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Am I right to not feel trusted?


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When I was 9, I had some somewhat sexual interactions with a girl who was 12. It started off by her lifting her shirt and showing her bra to my friend and I. One day we were in a room, the three of us, and she layed down and closed her eyes, and my friend started to touch her breasts while she had her eyes closed, and I also started touching her chest. When someone walked into the room, she woke up immediately. This happened multiple times where she would "go to sleep" and we would touch her chest within like 30 seconds of her closing her eyes. This has messed me up a lot, and in therapy, my therapist said I should talk to her and apologize. 

I told my fiance that I was going to apologize for this, and she felt really uncomfortable with it because she said the content was inappropriate and a threat to our relationship. At this point I just said okay and decided not to go through with the apology until my fiance felt safe in it. 

Well we are married now, and this came up again. I said I wanted to call to make the apology, and she said she wanted to be in the phone call because she saw this as a possible threat to our relationship. She says it's too emotionally vulnerable and there is possibility that this girl will form some attachment to me, that i'll be manipulated, and it could threaten our marriage. I have a few problems with this. First it feels like she would be in the phone call to make sure im not being manipulated, not to support me. Second, it feels like she doesn't have a lot of faith in me to protect our marriage. Third, I feel like this is a really hurtful thing to the other girl, to say that she might try to manipulate me. My wife tells me this is a boundary to protect our relationship, but a "boundary" formed out of fear isn't a boundary at all to me, it feels like control. So I said I didn't want her in the phone call, and that I was going to make it. So my wife felt really unsafe that I wasn't willing to respect her boundaries, and she left and went to her parents.

We've been talking about this for a week straight and have seen our therapist about it and we aren't getting anywhere. When I say I feel like im not trusted in this situation, she says that she trusts me and she's just trying to protect us. To me this is like if I were using a knife, and she wanted to hold my hand while using the knife to "protect" me from cutting myself, when it feels like she doesn't trust that I can use a knife safely. 

I understand if she saw something in the girl's behavior that was actually threatening. But to me this is like if I wanted to talk to a girl at work, and she said "I don't want you to talk to her unless I'm there because she could flirt with you." Not because she actually knows anything about the girl im talking to or has seen this girl flirt before, but because she's afraid of the possibility. 

 

So I would really appreciate anyone's opinion on this. Am I wrong in how I feel? 

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I think that you should NOT track down this young woman to bring up what happened when you were 9. It was not right of you to do it, but you are going to possibly upset and disturb her life. 

Instead, I would write a letter that you never send - apologizing to her, writing down what you realized since then, etc.  And then burn it or throw it away.

its hard to say -- sometimes kids experiment/play doctor at this age - and its possible that this is not at the top of her mind/something that didn't stick hard in her memory - not because she is "repressing it". It could be she felt violated and it affect her - but since you say she lifted her shirt up for you - its possible she was trying to entice you because it was pleasurable for her - part of youthful curiosity. The fault lies with the adults who were NOT supervising children with closed bedroom doors - mixed boys/girls playing with eachother especially with the age gap.

Being the older child, it was more what SHE did to YOU by not playing the role of the older, more responsible child and not encouraging younger kids to touch her -- 3 years is a huuuge difference. I see the 9 year old boy as the victim if there was one.  If anyone should apologize it is HER.  What if you were 8 and she was your 13 year old babysitter? WHen I was that age I watched kids in the neighborhood after school. I wasn't old enough to watch them overnight, but would for 2 hours before the parents came home. 

I know when i was 12, I know there were girls who egged on other girls to try to get them to show them their breasts  - they weren't lesbians - it was all out of curiosity.

At any rate -- please listen to your wife and DO NOT DO THIS

 

I don't think she would flirt with you -- but your wife is right about the girl being the instigator -- why would you apologize for something someone ELSE did to you??  You were 9 and she was supposed to be the "big kid".   I think your therapist is dead wrong for suggesting you reach out.  I do think maybe your wife is putting a lot of weight on this because you seem set/obsessed with this moment in time and talking to her about your experience

 

Edited by abitbroken
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15 minutes ago, odangdude said:

Yeah I think I agree with you on that.. but the question isn't whether or not I should apologize, its about my wife's feelings of it being a threat to our relationship if I did. 

Well, if you agreed with me, you would not be so insistent on talking to her.  I mean, that's not normal that it has gotten to the point of obsessing about it so much that you are in therapy about it. It should not have gotten to the point where your wife  has to talk you out of making contact with a young woman who acted a s a predator to you when you were 9. 

Say it aloud in front of a mirror "I can't stop thinking about a time when you would pretend to sleep and i would fondle your breasts...and i wanted to apologize" . Are you really think you would go up to a woman and say that?

I think you are trying to turn it around on your wife/make it sound like she is the one with the issue.  Yeah, if my guy was going to hit up a conversation with someone who waved her breast buds at him 20 years ago or whenever it was and he squeezed them, played spin the bottle with him, etc, and he wanted to talk about it, would i be happy with that. NOPE. BIG NOPE!  I don't think she would jump him or he would cheat -- but why bring that into our marriage?  Why not focus on the woman you have in front of you and do right by her every single day instead.  Would you want her to contact guys she played spin the bottle with to apologize for touching his crotch? When you marry, you forsake all others

 

Edited by abitbroken
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Well it is a bit more complicated than that too.. The past year has been crazy for me, ive been emotionally shut down for the past 15 years, and last june I broke through that and started to feel again, but this resulted in a week long panic attack. In this panic attack I started to learn about boundaries and protecting myself, but because I was in a panic attack couldn't tell the difference between an ultimatum and a boundary, and this resulted in a very scary situation for my wife. This is why she left the house, because she doesn't trust me to respect her boundaries. 

Being emotionally shutdown is very hard because I don't feel emotional pain. I have to recognize that a situation is hurting me, and then when I speak up about it, then I feel the pain. It's like if i couldn't feel my hand burning on a hot stove, and I had to somehow recognize I was getting burnt to take my hand off the stove. 

She's not telling me I don't owe this girl an apology, she's telling me she's afraid i'll be manipulated, and I see her wanting to be in the phone call as a means to control the situation. If someone is trying to control you, giving them control is the worst thing to do. I think it's best to not tolerate being controlled. But she's seeing this as me not being willing to respect her boundary, so she feels unsafe to come home... it's a freaking mess.

 

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What does your therapist want you to apologize for? It sounds like this was a consensual exchange between children. If anything, the older child would be the one to apologize.

Edited by Jibralta
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4 hours ago, odangdude said:

When I was 9. my therapist said I should talk to her and apologize. 

 I said I wanted to call to make the apology, 

With all due respect, your therapist is nuts.

Leave your childhood in the past. Why are you dredging this up repeatedly,?

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I don't understand what you would be apologizing for?   You were doing what kids do and she seemed to be instigating it.  What do you feel guilty about?  

I think you need a new therapist.  Are you on meds?

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The situation with your wife is not good..  She sounds very insecure and mistrustful.  I can't understand how apologizing to someone from childhood could bring some connection.   Have you two considered marriage counseling?

Edited by Hollyj
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6 minutes ago, odangdude said:

The point isn't whether or not I should apologize! I need help with my wife

Don't know how to change how your wife feels about this.   Maybe her anxiety is a little misdirected

I can see how this could go bad in several different ways and I agree with the idea this was innocent in the scheme of things.  Children have a healthy normal curiosity about sex and their bodies.

You didn't violate or harm anyone that you need to apologize for.  If I were her, I would not welcome your phone call.

I think your therapist is taking you down the wrong road.

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I understand your wife's concern. Everybody's first question has been "why would you apologize?" But you've never answered. If you haven't explained your reasoning to your wife either, I can see why she would be concerned. 

If this were my marriage, I would respect my partner's concerns. 

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6 minutes ago, reinventmyself said:

Don't know how to change how your wife feels about this.   Maybe her anxiety is a little misdirected

I can see how this could go bad in several different ways and I agree with the idea this was innocent in the scheme of things.  Children have a healthy normal curiosity about sex and their bodies.

You didn't violate or harm anyone that you need to apologize for.  If I were her, I would not welcome your phone call.

I think your therapist is taking you down the wrong road.

I also agree about the therapist giving you poor advice.

OP, why do you think you should apologize for this?

Edited by Hollyj
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She's not concerned about whether or not I need to apologize. She's worried ill be manipulated.

And I agree with everyone here I don't think I need to apologize anymore. Im not seeing that therapist anymore. 

But my wife's feelings about this hurt me because she doesn't trust me

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Just now, odangdude said:

She's not concerned about whether or not I need to apologize. She's worried ill be manipulated.

And I agree with everyone here I don't think I need to apologize anymore. Im not seeing that therapist anymore. 

But my wife's feelings about this hurt me because she doesn't trust me

Thank god!   Are you seeing  another therapist? 

Why not try marital counseling to get to the bottom of it.  I do not understand your wife's position.

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Just now, odangdude said:

She's not concerned about whether or not I need to apologize. She's worried ill be manipulated.

And I agree with everyone here I don't think I need to apologize anymore. Im not seeing that therapist anymore. 

But my wife's feelings about this hurt me because she doesn't trust me

Then that's an entirely separate issue, if you care to elaborate.

In the meantime we fell into a rabbit hole about kids doing what kids sometimes do and the shame you feel about it.

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1 minute ago, reinventmyself said:

Then that's an entirely separate issue, if you care to elaborate.

In the meantime we fell into a rabbit hole about kids doing what kids sometimes do and the shame you feel about it.

Yeah, she see's me having this conversation with this girl as threatening to our marriage. She's afraid this girl will form some attachment to me and try to manipulate me into some kind of relationship. She wants to be in the phone call, not to support me, but to make sure im not going to be manipulated. Then she compares it to how her own mother started talking with a man from high school which led to her mom getting a divorce and marrying this man. What she doesn't see as important is how her mom/dad were separated because of her dad's porn addiction, so their marriage was already pretty much fallen apart. Our own marriage is strong, I don't have ANY feelings for this girl and don't want any kind of friendship with her; she's my sisters good friend and a family friend, she has her own boyfriend. So to me her wanting to be in this phone call is controlling. I told her I didn't want her in the call and wasn't going to compromise, she took that as me not being willing to respect her boundaries, and she left to go stay at her parent's house because im not safe if i won't respect her boundaries, when this doesn't sound like a boundary to me, it sounds like control.

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The majority of people on this planet would have long dismissed this and carried on with their life because it's just kids playing doctor/sexual curiosity, and the girl was pretending to be sleeping. Or like some have mentioned she's acting out being sexually abused by an adult to which would be disastrous if this girl, now an adult would have a very difficult time reliving these events and be traumatize all over again from your phone call.

So I can understand why your wife would be concerned for you as to why you would want to put so much effort into something like this by being in contact with this girl. It's very odd, and she wonders how truthful you are being. My advice still stands on the other site, that there are deeper things going on with you, and should seek out a new therapist to get to root of your actions. Oh and yes fire that therapist...horrible advice and very reckless.

Edited by smackie9
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16 hours ago, odangdude said:

If someone is trying to control you, giving them control is the worst thing to do.

I think it doesn't have to be one or the other... meaning yes, she is controlling (and seems to have serious issues on her own), but that doesn't mean you have to "show her she can't control you!" kind of thing.

You can step back... breathe... and allow yourself to:

1) Realize she's a control freak possibly due to insecurity in herself (but don't just tell her that)

2) Realize you don't have to do this apology thing... it's weird and not really needed

3) Realize both those decisions are OK and can be separate from each other.

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16 hours ago, abitbroken said:

I don't think she would jump him or he would cheat -- but why bring that into our marriage?  Why not focus on the woman you have in front of you and do right by her every single day instead.  Would you want her to contact guys she played spin the bottle with to apologize for touching his crotch? When you marry, you forsake all others

This is great piece of advice!  Aside from your wife having serious issues in your other thread, you should think about this, too.

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I think the reason why the OP is focusing a lot on, "needing help with his wife," can be found in his other thread where he's realizing how much she controls him (in general).  

He's over-reacting in way (in this case) possibly because she controls him and manipulates him so much he feels like he can't even get a good night's sleep and has to make her happy by cuddling her all night.

He gives several examples like that, that he's just now, "seeing," have been controlling him.  

So that's why he's worried to trust her advice or concern in *this* particular issue.  He's worried he's being manipulated again and just can't, "see," it yet.

Edited by maritalbliss86
so many typos ugh
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Either way,  I think that you should drop the idea of reaching out to this young woman -- whether its about the wife or not. Its just a little weird.

Honestly, if this were happening to me, I would be slightly suspicious myself.  If my guy could not make peace in another way (writing a journal entry, etc, for example), then i would almost feel some other contact was going on and he was using "i need to apologize for something she might not remember" as an excuse to contact her 'out in the open.' or be around her. 

If the wife is insecure because a situation that echoed this with her parents (reaching out to someone from the past), then instead of saying something is wrong with her, have some empathy. Acknowledge what happened with her folks, affirm to her that you are not going to contact the young woman and encourage her to work through her feelings she felt when that happened to her. 

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On 1/15/2021 at 10:13 PM, odangdude said:

She's not telling me I don't owe this girl an apology, she's telling me she's afraid i'll be manipulated, and I see her wanting to be in the phone call as a means to control the situation. If someone is trying to control you, giving them control is the worst thing to do. I think it's best to not tolerate being controlled

So this at least is on your wife - where YOU feel lack of trust.. and you don't want her controlling something like this?

I agree you do NOT go at someone you encountered in a physical way, when you were 9 yrs old.... she was well aware of the incidents as much as you were.. so no idea what you'd want to talk to her about?

That age is much 'curiosity'. as kids head towards their teens & maturity, etc.

 

I suggest you continue to work thru all of this within therapy.  Your wife should really have nothing to do with this.

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12 hours ago, odangdude said:

 she left to go stay at her parent's house because im not safe if i won't respect her boundaries.

Are you separated currently? Why doesn't your wife of 16 weeks "feel safe" around you?

Perhaps it's time to consider divorce or annulment.

You seem to resent and disrespect her tremendously.

 

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