that being my so called "bar life". I don't work at some nightclub in Las Vegas. It's a rather tame, local place. I don't know where you get your confidence to comment on how I "interact with men", as you are not there to see it. I don't wear revealing clothing. I don't pay men compliments.

 

You are probably right on the therapy. But therapy is expensive. And I don't have health insurance.

 

My dad is an immature man with alcoholic tendencies. He would stay out late into the night. He would come home drunk and they would fight. He would sneak his friends into the basement to drink.. like a teenager. On a few occasions he punched holes into the walls. So they divorced around the time I was in 5th grade. This was around the same time my brother started to act out, staying out all night and worrying my mother. Petty theft, etc. Money got tight after the divorce, and the teasing at school only got worse because of it. Now I was not just the only redhead in the whole school, but the only redhead with the sneakers that aren't as cool.

 

Theres my life in a nutshell. I have always been plagued with people making remarks and teasing me. Two things that stand out to me, is being choked out in front of the school by some black kid while everyone watching just laughed. And, having a bottle thrown at my head in college while I was in the hallway. For the longest time, I just couldn't understand..why me? Why am I always the target? But I think you get what you put out. I was putting out an insecure, loser vibe..so that's what I was receiving. An easy target if you will.

 

Maybe that's why I can come off as flirty. Like I am overcompensating for years of not being able to function as a normal person having a conversation. I finally feel comfortable talking to people and I don't feel like I am being attacked or teased, ever. Quite the opposite.

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After going through a good share of terrible and/or abusive relationships, it can be hard to recognize a not-obviously-terrible relationship for what it is. It's lackluster. You're boyfriend sounds like an insecure mess, which is nothing you can change and it's totally on him to realize how it drives a giant wedge into a relationship. And he only can have a chance at realizing that if you break up. Seriously. It's how so many of us grow in major ways.

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I hate how everyone just says "end it". I feel like that's the easy way out.

 

Ending an unhealthy and dysfunctional relationship is not the "easy way out." I think a lot of people who think that way romanticize this concept of "fighting" for a relationship. That's drama from movies and books. Not reality.

 

You know the truth in your heart, I think. You need therapy, and he probably does, too, if he is pouting like a child over you talking for a minute to a male ex-coworker. Like attracts like- fix your issues, and you'll attract the same.

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