March 13, 2020 at 7:52 am #343110
It was easier for me to answer you when I thought that your partner cut off any and all contact with Steve (“Steve has been completely cut off and no longer come to the gym”). Yesterday, “Steve has come back to the gym”. Now life is more complicated, isn’t it.
1. “do you think this classifies as emotional cheating?” – If all your partner did was what you indicated, then it isn’t emotional cheating.
2. “Am I asking for too much if I ask my boyfriend to completely cut all form of conversation with him? Am I asking for too much if I ask my boyfriend to completely cut all form of conversation with him? All form of interaction? That is, to not even answer some questions and just ignore his presence?”-
– Once Steve is in the gym, it is too much for you to ask your boyfriend to have no interaction whatsoever with Steve because that will create a negative atmosphere in the gym. What is needed in a gym is a positive environment where everyone is friendly.
On the other hand, it is not too much for you to ask that your partner asks Steve to not attend this particular gym, or that your boyfriend himself joins a different gym and work there as a trainer.
I have a question for you so that I can understand better. When you wrote earlier: “Steve has been completely cut off and no longer come to the gym”- what did your partner tell you two months ago that he told Steve in regard to cutting him off the gym?
anitaMarch 13, 2020 at 8:50 pm #343238
To answer your question, after he had told me and confessed everything, we thought it would be constructive if he spoke to Steve to reiterate things with him and lay down some boundaries. He reiterated that:
1. He didn’t want a relationship with him, and he didn’t want their friendship to progress any further.
2. He didn’t think of him sexually, but rather admired his motivation and drive.
3. There would be no communication other than when they’re at the gym. No extra curricular activities, no extra walks, no social media, no texting, etc.
My boyfriend told Steve that he would say hello and goodbye to him because he doesn’t want to be disrespectful, but he will not initiate conversations with him. No personal life matters, no extra talks, etc.
Steve said he respected this decision and didn’t want to cause any harm to our relationship, and he doesn’t want to cross any lines and/or step on my toes.
Steve stopped attending the gym about two weeks ago. Then, suddenly, he came back yesterday. It was very random. We had assumed he quit, but turns out he took a break. When he came back, my boyfriend did not interact with him. They had a 20 second conversation when my boyfriend was leaving the gym, because Steve had asked him a question. My partner is looking to leave the gym though, he has given himself a time period to leave.
I hope that gives you more clarity, thanks again.
kiwiboy0897March 13, 2020 at 8:53 pm #343240
My partner has followed through with what he said he would do, though. There has been no extra communication then what is required/what is necessary which is at the gym.
kiwiboy0897March 14, 2020 at 7:06 am #343274
I think that I understand: by “Steve has been completely cut off”, it was not that he was completely cut off, but any and all communication beyond the minimal friendly interactions within the gym were cut off. It makes sense that because your partner does not own the gym, he doesn’t have any possible way to ban Steve from the gym, and it makes sense that for as long as the two of them attend the gym, they should to be minimally friendly, so that it is not awkward and doesn’t disturb the positive atmosphere required in a gym.
So by “Steve.. no longer come to the gym”- it was not that he was asked not to return to the gym, or that he said that he will not, but it just happens that he didn’t show up for two weeks.
Reads to me that you love your partner very much and that he loves you back. I suggest that you keep the honest communication with him going, and when you feel anxious, insecure, don’t always express it, so to not burden him with your anxiety again and again. Share it with him at times, in moderation.
Also, present your anxiety, worries, etc., in a responsible way, that is, not in a whiny way or a desperate way, but in a confident way, for example, telling him in a confident voice: I love you so much, sometimes I’m afraid to lose you. And don’t interrogate him as if he was a suspect either. (It is not that I think you have done these things, I am suggesting these things just in case they are or will become applicable).
One more thing: when worried, look for the facts, restate reality, instead of being carried away with your imagination- don’t be carried away by Fiction, stick to the True-story, the facts. And post again anytime you want to.
anitaMarch 14, 2020 at 7:17 pm #343346
Thank you Anita.
I wish I could give you a virtual hug right now. I needed an objective perspective on this, I appreciate your wisdom.
kiwiboy0897March 15, 2020 at 5:00 am #343376
Today my partner and I were discussing. I was trying to understand more with clarity from his perspective on the ‘attraction,’ and what it meant etc.
He said that it wasn’t that he was attracted to him. He said that he, and this is the best way he could explain it because it was difficult for him to do so, would like it if I was as motivated as Steve. I’ll give you some context.
I’m a full time student working a casual job. Steve owns a business and is very motivated with his work. He taught my partner a lot about business and business opportunities and my partner is seeking to start one. He said he was very inspired by his drive and motivation, and that’s something he’d like himself and me to aspire to.
My boyfriend said, “I was just imagining ‘what if you (me/kiwiboy0897) was that motivated. We could build an empire.’”
So, I guess, my partner was fascinated and appreciative of that trait within his persona. This clarity makes me feel better and helps me understand more, about what I need to work on also. But is it wrong of him to think that way? He didn’t crave or lust for him, nor did he ever think or feel like being with him. How do I cope with this and how should I view it? It does make me feel a little bit insecure because I think, what more can I do? We did discuss how my comfortability annoyed him, and that I needed to be more motivated, but I guess I just never really took in on board. I guess to explain it, he wanted that part of him for me because he wants to better me and help me grow.
March 15, 2020 at 6:24 am #343386
- This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by kiwiboy0897.
Regarding your earlier post: you are welcome, thank you for your appreciation and a virtual hug to you!
Regarding your recent post: what your partner told you regarding his attraction to Steve is consistent with what you shared that he told you in your original post. I didn’t notice any inconsistencies in what he has been telling you regarding his thoughts, feelings and behavior in regard to Steve.
But there needs to be a correction in what you wrote in your original post regarding your partner and you: “he is everything I ever hoped for in a man and he always says the same about me”-
-it is not true that you are everything that he hopes for in a man: he wants a man who is more motivated than you are in the context of business (“would like it if I was as motivated as Steve”), and clearly, he is not everything you hope for in a man, because you hope for a man who will be completely content with who you are, and not wish that you were like someone else in any way.
I don’t think this is or should be a deal breaker, but a time to understand better the True Story vs. Fiction that I mentioned to you in the last line of my post to you yesterday: you and him have been in a relationship for nine months, the two of you are young, in your twenties I am guessing (?), your partner has a job and a training side job, you have a job and you are a full time student. Your partner dreams big regarding professional and financial success, he wants to build an empire!
“My boyfriend said, ‘I was just imagining what if you (me/kiwi..) was that motivated. We could build an empire.'”-
He loves you and he wants to build an empire. He believes Steve is ambitious, knowledgeable and capable in matters of empire building, and therefore can help him to build an empire. One way your partner can make sense of this situation is to pay Steve for consultation, for advice and guidance- that will sit well with you, wouldn’t it (?)
But if Steve is very interested in your partner physically, then he is posing a threat to your relationship with your partner because your partner is very motivated to build an empire, and it is possible that your partner will compromise his preference of you and be with Steve instead.
Time to see if there is a meeting of the minds and hearts between you and your partner in regard to life goals and dreams:. I suggest the following exercise: you and him separately, list your own personal and professional goals and dreams in order of priority, from the most important to the least important. After the list, each one of you, still separately, write your plan how to achieve those goals and dreams, be as specific or as vague as you are about the plans.
After that part of the exercise, compare your lists and plans, and figure out if there is a way or ways for the two of you to work together for the purpose of satisfying your individual goals and dreams of the higher priority.
anitaMarch 15, 2020 at 7:05 pm #343492
That’s true, I agree. One thing I should mention is, a while after he told me about this motivation aspect, he said he didn’t realise how motivated I truly was. This was partially due to the fact that I never told him my plan regarding my career in conjunction to university. After I had told him, he said he didn’t realise this was the case. He also said that he didn’t realise how motivated I truly was, and that he was glad I am.
It does hurt to think that he was not and might not be completely content with who I am, like you said. I wish he never thought that way, in the sense that he never thought I would be like someone else.
We are in our twenties, yes. He always reiterates that he wants us to be financially secure and stable. I don’t think my partner would ask Steve for such consultation anymore, though. He says the friendship is dead and gone.
I ask my partner about Steve’s attraction to him. When I do, he always says “how many times do I have to show/tell you that I don’t want him? I want you. I want to be with you,” he says that Steve is not someone he would like to be with because of his overall personality. He says he is pretty mean to others, and the only thing he admires is his motivation and drive. When I asked him if he ever pictured being with him, he said “yuck, never.” So what I’m trying to say is, he has convinced me and has me to believe that he would never compromise his preference with me to be with Steve.
We will do the exercise you suggested. Thank you!
I have also realised that after this whole ordeal, I have developed a sense of jealousy. I keep questioning whether or not he is going to leave me and have this impending fear that he will (although I know he won’t). He reiterates that he wants to be with me always, and has shown that he is very serious about me (he has come out to his family, introduced me to them, shows that he is serious through such actions). He says he wants to marry me, also. As well as this, my partner has been cheated on in the past and he always restates that he knows what that feels like, and that he’d never do the same to me.
Also, is it wrong for me to feel threatened by Steve? I know he admires and desires for my partner, and that makes me anxious. I trust that my partner wouldn’t show reciprocation or entertain the notion of Steve’s desire, but I cannot hush the hush the worry and fear.
What are some ways I can improve on this? Even if I need to communicate with him about it?
kiwiboy0897March 15, 2020 at 7:09 pm #343498
I am looking forward to read your recent post and reply when I am back to the computer in about 12 hours from now.
anitaMarch 16, 2020 at 8:35 am #343574
The fact that “he wants us to be financially secure and stable” means he is thinking of you very long term, and I like it that he does.
“I ask my partner about Steve’s attraction to him. When I do, he always says ‘how many times do I have to show/ tell you that I don’t want him. I want you”- don’t ask him anymore.
“He says (Steve) is pretty mean to others”- well, you have a great advantage over Steve, no wonder your partner doesn’t want to be with him.
I typed the above before reading the part of your post where you shared that your partner introduced you to his family, that he told you that he wants to marry you, that he “shows that he is serious through such actions”. That he was cheated on in the past and would “never do the same to me”, leads me to think that he very much appreciates that he can trust you to not cheat on him- another great advantage you have over many other people, in addition to being kind to others.
Regarding your jealousy and fear that he will leave you, here is a way that will help you figure out the chances for that happening: look at the history of the relationship between his parents, and between himself and his parents while he was growing up (from what he shares with you). When there are significant ongoing conflicts/ distress between parents, and/ or between parents and child, the child growing up in such a home is likely to cause troubles with adult romantic relationships later on.
If he didn’t express to you such conflicts/ distress growing up in his home, and you didn’t notice such otherwise, chances are that you can rely on him to stay with him. From all you shared so far, I am optimistic.
“is it wrong for me to feel threatened by Steve?”- I imagine Steve, appearing confident, motivated etc., and the fact that he knew earlier that your partner was in a relationship but made a move on him regardless, because he didn’t think it was serious, leads me to think that Steve is not shy about approaching men, and I assume he has approached others since he approached and was rejected by your partner, and that he was approached by others, and therefore, he is not likely to be singularly focused on your partner.
“I cannot hush .. the worry and fear”- worry and fear are quite noisy. It takes a skillful practice called emotional regulation to hush fear, a multi-disciplinary approach of daily aerobic and other exercise, getting enough sleep, eating healthily, listening to guided Mindfulness meditation, sometimes it takes quality psychotherapy, to look at the origin of our excessive fear and worry and process that.. these are a few of the things that come to my mind.
On way to not try in the effort to hush the worry and fear is to keep asking your partner questions, to keep asking for reassurance- it gets tiring and it is unattractive. Like I wrote to you before, you can share with him honestly what you feel, but sound confident as you do, not like a powerless person that hangs on his every word.. who is so very desperate. And don’t repeat the same questions, and don’t go on and on.
When you are with him and you feel very anxious, take a time out, distract yourself with some exercise, maybe a guided meditation (I like the Mark Williams Mindfulness Series), and keep in mind that there is nothing your partner can say, nothing anyone can say or do to permanently take away from you the fear and worry. If you understand that you have to endure some fear and worry for a long time, if not for a lifetime, you will no longer be desperate to get rid of it here and now! Knowing it is a long term challenge, you are more likely to endure it without reacting to it in counterproductive ways.
anitaMarch 16, 2020 at 1:12 pm #343628
Thank you, Anita.
Appreciate you endlessly.
kiwiboy0897March 16, 2020 at 1:19 pm #343632
You are welcome, kiwiboy0897. Whenever you need to, post again and I will reply to you.
anitaMarch 16, 2020 at 3:10 pm #343656
I’m angry at the fact that my partner developed this friendship after Steve came onto him. He is a very kind and forgiving person though, and some part of him is quite naive too. He told me the day it happened, and the next day he said that Steve had apologised because he was unaware. I just don’t understand how you could develop a friendship after that without it being awkward.
It just makes me anxious and bitter.
kiwiboy0897March 16, 2020 at 3:21 pm #343666
Notice that in bitter (“it just makes me anxious and bitter”), there is anger, that’s what bitterness is, a slow buildup of anger.
How did your partner want a friendship with Steve after Steve came on to him? Some people don’t take people coming on to them sexually as a serious thing, a deal breaker of any kind. They shake the experience off them and proceed as if it didn’t happen. To you what happened in that bathroom was disturbing, not something you can get over. For your boyfriend, it probably didn’t mean that much, so he let it slide. Makes sense?
anitaMarch 16, 2020 at 3:26 pm #343668
Makes sense. Now that you mention it, I do remember him saying something along the same lines right after it happened. He said he was weirded out at first and felt awkward, but he got over it.
Thank you for helping me stay grounded.