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boyfriend with sexual addiction....and me a codependent
March 27, 2004
12:47 pm
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orchid
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Hi everyone. Thanks for reading. I've had a quick look at some of the posts on here and feel it would be a good place for me to try and get some support.
My boyfriend recently told me that he suffers from sexual addiction.(In what form I'm not really sure) His father cheated on his mom, having affairs and getting prostitutes, for 37 years and she never left the marriage. It seems that he is suffering from the same problem, due to his severly dysfunctional family. Over the past two years he has been very up and down. When we first got together he was loving, more loving than you can imagine. So I being very emotional, fell deeply in love with him. I sensed deep down he had issues and I desperately wanted to "fix" him. Slowly things degraded until he was hardly affectionate with me at all. Somewhat verbally abusive, and made me feel like he only spent time with me because it was an "obligation". He lied to me constantly, and I kept catching him, but it wouldn't stop. So I broke up with him, devastated of course. I felt like a failure, that I couldn't make anything work and never would. Two days later he was on the phone begging for me back. Of course I said to myself, okay, he DOES love me, he's going to change. Nope. 4 months later his ex rolls into town and i find out he had been going out with her after dropping me off. So I break up with him again. This time for GOOD right? About 2 months goes by and he's emailing me, phoning me...all of which i'm ignoring (yeah me! the strength that took was amazing)...BUT he literally tracked me down in a parking lot and told me he had to apologize to me for everything he'd done. He was still with his ex, but said that it wasn't a "real" relationship, and he was just with her to have someone. Like a fool, I let him start contacting me again, and all summer we talked on the internet/email/occasionally got together. I so desperately wanted him back, so we could continue on with all the plans i had for us. THEN his father died (was killed suddenly by a drunk driver...retribution for his actions, who knows)...of course being codependent he knew to call me and I was right there for him and his family, with a renewed sense of helping him. So as you can guess we get back together...things were great ..for 2 months. Then it started over..lack of affection, didn't want to have sex, and the more this continued, the harder I tried to take care of him, make things better. Gain his approval. Finally the other night I snapped and confronted him. He admitted having a "big issue" that he couldn't tell me about or I would "leave him". So he wouldn't tell me, said he wanted to protect me and he would just leave me instead. (which he didn't of course) finally i got it out of him about this sexual addiction thing. He says he hasn't cheated, but has a tendency to think trains of thought that are inappropriate. He said that we can't be together "right now" (leaving the door open as always) but he still calls, still emails. And I want to help him more than ever now, because he's so sad and so hurt that he can't treat me right. he says he "missed the love boat"..when he's with me, he wants to be with someone else, when he's with someone else he wants to be with me. Ouch. So I think I need to find out more about his problem to see if it's something I can help with, or something we can get over. But is that only going to continue my codependent ways?? Has anyone out there dealt with someone with a sexual addiction that has any advice for me??

March 27, 2004
12:54 pm
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orchid
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PS. I forgot to mention that he is getting counselling and wants to fix his addiction. But he says I'd be a fool for staying involved with him (but not telling me I couldn't) because his mother regretted all 37 years of her marriage and was almost relieved when he died. I understand why I want to be with him despite everything (the codependency) but what I don't understand is how to make it stop. I am sad everytime I check my email and there is nothing, and when I do get one, I am happy. How pathetic am I?

March 27, 2004
3:55 pm
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Sam7
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Hi Orchid

I'm pretty new to the site too. I don't know how much advice I'll be able to give you...I haven't experienced your situation. But this guy really sounds like bad news, and in some ways, you remind me of me. I am a codependent type person, although I'm fortunate in the sense that I don't get tangled up with people who physically or sexually abuse me. I just really need to have someone around, so I have a tendency to put up with stuff that I shouldn't and to be with people just for the sake of being with someone. I've got lots of weird things that I do, but that's pretty much the long and the short of it. In any case, I have a weird situation that I've gotten myself into. I started to date a guy a few years ago (Let's call him boy #1). We only dated for a few months, and then he got really messed up and we called things quits. He thought it was temporary, I thought it was permanent, I started to date someone else (boy #2), he (1) tried to "win" me back for the following year (which I didn't notice...I just thought we were really good friends, not that he was interested in me, although I had some feelings for him). He finally told me outright two Christmas's ago (while I was seeing someone else.) To top it all off, one of my other really close guy friends, also said that he really wanted to date me(introduce boy #3). So for a while there, I had three guys on the go. Looking back at it now, I have a lot better understanding of why I was doing what I was doing and why I felt the way I felt, which is nice. Hello co-dependency! I finally realized that the guy I was dating was not a good fit for me, although a really nice guy, and finally ENDED it with him. We're still friends. I then tried to take some time for myself to get myself sorted out, failed miserably, and got tangled up with boy #3, which really pissed of boy #1.

Sorry this is so long, but trust me, it's the short version. Anyway, boy #1 and I have had some incredibly in-depth conversations, and dealt with a lot of stuff. It's been very painful. I tried really hard to figure out what to do with boys 1 and 3, but couldn't figure it out.I finally gave up in frustration and told them I couldn't pick one. From there, decided it would be best to try things with 3 and see how it went, because I was never sure if a big part of the attraction to him was wanting what I couldn't have (one of us had always been involved with someone else). So if I could have it, I'd find that out. (I was really honest with everyone about what I was feeling and doing too---boy 3 knows all this and more)

I realize a lot of this doesn't sound really good, so I just want to insert here that I do really care about both these guys. They're like family, and this has been a really painful situation for me.

So, after Christmas this year, I started to make some realizations. Things weren't really improving with boy 1, and I was really feeling awful, about myself, about him, about the situations I was in, everything. Then everything went a bit more nuts. Boy 1 did some weird shit that made me realize he was in a really bad place, I got laid off, Boy 3 ends up in hospital....enter counselling so I don't go insane.

Which leads up to where I'm at now. I've been really honest with both guys about what's going on with me. I'm keeping some of how I feel to myself, just for the sake of privacy, peace of mind, and to not tie myself down to something I've said that may change. My emotions are very changeable. What I do know is that I really love boy 3, and I'm pretty happy with him (which makes me feel guilty cause of boy 1). I'm not sure what to do with boy 1. I'm creating some distance from him right now though. And this is where what's going on with you may tie in.

He's a disaster. He uses me to feed a really negative cycle he has within himself. We've talked about that a bit, but I don't fully understand it. But having a better understanding of what is truly going on with him is really helping me to make sense of a bunch of different stuff. I'm also using him to fulfill my co-dependent urges. It's not good. In any case, we're both trying really hard to step out of the cycles that we're in, which is really hard. We have to create some distance. So while I know what's going on with him to some extent and vice versa, if he needs someone to talk to, he looks elsewhere and I encourage it. I talk to other people too, mostly counsellors and you guys and my journal. I'm really talking to my boyfriend too, but I'm trying to avoid co-dependency with him, so I'm just being really open and I'm trying to make sure we aren't jumping into anything for the wrong reasons.

Which boils down to this. You can't worry about your boyfriend. He's obviously got some real problems that you can't fix. He needs to see a counsellor. I'm very suspicious about him being honest with you, although he may be. I really doubt that he's being honest with himself, which makes it impossible for him to be honest with you though. Keep that in mind. Boy 1 lied to me, manipulated me, used me (also did some really amazing things for me too) to continue the cycle he's in. He's done it before with other girls, but this is the first time he's realized it.

I don't know how much I can trust him. I did some things I'm really not proud of a year or so ago, cause I was really messed up and totally in denial. So I don't want to be too judgmental of anyone else. But having been at both ends of that sort of mess, I would really recommend getting out. Heal yourself first. You're of no use to anyone without being whole yourself. I'm trying really hard to do this. Let him fix himself, and maybe then you can come back to it and re-evaluate where you guys are at.

Sorry this is so long-winded. Let me know if you want any more info!

But just so you know---I know I'm messed up. I'm ok with it. I know I have a lot of stuff to deal with too. I'm ok with that as well. Stepping up and admitting your problems and starting to get help is a big step in the direction of feeling better. I've got a long way to go, but I'm on the right track. I'm getting help. And I feel really really good today. better than in a long time.

Best of luck to you!

March 27, 2004
8:53 pm
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orchid
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Thanks for responding Sam. It's awful to say, but it's good to hear that other people fight the same battles that I do. I too have done the bouncing around from guy to guy and it takes a lot out of you. But Sam it sounds like you are lucky to have Boy#3, so don't lose him over this boy #1 that has caused so much pain. If you do, everything will only be worse adn you'll probably end up back in the cycle with Boy#1. My ex called me today from work, but luckily i was not home. But when I got home he started talking to me on MSN and told me how much this was killing him. He knows where to get me, and feeds off teh sympathy he knows i will give him. And then he makes me feel guilty for telling him that i'm so sad and miss him. But i can't stop myself.
Some people on here are afraid that they won't meet someone else, that's why they stay. That's not it for me, I know I can, and have met, lots of other really great guys. BUT I have NO interest in them. Is it because they are great guys and are "normal"? Because they don't need me? How do I break out of that??? Every guy I try to date ends up being only a friend. So my fear is not being able to find someone that I will want to be with. Which is so sad, because I want marriage and children more than anything.
Thanks for your advice Sam, and believe me I'm trying to get out..just takes strength. And yippee, it's a Saturday night and I have NO desire to go out anywhere even though I could easily find plans.
You be strong too...it's so hard though isn't it?

March 28, 2004
5:31 pm
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Hi Orchid!

I had a quiet night at home too! Watched a movie called 21 grams. Interesting perspective on life and kinda twisted, but something to think about.

Thanks for the advice from you too. I'm having a tough time not getting tangled up with 1 again, but I'm seeing my counsellor on Thursday and I'm hoping she can give me some advice on how to set boundaries and stick to them. Part of the problem is that I don't even know where to set mine. But I'm hoping to get that figured out.

I was really talking to 1 about a bunch of stuff for a while, and a lot of what he was telling me made me feel really bad too. I felt guilty and responsible for how he felt, like it was my fault. And I was worried about him, and feeling guilty about my relationship with 3 and being happy with 3. But I finally told him he had to stop telling me that stuff and talk to someone else about it. It was too hard for me. It kept us in that cycle and made it really hard for me to feel happy. I feel a lot better now, but still confused and conflicted. I share an amazing connection with 1, and I feel like walking away from that connection would be the biggest mistake I could ever make. At the same time, I'm not happy with this guy. I don't trust him enough to be sexually open with him. Turns out I was right not to! He's been using his feelings and actions to manipulate me into being with him. I guess I sensed this on some level, but because he's finally admitting it to himself and me, I'm beginning to really understand and to realize that I made some good decisions. I still don't entirely understand how I feel about 1, but I'm hoping to get that sorted out too, or at least be able to leave it behind me. But I've done some research on the net, and I found a site that says co-dependent people often confuse love and pity. I was definitely doing that to some extent with 1, because I felt so bad and responsible for him. But I tried really hard to make him feel better and failed miserably. I realized that he had problems and had to figure them out for himself.

What I would recommend now is talking to your ex and telling him that it's really good that he's talking about how he's feeling,but if he's as messed up as he seems and claims, he should really get some professional help. Your primary responsibility right now is to make sure that you're ok. That means not listening to his problems. And even if he doesn't talk to someone else, he's not your responsiblity. He's an adult. He needs to take care of himself. And there are people who are able to help him without feeding his cycle. Which is what you do every time you give him the response he wants-sympathy and sadness. He's manipulating you sweetie. On some level. Maybe not conscious. But I had this done to me for a long time. And I've done it. Your subconcious just gets you saying things to get what you need---validation, guilt, fixing someone, whatever. It's a little bit better to see when you step back a bit and look at things objectively. And that requires space.

I know this isn't what you want to hear, and don't feel bad if you don't succeed. I think that sometimes people have to just let go, hit rock bottom, and then go on. If they don;t hit rock bottom, the never move on or grow. Hard to watch,but sometimes needs to be done. And I have a philosophy that helps me out a lot. I relate it to a diet. A lot of people decide to eat better. They do great for a day or two, and then go on a cookie binge. After they finish their binge, they feel disgusting. Not only did they eat a whole package of cookies, which makes them feel gross, but they also failed at their diet. They feel ashamed for that. They feel like losers with no will-power. Their friends roll their eyes in disgust and sigh. You feel like shit and eat more cookies cause you feel bad. Negative cycle spins out of control and you gain more weight than if you had never gone on the diet in the first place!

Solution! Give yourself permission to cheat and screw up. Have some cookies sometime. Enjoy them. And then say to yourself, today (or this week or whatever) I didn't do what I set out to do. But that's ok. I'm human. I make mistakes. Tomorrow I will try to do better. I did well before today, and I can do well tomorrow. And be hapy with your best. Your best is probably not perfect. But you know when you're giving it, and be at peace with that. Focus on the positive and not the negative. And sometimes, giving yourself permission to have something makes you not want it anymore. I'm pretty contrary, so that works like a charm on me a lot of the time. Hope this helps! Gotta run to class...talk to you later!

March 28, 2004
5:40 pm
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PS

I have the same things with guys...no problem meeting them. If I want to date just for the sake of dating, I can do that. No problem. The problem is finding someone you're really interested in. One bf I had I was totally madly in love with. That was a "normal" relationship, but he wanted to break up. i was shattered. We stayed broken up, and we're still friends, but hte first 7 or 8 months were horrendous. I didn't want to date anyone else. I felt like puking every morning when I woke up. I wanted to die at times. But it passes. It passes. Always remember that it passes. And I'm really glad now that we split. It took me abouit a year to really recover (and I bounced into a relationship with someone I didn't really want to be with....yay me and codependency) but what really helped me with that was finding a guy to hang out with on a casual level. He just got out of a really long relationship and we were both just looking for casual. We never slept together, but it was a fun, light distraction. I don't knwo that that's good advice for a co-dependent (I got into the next co-dependent relationship alittle later). But there is definitely someone better out there. I was really worried about that myself, but I speak from experience. You'll be amazed at how much better things can be. The guy I'm with now is wonderful. I really love him. He takes care of me in little ways (hugs me when I'm cold, cooks when I feel like crap) and the big ways. He's being really patient and understanding while I deal with all this. He's not too pleased aboiut the situation with 1, but because I've been so honest with him, he's trying to understand and let me do what I need to do to heal. It's wonderful. Don't settle for less. I could go on and on, but now I really got to go! 🙂
hope to hear from you soon!

March 28, 2004
7:35 pm
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orchid
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Hey Sam...the movie I watched last night was BAAAAAAAAD!!!! Called Alex & Emma...very bad chick flick..sounds like yours might have been better.
So I broke down tonight and called him. I guess I cheated before I even read your post! But Sundays are sooo hard for me, because they were "our" day. I jsut started sobbing (I haven't really cried in a couple of days, just a few tears here and there. I guess I just snapped a bit. When I called him he answered and was obviously very upset. He was with his mother (who is still having big issues with her husband dying...he was a sex addict who cheated on her for their whole marriage) Anyways, he told me he was very sad and would try and catch up with me later. So I know he's not just pretending to be sad for my sympathy, he is genuinely sad. Which makes me want to help him and be there for him. Because that makes me feel better...for awhile. He has suffered so much though. I have to keep reminding myself that i need to stop putting him before me, because he never really seemed to care about my happiness , just his own.
You are lucky to have number 3 as someone you can be with and count on, that you have true feelings for. I keep hoping that someone will come along for me sooner rather than later, so I can break off this cycle, but maybe it won't happen?? Maybe i'll just ruin any other relationship I might have until this one is concluded. I do have a guy friend who is good for the casual relationship who will hug and cuddle me, but he isn't emotionally well enough for a relationship. It's almost perfect because he doesn't want more than i give, unlike most guys. I can get very easily scared away by pushy guys.
Another big problem i have when it comes to relationships is worrying that the person is putting on an act to try and "get" me..only to change drastically after we've dated for awhile! This has happened to me twice now, so no matter how nice a guy seems, I constantly doubt his motives.
Met a new friend at the gym today...i've seen him looking at me a few times lately, but he is almost always there with a girl!!!! So i'm thinking, hmmm, either she's like his sister or something, or he has real balls to try and hit on me because i see her there with him most of the time!! I think i have a very bad image of men. Yet I stick with the one who has treated me badly and continues to do so.
See, my ex may sound like he treated me like crap, but he did do nice things for me to, take care of me when i was sick, worry about me..oh wait, that's all i can think of!! Mostly he was just emotionally unavailable to me and denied anything being wrong. I think he has a fear of intimacy on top of everything else.
I don't know if i agree with you on the manipulation...well, sometimes I do...but then other times I just think he is so confused and sad. But I'm totally open to the fact that I might be fooling myself, because i don't want to see him as a bad person. And if he's manipulating me, that's not very nice!!!
Anyways Sam, I hope you had a good evening, I am going to go sit by the fireplace and warm up a bit. Hopefully he'll contact me later tonight, but funny, i even feel better having just heard his voice for those 30 seconds.

March 28, 2004
8:43 pm
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Anonymous
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Orchid,
I was struck by a line that you wrote:
"I so desperately wanted him back, so we could continue on with all the plans i had for us". I thought it was a great way to sum up codependent feelings in one sentence.

I would suggest that you search the web for information about sexual addiction. I looked at this site for you http://www.sexaddictionhelp.co.....neral.html
It has some info. you should check out.

I'm not sure what cheating on you and leaving you for an ex has to do with his sex addiction. There are plenty of people who do this, unfortunately. I doubt that the majority of them are sex addicts. If he's with someone else and thinking of you and thinking of someone else when he's with you, it sounds like he's just confused. This doesn't have anything to do with being a sex addict either.

Whatever the case, it sounds like he is very manipulative. How much time have you actually spent in a committed relationship with this guy? It seems that he's with you for a little while and then something happens and he's off. In the meantime, he's contacting you, telling you that he loves you and doing whatever he wants when you're not around. You may want to find out a little more from him about what exactly his problems are. It sounds like he's still being less than honest with you.

March 28, 2004
9:17 pm
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Sam7
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Hey Orchid,

Even if he doesn't seem like he's manipulating you on a consious level, he may be doing it unconciously. Doesn't change the fact that you're being manipulated. The other thing to look at is the fact that you're hoping for someone else to come along so you can get out of this situation sooner rather than later. You're looking for a relationship with anouth guy to fix your problems rather than yourself, and that screams co-dependency (I basically haven't been single since I was about 15, so I recognize this). Someone else is NOT going to fix this for you. You may have to fix this with someone or you may have to fix it alone. Fixing it with someone in some ways seems easier; however, given the option of not putting my boyfriend through this, I would take it. Find some good friends to hang out with, find some people who are willing to give you hugs so you don't feel totally deprived physically and emotionally, and get some help. Volunteer work is great. I'm working at a cancer clinic doing some relaxation therapy and it's great. Their are people there with some really serious problems, which helps me to keep my life in perspective, and I'm meeting new people in an atmostphere that doesn't allow for romantic involvment and I feel good helping. It's a good way for me to satisfy some of my urges and needs to fix/help and do some good. Not feed a negative cycle. And we always end with hugs. Good luck tonight. Getting rid of him sooner rather than later is probably going to be less painful in the long run. And who knows. If you guys really are meant to be together, wouldn't it be better for you to be together as whole, healthy individuals? Food for thought.
I'll be on for abit longer if you need some moral support today. If not, I'll check in tomorrow!

March 28, 2004
9:21 pm
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orchid
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Hi foggy....I have already done a lot of research about the sex addiction (but thanks for taking the time to look it up for me!) That is actually how I found out about codependence. The one website said that many sex addicts (or really, addicts of any kind) will date codependent people.
I am not clear on his sex addiction problem either. I try to get more out of him, but he gets angry and says "what, do you want me to tell you my darkest thoughts?" I'm amazed he even told me anything, because he said he wanted to shelter me from all the bad stuff.
I think his sex addiction makes it hard for him to love someone..and him going back to his ex is more of a "comfort" thing..he likes routine and things he's familiar with...and he can't stand to be without a relationship, so it's easiest to reach out to an ex.
We were in a committed relationship for about a year (most of that time being good, but towards the end i found out he was lying to me all the time). Then I broke up with him and about 2 days later he came back to me and i said okay. We kind had a more casual relationship (but still committed) for another 4 months...then I found out he had been hanging with his ex behind my back and i broke it off again. We were apart for about 6 months, but he was in contact with me the whole time he was dating someone else. Then his dad died and I was there to support him...which turned into us being back together. For 4 months...and here we are now...

March 28, 2004
9:27 pm
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orchid
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Sam, thanks for the words of encouragement. My friend and i are actually planning to volunteer at the women's shelter in our city. That shoudl work out okay, shouldnt be any men around!!!! Keeping busy is usually the best medicine for me, but this time I don't feel like doing anything or going anywhere and that scares me a bit. Hopefully that won't last long.
I did end up talking to him tonight..apparently his mom was pretty damn sad and called him over to support her....which is not a good idea, i wish she knew his problems so she could lay off him a bit and call one of her other kids to sit with her, because he just can't take it. He's honestly broken. He asked me if i was mad at him yet. When I said no, he asked me if i remembered our conversation on wednesday night (the one about his addiction and not being able to love) He won't tell his mom about his addiction (which i don't even understand) because he said it would kill her to hear that her son might end up like her husband. So I can understand why he won't tell her. But that only leaves me and his other ex that know about his problem.
I think I need to create some distance...but it will be hard...though in a week i'm going to vegas for my brother's wedding so i won't be able to contact him at all. Maybe i should try and make that the "end" of it. Anyways Sam, I'm tired (more mentally than anything) so i'm off to bed. Sweet dreams.

March 29, 2004
2:26 pm
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sel0309
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Hi everyone. I need help. I have been divorced for a little over two years. It was a horrible breakup and has taken me a long time in counseling and on meds to get to where I am. My problem is I date guys, then when I kiss or become intimate I feel like I am cheating and like I am dirty. I can't wait to leave and rush home to shower to scrub off the filth on my body. I have been dating a guy for about 6 weeks, not much attraction, hoping I can keep him as a friend. Friday night we were kissing and I noticed I had clenched my eyes shut and thinking I need to get out of here, I need to leave, I don't like this. I told myself, this is wrong, all wrong, I am cheating. I don't understand why I feel this way. We initially became intimate and I told him that I wasn't ready for a sexual relationship. He backed off, but now the kissing is too much. I am legally divorced and don't have any dillusions that my ex will walk back into my life. I would like to meet someone and have someone special in my life, but then I freak out the moment things get physical. I wish I could understand why I feel this way and how to stop it.

March 29, 2004
8:50 pm
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Hi guys,

I'll chat more later...just on my way out, but thought I'd see how you're doing today Orchid. Hang in there Sel!

March 29, 2004
10:47 pm
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orchid
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Hey Sam, I'm doing okay today I guess. Went out for coffee tonight with an old girl friend so maybe our friendship will be renewed and give me another person to hang out with/talk to. The ex emailed me today and told me that his dad's gravestone was up and he wrote to me what it says on it. It was very sad, and I'm very sad for him. But I question his motives. Does he just want to keep me sad and feeling sorry for him, or does he really need me. Yet when I offer to get together with him to talk he says that he is okay. ?? mixed signals for sure.
Anyways, I just messaged him on the computer and got no reply even though he said he'd talk to me tonight. Oh well, I guess I should just head to bed! Hope you had some fun tonight Sam, take it easy!! 🙂

March 30, 2004
3:21 am
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orchid
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Sam...big bad things happened tonight....i'm dead tired now and have to keep myself together for work tomorrow, but I will write about it later...

March 30, 2004
10:47 pm
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orchid
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Hey Sam. Okay, i have a minute now to tell you what happened last night. Over the past year my ex has been playing his ex girlfriend and me, popping back and forth between us...now he and I did break up, but he was still emailing, calling, making me feel sorry for him. Last night I was in his neighbourhood and decided to drop by for a minute. WELL the other girl was there...and I FREAKED out, because he had said there was no way he was gettin back with her (this has happened ummmm 4 times now)...so i rang the doorbell, and rang the doorbell, until he finally answered. I confronted him about why she was there and he was like "blah blah blah" it's not what it looks like. So I said, fine, let me come in and get all my stuff because i didn't want to have to see him again. He at first wouldn't let me in, but i insisted. WELL the other girl was like "what is she doing here"..and I said "well, he's been continually emailing me etc"...she freaked out and started yelling at him and basically we both attacked him for awhile. Long story short, the two of us went for a coffee to exchange stories about what idiots we were....but i think she will get back with him again because i know he will try with her, and he's very convincing...
anyways, i just need to let the whole situation go. Too much heartache has happened alraedy...now i just need to concentrate on staying single so i don't fix myself with someone else!! I am pretty heartbroken so i don't think it will be a problem
hope all is well...

March 31, 2004
8:44 pm
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Sam7
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Hey Orchid,

That sucks! What a #$%#head! Sorry to hear that you're not feeling so good. I think getting away from this guy is totally for the best. He's obviously not being honest with you or her, and he knows it. If there was nothing to hide and he wasn't feeling guilty, he wouldn't have had a problem with you coming in to see him. So he's definitely aware that he's manipulating you both and up to no good.

If you really want this to end, block him from e-mail and MSN so you won't be tempted by him and his sob stories. Get his phone number blocked too, or put a little note by the phone saying that if he leaves a message you won't call him back, you'll call a friend instead, or if he's on the line, you'll make an excuse to get off the phone (probably not a good idea to talk to him in the first place though). This will probably make him insane and make him pursue you even more (he probably wants what he can't have, which is why he bounces from girl to girl), so you have to be REALLY strong and sure of this, otherwise it won't work. Use the people around you for support, but try not to switch to more co-dependent relationships. I know this is easier said than done, but hopefully you can do it!

March 31, 2004
9:17 pm
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marley
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WOW

I just got a whole bunch of insight from this thread and wanted to thank you all for writing. I would write something if I could think of how to put my situation into the right terms, but it is so similar to what has been written down here. The confusion, the bouncing, the sex, the other women, the excuses. I have been thinking that I will never be happy with anyone else and I too am often able to go out and date and generally be busy, but since my relationship hit the skids I want to bathe and lay in bed and read, but mostly cry.

I have finally gotten to the point where I don't think it is my fault. But I do worry so much about him, will he be ok without me? I am such a stupid sap! It is so true that you can never change someone.

March 31, 2004
9:21 pm
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Sam7
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Feel free to keep talking to us! Gotta run right now...me time! Going to take a walk while the sun sets... by myself! talk to you soon!

March 31, 2004
10:15 pm
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orchid
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Hi Marley, thanks for reading our stuff, i know we have long stories to tell. The pain is pretty bad right now, and I do want to stay busy, but I am feeling the same as you. I don't want to go anywhere, yet if I stay at home I just cry and cry. Someone else was saying earlier on this thread that they weren't sure if my ex has a sex addiction, but i think he really does. He has a lot of pride and never would have told me such a thing if it wasnt' true, because then i would be in my power to tell anyone i wanted to, and he really really would not like that. It is a very bold thing to say about yourself if it isn't true. I think he's fighting this addiction which may be in part what is causing him to jump around from his ex to me. It is really hard, and lots of times I feel like i was doing something wrong in the relationship, but he continually said it wasn't my fault. He said he wanted to "save" me, and that i'd be a fool to stay with him. All I feel is alone, and incapable of loving someone else. Life just doesn't seem fair sometimes. Best of luck to you marley, tell us more of your story if you get a chance..it helps to get it off your chest.

March 31, 2004
10:18 pm
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orchid
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Sam,
Having a bad day today...was supposed to go out for coffee with a friend who ended up having to go out with his real estate agent to look at condos..then my girlfriend said i could call her if I was sad to go out, but she never called me back. So I ended up going for a drive by myself...I can't count how many times i've burst into tears today (even at work, but luckily i was able to conceal it). And right now, i'm fighting against everything in me not to email him....and tell him that i miss him and that i'm sorry for the things i said the other night when his ex and i yelled at him...but i know for a fact he's trying to get with her, so i don't want to look like a fool. I am a fool eh? Hope you enjoyed your walk hun..it's raining cats and dogs here, maybe that's making me worse!

March 31, 2004
11:08 pm
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Sam7
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I had a great walk, thanks. I live on the coast, so I get a bit of everything. The ocean, mountains, forest, city, sun...just too beautiful not to take advantage of.

Sorry to hear that you feel so bad. It'll pass though. It's like ripping off a band aid. The faster you get rid of it, the shorter the sting. A few years ago I went through a break up where I felt as bad as you. I cried all the time, I didn't do a very good job of concealing it at work...some customer made a crack about me looking glum b/c I broke up with my bf, and I burst into tears. I felt miserable and lonely. I hated doing stuff by myself, not many friends around...it was awful. But looking bakc on it now, I really value the experience. Through that and other experiences that I've had, I've learned that it's really important not to let your friends slip, no matter what. You may not be able to give them as much time as you like, but you gotta give them some. Missing someone really lends something to a relationship. If you're not always with someone, you do other things, whcih you can then talk about, which is nice. People who are never apart uually don't have much to talk about. Also I think most people are attracted to people who have healthy social lives and not to needy clingy pay attention to me types. Independence also strengthens a relationship. If you are independent, then the person you are with doesn't need to worry so much about treading lightly with you and can be more honest about his/her feelings. This is also related to self-confidence. Seeing what else is out there can also re-inforce the value of what you've got at home. I went to a bar with a girlfriend the other night (first time with just the two of us in a long time) It was cool. I got to just chat with her about girl stuff, I got hit on (good to know I still got something), and I had funny stories when I got home. Moreover, my bf knew I was out and getting hit on (although he knows I wouldn't do anything) which makes him a little more attentive when I get home all dressed up. And I was really glad to be going home to him. (Plus, a positive up-beat confident person sends off a better vibe.)

People who are co-dependent don't have any of these things going for them (I know, I've been there). These are things I'm really working hard at, but while I was walking I got to thinking about where I am now compared to where I was then, and I'm doing a million times better. It's not perfect, but it's a lot better. I do still have to do a better job of making time for friends and making more friends. I'm painfully shy ( but I not totally unconfident, so the shyness comes across as bitchiness at times), and because I have a huge history of alcholism in my family, I have a kind of dysfunctional way of looking at the world. I need to know what the established social rules are in a group before I jump in, and a whole bunch of other problematic stuff. But I start a new program on Mon, so I'm hoping I'll meet some new people and make some new friends and have some fun. My life hasn't been too much fun lately. I need some.

Sorry this is kind of rambling...it's mostly stream of consciousness. But basically, what you're going through right now can be an amazing learning experience if you let it. You can learn about yourself and what situations are good for you and what ones aren't. You can also then take steps to make sure you get what you need. Also, there are way better guys than that out there. People told me that when I was breaking up with my BF of a few years ago, and I didn't beleive them. I just felt so awful and I couldn't imagine meeting someone else, let alone loving them that way. Well, I never have loved someone that way since, but that's a good thing because it was a needy, clingy, co-dependent situation and he didn't love me enough. And the guy I'm with now is amazing. I couldn't imagine giving him up. I love him. He loves me. It's very equal in most respects. We have a lot of the same interests, we have similar morals, we laugh, we have fun. He respects the boundaries that I set and I respect his. I can be myself and he accepts it, the good and the bad. He's patient and understanding, despite all the craziness I'm going through. If I were to call him from work right now and say I REALLY needed him, he would come. I'm his number one priority, but not to the point where other areas of his life suffer. And I encourage him to go out and do the things he needs to do. He's going to Sweden for 5 weeks this summer (which freaks me out a bit...don't want him to go, going to miss him like crazy), but it's something he's wanted to do for himself ever since I've known him, and he'd resent me if I stood in the way of that. And I'd think less of myself. And on the plus side, I've got lots of time to make sure that I'm busy when he's gone. It's a really good balance and it just feels amazing. So don't you settle for less. It's going to be hard as hell and it's going to take a long time, but you can get there in the end if you really want to. Read Zinnie too. She's in a really good relationship... her second, which is great.

Well, hope this helps Orchid. Tough it out sweetie. The sooner you deal with this, the better it'll be in the long run. And there is so much better out there. Just let yourself be miserable for a while and then get on with life. Have a good night!

April 1, 2004
5:41 pm
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orchid
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Hi Sam...I was just reading another post and noticed you said that you were Canadian!!! So I am! Weird. I live in Ontario though, I'm guessing you live on the west coast if you have mountains and water! I'm jealous 🙂 Today is a little better than yesterday, at least I haven't really cried today!! I am going out tonight with a guy i used to work with, known him about 5 yrs now. He and I have kind of dated, but not really. He's very very shy and I guess because he wasn't assertive enough I didn't go for him. Anyyyways, long story short, I've already got it back in my head that he's "perfect" for me...stable job, tall, good looking, muscular, etc etc...SEE I cant help look at everyone as a possibility for marriage. I think i'm totally way too focused on getting married and having a family. This might be made worse by the fact that most of my friends are now engaged and I feel behind. Interesting what you said about most guys not being attracted to emotional, needy types....I think this is true, BUT there are a lot out there that are...more specifically the ones with ADDICTIONS!!! That's the kind of thing they look for. So maybe if i try to be less like that, i have better chances of meeting someone more confident and secure in themselves. Though I do so love being needed and taking care. Hence the problem, I do'nt seem to be attracted to guys who are "set"!!!!!! Like this guy I'm going out with tonight.
I hear you on what you said about being painfully shy, yet coming off as bitchy!!!!!!!!!! that's 100% me. Because I can walk into a room and look as confident as all hell, but inside I have no idea what to say to anyone. My social skills are a bit lacking I'd say. I'd personally rather stay home and watch a movie than go out to a bar.
So last night I tried to repair a friendship that was broken over this ex. Long story short, last summer when he and I were broken up the second time, she was an awesome friend/support. BUT she hates my ex because she could see all that he was up to. So when he and I got back together when his dad died she and i started to drift. He was telling me that she was not a true friend and was staying stuff about me, and teling me not to be friends with her. And stupid me, it was easier to just go along with him. Now I feel really badly so i emailed her...she responded but says to give her time because she is still hurt and angry about the fact that i let a guy take away our friendship. Which I understand. I just pray now that she will come around and let me make it up to her!
You'd be proud sam, I didn't email him last night even though it was such a bad night. Emailing will only do one of two things...it might open the door for him to try to come back to me if things aren't going well with the other girl, or it might just make me look pathetic and give him satisfaction. I don't see a positive side!!
Anyways, time for dinner, but I'll talk to you soon, have a good night!

April 2, 2004
3:54 pm
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Sam7
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Hi Orchid!

Good on you for not calling him! One step at a time. And I don't see any problems with your logic. Kudos for having the courage to contact your old gf...hopefully she'll be understanding and forgiving. But make sure you're really honest with her too. And that you are done with this guy. If you give up your friendship with her again for him, the damage may be unfixable. I guess I should have been more specific in my point about guys...I haven't had much experience dating 'bad'guys. Mostly I date really nice guys (doesn't stop the codependency). And basically I've found that you need to be what you want to have. If you want someone who's caring, open and honest, you need to be those things. It's not a universal truth or a guarantee, but it sure helps.

Also, what causes me to have the behaviours that I do is multi-generational alcholism (yay counselling!). My whole family functions in a kind of screwed up way, and I learned it from them. My dad's an alcholic and my mom screamed at him all the time. Nothing near what some people on the site have experienced, but knowing that provides me with some real insight into why I am the way I am. (Helps explain co-dependency, social fears and isolation etc) Which really helps me. Also, because it's been improving over the generations, I'm not as severely screwed up as I might be. And I've made some real improvements myself over the last few years (see string 'Do you ever stop being co-dependent' though).

I totally know how you feel about the feeling behind thing! My younger sister got married almost four years ago, jokes from relatives about that. Mom's starting to drop more and more hints about me getting married and having kids. I keep my love life very secret from my family (sister knows, but I've been pretty embarrassed about some of the stunts I've pulled in the last year and a half (not so much in the last 7-8 months though), and I don't really want to explain myself, plus they really like boy 1...messy...like 3 also, just don't know him as well or what's going on...). Anyways, I'm basically a spinster from my family's point of view (turning 27 next week) almost everyone I went to high school with is married (and some are already divorced) has kids, career etc (although most of them don't have careers, just jobs...small town). And I'm looking at 5 more years of school right now! Also, I don't know that my mom is ever going to believe me when I say I don't want kids, so I may get nagged about that for the rest of my life (been saying that since I was about ten). But not looking forward to my ten year reunion and still being in school.

But I try to remind myself that there are also a lot of people older than me who aren't married, and the people who wait longer to get married seem to be happier and their marriages seem to last more often. Also, if I married one of the guys I dated a few years ago, I would have stalled in my development. I would still be the person I was then (very codependent then). I don't want that. So although growing is really painful, it's totally worth it. I'm much happier now (although far from perfect) and I'm hoping that I'm going to succeed at making the right choices to be happy in the long term. I'd rather have a good marriage down the road than a marriage now so I don't feel left out and lonely.

And yes, I am on the west coast...Beautiful British Columbia! I love it here. Addicted to the mountains, ocean and incredible amounts of green. Can't live in-land...makes me feel land locked and depressed. All the trees are blossoming, sun's out, almost time for swimming outside by the ccean. Definitely way too spoiled to live anywhere else! Talk to you soon!

April 2, 2004
4:02 pm
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Sam7
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Hi Sel and Marlene,

Where'd you go?!! ;-). Feel free to keep chatting to us. I've been kinda out of it in the last couple weeks, so haven't been as good about responding as I would like, but chime in any time. I'm feeling better, so I should be more focused!

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