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Dealing with people not in recovery - i.e. boyfriend
May 31, 2007
5:07 pm
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courage to change
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Hi everyone

Please would you be able to give me some advise if you have ever dealt with this situation please.

I just started dating a new man of which I enjoy his company very much. Its been a couple of months only.

Ive tried to keep it all as light as possible, and fun without getting too intense about my past. He doesnt really know anything about my past, and to be honest, I really dont want to go into too much depth yet, if ever, till we have been dating for at least a year, and the trust develops.

He has got a relationship where he sees his parents a couple of times a week. Is there for them, does things for them, etc, They are elderly, but still independent.

However, I have detached from my family, and keep my relationship with them very simple, and it works! Took me years to work it out, but suits me.

This is how it goes, when im not teaching I catch up with my mum and sister for quality time together usually during term holidays. This allows me to maintain my boundaries and stay healthy. My father is another story usually that is just Christmas time only. I am happy with my arrangement with my family. I have communicated with my mum and sister why I have chosen to meet up when suits me. They are both happy with this arrangement, because they have busy lifestyles also. Dad has always been the victim of life, manipulative, etc (alcoholic, although im not sure that he drinks so much now).

What a difference between my boyfriends relationship with his family and mine. He doesnt understand, why I choose to be so detached, and I think his family thinks that this is rather strange. To be honest, its none of their business, and I think when he brings up the subject again, "when am I going to see my family". How do I keep it really simple, and have my boundaries around this topic. To be honest I really dont want to discuss this issue with him. But I guess its all part of getting to know one another. And I suppose hes just inquisitive.

Its too early to start discussing the disfunctional family I came from. So whats the answer.

I would love to know how I should respond to this. I really dont want to drag my past up, and to be honest I dont think he would understand anyway.

May 31, 2007
6:20 pm
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on my way
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I would ask him why is it so important to him that you see your family....

is he judging you by his own standards of 'how much someone he likes SHOULD see their family'?
Maybe family values are important to him, but still I think he should understand that not ALL families are as wonderful and close as his...but that doesn't mean that you are dorky or anything like that! I mean, this would be my interpretation from what you have said here.

June 1, 2007
10:17 am
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Tell him the truth.

It's been a couple of months so you should know how trusthworthy he is. Why would it be a big deal telling him that you are not as closed to your family as he is with his family?

Maybe he is looking for someone who is as family orianted as he is... would it be better for you both to know that right now or down the road when both of you are more invovled in the relationship? Down the road you both will end up more hurt.

Also, you would not know if he would understand until you try it. I doubt your situation is so complicated that he would not understand.

Good luck. Hope you find your answer.

June 1, 2007
10:44 am
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risingfromtheashes
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I think a simple answer of "we aren't a close knit family, and I see them when I can"....or, "I would love to be close to my family, like you are, but we just don't have that kind of family". If he asks why, just say "It just is".

If he pushes...well, then it's your right to draw the boundary and say you would rather not discuss it right now.

I do think that perhaps his inquiry is that he is trying to establish whether or not you have the same type of family values....but it's hard to really see that...because being close isn't always healthy either. My ex was close to his family - but it was more in a dependent kind of way and severly unhealthy.

You ahve been dating enough to give him "some" answer...just decide how much you are willing to explain and leave it at that.

June 1, 2007
11:07 am
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courage to change
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Hi to you both, and thank you for some feedback.

xx

June 1, 2007
2:58 pm
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balancesekr
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hi courage,

I agree with what everyone else said on here. I think maybe keep it light with how much you tell him for now, let things develop a little more before you go into detail. See how understanding he is with the small details you give right now and his reaction should tell you a great deal.

Some people are so tight with their families and just don't get/or accept anything else. Or he hasn't grown enough or experienced hard times with family members and just can't relate.

He is asking because family is the cornerstone of life in a way. But believe me, I know about dysfunction and staying away! You are doing what works for YOU and he should respect that.

b

June 1, 2007
3:19 pm
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obsessia
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It is none of his business and he has to learn boundaries. Your family is your business. When he asks you next time, smile.... and say this: Why do you want to know?

I also agree with everyone's comments, except Antagonist (sorry Antagonist).

Courage: Who runs your life you or your new boyfriend?

I like the "we're just not a close knit family like yours is"
You don't have to disclose anything. I like that you are practicing discretion! GOOD FOR YOU.
You know what else, perhaps you aren't ready to trust him with this information and I agree, it's too soon.

June 1, 2007
7:31 pm
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courage to change
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Firstly I just want to say thank you to you all for your replies. You are all very special to me, and your support is very special also.

The other thing is my partner is special. BUT im not the same codependent person I once used to be. Gone are the days when I tell a man everything about me, to then get it thrown back in my face.

I do trust this guy and i do not think he is likely to do this to me. I think he is inquisistive about my relationship with my family. Ive done an awful lot of work on myself, and I do not see that it is important that I have to dig the past up to tell him about it. If its relevant in a year or so great, but till then I will cherish my new man, but I will live in the present and just enjoy what we have and try and keep it simple, by responding appropriately as some of you have suggested.

I dont think he really has a problem with my issues around my family - I just dont think he understands and then this confuses him, cause its different than what he has been brought up with.

This is the family he comes from: His sister died of cancer when he was young, and he was left with his mother and father. All the responsibilities went onto him, because a lot of the time his father was in pain and very ill, so im guessing he became a surrogate husband to his mother. My boyfriend has never really had a special girlfriend in his life, so he has no baggage in that area YIPPEE. But I do feel he feels a huge resposibility towards the upkeep of his mother - understandably.

I have decided I do not want to come in between the relationship he and his mother have, and am happy being detached from them also. At present I know that this is not an issue.

Anyway I am rambling, and yes I do need to set my boundaries with my boyfriend.

I just feel so happy that I have found someone that treats me respectfully and is pretty equal to me. However, it is early days, and I have to remember to look after me, cause this is the only person that I can truly control.

I feel strong in myself, with the support of these threads.

With all sincerity in the world I just wanted to say that the support hear gives me a very strong inner strength. Thank you once again. Godbless. x

Thank you xxx

June 1, 2007
11:52 pm
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fantas
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Courage, sounds like you know what you need and want. Just keep taking care of your needs. Only tell him what you want and when you feel comfortable enough to tell him. Whether he accepts it or not is up to him. Maybe being with you will make him rethink his perception of what families are. There are so many variations of family. Just like there are relationships. All the best:)

June 2, 2007
7:10 am
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courage to change
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I dont know whether I should have set up a new thread called dreams, but either way. Just wanted to share a dream I had last night, as it might help me work out what was going on. Feedback would also be good.

Yesterday I had been out dancing with my boyfriend, and had a fabulous time. Slept well

MY DREAM

I dreamt that my younger sister was coming across one minute all positive and then on the otherside, horrible to me. I could not understand the switch in her personality.

Then I found out that she was addicted to heroine, and when on the heroine she was so lovely, but when off the heroin she was horrible to me. I was trying to rescue her and tell her that this was not good for her to take this stuff. She said to me that she felt insecure, and it gave her the security and confidence she needed to get through her exams. I felt sad, cause in my heart I new I had to let go of her and all the problems she was going through. It was very difficult for me to watch her suffer and let go."

Im the elder sister and my sister has always been more looked after and insecure. I have no issues around this anymore, its just the way it is. She has never been addicted to heroine in her life, so why was I dreaming such a dream.

Are there any experts out there on dreams. Hope you are all having a good w.e.

xx

June 3, 2007
6:19 pm
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courage to change
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CALLING ALL DANCERS

Could just do with feedback really. My feelings are getting strong for my partner, I recognise im getting more emotionally scared about getting involved. Im frightened of loosing myself in him, and appearing all insecure. This is one side of my story.

The otherside is today:

I went to a tango tea dance. I had a wonderful time, emotionally I feel like I want to express myself through my dancing. Im a very passionate dancer, and if the music is great and I have the right man to dance with the feelings i get from my dancing are just so overwhelming and express. I express the creative feelings through dance. One man who I dance brilliant with, told me how good I was and vibrant. I know we clicked. But he then hit a nerve when he said, dont let anyone allow you to loose the sparkle you have inside of you.

I felt like leaving the dance floor and crying, because for years ive had male partners who tried to repress me cause they could not cope with my personality, and confidence. Each partner i ever had was like a lead weight, and I had to carry them, and they just brought my soul down.

The truth is im so frightened. Cause I love the spirit I have found, and I dont ever want to go back to being controled or repressed again.

Please help. My present partner is lovely, I guess just more reserved with his feeling than me

xx
The truth is when you are single this stuff was so easy for me, and now im with someone im just so frightened emotionally inside. I dont ever want my spirit to be pushed down.

How do i keep this part of me. Most people cant cope with this emotional side of me, they find it overwhelming as my relationship grows. Im dont think my partner is likely to suppress me, but I still fear all this stuff a great deal.

Half the time, when I have all these loving feelings in me I just want to connect my soul with someone, but inside im crying because i do not think people can cope with my emotions.

June 4, 2007
5:30 pm
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courage to change
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Well didnt sleep too well last night, and had to teach today, that was real hard.

It was good for me to start teaching and be busy. Last week was half term, and spent a little bit more time with my man. However, I feel like my emotions are running far to ahead of me, and I need to put the rains back, because I feel so out of control. My insecuritiy feeling are just so overwhelming and Im thinking all sort. The hardest thing is im trying not to buy into my head and obsessively worrying. I have decided to resite my boundaries, and focus on my hobbies for this week, instead of getting so consumed in my partner.x

June 5, 2007
12:16 pm
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courage to change
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Well today I went to a Business Panel Presentation meeting. I put forward together a Business Idea, gained some excellent feedback from some judges. My inner strength has come back. Really weird, everytime I focus my energy on building up my life I feel so empowered. I dont know why I loose so much of it in the presence of men. Anyway, so glad i m feeling emotionally strong again. Lifes good, when you do work recovery. x

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