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Trust issues
December 17, 2004
3:46 am
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wallace
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I'm in a new relationship with someone I have adored for years. My feelings for him are so strong. But I don't feel we are "together". Its difficult to explain. I keep feeling it's temporary and expecting him to finish it. He told me he has strong feelings for me, but over the past few wks, the sex has become less frequent-I know that you have to expect that as the relationship "settles". I have thought about this a lot, I think the reason I don't feel we are "together" is that I can't allow myself to totally fall into this relationship for fear of getting hurt. How can I tell if this is a "safe relationship"? Are their any signs to look out for?

December 17, 2004
5:50 am
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ladyvirgo
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Your gut feeling is that you don't seem 'together'. Lots of people on this site will say that they'd wished they'd listened to their intuition.

And how do you tell if this intuition is correct..... Well, have you had a similar issue that has hurt you in the past....even to childhood?

Do you often need to protect yourself by not getting involved? If it's a pattern for you, you may be projecting that onto this relationship..... or maybe you sensing what really is!

December 17, 2004
6:29 am
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mamacinnamon
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Well done Ladyvirgo. Don't think I could have covered the bases as well as you did.

You take a chance w/ any relationship you enter into. Examine yourself and maybe why you feel like you do. Then make your decision.

December 17, 2004
6:54 am
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CAMER
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hey Wallace...cant you just communicate with him and ask him how he feels.......then by his answer, go with your gut instincts on how you feel.......and yes, as time and relationships go on...sometimes sex does become less.....but think more in the "quality" of the sex as opposed to the quantity...good luck hon.

December 17, 2004
11:34 am
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hi wallace -

an interpretation ... maybe u are afraid to trust him finding you lovable, valuable or good enough ...just as your are ... a wonderful human being ....and you are taking the (diminishing) frequency of sex as a sign or "proof" of your expectations ("am expecting him to finish it" or he may not be interested in me anymore) coming out ("the sex has become less frequent") - this way - fueling your fears .. and ...ultimately ...confirming your - irrational? hidden? - beliefs ("i am not lovable or sufficient" or something else).

"He told me he has strong feelings for me" - what I am "hearing" here is ...he is aware of your "insecurities" in this respect ...he is opening up to you...showing himself vulnerable ...positive sign...:) - meaning - he is giving the message he cares about you....maybe trying to (re-)assure you (of his care, friendship, love, commitment or dedication? take ur pick)...

"that I can't *allow* myself to - totally - fall into this relationship for fear of getting hurt". Have u talked about that - "togetherness" issue - with him (how u feel and why?). Have u asked him how he feels about that - meaning - does he himself feel he is "together" with u - or not - or something in between - him identifying "togetherness" as a problem, too - or - is this (all?) about you really - cuz - what I hear u telling me is - u r somehow holding back - keeping urself at a (safe?) distance - not giving or committing urself totally or completely - as u said - out of fear of getting hurt - now - what do u think would be the worst that could happen if u were to totally fall into this relationship - ? - think about that for a minute - okay - u would probably say :"I might get hurt" - again? - but - in a way - it's like getting a swimming license -if u don't get into the water, u will never know, will u ? - u will always be standing aside (safely, I suppose) - watching other people be happy in a relationship - but - it just never won't be *you* - nobody can give u that certainty in advance - if ur relationship will succeed or not - even if u were to decide not holding back any longer - and surrender - taking a chance - u only can rely on you - listen to what ur heart is telling you (intuition, instinct, "gut") - is he a man u would like to be with ? - do u feel u can trust him with ur "naked" self - if u feel good about the two of you in a relationship together - and u feel u still cannot "leap" - closing the (emotional?) distance u somehow feel to exist - u might wanna consider asking him to help u - reaching out to u in a supportive and validating manner - this way - reducing your feelings of fear - but - u will have to open up to him - be vulnerable - level with him - ask him what it is u need from him - in order for u to commit urself - feeling confident and secure in his "love" - a "safe" relationship thrives on open and honest communication, no powerplays or reduced to a minimum (cuz they create distance, avoiding of intimacy) - and - displaying an attentive, caring and affirming attitude towards eachother (no need of any behavior excessively proving or demonstrating every hour or day that u really do care or love eachother - u know it in your hearts) - be yourself - don't try so hard or that hard ("sex?") - allow urself to be sufficient - to be (just) you.

I agree with ladyvirgo and mamac here, too - very powerful point indeed - "protecting urelf" - by projection ...or sensing what really is ...

and like Camer seems to suggest, interesting too - quality thinking might be more rewarding - too much sex - quantity as opposed to quality - can in some cases (not all!) be a sign of some underlying feelings of inadequacy or insecurity (man, woman) - u r the one in charge of that (quality/quantity), really.

i have had a similar trust issue in my past - and still now sometimes - but probably springing from different origins - anyhow - i have taught myself to look before i leap (go with my gut feelings, my 'basic instinct' or intuition) - and - if i start feeling the vibe - and picking up signs telling me feelings might be mutual (yummie?)- I consciously decide - do i wanna make an effort or not - if so, i just might take a shot at it - be vulnerable by opening up - showing the true me - not whatever it is I think people wanna see or hear - risking the possible hurt of rejection - of finding out if we can start some "juice" going - even if some guy tells me i am not the 'one' for him ("so what?" - "will it be the end of u or ur life?") - all what I feel really counts or matters is - as long as i am the 'one' for me - always no matter what - learning how to feel or be safe within me, first - cuz - in the end - i just wanna LIVE - and - go for it - don't be afraid to fall, taking a risk, be proud of it - that u are capable of doing so - u have managed to conquer urself here - it all your victory - cuz a lot of people are too scared to be even thinking of doing that - too embarassed if they will get 'no' for an answer - as long as u know how to stand up again - by once and for all settling accounts with your fears - not giving them power over u - smothering u - ur life force.

December 17, 2004
11:56 am
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wallace
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ladyvirgo, mamacinnamon

I was bullied as a kid. I've had several experiences that are so vivid to this day of a "friend" turning against me, taunting me with things I've confided in them. I remember telling myself that I would never tell anyone anything that they could hurt me with ago. Wow-that's come from deep deep within!!

[email protected]

Wow!! you have such insight! When things are good between us, I look at him and I feel that he is the one I want to be with. But when something happens-like I couldn't get him on the phone the other day-I panick inside, then I tell myself that he didn't mean that much to me anyway... so what if I never see him again. It's a rollercoaster ride. When I worry about him, or get scared he will leave me, I hate the feeling of it. I recoil and I feel suffocated and panicky. I have never been hurt by a lover before, I've always tried to distance myself at the 1st sign of trouble. But with this guy, my mind wants to distance, but my heart and how I feel for him won't obey. I recognise it as insecurity and self-protecting behaviour. But I don't think I could cope with real hurt.

December 17, 2004
12:18 pm
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kathygy
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I think its vital that you have an open and honest conversation with your bf. Tell him everything you have said here and see what he says. If you don't feel safe enough to do that then you have a problem in your relationship.

December 19, 2004
12:04 am
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ladyvirgo
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Dear Wallace,
You did some soul searching - and hit on a vroubling memory of having secrets betrayed - and feeling the terrible hurt of it.

Since you said it comes from so deep, I think the problem is with your being ability to trust (whether he is trust-worthy, as mamacinnamon says, time will tell )- so take it slowly.

What you want, I think you are saying, is that you want to get your trust back. If that's so......

How about writing your betrayer a letter ( or going into visualisation and talking to her ) and telling her just what you think of her.... and that you are taking your trust back from her - there will be many people more worthy of it.

Then see how it goes..... little steps get us along the road safely.

But if it all fails and you are left hurting (and remember you may well try and sabotage the relationship's chances because of fear - so communicate carefully) it is a life-lesson that you can learn from. From there, step forward again with more experience... and when you can trust yourself more, you will be able to trust others more.

December 19, 2004
12:25 am
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workinonit
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wallace, I feel very close to your dilemma. It is so hard to trust when you have done this before and been deeply hurt, disappointed, scared, and simply befuddled by the actions of a loved one!!!

I am trying to avoid involvement at any cost because I want to feel as true states.. "allow urself to be sufficient - to be (just) you."

I also am listening more to the signals I receive from a man. Hearing the voice within me that says, NO WAY JOSE!! It amazes me that I never took the uncomfortable nagging as a signal that i was uncomfortable! I just ignored it and stumbled forward into the never ending abyss of pain and dishonor. Maybe this will help me to trust me more and go ahead into a real love relationship. I can tell there is a shift happening in me. My focus is sharper, more reflective, allowing a response and not a reaction to experience. I am beginning to feel the situation instead of orchestrating it. I don't know how else to explain this but letting things happen without trying to make it into what you think you need is very important.

Sex is a tool. When we do not trust the real thing we use this tool to maintain our tenuous hold on our supposed reality. This could be what your bf is sensing in you. The lack of committment to the real and the desperate need for validation and meaning through sex.

Relax. I think you have been given some sound advise and I appreciate your question because it validates my efforts too. Thanks. Learn to love who you are and accept that your path is right. You can indeed feel things without panic but slowly and easily, at whatever pace feels right to you. Take the leap of faith and trust yourself to be vulnerable and survive.

December 19, 2004
3:22 am
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wallace
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Kathygy

Thanks for your response. I can't have an open honest discussion with him. I can say it here because I feel safe and I know there are others here who can identify and thus understand what I am feeling. My fear is that I tell him and he doesn't understand or he walks away. If I felt I could discuss it with him, I would have done.

Ladyvirgo

Thankyou to you too. I remembered those experiences as a child but I'd forgotten what it felt like. I think you are right. Those experiences as a child (I was 10 yrs old) are my earliest memories of betrayal by someone I trusted and took into my confidence. I can't even remember her name but I can still see here face and hear her voice. She did it in front of loads of other people. I can still feel myself shrinking into the ground with all the other kids looking at me. It happened again with a different "friend" when I was 12. I've always had problems "building" relationships. People have said things like I'm "aloof" or "cool" towards them, or that "I'm difficult to get to know" or that "I won't let them in". I could never understand why they were saying these things. Now I think it may have been me pushing them away through my fear of trusting them. I wonder if it dates back to my experiences as a child. Other than my friends here, I have no confidants.

December 19, 2004
3:29 am
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wallace
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Workinonit,

Thanks for replying. You need to be sure that the voice nagging you is a healthy, adult voice and not the voice of a betrayed child like mine. I think you are right about sex being a tool-maybe being used incorrectly as a barometeralmost to gauge the state of the relationship.

December 19, 2004
4:21 am
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ladyvirgo
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Yes, Wallace,
I think you have struck on something that is important to you now and in the future.

You were hinting that you have not trusted for a long time and have appeard aloof etc. No one read 'fearful of being hurt', did they?

Now you know it. The danger now is in hurting yourself by staying too detatched.... it will make you lonely.

Might I suggest you take back your trust from those who misused it, (see my eaerlier post for one idea, there must be plenty more) and put it to work for you now in trusting yourself to let people in just a bit closer to you. Small steps, remember.

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