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Slave to Love? Or self-made slave?
December 16, 2001
12:41 am
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Garden
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I met my boyfriend/husband about 3 years ago. I joined his band. We were just good friends for 8 months, we started a love interest (me more into his music...and I thought he into mine...but it was more for him. We slept in his girlfriend's bed for our first time. Our first time was very awkward anyway since we had been friends for awhile. I always considered him a good friend. We spent New Years together, had a threesome with the violinist in the band...blah drunkeness. He told me he loved me...I told him I loved his music...he got sad and then I told him I loved him. Then we decided we were both in bad relationships so we moved into a 2 bedroom. Needless to say, that second bedroom was not used. I thought we were great. We did not make love the first night we moved in and this seems to bother him still since he brought it up the other day. I really thought we had a good time (see, I'm very optimistic)...but, I guess I got upset that he didn't have a job. We broke up for 2 weeks. He was very hurt...I was a bitch. We had been together for 4 months, living together. Then I took him back...but something was changed. He has never let me forget that I broke up with him. All I needed was space. So then his three friends moved in our 2 bedroom apartment! I had a VERY hard time dealing with that. I came off like cheap bitch...but we were poor and I did all the financial stuff! And we were poor...ever so often going into debt more and more until $3600! Argh...now down to $1900...whew.
He had a bad first sexual experience he wasn't in love and he was being controlled. I hadn't had an orgasm with him for 6 months...I had lied to him. I was used to it from past experiences. Then I told him the truth. He was very hurt. I was crying...it was hard for me. It had become a habit. Anyway...then I started having orgasms. But he told me he felt like an emasculated tool now. He has a bad relationship with his family and we didn't have problems until we visited them a month ago. Also for the past 6 months he has been masterbating for 2-3 hours to internet porn while I sleep. We don't have sex anymore...we don't enjoy it. I moved out today...he wants to still date since we didn't have a "dating" period. I don't have trust from him because he once wrote a very flattering letter to his friends sister...he said it was a joke....but what the hell? Do you think dating will do any good? Or do you think I should just let go and keep what I've learned. I've learned a lot from this relationship. I do love him...but, maybe I just need him back as a friend? I'm only 22 and we've known eachother for 3 years and lived together for 2. But, remember, no dating period...

December 17, 2001
12:40 pm
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Molly
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Garden, this doesn't sound like love at all, this sounds like an extended sexual interlude, where there is no relationship. Its not all about sex, its about a partnership, trust, commitment, goal setting, co-operation, communication, fidelity, boundrylines, what ever, but both agreeing to, regardless of the way it looks like from the out side if you both agree. Sounds like you started wanting all those things, and had to deal with your untruths in some of it. this may be why no one else has responded yet. Your not a slave to love, but perhaps to your sexual needs, where you have other issues involved. there is choice always, and if you feel like a slave, and this isn't working for you, excercise your options, and move forward, but know what you want in a relationship before you move on, and know that above all if you want honesty, you must be honest your self.

December 17, 2001
12:42 pm
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eve
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Nah, you can't go back to dating after having lived together, doesn't work :-). Let go of him, this would not be going anywhere nice. Keep the nice memories, try to learn from the bad memories and move on. Take a time for yourself and don't fall into the next man's arms (of bed) for some months. It will give you time to find out what you want from a relationship.

December 17, 2001
8:39 pm
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Garden
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Ok...I spoke with him. I realized that I am not the person I once was. I became too clingy...as he did as well. I talk to him in a possessive way as he does to me. Tell me if you think this is a mature idea....Just taking a break, re-establishing our independent lives. We are both independent people. I believe I was a slave to myself. I need to be independent...that doesn't meen alone...but, I think we just both need to let each other do things on our own. Of course we'll do things together!:) We have great times and meaningful discussions. We're two intelligent people. I believe that if we both realize that we are independent people who enjoy each other's company all will be well. I'm am leaving the sex-issue behind for now...we need to work on ourselves and then bring us together again...and I believe our sex life will improve due to our increased happiness. After my "epiphany" last night about how I was not coming off as the true person I am, I felt euphorious and so happy. I realized I do have trust in my husband...I was just being too dependent and it was a fake kind of dependency, because I think we both thought that's what the other person needed. Well, luckily my best friend noticed my decline in independence and this is what opened my eyes to the problem. My husband's idea of separation, I found out, was just to re establish our independent lives. I'm house sitting for my friend and he is staying at his friend's house so we will not be seeing each other for about a week. I think this is healthy...just to take a step back and think of ourselves as independent people who love each other. Our relationship is not frivilous as it may have seemed...I was in a hury and in a rage. I feel he is the one but sometimes he feels more like a big brother to me. Maybe this is why we're not too sexual? Well, I just hope sexuality comes with happiness because I believe I discussed everything well enough for our lives to have much more happiness and less trivial conflicts. He misses me...he calls me when he says he will...he calls me in the morning to wake me up and say I love you. We both miss each other greatly but both feel this is the correct way. We may spend more time apart...but, I do not believe it is necessary. What do you think?

December 17, 2001
11:02 pm
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Cici
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It's not about what other people think, it's about how you feel. But I don't think that there's the same level of understanding between you two, about relatinships, love, committment, adulthood. He seems like he's just apathetic, but you're not an apathetic person. You seem so goal-oriented, so aware of what you want out of life and, above all, hopeful. He simply seems to not care about anything and that signifies a signficant problem on his part. The kind of problem that takes a LONG time to deal with.

Look, the thing is that when someone wants something back they do whatever they can to get that thing back. Does that mean that's the right decision? I don't know. I'm so sick of seeing women hurt, crying, turned into empty husks because they give adn give and give to men who are black holes. Who have taught themselves that nothing matters. If nothing matters, why care? How can there be love? What is love in a world where nothing matters?

PLEASE don't take this as an attack, but simply questions. Relationships can get parasitic. And manipulative. And self-destructive. Like a moth drawn to a flame, it's a compulsion, irresistable because it is so wonderful - but - the flame will destroy the moth.

December 17, 2001
11:18 pm
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Garden
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I'm trying to be optomistic. I just spoke with him again...he's made the first move into calling...and I'm not waiting by the phone for his calls:) It is hard. I just really feel a certain bond with him that I have never felt with anyone else and it was not self-induced. I think I was babying him too much. I was protecting and offering to do things. He never asked...and if he did it was always quietly spoken seeming like he was walking on eggshells around me. I am NOT the person I was coming off as. I am NOT clingy, I am NOT needy, I AM INDEPENDENT. And I'm not just saying this to make myself believe it, it's because I have finally discovered this about myself and I want to scream it out loud!!!
As long as I have a friend like you I will be fine:) We'll keep each other going. Thank you for being my friend!

December 18, 2001
5:46 pm
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Cici
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Optimism is good. But often confused with other issues that we use to protect ourselves with. You two aren't really separating at all, though, as it is. It's just a formality, right? Like when I first started dating my husband and we spent every evening together but it wasn't excessive - we were dating.

It's not just you that's clingy, you've mentioned that. He is dependent on you for so many things that separation between you two would not only be painful, it would be inconvenient and awkward and make everything in his life difficult. You, on the other hand, are completely self-sufficient. In some ways the way that your relationship progressed made you feel like it was the other way around - like you were really dependent on him when in reality it was the other way around. That's sucky.

All people have some inherent goodness, attractive qualities that are seductive and wonderful and that's what makes them a beautiful person. We are all beautiful. But in relationships we learn to manipulate each other, ourselves - it can get into a dangerous downward spiral and the thing is that you don't know you're in it until you hit bottom.

My sister's husband cheated on her. THat's why she broke off their engagement at first. She moved home to my parents house and got a job and started taking classes toward a master's degree again and she was going so good and then he called! HE did it - made the first move. He loved her. 2 weeks later they were together again, six months later, they were married. But as the years have passed that initial weakness in the foundation of their relationship and they have grown to hate each other and peck at each other.

If it's time you need, then give yourself time. Don't put yourself in fast forward because if the wound heals too quickly, it will become infected but you won't notice at first until it begins to hurt again. Clean it out totally. Let it heal. Completely.

December 18, 2001
8:13 pm
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gingerleigh
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You're only 22? You've got plenty of time to find "the one". Believe me. Get your own place, your own life, and set some goals that have absolutely nothing to do with him. Take some time to set boundaries on what you will and won't accept in a partner (i.e. a job, no mooching friends looking to move into your apartment, no debt, no bringing up the past when it has been long dead, etc.) Then see where things go. Does he still measure up to the man you want and deserve? If so, give it a shot, and resist that urge to move in together. Honestly. Resist. Just let things play out. Then take stock again... are you the woman that you feel you should be, or have you reverted back to Miss Clingy?

OK, I'm off my soap-box. Seriously, the living together thing can really kill a relationship if it isn't well thought out. Most people I know who move in together don't last, unless they move in together while engaged or planning their wedding. I'm not sure why that is, it just seems to be the trend. I've gone through two live-ins that way, and know others who have gone through even more.

Keep that chin up, keep that independent attitude, go strut your stuff. Go and celebrate you and your self-sufficiency and see where it takes you. You may be pleasantly surprised to see who comes into your life.

December 19, 2001
1:38 pm
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Cici
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Yes yes yes yes! Ginger is great, good advice, been thru hell and back and had many dark nights of the soul due to this internal conflict - we love to love. Women are made for it - our instinctual impulse is to nurture and nurture until we have our children.

I think it's not just the fact that you had a tendency to coddle him and take care of his every whim - without his ever asking. There are subtle ways we indicate what we want. I had an argument with my husband about this very thing last night buying supplies at a grocery store for our trip. He said something stupid like, "Oh, I don't want to offend you about they grocery store." and it made me offended not because of what he said but because of the tone he used. It was a subtle way of pushing my buttons and when I (ever aggressive) pushed him on it, he admitted that he WAS egging me on because he thought it was funny to see me riled up in the grocery store.

I don't know. Men are stupid and thoughtless and just because they tend to be more passive doesn't put the blame on us. My mom beat me with a broomstick, pulled my hair out in clumps, punched me in the face, all in front of my Dad who never lifted a finger. But afterward, when she went off to rage at my sisters or to lay in bed like a depressive lump, he would comfort me. But was he any less at fault for the beatings, the bruises, the wounds incurred? NO. HE SAT THERE. Passivity doesn't mean there isn't less of an intention to hurt - just less of an intention to take blame.

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