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My boyfriend often forgets what I tell him


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4 hours ago, jessb86a said:

Thanks for this! My boyfriend has always wondered if he has ADHD, but never got diagnosed. I had no idea that could be affecting his memory! I don't really know the signs or symptoms. Thanks for sharing your experience! 

so there are so many signs that come with ADHD and it could very from person to person. Like i said ,y boyfriend has it really bad and I also have it and have had it since i could recall. BUt with him he forgets stuff daily myself i have learned to drill things into my head so i dont for get  them. But maybe sit down with him and go online there are check list you can use to breakdown his signs and if you both feel its something he may have he could always go talk to someone. I wish you both the best. 

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13 hours ago, jessb86a said:

I think that is exactly it! I absolutely expect that I could trust a partner when my back is turned. It's not about full-blown cheating; it's about trusting they are behaving honourably with others, in particular, co-workers. 

Thank you so much. I've realised I do have standards, and maybe he I'm wondering whether he's not going to match them? It's now working out whether I can lower them or whether actually, I don't want to and I should find someone who will. 

Yes, I know what you were referring to.  You're not referring to full blown cheating.  It's about wanting to intuitively trust your boyfriend to behave like a real, true gentleman with his co-workers in particular.  My husband and I are the same way.  We're amiable towards others.  We have common sense boundaries with others regarding conversations and actions.  Other people whom we interact with are the same.  It is a mutual, respectful dynamic with others including at the workplace. 

With some people in this world, regarding others aside from you or your boyfriend, we can't control them.  However, we can control ourselves and control any dynamic in a proper way.  For example, if the other person is strange,  odd or acts weird, we distance ourselves safely and enforce healthy boundaries. 

If it's your boyfriend who doesn't behave honorably especially behind your back, then he may make it clear to you that he won't change for you nor for himself either.   If you grudgingly accept him as is,  you'll acquiesce to lower your standards.  If you accept him as is,  you'll be forever disappointed in his personality and character.  If you want better in a man, your boyfriend isn't the one who will provide you with long term happiness.  I'm sorry.  As long as you remain realistic, you can think with clarity. 

As for forgetting appointments,  pick your battles.  At the end of the day or whenever you have an opportunity, update him regarding your important appointments.  This is what I do with my husband and vice versa.  It works without fighting.  No sense arguing about forgetting.  Most of us have a hard time keeping up with other people's appointments and schedules.  We live in a daily frenetically paced world.

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I guess I'm not sure how he has demonstrated low standards or a lack of character. Because he forgot about her therapy appointment? 

I don't see that as a character flaw. 

Jess, do you agree your boyfriend lacks character and that you are lowering your standards by being in a relationship with him? If so then I agree, breaking up is the right thing to do. 

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Just now, boltnrun said:

I guess I'm not sure how he has demonstrated low standards or a lack of character. Because he forgot about her therapy appointment? 

I don't see that as a character flaw. 

Jess, do you agree your boyfriend lacks character and that you are lowering your standards by being in a relationship with him? If so then I agree, breaking up is the right thing to do. 

OP @jessb86awas referring to how her boyfriend behaves unseemly at the workplace. 

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21 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

OP @jessb86awas referring to how her boyfriend behaves unseemly at the workplace. 

Jess, do you still believe he's lying to you about having secret "feelings" for that coworker you admitted you're actually jealous of because you think she's "better" than you?

I thought you had determined it was likely your insecurity that was causing these thoughts and not anything he was doing wrong. 

What "unseemly" things is he doing at work?

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I wouldn't like it if my husband gave surreptitious glances at other women whether at work or not.  Husbands and boyfriends,  guard your eyes because your wives and girlfriends will appreciate it.  It's the same with me.  I don't do that to other men whether I'm with my husband or not.  It's not how we are. 

If your boyfriend has a roving or wandering eye either accept him the way he is or choose a man who knows how to behave honorably even when you're not with him. 

You're not being paranoid nor overthinking.  You are justified.  It is a concern as it should be for you.  Your boyfriend is flawed in ways you don't like nor approve of.  He will continue feeling the way he does and will continue looking at this female co-worker.  It doesn't matter to him whether or not you notice either. 

He'll behave when he's with you exclusively with four walls around you but you can't change how he feels or his thoughts.  You don't have all his heart.  There's a part of him which daydreams elsewhere which is actually quite sad.  You may be very in love with him but he's not 100% in love with you otherwise he wouldn't do what you're observing from afar.  Never lose sight of your gut intuition and instincts because if something feels off and not quite right about him, it's off and not quite right.  Something doesn't ring 100% true with him. 

As for your boyfriend "liking" her bikini photos on FB before dating him, it's in the past so let it go.  He's with you now. 

However,  never brainwash yourself with gaslighting second guessing descriptions such as you're jealous, insecure, etc.  What you want is integrity in a man whether he's with you or not. 

Don't worry about him forgetting your appointments.  People can't remember other people's appointments.  Whenever you speak to him, give him updates about your important appointments and have your dialogue with him then.  This is how my husband and I are.  We'll review our days together especially at dinnertime. 

If he's habitually forgetful about other important topics in addition to your appointments, then perhaps he has memory issues and needs to seek medical attention.  Or, ADD / ADHD, etc. 

 

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@jessb86aForgetting your important appointments can be due to innocent forgetfulness because often times my husband and I forget each other's appointments and then we'll discuss our appointments at the end of the day, for example, at the dinner table.  It could very well be an oversight.

However, if your boyfriend habitually forgets to the point where it's impacting his job duties or safety whether at work or elsewhere,  then of course, this is a problem and he needs to be evaluated by a medical professional. 

In the grand scheme of things, if he's forgetful regarding your appointments but genuinely cares about how your appointment went,  then give him a free pass.  No harm, no foul.  Pick your battles.

The real issue is your boyfriend's mentally sneaky nature with shooting surreptitious glances at his female co-worker or other women in general whether you're with him or not.  Perhaps it's not that he doesn't love you enough.  Perhaps there's a side to him which is part of how he is.  It's his human weakness.  Not that you have to tolerate how he is but if you prefer not to shop around, then perhaps you can't afford to be picky and choosy.  In other words,  he's a package deal.  There are parts to his personality which you like and there are other parts to his character which you find shady.  It's to the point where often times, your hurts no longer hurt anymore.  It's more of a feeling of real disappointment in a person because you thought they were better than that yet they fall short of your expectations.  It's a big let down to be sure. 

Overestimating a person's character will lead to disappointment if you catch them doing something which lacks integrity.  When they disappoint you, then the ball is in your court.  You have the freedom to choose whether or not a person deserves to grace your life.  Or, you tell yourself that either you deserve to be treated with respect or this person doesn't deserve exalted status in your life anymore.  That ship has sailed.  

Accept how he is warts and all or find another man who knows how to treat you with respect even when you're not with him which to me is the true measure of integrity. 

Keep in mind, no amount of reprimands, admonishments, arguing and pounding reason into his brain will work.  He can't control his habits, how he thinks and what he does and neither can you.  He is set in his ways.  Take him or leave him. 

As for his "likes" for bikini clad women on FB, think again.  Is this the type of man you want as yours?  Is he good enough for you or do you want more from a man?  Do you prefer a better man who doesn't have any red flags and blips?   It's ultimately your decision.  Either accept him or reject him.  Those are your two choices. 

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11 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

The real issue is your boyfriend's mentally sneaky nature with shooting surreptitious glances at his female co-worker or other women in general whether you're with him or not.

OK, I haven't seen anywhere where Jess says he does this. She THINKS he's glancing in the coworker's direction and she THINKS he smiles when he's interacting with her. I can't imagine a world where people don't glance in the general direction of humans who happen to be in the vicinity. And I smile when I interact with coworkers because I'm being pleasant.

I presume you'll defend your contention pretty vigorously. I just happen to disagree and won't change my opinion unless and until Jess confirms these contentions are true. 

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9 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

OK, I haven't seen anywhere where Jess says he does this. She THINKS he's glancing in the coworker's direction and she THINKS he smiles when he's interacting with her. I can't imagine a world where people don't glance in the general direction of humans who happen to be in the vicinity. And I smile when I interact with coworkers because I'm being pleasant.

I presume you'll defend your contention pretty vigorously. I just happen to disagree and won't change my opinion unless and until Jess confirms these contentions are true. 

I don't think it's good to have doubts about a person because there's something about them that doesn't ring true. 

Granted,  there are some people in my life where they truly have good sides to their personality which I've appreciated through the years.  Then there's another side to them which I can either tolerate and remain in their company normally or I can learn to ignore which is impossible for me because my memory is quite sharp.  Therefore,  I choose to limit being with them as much as possible which is exactly what I've been doing as of late.  Any electronic communication is terse.  I'm referring to some local relatives and in-laws.  Enforcing healthy boundaries with iffy people is easier IMHO. 

It's different in a relationship.  Either accept a person as is warts and all or don't be with said person.  There is more freedom of choice now.  It's better to discover blips now than marry and go through the long process of divorce.   

At the end of the day, I've always felt that anytime a relationship requires so much work,  it's not working. 

I prefer an easy relationship which doesn't feel like a project.  My husband and I are compatible and it's a smooth, harmonious, very pleasant relationship and rapport as it should be. 

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2 minutes ago, MissCanuck said:

Jess, the point is that if you don't trust that he loves you, dump him. But if you do want this to work and believe he cares, you need to stop making everything into a measuring stick of his love for you. 

@MissCanuck@jessb86aHave a discussion with your boyfriend.  Ask for his input.  Take it from there.  Either be satisfied with whatever he explains to you or there's the door. 

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1 hour ago, bluecastle said:

Just going to chime in, alongside others, and say that assessments like "mentally sneaky nature" and "he's not 100% in love with you," along with others, feel pretty far-reaching given what's been outlined here. 

If you want to prove that someone is sketchy—well, you really don't need much proof. And if you yourself have very real doubts about your own value, and have a tendency to compare yourself unfavorably to others, as the OP has noted she does, you are in essence priming yourself to think the worst about people and infuse the most harmless and meaningless things with ominous meaning.

Hence the thing about the proverbial human "gut" that isn't often said: it's often very, very wrong! We all walk around with lenses warped by our own experiences and deepest fears, and quite often what we see is highly distorted. People get people wrong all the time, seeing malice in the mundane, threats where there are none.  

But sometimes the discussion you need to have is with yourself. Questions like: Am I being unreasonable in my expectations of human beings? Am I prone to twisting things to support preexisting biases? Do I have a tendency to catastrophize? What are my deepest insecurities, flaws, weaknesses? Where do they come from? Are they potentially hurting other people and/or preventing me from experiences and connections that I sincerely long for?

From what's been offered here thus far I would encourage OP to take such steps, since she has already talked to her boyfriend. If she finds she can't do that while enjoying this relationship—if she keeps finding reasons to support a story that he does not love or care about her—I would say it's probably best to back out of it. Not because he is mentally sneaky, but because relationships don't work when you can't help but assume the worst in another human being.  

 

 

 

I don't always look at the best in people.  I look at everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Let that be the determining factor when assessing character. 

When two people can engage in an emotionally intelligent conversation minus distractions, it's important because you don't have to figure each other out.  This is called having effective, PEACEFUL discussions.  It doesn't have to become embroiled in heated arguments.  @jessb86aexpress how you feel and hopefully your boyfriend can put your fears to rest.  You'll never know until both of you can have a lucid, CALM discussion.  If something is bothering you, speak up!  No sense clamming up.  Squeaky wheel gets the grease. 

Be prepared though.  If he gaslights you meaning deflecting, talking in endless circles with you, changes the subject, calls you a liar, insecure, etc., watch out.  It's nothing I hadn't heard before.  Now you know whom you're dealing with.  You can't have a normal resolution seeking conversation with a gaslighter.  You'll end up convinced that there's something wrong with you, you need to get your head checked, you'll be called a loose cannon and you'll end up stomping out fires as you try to defend yourself.  These are all typical scenarios.  Those types of conversations transform into unintelligent fights.  This is the time to determine if communicating with an individual who engages in these typical tactics is worth interacting for the rest of the relationship which is equated with engaging with a person who doesn't care how you feel. 

Keep talking to your boyfriend.  Hopefully, he can give you an intelligent conversation.  If not, remain quiet, bite your tongue and look the other way.  Either put up and shut up or have the freedom of choice to do as you will regarding the relationship.  It's a free country. 

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43 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

She has had conversations with him. Multiple times. He has reassured her he loves her and does not have secret feelings for the coworker she herself has admitted she feels is "better" than her. She has also admitted the only "evidence" she has is he said the coworker's boyfriend is arrogant in his opinion.

I think there can be a reasonable middle ground between being ridiculously or wilfully naive and believing everyone's a gaslighter out to do you harm. 

If he can't reassure her or she isn't convinced or if there's no peace between two people in unison, then they're not a match made in heaven.

Anyone's a gaslighter as long as they gaslight.  No gaslighting?  Then it's the way it should be.  Gaslighting?  No deal.

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1 hour ago, Cherylyn said:

Anyone's a gaslighter as long as they gaslight.  No gaslighting?  Then it's the way it should be.  Gaslighting?  No deal.

Sounds like gaslighting the way a gaslighter would like to gaslight the gaslightee. Butane or Propane?

I think it’s best we let @jessb86a think and digest all the advice we have given and do some soul searching. This is her problem to unravel, her life that is being impacted. This should never be us stroking our own egos, proving how righteous we are.

OP, I really think you have lots of decent advice and opinions here. I would say that your BF and yourself need to open your communications and boundaries discussions. A relationship should not be tossed aside without cause.

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2 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

If he can't reassure her or she isn't convinced or if there's no peace between two people in unison, then they're not a match made in heaven.

It's not his job to reassure her any further.  He's done that.  If she's not able to accept it, that is her decision.  She has only 2 choices now:  Believe him and get some help with her self esteem, or move on.  

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18 minutes ago, Jaunty said:

It's not his job to reassure her any further.  He's done that.  If she's not able to accept it, that is her decision.  She has only 2 choices now:  Believe him and get some help with her self esteem, or move on.  

Moving on seems to be the more practical route.  Either be compatible with your significant other or spouse or it's not going to work. 

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On 1/25/2023 at 9:10 PM, bluecastle said:

Just going to chime in, alongside others, and say that assessments like "mentally sneaky nature" and "he's not 100% in love with you," along with others, feel pretty far-reaching given what's been outlined here. 

If you want to prove that someone is sketchy—well, you really don't need much proof. And if you yourself have very real doubts about your own value, and have a tendency to compare yourself unfavorably to others, as the OP has noted she does, you are in essence priming yourself to think the worst about people and infuse the most harmless and meaningless things with ominous meaning.

Thanks for your input. So I feel I might need to give more background context here. I have actually worked with this man for 7 years! For the first 4 years, he was with a long-term partner of 20 years. I was single when he started. In 2019, his ex left him. I was in a relationship by then which ended in 2021. At the start of last year, we started messaging and meeting up out of work and started a relationship. 

He's told me that he always found me attractive and we've always got on. But while he was with his ex, he never messaged me, flirted with me and I never got the sense he was being dishonourable behind his ex's back. When he told me he'd always found me attractive, I was shocked because he certainly never really showed that. We would chat often, but it was always brief and about work. Maybe occasionally it would be about what we'd been up to in the holidays. 

I've never heard of him messaging others outside of work in those 7 years or sharing that he's been interested in anyone else. 

Now, given that we've ended up together and he always found me attractive, yet NEVER gave me any reason to believe he liked me before last year, makes me think that maybe I'm reading way into how he is around others who work there. Because surely I would've sensed him acting dishonourably behind his ex's back in the four years they were together? 

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23 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

I don't always look at the best in people.  I look at everything, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Let that be the determining factor when assessing character. 

When two people can engage in an emotionally intelligent conversation minus distractions, it's important because you don't have to figure each other out.  This is called having effective, PEACEFUL discussions.  It doesn't have to become embroiled in heated arguments.  @jessb86aexpress how you feel and hopefully your boyfriend can put your fears to rest.  You'll never know until both of you can have a lucid, CALM discussion.  If something is bothering you, speak up!  No sense clamming up.  Squeaky wheel gets the grease. 

Be prepared though.  If he gaslights you meaning deflecting, talking in endless circles with you, changes the subject, calls you a liar, insecure, etc., watch out.  It's nothing I hadn't heard before.  Now you know whom you're dealing with.  You can't have a normal resolution seeking conversation with a gaslighter.  You'll end up convinced that there's something wrong with you, you need to get your head checked, you'll be called a loose cannon and you'll end up stomping out fires as you try to defend yourself.  These are all typical scenarios.  Those types of conversations transform into unintelligent fights.  This is the time to determine if communicating with an individual who engages in these typical tactics is worth interacting for the rest of the relationship which is equated with engaging with a person who doesn't care how you feel. 

Keep talking to your boyfriend.  Hopefully, he can give you an intelligent conversation.  If not, remain quiet, bite your tongue and look the other way.  Either put up and shut up or have the freedom of choice to do as you will regarding the relationship.  It's a free country. 

Thanks for your reply.

When I have brought up my worries, he has always been calm and has sought to reassure me. I think we're going off-piste here. The way he has dealt with my jealousy has been patient and supportive  mostly. I have sensed a slight irritation at times, but only slight, and never tries to change the subject or deflect. He's certainly never called me insecure or implied I'm crazy. He's always simply told me that I have nothing to worry about and told me how much he loves me and only wants to be with me. 

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On 1/25/2023 at 9:10 PM, bluecastle said:

But sometimes the discussion you need to have is with yourself. Questions like: Am I being unreasonable in my expectations of human beings? Am I prone to twisting things to support preexisting biases? Do I have a tendency to catastrophize? What are my deepest insecurities, flaws, weaknesses? Where do they come from? Are they potentially hurting other people and/or preventing me from experiences and connections that I sincerely long for?

This is powerful. I do all of these things. My deepest insecurities are around abandonment and feeling unlovable. So of course, I'm looking for any sign that he will abandon me and of course, that he doesn't truly love me and will leave me for someone else. 

I am not ruling out that he may very well end up being untrustworthy, but I think based on the 'evidence' I have, I'm maybe being harsh on him. A couple of looks towards her work space, pictures he liked two years ago and one comment about her boyfriend (which I brought up) are maybe not enough to say he'd inevitably cheat on me or leave me for her, or anyone else.

He says he never cheated on his ex, who he'd been with for 20 years, and he has never seemed 'sketchy' around me in the 7 years I've worked with him, until we both found ourselves single in 2021 and started messaging outside of work. Prior to that, there'd been nothing - no flirting, no overstepping the mark, no lingering conversations, no messages while one or both of us were with other people. I think shedding some light on how long I've known him helps to shape opinions. It's not like he's a new co-worker who I'm trying to suss out. My worries about him around this one particular co-worker, my friend, have only come up since I got together with him. Prior to that, I'd never noticed any flirting between them or anything inappropriate, which is why I'm tempted to think that it's all about my insecurities. If he'd liked her before we got together, I think I would've noticed at some point. I'm envious of her in general because I think she's 'better' than me. I think I've possibly projected this onto him. 

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I'm so glad you came back to clarify. I never for one minute got the impression he was some mentally sneaky, shady, underhanded character who lacks integrity and who is constantly leering at other women and is looking for the first opportunity to leap on some other woman. I wish I knew where that idea came from!

Out of curiosity, were you insecure in your other relationships?

Do you have another therapy appointment scheduled? 

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On 1/25/2023 at 3:19 PM, Coily said:

OP, If a majority of the issues in your relationship are based on perspective and inference; then perhaps you need to take a deep breath and think what justifications do you have? Liking pictures on social media could be a roving eye, or just a "see friend hit like" moment. We often build things up that are not in evidence due to bad past experiences or misplaced expectations. If everything else is making you feel loved, appreciated, and respected then pause those doubts.

Thank you. So, he has said exactly that when I brought the photos up with him: that it was a case of liking a work colleague's photos because they flashed up, nothing more. He likes many of her posts and she likes his. He also likes most other colleagues' photos (as I do, doesn't everyone?) so I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I've read far too much into him liking this photos from two years ago, when we weren't even together! I actually believe he wouldn't 'like' bikini photos of other women now we're together because he said he wouldn't have when he was with his ex. I remember having bikini pictures up on FB when he was with his ex and he didn't 'like' them then, nor did he like my friend's either. 

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